Here

wolf1

Visitors reading this blog for the first time would be struck at how people can look at the same facts and come to wildly differing conclusions. For example, are we on the verge of a new depression, or the dawning of a new opportunity?

Realtors, politicians and financial advisors stress the positive. Folks with devaluing houses and perilous jobs see only danger ahead. So, time for a reality check.

The world actually changed on Friday. There’s no playing down the latest unemployment numbers. Especially in Canada.

The loss of 129,000 jobs, mostly full-time, is equivalent to the US shedding 1.3 million positions in the month of January. Instead, it lost less than half that number, which the new president called a disaster. In Canada, by comparison, our prime minister said he would not let “occasional bad news” divert him from his current plan. Even when the news was the greatest shedding of family income in any one month in history.

However, our situation is not merely a disaster. It’s a warning sign of national collapse. By the time 2009 is done, we could lose between 700,000 and a million jobs. That would be three times what economists (who work for the banks) are forecasting, and four to five times the devastation wrought on the US in 2008, when 2.6 million people were out of work in a population of over 300 million.

Worse, our mess has just started. First go the manufacturing positions (we just lost 79,000 jobs in Ontario), then the commodity-based positions (forestry now, oil and gas just starting, farming and mining next). As a country with factories no longer competitive and a huge resource base no longer loved in a deflationary time, there’s little upside to Canada.

For months we have been fed a diet of manufactured news. “Our banks are the most stable in the world.” “Canadians have less debt than Americans.” “We are favoured among the G7 nations.”  “Canuck lenders are more prudent and those in the south.” All of these statements, repeated endlessly by media smarties and elected officials, are lies. Our government is bailing out the banks. Our household debt now surpasses that of Americans. Our economy’s tanking right along with everyone. Our bankers have 0/40 subprime blood on their hands.

The short-term outlook sucks. Ottawa’s stimulus package won‘t work. Deflation is spreading. Real estate values will tank along with sales. Fear of job loss will crash consumer spending and with it retailers, car dealers and builders. Families which lived off credit and bought homes with borrowed money will be screwed if a husband or wife is laid off, terminated or forced into part-time work.

In a recent post I said we were at the tipping point between a vicious recession and a deflationary spiral. Between danger and worse.

We tipped.

.

141 comments ↓

#1 1 Bore E. parking lot on 02.07.09 at 9:20 pm

Precisely Garth why you don’t need to be in office at this time.

Number 2 didn’t see the berg and the skipper wasn’t called-to-bridge and there aren’t enough boats. No other ships to come over and bail..

Shoddy seamanship.

#2 Murray on 02.07.09 at 9:21 pm

Amigos: Wait until autumn when unemployment is 14% and gas is $145 a litre. Or next winter when furnace oil is $1.00 a litre and the ice berg republic is in the midst of another election campaign. As Mr Harper told us just 4 months ago “Canada’t economy is as strong as the Canadian Shield”. Never believe any politician.

#3 squidly77 on 02.07.09 at 9:35 pm

check out this voodoo mortgage here

Based on a down payment of five per cent at a 4.2 per cent mortgage rate with a four-year term, a household qualifying income for a $200,000 home would be less than $33,000.

For a $300,000 home, a family would need an annual income of slightly less than $50,000. Monthly principal and interest payments would be $887 and $1,330 respectively. “At Jayman, we have lowered prices substantially as we move through our excess inventory,” he says.
http://www.househunting.ca/buying-homes/calgaryherald/story.html?id=bae1f67c-a91e-41ee-9826-0e9b0045d95f&p=1

if realtors and builders are pimping these toxic products they should be shamed

the foreclosure rates will be frightning..

#4 Steve on 02.07.09 at 9:38 pm

Totally agreee. However, oil will stay at $40. The only reason it went to $140 was b/c the U.S. gov recognized the subprime hit coming to the banks and needed oil producing country sovereign funds to prop up the banks. Oops..didn’t work and Russia invaded Georgie b/c they were feeling all powerful again. I guess we need to tax the U.S. consumer directly then through TARP and every other bail out to get out of this mess…

#5 Paul Fist In Your Face on 02.07.09 at 9:43 pm

Ok and who do we have walking point? Finance Minister Jim “Who Knew?” Flaherty and International Trade Minister Stock “Walks with Dinosaurs” Day. We are in good hands. Dont worry, be happy. All will be well. Have faith in the system.

#6 jks on 02.07.09 at 9:51 pm

I generally put politicians in the same category as car salesmen.. (no offense..) All I know for sure is I recently picked up some “home improvements” in the forms of reinforced steel, deadbolts, and 000 buckshot. My survival skills are adept to put it mildly, my back is strong, and if need be I’ll dig ditches for a living. Thanks for the heads up..

#7 GB on 02.07.09 at 9:57 pm

Boy oh boy….I’ve been reading some economic numbers over the past couple of days. It really looks bad in a scary way.

Forever I will recall Haper’s statement in October that Canada will only be in a recession if he is not elected….

Did he lie? Purposely deceive?… was he incompetent? And which is worse?

#8 Sail1 on 02.07.09 at 10:07 pm

Garth, lets put all blame aside just for one moment, we are now in this mess with no easy way out.
If you were now prime minister for the next 4 years, can you give me a couple of suggestions as to what you would do to expedite a recovery, in comparison to what is being done by governments around the world now?

#9 Suzukimum on 02.07.09 at 10:12 pm

One of Ottawa’s biggest developers, Minto is lead[ing] the way, wooing home buyers with ultra-low mortgages.

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/Homes/Bargain+borrowing/1263339/story.html

#10 john on 02.07.09 at 10:19 pm

Good post Garth..your right on as usual…Harper and Flaherty are fools…..you told them!!

#11 Tokyo on 02.07.09 at 10:24 pm

For the last 10yrs that i have been on work assignment to Tokyo, I noticed all my friends buying condos. I was envious and maybe i should have speculated like them and got in but I told myself I want to be mortgage free when I buy so I stood back and saw prices sky rocket.
During these 10yrs thou, I have seen all my friends who are all first time buyers (I am 34yrs old) jump in to this vortex of housing asset bubble and it scared the crap out of me. Every year i would go back and hear “my condo is now worth X $$$” or “I think I am gonna go buy another as a rental”…etc.,
To be honest I was impressed, but I stuck to my guns and saved all these years. I just could not understand Canadian realestate… We have no more land, interest rates are low, Immigration is on the rise, better to build equity than pay rent, prices only go up…etc. To me those were all myths since I live in Japan currently and work in a profession where i deal with the economic numbers…
1.) Land – In japan they do not have land in Tokyo, there is just no more space but to build up. Imagine 20mil people living in the size of the GTA. Thats 1/3 of the population of Canada living in toronto… Now thats called no land and thus you can argue there is not enough… In Canada, pls look around you, do you not have a back yard? Prices for the land can not be justified.
2) Interest rates are low – In Japan the FF rate has stood at .0025% to .05% since the burst of the economy in the mid 90s. Yet people here still do not buy large ticket items on credit/lease and it is said that they have over $100K in savings. As a Canadian I thought it was normal to use credit card, but its not. The reality is, you should use only the hard cash you have to buy things. If you think the economy is gonna get better because the FF rate has been lowered keep dreaming, look at japan as an example. GDP growth has stood stagnant for over 10yrs…
3 – Immigration – I always loved this arguement… Immigration in 60s to 80s was one of the drivers and the social fabric of my parents baby boomer generation was more in line with what CANADA multi-culturalism was supposed to represent. But since the late 80s there has been an influx of immigrants that use Canada as a safe haven just for the passports and use our educational system to get furthur in life not as a Canadian but as a economic entity. To understand this, just look at Hong Kong… The country has the largest ex-patriot Canadian population outside Canada. The immigrants coming now, do you think they are gonna be able to find a job to buy your condos?

#12 nonplused on 02.07.09 at 10:41 pm

Well Garth, that was pretty blunt. I think you hit the nail right on the head though.

Except for Vancouver which will be the next Financial/Trade/Leisure capital of North America. A North America with no finance, little trade, but a lot of leisure time on their hands (but no money) albeit.

#3 squidly77

What else can Jayman do? They recognize they have excess inventory and it would kill them if they tried to carry it. So they are doing what everyone should be doing, lowering prices and finagling mortgages.

#13 john on 02.07.09 at 10:45 pm

The mistakes of the Harper government will be well documented in the history books……a rise to glory by a coalition government and the disaster they reaped on the country!

#14 Dawn in Calgary on 02.07.09 at 10:52 pm

Squiddley, I read that in the Herald today, along with this gem,

“my feeling is that the U. S. recession will be officially over by September of this year, and stocks will bottom out before the recession ends,” Michael Gregory told more than 600 members of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association-Calgary Region at a recent economic forecast,”

http://www.calgaryherald.com/business/real-estate/Housing+market+remains+sound/1264964/story.html

#15 dd on 02.07.09 at 11:10 pm

YA it is getting bad.

Hope the 129k loss in jobs is just a miscalculation or once in a lifetime loss. I said … I hope.

#16 North Vancouver Citizen on 02.07.09 at 11:34 pm

…Agreed Garth, Canada is in freefall.

It is now confirmed a World Depression.

http://www.howestreet.com/articles/index.php?article_id=8582

Only way back is thru a “World Debt Reset” not more of Kenysian Economics…throwing more $$$ at a black hole.

and the theories out there that World population, because of global warming, lack of enough food and water, lack of funding for Health Care or Retirement Pension or thru War… needs to be culled by up to 90%…have been mainstream for years.

http://www.infowars.com/articles/life/population_reduction_top_scientist_cull_90_percent.htm

Thinking outside the Box…
1/
A serious question to those on this board.

….As it keeps worsening in Canada, soon with double digit unemployment…the last thing Canada needs are more unemployed Citizens…when should the Canadian Govt close its doors to new immigrants?

Garth is correct, things will get much worse before they get better.

2/

France has fingered out Quebec again…its the old double entendre routine…Hmmmmm
Which country in the world wouldn’t want what Quebec as a colony?…vast land, vast natural resources, teenie tiny population, with no armed forces to defend it.
Easy way out of Depression for France…isn’t it.

3/
Spain with 13% mass unemployment is looking at Eastern Canada with envious eyes too.

4/
China has been trying to buy as much of Western Canada as it can.

5/
No doubt the U.S. is considering gobbling up Canada…all in the name of North America Defense propaganda and Thomas Jefferson’s Manifest Destiny, (the right of the U.S. to own all of North America.)

…Canada is considered the best insulated G7
country in the world.

Expatriate/Deke the Geek/Great Depression is one in the same poster.

Carefull what you wish for…and better move back quick…otherwise when you move back it may be into the middle of a war front.

#17 North Vancouver Citizen on 02.07.09 at 11:38 pm

correction…

otherwise when you move from BC back “to Canada’s East Coast” it may be into the middle of a war front.

#18 brazer on 02.07.09 at 11:51 pm

Another great read from Eric Sprott:

http://www.sprott.com/pdf/marketsataglance/01_2009.pdf

#19 Flounder Digest on 02.07.09 at 11:56 pm

“We tipped.”
The danger is we stare into our computers — as investors in ’29 stared for hours at the ticker tape of the NY stock exchange — riveted by the undeniable drama of what is unfoldng before us . . . like animals caught in the headlights of an oncoming car.
Thanks to the links supplied by several of those who have left comments over the past couple of weeks, “We tipped” doesn’t seem far-fetched at all.
On one of those links a commentator emphasized that if the S&P NY index come February was above 920 there was real grounds for optimism. If it was below 850 we were in dire straights. I checked it out that day: 835.
In fixed income vehicles only since mid-September, for the first time in a dozen yrs., I liquidated.
Thanks to you all for taking Garth and the situation so seriously and sharing your concerns and links. Your gropings to understand and master the options has vastly expanded my grasp of what’s to be considered and what, most of all, is to be done in the light of information generated through this forum.
“We tipped.”
Thanks for the tips.

#20 Schezee on 02.08.09 at 12:32 am

This is the scariest 6 minutes of video I have ever seen in my life on the economic crisis and it is not by some paranoid conspiracy theorist. It is by Rep. Paul Kanjorski who is the Capital Markets Subcommitee Chair in the US. He is speaking on C-Span.

