Tough room

halifax-apr-6

Pier 21 welcomed my wife’s grandfather to Canada – the iconic, penniless, Eastern European war refugee. Monday night it welcomed hundreds of people worried about their money. And me. And my wife, who sat in this historic refurbished immigrant processing centre with a bemused look on her face.

Tough crowd, actually. They grilled the financial advisor hosting the event, and a mutual fund exec in attendance, about lost money, fund fees and eroded confidence. I got the sense this was one of the first opportunities these folks had been given since the crash of 2008 to get some straight answers. That made it worthwhile, even if some left convinced. The smart people in the investment business are those who will stand before a crowd in days such as these.

Most people in Nova Scotia think it’s different here (where have I heard that before?). The real estate market did not reach for the sun, so it need not fall back to earth, they say. True enough – Halifax average house prices rose 97% between 1997 and 2007, compared with 113% in Victoria, 178% in Kelowna and 203% in Edmonton. However, the advance was enough to put the average home out of the range of the average buyer, a situation which will be corrected in this town, as it will be everywhere before we’re done.

They also say there are jobs here, as opposed to Ontario. And it’s as if six million people down the road all work on the line at Oshawa and Brampton. In reality, this is a city which is half the size of Mississauga, and the signs of stress are obvious even to a financial dancing bug from Away. Too many empty storefronts on Barrington. Too few people in my hotel. And my favourite restaurant closed at 9 pm because, a departing employee told me, “we did not have one order all night.”

Naturally. They were all listening.

85 comments ↓

#1 Dawn in Calgary on 04.06.09 at 10:32 pm

I was in Halifax just last week to visit Mum & Dad on the peninsula. I perused the listings while I was there. A bungalow in the ‘burbs that we bought for $75k in 1999 was again for sale (no upgrades done) for $180k.

My dad got RE fever two years ago and bought a place in Truro that he rents out (4 units) — and wishes every day that he hadn’t. Can’t sell it now, no takers.

But it’s different there. Sure.

Point Pleasant Park is still a hurricane Juan horror.

Sigh. I do miss the water though.

#2 Shawn on 04.06.09 at 10:36 pm

Peolpe wanted affordable housing…

Now they are going to get it…

Ha!

#3 North Vancouver Citizen Jr. on 04.06.09 at 10:55 pm

Halifax is a beautiful city but be carefull Haligonians.

…Them New York bankers live just down the road a ways and they be lookin for new suckers, I mean investors, to indulge in their shams, I mean investment grade certificates.

Out here we got sherrif’s posse’s gathered all along the Fraser river and near the airport terminals too, ready to shoot them New York bankers on sight should they ever decide to land in these neck of the woods.

We’s all ready fer them varmints.

#4 JET on 04.06.09 at 11:04 pm

What a joke, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in the US has been coming out with optimistic jobs numbers in the past number of months and then revising them down by a average of 112,000 per month!

http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2009/04/time-to-remove-l-from-bls.html

http://images.imagehotel.net/n77xmkjn0s.png

#5 ts harpoon on 04.06.09 at 11:07 pm

Real estate?…Job losses…?

When the world resumes its previous level of oil use, the price of oil will rise again: this time astronomically because the previous crash of oil prices crushed the development of new oil projects to offset depletion, and the global economy will crash again. Disorder of various kinds will rule. Could we see — toppled governments, civil unrest, international tension and conflict.

March 17th, 2009, Matt Simmons recent guest on TVO’s ‘The Agenda’ with Steve Paikin:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gem872xH_7s

“We’ll be short of fuel” … “The price will skyrocket.”
CNN: http://money.cnn.com/2009/04/03/news/economy/oil_penn/index.htm

And…The real return on investment? http://vimeo.com/3989062

#6 Grumpydawgs on 04.06.09 at 11:12 pm

Hi Garth, I was reading the comments section in the Honolulu Advertiser today and amazingly I found denial. However it was not the people who were denying reality, they are seeing thier economy disintegrating before their eyes and they are angry at the tourist business community and local government which is 60% of the economy to get real and start dropping prices before every job disappears and nothings left to recover.

Hotels rooms, car rentals, taxes on everything have more than doubled since the 2001 intrest rate ‘fiddle up a bubble’ time and now no one can afford to vacation in HI. Visitor rates are dropping precipitously and unemployment just went up 107% last month.

The comments state that it was quite obvious that the increase in prices was accompanied by an increase in taxes and service fees.

Sound familiar? The locals have been priced out of the housing market , the rent market, the food market and the jobs have disappreared and now they are reacting with anger.

it doesn’t matter where you go, theres big trouble it seems.

#7 Anon on 04.06.09 at 11:48 pm

So here are some figures obtained from some number crunching with the data provided by TREB.

Despite their rose-colored glasses and endless spin, the numbers paint a different picture. (In my book, anyone who chooses to publish sh!t so blatantly skewed is an a55hole. But I digress.)

The following data is for DETACHED homes in the Central District of the GTA (or perhaps just Toronto, I forget). It is basically for C1-C15.

Sales were up 10% (237 vs 216) from last March, but the active listings were up 46% (1128 vs 774).

Both average and median prices were down considerably YOY.

As detailed below, the avg price fell 15% to $774,365 (from $909,373). This is a drop of $135,007.

The median price fell 11% to $696,294 (from $781,623). This is a drop of $85,328.

So perhaps it is possible that overall, the average price for March transactions was down less than 5%. I don’t know. I didn’t check. But for DETACHED homes in C1-C15, the numbers were far different.

Averaged out, for the last 9 months, the rate of decline for average prices remains about 10% YOY. The decline for median prices works out to 8% YOY over for the same period.

Date Sales Avg Price %YOY Med Price %YOY
Mar-09 237 $774,365 -15% $696,294 -11%
Feb-09 183 $865,454 -12% $742,180 -11%
Jan-09 107 $750,865 -17% $649,757 -13%
Dec-08 105 $961,842 -09% $839,238 +03%
Nov-08 142 $950,362 +02% $753,819 -07%
Oct-08 183 $807,689 -15% $739,990 -07%
Sep-08 235 $812,416 -11% $700,338 -12%
Aug-08 202 $801,833 -10% $681,663 -08%
Jul-08 281 $857,192 -07% $720,100 -02%
Jun-08 369 $932,625 00% $768,535 +01%
May-08 402 $962,197 +12% $803,413 +11%
Apr-08 404 $966,817 +07% $797,975 +07%
Mar-08 216 $909,373 +11% $781,623 +08%
Feb-08 256 $979,185 +05% $836,452 +06%
Jan-08 224 $907,813 +05% $744,762 +04%

On a side note, I have my eye on C11 and C13 and things are a little different there.

