Not so much


Some time ago I cautioned about Concrete Equities.

Yeah, that one. For most of us, Concrete Equities existed as only intensely irritating TV commercials, featuring a smug little Albertan with bangs strutting around hulking office towers he was hawking. To its everlasting (hopefully) embarrassment, CBC embraced the company by selling it loads of airtime, and even took one of its principals on as a financial expert on its ‘Dragon’s Den’ show. (A good example of  money porn.)

However, for hundreds of other people – many of them in Calgary – Concrete Equities was a wondrous opportunity which has turned into a quagmire. The company’s premise was simple: Secure title to a commercial office building, set up a limited partnership, sell boodles of ‘units’ to small-timers who watch too much CBC, use the money to finance the buildings and maybe sometime in the future (when the buildings soar in worth) remortgage for new millions and distribute it as income to the investors.

Of course, few seemed to ask a basic question: Where’s commercial real estate going?

The answer of course, off a cliff.  The recession we all saw coming last autumn has caused commercial vacancy rates to soar, left office buildings in places like Burnaby standing empty, bankrupted strip mall owners and played havoc with REITs. And it’s really just started. Commercial RE is a lagging indicator behind residential, and only now is the effect being felt of business failures, downsizings and cost-slashing.

But all that was sniffable months earlier when the dude with the funny haircut and the foothills je-ne-sais-quoi vacuity in his eyes hit the small screen. I mean, did he think folks were being born outside of town under cabbage leaves?

But, apparently they were. Believing the talk of great cash flow and wildly appreciating properties, investors flocked to lay their money down. To my knowledge, not a single investigative reporter, or even (especially) the CBC, ever dove into claims that were too good to believe in the midst of an unravelling world.

Needless to say, a bunch of Concrete Equities buildings in Calgary are now in receivership. The courts have been busy dealing with actions from the limited partners (the little people) against the general partner (bangs and friends), and so far things are looking grim for investors. So much so that a couple of hundred of them recently staged a protest outside Concrete Equities headquarters.

Meantime the company’s web site has been disabled, and questions are flying around the Internet about projects in Mexico and the status of investor funds. This, of course, is not the only real estate investment outfit to fall off its horse in Alberta, where the cult of property thrives.

The lessons for investors are obvious. Commercial real estate is inherently less stable and more dangerous than residential. Limited partners are corporate cannon fodder. Incredible returns are not credible. Don’t give your money to a TV guy.

And thus, the themes for this week:

The truth about the unemployed.  The truth about next taxes. The truth about Canadian subprimes. The truth about greed.

Bless you. My next sermon: The resurrection.


#1 Eduardo on 08.13.09 at 10:47 pm

This made me think of this blog and all the Ontario folks telling me how doomed I am.

I’m on vacation so don’t bother slamming Alberta in response.

#2 Eduardo on 08.13.09 at 11:07 pm

One more thing. I’m looking forward to:

-The truth on unemployment because I don’t think lots of Ontario jobs are coming back and most manufacturing jobs are gone for good thanks to Canada’s resources.
-The truth about the next taxes because I don’t necessarily think you need to raise taxes and by raising taxes before the economy recovers you are going to stunt the economy.
-The truth about Canadian subprimes. One thing here Garth is that you’ve demonstrated the easy money point. One thing you don’t talk about is how all Americans use their house as their piggy bank and the difference between recourse and non-recourse loans. The other thing you don’t address is the tax implications of having your interest on your home tax deductible. I know that you advocate HELOCs etc, but in the states all interest is tax deductible regardless. These are two SIGNIFICANT differences that you choose not to address but they have lots to do with why ~xx% of houses in the states are underwater but it really doesn’t matter because they can just walk away.

#3 Keith in Calgary on 08.13.09 at 11:28 pm

Not only Concrete Equities…..but another Calgary company doing the same thing called SHIRE Real Estate Investments is in serious trouble as well.

BTW Concrete Equities annoying TV spots were plastered all over……..wait for it…….Canwest GLOBAL Channel 2/7 out here in Calgary……..who woulda thought. Right up to the week they folded in fact.

#4 kc on 08.13.09 at 11:39 pm

I posted this article in here maybe a year back. I have seen many new people come into this blog since then and I feel that they might like to read this for the first time (if they didn’t read it before) it is a writing that was done in dec 05 in the New York Times. The reporter is talking to a fellow in Japan and he explains what it is like to be the last one to buy a house at the top of the bubble.

“Take It From Japan: Bubbles Hurt”


#5 $fromA$ia "Garths Nugget Boy" on 08.14.09 at 12:10 am


Whats your take? I am finding inflation not very rewarding for being a saver and the cost of food going up. Real estate too. Why don’t you come up with a decent foreast. I actually have faith in your perspective. I am sure all of us would be interested in reading what you have to say.

#6 $fromA$ia "Garths Nugget Boy" on 08.14.09 at 12:11 am

oops i mean i am finding deflation not very rewarding as a saver. SORRY!

#7 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 08.14.09 at 12:21 am

“. . . CBC embraced the company by selling it loads of airtime . . . off a cliff . . . under cabbage leaves . . . investors flocked to . . . The resurrection.” :-$

May I add that this is the 93rd episode of the sub- sub- sub- (etc.) prime scandalicious spectacle now unfolding in our much-beloved PM’s province, Altabec.

Further, I ask no one in particular when Stevie and Jimbo are going to have an actual Resurrection? Before or after an election?

Most of us can figure out where the sheeple come in, salivating (foaming) at the mouth in the hope of magnificently-crafted gains on their stupendous investments.

That is why the book “Great Expectations (Of Money For Nothing)” was written!
These two are probably joined somewhere. 5:30 clip of world depopulation on Fox News of all places. Say, doesn’t that tie in with the “behind-the-scenes” neanderthals?

Internment camps = H1N1 panic; see depopulation above. The Bank Holiday is also a very convenient time to introduce Martial Law. —

Speaking of depopulation, internment camps, martial law, H1N1 flypaper oinkment, etc. —
“He […] spoke of a ’socialistic elite’ – Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid – who might use a pandemic disease or natural disaster as an excuse to declare martial law.”

