Journey into oblivion


Lion’s Gate Bridge. Wish me luck.

I’ll be in BC in a couple of days, land of the Giant Mistake, where they still believe granite countertops and glass sinks can buy you love. Or at least respect. Or Ozzie Jurock’s steamy embrace.

In fact, you might have noticed the results of an international survey published in the past few hours which compared housing affordability in Canada, the US, Australia, Britain, Ireland and a few other places. The criteria was whether or not real estate was affordable to the people who live there, or just a big joke (download the report as PDF document).

Here are the most “severely unaffordable housing markets”, ranked from the worst:

1. Sunshine Coast, Australia
2. Honolulu
3. Gold Coast, Australia
4. Vancouver
5. Sydney
6. San Francisco
7. San Jose
8. Victoria
9. San Luis Obispo
10. Bundaberg, Australia
11. Los Angeles
12. Adelaide
13. Melbourne
14. New York
15. Belfast
16. London
17. Santa Cruz
18. Kelowna
19. London exurbs
20. Taraunga-W. Bay, New Zealand
21. Abbotsford

Big cities even more livable than Abbotsford include Dublin, San Diego, Miami and Boston. But, what’s to compare, eh? I mean, unless you’re a turkey.

Meanwhile, in the Top 20 most affordable international cities are these Canadian places – Cape Breton, Thunder Bay, Chatham, Windsor and Moncton.

Strangely enough, I am about to give financial lectures in every one of the least affordable Canadian communities over the next week (well, not exactly in Abbotsford, but close enough.) Will they stone me? After all, I am a pariah these days with the real estate community, especially in Western Canada where they think citizens are dumb enough to be deluded into believing press releases without news and arguments without facts.

In reality, as the study here concluded, Canadians who live in those cities have made a choice to feed the bulk of their income to their houses – up to 80%. In other words, many families in Vancouver, Victoria and Kelowna have virtually no disposable income after housing costs, which means they’ve a giant stake in justifying the unjustifiable. This will make the trip back down to reality even more painful than it’s already been. No more average $772,000 house price. No crappy $900,000 bungs. No $600,000 concrete boxes in Yaletown.

This corner of North America, in fact, is likely the last remaining genuine real estate bubble on the continent – a place where people value an address more than financial security and are ready to assume the debt of small nations for… just a house.

I think there are a few ringside seats left to witness my public evisceration. Please come. Bring sponges.

Victoria, Saturday 9 am, Convention Centre downtown on Douglas Street.
Nanaimo, Sunday 9 am, Convention Centre also downtown.
Parksville, Monday 7 pm, email [email protected]
Surrey, Tuesday 7 pm, Northview Golf Club.
Kelowna, Wednesday 4 pm and 7 pm, Ramada Inn.
Vancouver, Thursday 7 pm, Plaza 500 Hotel, W 12th St.



Today’s blog: iPod of the Wind


#1 Alan on 01.28.09 at 9:05 pm

If you come across any stats on exactly how much people owe vrs current market value, it would be interesting. All I’ve seen are a few averages, but I’d like to see more detailed numbers. Maybe broken down into fifths of the population.

#2 North Vancouver Citizen on 01.28.09 at 9:05 pm

Am I first to comment?

…Not much good living in Ontario…all them nuclear stations threatened to being blown to bits by all them Province’s unemployed Al Qaidi foreigners who live there.

…Eastern Canadians couldn’t cope in BC….all they get back east are two seasons, boilermaker humid hot and ice freaking cold.

…Half the eastern population couldn’t afford to move as they are employed in the single Winter economy there….Snow Removal.

…Overheard this morning phone call between PM Harper and Pres Obama….Ok, we look forward to visiting you in Ottawa…btw, is it anywhere near Vancouver…the family and I would like to get in some skiing?

…and dekethegeek pointed out in the last blog that all the French speaking CBC TV shows are shot in the CBC Vancouver studios….hmmmmmm, at least some Easterners are smart enough to realize…..its coming…..can you stand it….ok, I’m annoucing for only like the second or third time…Vancouver will become the next Financial/Trade/Leisure capital of North America.

too funny

#3 brazer on 01.28.09 at 9:11 pm

For those who missed Garth’s appearance on Strombo….here is the web link:

#4 kc on 01.28.09 at 9:14 pm

hey I was just going to mention this piece was on global vancouver tonight where they had a bit about the unaffordable vancouver bubble… it is worth listening to… some re dude was saying the speil we are the best place to live garbage…. can you find it and link it garth? thanks

#5 cowgirl down under on 01.28.09 at 9:15 pm

Hey Garth,

I am visiting my daughter in Australia – with the money I got from selling my house last summer. I am reading the papers here with interest, since they are on the brink of understanding the bubble situation here.

Basically, they seem to think they are all right because their biggest trading partner is China.

Or they used to. I read an article last weekend that – bless ’em – is so Australian and plain speaking. An Australian economic think tank said – roughly paraphrased – but using the “b” word no less than 7 times “the UK is buggered, NZ is buggered, China is buggered and so we, therefore are buggered”.

More later – it is nearly + 40 — seriously wondering about global warming — heating


#6 dotava on 01.28.09 at 9:19 pm

“… Will they stone me? …”

Ask them what is the point to stone the messenger? :-) :-(

#7 canadianoil on 01.28.09 at 9:23 pm

I have visited all 21 places on the listover the last 22 years.
Therefore what I experienced may not reflect this latest survey.

However, it is impossible to rate ‘affordability’ on it’s own.
One must rate the livability of the location.

From a Canadian perspective I cannot rate the livability as high for Cape Breton, Thunder Bay, Chatham, Windsor and Moncton.

Internationally, the livability of the top 6 locations warrent the higher cost or accomodation.

The catch phrase of the day is truly ‘A month at a time in 09.’

Livability is not as important as affordability, this year and perhaps next year.

Those caught owning property in one of the least affordable cities will face tough times in the near term.

However, their fortitude will be rewarded when this financial crisis ends in 34 months?

#8 dotava on 01.28.09 at 9:24 pm

Garth – don’t feel bad – you will have similar experience in my neighborhood where people voted Con’s in last election – expecting that there houses will always go up.

#9 North Vancouver Citizen on 01.28.09 at 9:26 pm

Guaranteed friends, upon his return from BC, Garth will re-commence blow after blow, denouncing how ridiculous RE prices are here.

…You see, I’ve offered Garth the standard three hour North Shore tour.

Beginning with a drive underneath the Gondolas on Grouse Mountain(too bad the Grouse Grind is closed due to heavy winter snow), to the Cypress Mountain lookout…to Horeshoe Bay (the three ferry terminal to Vancouver Island, Sunshine Coast and Bowen island)…to a tour back along Marine Drive to Lighthouse Park…and then back to Deep Cove Village on the Indian Arm.

…So you see, Garth has no choice but to increase his negative hyperbole…because that is the only way he can afford his own, one of a kind, combo(home, weekend cabin on the water)Paradise Home in or around Deep Cove.

#10 john on 01.28.09 at 9:38 pm

LOL have a good trip Garth im sure it will be interesting.

#11 maritimer on 01.28.09 at 9:41 pm

Hey Garth,
Just saw your George appearance on CBC. You’re much less obnoxious on tv than on the internet. I mean that in a back-handed compliment sorta way ;)

Any book touring plans for Atlantic Canada??

#12 double mike on 01.28.09 at 9:41 pm

Vancouver is less affordable than San Francisco/ San Jose! What a joke. Human stupidity knows no limits.

#13 North Vancouver Citizen on 01.28.09 at 9:43 pm

Seriously, any MP who donates his pension to charity as Garth does, is deserving of a nice time out here, if he wants it.

..Who knows, he may be Prime Minister one day too.

#14 Blair on 01.28.09 at 9:47 pm

Best of luck on the tour. Perhaps you could update us on such things as…

# of tomatoes thrown at you
# of swear words
etc. etc.

On a related topic, I have a friend whose daughter bought a bungalow in the affordable real estate mecca of Cape Breton two years ago. It’s 1200 sq feet and sitting on a one acre lot. Price: 34K (no joke).

The daughter then went promptly to the toyota dealer and forked out the same amount for an SUV.

Perhaps, Garth, you should go on the road to Cape Breton too. I doubt you’d get the same reception as you would in BC!

