Seasonally adjusted

In the twisted world of Canadian real estate, down is up. Frowns are inverted smiles. Every market’s balanced. And thank Allah for the sheeple and the puckering media.

Any reader of this blog coming out of a boozy trance, still smacked with meth, wondering where his underwear and pipe cleaner went (our demographic – I have research to prove it) would have noticed yesterday I quoted the head of the Chilliwack real estate board as saying: “November was a pretty crappy month for real estate if you were a home seller.” Which it was.

Moments later somebody else posted that this ‘source’ was mistaken: house sales in Canada actually climbed last month by 4.8%.

Huh? Not since I dated Brenda the gymnast has anyone been able to do such things.  What gives?

Meanwhile in Calgary, the local real estate cartel was reporting a massive 25% plunge in real estate sales in November (despite the considerable output of MissyBunny), and blaming slow job growth, flatlined wages, less migration, tighter mortgage rules and locusts. But at the same time, the guys who claimed national sales rose last month reported a “month-over-month increase in Calgary” of 2.6%.

In fact, in the sixth consecutive month of declining year-over-year housing sales numbers, CREA  issued this media release:

OTTAWA – December 15th, 2010 – National resale housing activity continues its return to normal levels, having risen in November 2010 for the fourth consecutive month, according to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).

In actual fact, sales of houses across Canada in November were off 9.3% from the same period last year. So, how is a decrease in numerical terms an increase to the country’s realtors? How can six months of dismal deals turn into four consecutive months of gains?

Simple. Two words. “Seasonally adjusted.” In its release, run verbatim by our incredibly diligent journalists, CREA used that term five times. It seasonally adjusted sales numbers, sales activity, the amount of unsold inventory and even the number of active listings. So after half a year of stats showing buyers disappearing even faster than willing sellers, “seasonally adjusted sales now stand 19.5% above levels recorded in July, 2010.”

Sadly, CREA’s chief economist, our David Lereah clone (Google him), nowhere defines what seasonally adjusted means. But it must be wicked. Alchemy, baby. Kinda like Stephen Harper impersonating Justin Beaver.

“Following the chilling lows at the onset of the recent recession and the dizzying heights during the subsequent recovery, the national housing market appears to be returning to some semblance of normalcy,” said Gregory Klump.

You wish.

In fact, no such thing appears to be happening. Sales have dropped since the summer, which is difficult news because the number of houses actually for sale has also retreated – by almost 15%. It means had sellers not hastily pulled their homes off the market as things deteriorated, the rout would have been worse. It also suggests that come the Spring of 2011, when listings swell again like a bad gland, this real estate thing may not go well.

After all, with Mark Carney trolling for microphones to issue a warning about runaway debt, with Bay Street bankers urging F to grow a set and shorten mortgage payback times, with unemployment stuck on red, GDP growth at a willowy 1% and our exports tumbling, it makes you wonder what they’re smoking at cartel HQ.

Generously, this is misleading. Straight up, it’s fraud. Hard to know who should be covered naked in maple syrup and mated with the fire ants – the conspirators who wrote it or the complacents who reported it.

I’m disgusted. Seasonally adjusted, I’m blissed.

195 comments ↓

#1 Gord In Vancouver on 12.15.10 at 11:53 pm

Early Christmas Gift To Vancouver Real Estate Bears

Property taxes to rise 4.2 per cent
City’s operating budget climbs to $1.03 billion

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Property+taxes+rise+cent/3979278/story.html

#2 InvestorsFriend (Shawn Allen) on 12.15.10 at 11:58 pm

What is that saying? Figures Don’t Lie, But Liars Figure…

Most graphs of data are designed to give a distorted view.

But this particular example of seasonally adjusted does indeed appear to be beyond the pale.

#3 Mean Gene on 12.15.10 at 11:59 pm

Looks like someone is going to be eating crow in the near future and me thinks it’s NOT Mr. Turner.

#4 Caveman on 12.16.10 at 12:06 am

There are rules as to how investments such as mutual funds are marketed and what an investment advisor could say. I don’t know why the real estate industry can say what ever they want. Basically they have been using whatever looks best. They show sales month over month and prices year over year.

I’ve noticed the Hamilton real estate board has not posted November stats yet. Perhaps they are going to be like Brampton?

#5 hobbygirl on 12.16.10 at 12:11 am

# 120 AG Sage (Dec 14 post)

One place I looked to for some inspiration was from a Canadian architect named Avi Friedman who developed the Grow Home. The Grow Home is compact, energy efficient (can recycle its own water), and is adaptable to changing needs over time. Well worth looking at. Unfortunately although his concepts are award winning, there are few (if any) builders that are willing to attempt non traditional building practices.

#6 EJ on 12.16.10 at 12:13 am

This industry is absolutely rife with greed, corruption, and dishonesty. It must be hard for the few honest folks involved to know they are being painted with the same brush as the rest.

#7 Prairie Drifter on 12.16.10 at 12:19 am

It is also cold comfort to some of the unemployed to have statisticians argue that on a seasonally adjusted basis they really aren’t unemployed.

#8 viewer on 12.16.10 at 12:19 am

Alright Garth, I love this blog, but you are completely off the mark here. Seasonal adjustment of data (when applicable) is valid, and is an accepted way to make monthly comparisons when data has normal seasonal fluctuations. Almost all the data you cite from Statistics Canada has been seasonally adjusted, employment, exports, housing starts, and the list goes on.

The Bank of Canada, all the chartered bank economics groups,Stats Canada statisticians etc, use seasonally adjusted data as their primary numbers. The fact is that current year-over-year comparisons are baseless. Drops of 20% from record highs of last year, are as baseless as comparing February’s 60% gains from crash lows of February 2010. Seasonal adjustments gets around these misleading year over year comparisons

I understand SA quite well. But year-over-year comparisons are completely valid. Why SA sales, and not prices? Both are statistical benchmarks of significant value in determining the momentum of a market based largely on human emotion. — Garth

#9 viewer on 12.16.10 at 12:23 am

terrible post today garth. Just because you don’t understand a valid statistical methodology, doesn’t mean it is being used incorrectly by others

I understand just fine. “Seasonally adjusting” the number of listings, for example, is to withhold actual relevant information from consumers. Only supply and demand matter in real estate. — Garth

#10 april on 12.16.10 at 12:26 am

From yesterdays post – LOST- #152 Mike the Realtor.
Your hostility is revealing.

#4 Caveman. #6 EJ. I agree. It’s high time the RE industry is exposed for it’s deception.

#11 Jeff Smith on 12.16.10 at 12:28 am

geez, was there such a really long line up to the women’s room?

#12 Bottoms_Up on 12.16.10 at 12:32 am

When it gets really bad the statisticians at CMHC won’t even post the numbers for a certain month. I’ve seen this a couple times for some cities in BC.

Interestingly, the most recent “housing now” for Ottawa has the header “..starts lead by townhomes”.

http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/odpub/esub/64187/64187_2010_M11.pdf?fr=1292472126952

But stats provided within the document show that equally applicable headlines could be “October starts down 44% y/o/y”, or “Prices flat y/o/y”, or “New listings up 15% y/o/y”, or “Sales down 14% y/o/y, and at their lowest since January” or “Sales down 17% in Q3 y/o/y”

But I guess these latter headlines just don’t sell homes eh?

#13 Gord In Vancouver on 12.16.10 at 12:33 am

Generously, this is misleading. Straight up, it’s fraud. Hard to know who should be covered naked in maple syrup and mated with the fire ants – the conspirators who wrote it or the complacents who reported it.
_________________________________________

Garth – you rock !
Great post today !

#14 walter safety on 12.16.10 at 12:42 am

#4 – the games mutual funds play with data make “seasonally adjusted” mere childs play

# 8 – “seasonal adjustments” are just another tool used by people who assume if they just reported their observations lesser people(non economists) wouldn’t know how to interpret the data. Like BC peaches are smaller in February but not when seasonally adjusted.

#15 T.O. Bubble Boy on 12.16.10 at 12:43 am

Do I get a co-blogging credit for posting this earlier today?

http://www.greaterfool.ca/2010/12/14/lost/#comment-71608

Seeking Alpha had an interesting post on Canadians “Getting drunk at the Debt punchbowl”:

http://seekingalpha.com/article/242100-canada-s-housing-punch-bowl-is-still-serving

#16 dave in calgary on 12.16.10 at 12:45 am

I just seasonally adjusted the Leafs record… they’re back in first place!

#17 Mike on 12.16.10 at 12:46 am

The best line you have ever written in this blog:

I’m disgusted. Seasonally adjusted, I’m blissed.

Too funny.

#18 McLovin on 12.16.10 at 12:48 am

DA, don’t tell me you’ve quit the business. I know there was only 8 sales in Kelowna last month but come on, its different there.

You didn’t comment on the sales numbers and 16 MOI.

#19 Kevin on 12.16.10 at 12:50 am

Seasonally adjusted?
Here is inflation adjusted. I’m sure the rest of the Canadian markets are similiar.