Average price in C11 for a DETACHED home only fell $2240. Although median fell 7% ($62,213) to $787,787.

In C13, average price only fell $2019. Median price fell 10% ($52,000) to $493,000.

Disclaimer: take these numbers with a grain of salt. I put up a similar list last month (March 16, comment #35). I realized today that I had used the same numbers for Aug and Sept 2008 and so those data were a bit off. I corrected it above, but it is certainly possible other errors have crept in. (Plus I havent figured out fractions yet apparently, either.)

(and TREB sucks.)

#8 Average guy The Third on 04.07.09 at 12:04 am

Poignant interpretations by someone who is down and dirty on the ground. Two steps ahead of the mainstream press. Garth, thanks for your observations through clear, unwavering eyes. I’ve heard Waterloo is running against the grain…read Waterloo, not Waterloo Region… Prices are firm and employment is strong. Maybe this is the anomaly, the Golden Egg.

#9 Nicholas P on 04.07.09 at 12:14 am

Oh yeah, what’s the name of your favourite trough?

A little publicity can go a long way, I’m sure they would apreciate the attention you attract.

#10 NanaimoRealEstate on 04.07.09 at 12:35 am

It is the same everywhere, each particular place will have its own set of reasons why they are immune to any real estate drop or crash. “We have ocean” “Retirees come here in droves” “The weather is spectacular” “We didn’t go up as much as xxxxx so we are so much more affordable than them”

Really wonder how it is possible everyone can be insulated yet noone is? Quite baffling.

Anyway, the local paper suggested Nanaimo had miraculously avoided any effects of the global meltdown. Talk about blowing sunshine.

#11 Sam on 04.07.09 at 12:40 am

Toronto housing showing resiliency – by Toronto start

http://www.thestar.com/business/article/614627

#12 Mi Too Bitz on 04.07.09 at 12:51 am

I still think that this whole thing will not turn into a full blown depression. When the errors are on paper, or on computers, there are options. One can manipulate numbers (ie. reset loan rates, debt consolidation or debt forgiveness etc.). But the good times won’t last. The economy hinges on one thing. Not gold, or fiat money or even employment levels. Our whole economy hinges on CHEAP energy. So long as the inputs are cheap, there will be an economy to run. Once that cheap energy is gone, it will be worse than a depression. It will be so huge that nothing will ever be the same. Absolutely everyone will be deeply affected then. Energy is cheap now…but it too can fall off a cliff suddenly as did the DJIA or TSX. The demand to supply side is always tight. A couple hundred thousand barrels off-line can cause shock waves. Wait until Cantrell, Gwahar and the big Siberian fields start giving up. Oil is a long way from depletion. Not the point. The point is that CHEAP energy is got an expiration date not too far away. Kind of a paradox now….if all these stimulus’ were to work, and the economy roared back to life, the increase in demand would make oil soar again…..plunging markets downwards again. There will be another oil shock. No idea when though.

#13 colette on 04.07.09 at 1:30 am

here in the little cariboo city the citizens are lining up to sign away any negative environmental repercussions as long as there are jobs provided by the Prosperity gold/copper mine which proposes to create 500 direct jobs and 1200 indirect jobs.

Now in these times considering that the major employment is in the forestry industry that is in collapse who could think it was a bad idea? But are these jobs going to be given to the locals with no mining experience especially when there are experienced out of work miners ago ago?

Where are the indirect jobs going to be located? In head offices in Vancouver?

Is this going to be like so many jobs where employees do not relocate but rather commute via air for their 2 week stint in the pit?

If this project does go ahead will it be mothballed when the price of comodities drops so it is no longer viable?

The housing situation is so tight that there is an almost 0 vacancy rate…will this project just make housing more unaffordable?

These are all questions that need to be addressed before I jump on the bandwagon of Prosperity.

#14 Gord In Vancouver on 04.07.09 at 1:32 am

However, the advance was enough to put the average home out of the range of the average buyer, a situation which will be corrected in this town, as it will be everywhere before we’re done.
_______________________________________

Thanks, Garth.

Hundreds of thousands of Vancouverites now have to change their underwear !!!!!

#15 Munch on 04.07.09 at 2:17 am

Hi there

Here’s something you might enjoy – it’s called “Shift Happens” and it’s about our changing World. Well worth a watch. It will certainly have you thinking about yourself in a new context.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMcfrLYDm2U

South Africa from the Inside: Our Finance Minister still yapping on about how the G-20 measures will fix everything – but we are repossessing 7,000 cars a month here now and the huge new auto dealerships (we call them “Taj Mahals”) are lying empty. Property is still falling.

Murrika from the Outside: What’s this with your “tent cities”? We have lots of them – we call them “squatter camps”.

Regards

Munch

#16 Da HK Kid on 04.07.09 at 2:28 am

If the East Coasters have had such a run of 97% over the last decade then I will be corrected somewhat in my comments to east coast friends in Ottawa and TO.

I felt the downside was limited east from Montreal but if you account for unemployment and any depressed economy, the East will not be spared.

Honestly, if you had to ride this baby out for some reason, the east coast would be the right place.

For me, I am looking at a piece of property three parcels down from Shania Twain in Kiwiland right now.

#17 Future Expatriate on 04.07.09 at 3:33 am

US planning on default?

Bernanke’s Plan?

#18 Munch on 04.07.09 at 6:46 am

Here are some more thrills

Off topic I know, but REALLY worth a watch!

http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=1778399&server=vimeo.com&show_title=1&show_byline=1&show_portrait=0&color=&fullscreen=1

#19 David Bakody on 04.07.09 at 7:19 am

Interesting comments, sorry I missed your PIER 21 Night, mainly because I have listened, read and put your advice to good use as it applies to my life. My wife came through PIER 21 on the Queen Marry so I know the history well. Many may not know or understand Halifax, which is the cradle of Canada’s History ….. read “Sailors, Slackers and Blind Pigs” by Stephen Kimber and you will be enlightened. I too have heard many Harper/Flaherty sound alike who say Halifax is different, I just shake my head and say nothing for it is a waste of words. Sunday morning I sat with one over coffee he told me two things 1. The Arctic is Freezing so they are making a big deal over the Antarctic because that Artic trick did not work and 2. The fix is in to let the Canadians win to have two Canadian teams in the playoffs. I dare not mention RE with this person, but this I know because I see it, there is fancy new sub here and the houses are being left unfinished and new mall area is also, the province cancelled (temp ?) the new Airport Hotel (this makes that the second time) people lost as much of RRSP savings as others , wages are falling, the carpets are rolled up in Halifax at 6 pm, Sundays are quiet, and the malls are full of people walking around with no/to little bags in hand. This to me would seem the same as in most major cities around the world! What does Halifax have that no other city (NYC/LA/SF London and Paris) have that anyone would think we are different? DO TELL MAXWELL?