#15 UBC Frank on 01.28.09 at 9:56 pm

The survey that just came out lists Vancouver as the absolute worst place on the planet for unaffordability among the major cities of the world, as places like the Gold Coast and Sunshine coasts of Australia are more like resort towns than real cities.
Go figure -this dull, rainy depressing place outprices REAL cities like London and New York.
Ah well, with the number of active listings already increasing by 100 a day in the dead of winter, things are going to get real ugly by springtime.
Did I say ugly? I meant beautiful.

#16 goerbels on 01.28.09 at 10:12 pm

Well, after the self-righteous self-delusion and general ignorance of that North Vancouver chap above, I can only hope for that giant earthquake out there they’ve been promising.

Oh, and last time I was in North Van, right outside by the Quay on the way to that really great breakfast place in the market, I was mugged by two of your finest rich-kid-north-van meth heads, in broad daylight, with about 15 people around. I was very impressed by the eloquence of the community.

And, hey, north-van-boy, this spring, enjoy your muddy tapwater.

#17 Jonathan on 01.28.09 at 10:16 pm

Hey Garth,

Your out west so you couldn’t read this ad in page B2 of the Milton Champion. Get this they are giving $10,000 of our tax money to potential home buyers if they rent in Halton:

“$10,000 Payment-Free, Interest-Free loan

Provincial/Federal Government funded downpayment assistance program may be able to help you get into your own home now!

$10,000 in Government funded downpayment assistance is now available to renters in Halton Region.

Canadian banks require a minimum of 5% downpayment on a mortgage. This can take a long time to save…until now. Through the Canada-Ontario Affordable Housing Program, you may qualify for:

1. A $10,000 payment-free, interest free loan to use as a downpayment on a home.
2. Automatic loan forgiveness after 20 years.

All Applications must be received by January 31, 2009. Call us to find out more details.

Call: 905-631-9177 ext. 25

Halton Heritage Realty Inc. is the Government selected delivery agent for the program in the Halton REgion. To learn more about the Canada-Ontario Affordable Housing Program, visit us online at or call 905-631-9177.

For complete program terms, visit the Ontario Municipal Affairs & Housing website at

#18 Midas on 01.28.09 at 10:17 pm


NAPLES NEWS article: The median price dropped 50 percent to $106,900, down from $215,200 last year. Homes that sold for as much as $300,000 a few years ago in Cape Coral are now going for less than $100,000.”

“‘There are some real bargains out there,’ said Bruce Barron, general manager for Century 21 J.B. Novelli in Fort Myers. ‘The price ranges are totally different than they were two or three years ago.’’

Canada being 2 years behind the good ole’ US of A and being only in the first year of its market decline will indeed experience 50% + drop in prices over the next two years. As a matter of fact the probability is very high that a 50% drop from 2007 highs may indeed be seen even by this fall in places like Vancouver and Calgary, and possibly Toronto. I think price drops will proceed at an exponential rate once the dire state of the market starts hitting sellers around May-June. I see more listings in January in my neighborhood than in the past ten years. The above article about not that long ago uber hot Florida real estate is a preview of things to come in Vancouver and Cowtown for sure, and in all likelihood, Edmonton, Winterpeg and Saskabust as well.

#19 Midas on 01.28.09 at 10:19 pm

Hi Garth: Been having a problem last couple of times I wanted to post my two cents worth; everything OK with the website?

#20 Greg W., Oakville on 01.28.09 at 10:19 pm

Hi Garth,

CBC radio ‘Ideas’ tonight/wed. 9:05pm was:

Wednesday, January 28
Global warming is moving much more quickly than scientists thought it would. Even if the biggest current and prospective emitters – the United States, China and India -were to slam on the brakes today, the earth would continue to heat up for decades. At best, we may be able to slow things down and deal with the consequences, without social and political breakdown. Gwynne Dyer examines several radical short- and medium-term measures now being considered—all of them controversial. Conclusion.

I think part 3 can be down load after next Monday if you missed it tonight.

You can down load Gwynne Dyer, Climate Wars,
parts 1&2 now if you missed them.

#21 Strataman on 01.28.09 at 10:20 pm

“… Will they stone me? …” They probably will Garth, but Hollywood North uses Styrofoam rocks so not to worry much..everything is artificial here!

#22 Jonathan on 01.28.09 at 10:23 pm

On second thought this could just be an unethical tactic used by Halton Heritage Realty to get potential buyers to visit their office. I can’t find any specific details on their website. They say call.

#23 Punnoval on 01.28.09 at 10:28 pm

Didn’t you know that use of the name “Jurock” is considered to be anti-semitic? From now on he will be known as “Ozzie Gyprock”

#24 smwhite on 01.28.09 at 10:34 pm

Garth, you need to get your solar powered video camera out to one of your upcoming engagements/stonings. I’m sure its going to be entertaining to say the least…

#25 * on 01.28.09 at 10:34 pm

This is why I can’t afford a house, because of people like this…

The free ride is over.

#26 Jonathan on 01.28.09 at 10:39 pm

Details in the Peel region on $10,000 free loan:

Here’s the catch, you have to buy a place that is priced under $247,000… good luck finding one. I guess your limited to a condo.

#27 Boombust on 01.28.09 at 10:49 pm

re: Comment #9

You sound like an idiot.

#28 DVDA on 01.28.09 at 10:50 pm

Hey everyone….watch this ron paul video.

He is trying to explain why this is happening to a panel of absolute #$%#$ morons on some us “news” show.

After watching that, I know what the problem is. NO ONE LISTENS TO EACH OTHER ANYMORE!

After watching dozens of peter schiff videos and the like over the past several months it is clear, Americans will never let the other person finish a thought or sentence without butting in and talking over them. It is as American to do that as it is for us to say “Eh”. It is so frustrating to watch. When this happens, people cannot communicate, and if they cant communicate, they cant solve problems.

#29 DVDA on 01.28.09 at 10:53 pm

I know the only true solution to stop climate change.

I know what to do to stop pumping out millions of tons of garbage into the air.

I know it is already happening.

The Answer?

A Depression!

#30 Greg W., Oakville on 01.28.09 at 10:53 pm

Hi Garth, FYI

5 countries on the verge of following Iceland to economic ruin.

#31 Greg W., Oakville on 01.28.09 at 10:58 pm

Hi Garth, FYI

Dead Man Walking: Our beloved Dennis Kucinich, the man who’s nuts are bigger than anyone in DC, save for Hillary, is proposing putting the Federal Reserve under government control. Dennis for the love of god, stay in crowded spaces. We love you!

1-1/2 min video.

#32 prairie gal on 01.28.09 at 11:05 pm

Jonathan – by doing this they are putting those sellers priced high at a disadvantage. More downward pressure on prices.

#33 Greg W., Oakville on 01.28.09 at 11:07 pm

Hi Garth, FYI

FBI: We had good intelligence on the mortgage-fraud schemes, the corrupt attorneys, the corrupt appraisers, the insider schemes, as far back as 2002.

#34 Greg W., Oakville on 01.28.09 at 11:24 pm

Hi Garth, FYI

Russia And China Slam U.S. Economic System, Blaming It For Financial Crisis

#35 eddy on 01.28.09 at 11:30 pm

insist on ‘made in Canada’ drywall

#36 EW on VI on 01.28.09 at 11:42 pm

Garth – Maritimer is right, the blog Garth is much more obnoxious than the TV Garth….I probably wont even bother to see him….

Next years most expensive place. Based on its meteoric rise – Saskatoon!

I think you’ll find Vancouver much cheaper if we count the undeclared income from the family grow-op.

But seriously, #1 Alan has a great point – how much is the median mortgage in these places? Stats anybody?

#37 Greg W., Oakville on 01.28.09 at 11:47 pm

Hi Garth, FYI

Al Gore: We’re borrowing money from China to buy oil from the Persian Gulf to burn it in ways that destroy the planet. Every bit of that’s got to change.

#38 Investx on 01.29.09 at 12:04 am

Wow, Vancouver #4. Ouch.

BC… Land of The Giant Mistake. Nice.

#39 EW on VI on 01.29.09 at 12:12 am

Hey Garth, was that another swipe at 60 yr old boomers and their overpriced real estate that you took on 60 minutes – oops – the hour?? Like you wont be sixty for
another 6 weeks so I guess thats OK……

#40 nonplused on 01.29.09 at 12:16 am

#2 North Vancouver Citizen

The only thriving industry in BC right now is growing pot. And selling vacation homes to rich Albertans. But that one is drying up a bit lately.

I knew BC was doomed as soon as they started with their “the Best Place on Earth” slogan on their license plates. It’s a nice place, I suppose, if you stay close to the highway. Venture in a bit and it’s a clear cutting disaster. Where there are trees and it’s still remote there are these strange looking weeds that grow about 6 or 7 feet tall and a dude with a gun telling you that you’d best hike somewhere else.