What of the three nukes, supposedly still aboard the Kursk, the Russian sub which sank in the Bering Sea? —
“. . . the Arctic Sea’s hijacking may possibly be linked to the upcoming “event” being planned to occur in the United States on, or about, August 22nd, and which these reports warn could very well see all of North America thrown into a complete mess”.
Well sirree. This also fits nicely with what I posted before, about not-so-much false flags. Comment from
“. . . that the US Government could collapse like the USSR within the next few months. Absent American tax dollars and American children forced to die killing Israel’s enemies, Israel would have to conduct its own wars. And while Israel is effective against Palestinian families carrying white flags, against a modern well-equipped and highly motivated fighting force such as Iran, Israel stands little chance.”

Iran is also backed by Russia (which has now extended its military forces into Iran), and China.

#8 Bob on 08.14.09 at 12:40 am

I am university student with some student loan from gov’t. What is gonna happen to me, when I go into real world?

#9 Blobby on 08.14.09 at 12:48 am


“I’m on vacation so don’t bother slamming Alberta in response.”

Alberta is a pooey place with too hot summer and too cold winters.

(sorry couldnt resist)

#10 Commercial Property on 08.14.09 at 12:50 am

The new aspect of the market reflects the diversity of lenders. Commercial Property

#11 squidly77 on 08.14.09 at 12:55 am

Concrete equities is dead
just got this..concrete equities has died
good up
followed by many more 7-8 person ponzis
oh boy..its all about to blow

#12 squidly77 on 08.14.09 at 1:07 am

these ponzi scams are in every canadian city as they were in the US…tomm i will put together a list of names of companies that i can find

realtor groups are the biggest culprits by far

#13 kc on 08.14.09 at 1:09 am

Intersting look at the state of affairs in the USA. Green shoots? or just Govt. weeds?

“Bernanke, Do You Have The Cojones To Raise U.S. Interest Rates?”
by: Mike Whitney

#14 Dean on 08.14.09 at 1:24 am

Garth your pictures make me laugh out loud !!
Keep up the gooder work

#15 Drew on 08.14.09 at 1:33 am

#1 – I’m disappointed that Kelowna didn’t make it on that list…. It’s certainly higher than the #2 spot.

At least in Abbotsford, you have the option of commuting in either direction.

#16 Munch on 08.14.09 at 1:33 am

Garth, you keep churning this stuff out, day after day!

High quality (and free!), sensible advice and insght!

Thank you!


#17 MitchinAlberta on 08.14.09 at 2:54 am

Concrete Equities got a lot of play on the radio as well. They were constantly hawking their garbage over the airwaves, even while RE was melting down south of the border and was up in the air north of the border. Concrete Equities and Platinum Equities were both hammering the message that these projects they’ve chosen give out a 10% dividend. These guys are slimy but they have proved that if you dangle even the most appalling trash in front of the public that you will get nibbles, bites and even quite a few whoopers. I would really like for the RCMP to open up this company’s books to see what is inside. If the ship was sinking, and they were still taking money knowing they would be bankrupt in the near future, then they should be charged with fraud. Who do these guys think they are?? GM or Air Canada?? The nerve.

#18 David Bakody on 08.14.09 at 6:33 am

#1 Eduardo on 08.13.09 at 10:47 pm

Sorry Dude ….. Dam right I am going to slam the West … the West home of Reform home of the Alliance and the destroyer of long established political party of Sir John “A” we here in the East my be defeatist people but we are survivors and can do with less. But I digress …. Commercial Real Estate …. the big $$$$$$ game ….. fools and there money are soon parted.

PS I wish no harm on anyone but even to-day I wonder why the West still feels they are all hard done by he NEP when a kiddie shack is worth more money than I will ever see. My humble holdings may total 250K not much but it is all paid for …. and for that I am a defeatist person?

#19 Mike (Authentic) on 08.14.09 at 6:34 am

This is a good read:

“Even America’s vaunted GDP growth is looking suspect. The problem is that consumers, businesses and government have had to pile on more and more debt in order to power the economy upward. For instance, in 1980 it took roughly $1 of new debt to produce $1 of GDP growth, says Eric Janszen, an economic commentator and former venture capitalist. But by 2007 every $1 gain in GDP was dependent on $5 of new debt. “Looking back, it’s hard to measure how much of the growth we saw was legitimate, based on increased productivity, and how much was based on debt financing,” Janszen says.

The biggest culprit by far was the real estate sector, as incredibly low interest rates drove homebuyers to pile on supersized mortgages and developers to erect endless stretches of retail space. The frenzy of construction contributed to GDP growth, but much of that gain may evaporate in the years to come. Commercial vacancy rates are nearing double-digit levels and there are roughly 18.7 million homes sitting empty in the U.S.—nearly as many homes as there are in all of Britain. Janszen figures that without the boost from the debt and real estate bubbles, America’s GDP would have grown by 30 per cent less over the past decade.

Impending demographic changes may make things even worse. More workers means more growth, but the opposite is also true. One reason we enjoyed such huge gains throughout the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s was the influx of women into the job market, says Doug Porter, deputy chief economist at BMO Capital Markets. “We’ve got about as high a share of the adult population who is going to be looking for a job as I suspect we’re likely to ever see,” he says. As baby boomers retire, we could see the labour force shrink, dampening growth as it does.”


#20 Gerry on 08.14.09 at 7:26 am

Quick everybody, one day only. A once in a lifetime opportunity to own prime Muskoka real estate. Starting at the bargain price of $169,900. At least that’s what the radio guy says…

#21 Guan-Di on 08.14.09 at 7:26 am

“Don’t give your money to a TV guy.”

But I desperatly needs the Sham-wow, Garth!;)

#22 dd on 08.14.09 at 7:45 am

#2 Eduardo

“-The truth about the next taxes because I don’t necessarily think you need to raise taxes and by raising taxes before the economy recovers you are going to stunt the economy.”

Tell that to BC … the HST.

#23 dd on 08.14.09 at 7:49 am

#5 $fromA$ia “Garths Nugget Boy”

…I am finding inflation not very rewarding for being a saver and the cost of food going up….

U got to move into assets that go up when inflation goes up … Energy and Food.

#24 dd on 08.14.09 at 7:59 am


“mean i am finding deflation not very rewarding as a saver. SORRY”

What? Hold cash … you are making money daily.

#25 Justin on 08.14.09 at 8:03 am

#7 – Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad

Not wanting to get off topic but…

The Arctic Sea (see name on stern) is an advanced Reconnaissance\ Recovery Vessel. Note (see pic in Vlads link) the large conning tower and communications array up top…not to mention the onboard Submersible. This boat sure as hell wasn’t carrying Russian Timber from Siberia.

#26 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 08.14.09 at 8:16 am


AHA! Truth Week, eh? How about we explore a little truth regarding those 500 ducks that died in the sludge pond at the Alberta Tar Sands?