See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQUDNdQd7zc

The scarey thing is that the US is borrowing from the very same people who started the run on the banks in the first place. Instead of a .22, they just gave them a shotgun. Once the US has borrowed the money and then spent it, all they need do is pull the trigger again and our entire economic system will collapse.

Someone declared economic war on the US and the West on Sept 15 and we are not being told who it was.

No one is reporting on this.

Check it out.

#21 Jan on 02.08.09 at 12:54 am

Okay I get it. 2009 is a depression. But maybe 2013 will be hyperinflation? The question is:
If in hyperinflation your cash in the bank becomes worthless then what happens to the big mortgages you owe? Do they suddenly become paid up? This is one part of the German hyperinflation story that no one ever talks about.
Does anybody out there know what happens to personal debts during times of hyperinflation?

#22 kc on 02.08.09 at 1:01 am

Thanks for this entry Garth. You have reconfirmed what many long time fellow followers and myself have felt all along for the past months; all the words typed on your pages trying to explain and help others, Thanks all.

PS what happened to BRAZER?

cheers

#23 Kilt on 02.08.09 at 1:04 am

Now things are getting really scary.

Visiting a 3 br condo that was for rent. After signing the agreement, I chatted with the landlord for 30 mins to an hour. Landlord mentions that she is worried. Her husband is a finishing carpenter and things literally dried up in October.

Take my son to the park. Overhear one women say to her friend that her husband just got laid off. They are thinking of selling their condo (at a loss), then renting and waiting for house prices to come down in order to upgrade (they could probably use some advice).

On the ferry. Two gentlemen behind me are higher up in the forestry industry. They discuss how difficult it is to make business decision with so many question marks on the horizon.

Friends who just bought a house, thinking of walking away from it…

Friends who recently started their own business. He quit a decent job to run the shop. Sales have come to a halt.

Friends who just bought a condo…..

Company I work for just lost a major contract. No wait, two major contracts. Layoffs to start in 3? 4 months?

I don’t think there is a person I know who isn’t being strongly affected by what is going on in the economy. Sadly, I should have sympathy for them, but most of their situations were predictable. I guess when things are booming and going so well, people and businesses get swept up in it. Time to wait my turn.

Kilt

#24 Don Bool on 02.08.09 at 1:15 am

All of these statements, repeated endlessly by media smarties and elected officials, are lies.

Marc Carney

This guy is a piece of work. Side by side, Harper and Flaherty appointed Carney as their mouth piece of lies and deception.
Your track record of predicting the future is reaching psychic proportions. I well remember you being the only one with the guts to nail this weasel. If my memories correct Carney tried to b.s. you, and you told him to shut the hell up.
Just a matter of time before we,ll be able to put a check mark next to Bank of Canada Governor Marc Carney. You pointed what this guy was all about long ago.

#25 confused and a little crazed on 02.08.09 at 1:16 am

Hey Garth,

Didn’t you notice? The last 2 days both Dow and s&P went up 300 points. Is there something they know that I don’t ?

Is the Obama Trillion dollar stim plan going to make everything aalright?

Depression judging by the market response seem very unlikely…not going to happen.

I’m not saying Finance is cured but at least it reaching into a more stable position…you could be wrong here

#26 confused and a little crazed on 02.08.09 at 1:17 am

I was at the mall today..everthing seems okey dokey…lots of sales but not so many purchases

#27 Steve on 02.08.09 at 1:45 am

I was of the opinion that a stimulus spending package would be helpful, now I am honestly dreading the idea of how much more into the red Canada will go before we even have a remote chance to even begin to crawl out and see the black. A long enough time ago (which is really only a few months) I believed enough of what I saw and read, trying to take in a lot of conflicting ideas and points of view. Even worse, or perhaps better I do not know what to believe anymore.

What if find most disturbing is how many people have their heads in the sand and that the truth scares the shit out of anyone I MIGHT consider talking to about the upcoming tsunami. Of course I expecct to be seen or viewed as a paranoid conspiracy theorist. I do also tell anyone I feel that there is any level of true confidence that I even pray I am wrong which could be an indication of what is bound to occur.

I must thank you Garth for being the smart ass in these most interesting yet disturbing times of what lies ahead.

I guess I am really becoming concerned to say the least now about living in Calgary where I don’t think I have seen as much ignorance in my life. My wife is somewhat aware of the situation overall, she works in retail much like myself however |I pray that my work is more secure as I work in customer service that deals with computer repair, which is now a necessity. At least there is a few things going for me aside from being in a better position: renting our place to live in, no real debt to speak of, and my soon to be born son will not know the hell and worry of these times. I suppose that I could also take paternal leave if worst comes to worst.

Sorry to rant a bit here but I just feel the need at least to vent a bit. After all you can’t help anyone that denies there is something wrong when you see him or her in a train wreck waiting to happen.

#28 Nanaimo Dude on 02.08.09 at 2:04 am

Don’t forget interest rates are really low, people with variable interest rates who bought in 2007 who’s mortgage was around 1600.00 to 1800.00. now have a mortgage around 1200.00 probably lower. At this rate they can manage their mortgage as long as they don’t get laid off.

#29 Lance on 02.08.09 at 3:17 am

I don’t see a deflationary spiral as the end result of this mess. The massive injections of “stimulus” (read: money printing) will staunch the deflationary bleeding and in its wake prompt a flip to high inflation (10%+). This will turn out to be the more brutal destroyer of wealth: high inflation will erode whatever remaining wealth that people have saved in real estate and cash. We may very will remain in a deflationary situation through 2009 and even in to most of 2010, but I still think we’re at the squall line of the storm… the really rough seas are still 18 months away.

#30 Wesley Moxam on 02.08.09 at 3:18 am

“Our household debt now surpasses that of Americans”

I haven’t seen that one. Source?

#31 Dave on 02.08.09 at 3:32 am

umm, here’s some info. for the doom and gloomers- the stock market has discounted all this stuff already. Job cuts weren’t thought out yesterday. The economic tsunami is starting to hit the bottom of the barrel. Just like it went unnoticed to the general public when the stock market took a huge dive on august 15, 2007. At the time everything seemed fine unless you owned stock. People were working like crazy, buying homes etc…..Now, the stock market is stable but its all doom and gloom for the bottom of the barrel (middle class, construction workers, home sales)

why do ppl make it seem like things are getting worse? The general economy is taking its lagging hit from what happened in the past year and a half.

By the way, Canada isn’t a speck of dirt in the global economy. Lets not pretend that the world is crumbling just because the general economy in this country is starting to feel the effects

#32 Dave on 02.08.09 at 3:34 am

Totally agreee. However, oil will stay at $40. The only reason it went to $140 was b/c the U.S. gov recognized the subprime hit coming to the banks and needed oil producing country sovereign funds to prop up the banks. Oops..didn’t work and Russia invaded Georgie b/c they were feeling all powerful again. I guess we need to tax the U.S. consumer directly then through TARP and every other bail out to get out of this mess…

——————————————————-

and where did this guy come up with this one?

#33 Jake on 02.08.09 at 5:03 am

Story of Finland. Until January politicians were telling how safe we are here in North Europe, our banks have never been stronger, public debt is low and all in all we are the best nation in the world to meet economic crisis.

Now our exports (consists almost half of industrial GDP) have dropped 20% from year before, biggest bank is mulling recapitalization, government is going to loan massive amounts, unemployment started to climb and every segment of economy is posting layoffs. I wonder if we still are the best country to meet economic crisis?

#34 Apocalypse Now on 02.08.09 at 5:07 am

This situation is so insane it almost wants to make me laugh. Seems like the whole world is being run by Basil Fawlty, seems like we are in a Monty Python movie, the whole thing is so surreal. Regrettably it is all too real, Depression we are already in, the question is how bad will things get? The sad truth is that it will be far worse than any of us, Garth included, can dare to voice at present. Garth’s warnings are rather tame in relation to that which is coming; here are a few choice quotes from other pundits who don’t seem to be paid whores for the mainstream establishment media.

http://www.dailyreckoning.com/never-fear-the-feds-are-on-the-case/
“So, here at The Daily Reckoning, we have no worries. The feds are on the case. And they’re going to spend, spend, spend…until daddy takes the T-bird away!

*** Wait a minute. The feds are on the case…but haven’t they been on the case for the last 18 months…ever since Bear Stearns went broke? And wasn’t Tim Geithner right there in the room when they decided to let Lehman Bros. go broke…while saving AIG?

Albert Einstein: “Never expect the people who caused a problem to solve it.”

http://theinternationalforecaster.com/International_Forecaster_Weekly/Acts_Of_Insanity_Are_What_Destroyed_The_Economy
“Today’s zero interest rates punish savers and force people to speculate in such places as the stock market. The bulk of the stimulus is for further speculation. What else can you call bailing out companies in or on the edge of insolvency? We’ll let you in on a secret. Ten times more stimulus, $100 trillion, won’t fix our financial system. Can there be a recovery? Not a chance.

Layoffs and store and factory closings will go on indefinitely. Volume will fall in exchanges, as banks, brokerage houses, insurance companies and all matter of employers go out of business. The biggest companies are getting hit very hard exactly as we predicted.”

http://theautomaticearth.blogspot.com/
“All the money spent so far, which is narrowing in on the $10 trillion mark, has been a complete waste from the point of view of Joe and Jane Blow. We should demand it all back, and make Obama vow not to throw one additional penny in the losers pit. None of this is in the interest of the people who voted him into office. The banks as they exist in their present form are not just useless for America, they are its main enemy.”

This is a long planned take down of the middle class to bring medieval feudalism back, there is no other logical explanation for these unprecedented problems,or for the certifiably insane proposals being offered to counter the problems. Whether you believe that it’s being done by design or not, the end result will be a complete destruction of the middle class. When it’s more important for the middle class to keep their eyes glued to the boob tube rather than on their government, they deserve everything that’s coming to them. No sympathy in this quarter for any of them. I have tried in vain to awaken many of my family and friends, yet they choose ignorance over knowledge; well, ignorance ain’t bliss; this they are about to find out!

#35 Greg W., Oakville on 02.08.09 at 5:48 am

Hi #4 Steve on 02.07.09 at 9:38 pm,

It is my recollection that it was Georgia, backed and armed by the Bush neo-cons, that started the shooting, not Russia. The controlled western mass media had the Olympics to cover (how convenient) and failed to mention to us sheeple that Georgia started the shooting/land grab/war. Russia simple put a stop to it. It was in there back yard after all.

#36 North Vancouver Citizen on 02.08.09 at 7:45 am

“”Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec is poised to announce, a minus-26-per-cent return, $38-billion in investment losses for 2008.””

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20090207.RCAISSE07/TPStory/Business

…and Deke the Geek critiques BC/Vancouver for its infrastructure projects…Perhaps you should apply for Caisse’s currently open CEO position.

Just thinking outside the box.

#37 Chris S. on 02.08.09 at 8:27 am

And yet we refuse to send families a life boat until they’ve been thrashing in the cold waters of unemployment for 2 whole weeks. What gives?

#38 North Vancouver Citizen on 02.08.09 at 8:34 am

#8 Sail 1
“”If you were now prime minister for the next 4 years, can you give me a couple of suggestions as to what you would do to expedite a recovery,””

…Good question…Garth has a keen eye…he would no doubt look my way…and I would graciously accept the position of Finance Minister.

#11 Tokyo

…It doesn’t really matter, the world is screwed if we save and the world is screwed if we spend.

It is about “culling” the world’s population now, for the betterment of mankind.

You live in one of the world’s worst places for future human survival.

If you haven’t yet written up your “will”, do you know how to spell my name?

#12 Nonplussed

Nice quote, it is concise, succinct, and breviloquent, you are one intelligent dude(tte)

#28 Nanaimo Dude

Great point sir…Ontarians that can afford mtge’s will survive, the others will join the Canadian Armed Forces (led by General Deke the Geek of course)to defend Nfld & Labrador from Spain(no Anglo will ever defend Quebec)

#34 Apocalypse Now

Hands down the best post ever on this blog site…everyone should read your post and URL attachments….of course it is second only to Garth’s prologues and my outside the box postings.

#39 Mike (authentic) on 02.08.09 at 8:44 am

Remember the four most important things in life.

Money, sex, car, job

(Haha! no, not those! these ones below)

The 4 pillars of survival are:

Shelter, Water, Fire and Food.