#20 David Bakody on 04.07.09 at 7:26 am

Addendum:

US National Debt at time of posting that is growing at $6B a minute …but the word is they have lots of room for growth ….? Have y’all heard about their defence cuts while Harper is still saying he is spending more? That’s when he is not bashing Mulroney ….. what’s all this got to do with the Real Estate Industry? (jobs) ….. nothing …. exactly!

– $ 11,164,508,260,442*

#21 lgre on 04.07.09 at 7:56 am

jobs in Halifax??

when we landed in Canada, Halifax was out first destination..we were there about 2 years until my father figured out that there are no jobs.

Less then 2 years ago a friend of mine wanted to go back to his home town Halifax, just to return because of no jobs.. He works in the commercial HVAC/R biz..not hard to find a job here for that.

#22 pbrasseur on 04.07.09 at 8:30 am

@ David Bakody (#20)

If you are interested in understanding the US national debt:

http://www.optimist123.com/optimist/

As you can see the number you show ($ 11,164,508,260,442) includes money the US gov owes to itself (to the social security fund). Now try to imagine other welfare states accounting money necessary to finance the future of their social promises…

The real number they owe is $ 6,910,796,571,840.49, which is about 48% of GDP (14 trillions). By OCDE standard it is quite reasonable. Compare that with the Euro zone 64% (before the crisis), no wonder they can spend as much for stimulus! Even Canada is at 65% and growing.

#23 dave99 on 04.07.09 at 8:39 am

#20 David B,

$6b a minute? $9 trillion a day? Seems a tad high.

#24 WTF on 04.07.09 at 8:42 am

Can you guys please help with this article i thought printing money is not the right idea?????????

http://ca.news.finance.yahoo.com/s/06042009/2/biz-finance-economy-bad-bank-canada-revert-printing-money.html

#25 ally ally oxycontin free on 04.07.09 at 8:47 am

Unending Fraud, Greed, Selfishness …

Foreclosure Scams Are Target of Crackdown

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/06/AR2009040601725.html?wpisrc=newsletter

U.S. Plans to Combat Mortgage Fraud, Rescue Scams

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123902916166993009.html

From Bubble to Depression?

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123897612802791281.html

#26 dd on 04.07.09 at 8:48 am

Future Expatriate

“US planning on default?”

Not today or tomorrow.

#27 WillsDad on 04.07.09 at 9:09 am

Looks like Calgary is feeling the pinch:

http://www.calgaryherald.com/Calgary+condo+tower+hold+developer+seeks+bankruptcy+protection/1472025/story.html

#28 timbo on 04.07.09 at 9:29 am

money is drying up in Calgary!!

http://www.calgaryherald.com/Calgary+condo+tower+hold+developer+seeks+bankruptcy+protection/1472025/story.html

#29 Jim Tuba on 04.07.09 at 9:43 am

“Off a cliff”

http://ca.news.finance.yahoo.com/s/06042009/2/biz-finance-forecaster-estimates-canadian-unemployment-peak-9-5-cent.html

#30 Got A Watch on 04.07.09 at 10:17 am

Canada to split with U.S. on mark-to-market rule – National Post

“Canada is set to split with the United States over its response to the financial crisis and reject a move to let banks duck losses by inflating the value of troubled assets, according to people familiar with the matter.

The country’s top accounting watchdog reached the decision during a closed-door board meeting on Monday, giving a thumbs-down for now to a U.S. move to loosen accounting standards.

The international community has been split by attempts to ease mark-to-market rules, which banks argue force companies to take losses on troubled assets that will likely bounce back, exacerbating the crisis.

Auditors, analysts, and institutional investors tend to argue the bid to loosen the rules amounts to financial chicanery and will only further dent confidence in banks’ books.

The American decision was blasted by the European industry as an example of “political interference [which] will only serve to further destabilize confidence in the system.” ”

Bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha. Pro-biz-criminal paper there did not report, of course, that the decision was reached because “This proposed change is not in the public interest.” according to radio news report.

#31 Shawn on 04.07.09 at 10:29 am

Affordable houses…

That’s a good thing, right?

Economic progress comes from REAL prices constantly dropping in terms of average hours worked to obtain food, clothing, shelter, transporttion, communication.

Because the basics are incredibly LOWER in REAL price than ever in history and have been dropping for a couple centuries (with perhaps the occasional counter bubble), the average family now spends a lot of money on non-essentials like entertainment.

It’s all good and getting better in the long run. Average standards of living have risen tremendously in the past 50 years and will continue to do so.

#32 rory on 04.07.09 at 11:28 am

http://finance.sympatico.msn.ca/savingsdebt/johncaspar/article.aspx?cp-documentid=18994327

This article talks about how much money we make (or don’t make).

If you apply what he says to the 3x-4x your gross wage to figure out how much your mortgage should be then this will be an eye opener especially if you want to only use one income for your calculations.

Look at what the rest of the world earns …yikes. Where is the room for a continuous supply of $30,000 Chevy’s

….”Because as it turns out, about half the Earth’s population lives on less than $2.50 a day – and 80 per cent lives on less than $10 a day. Go ahead and take a few deep breaths while you reflect on that completely amazing truth.

…So in 2006, 40 per cent of Canadians earned less than $20,000. (Total income includes all income from employment, investment, pension and other sources, including government transfers – before taxes.)

…Given that amazing statistic, it won’t surprise you to learn that the median individual income in 2006 was $26,500.

….That put the 40 percent line at around $60,000 of household income. The 2006 median income for couple families in Canada was $70,400.”

Hey HK Kid from yesterdays post #100…
$10m home bought and rented for $25k/m is only a 3% return before expenses. Only way to make money is upturn …what do to you know that we don’t…is this not what got us into trouble in the first place – overpaying for RE. Of course the place will always be rented – it is because your new place will be a rental steal…IMO.

#33 Keith in Calgary on 04.07.09 at 11:34 am

On the front page of today’s Calgary Herald…..