I have to wonder why the U.S. acts, but Oddawahaha has NOT!?

Exxon Mobil to pay $600,000 for deaths of 85 protected birds

Oh, wait, maybe it is just like Oddawahaha’s promise to send money? GTA’s stimulus money: Zero

Now, it seems to me that words are great things, but ACTION is far more impressive. Maybe I just missed the notification that credibility has died and everything, like Concrete Condo developments are merely empty promises created to enhance someone’s happiness?

It would seem that here is the cause, or one of the primary ones?

Immediacy revs up growing danger of getting facts wrong

Now, that seems to be what you have been trying with magnaminous effort to convey to the people here? Get the FACTS before you act. Think of the huge changes that would occur if people only listened!

#27 lgre on 08.14.09 at 8:43 am

I had talked with someone with CE a while back and they had nothing but positive news, even though oil has fallen off the cliff and RE was in a decline..there are others operating like CE and similar..some you buy the unit outright but beware of all..once you do some math you will quickly notice how botched the numbers actually are.

#28 conan on 08.14.09 at 8:53 am

Many people also got sucked into commercial real-estate mutual funds.

Many of these funds have now frozen themselves against redemptions.

The investments were inappropriate to sell to certain clients but it happened and now look at the potential mess.

Some investments need very big red letters in the prospectus outlining the ways that this investment can get F’d.

Risk is a big word. Stating that investments can go down is not enough. It should be stated what economic forces germane to the “fund” will cause it to lose value.

#29 Dean on 08.14.09 at 9:18 am

Calgary’s commercial real estate has dropped significantly. Last year we shut down our office there as it was too expensive. This year there are tons of vacancies at a fraction of the price. But high prices forced us to invest in alternate solutions like IP phones and e-commuting. It was a difficult adjustment, but our employees are happier and our overhead is far lower. If we do get a new office it’ll be to put up a sign and collect the mail.

So when I see these commercial real estate guys going out of business I’m not shedding any tears. Every landlord we had in the last 15 years put the boots to us whenever they got the chance. I’m more than happy to return the favor now that I’ve traded in my office commute with dropping my kids off at school.

#30 Kurt on 08.14.09 at 9:24 am

Justin: that’s not a submersible, that’s a modern lifeboat. And the exhaust stack looks pretty much like standard practice on modern ships. The antennas on top of the bridge look like pretty much standard comercial practice as well.

#31 $fromA$ia "Garths Nugget Boy" on 08.14.09 at 9:30 am

dd-What? Hold cash … you are making money daily.

really how am I making money daily?

#32 Devil's Advocate on 08.14.09 at 9:38 am

In Lotus Land Central, the sunny Okanagan city of Kelowna, where boomers were promised to be flocking in droves with aspirations of finding a tricked out retirement condo builders have been frantically constructing condo units to fill the anticipated demand. Currently there are 1,068 condo apartments averaging 1063 square feet with two bedrooms, listed for sale on MLS with a median list price of $299,000. Of that 506 are newly constructed (2008 or 2009) units with a median list price of $348,350.

The telling story is that thus far this year, and it has been a good year thus far, there have been only 446 such properties sold. The median original price of the units sold started at $258,400, was then reduced to $249,900 in order to result in a median sale price of just $236,680 after 81 days on the market under their current MLS listing.

There remain currently 18 months worth of condo/apartment styled properties available for sale on this rainy day in Canada’s “Phoenix of the North”. 413 of the currently available 1,068 units are vacant, ready to move into today, units anxiously awaiting their first new owners. The discord between sellers original “lofty expectations” (pun intended) and the acceptance of where the market really is grows as prices leapfrog one another downward in order to attract the remaining few greater fools.

At the peak of the market, between Spring 2007 and 2008 condo flipping in Kelowna was all the rage. Everybody was buying builder direct and listing their presale on MLS before the developer even broke ground. The market turned from the anticipated retirees to the flipper. Marketing exulted the easy profits to be had from making a commitment today and flipping tomorrow. But then something happened as it did in so many an industry.

Fast times at Ridgemont High sudden took an abrupt change and inventories swelled thinking this would last forever. The number of flippers and their wares grew far beyond what the market would bear as did prices inflated by the “lift” in price flippers would extract from the greater fools they targeted.

I draw this parallel to the commercial real estate sector as a demonstration of what happened in both. But the failings of the commercial sector is further exasperated by the demise of business no longer in need of said commercial and warehouse space as they too find little market for their wares. When a business fails they cease to exist and no longer need a roof over their heads unlike the underwater but still alive greater fool.

#33 Dean on 08.14.09 at 9:47 am

Sooo much doom and gloom on this blog. How about a glass is half full posting once in a while? You can’t tell me all the blog dogs haven’t benefitted from a 3.75% 5 year fixed rate? There isn’t some potential buying opportunities in a stock market that already had two dips to 50% of it’s peak? Tax free savings accounts aren’t cool? A high Canadian dollar may suck for exports, but not when you export yourself to the beach somewhere warm in December.

One positive note everyone should take from this blog, is that if you have recognized this asset bubble, then you will at least be able to avoid the worst of the fall-out from it. I’m riding it out in my tiny little house in a good location that is nearly paid for because of low interest rates! My countertops are good, old fashioned…er…laminate material of some sort.

Anyway, I gotta go. This blog has been informative and a great read, but the negativity is wearing me down (not that it’s misplaced). I’m going to join the sheeple for a while in their happy little recessionless world and come back here for a dose of reality when I’m about to buy a $700,000 condo in Vancouver with no money down.

Take care everyone

#34 Larry on 08.14.09 at 9:58 am

Just a note to our readers out east not everyone is like Eduardo here in Alberta. There are plenty of smart people here and we’re slowly weeding out the con men and bullshiters whose greed has prevailed in this province during the past 5 years.

#35 Devil's Advocate on 08.14.09 at 10:25 am

#4 kc on 08.13.09 at 11:39 pm


A valuable lesson that a home is NOT a savings account as so many of us think. A home, be it owned outright, mortgaged 100% or rented is a consumable. Just like bread and water we need shelter, especially in this country where the weather dictates so.

#36 Jake on 08.14.09 at 10:26 am

Yes Bill, the US were quicker to act on the duck problem. But they continue to offer up young people as fodder in illegal wars. See Le Mad Vlad’s depopulation link. Please don’t try to put the US on some sort of higher moral ground because of ducks. The US has been the most dangerous country on earth for many decades. They have a worse reputation in the rest of the world than North Korea. Now that Michael Jackson is gone there will be even less reason to like the United States.