Without the 4 items above, it won’t matter how much you got in the bank, what kind of car your drive, or how much gold you have in your backyard. Yes, you need them ALL to survive. Although I’d like to add warm clothes to that list if you are in Canada. haha.

Mike

#40 Mike (authentic) on 02.08.09 at 8:51 am

Steve. “Russia invaded Georgia”

That Steve is US media spin, the reverse it actually true, Georgia attacked and killed 88 Russian peace keepers and many Russian civilians. Thus Russian forces had no choice but to defend their people.

It was the US media who spun it that Russia attacked Georgia for their own gains, which was not the case.

Speaking of which, it’s been 8 years since the US Forces started the man hunt for Bin Ladin… as he is still uncaught? How is that possible? Canadian Forces can find someone lost/dead in the Canadian Rocks after a few weeks!

At least the US found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, their own.

While I’m on it, 911 was an inside job.

There, I feel better now. :)

Mike

#41 North Vancouver Citizen on 02.08.09 at 8:51 am

#119 Bill-Muskoka (NAM)…previous column…

“”When it is all over, the houses will still be there, people will have felt like they have been freed from the Matrix, and life will go on.

However, along the path of destiny, those who have all their faith in materialism will be sadly disappointed.””

…and also those who have their faith in Church/Religion
(speaking of George Carlin)

—————————————————————-

Deke the Geek

…Re-Read this previous column’s posting by
#152 In the Vancouver echo chamber

“”Just want to add my own opinion here-I am bearish on RE but it seems to me that the alot of people truly do not understand the Vancouver market. There are very few empty houses -many empty condos but very few empty houses. The few that are empty often have grow ops! Most of the fast money-spec money is in condos and there truly is a glut here and condo prices are heading south at an accellerating rate.
Houses almost seem like a different market-yes they are headed lower but I do not agree they are going to zero-they are down 14% already and I think more to come-I see them losing a third.
Even in the suburbs almost one in three have suites and the density is higher than the “official number”. In Vancouver proper, almost 1 in 2 have suites and this has contributed to higher prices.
Land is truly in short supply and it is very difficult to find a building lot.
House prices are going down but they have been high in BC for years due to wave after wave of immigration from the rest of Canada and around the world. Many people buy a home here just to live in while they enroll their kids in school while Dad works at home in Hong Kong or Korea.
Not to mention all those who come here from rest of Canada to escape cold weather while still access CDN healthcare. In an aging population I do not see this trend disappearing.
VCR is not dependent on manufacturing and head office layoffs do not really affect it as there are very few. Forestry is already down and out for 5-8 years. VCR will see some construction layoffs as Olympic projects are done and Condo boom crashes but the population will still grow putting some buying pressure ion the market-I don’t see it going higher due to economy but it should help slow down the decline and create a floor. Just my opinion.””

#42 David on 02.08.09 at 9:17 am

I talked with one of my economics profs from eons ago, the other night during the intermission at the local hockey game. Briefly, the conclusion he came to was that the stimulus package is a collection of blind stabs in the dark. In other words, no focus on potential projects with high long term payoffs, no high positive economic multipliers or maintaining consumer purchasing power in an era of massive job losses.
The middle class in Canada, needs to be put on the endangered species list.
The possibility of going back to the old business model of 2007 in the post recession Canada looks at this point remote. The opportunity is building a fairer and greener economy with far less maldistibution of income and tax incidence. The middle class had been all but expunged from public life in Canada. What is disturbing is that virtually all the jobs last week were full time positions and many of those jobs will be gone forever.

#43 kc on 02.08.09 at 9:23 am

Hey welcome back brazer, funny what happens when you dissapear for a few days and your links seem missed, was wondering what happened to you.

#44 bob on 02.08.09 at 9:42 am

#13 John,

do all your posts have to be about Harper? Are you trying to tell me anyone else would of made a difference? You are one big fool buddy.

#45 NoFreakinClue on 02.08.09 at 9:54 am

An oil infrastructure developer in Toronto (Starting with B, right beside Pearson int. airport) is laying people off like crazy… 70% of workforce (all well-paid PENG engineers) will go… my buddy was one of them.

A major high-tech company in Richmond Hill is on the verge of bankrupcy, 25% out of job in the past 18 months already. I wonder where the remaining 2000+ Chip Design Engineers would would find work in Ontario. “I” am one of them…

RE agents are feeling bored… so they go lease BMWs and Mecedes… We, the people, keep paying them juicy commissions with our borrowed money…

You go figure out…

#46 Chris in England on 02.08.09 at 9:55 am

# 16 North Vancouver Citizen:

“….As it keeps worsening in Canada, soon with double digit unemployment…the last thing Canada needs are more unemployed Citizens…when should the Canadian Govt close its doors to new immigrants?”

f it did, it would be a bit like the delayed reaction when trying to steer a long heavy barge – you move the tiller but the barge doesn’t respond immediately. The current processing time for skilled workers was about 4 years last time I looked, and right now there will already be thousands who have been accepted but have not yet made the move (us included). You can shut the stable door to future immigrants but it will take a long time before new arrivals stop coming. We have to prove we have enough cash to live on for about a year. In fact, all being well, we will have at least half a million dollars. No, I don’t want to buy your condo or anyone else’s but I will be spending money in Canada.

Not all immigrants are looking for a free ride. Some of us have no family in Canada and totally expect to make our own way with no assistance. We are even bringing at least one of our current jobs with us. This is why I read this website every day – Garth (and the rest of you) are the only help I am currently getting!

I really think you need to reassess your view of immigrants. Some actually bring benefits to the society they join. After all, isn’t that the idea? It is (or should be) a two way process. Win-win. We have a lot to lose financially, as we are secure here and there is very little prospect of either of us losing our jobs. Coming to Canada is a leap into the unknown and at a very uncertain time, but my mind was made up long before this current crisis, and funnily enough, I was already thinking of being more self-sufficient (impossible here for us living/working in the crowded south east). Finding this website has only made me more determined that our current way of life is the wrong way and that the leap into the unknown is actually the only sensible option.

#47 John Cun on 02.08.09 at 10:02 am

Garth,

Took a drive around Vaughan and Maple on Saturday. The new normal for 25 foot new detached homes is declining towards the $375,000 mark – down from 450,000 in the summer and $419,000 in December. $425,000 properties are being discounted with $50,000 kickbacks with no conditions to buyers.

Detached and attached are offering 3 year interest free, thereby discounting the home and increasing equity in the tens of thousands.

Interesting discounts considering we are going into a spring market when prices normally increase.

Regards,

#48 Jolm on 02.08.09 at 10:37 am

Governments need to focus on
on not allowing monopolies in food
producing , transporting,distributing,
and support industries ie truck production,
train production , food commerial property .
Seed production etc . If Governments fail
and allow monopolies in the food industry
we may someday see famine in canada.
Government stimulus money should include
the food industry. Or you may see famine on your
street. My mother told me or stories of famine
in the Great Depression on how they had to
hide food and people worked for rations
that were not nutricional enough for survival.
Monoplies and possible greed in food production
and distribution will sky rocket food price inflation.
Food industry may need loans and support
to stay healthy so let your government
member in your area no that protecting and
growing the food industry is key to all Canadians.
Good luck to all

#49 a renter on 02.08.09 at 10:41 am

OK all you financial geniuses, question —

Now that the RE bubble has popped, how to generate some serious returns?? Or ANY returns for that matter.

We’re all clear that RE is going down, “get out now” etc. etc.

Gold is nice, but can’t put everything in Barrick – thats just rolling the dice; GIC’s are under 2.5% and too much tax anyway; Bank yields are nice but the stocks are time bombs; Oils still overpriced; techs are retreating etc.

I miss real estate already! :(

(P.S. I’m contemplating an income property in Halifax – perhaps pick it up this summer. Must be Oceanfront though. Maybe I’m craze but I don’t see evidence of a serious bubble there)

#50 Danno on 02.08.09 at 10:43 am

NoFreakinClue: My Fiance was one of the %70 layed off…That’s what happens when a company puts all of it’s eggs in one Barrel. Most of “B”s contracts were comming from the Oil Sands…

Luckly I’ve been able to find a Good job and am starting on Monday!

#51 North Vancouver Citizen on 02.08.09 at 10:56 am

#45 NoFreakinClue

4% – 6% Realty commissions will die soon enough.
Look for 1% – 2% as the new norm.

#46 Chris in England

“”Some actually bring benefits to the society they join.””

If “some” is the key word, read this….

20 million unemployed, unskilled workers now roam in Chinese cities….I see Civil Unrest coming to these Chinese cities…What do you see?

Lets see now…

…Vancouver proper has just 800K population, the whole Province has but 3 million citizens and Canada in total has 33 million…

…China has 1.3 billion total population, 20 million unemployed and growing daily

…Japan has 127 million population

…North Korea has 24 million people
…South Korea has 48 million people

…India has 1.15 billion people
…Pakistan has 172 million people

Hey, lets do what Britain and Europe has done…open the floodgates and let in the world’s poor, uneducated, unskilled Muslims.

Anyone view Pat Condell’s commentaries?…

http://www.patcondell.net/

Chris in England….I suggest you emigrate here ASAP
…and we know why are you leaving Britain…Because the grass is truly greener here and you recognize it, nothing wrong with that….its a shame you have to read all these spoiled, canadian bellyaching posters…sad but true…who will also begin calling me “racist”.

I’d rather be a racist then let in 1% 330K, let alone 10%…3.3 million new immigrants who effectively have no chance of finding jobs but instead will require $$$ support that Canada cannot afford.

Canada cannot afford $$$ for its current unemployed citizens let alone new ones…that is my point.

Times have definately changed.

Don’t worry…I predict we will soon enough be inundated by Refugees…If you were these many millions, wouldn’t you try to enter Canada?

again, check out Pat Condell…an equally credible journalist to Garth….he’s been editorializing a couple of years now on Muslim/Islam in Britain.

You will have to call him a racist too.

One more comment like this and you are history. There’s enough to moan about without being a xenophobic cretin. — Garth

#52 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 02.08.09 at 10:59 am

Garth,

The battle you are fighting is very much like this one where the reality of situation is the winner over the ego driven Ship of State on a Collision course

#53 slavetowork on 02.08.09 at 11:11 am

I am a Munucipal Employee with 20 years to go to retirement . I just got a letter from our pension plan asking to increase our contributions to the fund by another 3% ASAP .They will go into Unfunded Liability this year so we all have to say YES to this increase. I do not think I will ever see a dime from this fund at my retirement.

#54 Reg on 02.08.09 at 11:20 am

North Vancouver Citizen…

If you check with Stats Canada, you might be surprised to find that the years where we had the highest immigration, we had the lowest unemployment. Immigrants bring cash. Thus, a selection process is needed. Furthermore, women in Canada are not having babies fast enough to sustain our population. Thus, immigration is actually a requirement. The issue may be that in the near future, muslim and/or some other religion may end up being the dominant religion. However, that is another topic altogether.

#55 Happy Renter in North Van on 02.08.09 at 11:22 am

If Harper wanted to engage in real productive infrastructure spending, he’d spend a billion dollars building 2 or 3 prisons in MacKenzie, BC to house all the gansters from the Lower Mainland… No more bail for guys who are caught with guns…

That’s something else Garth should mention as a strike against Metro Vancouver… The violent crime is getting out of hand…

#56 K on 02.08.09 at 11:27 am

The banks need to stop writing new mortgages for at least the next couple of years. The only thing they should be dealing with now are mortgage renewals. Writing new mortgages for first time buyers is like sending lambs to the slaughter. Don’t these guys have a code of ethics? Its high time that the realitors,bankers& developers all got sent to the unemployment line where they belong. Along with all their victims.

#57 charliegosurf on 02.08.09 at 11:37 am

lol, here and there

or somewhere

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090205.wsealevel0205/BNStory/Science/home

surfboards or floating acc, should be added to xurbia essential gear, since everybody is so foolishly deepened in the economy.

enjoy the day, dont breath too much car, truck, bus, sled’s, factory, boat’s, generators’s, smokes, fart’slol, exhaust chemicals, they tend to make people grouchy.

dont drink too much of thise liquid’s also, they are, well yu get the picture.

change, no we wont.

#58 kitchener1 on 02.08.09 at 11:48 am

re: the negative comments on immigration, we at some point, were all immigrants to this great country.