The second 42 story condo tower of the high end “ARRIVA” development has stopped construction and the developer has filed BK protection.

Must be a result of all that pent up demand from buyers……..

#34 PTDBD on 04.07.09 at 12:25 pm

Quantitive Easing – Printing money as a substitute for lowering interest rates will be devastating to Canada.

The created cash will devalue the value of the existing savings and currency. Inflation will follow the natural law of debasement just as surely as gravity claims the cliff divers.

As our currency is shunned by other nations, it also will dive into oblivion. The result? – Inflation as imported products and food become more expensive. Inflation piled on inflation beset by higher taxes and record unemployment. All overseen by a Finance Minister that sees this as no big deal and a Prime Minister who called it “a technical recession”.

Mr. PM, if our Banks are as strong as advertised, if our economy will be the first to recover as trumpeted by you, then let’s take advantage of it. Put on that blue sweater and fake smile and remember what you told Dion. “Don’t panic”.

If you’re not going to raise interest rates, at least don’t print mountains of paper and don’t further increase that deficit. You know…that deficit that we weren’t going to have under any circumstance.

#35 North Vancouver Citizen Jr. on 04.07.09 at 12:42 pm

“A grave problem”: world leaders to address food security

http://www.tracingpaper.org.uk/2009/04/07/g8-food-security/

Plans for Mass Graves Confirmed: Government Surveying Cemetery Readiness for Flu Outbreak

http://www.jonesreport.com/article/04_09/03cemetery.html

Water Supplies in a Pandemic

http://www.usatoday.com/weather/news/2009-04-06-hard-freeze-south-midwest_N.htm

Bankruptcy Time Bomb in US and UK Goes Off

http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2009/04/bankruptcy-time-bomb-in-us-and-uk-goes.html

How are we to survive the inevitable collapse of the food chain? When paper money is no longer a viable form of transaction, what are we to do?

http://tshtf.blogspot.com/

…Have a nice day all…

#36 confused and a little crazed on 04.07.09 at 12:56 pm

13 colette,

there are no big head offices in Vancouver. Search online for RIMM, mercK and Frost, Dell, proctor and gamble and johnson and johnson they are all back east. where stock exchanges are TSX, Nasdaq…just so you know.

then truck/ Train to calgary / edmonton distribution centres…then lastly trucked over to vancouver.

It ‘s not financially feasible to have any head offices in vancouver, unless it is a very small corp and owners live here and they are not listed on the exchanges

#37 PTDBD on 04.07.09 at 1:09 pm

The Good and Plenty – (a business idea)

U.S. communities are printing their own currencies. You get to buy it at a discount and spend it at certain businesses at full value. The same thing was done in the Depression.

Some stores in Canada are now accepting Canadian Tire money at par.

It’s called disintermediation paper prestidigitation – getting rid of the middleman.

#38 PTDBD on 04.07.09 at 1:42 pm

“We’ve been very clear. Spending will be limited. The government will not raise taxes, and we’ve been very clear on that.”
….Prime Minister Harper during CTV’s Question Period March 2009

Now, what exactly did he say about not taxing Income Trusts? about no recession? about no deficit?

#39 nonplused on 04.07.09 at 3:01 pm

Who’s worrying about vacations in Hawaii these days? Man, we really do have a long, long way to go before people finally come to terms with what we are dealing with!

Not to pick on any one person mind you, I have many friends who still spend endless hours trying to figure out how to best part with $4000 so their family can sit exposed on a beach in one stationary place for a whole week. It looks more like a short term prison sentence to me but I’m weird about things like that.

My point is the economy is headed straight into a sudden stop event where first world nations might be talking about food rationing and people are still fretting over vacations! We’re all crazy! Completely baked!

The reality is that the tourism industry can drop prices to zero if they want to; the customers aren’t coming back until they have jobs.

#40 TS on 04.07.09 at 3:01 pm

The following link will take you to a piece about trouble to hit the commercial real estate market as well…. no surprise there!

http://finance.sympatico.msn.ca/investing/news/businessnews/article.aspx?cp-documentid=19019680

#41 nonplused on 04.07.09 at 3:19 pm

Which makes me think of another question:

Anybody have information on whether the economy is more, I don’t know how to say it but maybe “interdependent” or “derivative” than it use to be?

What I mean is that back in the 30’s, a great many people still worked on farms and could probably go weeks without having to depend on anyone else for sustenance. People did their own shirts and cleaned their own bathrooms. Very few people worked in what one might call “the tourist industry”.

But today we have a lot of jobs that rely on somebody else having a job and wanting to spend some money. Tourism is a good example. So I wonder if today, the job loses might have a potential to “snowball” more than they did back then?

#42 Jake on 04.07.09 at 3:43 pm

#33 Keith,
LOL man, that was great. All of that pent up demand in Calgary is driving those projects into the ground. Glad to see that all of the realtor talk about pent up demand drives someone else crazy as well. They’d probably tell you that the entire condo tower was made up of penthouse suites as well. Oh the audacity of hope!

#43 Halifaxfamily on 04.07.09 at 3:45 pm

Garth,

I did actually come out to your Halifax talk last night. You are a very enthusiastic speaker; however, I did not agree with the facts of a bunch of your points.

1. You had indicated that ‘financials’ were a good place to invest due to ‘government backing.’ If you’re talking about the banking sector, especially as it pertains to owning stocks, you are significantly wrong. As the public, we can own ‘financial’ companies through common stocks, potentially even preferred stocks, and sometimes via the bond market if you have enough cash. When a bank is nationalized or when the government takes a stake in the bank, the stock typically drops due to dilution. As a common shareholder, you could be wiped out. So, owning a financial share, even though it is backed by the government, is a dangerous thing because you could be wiped out even though the bank is still standing.

2. when you have that financial advisor (name not disclose) stand up on the podium and you talked about the concept of risk, it was a gross misrepresentation. You said at least twice that your financial advisor “takes on the risk” and that you don’t. In fact, I argue it is completely the opposite. Your financial advisor’s risk is simply that their reputation could be tarnished. Your risk is ultimately that your money can be lost. Your financial advisor simply advises you on that but they sleep well at night even if you don’t, as it is your money and therefore your risk.

My goal for coming out last night is to get a good idea of what my fellow Haligonians feel about their local economy. it seems that there is slightly too much optimism still, and I think that prices for things are elevated due to this optimism. That’s why my colleagues and I still notice that the shopping malls are packed despite the fact that credit is contracting and that there is somewhat of a slowdown.