Financial capital? It’s like my backside; I can’t see it. Maybe if you mean like Columbia or something.

A number of years back the government of Canada was pressuring Brazil about all the clear cutting for farming. Brazil sent a camera crew to BC and rented a helicopter and did a few flyovers. In the opinion of the Brazilians, not only was the % clear cut over the years higher, but BC didn’t even turn the land into farms! They just let all the topsoil wash into the rivers. The government of Canada dropped their campaign.

Only an arrogant a$$ or a delusional fool would declare their own local “the Best Place on Earth”. There are a lot of nice places on Earth. Verdict rendered.

Candu reactors have a fairly good operating record. They are likely to be still producing after all the reservoirs in BC fill up with clear cut runoff sediment.

#41 Alan on 01.29.09 at 12:17 am

The main point of the report was that the regions with the most unaffordability were that way because of prescriptive controls over land usage.

Assuming those controls were to continue, there was nothing in the report to suggest that pricing would change.

So yes, some areas are more unaffordable than others, but that in itself does mean that prices in those places are more prone to crash than any others

#42 Observer on 01.29.09 at 1:04 am

I don’t think Ozzie is your only fear out here, watch out for our resident Real Estate expert who goes by the name of Bob. Apparently according to the local media he’s the go to expert when they want a commentary on where things are going. Unbiased of course. Oh BTW, he feels this is a buyers market. I think every westerner knows who I’m referring to.

#43 Roial1 on 01.29.09 at 1:08 am

I would venture to say that one of the reasons that the prices here on the wet coast are staying high is that it is still THE place to retire after you sell the farm on the ice coated prairies.
That is what has been driving the sales and prices here in the mid island area for a long time. The direct flights from Calgary to Comox have been enabling stubble jumpers to invade us with ease.
We are even seeing those damned Ontarions now and then.
And the Winterpegers are so thick on the ground you could plant wheat in em.

See you on the second in Parksville.

#44 Westcoast Girl on 01.29.09 at 1:17 am

Can’t wait to hear you and shake your hand in person next week Garth. Your blog is a lifeline in rocky, stormy waters.

#45 Richmond Rich Renter on 01.29.09 at 1:23 am

Don’t worry Garth – I’d take a bullet for you… I’ve got my ring side seat for Vancouver on the 5th.

#46 kc on 01.29.09 at 1:54 am

I guess hgtv must be starting to hurt for the house flipping programs….

here is a small article from Toronto Life mag that says the market is dead and dieing for the fixer upper jet set…

Totally Flipped Out
Buying dumpy houses to fix up for the reno-averse was a foolproof way to make a buck. Not anymore

#47 Steve outside Canada on 01.29.09 at 1:57 am

Garth, Can somebody tape your presentation in BC and post it on “you tube” or “google videos”? Do you have a problem with that? Because I am sure some of your blog “fans” cannot make it to your presentations (ie. me). Thanks for letting us know. Steve

#48 R on 01.29.09 at 2:16 am

#7….In places like Vancouver and Victoria there is no livability. Unless you count working your arse off so you can afford the mortgage or rent payments. After that there is no living just paying.

#49 Mike (authentic) on 01.29.09 at 2:37 am

#3 brazer: Thanks for the link! Well worth the time to watch it.

#9 North Vancouver Citizen: Vancover and the Coast. I agree, for Canada, BC is really nice, I’ve lived in Vancouver and in Kelowna (Okanagan beats the coast hands down) and have family on the Sunshine Coast (been there more times than I can shake a stick at) as well as friends on the island (Victoria, Comox, Nanaimo).

ButI’d rather live in LA in Laguna Beach or Malibu hands down. Too bad it’s the USA, but housing is cheaper, the weather and water is warmer, the beaches nicer, palm trees, sun and you don’t get the grey, depressing rain 300 days a year.

BC is really just newly weds and nearly deads (and tourism) Take away either and what you got? No economy.


#50 Sam on 01.29.09 at 3:00 am

Hey North Vancouver Citizen,

You smell, RACISM. Stay where you are .

#51 Mike (authentic) on 01.29.09 at 5:19 am

A sign of the times:


Just announced on CNBC that Starbucks to cut an additional 6,700 jobs and close another 300 stores.


#52 David Bakody on 01.29.09 at 6:16 am

#2 North Vancouver Citizen on 01.28.09 at 9:05 pm

Well said madame and please keep telling as many of your girl friends at your local bridge club and Sunday Sunshine Flower Meeting ….. and should you get a moment my dear lady …. could be so kind as to give us all the scoop on just how to hold that pinky when sipping a cup of tea ….. the byes here would love to read about should we have to leave the tavern to go home and mind the store while our fine ladies attend some fancy garden party when the Queen next visits …… have a good my dear lady.. ha ha you just are too funny…..

#53 Pete on 01.29.09 at 6:51 am

“In reality, as the study here concluded, Canadians who live in those cities have made a choice to feed the bulk of their income to their houses”

Hey – not all of us! Walking around Coal Harbour and some other condo-heavy area at night shows that a very large % are unoccupied. I think speculators (Canadian or otherwise) have been the big problem in Vancouver and once they’ve been shaken out – unfortunately probably not completely until a year or so after the Olympics – I think prices will rapidly return to more affordable levels although will always be somewhat higher due to ocean proximity and all that, which is fine.

Most people I know (regular folk) didn’t buy during the last two or three years, although some went for it eventually simply as they wanted a place of their own and were at that stage in life. Buying was not a happy experience for them though and a couple deeply regret their timing.

Personally, I got the opportunity to leave town for while and will head back after the big “O”(h-no) with a nice downpayment. I am a bit worried how the city will change in the next couple of years as our service economy will be hit the hardest, but to be honest I wasn’t happy with the way the city was heading during the boom. Maybe we can reclaim the place from speculators, rich retirees, Web 2.0 paper millionaires and second-home out-of-towners and the govt. can take steps to attract “real” jobs to the city.

Of course we’ll still have the drugs trade, but hopefully they’ll take steps to make the illegal grow-ups Canadians are compelled to rely on for their occasional toke unprofitable. Hmm, what could those steps be? Worked with alcohol…

#54 go green on 01.29.09 at 7:26 am

#84 JO on 01.28.09 at 3:22 pm # 70 go green – Check out Kitco / / Mish’s Global (google for exact site). I would be cautious about buying coins right now as i hear premiums are ridiculous compared to content..also, gold seems likely to go up to do a re-test of the 2008 high of 1033 after the mild correction taking place now..if deflation remains prominent (likely IMO) I think gold can come back down 30-40 % after this run up in the next couple of months. Point is to be cautious with gold…i suggest you research gtu.un and the central gold trust which are closed end funds on TSX.
good luck
Thanks JO – been reading Mish & have learned a lot already. I’m not jumping into gold right now. Much more reading to do.

#128 EW on VI on 01.28.09 at 9:17 pm 70 green – try “the goldwatcher” from chapters-indigo. Just started it. Claims to be objective.

Thanks EW – Does it provide opinions from various ‘experts’?

#55 smwhite on 01.29.09 at 7:39 am

#3 brazer

They must feed George sugar before the show, he can’t sit still or on topic for more then 30 seconds…

#47 Mike

There goes Vancouver’s main source of employment…

#56 Future Expatriate on 01.29.09 at 7:45 am

Garth, while you’re on the island, be sure to take a tour of the place I’m buying next year for 1.5 million in gold… it’s called Villa Madrona. It’s a bit on the large side, but I have 60 cats, a full house staff to empty litter boxes, and Madonna visits frequently…

#57 Kash is King on 01.29.09 at 7:58 am

Umm, hasn’t anyone noticed that North Van gets 220 inches of rain per year?

Got moss?

#58 613 Happy where I am on 01.29.09 at 8:31 am

Mr. Turner:

I enjoy your blog but more than anything, I enjoy the pictures which accompany the segments… they are usually bang on and set the tone…. Do you have a research army looking all over for these photos or do you do this yourself?

At any rate, like they say, a picture is worth 1,000 words…

Maybe you might post a picture and recipe of that squirrel stew your wife cooks so we we can all prepare this delicacy in the next while…

I’ll get the army right on it. — Garth

#59 Kash is King on 01.29.09 at 8:33 am

Another Market-Ticker from Karl Denninger.

He feels everyone involved in the RE business has a vested interest in avoiding “price discovery” in reference to the true value of RE.