With the negative economic numbers, people will start to be more vocal about immigration. It has already started in a big way down south.

At the end of the day the whole immigration debate is a mute point anyway. With all of the boomers who will be taking advanatage of freedom 65 we need more people then ever to fill there shoes in the workplace

#59 David Bakody on 02.08.09 at 12:05 pm

#8 Sail1 on 02.07.09 at 10:07 pm

Are you kidding, sounds like ATV and Duffy on Dion …. If he were PM …. hello my dear old Dad said to me once:
” David if rabbit did not stop of a Shxx he would have won the race” Garth Turner was fired because he spoke the truth and was slammed in the last election for the truth, and now his gift to millions is the truth and they are starting to get the message …..

Can we as Canadians sleep tight selling Harper’s/Flaherty’s political double talk. Like Danny Williams or not his words of lies from Mr. Harper’s mouth have been proven true, not to mention Bill Casey and others. Time for the truth, time for Canadians to try and secure their future and not continue to throw their hard earned money at the hands of big business supported by Harper/Flaherty/Duffy & Co.

#60 Investx on 02.08.09 at 12:17 pm

Today, on a Toronto AM640 Talk Radio program about real estate, a local realtor and broker were guests.
A caller asked where the RE market was going and the realtor (Lou B.) answered that his “gut feeling” was that it wasn’t going much lower, if at all.

No surprise. And he never really justified his answer.

No surprise, even though prices are still overvalued compared to traditional affordability measures/fundamentals (price-income ratio) and our unemployment rate just took a huge jump.

No surprise, as the the radio station reminds the listener before each segment that the show is “a paid program”.

#61 Another Albertan on 02.08.09 at 12:17 pm

Since at least two people don’t want to spit it out, “B” is Bantrel, the private Canadian subsidiary of Bechtel Corporation, the US’s largest engineering and construction firm.

Bantrel, like a number of other major western Canadian EPCM companies like Colt, has already cleared out its contract employees and is in the process of reducing permanent employee headcount.

The Toronto office is a satellite to Calgary. They do no other substantial work than energy-related projects. Energy is their whole purpose in life and executive knows that.

Fluor, Jacobs, Bantrel and Colt are the pre-dominant oil and gas facility engineering companies out here. The first three are subsidiaries of major American firms. The last one was the last major independent firm until they were bought out by Worley Parsons for nearly $1B. Since 2005, major international consultants and vendors have been taking out western Canadian companies left and right in order to get a toe-hold in the Alberta patch.

#62 Jace on 02.08.09 at 12:28 pm

RE: #16 – North Vancouver Citizen –

“and the theories out there that World population, because of global warming, lack of enough food and water, lack of funding for Health Care or Retirement Pension or thru War… needs to be culled by up to 90%…have been mainstream for years.”

———————————–

Wow… just.. wow…

5+ billion people need to die because of lack of food and water?

I am suprised that Garth didn’t reply to your post, it’s one of the most ridiculous things I’ve read in a long time. Exponentially beyond any of the “buy now or you’ll be priced out forever” statements from realtors…

Growing up on a farm I can tell you that if modern farming techniques were adopted worldwide, we would probably have enough food to supply double the current worlds population. There is so much waste right now due to biofuels or even farmers allowing fields to idle until crop prices improve… Calling for the culling of 90% of the worlds population just shows how far outside of reality you currently reside.

Would be nice if this site could maintain the economic discussion without the “alien abductees” and “ethnic cleansers” crawling out of the woodwork…

#63 North Vancouver Citizen on 02.08.09 at 12:36 pm

“”There’s enough to moan about””

…Ok Garth, on one hand you know Canada is rated the safest G7 Country, yet you write above that in Canada, there is enough to moan about.

So what is your position on Immigration?

…You pride yourself as an original thinker, sorry, but your opinion above is still one of a Reactionist, as in Ottawa politician…not a journalist.

Recent Republican Presidential candidate and U.S. Libertarian Representative Ron Paul submitted a bill to House of Representatives Feb. 3rd, to abolish the Federal Reserve.

…Do you believe he is an original thinker like yourself, who goes against the grain of Canada and U.S. “Party Politics”?

and as for journalist Pat Condell…he is an equally accredited, original & outspoken British journalist like yourself Garth.

…All his videos appear in order on his home site or catch them on you tube.

http://www.patcondell.net/

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_type=&search_query=pat+condell&aq=f

…So if you”abolish” me from this platform then we all know this platform is not really about original thinking but about something else instead.

This is not a blog about immigration policy or a forum for racists. Stick to the topic or disappear. — Garth

#64 Happy Renter in North Van on 02.08.09 at 12:41 pm

A Renovator’s Delight = A Flipper’s Hell…

Thought you might enjoy this listing…

http://www.realtor.ca/PropertyDetails.aspx?PropertyID=7955463

Look at the pictures (especially the fourth one)… Looks like a bunch of flippers quit halfway through and decided to quit… now they are marketing this POS as a “renovator’s delight”… Just goes to show truth in advertising doesn’t apply to RE…

#65 North Vancouver Citizen on 02.08.09 at 12:49 pm

“”At the end of the day the whole immigration debate is a mute point anyway. With all of the boomers who will be taking advanatage of freedom 65 we need more people then ever to fill there shoes in the workplace.””

…with the way things may pan out, even for Canada, Freedom 65 may turn out to be simply a dream, not reality.

And I refer to refugees, not skilled immigrants, the topic title comes under Immigration.

I stand by my opinion, Canada will not be able to afford to support a plethora or rush of refugees landing on our shores…probably even skilled immigrants too, there are not enough jobs to go around for our currently unemployed.

Simply look at Europe, as to what open and lax immigration laws has done to Britain, Netherlands and Sweden.

…lol..why do you think Chris from England wants to leave Britain.

I can picture you standing on the dock at the beginning of WW2, waving away the ship full of desperate Jews. Now I’m waving you off. Get lost. — Garth

#66 Grace Elliott on 02.08.09 at 12:49 pm

I feel compelled to respond to the comments from “North Vancouver Citizen” about scientific elites advocating a cull of human population, and supporting this statement with a link to a site purportedly reporting the comments of Dr. Eric Pianka. The linked site stretches credulity to its limits and is a complete misrepresentation of the speech given by Dr. Pianka, a renowned and respected biologist. Dr. Pianka merely pointed out that the human population is rapidly approaching the limits of sustainability. To distort this observation into a call to genocide would be laughable were it not for the fact that this bizzare distortion has been widely repeated (driven, in part, by the desire of proponents of intelligent design/creationism to discredit evolutionary science). But I digress – this is a blog about separating fact from ficition in the real estate market, and not fact from faith. In this debate, I think that Garth is presenting fact, and the real estate profession is relying on faith.

#67 Popeye the sailor man on 02.08.09 at 12:50 pm

52 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 02.08.09 at 10:59 am

Being a Sailer I find the video clip of Collision course in #52 post Great and says a lot about the US.

I live on the Island and my house has been on the Market since Nov 08. Was told in early 2008 that it might get 460,000+ , We listed the 2600sf house with a full suite for 437,000 keeping in mind the things seem a bit soft, first week of December droped to 420,000 and mid Jan droped to 390,000. We have been getting viewings unlike many others but still no offers.

#68 Mike B on 02.08.09 at 12:56 pm

#21 scheze That indeed is the most unbelievably scary video I have ever seen indeed. Please… Others must look at this video as it provides incredible insights into the panic and behind the scenes info the public would normally never see. Why no coverage indeed? So who did start the withdrawls? We are not much better off today. Just more in debt globlly.

#69 North Vancouver Citizen on 02.08.09 at 12:58 pm

Garth, you better officially abolish me.

…Your blog site has an opportunity to really grow into something original.

Should there be a Black Swan Terrorist act somewhere, or second wave Stock Market Crash…

Immigration laws will certainly be at the forefront and germane.

#70 Greg W., Oakville on 02.08.09 at 1:00 pm

Hi Garth, FYI

10min. youtube.
Ron Paul: Obama Stimulus Package Will Turn Recession Into Depression.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ue8RzGoVHsg

Obama’s economic advisory board consists of the CEO of General Electric! Do you Obama fanboys not see any problem with this?
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/02/07/two_silicon_valley_bigwigs_picked_obama_economic_advisory_board/

#71 ALC on 02.08.09 at 1:08 pm

Very interesting…..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRmB93McZeI&NR=1

#72 Bottoms_Up on 02.08.09 at 1:14 pm

Regarding job losses, I try to put in perspective how many people that is. 129,000 people would fill 3 skydomes, or 7 NHL hockey rinks. That is A LOT of people that have lost FULL-TIME employment.

RE: #20 Schezee on 02.08.09 at 12:32 am
———————————-
Thanks for the post. The video should be watched by all. $550 billion electronic run on the US banks within one hour on Sept. 15th. They believe $5 trillion would have been withdrawn that day if they hadn’t ‘shut ‘er down’.

Immigration is good for Canada. We are bringing in skilled and wealthy people, effectively stealing them from their home countries. We should also implement incentives to increase the birthrate in Canada. Brian Mulroney believes attaining a population of 60 million in Canada should be our goal.

#73 EW on VI on 02.08.09 at 1:26 pm

Garth – you are wrong if you think this blog should not
allow discussion on immigration. People tend to get side
tracked on it as a racial/social/religious topic.

But deep down, its essentially an economic topic, right? I dont think NVC was targetting any one country/race/religion (yikes am I defending this guy??) .
So the question is: Does it make ECONOMIC sense to
revise current immigration policies?

#74 Sudcouver on 02.08.09 at 1:36 pm

I think that the current economic crisis provides us with an excellent opportunity to reassess our immigration policy. The entire reason why the west is flooding itself with immigration is because of our declining birth rates and our social security, which is based on a ponzi scheme. Therefore we are faced with two alternatives,
1) Replace the population in perpetuity with immigration. Every generation of immigrants will need to be bigger than the previous, so at some point our population will be enormous. I am not sure what the effects on “climate change” will be. Thats what we are calling it now, correct?
2) Find real world solutions to social security, perhaps we could invest the funds? We could limit who qualifies, and we could actively deny scammers. Just a thought. In return we would not need to completely change the identity of Canada through immigration. We could have a balanced view, where communities actually integrate. We could focus on economic immigrants. If we did this, I am sure you would not have people blogging about how unhappy they are with the current policy.

#75 Popeye the sailor man on 02.08.09 at 1:47 pm

WOW, look at the yarn they are trying to spin on page F5 of “The Province” in BC

Not a Condo Liquidation? in Coquitlam

“We cannot properly describe our offer as a “LIQUIDATION” because:
We are not under financial pressure from our bank to sell, in fact we are using our finncial strengh to provide our clients with 2.49%-5 year TERM Mortgages. We are not “LIQUIDATING” picked over inventory, we are offering recently compleated ultra luxury condo.

sample; 2BR 1136 SF Suite was 444,900 now 368,900 with 5% down (5Yterm @2.49%), 1,335/month

So what happens when they have to pay normal rates at renewal? They say its not a liquidation because, its just that they are scared to be stuck with a lot of inventory that is just going to go down! The biggest words on the full page ad is “LIQUIDATION”

#76 Gord on 02.08.09 at 2:01 pm

Hey Garth, If you were at the helm (in Harpers shoes), what would you do to try and prevent a full depression? WWGD?

On a side note The Second City in Toronto is gearing up to do a show called “Zero down….100% screwed”

#77 JO on 02.08.09 at 2:14 pm

Garth, the best time to run for office will be 2012 +/- 1 year. If Harper knew anything about how the cycle of mass public mood works and cared about the right of centre, he would have step aside in Oct or asked for a new election. Anyway, I can’t stand the PC, but to me they are the best of a bad lot…we really need a Libertarian gov’t in this country…sounds bizarre and impossible considering Canadian attitudes but I am sick and tired of the conventional political/economic system. We will be going on a trip to the far left over the next 4-8 years and it will be ugly. The core issue remains that our money is in the hands of a central bank/commercial banks that run them, and that they can create almost unlimited amounts of credit until the system blows up, which it started to doing over the last 6 months or. There is no reversing this anytime soon. We do not need larger gov’t, more taxes, and more spending/debt. We need smaller gov’t, lower taxes, and a more conservative credit/money system that belongs to the people and not private bankers who have access to the public purse. Debt is akin to financial slavery.
JO

JO

#78 Chris in England on 02.08.09 at 2:39 pm

North Vancouver Citizen asks: “…lol..why do you think Chris from England wants to leave Britain.”