I was slightly underwhelmed by the talk (perhaps my expectations were too high) but I will continue to use your website as an environmental scanning tool so that the vulture in me can find a maximally pessimistic time to deploy cash.

I was also hoping for some more Canadian context.

Thank you though for coming to Halifax. A lot of people need to hear what you have to say, as I think the financial literacy rate is quite low.

(1) There will be no bank nationalizations in Canada. (2) Sounds like you don’t have one. His name is Rick Langille, BTW. He’s the one who paid for the event you attended. Even a vulture should show appreciation. — Garth

#44 Halifaxfamily on 04.07.09 at 3:46 pm

By the way, Garth, I do agree with your comment that frugality is the new normal.

#45 Got A Watch on 04.07.09 at 4:14 pm

#17 Future Expatriate – I would put the odds of the USA defaulting on any debts as about zero, under the present global financial order.

Since their debts are payable in US $, they can print as much money as they need to pay off any debt. Of course this might drop the currency value (the goldbug’s dream) way down, but the loan amount does not change, it just gets easier to repay.

Of course, if the US $ loses global reserve currency status, printing will seriously devalue the $’s value quickly (goldbug’s wet dream), and cause many other problems. But it would still be the easiest way to deal with huge debts, and not as disruptive as a default.

I can’t be too hard on the goldbugs these days. Every tinfoil-hat thing they predicted years ago has come to pass, except collapse of the US $ value and the resulting inflation problem. So they might just be early on that one. The direction the USA is going in is certainly not supportive of US $ strength in the long run, that’s for sure.

Keep the tinfoil hat buckled on tight. I recommend use of an aluminum colander with chinstrap.

#46 David Bakody on 04.07.09 at 4:20 pm

#23 dave99 on 04.07.09 at 8:39 am

See for yourself bye, there are payments made from time to time but they are soon eaten up. Also Dave there are multi other funds not registered to the tune of a cool couple of $Trillion or so. What has saved the Yanks is there Armed Forces and bases world wide.

http://zfacts.com/

#47 North Vancouver Citizen Jr. on 04.07.09 at 4:23 pm

#36 confused and a little crazed

>>>>>>there are no big head offices in Vancouver………Search online for RIMM, mercK and Frost, Dell, proctor and gamble and johnson and johnson they are all back east. where stock exchanges are TSX, Nasdaq……..It ’s not financially feasible to have any head offices in vancouver<<<<<<

…Sir, the centre of the earth is no longer back east….Economies now ruling the world are in the far east….. VANCOUVER/HONGCOUVER will soon become the new Centre of the Earth of North America.

You heard it here first.

#48 Grumpydawgs on 04.07.09 at 4:48 pm

If the truth was realised in a public forum the term ‘Hongcouver’ would be dismissed as a misnomer, at best. The number of individuals from Hong Kong who reside in Vancouver is no more signifigant than any other ethnic group. The biggst problem with bigots is that they paint everyone with the same brush. The fact is that there are a great many people from a variety of countries in the Orient who look Oriental but differ absolutley both physically, culturally and spiritually. But some people can’t tell the differance between Koreans, Chinese, Japanese, Thai’s , Phillipinos and Indonesians and assume they are all from “Hong Kong”.

The greatest number of people coming to Canada these days seems to be speaking English with an eastern European/Moldovan/Russian /Slavic accent. Should we delegate these people into a ghetto as well?

Garth just finished describing his wifes grandfather having landed on pier 21 without a penny in his pocket. My grandfather lived in a sod shack in the Saskatchewan prairie. Why are we pointed fingers at people who look differant but have come to Canada with the same concerns as our grandparents did.

#49 The Coming Depression on 04.07.09 at 5:09 pm

The economy is collapsing at a MUCH faster pace than the Great Depression, here are your GRAPHS and FACTS. No Depression Coming? Your in for a surprise. If you read some of the comments of the “Collapsing US Cities article, you will find devastation of complete towns from the readers..

http://thecomingdepression.blogspot.com/2009/04/world-economy-falling-much-faster-than.html

Didn’t you say it all collapsed last week? Or was that last month? — Garth

#50 Canned Goods and Buckshot on 04.07.09 at 5:32 pm

Nonplused #41 wonders if our “interdependant” economies may create a snowball effect of job loss.

Author and political science prof. Thomas Homer -Dixon discusses issues relevant to this question in his 2006 book, The Upside of Down.

From pg 286 he argues that due to a desire to hyperconnect and globalize economic networks we have neglected certain aspects of resiliency, such as ability to look after essential needs in an emergency.

If one considers the fincancial crisis, or the breakdown of just in time production (oen of Chrysler’s current problems), a type of economic emergency then I think one consequence of this is the higher liklihood of a job loss snowball effect.

#51 HalifaxFamily on 04.07.09 at 5:35 pm

I was appreciative; however, it seemed like a sell job to me. I’ve known a bunch of people whose financial advisors lost them 40% and didn’t tell them to get out when the times were good.

Remember, the risk is still yours when you hire a financial advisor. They may have ‘policies’ for risk tolerance, but it is to ensure that they have forewarned you of potential losses.

I do have a financial advisor – they are great for the macro, long-term planning.

#52 . . . fried eggs and spam . . . on 04.07.09 at 5:54 pm

#1 Dawn in Calgary at 10:32 pm — “Sigh. I do miss the water though.”

Ditto. Some of my greatest childhood memories are surfing and swimming under water, no mask or snorkel needed. Used to be able to hod my breath for about 2 or 3 mins.

Diving and underwater exploring is as close to pure freedom as ever was. Unfortunately, I grew up!

#53 Bonnie N BC on 04.07.09 at 6:06 pm

Tough Spring

There are only two true signs of spring here on the Sunshine Coast: Humming birds, bees. Over the past few years, these delicate and shy birds show up in mid-March. But darn, it’s been colder than normal and their first noticed arrival was on April 4th.

The poor esprit arrived to find our feeder empty and as soon as we saw our tiny visitor we filled up the feeder.

Since. the hummingbirds have swarmed to the feeder in the early morning and late afternoon. There are no early blooms for them to feed on.

So what possibly does this have to do with real estate? Every spring we look to the season to renew and change our lives. Maybe, we downsize or upscale. But it is much colder than expected and we, like a hummingbird wait for things to improve. Maybe, someone will put out a feeder to help them through a cold spell that is expected to reflect a cool and cruel summer.