#37 Devil's Advocate on 08.14.09 at 10:37 am

Condo flipping is good for government. The “lift” (the profit to the flipper) is taxable as income. Yes, as “income” not a “capital gain” so for every flip the government rightfully expects to share at the flippers marginal tax rate, which is obviously higher due to the addition of the profit… if there is a profit. This year there will be “capital losses” a decrease in tax revenue which must be made up somewhere. Enter rising income taxes.

Think for a moment about the windfall “capital gains” taxes our government has enjoyed these past few years. That is IF the flipper was so honest as to declare those gains… Enter the tax man who is, I understand, busy investigating and auditing to find those who did not pay tax on their newfound wealth. Can you imagine in addition to being loaded up on under water properties purchased with the gains of previous flips you did not pay tax on that you can not sell, hearing the door bell ring only to open it and see the tax man on the other side?

There is a backstory here, I am sure , that is not being told.

#38 Devil's Advocate on 08.14.09 at 10:43 am

Sorry, first sentence of my second paragraph should have been “income” taxes not “capital gains” taxes.

A flip is a “Venture in Trade” which is a business venture which is taxable as 100% income at your marginal tax rate. It is not a capital gain which is taxable at 50% of your marginal tax rate. Yet many flippers who committed to properties they flipped but were never registered on title believe that they are invisible to the CRA. The CRA is actively investigating real estate firms and developer accounts to uncover these tax evaders.

#39 Punnoval on 08.14.09 at 10:43 am

Mike (#18):

Why waste your time with that terrible Macleans magazine and go right to the source:

#40 rory on 08.14.09 at 10:47 am

#8 Bob you said:

“I am university student with some student loan from gov’t. What is gonna happen to me, when I go into real world?”

No idea what will happen, to help get your foot in the door you should have your resume professionally prepared if your post is in your best grammar and your just not ‘spoofing’ us.

#41 My_View on 08.14.09 at 11:01 am

Up, up and away!

#42 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 08.14.09 at 11:12 am

#23 dd

Ah, I miss the heady days of the Russian Trawlers. They were so craftily disguised as fishing boats, especially with all the communication antennas, eh?

The Cold War was easy to understand and I think the Generals all miss it terribly. Back then there were only two Super Powers, both capable of destroying Planet earth many times over. Prosperity reigned for the military/industrial complexes of both the U.S. and U.S.S.R..

Nowadays the ‘enemy’ is not wearing any uniform, has no air force (probably why Congress cancelled the way too costly F-22 Raptor program), no navy (not including the Somalian Pirates of course), and no mobile artillery.

Darn, its just no fun anymore. But I did enjoy the Marine CO’s comment the other day when asked if the Marines were going on a defensive mission in ‘Ghan? His response was ‘Marines don’t do defensive missions!’ Translated, ‘Marines do offensive missions.’ Obviously they were able to ‘straighten out’ the Taliban. Straight out on the ground and no problemo any longer.

#43 Bill-Muskoka (NAM) on 08.14.09 at 11:15 am

#33 Larry

I lived in Edmonton and found most Albertans darn nice people. We have our share of ignorant jerks here in Ontario as well. Just like the blithering idiots at the Town Hall meetings in the U.S..

These are true Sheeple crossbred with parrots who spew forth the rhetoric they have been fed along with the Kool-Aide. We are Canadians, and I hope some day the concept sinks into their widdle minds.

#44 Got A Watch on 08.14.09 at 11:33 am

There are scammers everywhere. The worst offenders wear $3,000 suits, drive fancy cars, and commute to plush offices in the best locations.

This story is just typical of the froth that happens at the top of bubblicious excess. A symptom of a much wider problem.

I am sure this company and others like it have victimised the unwary all across Canada. I have heard radio ads (and they were probably on late nite TV as infomercials) touting “commerical investment opportunities in Alberta!” for at least the past year, probably longer, on Toronto radio stations. One bold guy had a 1 hour infomercial on Saturday mornings, though I only heard it a couple times. Probably because he got enough suckers in from that to sell all the “units” available, and to form a nice waiting list for the next “opportunity”.

I paid little attention, my innate response was “scam for suckers!” when I first heard them. But I am sure many clueless sheeple thought it sure sounded like a good idea. When “everyone” thinks that “x” is “the best investment ever” – its’ time to sell your “x” and run away.

This story has little to do with Alberta, it just happened to occur there. It is about human nature. The same way Madoff had lines of “investors” begging to get into his scheme for years. Greed blinds common sense.

Like many old cliches, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” is the plain truth. The common sense that is so un-common.

As Karl at Market Ticker continuously points out, a real economic recovery cannot happen until the “bezzle” (inherent fraud at all levels) is forced out of the financial system. Since fraud is so endemic in our society at all levels, getting it back down to acceptable levels will involve considerable economic pain for most citizens. But there is no alternative for a healthy economy, a corrupt oligarchy can only hasten the decline.

A zombie economy that stumbles forward for 10 or 20 years without resolving these issues will not be healthy nor enjoyable for most participants. If that means insolvent corporations and Banks must fail, so be it – the alternative is worse. The tough choice is to take the pain quickly and get it over with, or suffer a lost generation of economic stagnation. Of course weak politicians will never choose the right course, it has to be forced on them by events. And it will be, after all other alternatives have failed, the inflection point we are approaching now.

#45 Justin on 08.14.09 at 11:43 am

# 29 Kurt, I stand corrected on the Arctic Sea life\rescue craft.

I also found a much better photo of this vessel and note that it is a (Newer) Traditional Freighter or Container Vessel. The fore is capable of holding large amounts of either Dry Bulk or Containers. Russian Timber?? Possibly, however the whole thing is very odd.

#46 EJ on 08.14.09 at 12:14 pm

#2: Eduardo

Regarding your third point, you are correct. The US differs from Canada in those regards. Those differences meant it was more desirable to own a house in the US than it was in Canada. The attractiveness was lower here and the barrier to entry was higher. This should have prevented such a bubble, but it didn’t! People dove in head first anyways.

We’ve got bigger penalties awaiting those who foolishly jumped in when they couldn’t really afford it. How many buyers honestly considered the consequences of their actions? I’m willing to bet most of them didn’t think of anything but rosy, picture-perfect futures where interest rates were always ultra low and jobs were 100% secure. Any talk of “what if rates go up?”, “what if the prices drop?”, and “what if you lose your job?” were met with dismissal and comments of “Ah pfft, that’ll never happen.”