Well I’ll tell you – and yes it does have a lot to do with real estate, which of course is the subject here. After many years of working hard, commuting in horrendous circumstances, crammed into cattle truck trains and standing for the whole journey (having spent thousands on an annual ticket for a seat) or else sitting fuming in massive and unmoving traffic jams while being punished by the government for having the temerity to even own a car let alone drive it – I did the sums and realised I was no further forward after 20 years of home ownership than I was before I started.

When I settled down and started a family (and got a mortgage) I took no time off work for having children and just soldiered on, my motive being the dream that one day I could move to the country, get a few acres, and at last be able to move away from the London area. The realisation that those 20 years of struggle and sacrifice would not in fact allow me to do anything of the sort, was a very depressing moment. I had no thought of “making a killing” on real estate, just the natural expectation that as time went on, and our careers advanced, we would find ourselves in a position to be able to afford to buy bigger and better, and also to be able to move further away from London without financial penalty.

The UK is an expensive place to live. The south-east and the London area in general, is the most expensive of the lot. Business in the UK is wrapped up in a mass of tax and red tape, and very little is cheap or even affordable. Many unscrupulous businesses see us as a cash cow to milk for all its worth, and prices in the UK are consistently higher than in the rest of Europe. It hasn’t been dubbed “Rip-off Britain” for no reason. We discovered that all the money it took to live was money we couldn’t put into the life we wanted. The price of land is horrendous because the UK is tiny with so many people in it. As fast as we made more money, the land prices (and property prices) kept going up. Eventually we had to admit (if we wanted to achieve a different way of life WITHOUT going into tons of debt) we would not be able to do it here.

You will notice, North Vancouver, that I do not mention immigration at all. That is because immigrants into the UK had no bearing on my desire to get out, because my reasons for doing so have nothing to do with immigrants. Before I would blame immigrants for anything in the UK, I would blame the government for dismantling our traditional way of life with indecent enthusiasm in the name of political correctness – but that’s another story and off the subject.

We want to live in the country, we want to have some land and we want to be able to relax a bit instead of spending 3-4 hours a day commuting and paying through the nose for the privilege. We want a house we can live in, instead of just sleep in. We want to belong to a community instead of coming and going and never spending any time there.

That is why Chris in England is coming to Canada. It reminds me of England before it went manic. It gives me hope that I can eventually live the kind of life I always wanted to – after all the years of hard work and effort, and being crammed into tiny little spaces. I want acres, and the first thing I am going to do when I get them is to run all over them screaming!

#79 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 02.08.09 at 2:47 pm

#69 Popeye the sailor man on 02.08.09 at 12:50 pm

Aye Matey, and there be a lot doing what you have. This deflation is one of the best things that could have happened though for the upcoming generations. I, for one, am very pleased to see reality returning, albeit kicking and screaming, to affordable housing. The upcoming generations need homes too.

I watch it all and recall what Ross Perot said way back a few elections. ‘First come the Commandos. They take the beachhead. Then the First Wave moves in to hold the beachead.

Then by the time the Second and Third Waves come ashore the purpose has been lost.’ That scenario gets replayed time and time again.

As a former Marine I relate to just how true that scenario is. The housing market started out with sub-divisions back at the end of WWII at Levittown, Long Island. Affordable homes built to be HOMES. Then along came the RE marketeers scoffing a healthy 7% of the selling price. It created an unneeded equity sucking industry.

The Nuclear Family movement (caused by Globalization and industry relocation with the assoicated job losses supported the RE industry because people had to move to where the work was, and the divorce rate went up to +50%, again feeding the RE industry.

This entire mess can also be attributed to No-Fault Divorce. Child Support and Visitation, Custody, and the entire family relations laws that were brought in by, primarily, the N.O.W. movement in the U.S. A typical scenario of treating the symptoms, not the cause.

Remember also that the Congress (If ‘pro’ is the opposite of ‘con’ does that mean Congress is the opposite of Progress? YES!) refused to pass the E.R.A. (Equal Responsibility Amendment) because it would have placed equal responsibility on both men and women. The States likewise vowed to refuse to pass it. Can’t have none of that. God, Carlin should have done a routine on that one. LOL

Today the financial power has been sneakily switched to females (Yes, they deserved equality, but it has gone way past the balance point of equality to make males slaves to foreign hosueholds.) which I have to wonder if that was the plan because women are the primary consumers of ‘stuff’ feeding the economic fiasco of ridiculous prices and inflation. That has now brought all of us to the brink.

BTW, I was at Candian Tire, and Staples today and the parking lots, normally full on weekends, were very vacant. Same goes for Home Depot, Future Shop, but not WalMart. People are watching their pennies and will buy the item at the best price. We need to face the fact that we are buying most products that are made in China nowadays because people expect to receive, what used to be, a CEO’s salary for doing simple jobs.

I also note that Zehr’s has upped their prices considerably. Last week it was 3 for $4 for Schweppes Ginger Ale, or almost all other name brand soft drinks per 2 litre. Today the price is $2.19 per 2 litre bottle, while WalMart is still $1.82. Heck WalMArt is often $0.97 per 2 litres.

As to the U.S. Navy/military, they think they are the Supreme Power on Planet Earth. Tghose of us who served in ‘Nam learned that all the high tech fire power in the arsenal was still no match for ingenuity and local knowledge.

The Soviets learned that lesson in Afghanistan, but not the Almighty U.S.. That lesson keeps repeating like a bad fish stew. Canadians should know better, especially Maritimers, and they seem to!

This fish stew is not edible. It is not even fit for chum. It is merely hazardous waste. But the Oddawahaha Chef du jour still keeps insisting ‘ This is good stuff!’

I think I’ll stay with fresh spinach. LOL

#80 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 02.08.09 at 2:57 pm

#77 Popeye the sailor man on 02.08.09 at 1:47 pm

Yeah, sounds like the RE people are copying Showcase Furniture’s ‘Going of business: Everything MUST GO!’ sales gimmic. Sheesh, they have to be bringing new stuff in at night because it has been going on for over 6 months now. Add to that the Brick’s scam of ‘Don’t Pay until Hell Freezes Over!, and you have the perfect trap for the unknowing.

Just remember that they do NOT sell at a loss. They mark up the price 400-600% and then pretend they are having a sale. God, how long does it take for people to catch on? Carlin did a great routine on marketing tricks. It needs to be aired regulary.

There is a thought! How about a law that mandates equal time for commercials and TRUTH in Advertising! Yeah, that will happen about the time i turn into Light and become an Aeon! LOL

I used to love to Joe Isuzu commercials ‘He’s Lieing!’ CLASSICS!

#81 Grantmi on 02.08.09 at 3:14 pm

WOW! Just got back from the Vancouver Boat show @ BC Place Stadium.

http://i43.tinypic.com/2iw0yv7.jpg

Hellloooooooo! Hellllllooooooo!!!! echo echo.

Years past this show on the weekends would have been CRAMMED!!! Not this morning!!

Zombie stares from boat sellers told the real story!! Maybe people will dump their homes for a boat house in a few years…

;-)

#82 Future Expatriate on 02.08.09 at 3:19 pm

#21- What happens to mortgages in types of hyperinflation? The gov passes laws that will adjust and inflate your mortgages with everything else (while the housing sales prices will stay the same or DECLINE as only the uber-riche will have enough CASH to buy real estate and no one will be able to get a loan thereby there will be virtually NO demand), jobless people will not be able to pay the “adjusted-for-hyperinflation” mortgages, and foreclosures will increase by the millions.

Rich get richer; middle class becomes poor, and the poor become refugees in tent cities.

Africa, anyone?

#83 Future Expatriate on 02.08.09 at 3:26 pm

#71, NVC, get off the immigration thing. Things keep going the way they’re going, and Canada will be PAYING rich foreigners to immigrate to bail the gov out.

The end of the world here, and you’re Xenophobia the Warrior Princess.

#84 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 02.08.09 at 4:03 pm

Xenophobia the Warrior Princess.

#86 Future Expatriate on 02.08.09 at 3:26 pm

LMAO! Priceless analogy!

#85 Marc on 02.08.09 at 4:04 pm

With the potential for a depression, I have been making a prepardness kit. I have lots on non parishable food, (might have to live with no bacon for a while) but am unsure of if I should stock food for the 2 cats, and 1 dog we have. Should I stock up pet food, or simply plan to eat the pets when things get bad enough? I could stock extra food and try to fatten them up a bit. The dog would more then likely fall for it, but the cats might be smarter then him.

#86 whiterock on 02.08.09 at 4:10 pm

re North van moron with his inane, pompous ramblings and his “thinking outside the box”.Sure. Give us a break. This is a person who likely has a pathological personality disorder. Narcissistic, self obsessed, delusional. I’m sure there are lots of other forums with kindred souls where he would thrive.

NVC, go find.

#87 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 02.08.09 at 4:17 pm

#84 Grantmi on 02.08.09 at 3:14 pm

In Yellowknife’s Old Town, there are many house boats. Only problem is wind, sewage (get used to using a Honey Pot and portaging it daily), and the period between Winter freezeup and Spring thawout when neither the canoe or boat, car really works well to get in and out. Talk about waterfront property? Yeppers, that be the REAL thing! LOL

One real advantage is ultimate privacy, unless you have friends that can literally walk on water.

#88 Matthew on 02.08.09 at 4:30 pm

North Vancouver citizen,

You’ve gone from being annoying to just noise. Do you just like to see your posts on the board?

One question since you’re all about Van city. How much is your mortgage? $3000 a month? more? less? I often think that a lot of people justifying all the high prices just happened to live there 10 years ago, and don’t want to give up their free 900K.

I just wonder if you would think Vancouver was so awesome if you had to raise a family in a shoebox with only enough disposable income for food and diapers?

Or will Vancouver be so elite, that we can just get rid of the public school system since rich immigrants only want private schools, and the commoners can live a couple hundred miles away and yearn to be apart of that magical place.

To be fair, I really like Vancouver when I visit it, but you’re definitely not helping the city’s image on this site.

#89 Shifty on 02.08.09 at 4:48 pm

#53 slavetowork
Your municipal pension contributions are the best investment you could make. With 20 years to go till retirement you will accrue 2% per year of your wages which translates to 40% of your salary. Your benefits are also carried over into retirement. Your pension is guaranteed and is subject to cost of living annual increases. That will be the best 3% you will ever spend. Stop whining, you won the lottery when you got that job.

#90 CalgaryRocks on 02.08.09 at 4:48 pm

21- What happens to mortgages in types of hyperinflation? The gov passes laws that will adjust and inflate your mortgages with everything else

What is your source for this assumption?

The article below says that your FIXED mortgage becomes chump change and you can pay it off for the price of a Starbucks coffee. Rents however are another story.

http://www.ohav.org/travel/experience/inflation.html

Hyperinflation is for the hyperventilating. Don’t hold your breath. — Garth

#91 Popeye the sailor man on 02.08.09 at 5:06 pm

I’ve had all I can stand, I can’t stands no more!

I was talking to a shipyard worker in North Vancouver in his early 30’s and he stated that they have bought there 500,000+ home last year, being in the GVA that is modest. His Mortgage payments are 1,100 every two weeks at 7% term, his wife works so they pay 1,100 in daycare costs each month. They have about $100 remaining in there budget per month. I asked if there was a job loss what would happen? He said it would be a disaster. I said you could save on daycare and he said not really because they would have to keep paying to keep the spot. I told him to get the book “Greater Fool” to start with, the price made him seem reluctant, so I said if you buy it and read it before my ship leaves the yard, and you don’t get anything out of it I will buy it off you at full price. His situation made me feel sick for him, I only recently took the so called blue pill “The matrix” to get my eyes opened to reality last month.

I feel sick with worry that I will take a miss step in our situation; we currently have our house for sale 40min north of Victoria BC, to move to Spruce Grove Alberta so we can get better help for my 4 year old Autistic daughter and I would fly out to Victoria for work. I work 4 weeks on a Coast Guard Ship (12hr/day/4weeks) then have 4 weeks off on lay days the pay is averaged out. The flights currently are a lot cheaper than the 50-100/hr to pay for extra help for my daughter and I would get 2.5-3X the help in Alberta (ie 6hrs/week now to 21hrs/week).