What is wrong with our lot is we act like small tiny birds with a brain the size of a peppercorn. Doing the same migration we always do because it is all we can do. We are not driven by migration – we are driven by ignorance in that we chose to ignore the obvious.

We are migrating to a cold and hostile place and we are all hummingbirds without an ability to turn back. We do possess the brain – we do not possess the nature to fly to better weather.

#54 David Bakody on 04.07.09 at 6:11 pm

#22 pbrasseur on 04.07.09 at 8:30 am

Refs: http://zfacts.com/
http://www.babylontoday.com/national_debt_clock.htm

First I am no expert nor would I even suggest to understand the amount (s) of money the US of A owes.
This I do know the funds you think are part of the debt may be operating funds for it takes money lots of money to run the US. Like Canada the US must find a way to support the multi millions of Senior Boomers soon as the work force shrinks. If countries/states/provinces/cities/towns admit they must run a deficit I would suggest this means they must borrow money somewhere? We know this now happening and much needs government services are being cut back or eliminated! But what the heck it appears the G-20 (developed countries) are all about to run some serious numbers in debt on to future generations / governments. This is not good news under any circumstances due to what is becoming almost daily news of catastrophic fire and floods around the world, not to mention the Winds of War. Perhaps Sir/Madame this is all just a bad dream and we will all wake up and everyone will have a job, a solid roof over their head and food on the table.

#55 Marc on 04.07.09 at 6:13 pm

The law of unintended consequences.

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20090420/hayes

“Thanks to an obscure tax provision, the United States government stands to pay out as much as $8 billion this year to the ten largest paper companies. And get this: even though the money comes from a transportation bill whose manifest intent was to reduce dependence on fossil fuel, paper mills are adding diesel fuel to a process that requires none in order to qualify for the tax credit. In other words, we are paying the industry–handsomely–to use more fossil fuel. “Which is,” as a Goldman Sachs report archly noted, the “opposite of what lawmakers likely had in mind when the tax credit was established.”

#56 BailinginBc on 04.07.09 at 6:42 pm

#45 Got a Watch
“Keep the tinfoil hat buckled on tight. I recommend use of an aluminum colander with chinstrap.”

A colander has holes in it, they can STILL get in…:-]

#57 Jimster on 04.07.09 at 6:43 pm

Got A Watch – Perhaps if you put your fingers in your ears and cover your eyes and say ‘tin foil hat, tin foil hat, tin foil hat’ enough times the ferry banker will show up, wave his hand and create a with a big pile of fiat for you so you can have your wet dream too.

Worked for Goldman Sachs and AIG so you never know.
Sure

#58 WillsDad on 04.07.09 at 6:44 pm

#48

Oriental is used when referring to things, such as an Oriental rug.

Asian is the correct term when referring to people.

I heard the majority first language in Vancouver public schools is now Mandarin. If that’s the case, it seems Hongcouver would be appropriate. BTW, Asians are the least PC people on the planet. It’s refreshing to us born-n-raised Canucks, who have the PC police swarming us at every chance in Canada.

#59 maritimer on 04.07.09 at 6:48 pm

Hmm, what hotel? what restaurant?
I was in Halifax on biz Monday night and The Keg was packed (seemed unusually busy for a Monday night in the ‘off’ season). Dropped clients off at the Holiday Inn Express Airport and it too was full.

Is Halifax immune? Of course not but I suspect that the modesty of our ascent in the last decade will temper our decline to something that more resembles a ‘softening’ than a ‘depression’.

Oh, you mean it’s different there. Sheesh. — Garth

#60 Live Within Your Means on 04.07.09 at 7:05 pm

#1 Dawn in Calgary on 04.06.09 at 10:32 pm
I was in Halifax just last week to visit Mum & Dad on the peninsula. I perused the listings while I was there. A bungalow in the ‘burbs that we bought for $75k in 1999 was again for sale (no upgrades done) for $180k.

My dad got RE fever two years ago and bought a place in Truro that he rents out (4 units) — and wishes every day that he hadn’t. Can’t sell it now, no takers.

But it’s different there. Sure.

Point Pleasant Park is still a hurricane Juan horror.

Sigh. I do miss the water though.

Hi Dawn – Curious where your family bought a bungalow in the burbs for $75K in 99. Re Hurricain Juan. IIRC, the Feds were not quick to help out, but when VCR got hit, the Feds were jumping over themselves to help. Its all about pop./no. of .votes.

Yep, I like that I’m a five minute walk from the lakes and 15 from the ocean.

#61 confused and a little crazed on 04.07.09 at 7:17 pm

48# Grumpydawgs

alot of people in BC do tend to generalize. Thank you for your well thought out explanation…just because we can’t tell the difference we should not assume.

47 # North Vancouver Citizen Jr.
I ‘m sure we had this discussion before on this blog but you didn’t believe then…so I know you won’t believe me now but if you look at the taxes paid in alberta/ ontario is less than bc and plus the insurance. Have you checked the diffrence in car insurance in Bc compared to alberta…the average salaries are also higher in ontario, Toronto. though suffering now because of finance and manufacturing recession now.

As for realestate price…that’s obvious. I know most of you other bloggers say I ‘m wasting my time but at least I tried…again and Yes I do buy a lot of goods a lot of goods from the manufacturers back east…computer equipment , med supplies even for clothing but i think they outsource to locals here. High technology is not needed for clothing

#62 JO on 04.07.09 at 7:40 pm

The GTA housing market is having one last breath before the devasting collapse that will engulf it come fall. Sadly, many of the buyers in the last 2-3 months are those with the least means – thanks to the government ponzi enabler called CMHC.

I continue to watch for a few major trends that will hugely impact the markets and our lives:
1) Pending collapse of the long treasury market. It could, and likely will, have one last pump up to near the December highs (TLT), but fall 2009 onward, watch out folks.

Imagine: Long term mortgage rates being goosed up due to sharply falling long bond prices and also due to rising default premiums. Think what that will do to home prices and anyone who is renewing a mortgage in the next 5 years where the LTV is 80 or more. Most will be shocked when they meet the banker.

2) Gold: As long as gold holds 800, it should have one last massive spike to 1100-1200.

3) SP500: Stocks look poised to be in a volatile trading range for another month or two..I think Sp500 will hit no more than 870, and then watch as a spectacular collapse hits into the fall and winter – min target for sp500 is under 600, and very likely into low 500’s.

4) The Canadian dollar could hit the low 60’s before stabilizing as the massive deflationary sell off runs its course. Consider hedging your Cad savings. Thursday is jobs day, and Apr 23 is the expected official bank launch of Quant Easing – remember these two words, there will be nothing easy about quantitative easing.