Here is the link:

#60 D Griffiths on 01.29.09 at 8:43 am

Good luck Garth! Take your “thick skin” and “teflon suit” with you!

#61 Paul Fist In Your Face on 01.29.09 at 8:44 am

I call this one “Bring out the Dead”. From TAE this morning:

“While a team of Williams & Williams auctioneers was moving through Maryland and Virginia on Dec. 16, a competitor, Irvine, California-based Real Estate Disposition Corp., was wrapping up an eight-day, 18-city tour at which it sold 2,842 homes for $210 million, according to Chairman Robert Friedman.”

This is so the personification of a natural system. ‘ moving through Maryland and Virginia’
. Remember how they described sub prime as a swarm of locusts moving from one area to the next? Well after any natural plague or disaster come the vultures and carrion feeders to clean up the festering corpses and roadkill. This is too prophetic. Any intervention will only buy time and probably make it worse ultimately. So the cycle happens and wealth is destroyed or a better term is “repriced”. In the mean time governments have doubled their deficits and national debts have grown accordingly. Now this has all to be paid back with vastly devalued wealth. It simply cannot be done.That’s why the bailouts wont work. Deflation followed by hyper-inflation will happen. It is un avoidable.

#62 Bill-Muskoka (N.A.M.) on 01.29.09 at 8:47 am

Jon Stewart has the best idea yet. Let the government give the money to the people to pay off their debt to the banks. That would literally reset the economy.

In fact under Levitical Law every fifty years there is a Jubilee in which all debt is forgiven. We certainly need a Jubilee NOW!

Afterall, whose money is it to begin with?

#63 Bill-Muskoka (N.A.M.) on 01.29.09 at 8:51 am


Beware the air in Vancouver. I think it may be hallucinogenic!

#64 Bay Street Lawyer on 01.29.09 at 8:53 am


I note this report says that 3x the median income is “affordable”, but I think in “After the Crash”, you indicate that one should not buy a house that is more than 4x your income.

I know there’s no hard-and-fast rule about this, but is the report being overly conservative?

#65 David on 01.29.09 at 9:03 am

There really is no reason for any of the locals to be mad at Garth.
The current version of tulip bulb mania on the West Coast was not some conspiracy launched from some lap top computer by some secretive cabal of illuminati.
The actual people who do show up for these seminars will most likely sensible folks who realise that logarithmic price growth, voodoo mortgages and unrealistic expectations made this whole housing bubble unsustainable.
Those unlucky folks already in negative equity face the real prospect of paying some realtor $40K for the privilege of unloading some “me too” condo or some craptacular non descript bungalow that has seen better days.
Thunder Bay probably does have reasonable prices on housing. Hard to say that being somewhere between Winnipeg and Sault St. Marie is much of a selling feature for a community.

#66 Gord In Vancouver on 01.29.09 at 9:07 am

Here are the most “severely unaffordable housing markets”, ranked from the worst:

1. Sunshine Coast, Australia
2. Honolulu
3. Gold Coast, Australia
4. Vancouver
5. Sydney

Vancouver’s high level of real estate speculation over the past few years and the city’s lack of economic diversification (low salaries, high unaffordability ratio) are the main reasons for this rating.

There’s no way Vancouver should rate ahead of London, New York and San Jose. Sorry Vancouver real estate bulls, we now have a smoking gun that says your holdings are obscenely overpriced.

#67 grandeprairiegirl on 01.29.09 at 9:09 am

#52 Future Expat
You should also check out ‘The World Islands’ in the UAE
if you’re in the market. Unfortunately the last Canadian Island ‘Saskatchewan’ is now reserved. However there are several other smaller islands still available. For a mere pittance in the relative scheme of things.
” A destination has arrived that allows investors to chart their own course and make the world their own”.
Alrightee then. More like the epitomy of excess I’d say.
It’d be interesting to know who exactly bought these islands, as a matter of curiosity.

So, would you consider subletting the guest house to one female and one golden retriever.
You should have a dog onsite to keep those 60 cats in line. Man he’d be in heaven. LOL
And I’m sure I could tolerate Madonna visiting now and then. LOL

#68 Patrice on 01.29.09 at 9:09 am

North Vancouver citizen; you are amazingly stupid.

I am wondering how did your personality evolved to become the way it is now..

Do you believe in god? What is your religion?

What is your education achievements?

How old are you?

What do you do for a living?

I’m assuming that you believe to be very good looking and you have a very high opinion of yourself.

What were your parents like etc…

I always find it interesting to witness highly inadequate individuals getting through the meshes of the theory of evolution…

#69 Kash is King on 01.29.09 at 9:16 am

In reference to foreclosed US houses:

Banks Sitting On An Inventory Time Bomb
Posted By: Diana Olick

#70 Mike B formerly just Mike on 01.29.09 at 9:26 am

Ok lets get this out of the way. You heard it hear first Vancouver… yes city built on sand… land of the white supremist NVC… will not become the financial capital of anything except ski heads and a third rate place for film and tv. OK enough said.

US and Canadian stimulus packages.. Didn’t work in the 30’s so why are we doing it now. Because many believe that this is an effort to renegotiate with the working class… ie middle class. Basically what Garth has been writing for months now. Will they create jobs … yes … non lasting jobs … contracts with government will not go to the little people but those heavily connected with the government. This is merely a small finger in the dyke but there are way more holes to be plugged. On top of all that bad stuff … there is talk that any stimulus infrastructure work done will add a layer of protectionism. That is… all steel used for US infrastructure must be US made. Also did not go over well in the 30’s.
People.. learn from the past.. this is the start of a depression that will last for many years and will effect millions of people globally. So how do we get out of it.
Well in the 30’s it was not any stimulus or infrustructure plans that helped…BUT THE SECOND WORLD WAR.
Don’t want that for our kids do we. Also keep in mind that in the 30’s … no 600 trillion dollar derivatives mess and the US was not insolvent like it is today.
What I love about government is how readily they spend money and yet how difficult it is to determine where the cash goes to and how and if it is making any impact.

Ohhh did I mention that Vancouver will not be the centre of anything expect the home for blow hards who
claim expertise in areas they have little knowledge.
It will be paying for these Olympics with higher taxes for decades to come.

You heard it here first.

#71 Kash is King on 01.29.09 at 9:44 am

US home auctions … bargoons!

“Fannie Mae Foreclosure Sale at 50 Cents on $1 Shows Price Reset” By Elliot Blair Smith

#72 Marie on 01.29.09 at 9:54 am

Anybody who believe there is just a few nice places to live in Canada, and they happen to be in BC is plain small minded. They need a roadtrip across Canada to get some sense of perspective. But I guess I’d be pretty bitter too if I realized I’d become an indentured servant chained to a house which morgage is bigger than the resale value.
I bought my first house for 21$K, with one acre of land on the waterfront in Atlantic Canada. I calculated that while my income was lower than in Centre Canada, my buck was going much farther and I had access to fuel with woodcutting and food with hunting and gardening. Concentrating our population in a few spots while gutting rural Canada was driven by very bad policies. Big corporations and real estate people love it, it does not mean it is in the best interest of most people in the long run. Instead of maintaining healty local economy in a smogabord of small communities, we got into short-term, unstainable resources extraction. When the sawmill, the dairy, the bakery, the small farms, the mom and pop store closed down in a small town, what employment is left? That is why livability in provinces such as Newfoundland left few options for young folks than moving West. On the other hand, people who stuck to rural Canada during the hard times wont feel the pain so much when the fossil fuel-industrial economy run out of steam. The money economy will contract there as well, but there will be food, fuel and skills to barter.

#73 Bill-Muskoka (N.A.M.) on 01.29.09 at 10:14 am

While you all worry about your precious investment in overpriced mansions, consider that Harper has killed one of Canada’s premiere research organizations…Just like his brainless bed buddy Bush did.

Budget erases funding for key science agency: organization that finances large-scale science is ignored, putting jobs, research and Canada’s international reputation at risk

Time to rid Canada of Harper and his anti-science, anti-progress ideology. If we have no reknown in science then I suggest boning up on timber cutting, if there are any pine trees left in B.C. to harvest, thanks, again, to Harper’s hate for science.

Truly a Journey Into Oblivion for our nation.

#74 JET on 01.29.09 at 10:34 am

Interesting… while Toronto is not on the severely unaffordable list, it is on the affordable list at 190 out of 265 (I guess that would make Toronto number 75 on the serverely unaffordable rankings). Here’s the link to the full document:

#75 Future Expatriate on 01.29.09 at 10:35 am

Grandeprairiegirl #62, I was just funnin’. Villa Madrona is too “Forest Lawn” Cemetery/Mausoleum for me, and those faces in the walls creep my cats out… the Filberg house is more our style.