To rent or buy in Spruce Grove that is another question, lots for sale and prices have come down ie 412,000-375,000 some even lower for the type of house we are interested in and we will have about 250,000 in cash. I have a loving wife, a 4y old daughter, a 9 month old son, and a medium sized dog with a big bark.

Comments?

#92 Real estate commish on 02.08.09 at 5:13 pm

A comment on real estate commissions,
Most people can not sell their home themsleves for many many reasons. If they could, there would already be no agents left.

If anyone thinks a realtor will sell someone elses house for 1-2% commission, with all the legal liabilities that entails, you are dreaming. People need realtors, but if the average price is going down to $250,000 in Canada, i am sure most if not all realtors would not do it for the $2500-$5000 they would have to split with the other buyers agent. It would not be worth the risk. If you say what risk? Sell your house yourself and see what happens to you if something goes wrong.

#93 MaxDeus on 02.08.09 at 5:20 pm

to #49 – a Renter:

ETF’s:

Now, long on oil: HOU-T UCO-N

After earnings seaon, long on US financials, and tech: QLD-N UYG-N

#94 Grantmi on 02.08.09 at 5:35 pm

If anyone thinks a realtor will sell someone elses house for 1-2% commission, with all the legal liabilities that entails, you are dreaming.

Already happening REC!!

http://www.onepercentrealty.com/propertysearch.cfm

#95 Investx on 02.08.09 at 5:38 pm

I am not a fan of poster NVC (previously known as “Real Estate Expert”), but if demographics is relevant to the discussion of real estate and the economy, immigration certainly is.

Nobody stopped a discussion of immigration. But racism will not be tolerated. — Garth

#96 Popeye the sailor man on 02.08.09 at 5:52 pm

#95 Real estate commish
I’ve had all I can stand, I can’t stands no more!

I have both sold by MLS and by owner, When time are good and the average listing time is under 30days and some times they sell in 1 day FSBO, can make sence. I have my Lawyer limited power of aturnie

I have both sold by MLS and by owner, When times are good and the average listing time is under 30 days and some times they sell in 1 day FSBO, can make sense. I gave my lawyer limited power of attorney, and he received the offer, and it closed without a hitch. My parents have both sold houses in the 80’s FSBO successfully. Currently I am using a Realtor because the market is tougher, and I wanted to be on the MONOPOLY called MLS, and have rotating 3D pictures of my new kitchen and landscaped backyard, lots of photos, and have all the extra links on the MLS active and the realtor link goes directly to my listing where people looking for more information on MY listing can find the larger write up and more pictures.

Also realtors that put up one picture then have a link to there general site where you have to search again, or worse have to become a member of there site and enter a user name and password to look at there listings, are not putting there clients interest above their own.

#97 Popeye the sailor man on 02.08.09 at 5:57 pm

#96
Sorry for the errors my cut and paste from word did not work out as planned. So ignore the first paragraph. ;-)

#98 Canned Goods and Buckshot on 02.08.09 at 6:23 pm

Re: Realesate Commish and using MLS

I’ve sold twice as FSBO (by myself without MLS) in 1998 and 2002. I saved a mint. MLS and realestate agents love to say you shouldn’t do it yourself. What a load of bull. You may lose some exposure compared to MLS, but most serious prospective purchasers are going to look at all houses on the market, including FSBOs. With the advent of do it yourself websites and the internet itself, this potential liability is decreased.

Specifically with regards to using a RE to decrease personal legal liability, that’s what lawyers are for and that’s why they make a lot of money.

I was surprised that Garth advocates using MLS in After the Crash. I guess that’s the difference between a 20 or 30 something who doesn’t want to blow a sizeable portion of equity on an agent and an older, more materially established type who can swallow the 7% easier.

It’s 6%, not seven. And I have yet to see a FSBO who gets as high a price as an agent. This is a false economy in almost all circumstances. — Garth

#99 vancouverwestsider on 02.08.09 at 6:24 pm

North Vancouver guy –

You mentioned that only condos appear to be vacant in Vancouver – you should take a walk around the west side. The block (a short one) I live on has two empty houses, both for sale, both with prices reduced about $300,000 each. On our evening walk-abouts my significant other and I play count the vacancies – every single block has at least two, most with more than that and they are not all grow-ops. The grow-ops are designed to look occupied so, while they may be empty it is impossible to tell from just walking by. My block had four grow-ops a couple of years ago and they were the most industrious at keeping the lawn tidy and curtains shut with lights on. Our city police grow-busters comes out at night in a cherry-picker to monitor the electricity usage at the power pole when a grow-op is suspected since it has become so hard to tell from just looking. The Asians that came over in the ’80s are leaving in droves and the number of Asian style houses for sale is staggering .

#100 Rural Rick on 02.08.09 at 6:28 pm

Speaking for myself I refuse to look at a “for sale by owner” property because I feel that the seller will be greedy and unrealistic and totally waste my time.
I did purchase a property once without an RE… from my inlaws.
Others I talk to have a similar attitude. If you are selling you want the widest exposure possible that would be MLS.
Pay to play

#101 Anon on 02.08.09 at 6:32 pm

Chris in England, which Canadian city appeals to you most as your initial destination?

#102 Another Albertan on 02.08.09 at 6:35 pm

Oh c’mon… realtors have no idea what real liability insurance costs – the kind where lives could be on the line or where real fiduciary lapses could occur. Stop trying to make it sound like that industry is being forced to perform brain surgery blindfolded with a rusty tin can lid on the deck of a ship in force 10 winds while the seas are redefining Guinness’ definition of “rough”.

As the economy continues to drop, everyone wanting to put food on the table will do what is required to bring in cash. Those in sales will be amongst the first to break rank and try creative new methods of creating business. ANYTHING will be pretty much fair game if it means creating some turnover. This will hold true for at least the auto, retail, leasure and real estate industries.

Liability insurance is toward the bottom of the list of priorities when you are struggling to keep the lights on. Competent organizations and individuals keep Errors and Omissions Insurance as a necessity for contract fulfillment and even more progressive organizations actively seek to manage their risks by writing specific limitations of liability clauses into each contract.

If boilerplate clauses in real estate contracts are an issue and realtors are afraid of backlash in bad transactions, maybe they should work more intensely on due diligence, on transparency and on customer management. Yes, that is going to come at increased time and cost… but how badly do you want to do the deal?

#103 Chris in England on 02.08.09 at 6:36 pm

Marc #88

“Should I stock up pet food, or simply plan to eat the pets when things get bad enough? I could stock extra food and try to fatten them up a bit. The dog would more then likely fall for it, but the cats might be smarter then him.”

Maybe they could all help hunt the squirrels? Years ago I had a couple of kittens that caught a squirrel. My retired neighbour lay in wait for me coming home from work to warn me about it. When I asked where it was, she told me “the body’s by the back door and the head’s over there!”

#104 john on 02.08.09 at 6:37 pm

I have made the most money in my life by real estate development and buying and selling homes…..the key to any investment is potential profit(and for most of us real estate is our largest investment bar none).Personally i see no potential anywhere…we are not even close to the bottom…im sitting on what i have and am not even looking…..126,000 jobs lost in the month of january alone are 126,000 potential buyers who are no more ,to say nothing of the factories that employed them.General motors offered every single hourly employee a buyout…..what does that tell you?….what if they all take it?….makes me think General motors is going to close the doors? Obviously there future plans are limited and they are going to liquidate assets. Thats a biggy and its only one of many and the repercussions will be devastating.Personally i think we have a few painfull years before things bottom out and decades to recover……….life as we know it will never be the same for generations…just my thoughts.

#105 * on 02.08.09 at 6:46 pm

#94 Popeye.. To rent or buy in Spruce Grove?

My opinion… DO NOT BUY! I’ve seen prices close to double in a matter of 2 years in Edmonton and surrounding areas. I personally think huge price declines are in the works. Sign up for a rental and see what happens for 1 to 3 years.

My story: I moved to Edmonton 2.5 years ago and had a chance to buy a cookie cutter condo for 205,000. I passed on it, being from a small town in Manitoba, this price seemed ridiculous to me. 6 Months later these condos were selling between 280k to 320k. I was sure kicking myself, but now that the same condos are down around 215k, I don’t feel bad at all. Personally I will never buy in Edmonton as I find it to be a terrible city in all aspects. Spruce grove may be better. I Feel for your situation with your daughter, and wish you and your family all the best. That is why I would recommend waiting to buy.. You might save 100K to help your daughter.. Just my 2 cents.

#106 Popeye the sailor man on 02.08.09 at 6:46 pm

My experience with the lowest common denominator when it come to RE was when I bought a new Condo In Victoria at Quadra and Hillside for 136,000 with 5% down @ 9.49% in May 1993 a peak at the time. The prices stagnated and then the leaky condo thing hit, we had an engineer come out and survey the building; which had a good overhang and had a combination of siding and stucco. After we completed the recommended preventive maintenance of about 6,000 for 30 condos it only cost us 200/each not bad but we still got dragged down a bit with the overall condo market. Anyway a owner across the hall had over spent, maxed out everything and requested a posting to Halifax from the Navy so they could get out of the condo and live with her mom for a while. The Military had some program that if you lose more than 10% of the purchase price they would pay for 95% of the difference or something like that. Anyway they listed below the magic number and sold for even lower than that. The rest of the 29 condos got painted with the same brush for up to two years because no one could sell. We where in a negative equity situation for years. I first wife and I fought over the fact she wanted the new pink stucco home in Fairfield for 300,000+, a baby, a SUV, and a dog. Making only 30,000 and she made 35,000 I had to keep telling her no. We split in early 2000 the condo value 105,000-110,000 , the mortgage 108,000 @8.25% she wanted the condo so she got it. Now I joke she was a good house keeper.

#107 Coho on 02.08.09 at 7:09 pm

There are people paid to come onto boards such as this to spread hate and cause divisiveness, which can appear to be just a difference of opinion on issues.

Perhaps North Vancouver Citizen is using this board for more than just a venue to exert his or her ego.

#108 Popeye the sailor man on 02.08.09 at 7:17 pm

#101 Thanks for you comments

I know how you feel After I bought the condo in Victoria for 136,000 in 93 I went to Edmonton for some seminar and saw for rent signs every ware with free cable ect. Worst of all new Condos where like 45,000 in Edmonton.. I thought to myself how can a Victoria condo on a lot shared with over 30 condos built at the same time cost 3 times as much they must be making a killing in Victoria.

Same goes for now with condos in Victoria and Vancouver with 100+units costing over 500,000 and 1/3 in some other city the land can only be so much of the cost, materials may range 10% so why 3-4X the price. I think the developers will be able to drop there prices much more and reset the lowest common denominator out west in BC to the ill of current owners.

#109 Popeye the sailor man on 02.08.09 at 7:21 pm

Garth or website master, why do the numbers keep changing like #101 is now #108 and #96 changed to #99?

#110 Alina on 02.08.09 at 7:24 pm

GARTH,

why you don’t talk about hyperinflation which may start already in 2010-2011?

What it is going to happened to the big morgages people owe? They will become paid off or almost paid off. You never talk about it. Some people with big debts may really gain in the period of hyperinflation.

I don’t talk about it because it won’t happen then. — Garth

#111 Roger on 02.08.09 at 7:39 pm

Garth said:

“It’s 6%, not seven. And I have yet to see a FSBO who gets as high a price as an agent. This is a false economy in almost all circumstances. — Garth”

I tried to sell my house in Ottawa in the 91 recession with a realtor. Didn’t sell after 3 months so the agent, who was a friend, said to sell it FSBO by taking all the commission off the the listing price right off the bat. I did that and showed folks all the comparables in the area and my old listing sheet. I pointed out to each prospective buyer that they were getting the house much cheaper than it was listed for weeks earlier. Sold in a couple of weeks and rented after that.

The point is if you want to sell get on with it. Get the price down below comparables in the area, Don’t chase the market down with price reductions every month.

#112 Roger on 02.08.09 at 7:44 pm

Chris in England,

Unless you are a returning Canadian you better start working on your immigration papers right away. It is a lengthy process. As a visitor you can only stay 6 months in any 12 month period. Also just so you know they stopped the retirement visa program years ago. Now you have to be married to a Canadian, skilled worker (point system) or an investor willing to fund a Canadian business.