Cheers
JO

#63 Ultraman on 04.07.09 at 7:41 pm

“I’ve known a bunch of people whose financial advisors lost them 40% and didn’t tell them to get out when the times were good.”

This is an innocent and costly misunderstanding of what an advisor will do for you.

First of all the advisor don’t lose anybody any money, the market does. Secondly what you are suggesting is market timing which is a fool’s game. Your advisor doesn’t have a crystal ball and doesn’t know anymore than you do if the market is at top or bottom. What if he tells you to get out and the market climbs another 20% in the following couple months?

Your advisor role to make sure that you are aware of the risk that you are taking and that your portfolio is invested accordingly.

#64 nonplused on 04.07.09 at 8:04 pm

#50 Canned Goods and Buckshot

That’s what I suspect as well. Did they qualify it at all?

My thinking is that there must be far fewer people employed in “base production” now than at one time du to industrialization and especially mechanization. It takes fewer labourers to build a car now because the robots handle so much of the work. One farmer can do as much work as 4 with these huge tractors they have now. Etc.

But the autoworkers take their pay and find a large suite of products available to them that previously never were, from all-inclusive vacations, to ski hills, to iPods, electric cars for their toddlers, every kind of clothing conceivable and then some, knee boards, boats, etc. This is increasing wealth and happiness for everyone, but I wonder if the boat manufacturers and such can stay in business selling boats to each other? To me it seems pulling out the base manufacturing now could pull down the whole house of cards. Plus primary industries like forestry and mining which are getting $hit kicked right now too.

#65 Sun Yat-sen suit on 04.07.09 at 8:05 pm

Somebody young at work today has a new home near Milton. The father arranged it. The question WAS “Where is Milton..?

I said head West on 401 and look for cliff on the south (Rattlesnake.) Yes, was ‘Mattamy’ they recognized name when I called it. I also informed they were built on a line then parked on grade A farmland. “Good,” came reply “Will be able to plant some seeds.” The chief concern was commute to downtown Toronto. I said least hassle – ‘smallest’ of you worries, Milton has GO link.

Can you believe?

#66 David Bakody on 04.07.09 at 8:08 pm

Halifax is different eh? Was speaking with a friend who owns a hairdressing shop …. she mentioned that she came through the worst month ever …. not good when our fine ladies can not go out and have their hair done.

#67 Live Within Your Means on 04.07.09 at 8:37 pm

#53 Bonnie N BC on 04.07.09 at 6:06 pm
Tough Spring

There are only two true signs of spring here on the Sunshine Coast: Humming birds, bees. Over the past few years, these delicate and shy birds show up in mid-March. But darn, it’s been colder than normal and their first noticed arrival was on April 4th.

The poor esprit arrived to find our feeder empty and as soon as we saw our tiny visitor we filled up the feeder.

Since. the hummingbirds have swarmed to the feeder in the early morning and late afternoon. There are no early blooms for them to feed on.

So what possibly does this have to do with real estate? Every spring we look to the season to renew and change our lives. Maybe, we downsize or upscale. But it is much colder than expected and we, like a hummingbird wait for things to improve. Maybe, someone will put out a feeder to help them through a cold spell that is expected to reflect a cool and cruel summer.

What is wrong with our lot is we act like small tiny birds with a brain the size of a peppercorn. Doing the same migration we always do because it is all we can do. We are not driven by migration – we are driven by ignorance in that we chose to ignore the obvious.

We are migrating to a cold and hostile place and we are all hummingbirds without an ability to turn back. We do possess the brain – we do not possess the nature to fly to better weather.

Hi Bonnie – Yes, we just seem to repeat mistakes of the past .Most seem to have their head in the sand. But, we, like hummers are a risilient species. We invested & have lost 40-50%. I’m glad tho that we paid off our mtg. & had zero debts before we started investing. And, as tempting as it was to get out of the market, we didn’t. We’re fortunate that we don’t have to depend on those investments to survive, even when my husband retires. But, I sure do feel bad for the less fortunate.

Re Hummers, I follow the below web site to try and guage when they’ll be arriving in our area. One or 2 years we did not hang out our feeder in time. Yet, the little beauties were hovering in the exact location where we always the feeder. Remarkable.

http://www.hummingbirds.net/map.html

#68 Rural Rick on 04.07.09 at 8:49 pm

Yah sure it’s different here/now
Der Spiegel has an interesting article on state insolvency.
Can Countries Really Go Bankrupt?
http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,604523,00.html
I liked this part
“The simplest solution was for states to just outright refuse to pay back their debts. In 1557, Spain’s King Philipp II refused to pay his country’s debts after its expensive military battles against the Dutch and the Ottomans. It was a decision that seriously damaged lender banks in Augsburg, Germany, and they never fully recovered.
Even after the Revolution, France’s new regents had an even more extreme answer. They expropriated property from churches, major landowners and executed some lenders. ”
Funny how history has a way of repeating itself.

#69 jwk (nee jwkimba) on 04.07.09 at 8:51 pm

uh, folks, Hong Kong;s language is Cantonese. Their script is Traditional Chinese. Mainland China (Shanghai, beijing, etc) speak Manadarin. Their script is Simplified Chinese.

So if Mandarin is the largest minorty in Vancouver, maybe Shangcouver is more appropriate? This latest wave of immigration is driven by mainland China, not Hong Kong.

And yes, the vast majority of Asians (anywhere in the world!) are Chinese.

My grandmother was born in a sod hut in Saskatchewan as well (Arbuckle) but moved to Ontarion when the farm dried up. My wife is from Shanghai. Things change fast, huh?

#70 Just a Carpenter on 04.07.09 at 8:55 pm

Okanagan forecast is sunny today, high near 20, lake and mountains beautiful as ever. On one hand I could sit by the computer and try to figure out what I should do in this failing economy or…I could lace up my sneakers, take the dog for a walk and enjoy the greatest place on earth! Falling house prices means more of you will finally be able to join us here in paradise! Garth, as much as I enjoy your blog…sometimes I think you really need to get a life. It’s not all about the money!

#71 Live Within Your Means on 04.07.09 at 9:15 pm

#65 David Bakody on 04.07.09 at 8:08 pm
Halifax is different eh? Was speaking with a friend who owns a hairdressing shop …. she mentioned that she came through the worst month ever …. not good when our fine ladies can not go out and have their hair done.