Saskatoon house prices inflation adjusted 1980-2010
http://saskatoonhousingbubble.blogspot.com/2010/12/saskatoon-housing-prices-inflation.html

If Saskatoon housing followed inflation step for step since 1980, the average house price would be about 162k for 2010. We all know that the average house price for 2010 is about 300k.

#20 Priced Out in Toronto on 12.16.10 at 12:51 am

#8 viewer

Seasonally adjusted factors are good for cutting out short term instability in a measurement.
But these guys just seasonally adjusted a four month trend in real estate and a year over year comparison to suit their philosophy. You really don’t think this is anything but B.S. do you?

Incidentally, if someone doesn’t provide the factors used to “seasonally adjust” figures, I wouldn’t trust their figures – period.

I’m not sure I understand one thing though, how the hell do you adjust a year over year comparison anyway???
Seems pretty damn straight forward. Any ideas anyone?

#21 T.O. Bubble Boy on 12.16.10 at 12:51 am

Also — to those claiming “seasonally adjusted” stats are perfectly legit… just read all of the press today, and show me where the stats are used properly!

If one reporter had said “November sales, when compared to November 2009, were 4.8% better than October 2010 vs. October 2009”, then maybe you’d have a case to make.

Headlines like “Resale housing activity rose in November” are not correct! Sales were *down* in November, as they are in EVERY NOVEMBER!

You know what would have been a remarkable headline-worthy story? If November sales actually were higher than October sales! That would have bucked the seasonal trend of people not buying houses when it’s frickin cold outside!

#22 McLovin on 12.16.10 at 12:52 am

Garth is the voice of reason. Too bad there’s so few of us listening.

Question: What is the percentage growth of month over month visitors to your site? Seasonally adjusted of course! LOL

#23 Crash Callaway on 12.16.10 at 12:55 am

Hey let the rest of us commoners try Seasonally Adjusting our tax returns and see how far we get before the crushing hand appears at the door.

#24 T.O. Bubble Boy on 12.16.10 at 12:58 am

Another thought:

If house sales were up from October on a seasonally-adjusted basis… shouldn’t we be saying that house prices were flat on an inflation-adjusted basis?

House prices in November were 2% higher than November 2009, but wasn’t CPI also 2%?

See — this is why there is a problem: you can’t cherry-pick only the “seasonally adjusted” stats that make things look better!

#25 garthfan on 12.16.10 at 12:59 am

Sadly, CREA’s chief economist, our David Lereah clone (Google him), nowhere defines what seasonally adjusted means.

Wow, I wikied Mr. Lereah. What a slime bucket!

I think that picture you have above is of a woman trying to wash the whole mess from her dress (Monica Lewinsky-style).

Cut to Mr. Klump at CREA hearings:

“I did NOT seasonally adjust that woman!”

#26 Pr on 12.16.10 at 1:04 am

That is why every day people leaving the main stream media , to go find REAL journalism in the internet and in blog like here!

#27 Devil's Advocate on 12.16.10 at 1:11 am

“Seasonally adjusted” real estate sales volumes is a gross misnomer. I could easily show you (just email me at [email protected]) a line graph of year over year monthly volumes which would clearly indicate the trend. That trend in this city (Kelowna) saw a notable uptic these last two months but the year overall pales in monthly performance compared to that of 2005, 6, 7, and 8. What they heck did you expect? Like comparing a Chevrolet to a Ferrari, Pickles to Bananas.

Bottom line if this is “bad” well then we’ve got nothing to complain about because while it certainly isn’t anything like what was happening at the peak it is certainly nothing too far off what I would consider a “NORMAL” market.

Want to see those year over year line graph overlays… email me. Nothing horrific here folks… I’d say we’re a lot closer to bumping along bottom – just over 2 ½ years into a typical 7 to 10 year peak to peak trough. Given that and that neither the ride down nor that back up are linear – ya we’re not far off bottom.

But only time will tell who’s face ends up with egg on it.

BTW… with all due respect to the Soothsayers at the various boards… they aren’t the ones who know what’s going on in the market. They generally are out of touch with the market. They are the politicians of our industry. What do the politicians know?

#28 debtified on 12.16.10 at 1:22 am

Avid reader; second post…

I just want to say that in 2009 I thought Mark “The Carnage” Carney lost his backbone. Then mid 2010 he seems to have recovered it. Now I am convinced that he didn’t have a backbone to begin with.

All talk, no backbone.

Right now he looks like the guy on the driver seat who realizes that the party bus is heading off a cliff; yelled about it to his drunken high-on-debt passengers, but then does nothing about it. He has the power to apply the brakes and save the whole bus from falling off the cliff. But he seems to be more worried about the passengers who don’t have their seat belts on getting all banged up – the party bus operator would not be happy about that.

I am sure he is convinced that he is being clever. After all, everything on the surface seems to be alright. Together with his banker friends (who supply the booze) and best friend Jim “The Fart” Flaherty (the party bus CFO), they’ve successfully made most of us Canadians think that we’re better off than those people in the other buses who are currently all banged up because their drivers have applied the breaks on. Heck, we also laugh on those ahead of us who have already fallen off the cliff; thoroughly convinced that our bus will fair better. We laugh as we party on and continue to ride the party bus towards the cliff following the path of our seriously hungover big brother, The Mighty US of A.

I am just a regular Joe but this much I know: A man who has a backbone will actually do something to change course, no matter how unpopular the decision maybe, when he sees troubles ahead.

Keep up the good work, Garth. You may not be the Bank of Canada Governor (and I don’t necessarily agree with everything you say) but at least you are keeping your backbone intact despite how unpopular the position you have taken. You just say it like it is. No sugar coating.

#29 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 12.16.10 at 1:22 am


Seasonally adjusted for stoopid fruitcakes. “How can six months of dismal deals turn into four consecutive months of gains?” — Simple — Liar! Liar!

“Kinda like Stephen Harper impersonating Justin Beaver. You wish. . . . when listings swell again like a bad gland, this real estate thing may not go well.”

What a completely repugnant thought — Justin Beaver singing like Steven Harper. The vomitorium stored safely in my guts has begun to stir, nay, belch all over K-Mart Town!

As far as debts go, didn’t Harper inherit a $14 bln. surplus from Paul Martin (Mr. Dithers), turn it into a $24 bln. surplus then follow it with a current $600 billion deficit?

So C-H-F have some kinda gall telling sheeple to suck it up when they couldn’t organize Legoland between them. Remember, CREA and its family need to have the controlled m$m to push their propaganda down our throats.

But we don’t need them (and they know it, too), that’s fer sure.
*
Will the US do to Russia and China what it did to Sadaam (and Iraq) when they were on the cusp of ditching the US$?

PIGS Panic by numbers.

JPM and the great silver caper.

Belgium next to fall? Plus — Good Policy Lend, Hope and Pray. Not necessarily in that order.

Not just Sarnia or the mid-west US states.

Plus — The Sun probably has something to with this.

Trouble in LaLaLand (and other places as well). Guess this is what C-H-F are looking for; they couldn’t manage a cup of coffee between them, but they will screw it up somehow.

EU Integration Why does the UK want faster integration with the EU? It’s flat broke, riots all over and, like British Rail, it’s falling to pieces.

US banks on hook to PIIGS for over US$350 bln.

Three feet of snow in Scotland, caused by GW.

Obama Keep him in — the devil the world knows is better than the one it doesn’t.

#30 BC Bring Cash on 12.16.10 at 1:23 am

you people out there are talking about F. F is just another one of harpers puppets. harper is the chief architect or so called economist of this, as he brags about what a great job he is doing to protect canadians from themselves and there destructive behaviour of borrowing too much and being over extended. meanwhile it is harper who has endorsed the canadian version of sub prime lending.I see here in kelowna bc for example of hundreds of of brand new condo units that are unoccupied. in the past few months i have witnessed a town house sub division being built across the the street from us. no buyers are lining up at the sales office,nor have i seen even one shopper at the sales office. but construction still continues. what a joke

#31 Aussie Roy on 12.16.10 at 1:24 am

Yes Garth seasonally adjusted and hedonic price adjustment are the tools of choice for the sunshine and lollipop spruikers.

It reminds me of the CBA using income to price data for all other countries but using a different method to calculate Aussie incomes. Its like saying Australia is the smallest island in the world when you measure everywere else in sq inches but measure Australia in sq miles. Its amazing how easy it is to fool some people.

Aussie Update

Even in this article it claim Brisbane clearance rate is 20% when its actually 13%. http://www.homepriceguide.com.au/saturday_auction_results/Brisbane.pdf

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/house-of-horrors-fear-of-falling-prices/story-e6frg8zx-1225971759676

The debt problem in Australia, I’m sure its not much different in Canada.

http://www.debtdeflation.com/blogs/2010/12/16/a-fork-in-the-road/

BPOE
Thought I’d make it easy for you seeing you say the same things over and over again, here is a template for you.