The system has failed us, the checks and balances bypassed, the public unaware.

#47 say what you want but on 08.14.09 at 12:26 pm

#48 Shifty on 08.14.09 at 12:40 pm

Where’s the regulators when these rip off artists are in our midst. Too much bull shit and scams mixed with investment strategy these days. Cash is king, and waiting patiently for a good investment.

#49 Paul on 08.14.09 at 12:52 pm

I seen this coming as soon as it the T.V screens last year. As soon as business investments hit the screens to attract the average joe, its going to be bad business. As no real buisiness man would touch it with a barge pole.

I’m Getting good at this predicting game…hope I’m also right with the housing crash i predicted 3 years ago, when I immergrated here.

#50 Repatriated Expat on 08.14.09 at 1:02 pm

Only if life were so easy as making money through watching TV.

A good deal is never advertized. Consumers need to seek out the good deals and avoid just about anything being flogged/sold/advertized.

Good deals sell themselves.

#51 Sleepless, not in Seattle on 08.14.09 at 1:16 pm

#46 say what you want but on 08.14.09 at 12:26 pm
Did you even read the article you posted? Here’s one quote from it:

“Demand is rebounding sharply in some of Canada’s priciest housing markets, skewing the national average price upward, with the average price rising 7.6 per cent from one year ago to $326,832.”

‘skewing’ is the key word here: it means many other market are DOWN.

Garth’s right, this is not going to end well.

#52 Sleepless, not in Seattle on 08.14.09 at 1:20 pm

And another thing–I got a real estate flyer in the mail a few days ago. It cited record low rates as the key reason driving house prices higher (cited with the intonation this was a great thing and it’s never been a better time to buy).

What happens when that stimulus is reversed?

#53 JET on 08.14.09 at 1:28 pm

#43 Got A Watch,

I like his ideas, but I wish that Denninger guy would stop using the annoying term, “Chinaman”. When was the last time Garth was called “Canadaman”?

#54 Marc on 08.14.09 at 1:28 pm

#39 rory on 08.14.09 at 10:47 am

Rory, when critiquing ones grammer, learn the difference between your and you’re. Makes your argument better, unless you’re just as bad at grammer as Bob.

#55 dd on 08.14.09 at 1:40 pm

#30 $fromA$ia

“really how am I making money daily”

Like holding cash when their is inflation (decreasing the value of money).

#56 Sleepless, not in Seattle on 08.14.09 at 1:51 pm

“The biggest lesson from Japan is not to fall into the same state of denial that existed here,” said Yukio Noguchi, a finance professor at Waseda University in Tokyo who is perhaps the leading authority on the Japanese bubble.
#4 kc on 08.13.09 at 11:39 pm
Nice. Keep posting it. I like these quotes:

“The biggest lesson from Japan is not to fall into the same state of denial that existed here,”

“During a bubble, people don’t believe that prices will fall,” he said. “This has been proven wrong so many times in the past. But there’s something in human nature that makes us unable to learn from history.”

I can’t believe it was written in 2005 for the US market! It could very well be carried in Canadian newspapers today…..

#57 Sleepless, not in Seattle on 08.14.09 at 1:53 pm

#53 Marc on 08.14.09 at 1:28 pm
hahaha, grammAr!!!

#58 Dave on 08.14.09 at 1:57 pm

Although the economy has a long way to go before it returns to levels of growth seen before the recession began, there are many signs that the bottom has been reached, said CIBC chief economist Avery Shenfeld


I need help. Do people like CIBC’s chief economist actually believe what they say, or are they just trying to sucker more people and convince people everything is okay? I cannot gauge this.

#59 Men With Hats on 08.14.09 at 2:02 pm

Canadians are still in the housing market, as more homes were sold last month than any previous July on record.

The Canadian Real Estate Association said Friday that 50,270 homes traded hands on the Multiple Listing Service in July. That’s 18.2 per cent more than in July, 2008.

The Vancouver market showed considerable strength, with a 90-per-cent increase in the number of resales. Other cities saw smaller increases, with Edmonton and Toronto up 28 per cent, Calgary up 22 per cent, and Montreal up 19 per cent.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, resales are only 1.4 per cent below the peak reached in May, 2007.

The average price rose by 7.6 per cent to $362,800 over 12 months.

One Born every minute .

Stupid fools

#60 My_View on 08.14.09 at 2:29 pm

Mr. Ripley has updated the Plunge-o-Meter.

#61 Sleepless, not in Seattle on 08.14.09 at 2:35 pm

dd-What? Hold cash … you are making money daily.

really how am I making money daily?
Simple: Deflation:

#62 rory on 08.14.09 at 2:53 pm

#53 Marc …ty

I know the difference, most days, so it was a bad on me. However, I am not the one looking for a job…just trying to give Bob a heads up in a tough love kind of way.

#63 rory on 08.14.09 at 2:58 pm

#56 Sleepless …

ROFLMAO …so when critiquing a critiquing …priceless Sleepless …ty …great catch.

#64 JoeCalgary on 08.14.09 at 3:17 pm

Can’t resist: #53, Marc, check ones and one’s while you’re at it. :)

#65 Investx on 08.14.09 at 3:24 pm

I remember these Concrete Equities commercials. I never had a good feeling about them. Why are they advertising these great deals to the general public?

Garth, is predicting the commercial RE market the only due diligence that can be performed with such investments?

#66 JoeCalgary on 08.14.09 at 3:31 pm

Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai Passes Controversial Law Limiting Women’s Rights

Tell me again why we’re in A’stan?

#67 Barb .. a reader in Calgary on 08.14.09 at 3:52 pm

#17 David Bakody on 08.14.09 at 6:33 am
David, instead we should blame Toronto because that’s where Harper, head of the Reform Party, was born and raised.

#68 Vancouver_bear on 08.14.09 at 3:55 pm

Bust in commercial RE is obvious, see video below.

With the recession in a full swing commercial RE vacancy reates are soaring. This brand new shiny business park in south Burnaby is barely occupied. Only 25% of space is leased…..will the other 75% be leased at all? I guess with the completion of Metro Tower 3, there will be even more empty office space in Burnaby.