Hi David – I don’t know about those hairdressing salons. I’ve only been to one about 3/4X in my life. I’ve always done it myself. In high school cut many of my friends hair. Cut my younger sister’s hair – Mia Farrow or Twiggy cut. All her girlfriend’s were shocked. But within a month most of the girls in her school had copied her cut. Cut my husband’s hair first mo. I met him & he’s never been to a barber/stylist since. Didn’t cut my hair because I was frugal, I just didn’t like the way they dit it. And, my husband now loves a really short cut.

#72 North Vancouver Citizen Jr. on 04.07.09 at 9:23 pm

Recap…

1/
Hummingbirds, Bees, blooming flowers, west coast salt air, West coast forest trails, walking your dog
2/
Centre of the Earth-lings need to get a life, its not all about money.
3/
besides, Vancouver/Shangcouver will be the next financial/trade/culture/leisure capital of North America.

mutt yeah, shoo mye, satsun
…..translation….
You heard it here first.

#73 Dave99 on 04.07.09 at 9:27 pm

#20 & 46 David B,

Thanks for the link. Unfortunetly you seem to have confused $6 million per minute with $6 billion.

Also, $6million a minute is about $3.2 trillion a year, which is actually twice the present deficit.

The following link suggests that the debt per minute is actually $2.7m per minute (and not $6m per minute)
http://www.goldworld.com/articles/us-national-debt/381.

For me, differences like $2.7m vs $6m, or $6m vs $6b matter. But maybe I’m just a little more fiscally conservative than most people. :-)

#74 taxpayer like you on 04.07.09 at 9:33 pm

48 dawgs and 60 confused. I thought we got past this “Hongcouver” thing, but I guess not. From my viewpoint, you are looking at NVCs promotion of his
home town with a very narrow focus. Dare I would even say bigotted, as you automatcally assume a racial premise.

Lets look at the bigger picture. Hong Kong on western pacific seaboard. Spectacular setting. Vancouver on eastern pacific seaboard. Spectacular setting. Hong Kong worlds most impressive skyline. Vancouvers ranked a
respectable 32 (6th in NA). Hong Kong gateway to Asias manufacturing. Vancouver gateway to Canadas commodities. Hong Kong a financial capital. Vancouver –
lots of ATMs. Both cities have many residents of Chinese
ancestory (a nationality, not a race). Yep, it all works…

I think its more a complement, as NVC wants Vancouver to be like Hong Kong.

NVC- for this deluded support I offer, may I be dep min of finance in the next Garth government?

#75 Live Within Your Means on 04.07.09 at 9:43 pm

#53 Bonnie N BC on 04.07.09 at 6:06 pm
Tough

Hi Bonnie – again – Maybe I did not really understand what you were trying to convey. I’m trying to say that one’s life is not measured by how many baubles one manages to amass. I & my husband want to live in ‘relative’ comfort. But, our needs are not great. Nor are our everyday expenditures. I can’t recall the last time we went out to a restaurant together. Mostly because my home cooked food is better & I don’t want to spend $30 on a bottle of cheap wine in a restaurant. However, this eve I said I’d like to go to a local pub for liver, onions, taters & a draft this week. Its better & cheaper than we can make it at home.

Night all.

#76 confused and a little crazed on 04.07.09 at 9:58 pm

68 # JWK,

I concur with your explanation Hongcouver is way off. The asians whom I meet more nowasays are mandarin speaking

bejinover or howabout Shangcanuck.

there is also a lot more philipino speaking

#77 Future Expatriate on 04.07.09 at 10:37 pm

#26- Read the article, smartass. It’s been the plan FROM DAY ONE.

#78 Future Expatriate on 04.07.09 at 10:41 pm

#45- Printing up enough dollars to make a loan payback worthless is VIRTUAL default.

And ANY helmet is better than NO helmet.

#79 dd on 04.07.09 at 11:09 pm

North Vancouver Citizen Jr.

First class clown.

#80 dd on 04.07.09 at 11:12 pm

#49 The Coming Depression

…here are your GRAPHS …

You have two graphs. What is that going to tell me?

#81 TheFirstRick on 04.08.09 at 12:21 am

#69 Just a Carpenter on 04.07.09 at 8:55 pm

http://www.theprovince.com/Kelowna+RCMP+take+down+more+than+marijuana+plants/1475323/story.html

Either you are maintaining the illusion or the dellusion. Time will tell.

#82 dbg on 04.08.09 at 12:28 am

The Coming Depression – “here are your GRAPHS and FACTS”

Ah, no …..those are your GRAPHS and FACTS. By the way graphs and facts seem some what of a contradiction.
How is that web page traffic?
Is this months depression churning those google ad words? I think that’s the lingo isn’t it?
How about a graph on the value of gold adjusted for inflation over the last 40 years. Hmmmm
Probably not……. and did I say Vancouver is the next gold mine.
At least we can count on consistency from you two bloggers.
Do you cut and paste. I hope so.

#83 confused and a little crazed on 04.08.09 at 5:30 am

73 # taxpayer…

yes, i see your viewpoint…it’s not a bout race its about want. Selective hearing or seeing.

nvcs wants vancouver to be hong kong thereby it must be. i see your geographic standpoint. …access to commodities thru seaport

but wouldn’t Seattle be a better choice. it has more population with bigger players such as boeing , Microsoft and starbucks.

even portland oregon…slightly less population but lower housing cost, taxes and no vancouver eastside ( poorest district in all of canada).

if you recall in the news a number of boat cruises are not docking in Vancouver they will dock in Seattle . For those who want to go to Van…they can rent a car. There must be areason for that… ie Vancouver…same as seattle …but seattke better retails choices, bigger sales discounts and cheaper cars

#84 David Bakody on 04.08.09 at 10:26 am

#72 Dave99 on 04.07.09 at 9:27 pm

I stand corrected on the M & B but in any rate to this ode man it’s still one heck of a pile of money to pass on to our children and grandchildren. Reports from yesterday’s G&M on the Alberta deficit is that it took 17 years to pay the debt off last time ….. can we even imagine what the next minuteness task will coupled with all the serious fall outs from Global Warming.

#85 OttawaMike on 04.08.09 at 6:18 pm

Check this link out for Roubini’s interview with George Strombo on the Hour last night:

http://www.cbc.ca/thehour/fullshow.php
He really explains how we got here and where we’re going eloquently.

Here’s the article where Soper says expected house prices are unexpectedly holding up better than expected when he actually expected prices to drop.

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/calgary/story/2009/04/08/lepage-housing.html