Prices to the moon, to the moon I tell ya. Its different here….(insert reason)… Rich people from…(insert place)… Better buy now or be priced out forever you renter scum.

But lets not ever talk about rent to price or income to price ratios coz they dont matter. If you think anyone can ever hold down interest rates you must still believe in Santa.

Do yourself a favour put down the crack pipe and watch these videos.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKxGybbPe7c

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_frpXo32kM&playnext=1&list=PL868A0EADBBF20579&index=53

#32 Alberta Ed on 12.16.10 at 1:31 am

It’s hard to tell whether our MSM business reporters are (a) hopelessly financially illiterate or (b) totally corrupt. Your pick.

#33 Timing is Everything on 12.16.10 at 1:34 am

I don’t care what numbers are tossed around.
At the end of the day it matters only what colour the $
numbers are…Red or Black.

“When seasonal adjustment is not done with monthly data, year-on-year changes are utilised in a naive attempt to avoid contamination with seasonality. However, each year-on-year change is the sum of twelve monthly changes. This moving window (with a width of 12) is often a poor way to understand a series.”
[Ya, from Wiki]

#34 viewer on 12.16.10 at 1:34 am

I understand just fine. “Seasonally adjusting” the number of listings, for example, is to withhold actual relevant information from consumers. Only supply and demand matter in real estate. — Garth

wrong. Listings have a seasonal component, there is good reason to seasonally adjust the figure to extract the underlying trend and non-seasonal abnormal components – which is what matters. I suggest you read technical papers on seasonal adjustment available at the US Census Bureau or Statistics Canada. Raw, unadjusted data for listings, sales, etc is available from if you are willing to pay for it.

#35 nonplused on 12.16.10 at 1:36 am

“There are lies, damn lies, and statistics”.

But pulling out our dusty econ 101 textbook, we find that in a normal market, rising prices lead to falling demand. Falling prices lead to rising demand. So, since they are giving us sales, and they think sales are rising, what must prices be doing? I know there is noise there too because the mix of houses that sell can change, but my experience would be the higher end homes are going on and off the market several times before finally selling for a lot less than originally envisioned.

So this is the way the market will evolve: Sales will continue to decline (trend, not a one month thing) until prices start to decline. Declining prices will bring rising sales. Anyone who has worked retail before knows this. All the potential sellers in the country can sit on inventory as long as they like they won’t change this simple fact. If you want to sell, you need to lower your price.

The exception to this is your classic “Bull Market” (otherwise known as a bubble). In the bull market rising prices are met with rising volumes. Or the more risqué and short term but exciting “Crash”, in which falling prices are met with falling volume. Although “Crash” is “Bull Market’s” mistress, it’s trouble if they are seen in public together.

We are not sure yet whether Mr. Market is staying loyal to his wife, with rising volume on lower prices, or whether Mr. Market has been spending too much time with his mistress and withholding inventory so his wife doesn’t find out.

I think Garth has it right. We’ll find out this spring, or when world events force Carnival Mark’s hand, which he seems to be warning us might be an eventuality he cannot avoid.

#36 Ted 23 on 12.16.10 at 1:42 am

Both sets of numbers are valid as a means of communicating information. It depends on your point of view. Figuratively speaking seasonally adjusted means “The sun is shining and generally does for 280 days a year. Whereas GT want’s to know if it is shining today only”
That CREA reach back 4 years to compare volume is not good. The trend toward a loss in volume is troubling and confirmed. Pricing is also loosing momentum. At best the market will stall out for several years. Worse case will not be interest rates on mortgages rising but the burden of payments for things bought that now have little or no value. Boomers still think they have time. It’s frustrating to see the best advice going unheeded. 2011 will be an avalanche of these folks who have run out of time and can’t sleep. Boomers will be lined up trying to unload and cash out. Because of large equity positions boomers will have the flexibility to adjust pricing to suit a pro buyer market. This will be a drag on younger sellers with less equity and eventually drive prices even lower still.

#37 BOB on 12.16.10 at 1:49 am

Garth you think that’s bad, check out the BC Premier and Conflict of Interest Commissioner ruling in today’s CBC BC and Delaney’s reply at BC First Party. This is truly disgusting, blatant abuse. Lots of MAD people in BC today. And to all those bubble non believers, be patient all good things come to those who wait. China about to deflate…then who? Peek a BOO! It really is inevitable yet so many people doubt it can happen, especially now, even though it already happened in the Past several times. I guess research is not a well known term to hormal people. Ignorance is truly bliss, until you have to pay the piper. Prices are already taken a tumble in our area.

#38 Smartalox on 12.16.10 at 1:51 am

@Gord in Vancouver: not only are property taxes going up, the banks are raising mortgage rates too! This is NOT a seasonal adjustment.

#39 InvestorsFriend (Shawn Allen) on 12.16.10 at 1:55 am

It seems a main point of contention is that CREA is saying sales are up in November compared to October, and then they seasonally adjust.

That seems fair game but all such press releases should always say “Up from October 2010” and make that very clear.

Garth focuses on the fact they are down from the year-ago figures.

I would agree with Garth CREA should provide both raw and adjusted numbers and make if VERY clear that they are talking the change month to month, not this year compared to last year.

They should adopt a standard table and give the same figures every press release not focus this time on month to month and next time on year over year.

#40 Painted Toenails on 12.16.10 at 2:01 am

Prices are already moving down here in Victoria. Just a bit. A smudge on what was a pristine landscape. Enough to make a mark but still be dismissed as nothing – an inconvenience, an annoyance, the slight buzzing of a pesky mosquito.

None of my friends or neighbours have sold. Not. One.

All of them will relist in Spring. Along with everyone else out there who thinks this vague draft of uneasiness is an illusion.

We are in for it. Just watch. If you haven’t sold yet, it is too late.

New Year’s grim reaper arrives.

#41 Tre on 12.16.10 at 2:05 am

Garth you are right on the money. Of course all the apologists have to come out and attack full force. What else is new, what a joke.

#42 Saskboy on 12.16.10 at 2:11 am

I was repointed to read your blog a few days ago, and it’s become a daily stop to get the real news. Perhaps The Real News Network would be wise to interview you on Canada’s real estate situation?

#43 kitchener1 on 12.16.10 at 2:13 am

#8 and #9 viewer

Come on dude, were not all stupid, we understand numbers and know the various stats methods.

RE is a retail market,

when was the last time the equity numbers or volumes were offered on a “seasonally adjusted basis”.

RE cartel cannot have it both ways, and change the method in which they report the numbers. If month over month or year vs year was the benchmark used in the past, it should be used equally when the numbers are bad.

#44 Reg on 12.16.10 at 2:16 am

Couldn’t agree more Garth. Seasonally adjusted is just a fancy way of say the numbers are useless.

#45 karl hungus on 12.16.10 at 2:17 am

Supply and demand are the only things that matter in real estate?

As long as the population increases (and in Canada it will more then anywhere else because of immigration) demand will always be there.

#46 Dazed and Confused on 12.16.10 at 2:20 am

Met up with a mortgage broker yesterday while our kids played at the park. Tells me he’s seeing no new mortgages for home purchases but quite a lot of business with people breaking their existing mortgage to lock down with these amazingly low rates.

Met up with a close friend of mine last weekend. His mortgage was up for renewal and the bank actually paid him 5% in cash if he kept his enormous mortgage with them…

This is insane. People have no cash so the banks renew and give them cash to spend on more stuff they can’t afford.

These morons will take us all down with them.

#47 realityguy on 12.16.10 at 2:23 am

Holy crap

Property tax increase basically more than doubled
from 2 to 4.2

I would like to say to all the BC Homeowner who got baited by the real estate scam

“BC is broke”
“Thats someone yearly salary, How the heck are you going to pay this tax and mortgage at the same time”
Oh yeah, its the best place to live. My arse feel like its as wide as the grand canyon once the government gets through with me.

Renting is for a full year is almost as expensive as your property taxes…

Makes you wonder why anyone would like to buy a house / condo in this city.

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2010/12/14/bc-vancouver-property-taxes.html#ixzz18E8IiYum

#48 j on 12.16.10 at 2:24 am

#8 viewer on 12.16.10 at 12:19 am
“Seasonal adjustments gets around these misleading year over year comparisons”

Wrong. Seasonal adjustments allow for intra-year comparisons. Google ARIMA (auto-regressive integrated moving average) models.

Garth is right, seasonal adjustments are useful for policy development, but where the rubber hits the road in the market place, seasonal adjustment means less than nothing.

#49 Chaos on 12.16.10 at 2:27 am

G-man…

Saw chit anunda…follow your bliss!

#50 AG Sage on 12.16.10 at 2:38 am

I had the same problem with missing data going back through the Vancouver Board of Realtors’ old data releases. In 2008 when the MLS total active listings surged, they simply dropped it off their reports.

#5 hobbygirl on 12.16.10 at 12:11 am
>Avi Friedman

Thanks for the reference. Sustainable communities is one of the areas I read about when everything else gets too depressing.