Madonna likes it better too after all that British pretentious mansion baloney…. of course, I will have to put in a bigger pool and a hot tub.

But it will bottom out a bit less than the Madrona place.

#76 Thomas Stirr on 01.29.09 at 10:52 am

While Garth’s postings do a great job reporting on real estate trends in Canada and the US, it is also important to keep an eye on other important macroeconomic trends.

A key industry to watch is trucking. The trucking business is a ‘bell weather’ industry since many economists use it as an early warning sign of overall economic health and activity. This is logical of course. When an economy is robust it produces things that are consumed…that generates freight volumes. As soon as demand begins to soften trucking companies feel the impact immediately in the form of fewer loads. So, trucking is like the canary in a mineshaft.

Over the past 18 months trucking has been in significant decline, not only in Canada but in the US as well. The number of trucking companies that went bankrupt in the US rose by about 70% in 2008.

As we look ahead, the sale of new heavy duty trucks in Canada in 2009 are likely to be about 1/2 of what they were just a couple of years ago when the market peaked at over 37,000 units. This is a strong sign that the amount of freight moving in Canada will continue to soften in 2009 as the economy continues to slow and fleets will put off replacing aging equipment and retain their available capital.

Freight volumes are driven primarily by the rate of industrial production for heavy duty trucks (i.e. over 33,000 lb. gross vehicle weight) and by consumer demand on the medium duty side. Obviously the volume of freight moving impacts the utilization rate of truck fleets and directly affects replacement cycles.

Looking ahead for the next few years it is likely that 2009 will hit a cyclical low in terms of heavy duty truck sales and could be on par with volumes from about a decade ago when North America was in its last major downturn. Some minor improvement (+ 10%) may be seen in 2010, but strong recovery in the truck market is not expected until 2011 and 2012 when sales volumes could increase by 75% to 100% compared with the levels expected in 2009. This indicates that the economic recovery that everyone is hoping for will likely not occur until the second half of 2010 at the earliest.

Medium duty truck sales are forecasted to hit cyclical lows in 2009 and remain at this depressed state for all of 2010. This indicates no real recovery in consumer spending until probably late 2010 or 2011.

During 2009 it is forecasted that approximately 4,400 to 4,700 trucking companies are likely to go bankrupt in the US, primarily due to low freight volumes. This will be the highest number of trucking bankruptcies this decade.

While governments are trying to stimulate the economic recovery these efforts will take some time to be felt. A bridge or a road is not built in a day. Many take years to complete.

It is very likely that the economic decline in Canada and the US will continue for at least the first 6 to 9 months in 2009 with unemployment likely peaking towards the end of 2009. After that point it would appear some minor economic stabilization and modest growth may occur in 2010, with a fairly strong recovering taking hold in 2011.

Oil prices are likely to remain depressed for most of 2009 as the economy continues to lag, so folks in Western Canada will begin to feel some economic pain as the impact of major oil company cut backs in capital projects are felt. PetroCanada, for example, has announced it is cutting back by about 1/3 in 2009.

All of this supports the advice that Garth has been posting to eliminate as much debt as you can, do your utmost to hang onto whatever employment you currently have, be prudent with how you spend your cash, and DON’T increase your credit card debt.

#77 Thomas Stirr on 01.29.09 at 10:58 am

The following link will take you to an article about Canadian companies cutting back on their investments to the lowest levels since 1990, and confidence ratings are now at all time lows.

#78 Popping Bubbles on 01.29.09 at 11:20 am

JET … while Toronto is clearly not the leading the housing bubble pack, it is interesting to note that the ratio of median price to median income is still a lofty 4.8x. This is 20% above the PEAK of the last housing bubble in 1989 (and we all now how that one ended).

It is safe to say that Toronto is likely in for a 30% to 50% peak-to-trough decline. My bet is 40%.

#79 rory on 01.29.09 at 11:54 am

Hi all …

Was on the site this morning.

My unscientific (and quick) analysis shows that on average the stock market has returned 0% for a large collection of mutual funds over the last 5 years.

Can we extrapolate that to mean that real estate pricing should go back to 2004 pricing …if true it would track pretty close to the long-term trend lines.

Whadda all think on that one for a discussion point?

#80 kc on 01.29.09 at 12:09 pm

Garth, what do you feel will be the outcome if the “bad Bank” program is implimented? Any one have an insight to this?

Somehow I can’t see how this can help in the long run… maybe in short term it may be ok to dump 100’s of Billions into this. however, If the multi Trillion Deriv’s market starts to self feed on its self all the “bad money” in the “Bad Bank” will be worth $0.01 on $10.00 and wouldn’t this just bring down the house of cards greater for now the US taxpayer gets the BOOT in the ass with this new BAD BANK bill?

U.S. $2 Trillion Bank Nationalization Proposal from Geithner

#81 Harold #3 on 01.29.09 at 12:11 pm

Your book works, well worth the $! See you in Nanaimo at the brand new expensive convention centre with the yellowing ‘for lease’ signs on it’s shops.

#82 Jacqueline on 01.29.09 at 12:17 pm

Do people think that gold is getting too high? Garth, on The Hour you recommend buying gold, but hasn’t the time for that kind of past? Maybe I’m confusing buying actual gold with investing in gold in the market.

Also, what do people think is going to happen to city houses in Toronto? I’m a renter but want to buy eventually. I was thinking $300,000 for a city house seemed reasonable. I’m going to wait it out and see what happens.

#83 canuck on 01.29.09 at 12:26 pm

In severe economic downturns, governments confiscated gold

We live in a rural community, one hour from three urban areas. Land was cheaper and allowed us to build our home ourselves with a mortgage. We developed skills over time that made it possible by building three prior homes. Yes we were too old when we built our final retirement home–hubby 66, myself 59. However, now that it’s finally finished (six years later), we’re able to enjoy the finished house. There’s enough land around the house that makes growing our own vegetables and fruit possible. This summer we’ll be building a greenhouse that expands our ability to grow produce that requires longer growing periods. I’ve learned a lot about the proper way to store foods–water baths versus pressure cookers. If meat becomes scare, we could begin raising rabbits. Had we elected to live in an urban area, that wouldn’t be possible.

We won’t be hoarding large amounts of food because watching neighbours die from lack of it never was on our agenda. Nor will we be buying guns in order to protect the stash. We’ve already lived through the cold war when otherwise normal people built bomb shelters, stored food and hid under their desks. The mistake people made was not remembering that man is not an island!–instead we’re social creatures needing others.

We would share and know millions of others feel the same.

#84 canuck on 01.29.09 at 12:27 pm

Oops, should be, “without a mortgage.”

#85 North Vancouver Citizen on 01.29.09 at 12:29 pm

#63 Patrice

Do you believe in god?

…Absolutely, positively NO.

I’m assuming that you believe to be very good looking and you have a very high opinion of yourself.

…No, but I do have high opinions.

I always find it interesting to witness highly inadequate individuals getting through the meshes of the theory of evolution…

…Please come and visit….bring bananas…

As to current state of affairs south of the border….It is incredible to watch the corrupt Bankers continue to steal the $$$.

#86 canuck on 01.29.09 at 12:30 pm


Land was cheaper and allowed us to build our home ourselves with a mortgage.

Please correct to: Land was cheaper and allowed us to build our home ourselves WITHOUT a mortgage.

#87 Mr.M on 01.29.09 at 12:42 pm

“My unscientific (and quick) analysis shows that on average the stock market has returned 0% for a large collection of mutual funds over the last 5 years.

Can we extrapolate that to mean that real estate pricing should go back to 2004 pricing …if true it would track pretty close to the long-term trend lines.

Whadda all think on that one for a discussion point?”

Stephen Jarislowsky had some sort of calculations showing what should be the drop, starting from prices before the big rise, factoring in productivity gains and inflation vs current prices ( in 2008)

#88 TheWhiteKnight on 01.29.09 at 12:56 pm

As I mentioned previously inflation is on the way…

Consumers face higher costs despite low inflation

“Inflation is at a two-year low, but that’s not the way it feels for those of us shopping for groceries,” said CIBC World Markets economist Krishen Rangasamy. “As talk of generalized deflation is surfacing, prematurely in our view, food prices continue to trend higher, with the depreciating loonie boosting prices for fresh fruits, vegetables and other imports.”