Good luck -what part of the country interests you?

#113 sail1 on 02.08.09 at 7:45 pm

#38 North Vancouver Citizen

Are you looking to take Leno’s new time slot, you are so hilarious.

#114 Mike B on 02.08.09 at 7:50 pm

Sunday house shopping on TO… Will these realtors never cease to amaze and entertain me. Saw 3 houses in open houses . Two estates and one relist from mid last year.
The 1 relist agent recognized me and remarked I was still looking to which I replied ” still trying to sell I see”
Here she was asking essentially what she wanted last summer. I was the only one in there.
Saw a mid sized bungalow.. Needed tons of work… Told the agent about a 2 storey that sold recently for 80k less. He remarked it is more expensive to build a bungalow than a 2 storey… OK shot him a grinchy grin and asked why is that? His response ” that’s just the way it is”. Yes I know a nuclear physicist right.
As if that wasn’t strange enough. I thought I would ask what his take on the economy or the recent record unemployment rates. He shrugged, gave an impish grin and remarked that “hey I have been busy”. I guess he doesn’t much care as long as he is making a living. His last moronic comment ” it’s still a great investment”
That was enough entertainment for me for one day.

#115 kc on 02.08.09 at 8:22 pm

#49 a renter

Now that the RE bubble has popped, how to generate some serious returns?? Or ANY returns for that matter.

Let me tell you a story….

My grandfather was a man of morals and of his word. he grew out of the 1st GD and then painted planes in the war. Afterwards he bought a small barber shop in Vancouver and cut hair till he retired. All my years of knowing him I seen a man that would squeeze a knickle as if it was his last. He made a small living doing what he loved to do, make friends and be sociable to his customers. There are only 2 ways to make money in this world:

1: work for it and save it in a bank.

2: steal it from those who work.

My feelings on making money is to save it in banks. Placing your “investments” into the hands of markets are actually like point #2 above. Think back to the line of the early 80’s RRSP’s are for the times in your lives when CCP will not be there to rescue you for the Govt. will be broke… Well guess what?… the white shirts who you thought would make you money in your “investments” have your money and are laughing now that the bubbles of the past 25 years have burst.

If you were to have started a savings account years back and placed your cash in there instead of the RRSP trip would you have been better off today? think about it and think hard.

when my grandfather passed on his balances were excess of 300K by just skrimping and saving his pennies. only way to wealth is to watch the pennies and save the dollars.

cheers

PS, 1920’s saw paper wealth vaporize from greed, 2008 saw dreams vaporize from greed. I hear talk of great rebounds on “portfolios” (over time) personaly i wouldn’t hold your breath.

#116 Marie on 02.08.09 at 8:30 pm

I apologized in advance if my post appears to some as ornery.

It’s a pretty sad statement on our capacity to debate the cause of our problems if we cannot discuss the very real issue of overpopulation without being accused of xenophobia. Nobody is saying that we should not value our cultural diversity. But at the same time, we need to assess how many people we can accomodate and at what level of material abondance we are willing to live with.

Race, culture are not the issue here, only plain ecological accounting. Its not about being racist, it is about recognizing that we live in a world of limited ressources and those have to be shared. There is so many portions one can cut in the pie before what we have are just crumbs. Quality of life for the majority will be affected by the size of our population. That’s what Joe Blow on the street understand pretty well when he has to compete for construction jobs with undocumented illegal workers. The rich will always find ways to escape the unwashed masses in his gated communities. Its ordinary folks who deal the increase competition for jobs and for ressources, who live with gang violence.

We have it pretty good in Canada, one of the reason is that we have a small population. Which means that even in poor communities in Atlantic Canada, a guy can take his riffle and filled the freezer with deer and moose meat if he cant buy beef. Actually, I know quite a few people who wont eat any kind of game because there is a stigma of poverty attached to it.

At some point, immigration will have to be discussed. Because this is how our population is expanding. By the way, my husband is an emmigrant, so are many of my closest friends. I am not flippant about any of this.

Some other poster wrote:
5+ billion people need to die because of lack of food and water?
…..
I

Growing up on a farm, I can tell you that if modern farming techniques were adopted worldwide, we would probably have enough food to supply double the current worlds population. There is so much waste right now due to biofuels or even farmers allowing fields to idle until crop prices improve… Calling for the culling of 90% of the worlds population just shows how far outside of reality you currently reside.”

And I am telling you, both as an agronomist and a farmer, that it is pretty much a given that modern agriculture cannot solve the problem of feeding an increasing population. Moreover, we wont be able to maintain business as usual in developed countries for that much longer. Its most probable that we will have to learn from country like Cuba which has the most advanced organic agriculture in the world. We need to put about 10 calories of fossil fuel to produce one calorie of food. And I dont factor in the enormous natural capital (forest, watershep, topsoil..) we have destroyed in doing it. One to two billion people was the level of population we were able to feed before mechanization, synthetic fertilizers and pesticides around 1900. That is where the 5 billions culling come from.

When we tried to import our capital intensive agriculture to India, we created such olevels of indebtess that thousand of Indian farmers commited suicide after loosing their farms. This should point out to some major deficiency in our model. Plus, I am not sure than the millions of displaced peasants are very enthousiastic in working in sweatshops instead of tending their fields.

Nobody in their right mind and a heart can possibly wish for culling 5 billions people, for letting boat people die in the middle of the ocean. But exporting the problem from one country to the other wont the change the fundamentals of the problem. There is already 8 millions people in refugee camps. There is about 74 millions more people every year on this planet. That is more than twice our Canada. Is that realistic that we take all those people in? Actually, we dont. We just skim the cream with the most ressources and education.

Famine and epidemics will be much more the results of a misguided reluctance to engage the debate and of laissez-faire than an honest, in depth discussion about the overpopulation.

Our agriculture is already in trouble. If that is indicative of things to come, last year, the feed, fuel and fertilizers cost has put an enormous strain on our farmers. Pig and beef farmers were hit badly. Because most of the population live in big cities, there is little understanding on how brittle is our agriculture and what is happening in the trenches. There are alternatives like permaculture, organic agriculture, intensive gardening that we can adopt and improve upon. But I do not believe there is a magic bullet.

The sooner we admit the reality, the sooner we can find the most humane, compassionate and rational solutions. If I take stock of my fields and figure out I can raise 2 cows for each acre, what are the consequence if I try to fit four of them on the same unit? We dont like to be compared with animals, but as far we live in the material world, we are. We need food, we need water, we need air, we need space. We do have an ecological footprint, more or less big, depending of our level of consumption.

If the fate of the people in other countries is a concern to us, than maybe what need to be reconsidered are the exploitative economic relationships we have with them. There would not be so many economic refugees if subsistence farmers in the third world were not displaced from the best land for export crops. And what if most of the profits made on coffee, chocolate, bananas etc…was falling in the hands of the farmers, instead of Nestle, General Foods, Del Monte and other corporate bandits? Its called Fair Trade. And maybe things would be a bit better without all the braindrain, when their smartest people ends up working in our research centres, in our hospitals, in our high tech industries instead of going back home. They cant be blamed for wanting a better life for themselves. But we need at least to recognize what it does to their communities left behind, at home.

How this ties up to the real estate? The fact is that the arrival of a large contingent of emigrants with thick wallets always make it that much difficult for the relatively poorer locals to hold to their lands. I saw it in France, I saw it in Spain, I saw it in Costa Rica and I saw it in Mexico. People look for themselves first and that is how greed most always plays in favor of the guy with the most cash. And bit by bit, Ordinary Joe cant afford living in his own community. I met quite a few old folks who cant even afford paying the municipal taxes in the town they were born. And add to this that there is always a local mafia of real estate agents and developpers ready to sold their grand-mother for a few more digits to their bank account. I am not a specialist, bute here, I am asking: how much of the real estate inflation in BC has been caused by the influx of Hong Kong emmigrants with lots of cash to invest? (That is nothing against our Chinese community, which arrived in North America at the end of the 19th century and killed themselves building our railroads).

I am including a link to an article, not written by some neonazi cook but by a respected epidemiologist:

http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-

#117 David on 02.08.09 at 8:30 pm

Spruce Grove might be all right if the rent is totally affordable for your family. Most of the bedroom communities adjacent to Edmonton have an actual local economy and industry, for example Sherwood Park , St. Albert, Fort Saskatchewan and Leduc. Does the same apply to Spruce Grove?
You need to look at home value retention in a declining market if you are looking to buy a property. The weakest properties show the steepest declines in a down market and it will likely be a down market for housing for a considerable time. I personally would categorise Spruce Grove as not a good bet for buying unless the home price is uber cheap or you plan on staying there for a very long time. With so much employment and future interest rate uncertainty, rental looks like a much safer option, especially in potentially marginal communities like Spruce Grove
There will be some nice gem properties that will be affordable in the Edmonton areas perhaps even in the next 18 months, so keep your powder dry. Exposing yourself to major long term debt in a declining housing market does not sound like a winning formula.

#118 bob on 02.08.09 at 8:40 pm

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/12/12/60minutes/main4666112.shtml

#119 Marie on 02.08.09 at 8:40 pm

sorry the link is:
http://www.drs.org.au/new_doctor/84/Butler%2084%20.pdf

#120 Marie on 02.08.09 at 8:41 pm

sorry, mistake in the link
Here is the right address
http://www.drs.org.au/new_doctor/84/Butler%2084%20.pdf

#121 Canned Goods and Buckshot on 02.08.09 at 8:43 pm

Garth states “It’s 6%, not seven. And I have yet to see a FSBO who gets as high a price as an agent. This is a false economy in almost all circumstances.”

I can only speak to my experiences. In 2002, in Victoria, realestate commisions were based on some type of formula (x % on first $100,000, x% on second 100K and x% on the rest). It would have worked out to 7% split equally by the 2 agents.

In 1998 I enlisted 3 agents who presented “comparibles” and gave a range of 195 to 201K. I sold in 9 weeks as a FSBO for 201K.

In 2002 my realestate friend said the max I could get would be 300K, I listed with a FSBO org for 310K and took the 1st offer 5 weeks later for 303K. This is not a false economy. Selling your own house is within most people’s capacity. Do your homework, be realistic and watch an episode or 2 of HGTV or read a staging brochere. Ask yourself “How long would I have to work to make what I am going to pay the agent?” Don’t forget you are paying with after tax dollars. Especially if the equity in your home is not huge, it is to your benefit to do it privately.

#122 gurbergob on 02.08.09 at 9:06 pm

#117 MIKE
It costs more to build a bungalow than a 2 storey because the two most expensive items to build in a home are the roof and the basement. A bungalow has twice as much roof and basement as a two story….FYI

#123 Fisholm on 02.08.09 at 9:21 pm

The worse that can happen is we all become poor. We buy big bags of lentils, rice and beans and try to make it last the month. There is alot that can be done with these three ingredients.
The best preparedness is to try to find a way to be happy and keep your family together. Money is not everything, and we may all learn that first hand.
It is so sad to look around and see the reliance on double incomes and processed food.

Best advise I have heard is, learn to cook on a budget. And invest in the tools you will need now.

#124 Republic_of_Western_Canada on 02.08.09 at 10:38 pm

#63 Another Albertan –

What’s really screwy about the EPC’s behaviour right now is how they think they can grab all those designers back at the drop of a hat, when projects start charging ahead again. Hasn’t anybody learned anything from a mere 3 years ago?

Certainly not resources investors. Instead of the insanity of slamming a bunch of mega-projects on and off according to West Intermediate prices and credit availability, can’t anyone plan a gradual expansion based on 2004 prices and cash flow from conventional o/g or early bitumen projects? The demand for hydrocarbons can only increase overall, regardless of what other crap is going on globally or regionally.

#125 nonplused on 02.08.09 at 11:26 pm

#38 North Vancouver Citizen

Actually I am just sarcastic. But I have to agree with Garth, your vile attitude towards immigrants was too off base to even ridicule.

#40 Mike (authentic)

Osama Boogyman Laden is probably long dead. If a US bomb didn’t get him some other enemy probably did. He had lots.

#49 a renter

The first rule of investing is “Don’t loose money.”

The second rule is also “Don’t loose money.”

I can’t remember the other rules as those 2 seem sufficient for now.

#58 kitchener

Agree with you the negative talk about immigration. It’s been vital to this country since day one and we are all immigrants.