#51 jjpetes on 12.16.10 at 2:47 am

Unrest is rising again in Italy, Greece and I would suspect Ireland again soon. Britain must have been wary after students were given double tuition fees and even triple for higher income families. The students took to the streets.

Do not be so complacent here. Many of us whom were not adversely affected from this fiscal crisis still have long memories. Mr Mark Carney, ex Goldman Sachs man, if you do read this blog I would pay particular attention to the unrest growing in Europe and I have absolutely no doubt that unrest will sooner or later be here in North America.

Announcing a warning to debt levels in Canada absolutely does not dissolve you from your responsibility for providing the fuel to this fire. As I see it so far, up to the financial crisis it takes two to tango. The borrowers should bear as much responsibility to their acts as the financial banking system in providing cheap credit to cause overvalued asset prices particularly in RE.

Here’s where the crisis comes in. Its in whom pays for the mess after the fact. So far what I have witnessed is the bondholders are made close if not whole on their bets while the rest of the people are held to pay for the whole thing.

In short, up to the crisis both borrower and lender are irresponsible. After the crisis only the borrowers ie; the so called middle class and rest of the general population or taxpayers are told to pay for it without any sacrifices from banks, financiers or bondholders.

That sir is the tinder to the forestfire about to erupt over the next decade. I make a prediction now, that you will see one of the western governments running across their lawns in front of the parliament buildings being chased by mobs and killed, all captured on video. It will stun other western governments worldwide.

The central bank of Canada nor the Federal Reserve bank of the US get a free pass by their feeble warnings far long after the horse has left the barn. As there is no barn left when the horse kicked over the kerosene lamp on its rush out.

Perhaps Mr Carney would be wise, if he reads this, and do a sidestep out the backdoor quick like the honorable Alan Greenspan did prior to the collapse of the housing and finance market. This would not surprise me.

jjpetes

#52 The Original Dave on 12.16.10 at 3:02 am

what’s the over/under on FYI articles for Garth? I say 4.5

#53 The Original Dave on 12.16.10 at 3:12 am

GregW, Oakville , you do not have to post EVERY article from Inforwars…we can visit site oursevles.

That site contains a lot of truth but they never tell us the full story…and nothing will change, either.
—————————————————–

by any chance, do you have an FYI article to confirm how much truth there is on that site?

thanks in advance

#54 k on 12.16.10 at 3:18 am

I have been reading and listening to Garth since way before he wore out those cowboy boots on the election trail. Yet today I think something really hit home. I just found out a great aunt of mine had to stay in a state facility for her latter years because she ran out of money. That sure was a quiet secret. And now another aunt and uncle are moving out of a $6000/month retirement home to a more affordable place but with less nursing care. I got it Garth. Running out of money is the real risk. Thanks for giving us the heads up. We are grateful.

#55 Mike Turner on 12.16.10 at 3:52 am

Come on Garth

2 + 2 = 5 everyone knows that.

#56 Vancouver smart renter on 12.16.10 at 3:55 am

Here’s the info from the field in Vancouver. I’m renting a so called $3.5m property owned by a Chinese “investor” for $3.5k per month. It is all in cash and the owner pretends to live here to avoid capital gains. It is up for sale and I know for a fact they have only received low-ball offers from OTHER Chinese “Investors”. This is clearly speculation beginning to fail, money laundering and more importantly tax evasion to the degree that not only would they receive very stiff jail terms in China, but can certainly lose their immigration status in Canada.

So I decided to move to a town house which is plenty big, cheaper, also owned by another Chinese “investor” who due to changes in her personal circumstances will not live in the property just undergone $180k refurbishment (my wife loves the new Ss, granite, auto washing potty seat etc.).

I fou d out the property was bought for $1.1m 1 year ago, refurbed for $180k and when they put it on the market for $1.3 they only received low balls maxing at $1.2m.

In the true spirit of carpe diem, I got the realtor convinced the economy was not out of recession )seasonally adjusted), china heading for unreal inflation due to the massive dollar inflows, possibly resulting in very high interest rates there potentially popping their bubble (20:1 property to ave income males even Vancouver look cheap) and with construction being a bigger driver of GDP there than manufacturing exports, the end result would be less change available for this segment ($800-2m) part of the market. Adding to that the local economy can hardly sustain new purchasers in this price bracket especially if pricing in the ever increasing risk of higher interest rates and tighter lending conditions.

I suggested they would be better off renting to me for 2 years bagging $60k and then having the upside of selling then, when I estimated market growth of 0-5% next year and 8-12% in 2012, the reaLTOR callede “Wise and well informed” as they believed the same. I’m sure he thought only of the commission on the rental, but I got a $1m house to live in for $72k, none of the downside risk of a downturn, am debt free and have over $500k in a well diversified portfolio maxing out TFSA’s, RESP’s and RSSP’s for me and my non working wife, which are bringing me over $36k per year in gains. Those profits, at break even mean I live for free, above the rental costs mean I am making a net gain and when I add our $250 family income to the equation, I have only upside especially if I factor in the realtor, property tax and transfer fees.

My bank is blue in the face fromtrying to sell me mortgages etc, I can keep this going forward quite well…

So through renting, I have a wealth accumulation strategy which does not include risk and interest payments.

My peers suggest I am an inferior class for being a renter, but when I remind them that I could live for over 7 years at my present burn rate if I had no income, they shut up… When I ask them to calculate their affordability on a 5,6,7 and 8% interest rate I see the ignorAnts thinking “t’will never happen” and the smArt ones go a shade of grey in the face…

I will buy sometime in the future, when a bottom will have been proven, in cash and only With money I set aside above my $500k nest egg.

Garth, I did all this in 4 months! Since I landed here from
Europe, read your book (thanks for the inscription) and lived on this blog! More power to you for seeing the pig behind the lipstick…

And yes, there is a reality in Vancouver that is not evident in the media, Chinese “Investors” low balling each other? The possibility that tax evasion is endemic in the rental market by such “Investors”? Should be looked into, maybe would go some way towards meeting the $1bn liability on that super property project called the athlete’s (foot) village

#57 S on 12.16.10 at 4:17 am

OK dude, great blog but enough already with the weird pictures. Some of us are trying to eat while we read you.

#58 Jody on 12.16.10 at 4:45 am

I say we burn them all at the stake, start with the bankers though. SHTF all over, riots in Italy and Greece, UK government trying to tell people they aren’t allowed to protest anymore, HAHAHAHAHA! But it’s different here, dream on people, dream on.

#59 RE Bear on 12.16.10 at 4:58 am

Listen Up Gentleman. I’ve changed my ways. I’ve visited the best place on earth, in all her glory, Vancouver. Lord oh how mistaken I was. Vancouver truly is different. The Bentleys, Ferraris and Lamborghinis. The Rolexes. Indeed, I went for lunch at a sushi joint, and I saw not 2, not 3, but 7 mainland Chinese billionaires on at least 2 cell phones each talking to their RE reps in investing their trillions of wealth in the market that’s hot-hot-hot– Vancouver. This truly is the best place on earth. People do not need to work, for they have made their trillions abroad, and seek a leisurely lifestyle. There are what, 500 homes for sale? There are 50,000 billionaires in China folks. You folks can do math, right? 100 billionaires for each salable property in Vancouver. $2M for a 500 sq ft condo? Get real. Next year $20M, 2012 will see easily $500 million a square foot. Carney is just jealous of the infinite wisdom of the Chinese billionaires. Goldman Sachs? He shorted the Russian debt crisis heavily to what his little $60K per annum Goldman MD salary could allow and was wiped out. He is just jealous and bitter folks. Are you going to listen to a failure, a 47 year old loser who couldn’t find a job after Goldman Sachs besides a G7 central banker? You need to open your eyes, Vancouver is truly different. Interest rates are heading to -20% by 2012, and prices will grow YOY in excess of 2,000%. All you jealous basement dwellers need to wake up and realize that Monsieur Carney does not have a Oxford PhD in Economics, he got it at a paper mill with a similar name, folks. Remember, I’m worth in excess of $200 million vested purely in God-given Vancouver, and my net worth is expected to hit $250 billion in a few months time. Up Up Up Up… And Away!

#60 Seasonally adjusted on 12.16.10 at 5:09 am

LOL, the HOUSESELLERS(R) are out to defend their “seasonally adjusted +19.5% above levels” numbers I see. What an industry! An industry that runs on the blood of commissions and can’t help but be corrupted by money.

Dailystats is pretty much useless with such low sales numbers, anything that sells over $1m skews the whole week.

But I can tell you if you look on the MLS that prices ARE falling much faster than CREA seasonally adjusted numbers show. You now see Like-for-like homes going cheaper vs a few months ago. Value is improving (ie. $380k for a 2000sq/ft Calgary home vs $450k 6 months ago and $580k 3 years ago).

Garth has it right on the button. Also I’d completely trust Garth’s stats, data and comments over any Realtor one as Garth isn’t in the house selling industry.