Here is the link to the new business park website –

#69 greaterfool on 08.14.09 at 4:02 pm

You will get the short end of the stick again. You are the greater fool for not buying RE. And You come to these BS sites to make yourself feel better because of your stupidity. Keep renting because you will never affrod to buy a house and your cash will be worthless

#70 gold bugger on 08.14.09 at 4:08 pm

Let us know when you sanctimonious Eastern Canadian [email protected] don’t feel like heating your homes in winter, or cooling your homes in your 250%-humidity summers.

It’s not like we have to sell you our oil.

We’d rather sell you a couple of ingrates like Keith in Calgary and Squibbly.

#71 Mark on 08.14.09 at 4:22 pm

RE: #35 Jake on 08.14.09 at 10:26 am

Bashing Americans, eh? Isn’t it a “popular passtime” in Greater Toronto Area (known as GTA)?

“(…) they continue to offer up young people as fodder in illegal wars.”
Doesn’t Canada actively participate (with great losses of war material and human life) in one of these wars?

“The US has been the most dangerous country on earth for many decades.”
Don’t you think the world would be a much more dangerous place without $200 billion of the US foreign aid per year? Where Canada would be without selling its 86% of exports for many decades to “the most dangerous country on earth”? Talking about “high moral grounds”, eh?

“They have a worse reputation in the rest of the world than North Korea.”
Really?!! How about Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Myanmar, etc.?

“Now that Michael Jackson is gone there will be even less reason to like the United States.”
Spare me!! What late MJ’s popularity outside of America has had to do with the “liking” of the US of A?

Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad: Would you like to pick up more on that? Jake tried really hard to “back you in the corner”, lol.

#72 David on 08.14.09 at 4:50 pm

The storm clouds on the horizon for commercial property have been forming for a while and will be a big part of the overall bust in real estate. It is a classic case of oversupply and diminishing demand. Good to see that Alberta has not lost its voracious appetite for financial flim flam with respect to real estate. One can get misty eyed reminiscing about Abacus Cities Ltd., NorthWest Trust, Principal Trust, SoftCo and the countless other corporate entities who did so much to destroy the wealth of others in Alberta. Let us all give a hale and hearty single digit salute to the real estate rapscallions of our beloved Alberta.

#73 JET on 08.14.09 at 4:52 pm

I posted this question somewhere else. Can someone please answer me… As sellers’ expectations become ridiculously over-inflated again, what will happen when buyers can’t afford properties even at today’s low rates? Do interest rates necessarily have to rise for the market to drop again?

#74 Live Within Your Means on 08.14.09 at 4:55 pm

A house on our street, bought for $219K late spring 08, IIRC, and immediately put on the market for $260K but most of the neighbours thought it was overpriced as it needed lots of work. Owners went into a nursing home and children wanted to get rid of it ASAP – they didn’t need the money!!. One of the flippers finally decided to do renovations early this spring and it finally went on the market in May for $319K. They cut down some trees, shrubs and let the rest of the property go to weeds. I spoke to RE agent and asked him to ask the owners to at least cut the grass. I’ve known one of the flippers for many years. He’s a contractor who owns 11 rental properties, but he primarily puts in foundations, etc. No idea how much they’ve actually put into the house. Personally, what they’ve done to the house is not my cup of tea. Way to open & done rather cheaply, IMHO, but RE agent says young couples just love it and all they’d need is to put 5% down. I tried to say ‘what about when interest rates go up’, but gave up. Yeah, I know, he’s out for his commission.

I know that both of the flippers don’t seem to be lacking in work. We’re all wondering how long it’ll take for them to sell.

BTW, this is a great street to live on and we’re close to everything.

#75 Devil's Advocate on 08.14.09 at 5:14 pm

#68 greaterfool

There is, in fact, some truth in what you say. But, and it’s a Big Ass BUT, the failing economic fundamentals are against you enjoying that implied last laugh for quite some time into the future. Wait long enough though and you may be able to… if you don’t account for all the other economic failings you are likely to have encured along the way.

#76 Dan Bergen on 08.14.09 at 5:31 pm

First, kudos to you for your comment about how the investigative journalists didn’t do their jobs. I had done plenty of investigative work and posted it on various forums. I found major red flags such as the returns claimed were misleading, the Vice President was under a lifetime ban from the real estate council of Alberta, and the tax opinions in the offering memorandum were plagiarized from a previous employer. The only part that the media could not have easily discovered was the part about the tax opinions; I owe that to 20 years in public accounting.
The Calgary media has missed this sort of thing before, in cases such as the Land Development Company and Shire. I suppose investigative journalism would only jeopardize advertising dollars.
The one thing you missed, however, is that their downfall is not due to the commercial real estate market, but due to the character of management, the fact that exempt securities can be heavily promoted by such individuals, and that companies with exempt securities often do not have adequate internal controls and audit comittees as public issuers do.
Concrete’s downfall was simply due to their management’s actions, and would have probably happened if the real estate market was still going up.

I must admit the Alberta Securities Comission was negligent. I filed a detailed complaint on the above points and it was ignored.

#77 JFoo on 08.14.09 at 5:35 pm

#68 greaterfool:
I found it quite hilarious that you rightfully called yourself the greater fool. Along with that title, you can also call yourself an unpaid bank employee, since you might as well work for a bank for 3+ years.

However, maybe you’re right. Maybe I should take advantage of my fellow Canadians, my kids, and our future generations because I’m entitled to it, because I deserve it. Maybe you’re right; who needs to be fiscally responsible when you can depend on your country to bail you out.

As for me, I’ll sleep soundly at night. I’ll avoid the stresses of the what if, and the anxious awaiting of the next already allotted paycheck. Most of all, I’ll be diligently remembering how fortunate I am to have the things that I do, rather than irresponsibly pursue things that are beyond my means.

#78 rick on 08.14.09 at 5:48 pm

Greater fool said”

You will get the short end of the stick again. You are the greater fool for not buying RE. And You come to these BS sites to make yourself feel better because of your stupidity. Keep renting because you will never affrod to buy a house and your cash will be worthless”

NO MONEY DOWN is the reason why homes are selling. What happens when you do NEED MONEY to buy when the government money runs out and sellers CAN NOT sell? Look what happened last fall when the FREE MONEY was ALL GONE? Home prices started to crash and home could not sell. You think free money will last forever? The propaganda of lies from a RE scumbag agent “greaterfool”.

#79 Badda_boom on 08.14.09 at 6:04 pm

#8 Bob –

You may have to develop some definite articles.

#80 We Are All Anonymous Millionaires on 08.14.09 at 6:13 pm


Why is it that with the exception of the odd RE “bull,” none of the “bulls” can ever string together two coherent sentences.