That said, immigration rates are something that do have to be reviewed from time to time. I don’t think zero will ever be the right number but it should be adjusted based on economic growth rates.

But it’s a catch 22. Labor is one of the three sources of wealth (land, capital, and labor.) So more immigration can mean higher levels of wealth in a growing country. Cutting it off is like saying we don’t want any more labor, thus limiting growth.

Plus many of my friends, coworkers (talking University educated, and extremely smart and hard working), the players on my 035 soccer team, and girls on my daughter’s soccer team (I coach) are immigrants. I would not want to be without a single one of them. They are great additions to the country and to the culture that I live in as a result. I was born here but both my parents immigrated as children, so I am glad the door was open back then too.

Disagree with you on how many boomers will be taking advantage of freedom 65 at the rate things are going. Most of them look at their RRSP’s lately and see “Freedom from having any money 65”.

#93 CalgaryRocks

Garth thinks hyperinflation is for the hyperventilating, and he may be right, so let’s use another example, say an extreme inflation rate of 10%. What happens then (say look at the 70’s) is that the government has to raise interest rates to prevent a currency collapse. So, while your food and energy and clothing costs are all going through the roof, your mortgage gets reset at the end of your 5 year term at 14%. And that’s if you aren’t on a variable mortgage. So if we do get inflation, life will be hell far before we need to use the word “hyper”. It isn’t going to save anyone. Deflation wipes out debtors, but inflation wipes out everybody. You might think you are rich because your mortgage will seem like it is less but a quick trip to the grocery store would show that you still can’t pay it.

We have lived through this before and it wasn’t fun from what I remember.

#101 Canned Goods and Buckshot

Everybody has to eat and real estate agents get paid by what the market will bear. I have posted way way back my experiences, on my first home where both agents reduced their fee to make the transaction happen (to stay under the CMHC limit back when they had one) and the sale on my last home where my agent was extremely aggressive in his pricing but just asked that I consider using him again when I am ready to buy. The 3% for the buyer’s agent is a finder’s fee you can’t do much about in slow markets, but agents, like anyone else, are generally ready to negotiate, especially on the sell side. If you have a $3,000,000 house for sale and don’t want any of that “staging” crap, you’ll have plenty of agents willing to list your house for 1% (although the buyer’s agent will probably still be at 3%. Finding someone who can buy a 3,000,000 house is a real chore!). Why would you even think of doing it yourself?

And I think the rates around here are 3.5/3.5 on the first $100,000 and 2/2 after that. The overall commission is almost always way less than 7% unless you are buying a mobile home.

#126 Coll on 02.09.09 at 12:44 am

# 82. Bill-Muskoka, wrote:

“Today the financial power has been sneakily switched to females (Yes, they deserved equality, but it has gone way past the balance point of equality to make males slaves to foreign hosueholds.) which I have to wonder if that was the plan because women are the primary consumers of ’stuff’ feeding the economic fiasco of ridiculous prices and inflation. That has now brought all of us to the brink.”
___________________________________________

Ahhhh, maybe I’m totally misinterpreting this, but isn’t this like Adam blaming Eve for that apple?

#127 Chris in England on 02.09.09 at 7:39 am

Roger #115: “Unless you are a returning Canadian you better start working on your immigration papers right away. It is a lengthy process. [snip] Good luck -what part of the country interests you?

Anon #104: “Chris in England, which Canadian city appeals to you most as your initial destination?”

First off, our permanent resident visas as skilled workers were granted in July last year. Since then, we have of course been trying to sell our house (two houses in fact, as one forms part of an inheritance). That house (large and in the middle of nowhere) has now been empty for 2 years. Our own has been aggressively discounted with a cashback offered on completion, as I persuaded my husband that we had to get out by spring – or maybe never get out. We have a buyer, but nothing is definite in this country until signed contracts for the sale are exchanged between the parties. Until then, anyone can pull out without penalty. Our purchasers are selling their own house (also aggressively discounted) to first time buyers and as we are leaving the country completely it is a short chain which hopefully will hold up and not break.

As to which city I fancy going to ….. none of them! I have been coming to Canada now (Ontario) for the past four years on fact-finding missions and although I have landed at Pearson Airport in Toronto, I have driven straight out of the city and never once have I gone sight-seeing. I had my mother-in-law with me last May when I came over and she is a dedicated shopper, so one day we went to an indoor mall in Toronto so she could buy a load of stuff, but that is the only occasion I ever set foot in the place. I have worked in London all my working life, and believe me I have had a gut-full of cities and simply don’t care if I never see another one!

I have driven all over the Niagara Peninsula, and from Toronto to Ottawa, out to Pembroke, followed the shore of Lake Huron and criss-crossed all over the place up there, spent some time in Woodstock, Elora, Madawaska and all round Algonquin Park (didn’t want to decide to settle somwhere without having a look at other places!). I have finally decided on the area between Pt. Hope out to Brighton – maybe even down to Prince Edward County, but also the area N. of the 401 (Trent Hills and up to the southern shore of Rice Lake). Where exactly in that area I don’t much care – just wherever feels right.

It has been a big obsession with me for some years, but I have relaxed quite a bit now the decision has been made to rent rather buy immediately. If we get it wrong, we can move. The reason I didn’t consider renting in the first place is because we have a bunch of dogs that we are bringing with us and I was pretty sure they would not be welcome in a rental property. Well guess what? In the last few weeks with things going very much pear-shaped in Canada, I conducted a little exercise of my own which involved contacting the agents who were advertising rural rental properties in that area on the mls. Not one has said the owners are unhappy about the dogs, and as long as a clause is inserted in the contract stating we are responsible for any dog-specific damage, they would be happy to encourage us to rent their property! I am guessing this is not the response we would have had 2-3 years ago!

We have to activate our PR status before the end of March or lose the right to live in Canada, so we are flying out next Monday to “land” as new immigrants. We can go back again for a period of time having done this, and we will have to in order to take care of the arrangements to sell our house. While I am in Ontario next week I’ll be having a look at the rental properties that are welcoming us with open arms, and with luck something will still be available when we move out in May/June.

#128 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 02.09.09 at 8:16 am

#129 Coll on 02.09.09 at 12:44 am

No, not in the least. It is a well established fact. Facts to me are simple realities. They need no political correctness, merely to be stated like ‘The sky is clear and blue.’

The point is that the lobbyists and MSM have created another inequality by attempting to eliminate inequality and with the blessings of the politicians who write the laws we, but seldom they, live under. Here is an example of how egos instead of intellect govern their thinking. $23.4 million fraud trial tab called ‘a scandal’: Ontario defends cost to get $3.5M judgment involving bid-rigging at province’s realty arm

Like a plumb bob in the wind which only seeks to point to truth, but alas, the politicized powers never want truth, they merely want their way to dominate.

#129 NoFreakinClue on 02.09.09 at 10:55 am

“#51 North Vancouver Citizen on 02.08.09 at 10:56 am
4% – 6% Realty commissions will die soon enough.
Look for 1% – 2% as the new norm.”

I am not sure if these Juicy easy RE commissions would go away anytime soon. The reason, you wonder? Here it is:

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.
– Albert Einstein

A while back, I was in a meeting with an executive from Xilinx (A large US Tech company and parts provider). The guy was so proud that they are outsourcing every engineering/tech job to CHINDIA and only finance/sales will stay in North America. I asked him if that ‘s true, in few years you Americans will be selling burgers to eachothers and the guy just smiled…

At some point, We and our friends south of the border got to start making and manufacturing stuff and selling them to the world to create wealth.

Things are so absurd that “US” Government issues debth (Bonds/Bills) and “US” Federal Reserve pledges to buy them and investors are supposed to cheer such dynamic.

#130 Another Albertan on 02.09.09 at 11:39 am

@127 –

Being an EPC is a fantastic racket.

Floods of applications will come in when work starts up again. The owners/operators want to externalize and capitalize as much as they can. The EPCs are gold, even when things are bad.

Don’t blame the EPCs. Blame the owners and their investors.

#131 Coll on 02.09.09 at 12:36 pm

#131. Bill-Muskoka

Ok, read the article which is horrendous, trying to absorb how it applies to previous point.
As a new blogger, (of any kind), and new to this whole economic/financial reality, (horror), brain is hurting through this -hopefully- adaptation (rather than deterioration)

#132 here we go again on 02.09.09 at 8:13 pm

has anyone ever noticed how when times are good, we like immigrants – we like all the money they bring with them, their skills, their willingness to work in any job we don’t want to do, but when times are hard, we don’t care for them as much – they are why we don’t have jobs, they are why we are suffering, they cause the housing bubble, they have too many social problems, they cost us too much money.

Last time I checked, if you are not First Nations in Canada, you are “they”.

#133 Ron on 02.09.09 at 8:33 pm

On the positive side, all of this unemployment will give angry young men and women lots of time to hone their mixed martial art skills. Nothing like streets filled with highly trained, desperate sociopaths.

It is amazing how prescient TV can be with the variety of survival and ultimate fighting shows that have popped up over the last few years. If I didn’t know better I would almost suspect that we were being primed for something. Let me see, where would the ability to break limbs, choke or knock someone out and survive under any condition come in handy?

#134 TomOfMilton on 02.09.09 at 11:12 pm

#119 “Population problem”

It still sounds like you are saying that countries with large populations run out of food? Is that what you think happens when thousands or millions are killed in these “highly population countries”?
Famine comes after agreat many more evil things have been done. What we should be watchful of in Canada, is not over population but the lack of respect for human life that fuels the evil events that bring the war, hatred and then eventually…famine.
Folks, I think we should at least be a bit more honest here when talking about fearing more imagration: The pieces of “the pie” that we are afraid is too small to go around…is made of luxuries that we have been swimming in for decades. We can feed people. We can simplify our lives. We can be more community minded and neighbourly. We can live simply and still be happy. It is a bit over due.

#135 CS on 02.10.09 at 2:00 am

Re: 6% or 7% for real estate – might this be a provincial thing? I live in BC and every contract I have had with real estate agents to sell my homes (different areas of BC) has always been 7% on the first $100,000 and between 2 – 3% on the remainder.

#136 Ulsterman on 02.10.09 at 2:41 am

I’ve noticed a few on this site believing that real estate commissions will always remain in the 4-6% range. As a UK expat myself i can tell you that in the UK they routinely sell houses for 1% or less, and some will do it for a fixed fee that can be under $1500.

#137 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 02.10.09 at 8:32 am

#134 Coll on 02.09.09 at 12:36 pm

It is known as Connect The Dots. The article exemplifies the cause of the problems. Like the Sheriff said in ‘Cool Hand Luke’…’What we have here is a failure to communicate!’

#138 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 02.10.09 at 8:43 am

#139 Ulsterman on 02.10.09 at 2:41 am

Exactly. The RE industry brown nosed the legislatures to get that special treatment. They are little more than used car salespersons. The real effort is by the lawyer, and that is all standard on their word processor as well. Done by lower pay ‘assistants.’

Forms fillers it what both are except for the research into important things like leins, titles, and liabilities. That is worth the money.

In the U.S. they have Title Insurance as standard on all mortgages.

What we need (if it is not already available) is something like Homes eBay. It is coming to the great demise of the bloated RE industry with their luxury cars, offices, and BS advertising.

We recently purchased and found the paranoia of the RE agents to be extreme. They want to control everything and the contract is all about their commission. What a crock of BS. People still need to talk with people mano-a-mano.

If people weren’t so damn paranoid, greedy, and dishonest, then there would be little need for RE agents.

Too many people act like car salesmen. God, the one thing I hate is not even being able to get out of my car before the sales vulture is hovering. Then they play the shufflopolus game of ‘I can’t make that decision’ and having to deal with three idiots in a row. What a racket it has all become.

#139 Charles on 02.10.09 at 10:14 am

#52 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 02.08.09 at 10:59 am Garth,

The battle you are fighting is very much like this one where the reality of situation is the winner over the ego driven Ship of State on a Collision course

**********

Dude, your posting literally makes NO SENSE. Stop the senseless drunk typing and THINK.

#140 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 02.10.09 at 1:50 pm

#142 Charles on 02.10.09 at 10:14 am

Dude, try thinking instead of criticizing.

#141 peter on 02.10.09 at 3:33 pm

#119 Marie

Your link does not work (it is not complete)