“You can’t teach a man to tell the truth who’s job depends on him preaching the opposite.”

#61 Cookie Monster on 12.16.10 at 5:11 am

Garth, I guess you didn’t get the memo, fraud == honesty in modern economics.

#62 René Kabis on 12.16.10 at 5:45 am

Turns out that the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board must be working with “seasonally adjusted” values, too — something is really fishy with Kelowna housing stats: http://vancouvercondo.info/2010/12/something-fishy-with-kelowna-stats.html/all-comments/

The current YTD stats are out of whack by more than 8%!!

#63 john m on 12.16.10 at 6:54 am

LOL love the picture :-)

#64 Mike Turner on 12.16.10 at 7:18 am

It’s different here…

#65 Herb on 12.16.10 at 7:26 am

Garth, you’re no longer the contrarian – Patty Croft is!

http://www.cbc.ca/thenational/indepthanalysis/story/2010/12/15/national-thebottomline.html

Her howler of the night: the 300,000 who have dropped out of the labour force – and employment statistics – are not really unemployed because they have left the labour force to upgrade their skills!

#66 Stevo on 12.16.10 at 7:36 am

http://www.moneyville.ca/article/907383–why-our-housing-market-is-sound?bn=1

#67 SafetyBear on 12.16.10 at 7:39 am

This Seasonally Adjusted trick is being used by the media in Australia too. It’s hard to even get a handle on the bigger picture at the moment because statistics are all over the place.

#68 TS on 12.16.10 at 7:53 am

LOL…. the shills posing as ‘economists’ at the cartel will soon invent ‘annually adjusted’ statistics to try and hide the truth from uninformed would-be buyers.

#69 palebird on 12.16.10 at 8:07 am

Stats are a wonderful tool but… most people really do not fully understand them, or the rules that are generally used..and I stress generally..like so many things in this world of data overload it is very easy to be misled and for important items to be obscured. Look at the general rules for accounting which were so vague that anyone who really wanted to could easily run a fraud past most people..these have been clarified somewhat after some massive frauds in the states but still it is incredible the leeway they had. Canada loves stats but most of them posted on the news, etc are skewed and unreliable. I don’t even watch that crap anymore, waste of time.

#70 Paully on 12.16.10 at 8:28 am

Statistics are like a bikini: What they reveal is interesting, but what they conceal is vital!

Not on this statistically horny blog. — Garth

#71 X on 12.16.10 at 8:45 am

I suspect we may have another cautious quarter point or two rate increase before the end of May, just to make sure Canadains do not take on even more debt with the emotion of house lust this coming spring.

#72 pbrasseur on 12.16.10 at 8:48 am

Garth – I understand you discuss!

One of the most frustrating thing about Canadian RE (and the economy in general) is how hard it is to find real objective (non manipulated) data.

#73 Aussie Roy on 12.16.10 at 8:49 am

karl hungus on 12.16.10 at 2:17 am

Supply and demand are the only things that matter in real estate?

As long as the population increases (and in Canada it will more then anywhere else because of immigration) demand will always be there.

No matter what the price?. If your assumption was correct you would have rising rental yields not falling yields. The RE lobby use this line here in Australia to, its rubbish.

You have fallen for the con. A high school economics student can tell you supply and demand is “number of willing sellers versus the number of willing able buyers”. How do you think other markets where a shortage was claimed soon turned out to have a glut.

I will give you credit on the supply and demand bit but please learn what supply and demand in a market really means. To think price wont effect demand is just silly.

#74 Big Al on 12.16.10 at 9:05 am

It doesn’t matter the only relevant statistic is debt level and affordability to pay. As both are going in the wrong direction something has to give. Last time this happened we dropped the level of down payment required and increased the Amm. To keep the party going. The kegger’s done and the only thing left is the hangover, let’s just hope you didn’t make an ass of your self when you were drunk.

#75 Moneta on 12.16.10 at 9:07 am

Yes Garth seasonally adjusted and hedonic price adjustment are the tools of choice for the sunshine and lollipop spruikers.
——
Yup and some groups are pushing to change GDP measurement in US… iPod being made in China and reflected in Chinese GDP numbers is wrong according to them. LOL.

#76 robert in london on 12.16.10 at 9:18 am

Watching the ‘Bottom Line’ panel whistling past the graveyard on CBC last night I could only think someone with influence got to them in a major way in order to provide the “necessary balance” to squid alumnus Carney’s December 13th downer.

#77 Jim on 12.16.10 at 9:21 am

Heard of the saying…”Using statistics, like a drunk uses a lamp-post, for support, rather than for illumination!”?

#78 CTO on 12.16.10 at 9:50 am

#45 karl hungus on 12.16.10 at 2:17 amSupply and demand are the only things that matter in real estate?

“As long as the population increases (and in Canada it will more then anywhere else because of immigration) demand will always be there”

FYI
Interesting artical in yesterdays Globe and Mail on how immigration has affected Toronto…likely the same in Van.
I think you need to read it.

“Shrinking middle class makes Toronto a city of socioeconomic extremes”

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/toronto/shrinking-middle-class-makes-toronto-a-city-of-socioeconomic-extremes/article1838176/

#79 Tom from Mississauga on 12.16.10 at 10:04 am

CBC has run stories like that crap before. Last month they had this brilliant piece that no journalist with integrity would put their name to:
http://www.cbc.ca/money/story/2010/11/01/condos-sales-ontario.html

#80 Mikaroo on 12.16.10 at 10:11 am

Here’s a concrete example of how a price gets “Seasonally Adjusted” … down $100K per month!

C1936668 – C02 – 22 BERNARD AVE, TORONTO, ON – $2,199,000

Price Change. Dec 15: $2,199,000 Nov 3: $2,289,000 Oct 19: $2,390,000 Sep 18: $2,488,000 Aug 17: $2,599,000
A Grand Home Situated In Prime Annex, And Steps To Yorkville, This Spectacular 3 Bedroom 4 Washroom, & 3 Car Garage Estate Is A Rare Find.

#81 breezer1 on 12.16.10 at 10:17 am

just more of the same, not only for real estate but all news except weather and sports. courtesy of the GNE (gobbels news empire).

#82 allister on 12.16.10 at 10:24 am

So CREA’s chief economist has read Oscar Wilde, who said, ” never let the truth get in the way of a good story”

The first thing you need to look at, is who the messenger is and what’s their agenda, when reading “official numbers” and “scientist reports”.

Thanks for the truth Garth, I will write on my list untrustworthy sources the economist from CREA, and the whole CREA organization.

Remember some of these -Y2K, H1N1, bird flu, bees are gone and there will be no food, oil going to $200, military intelligence says there is weapons of mass destruction, Bernanake -don’t worry it’s under control. My list is getting rather long.

#83 Devil's Advocate on 12.16.10 at 10:26 am

#62 René Kabis on 12.16.10 at 5:45 am

Turns out that the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board must be working with “seasonally adjusted” values, too — something is really fishy with Kelowna housing stats: http://vancouvercondo.info/2010/12/something-fishy-with-kelowna-stats.html/all-comments/

The current YTD stats are out of whack by more than 8%!!

Easily explained René. Call me and I’ll show you the raw data. You’ve got my number. ;-)

#84 rower on 12.16.10 at 10:30 am

#32 Alberta Ed

Both!

#85 Nomis Ralpmet on 12.16.10 at 10:32 am

Interested to hear your thoughts on Ed Clark’s musings that the “banks won’t lead way on fixing debt” [globe]. I guess our upstanding financial institutions are keen on pillaging the villagers before the party is over.

Clark’s right. Any bank doing the right thing will be eaten by competitors. This is for F to fix. — Garth

#86 bigrider on 12.16.10 at 10:34 am

Junius #161 from yesterday.

Of course I’m advocating staying out of RE right now. Read my previous posts.

The bullish stampede into RE “investments” among my friends and aquaintances in and around T.O continue unabated.

#87 smw on 12.16.10 at 10:37 am

#77 Jim

Classic!

#88 bigrider on 12.16.10 at 10:41 am

#4 Caveman- “Rules governing sales of financial investments and none for RE”

I have thought that always. Incredible amounts of regulation around the sale of any financial instrument whether it be a mutual fund, ETF and so much documentation required in the file of an investor who uses an advisor. The advisor is under constant liability for advice he gives to a client. So limited in what an advisor can say..and rightfully so as regulation is required.

The ability to use leverage to buy financial investments is heavily, heavily regulated, scrutinized and even frowned upon by advisor dealers as liability increases exponentially. Meanwhile you can buy a washing machine or a property with nothing down and no one bats an eye.

The types of things realtors say to their clients would strip a financial advisor of his registration within minutes.

#89 Ceramic Bull on 12.16.10 at 10:41 am

I seasonally adjusted my marriage, and now we are doing great and looking forward to many fun filled years together. My seasonally adjusted kids are so pleasant and courteous to me now! Life rocks!