But the real rub for some consumers is that their banks — despite publicly announcing half-percentage-point cuts in their benchmark prime rates to match the latest reduction in the Bank of Canada’s rate — have since been writing customers to announce an increase in interest rates on their lines of credit, and by as much as a full percentage point, meaning borrowing costs are rising, not falling.

#89 AJ on 01.29.09 at 1:14 pm

Dear North Vancouver Citizen-

You’re a racist dolt. Those Ontarian immigrants you are making fun of are a part of our society. They help the sick, pay taxes, contribute culture, difference and meaning to what would otherwise be a dreadfully boring place.
Please stay were you are and read a little. You’re embarassing.

#90 Patrice on 01.29.09 at 1:19 pm

>As I mentioned previously inflation is on the way…

I would advise you to reassess your conclusion.

Having grocery price rising isn’t indicating that inflation is on the way…

People spending a bigger % of their income buying grocery will only leave them with less disposable income to spend on other stuff.
Thus perhaps accelerating the deflation in all of the other non-essential consumer products.
Thus forcing the retail and the manufacturing industry to lower their price in an attempt to lure consumer in.
And, quite possibly, forcing some of the weaker retail and manufacturing company to close their doors.

Thus leaving us with more people without jobs and making the depression worse and worse in a downward spiral of misery.

#91 JET on 01.29.09 at 1:55 pm

Popping Bubbles, I agree with you. Interesting link (though I think you missed the “f” at the end of the link):

Here’s how I look at it:
If you assume the following:
debt ratio of 30%
93K median household income (Toronto average)
5% interest
20% down payment

The maximum price of a house that can be purchased comfortably with the above parameters is around $300K. The price to income ratio would be 3.23 and the drop from the peak would be around 25% from the peak of around 400k back in April/May 2008.

And that’s assuming the median household income does not drop.

A drop of the median household income to 80K would bring the “affordable” price of a home to $230K – that would be a drop of 43% for median prices and the price to income ratio would be 2.88

Even if the median household income stays the same, negative buyer psychology will sure make the price overshoot on the downside.

#92 supersocco on 01.29.09 at 1:56 pm

How a ‘perfect storm’ led to the economic crisis
Economists say not everyone can — or should — buy a home, but that didn’t to stop many homebuyers…they had borrowed beyond what was responsible and were now on the hook…It was a lack of regulation, it was greed and creativity in the financial industry, and it was an American dream that got off track.
Sounds familiar.

#93 PTDBD on 01.29.09 at 2:05 pm

U.S. protectionism part of current stimulus bill…Canada concerned

#94 POL-CAN on 01.29.09 at 2:12 pm

Too funny not to post :)

“Sometime this year, taxpayers will receive an Economic Stimulus Payment. This is a very exciting new program that I will explain using the Q and A format:

“Q. What is an Economic Stimulus Payment?
“A. It is money that the federal government will send to taxpayers.

“Q. Where will the government get this money?
“A. From taxpayers.

“Q. So the government is giving me back my own money?
“A. No, they are borrowing it from China. Your children are expected to repay the Chinese.

“Q. What is the purpose of this payment?
“A. The plan is that you will use the money to purchase a high-definition TV set, thus stimulating the economy.

“Q. But isn’t that stimulating the economy of China?
“A. Shut up.”

Below is some helpful advice on how to best help the US economy by spending your stimulus check wisely:

If you spend that money at Wal-Mart, all the money will go to China.

If you spend it on gasoline it will go to Hugo Chavez, the Arabs and Al Queda

If you purchase a computer it will go to Taiwan.

If you purchase fruit and vegetables it will go to Mexico, Honduras, Chile, and Guatemala.

If you buy a car it will go to Japan and Korea.

If you purchase prescription drugs it will go to India

If you purchase heroin it will go to the Taliban in Afghanistan

If you give it to a charitable cause, it will go to Nigeria.

And none of it will help the American economy.

We need to keep that money here in America. You can keep the money in America by spending it at yard sales, going to a baseball game, or spend it on prostitutes, beer (domestic ONLY), or tattoos, since those are the only businesses still in the US.

#95 Quality of Life on 01.29.09 at 2:33 pm

Nothing is too expensive when you live in the best place on earth – North Vancouver.

Garth, enjoy God’s gift while you’re here.

#96 grandeprairiegirl on 01.29.09 at 2:38 pm

Future Expat
I knew that you were just funnin. So was I. Though I do miss the ocean.
So looked at your link but didn’t notice a price. Was that mausoleum really going for 1.5?

#97 dd on 01.29.09 at 2:53 pm

Did I tell you

Calgary will become the next Financial/Trade/Leisure capital of North America.

#98 Marc on 01.29.09 at 3:27 pm

#89 POL-CAN on 01.29.09 at 2:12 pm

My neighbour has regular garage sales, but buys most of the goods at Wal-Mart then sells them years later. If I spend my stimulus money there, I might as well spend it at Wal-Mart? Also I thought of the prostitute to spend my money on, but the woman I frequent is a junkie and will spend whatever I give her on herion. That again will not support the local economy.

#99 Eduardo on 01.29.09 at 3:27 pm

Where is all teh Alberta bashing these days? Can we bring it back? BC can’t defend themselves.

Related to PCA cutting its budget by 33% imperial oil is raising theirs by 60%? Maybe the recession is over? All the cuts have been made and year over year comps can only go up from here?

Total trying to buy UTS is a symbol of the bottom!

Chevron and Shell announced that they are spending 100% of their earnings from 2008 and their production still probably won’t increase… maybe oil needs to be higher? OPEC announced that they can’t make continuous investments at this level.

#100 wjp on 01.29.09 at 3:31 pm

#67 Marie…

The greatest asset in the Maritimes & NFld & Labrador is the people…the very best in Canada!!!

#101 dekethegeek on 01.29.09 at 3:43 pm

North Van Citizen;
Man ! Was it something you said ? i haven’t laughed so hard in a week .
Geez brudda, i think you’ve ticked off the religious right, minorities, small defenseless animals, etc.
Hilarious. keep up the good work! it deflects all the negativity from meeeeeeee.
Fight the good fight buddy.

#102 Tbayguy on 01.29.09 at 3:49 pm

Thunder Bay deserves better then what this blog is suggesting. Clean air, clean water and mother nature at our doorsteps. You big city folks (lived in TO for 30 years) can have all the glory that comes along with life long debt and smog days. I must say though I definitely miss the traffic jams. NOT.

#103 Dawn in Calgary on 01.29.09 at 3:59 pm

#71 — Re; the shipping industry — you’re absolutely right, and it’s already here

Real time anecdote — my significant other works for a national shipping company — been with them for 18 years. In the last month hours have been cut to the point that he’s one of the only FT people left on the dock. People are getting sent home early, or being asked not to come in simply because there’s no freight being moved. It’s the slowest post holiday period he’s ever seen — cause right after the holidays the stores get goods in for Valentine’s and Easter, but orders are WAYYY down.

#104 Rhino on 01.29.09 at 4:07 pm

#89 POL-CAN on 01.29.09 at 2:12 pm
and an aside to:
#93 Marc on 01.29.09 at 3:27 pm


You forgot:
If you smoke pot, it will go to your local grower and be reinvested in the local economy!

#105 Louise on 01.29.09 at 4:28 pm

Anyone want to offer an opinion? We sold our house in GTA and broke even. Rent around here is high (we need at least 2 bdrms). Everything even half-decent is at least $1,450. Hubby wants to buy a house in Muskoka. We would have a very low mortgage up there. We both work from home but need to come to Toronto several times/month and that commute seems daunting. Plus, since house prices still appear to be falling I think now is a bad time to buy (even a cheap house). Help?

#106 jess on 01.29.09 at 4:35 pm


i read they are calling them”bridge banks” now
From Bloomberg:

The world economy faces the threat of more “disastrous” asset bubbles unless financial regulators overhaul rules which allow banks to police their own behavior, New York University Professor Nouriel Roubini said.

“We relied on self regulation when there is no regulation or market discipline that does not occur when there is irrational exuberance,” Roubini told Bloomberg Television in an interview in Davos, Switzerland today. “We have to change the entire system, otherwise we’re going to have another one of these massive asset and credit and leverage bubbles, and it’s going to be disastrous.”

Roubini reiterated his prediction that U.S. financial losses will more than triple to $3.6 trillion and said that most banks there are insolvent and should be nationalized. The International Monetary Fund said yesterday that the global economy will slow close to a halt this year, dragged down by more than $2 trillion of bad assets in the U.S.