Their syntax, grammar, and level of analysis all provide insights into the nature of the buyers and holders of RE.

After all, when approximately 70% of Canadians are “homeowners,” RE is not an “investment” which differentiates you from the masses.

Face it “greaterfool,” you are no different that 70% of the other people walking around the street. Now when you compare homeownership participation rates to stock market participation rates, you get a whole different level of investment.

#81 conan on 08.14.09 at 6:15 pm

Re: 65

Why are we in Afghanistan?

I think everyone is there because it is absolutely essential to our collective geo strategic plans to have a piece of real estate in that part of the world where we can park 100,000 + troops.

In the last few years the Americans have had to close their military bases in Saudi Arabia. Since putting 100,000 plus troops on an aircraft carrier and its support ships is impossible, then the land forces need some land.

The current situations in Iran and Pakistan could get very serious over night. Having that manpower plus overwhelming air force power to support it creates the security buffer that the powers that be deem necessary.

The whole area over there is a powder keg and that is why we are there and why we will stay there beyond 2011.

#82 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 08.14.09 at 6:20 pm

Avast there mateys! THARRR SHE BLLLOOOWWWSSSS!!!

Cap’n Fungusbrain and crew, gathered on the stern of the SS Titanic as the latter part of the journey into the depths of Hades begins, and wishing you all a fine, fair-weathered voyage.

Other posters and I have put links here before, so this is a brief recap with some updated financial info. concerning the US (which will affect us very quickly).

Their debt increases by $1 mln. every six seconds. Today, The Daily Reckoning shows that the federal deficit through July comes to $1.27 trillion.

“. . . the last 15 years of that period, especially, each time the consumer showed a reluctance to continue spending, the feds rushed to give him more credit. And during the final five years – the Bubble Epoque – debt doubled. . . . Now, the consumer has dug in his heels. He’s not going a step further until he unloads his excess baggage of debt.

“. . . back on his spending and paying off debt. That’s what the July figures show. That’s been the history of entire downturn. That’s why it’s a depression, not a recession. It’s a major change of direction that will take years to accomplish. Now, stimulus is not only useless – since it is against the major trend – its counterproductive.”

Unfunded liabilities (Social Security, Medicare, etc.) are north of $60 trillion —

Angry Bear is taking sporadic bets on when the ‘recession’ ends (as if it ever had a definitive starting / ending point). —

Out of curiosity, what are Canada’s total unfunded liabilities, plus the debt and interest on the debt, cost of the war in Af’stan ($100 mln. / month or thereabouts), monthly ever-increasing deficits, cities’ infrastructures, etc.?

Here is one answer (only Canada), ‘tho it covers one part of the overall workforce. —

If I had all my marbles and druthers left intact, there would be spare loot in my bank account to buy about $15K of silver and have a little cash on hand. However, gold isn’t bad. —

#83 Vancouver_bear on 08.14.09 at 6:32 pm

Nice post from someone on VanSun website:

Vancovuer Real Estate =DrugMoney
July 05, 2009 – 10:26 AM
The Canadian province of British Colombia is the third largest Narco state in the America’s with an illegal drug trade that is 2 times the size of Colombia, if not 4 times. Illegal money laundering is what Vancouver financial market is known for internationally, turning proceeds of crime into Vancouver Real Estate. There are many third world nations that have signed international agreements to combat organized crime just like Canada, but do not enforce the rules, just like Canada. British Colombia is a haven for International Organized crime with political parties and politicians on the take. Just like in every other third world Narco state. Hey $450,000.00 buys you a Canadian passport, not a bad investment for criminals looking to stay out of jurisdictional reach of districts where they have committed their crime and the up side is tax haven for those foreign investors looking to shield their global income from the tax collector. The fact is laws and rules are meaningless without enforcement, in British Colombia there is Zero enforcement, Just ask the Big Circle boys about that or the HA. Unfortunately the facts are the facts and Canadians have willingly built a community of crime in British Colombia with the largest industry being a illegal drug industry that is estimated at over 10 billion dollars. How efficient are the Howe Street boys at circumventing money laundering safe guards, very, as these bad boys have cut their teeth on stock fraud and international shipping, they know how to move money and make it as clean as the day it was printed. They are internationally famous for being able to turn suit cases of dirty money into Vancouver Real Estate and Vancouver Real Estate into the preferred asset that criminals want cause proceeds of crime are not seized in British Colombia nor our sentences that much of a deterrent with judges handing out such light sentences for murder as 12 months for stabbing someone 87 times. No with out the death penalty in place for white collar crime or political corruption this open port to pirates, Vancouver British Colombia has become the cesspool of world, making places like the slums of Mambia look like nice place to live. And to the PAB employees at the ministry of communication and public spin, good luck on trying to turn fact into fiction. Dead bodies with bullet holes just do not seem to get deposed of like they used to in the good old days. Build a city with crime have nothing but a city of crime. Welcome the third world slum of a city Vancouver, a city that welcomes criminals with open arms.”

Now I can see what Nostri jr. is praising about…..Now I see what criminals are buying up RE here.
Hey Nostri how is your grow-op doing? Making lotsa moollah?

Move over nothing to see here.

#84 Peter Wiener on 08.14.09 at 6:35 pm

re #68 greaterfool

….and you come to this blog because you are so convinced that you are right, and yet you are terrified that you are wrong because your whole life and sense of selfworth come from a pile of bricks.

Go back to peddling RE you realturd (or wannabe realturd).


#85 dd on 08.14.09 at 6:40 pm

#68 greaterfool

…You are the greater fool for not buying RE…

Famous last words from a US house purchaser on December 05, 2006.

#86 Grumpydawgs on 08.14.09 at 6:43 pm

Concrete Equities is still advertising on CKNW in Vancouver. We’re special here.

#87 john m on 08.14.09 at 6:51 pm

#8 Bob on 08.14.09 at 12:40 am

I am university student with some student loan from gov’t. What is gonna happen to me, when I go into real world?<<<<<<<<<<,,well Bob your just going to get out there and work at whatever you can find and pay back that loan as every generation that came before you had to do (without any government assistance)………..does that help ?

#88 NKVD Black Raven on 08.14.09 at 7:13 pm

What happened to those two midgets that used to push California RE late-night on infomercial’s, oh about ten year back? Sorry can’t remember the names.. but it was smart work not hard work or something like it. Remember?