#90 Joe Realtor on 12.16.10 at 10:48 am

A note to sellers out there…
If your non-airconditioned house with the shocking pink bedrooms didn’t sell in over 100 days over the summer/autumn…. putting it back on the market now at a higher price is not likely to be successful.

#91 David B on 12.16.10 at 10:57 am

And this bad news bears from jolly ode England.

Coalition wields axe over Christmas as 100,000 jobs to go by spring Flood of warning letters expected to be sent out before 1 January deadline as public sector cuts are formally announced

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/dec/16/public-servants-to-lose-jobs
——————-
And yet things are just fine here in Canader eh? That Canadian Shield is holding housing prices up as a storm of Greater Fools are flip homes and making bundles of cash over-night! Pay raises in Christmas Stockings …. King Steve playing and singing to sold out crowds …

Life if good eh? Merry Christmas …

#92 brunt on 12.16.10 at 10:59 am

I work a lot with statistics and do not, per se, have a problem with the usage of seasonally adjusted numbers.

Where I do have a huge problem with respect to the reporting done by the real estate cartel is that they track housing starts, sales and prices in raw and seasonally adjusted numbers. Nothing wrong with this yet.

Where the problem surfaces is on a bad month, you can pick starts, sales or prices in raw month over month, seasonally adjusted month over month, or year over year. Thus in any one month, they take their pick of nine different numbers, and invariably they will choose the “best” one to trot out in order to make it look like things are constantly going up, up, up.

For instance, have you noticed how a number of years ago that housing starts were used as a primary indicator of health. In my region, I haven’t heard starts used for years. Wonder why? Likely it’s because the number stinks.

Likewise this last spring our local board changed from seasonally adjusted numbers to raw numbers for comparing the number of sales for a couple of months. OF COURSE the number of sales increases in the spring, that is the whole reason to seasonally adjust in the first place.

Also note how on a bad month, excuses will come out – for instance this summer one month the excuse was that the weather was poor, thus there were few sales. Have you ever heard them say on a good month that the number may be overstated because the weather was good? Never.

In short, contrary to popular opinion, it is not possible to make statistics say anything you want. Statistics is a rigourous science where it is actually very difficult to say anything with high confidence.

However, it is often used as a tool for bending the truth. Changing the measuring methodology to suit the numbers is a prime example of how people using statistics lie (not that I did not say that the statistics lie, it is the people using them).

The more that these tricks are used, the closer we are to the jig being up.

I too am tired of the tricks, the economic stupidity, and the outright lies. I don’t know when it will correct, but it will.

Patience.

#93 Agio on 12.16.10 at 11:04 am

I just found my pipe but before I crank up I want to know why this bullshit continues to surprise you GT?
It’s their job to sell this crap and the media whores who report this tripe think vetting means neutering mutts.
The CREA is today what the Teamsters were in the 60’s without Bobby Kennedy chasing thier collective asses.
You’re Canada’s short Bobby Kennedy without the clout but you do have a Hummer and some of your message does get through, maybe more than you think.
You can’t stop people from being stupid or believing what they want to believe. God, you were a politician, you KNOW that.

#94 Aussie Roy on 12.16.10 at 11:16 am

Aussie Update…

ONE of Australia’s largest apartment tower projects, the $850 million Oracle Broadbeach complex on the Gold Coast, is in receivership.

With apartments spanning two towers, the complex also includes a five-star hotel, retail shops and commercial office space.

A report in September suggested remaining apartments ranged in price from $850,000 to $12m for the penthouse.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/gold-coast-complex-crashes-into-receivership/story-e6frg8zx-1225972387131

The Gold Coast is one of the world’s most popular holiday destinations. Everyone knows about the 70km of sun-drenched golden sand beaches. These, along with the lush rainforest hinterland, amazing theme parks, and world class entertainment facilities and exciting calendar of special events, attracts more than four million visitors each year.

http://www.gccec.com.au/australias-gold-coast/

#95 Got A Watch on 12.16.10 at 11:26 am

Lying liars like Realt(ho)rs(TM) or your “media” just tell lies. Then use more lies to “adjust” the numbers till they are more pleasing to the sheeple. Who otherwise might be scared by the truth, so they have to be served “positive” spin instead.

It’s just a symptom of the decay of our society. Lies, the new truth.

Which is why I watch or read almost no MSM these days, unless I can’t avoid it. You will never get the truth, or anything close to it, from them. Just more spin, whose only purpose is to maintain “CONfidence” at all costs, as otherwise their advertisers might be upset. So much for journalism as an impartial profession, or ethics – they don’t know what those words even mean any more.

So I call on all Canadians to boycott the MSM. Don’t buy the bird cage liners they call newspapers, or pay for their crappy TV info-mercial channels on your cable bill. Put them out of business, where they belong – in the unemployment line.

#96 Seasonally adjusted on 12.16.10 at 11:43 am

#95 Got A Watch “Lying liars like Realt(ho)rs(TM) or your “media” just tell lies.”

Well said brother.

#97 Keith in Calgary on 12.16.10 at 11:50 am

There is no question it is a fraud. Just follow the trucks full of money……..or Brad Lamb’s Rolls Royce Phantom.

The “REIC” (real estate industrial complex) is comprised of some of the biggest crooks and con men the world has ever seen. The entire industry is based upon and relies upon hype, lies, theft and cheating to survive. “truth and reality” is concept that is the anti-venom to the industry and those involved within it.

Ask yourself the question……have you ever met “anyone” involved in the selling of real estate who didn’t come across as a total sleezebag and make the hair on the back of your neck stand up, and have you checking your hand to make sure all of your fingers are still there after shaking hands with them ?

Perhaps……..but if you have, you can probably only remember one name out of the hundreds because it is a statistical anomaly that there will always be that 1%.

#98 inexsucks on 12.16.10 at 11:56 am

…If one reporter had said “November sales, when compared to November 2009, were 4.8% better than October 2010 vs. October 2009″, then maybe you’d have a case to make.

They call it Derivative in Applied Math

#99 Rich Renter on 12.16.10 at 12:07 pm

When i was a little boy and tried to make my bad story into a good one, my grandad reminded me “Son call a spade a spade”.

#100 confused3 on 12.16.10 at 12:16 pm

Sorry guys, I am new to real estate market and I am confused. Here is article from Toronto Star:
http://www.moneyville.ca/article/907383–our-housing-market-to-side-step-u-s-style-bubble?bn=1

They basically say no crash in Canada is going to happen!
One thing I noticed is fact that in Canada homeowner can be still responsible financially after defaulting on mortgage (vs. US market).
Is it going to make people here hang on on mortgages and swallow the debt?

I am asking for comments and opinions on this.

#101 Mouldy Basement Renter on 12.16.10 at 12:24 pm

#56 Vancouver Smart Renter
…..Athlete’s(Foot) Village …. I love it !
News on CKNW this am ,
The welfare hords will be occupying 84 suites by Jan 1st! To be soon followed by 84 more rental suites for “emergency services workers” ie cops, firemen and medical staff. All subsidized by the City of Van.of course. Nothing like “staging a 800 million dollar Elephant” to make it look occupied.
news Flash folks . Most Asians like NEW not USED domiciles.
I cant wait to hear the horror stories from these people about the lousy construction , water leaks, etc.
The Olympic Debt just keeps on growing.
My prediction, Interest rates will drive this debt into the stratusphere, and only then , will the City dump it to an investor for a HUGE loss ( pennies on the dollar)
BiggestTaxesonEarth ….indeed.

#102 Junius on 12.16.10 at 12:25 pm

#59 Re Bear,

Welcome to the Blog Gregory Klump.

And to think that the Re cartel lies and exaggerates to us. With all these “honest” realtors like agent Mick on the Board here it is really hard to believe.

Scum too often rises to the top.

#103 Devore on 12.16.10 at 12:33 pm

#60 Seasonally adjusted

But I can tell you if you look on the MLS that prices ARE falling much faster than CREA seasonally adjusted numbers show. You now see Like-for-like homes going cheaper vs a few months ago. Value is improving (ie. $380k for a 2000sq/ft Calgary home vs $450k 6 months ago and $580k 3 years ago).

Even casual observers probably noticed that prices are already lower in many markets. Average, mean, and even benchmark will show whatever fluctuations and anomalies draw them towards, but the general trend is for much better value. Yes, prices are still high, because affordability has not changed much. But buyers are now getting much more (and better) house for their money. Crap properties tend to sit on the market longer now, regardless of price.

Statistical price cuts, even seasonally adjusted, will follow shortly. All through this year, various REAs across the country have been playing number games in their monthly releases. Announcing whatever stats look best, mixing methodologies (ex using SA’ed prices and YoY sales), doing statistically questionable comparisons (like SA’ed YoY, wtf? that’s like an average of averages) and cherry-picking the good news amongst a sea of bad news. You can bet even when everything is down across the board, as long as SOME number can be finagled to be 1% higher than some other number, that will be the headline focus.