The international bank regulatory framework must be completely overhauled if we are to avoid a “near depression,” Roubini said. He also took aim at U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s policy for regulating the financial markets.

Regulation ‘Failing’

“Light touch that means no touch, principles rather than rules — the entire pillars of Basel II have been failing even before they’ve been implemented,” Roubini said. “You have to rethink this global accord about capital adequacy and supervision in a different way, you need cooperation but you also need to be willing to do the right thing.”

U.S. President Barack Obama’s current administration, such as National Economic Council director Larry Summers and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner “are as strong as you can get to understand policy, economics, finance and they’re going to do the right thing,” Roubini added.

“The problem is that even you have the best thing with the best program implemented unfortunately the recession and financial crisis train has left the station,” he said. “If we do the right thing there will be slow recovery next year. If we do the wrong thing, we’ll have a near-depression.”

#107 neutral on 01.29.09 at 4:52 pm

I don’t defend Vancouver, but quality of living should be considered as well. You pay more you get more. We should count that ratio. For example: why did you buy a car for your transportation, if bike is more affordable? Why do you live in your city, if Zimbabwe is more affordable – just go there. I’d rather live in Vancouver, than in NY or Moscow, even though they are cheaper.

#108 Roial1 on 01.29.09 at 4:57 pm

#58 Bill-Muskoka (N.A.M.) on 01.29.09 at 8:51 am


Beware the air in Vancouver. I think it may be hallucinogenic!

Only if you breath.

#109 Patrice on 01.29.09 at 5:13 pm

“We relied on self regulation when there is no regulation or market discipline that does not occur when there is irrational exuberance,” Roubini told Bloomberg Television in an interview in Davos, Switzerland today. “We have to change the entire system, otherwise we’re going to have another one of these massive asset and credit and leverage bubbles, and it’s going to be disastrous.”
This guy is the opposite of what we need.

Milton Friedman would be not like him.

Regulation will only make things worse.
Free market is the only answer.

Basically the bank failed.
The banks were not very trustworthy.
So people lose confidence and stop using their service.

>otherwise we’re going to have another one of
> these massive asset and credit and leverage bubbles.
no because people learn (and remember, at least for a while).

So the banks have to better themselves and become trustworthy in order to attract clients.

It’s as simple as that.

Trying to police banks would cost an enormous amount of money; money that you and me pay.

The free market isn’t perfect; it allow bubbles to form and pop from time to time.
But it is by far the best system we have and anything else is just far less efficient and costly to the general population.

Government planning economy is not the answer but something they should steer away from.

#110 Extso on 01.29.09 at 5:13 pm

#102 Neutral
I wish Moscow is cheaper. It is one of the most expensive cities in the world. Two bedroom apt (good building) there will cost you a lot – approx. 400-500,000.00

#111 POL-CAN on 01.29.09 at 5:21 pm

# 93 Marc

The whole post was a lifted from elsewhere…. I just added the oppening line…..

Your points are valid :)

#112 . . . nobody expects the . . . on 01.29.09 at 5:32 pm

#58 Bill, 8:51 am — “Beware the air in Vancouver. I think it may be hallucinogenic!”

Fear not, Garth, Bill and many others.

When the San Andreas Fault has a rip-roaring fart, triggering similar fault lines in Maple Ridge, Hope, etc., Okanagan Lake will be swallowed up by the Pacific, so Kelowna — all the way to Acapulco — will be oceanfront property, and Vancouver, etc. won’t have to worry about a real estate crash!
Guess if it’s started in the US, pretty soon it will start here as well. The professionals run on the banks, of course so WE THE PEOPLE are left holding empty bags. —
One description of the crash, although the second para. is accurate. Last count, there were $592 Trillion in Credit Default Swaps with nothing to back them with. —
Remember the film ‘Apocalypse Now’? This is life post-apocalypse. —

#113 Rural Rick on 01.29.09 at 5:38 pm

You might consider renting first in your desired community. It would give you a chance to see if it is workable for commuting and give you a chance to see if it is really for you. If there are problems you did not expect no harm done. That is the way I would do it.

#114 AvenWen on 01.29.09 at 5:44 pm

I just bought your books, after crash and the greater fool, and wonna express my appreciation for your great work.

Keep going!

#115 OntarioHouse on 01.29.09 at 5:53 pm

Garth, the mood has changed in BC. The average person knows whats going on and that the crash has started. Peoples thinking has changed in recent months. They see whats going on.
Its only certain real estate agents/industry people who are bitter and want to spread lies.
There’s nothing to fear. Speak the truth. People have started to listen.

#116 Bill-Muskoka (N.A.M.) on 01.29.09 at 5:57 pm

Only if you breath.
#103 Roial1 on 01.29.09 at 4:57 pm

30 seconds! 45 seconds! 60 seconds! 2 minutes? Doing it yet? LOL

#117 Bill-Muskoka (N.A.M.) on 01.29.09 at 5:59 pm

Trying to police banks would cost an enormous amount of money; money that you and me pay.
#104 Patrice on 01.29.09 at 5:13 pm

Ahso, now would you like to tell us who is paying for the current bailout due to lack of regulation?

#118 Downtown Vancouver Resident on 01.29.09 at 6:01 pm

Unfortunately, buying stuff at yard sales is a good way to get bedbugs. Which incidentally, Vancouver is infested with.

#119 dd on 01.29.09 at 6:01 pm

From the globe:

“The median price of a new home sold in December was $206,500 (U.S.), a drop of 9.3 per cent from a year ago … at the current sales pace, it would take a more than a year to exhaust the stock”

#120 dd on 01.29.09 at 6:03 pm

#102 neutral:

‘I don’t defend Vancouver, but quality of living should be considered as well. You pay more you get more.”

Yes … the price you pay so you don’t have to wear a heavy jacket in March.

#121 Bill-Muskoka (N.A.M.) on 01.29.09 at 6:03 pm

#100 Louise on 01.29.09 at 4:28 pm

If you think you will be in Fat City moving to Muskoka…THINK AGAIN! They have high taxes, utilities, and home prices. Travel costs get ridiculous and very boring. I know I lived there and moved south to have a real life.

You’re lucky you broke even. Count your blessings.

#122 Internal Exile on 01.29.09 at 6:04 pm

“You pay more you get more.”

Is that like “the more you pay for something, the more it’s worth?”

Vancouver is an over-priced dump with no industry, cultural life or public transit. You’re paying top dollar to look at the ocean and watch the RE bubble go “POP”!

#123 Patrice on 01.29.09 at 6:39 pm

#112 Bill-Muskoka (N.A.M.) on 01.29.09 at 5:59 pm

Ahso, now would you like to tell us who is paying for the current bailout due to lack of regulation?
The bailout isn’t a free market policy.

Their shouldn’t be any bailout for the failing banks.

Like i said earlier, anything that is not free market is less efficient and very wasteful of our collective wealth.
Such as the bailout; which will, and made already, the depression far worse than it needed to be.

Just like in the 30’s.

#124 K-Money from Vancouver on 01.29.09 at 7:09 pm

I do believe Vancouver is nice city. The problem is there are too many retards in this city that believe Vancouver is the best place in the world and they caused the major RE bubble. Even today most people in Vancouver believe price will return by March.

The best part is the people who claim Vancouver is the best place on earth are the people who have never travelled. These people have never been to Europe, Australia or even many parts of the US.

#125 EW on VI on 01.29.09 at 8:20 pm

50 go green re The Goldwatcher. About 50 pages in. Provides historical info, central bank info, gold in ground etc. A little dry, but many quotes from other economists.
Has a big appendix including 35 pages of tables and graphs.

Book divided into two parts by two authors. The smaller
second part examines ways to buy.

So far doesnt seem to be pumping gold as in
investment, but rather just as a store of or protection
of wealth.

#126 First stone on 01.29.09 at 8:41 pm

“Lion’s Gate Bridge. Wish me luck.”

If you are going to plung, I will save this stone.

#127 Future Expatriate on 01.29.09 at 11:12 pm

#91 Grandeprairiegirl, oh heck no. It started out around five years ago at something like 12+ million but at last check (when yanked of the MLS in desperation for the fifth or sixth time) I think was 8 million.

1.5 million will be the selling price next year.

Belongs to the heirs of the Sunkist orange family. Hope they did better in Florida real estate…

At least old Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas always knew it was tacky and kitsch and reveled in it. Who knows, a thirty foot papier-mâché statue of Michelangelo’s “David” in the middle of the master bedroom would probably class the place up too much.