#89 TJ on 08.14.09 at 7:57 pm

Some of the descriptions in home listings — [particularly with foreclosures and short sales] — are so comically deceptive,the NAEBA put out a tongue-in-cheek new-homebuyer’s glossary breaking down of what some common terms could mean:

Cozy home = Too small for your big-screen TV.

Cozy condo = It is so small that it is difficult to turn around in.

Easy access to everywhere = The ramp to the beltway is half a block from your backyard — or IN your backyard.

Fixer-upper = Hasn’t been lived in for 20 years. If it’s a “fixer-upper” with “great potential,” the door may fall off the hinges when you open it and there may or may not be a stairway to the second floor.

Galley kitchen = A hallway with cupboards and appliances that two people could not occupy at the same time.

Grandma’s house = Hasn’t been updated since the 1930s — and it still smells like her.

Light and bright = Everything painted white. Looks like a hospital.

Light, airy basement = You may be able to see light through cracks in the foundation.

Lots of living space = If you include the garage, patio and utility room.

Low-maintenance yard = It’s paved over with concrete.

Mature landscaping = A tree may fall on your house.

Total facelift = The seller just painted everything, but didn’t do any substantial renovations.

Water view = You may only be able to see it if you lean off the deck — in the winter.

Colonial BancGroup has become the biggest US bank to collapse this year.

Colonial, a property lender based in Montgomery, Alabama, had about $25bn of assets, said the US regulator, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (FDIC).

The agency approved the sale of Colonial’s $20bn in deposits to BB&T, a North Carolina-based bank. BB&T will also buy $22bn of Colonial’s assets.

The collapse is expected to cost the FDIC about $2.8bn. The total number of bank failures is now over 70 in 2009.

The FDIC also entered into a loss-sharing agreement on about $15bn of Colonial’s assets with BB&T, the regulator said.

#90 Barb .. a reader in Calgary on 08.14.09 at 8:59 pm

“Coming Saturday:
How to short the housing bubble” –Garth

Now THAT’S what I’ve been waiting for!

#91 Jmack on 08.14.09 at 9:33 pm

shitty numbers come in….markets go up. No recession here….believe us…No recession…No now or never…this is your last chance.

who do you trust anymore??.

#92 Jake on 08.14.09 at 9:45 pm

#70 Mark. I stand by my claims that the US is the most dangerous terrorist state. They offer aid to those who agree with them and bombs to those who don’t. I mean seriously, if those two American journalists who North Korea just released had been North Korean journalists spying in the US, they would have been doing naked human pyramids at some secret CIA prison a long time ago. Travel the world a little and find out which nation most of the world’s population deems the most reckless and dangerous. By the way, I am not from Toronto. I am from Alberta. I am not bashing American people, just their corrupt government.

In other news, Edmonton’s all news radio station (880AM) is giving airtime to some real estate guy trying to let people in on “the opportunity of a lifetime.” He says his company is not only investing in commercial real estate, but “projects” as well……..what exactly he means by projects I have no idea……I guess most of these new developments will be resembling Chicago style housing “projects” in the near future. In any case, I would be putting my money elsewhere.

#93 Sue on 08.14.09 at 10:51 pm

#53 Marc: Also kindly note that it’s “grammar” not “grammer”.

Sorry, couldn’t help myself.

#94 JoeCalgary on 08.14.09 at 11:01 pm

Thanks, #80 Conan. You make sense; it has nothing to do with human rights. We’re also gaining invaluable experience in asymmetrical warfare.

#95 EcoInsurgent on 08.14.09 at 11:12 pm

List of US states with non-recourse loans possible. Note: There are 27 of them. You can see that a very large number of Americans can not just walk away for their mortgage. And those who do walk away in from a non-recourse loan will pay income tax on the amount of debt forgiven by the bank. A very large number of those people will have to file for bankruptcy as a result. The best that can happen is that these people have their credit ruined for seven years, which is the same effect as filing for bankruptcy anyway. Americans can no more walk away from their mortgages without repurcussion than Canadians can!

District of Columbia (Washington DC)
Montana (as long as non-judicial foreclosure is used)
Nevada – note that the lender CAN get a deficiency judgment (See below)
New Hampshire
Texas (but even in a non-judicial foreclosure, the lender can pursue a deficiency judgment)
West Virginia

These are states that also allow non-judicial foreclosure, and/or where non-judicial foreclosure is more common and deficiency judgments can be obtained more easily:
North Carolina
Rhode Island
South Dakota

#96 Gord In Vancouver on 08.14.09 at 11:20 pm

#85 Grumpydawgs

Concrete Equities is still advertising on CKNW in Vancouver. We’re special here.

……..and extremely gullible.

#97 Patsan on 08.15.09 at 12:58 am

#70 Mark.
FYI: Terrorism – the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.
Ever heard of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

#98 Andrew on 08.15.09 at 1:17 am


Face it “greaterfool,” you are no different that 70% of the other people walking around the street.

Why is it that with the exception of the odd RE “bull,” none of the “bulls” can ever string together two coherent sentences.

Priceless! If you can figure it out.

#99 grammur on 08.15.09 at 1:53 am

^^^^^^ grammur police

#100 jess on 08.15.09 at 11:03 am

“Cheaper computers and TVs have been the result of more efficient manufacturing processes and economics of scale. ”

“Efficient?” , what do they do with the leftover goo?

#101 Winnipeg is no Different on 08.15.09 at 5:41 pm

“je-ne-sais-quoi vacuity in his eyes”.

That’s spot on! Hilarious!

#102 Jmack on 08.16.09 at 2:00 pm

$55000 Retire now (BLAINE)

1/2 to 1/3 the price of an average home just 4Km away…in Canada…”It’s different here”

This is a steal ! Full service 7,000-12,000 sq ft lots, sidewalks and curbs are in. $55-$60,000 per LOT
You build or I can build you a 3 bed/2 bath double garage for $200-215,000.
Lot is located 3 miles from US/Canadian border…35 miles from Vancouver, Canada
You are 5 miles from the famous Semiahmoo Resort and Birch Bay Resort.
This would be a great week-end get away or I can build you a rental for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Black Comb, Canada.
Lots have a walking trail to private salt water beach.
This is a great investment for now or your future.

#103 Evangeline on 08.17.09 at 6:31 pm

Has Obama been reading this blog?

President shifts focus to renting, not owning

#104 investor on 11.10.09 at 2:08 am

The original concrete equities investor blog from the Canadian Business site has been reposted at

or google “concrete equities story”