Statistics can show anything you want, marketing does the rest.

#104 smw on 12.16.10 at 12:35 pm

#97 Keith in Calgary

Is that 1% seasonally adjusted?

#105 Moneta on 12.16.10 at 12:36 pm

The ability to use leverage to buy financial investments is heavily, heavily regulated, scrutinized and even frowned upon by advisor dealers as liability increases exponentially.
——-
I would argue that households investing in funds/securities while having minimal equity in their homes are using leverage to invest. And that has been quite easy.

#106 Mouldy Basement Renter on 12.16.10 at 12:40 pm

BigggestTaxesOnEarth.
Hmmmmm Olympic spending caused infrastructure repairs to be ignored. Thank goodness the City of Van spent 3 million dollars to put a bicycle lane on Hornby St but a Watermain bursts on Marine Drive and a 30x30x30 foot sinkhole developes.
FYI for all you non Vancouverites .
Marine Dr is a Main arterial commuter route in the south of the city. Its been closed for a week…..
Stay tuned , more infrastructure failures to come. Cause all the money over the past 5 years went to Olympic fluff projects. Cant wait for the next BC Hydro substation to fail ( 3 blackouts in downtown Van in 2008, 2009. One of them lasting 5 days) hows that for attracting business?
Bestplaceon earth until the power runs out……
ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

#107 Mouldy Basement Renter on 12.16.10 at 12:44 pm

Biggest Taxes On Earth
BC Hydro announces in Nov 2010 that their sbstations are “seriously overloaded due to all the construction over the previous 5 years. The last substation built in Dwntwn Van was in the early 1960’s !!!!!!
Cost to upgrade. Estimated by Hydro at $ 250 million( so double it)
Biggest Taxes on Earth……..
ahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

#108 Questioning Leverage on 12.16.10 at 12:45 pm

It’s amazing how many people don’t understand mathematical principles.

Why does everyone find it so hard to believe both numbers can be accurate?

Both the SA and raw data show biases. Here’s

#109 jimboyyc on 12.16.10 at 12:55 pm

Email I sent to Flahery and my local MP today:

I read with alarm today’s comments by Ed Clark of the TD Bank stating that his bank, like the other big banks, would not consider refusing to give a mortgage to a borrower because to do so would result in the loss of a customer to a competitor.

Banks are supposed to refuse loans to risky customers, or charge a higher interest rate. The fact that they will not do so on mortgage loans reflects the fact that these mortgage loans are guaranteed by the Canadian Taxpayer through CMHC. The loans are riskless for the banks and there is no moral hazard to their making these loans. With cash back and other incentives the banks are bending the rules on CMHC qualification.

It is absolutely clear from the recent history in the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain, and numerous other countries that there will be a housing collapse of a greater or lesser degree at some point in Canada. Mark Carney obviously thinks that day is not long off. When house prices retreat more than 5% then CMHC and the Canadian Taxpayer are on the hook for the shortfall on every foreclosure. The potential exposure is in the 10’s or 100’s of Billions of Dollars.

There is no reason why CMHC should insure mortgages on properties that are not owner occupied. Real Estate mortgages are the only investment loans that are guaranteed by the Canadian Taxpayer. My margin account loan for investment purposes is not guaranteed by CMHC and rightly so. Because of the CMHC guarantee banks will loan out hundreds of thousands of dollars to borrowers that the banks would not consider making a business loan (that would create jobs) to. Government and taxpayers should not be in the business of guaranteeing investment loans in real estate.

I strongly urge you to take measures now to reduce CMHC’s exposure by requiring a larger down payment, increasing CMHC premium rates, shortening the amortization period covered, and removing coverage for any investment property. This will reduce the Canadian taxpayers exposure. Failure to do so will, at some point, put us in the same position as Ireland. I urge you to look at the medium and long term consequences of failing to act as opposed to the short term lobby from the real estate industry.

I look forward to your response”

Besides posting to this esteemed blog I suggest the other blogdogs email their MPs on the off chance that their MPs (and Flaherty) missed reading Garth’s postings today and might actually consider their constituents wishes.

#110 eddy on 12.16.10 at 12:59 pm

I agree 100% with Got a Watch:

“So I call on all Canadians to boycott the MSM. Don’t buy the bird cage liners they call newspapers, or pay for their crappy TV info-mercial channels on your cable bill. Put them out of business, where they belong – in the unemployment line.”

Its a lot like the Soviet Union. My rule of thumb- believe the opposite .
the person yelling ‘nuclear threat’ ‘terrorist threat’
‘economic collapse’ is usually working with the instigator of the problem.

I use this site for internet TV:

http://wwitv.com/portal.htm

#111 CTO on 12.16.10 at 1:01 pm

#45 karl hungus

Just a further note on your statement about how immigration will save us all.

Not sure if you read the Globe and Mail artical Karl but here it is again:
“Shrinking middle class makes Toronto a city of socioeconomic extremes”

Basically the artical proves what Garth has been saying all along, that immigration only brings in a few people with actually enough money to buy a house with a comfortable down payment.
The rest?
Well, they will have to leverage their grand kids and of course, be poor like the artical points out.

The few rich people will not be enough to keep pushing prices upwards as the masses become squeezed.

The high income area in T.O will soon enough be sourounded by undesireable areas, ten years out.

detriot used to be a beautiful City prior to the 1970s.
Now, in inner Detriot there is one vibrant liveable comumity (Greek Town). This area is surrounded by blight. Would you want to live in Greek Town?

#112 "A-Sharp" Accountant on 12.16.10 at 1:02 pm

You know, these CREA numbers are almost publicly accountable.

Realtors need to get their trusts audited. Is this that much more different.

Why not have the CREA stats audited, and their statistical principles and methodologies disclosed?

#113 Bottoms_Up on 12.16.10 at 1:02 pm

Can I seasonally adjust the HST and have it deducted from my purchases?

Or how about seasonally adjusting my entire hydro bill — they pay me (oh, wait, Dalton already set up this program for rich folk/corporations capable of installing extensive solar panels)!!

#114 AG Sage on 12.16.10 at 1:05 pm

If they said “seasonally adjusted on an annualized basis” or something like that. That would be fine.

“seasonally adjusted sales now stand 19.5% above levels recorded in July, 2010.”

This is cherry picking. If it’s not it’s at least disingenuous. It’s easy to settle what’s really going on. Anyone have a subscription to the raw data?

#115 Bottoms_Up on 12.16.10 at 1:05 pm

#91 David B on 12.16.10 at 10:57 am
————————————-
What’s sick about that is those job losses from the public service only reduce the government deficit by 1-2%.

#116 T.O. Bubble Boy on 12.16.10 at 1:11 pm

@ #34 viewer:

What part of this don’t you get?

Everyone agrees that there is validity to having “Seasonally Adjusted” numbers to understand how each month’s data compares to its seasonal average.

However, you can’t report the numbers in a way that makes it seem that total sales rose in November!

Almost every media outlet reported the tidbit that we’ve seen “4 straight months of increased sales”… which is a ridiculous statement, given that September is a peak month, and November-December-January are the slow months.

Another factor to consider here: when you are in a slower month (like November), the data set is smaller (i.e. the denominator is smaller), and you should expect higher variance in these types of comparisons. If a few multi-million dollar homes sell in November, that has a bigger impact vs. if they sold in May or September. So, seasonally-adjusted *median* price is probably a better gauge of the overall market.

At the end of the day, there are dishonest/misleading press releases from the CREA that get re-published by every media outlet with zero editing/analysis… and that is a problem.

#117 Calgary_rip Off on 12.16.10 at 1:16 pm

What seasonal adjustment? Not many homes to choose from in Calgary for the price. Unless you choose to reside in Forest Lawn. Better to wait until spring when there is more inventory and interest rates go up, if they ever do.

If you go to open houses the prices are still overinflated in Calgary and likely the house needs work or the sellers have to sell. If they have to sell then why are the prices so high still?

The answer is simple. Someone will end up being the fool. In Russia there is a card game named Durak. The one stuck with the card at the end is the fool. This is what is happening in the housing market. Someone will end up getting screwed.

The key is to only buy the place if you really like it and the price is right. Otherwise you will end up like all the other cattle that bought in 2007 when to have a house at any cost was the goal in a massive idiotic collusion to create an ominous bubble.

#118 Howie on 12.16.10 at 1:18 pm

Whoa.. I got recognition from Garth. I am that “somebody else posted that this ‘source’ was mistaken: house sales in Canada actually climbed last month by 4.8%” post #105.

#119 realpaul on 12.16.10 at 1:30 pm

Right you are Garth…’seasonally adjusted’, just fills in gaps where a market should be based on historical data….it is in fact….lies. To take data from an artificially juiced boom time and overlay it on the plummeting sales numbers of today is classic mis direction and yes….it would be fraud in most cases..if Canada had any consumer protection laws worth claiming.