#128 Wealthy Renter on 01.29.09 at 11:13 pm

93K median household income (Toronto average)

Jet, not even close. Median income in Toronto was around ~65K (2006) and it fell from 2001. It makes housing in Toronto even more ridiculous

Toronto Census Numbers

#129 Anon on 01.30.09 at 12:17 am

I’ve had many conversations with people in Vancouver where they insist that things are different because “it’s about the special lifestyle you can get here”.

I reply by saying other people get a special lifestyle living in Miami, San Francisco, San Diego etc. and it made no difference there… and then they don’t want to talk to me anymore.

#130 Bill-Miskoka (N.A.M.) on 01.30.09 at 9:28 am

#118 Patrice on 01.29.09 at 6:39 pm

Oh, haven’t you heard? Free markets have FAILED! Because they need regulation to protect the freedom of the markets from the unscrupulous bastards that rape it to shreds.

So called free market is nothing more than no regulations, which allow the most unscrupulous to form collectives that run over everyone who is ethical or too small to fight them. It is nothing more than a narcissistic playground for gamblers.

Globalism has FAILED as it was destined by reality to do from the very start. The jobs have left, and did long ago. Now, people want those jobs back, but they are GONE.

I guess you will gladly go down with your ship like so many fools have over the course of history believing your own BS and screeching your parrot like mantra as reality consumes you and those around you.

Canadians do not want free markets, they want trade agreements, and that is not free market. Canadians would rather whine about a high looney, suck at the U.S. teat, and selloff their country than get off their collective arse and do something that promotes Canadian jobs.

They can’t even work together for their own common good like a NEP or the Wheat Board which actually protects Canadians and THEIR resources. Hell, Oddawahaha can’t even work together with the provinces for Canada’s future.

Losers and whiners all.

#131 Future Expatriate on 01.30.09 at 10:22 am

It’s the rain and gloom, anon #124. Don’tcha know everyone wants to live in a place with 20 sunny days a year and four solid months of rain… just to be freed from ever having to bathe is a wonderful special lifestyle lift.

#132 K-Money from Vancouver on 01.30.09 at 1:37 pm

I hear you Anon #124, what the people in Vancouver would say in regards to San Frans, San Diego and Miami is that those cities are in the US and who wants to lives the US. Seriously, WTF???

#133 Patrice on 01.30.09 at 2:19 pm

#127 Bill-Miskoka (N.A.M.)

I’m not sure if you are being sarcastic or not.
you seem to be when you say ridiculous things like
>Free markets have FAILED!
>Globalism has FAILED
but I’m not quite sure.

In any case, if you are joking, it is very funny indeed.

If you are serious; you clearly do not understand the free market theory and it’s benefits.

There haven’t been any free markets in the world for a long time if ever.
The closest market to this right now would be probably be China, the USA being an hybrid between a centrally planned economy than a free market.

Free market have never failed and will never fail as it is regulated by the very human nature.

Often people blame the free market for a market crash but after closer examination; the market crash are always either caused or highly aggravated by non-free market policies.

Please, if you have any interest in economy and want to understand what is going on in the world with a new paradigm that will change your whole perspective on the economy, please do yourself a favor and begin by picking up a book from Milton Friedman.


#134 Bill-Muskoka (N.A.M.) on 01.30.09 at 3:17 pm

#133 Patrice on 01.30.09 at 2:19 pm

You can have theory. I believe in REALITY!

As to Milton Friedman, he ranks right up there with the other pontiffs of wishful thinking, i.e. Robert Strange McNamara, Alan Greenspan (Oops, I erred), the genius of Paul Volker, Reagan (are you feeling the warmth running down you leg yet from Trickle Down Economics?), the rest of the parrots of retardation.

But what do I know having started several businesses, been a regional Manager, CEO, etc. I know Jack Squat.

I could not be right because I have survived all the so-called ‘theories’, MBa’s mantras, and the various Ivory Towers of Enterprise edicts.

Oh, BTW, if you think people are still buying into your ‘theorical economics’ just watch what happens when people have stopped playing the game. You will come to know what toast feels like.

#135 Patrice on 01.30.09 at 4:58 pm

#134 Bill-Muskoka (N.A.M.) on 01.30.09 at 3:17 pm
You can have theory. I believe in REALITY!
I do not mean offense but you clearly seem to be judging the book by it’s cover.

Relying on resonance and appearance to judge as oppose to rational and pragmatic thinking.

The great wall that free market preachers could never get over has always been that the free market get the best possible result but it look bad to the uneducated and/or irrational masses.

People want great social, economical and life quality progress but they choose the option that look good but create the opposite results of what they want.
Getting farther away from the free market which has always delivered far better results both in the economic and social development.

This addiction to emotional and superficial thinking and ignorance created the great depression; and this great depression.

#136 Cleveland_Damned on 01.30.09 at 10:49 pm

#16 goerbels – Exactly what kind of firearm did you have with you, to fend off the muggers? None? Then you probably deserved it.

At least you can carry a large wrench or fishing gaff and start swinging if the lynn valley losers try to snatch your wallet.

Time was, when you could take take a few rifles up into any of the ravines on the north shore for target practice after school. I can’t recall a single incident of anyone getting mugged on the north shore back then, except maybe on the reserve.

“More guns, less crime”. -J. Lott.

#137 Patrice on 01.31.09 at 12:42 am

#136 Cleveland_Damned on 01.30.09 at 10:49 pm

Exactly what kind of firearm did you have with you, to fend off the muggers? None? Then you probably deserved it.
so if he has a gun; don’t you think these kids would have a gun also?

if he start to swing at them, don’t you think they would overpower him eventually and probably give him the beating of a lifetime?

this is why people who vote should have a reasonnable minimum IQ score.

Not eveyone should be allowed to vote.

(yes, that includes you.
You are from the states aren’t you?
I blame your troubling lack of cognitive power to your ridiculous third world country school system.)

#138 Anon on 01.31.09 at 2:30 am

Loud and clear #131 & #132.

I sometimes hear “US visa problems” and “free healthcare in Canada” arguments too. Apparently, wealthy foreign investors choose Vancouver by default because they can drop seven-figures for their house, but aren’t rich enough for a US Visa or private healthcare. denial, denial, denial.

#139 Bill-Muskoka (N.A.M.) on 01.31.09 at 8:58 am

this is why people who vote should have a reasonnable minimum IQ score.

#137 Patrice on 01.31.09 at 12:42 am

Bush’s IQ is stated as being 115. That means his mental age is 1.15 times older than his chronological age. We can all see where even that very slightly above average IQ does not resolve the problems.

BTW, what do you call a lawyer with an IQ of 60? Your Honour!

#140 Future Expatriate on 01.31.09 at 10:10 am

#139 re; Bush’s quoted IQ

The quoted figure is obviously from a test he took in school as a preteen, long before years of heavy alcoholism and cocaine abuse had killed off more than half his brain cells.

His resulting adult IQ was, and is, less than 57.

#141 Patrice on 01.31.09 at 10:54 am

Bush iq is just fine.

Bush has never been hired to solve problems or take any decisions; he was hired to be the spokeperson for the republican party.
And by spokeperson i mean reading the texts prepared for him and answer the occasional simple question according to his party guidelines.

And he did a decent job at it most of the time.

Is iq is obviously insuffisant to be a president but he did a okay job at being a spokeperson.
Just like Palin.

#142 Cleveland_Damned on 01.31.09 at 11:34 am

#137 Patrice –

Note that the criminal element, including those two muggers, is already well-saturated with all sorts of weapons. They will use any or all of them against any obviously defenseless, witless, or pussified victim as opportunity presents itself.

In fact, the more that the average citizen is disarmed and restricted, the more criminality increases. That’s the dirty little secret that the British have learned recently, since disarming its law-abiding citizens.

Pay attention, ‘Patrice’ – It’s not the victims ‘responsibility’ to submit to attack from any aggressor, whether career criminals, or violent opportunistic crooks, or even government-sponsored organizations. And, if the two crooks knew would get painfully hurt or killed by someone defending himself, they would find something else to do.

It’s your sick pacifist gullibility, ‘Patrice’, that has allowed criminality in the Lower Mainland to fester and grow like a cancer.

#143 ralph on 02.05.09 at 12:29 pm

All this doom and gloom is making me depressed. Life is about making compromises. If you want live where the weather is nicer then you will pay more. If you choose a place where there are good high paying jobs instead (that maybe harder to find these days) then you will have to spend more, too. If you are fortunate to be able to afford both then that is even better.

Let’s face it jobs and the weather will always play a big part in where people will choose to live. That will never change.