In the US the advertisers have to disclaim such claims such as the realtors do as what and where the advertising statements come from…ie ‘This is paid for by the real estate industry’….’so and so is paid by…..’….not so in Canada eh?

The fact that newspapers reprint press statements without edit or opinion is exactly why they are going the way of the dodo bird. The Canadian media is ad filler and bird cage liner…everyone knows it.

It doesn’t take much to understand that when the government announces that ‘x’ thousands of people didn’t collect EI last month it was because they ran out of weeks….not that they have found work. The same seasonally adjusted skullduggery is played out in the unemployment numbers.

Hedonic measurement is another monumental scam played on the slightly baked. We all know that inflation is running at 30++% and not the 1% that the BOC is told to announce……you have to be braindead not to notice your cornflakes doubling in price this past year.

Meanwhile a fight is brewing in the boardrooms as the bansters tell Flaherty to ‘F’ Off. They want no part of the ‘I told you so’ mantra that the government is setting up as personal debt jumps past 150%.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/banks-wont-lead-way-on-fixing-debt-problem-tds-clark/article1839794/

#120 GregW, Oakville on 12.16.10 at 1:31 pm

Hi #100 confused3, You might find Garth’s book(s) informative. It’s often usefully to be open to ideas and us your own brain. Finding good or useful info isn’t always easy. I believe Garth simple tells it as he see it to help the most people he can. Sure he might be wrong about some things, but he’s just human.
Keep looking for good info for yourself. You might find Garth’s blog is a useful place to keep coming back to.

#121 GregW, Oakville on 12.16.10 at 1:40 pm

Hi Garth, fyi At last some more responsible public officials capable of reading the lasted science available and using there critical thinking skills to act in the publics best long term health interests, including they own families best interest, since they drink the water too!

Burlington: Public Works subcommittee says No to water fluoridation
http://www2.fluoridealert.org/Alert/United-States/Vermont/Burlington-Public-Works-subcommittee-says-No-to-water-fluoridation

“After considerable review, we as a subcommittee are unanimous in our support of the deferral of fluoridation in Burlington water until such time as there are scientific studies covering the potential health effects evaluated in the 2006 NRC report (…). Furthermore, we support consideration of the suspension of fluoridation given that there are other readily available sources of fluoride for dental health, and because as an additive to drinking water it takes away the choice by the public (…)

In 2006 Burlington voters chose to keep fluoride in the public drinking water. Fifteen days later the National Research Council released its report entitled “Fluoride in Drinking Water.” Citing this report in January of 2009 the Burlington Board of Health advised the City Council to “immediately cease and desist fluoridation.” The Board of Health raised concerns that certain subgroups of citizens, including infants, the elderly, and kidney patients were at increased risk to the toxic effects of fluoride. The Board also pointed to the American Dental Association’s warning against infants consuming fluoridated water and the National Kidney Foundation’s retraction of endorsement in November of 2008.”

#122 Mr. Plow on 12.16.10 at 1:41 pm

#18 McLovin…

So you all obsess about DA, wanting him to leave your precious blog like it is your little comfort place that you need to read to get through your day.

Then when his posts drop off, and he stops with the pissing contests with everyone (including you), you continue to needle him? What is it? Do you need a little online argument to feel like a big boy?

Instead, how about you take off your diaper, put on your big boy pants and post something that is relevant to the discussion.

Pathetic.

#123 Mr. Plow on 12.16.10 at 1:45 pm

Garth…

Good post today, simply because I didn’t notice that misnomer.

I would assume that most people, including myself, are not statisticians; seasonally adjusting numbers that are so relevant to the true picture of the market seems highly unethical.

Its too bad the reporting is so biased, it would be a breath of fresh air to see a member of the MSM point that out. I would guess people as a whole would look at the numbers differently, CREA would lose credibility and simply to remain relevant they would have to change their method of reporting the stats.

I’m not holding my breath though.

#124 GregW, Oakville on 12.16.10 at 1:54 pm

Hi Garth, fyi article

Lindsey Williams: Crude Oil Price Targeted for $150-200 per Barrel
http://www.infowars.com/lindsey-williams-crude-oil-price-targeted-for-150-200-per-barrel/

#125 Mr. Confused on 12.16.10 at 2:08 pm

anyone know what happened to the charts on guava.ca? Seem to have gone missing and they were quite useful.

#126 vreaa on 12.16.10 at 2:09 pm

CBC – Repeat After Me:
“An Investment For Real Estate Doesn’t Make Me Nervous”

What is it to be? One day after appropriately scaring the socks off the populus with warnings regarding precarious debt levels, the CBC marches out a mortgagee and two paid shills to reassure everybody that it’s perfectly fine to keep fighting the good fight and piling on the ‘Good Debt’ (by buying even more RE).
Watch the end of the clip for the mortgagee interrogation. Convinced? Neither were we. Note the eye roll, the verbal hesitation, the faux ‘strong’ stance. He’d earlier called his debt “daunting”. Also note the quirky phrasing: “an investment for real estate doesn’t make me nervous”. More like some kind of sacrifice; like dying ‘for’ a cause.
And then, to confuse everybody further, the CBC ends the piece with a warning about the interest rate ‘Wild Card’. Perhaps they’ll retract that tomorrow.
Some nice drive-by shots of very overpriced Vancouver westside homes.
The wise are nervous at this point.

http://wp.me/pcq1o-1Ea

#127 Live within your means on 12.16.10 at 2:11 pm

My rant: We had an ETS system put in Nov 25th & NS power inspector approved it on the 26th; said it would take at least 5 days to put in new time of day meter. Called them last week – nothing on database. After I found the paper & permit no. (which husband had left in the basement) they finally located it. Meanwhile, we hired an electrician to replace our fuse panel with a breaker panel and install a whole home power surge protector panel. The same NS power inspector had dealt with the electrican over the years and highly recommended him as well.

Our electrician arrived at 8 am this morning and said NS power would be here shortly to remove the meter. After upteen tel calls to power co by the electrician and I, a power corp guy finally came and removed the meter at 1 pm. The electrician had booked the removal of the meter over a week ago and had the permit no. Hopefully NS Power will come back to hook us up today, otherwise we’ll have to use our generator to keep our fridge and freezer going. The excuses I was given made no sense re dates, etc. and I told them so. But, I understand they are front line staff. Its the power corp thats at fault. Electrician told me of some major screwups he has had to deal with since privitization of the power corp. Yeah, they let go 100’s of linemen. Lots of Nova Scotians are disgusted with the service we receive since then. I’m trying to convince husband to sell our shares in Emera which we bought when the govt. privatized.

#128 GregW, Oakville on 12.16.10 at 2:14 pm

Hi Garth, fyi BBC news 8min video link
Do you recall PM Harper’s G20 & SPP meetings and what actually took place?
If they can do it to ‘them’ you and your family are not safe from abuse if you chose to peacefully protest.

Police Drag Cerebral Palsy Sufferer from Wheelchair Twice
http://www.infowars.com/police-drag-cerebral-palsy-sufferer-from-wheelchair-twice/

#129 VICTORIA TEA PARTY on 12.16.10 at 2:15 pm

MR. CARNEY GIVETH AND MR CARNEY (CAN) TAKETH AWAY

Well, seasonally adjusted, the Canadian real estate industry has pretty much screwed its pooch.

CREA, this amoral organization (it has no morals to degrade in the first place!) leaves Mr. Carney, through this fudging of sales, etc., stats, a full-on reason to crank up interest rates at his next meeting sometime in the new year.

You see, CREA, perception in a central banker’s mind packs way more punch that what actually maybe the case, economically. In otherwords, CREA, Mr. Carney thinks ONLY about future economic dynamics. And those are all-over ugly. Example, the Baltic Dry Index, has been slithering south ever since the Christmas parcel shipping season wound down about six weeks ago. BAD NEWS.

Impending higher interest rates, therefore, means coals for Christmas for many of those recent highly-leveraged, star-struck, real estate victims. What a way to treat current and future generations of families about to be saddled with a higher interest rate future.

I know, I know, that Mr. Carney’s monetary policies can only influence 30 to 90 day T-bill rates. But it’s a combination of a subtle half-point push, COUPLED with world-wide angst on future interest rates on 10-year bonds in: Portugal Greece, Ireland, Spain, UK, EU, USA, Japan, Canada, Brazil, and so on, that REALLY COOKS YOUR MORTGAGE GOOSE. Those bond yields are heading up through the roof.

Just remember that, seasonally adjusted, Mr. Carney has NO SENSE OF HUMOUR.

CREA, you nitwit organization. You’ll get what you deserve, shortly, not what you wanted. Look at what you have wrought, you morons.

#130 Aussie Roy on 12.16.10 at 2:16 pm

confused3 on 12.16.10 at 12:16 pm

Lets see.

http://www.moneyville.ca/article/907383–our-housing-market-to-side-step-u-s-style-bubble?bn=1

“American politicians encouraged banks to make it easy for consumers to buy a home. The banks ended up lending to people who never would have legitimately qualified for a mortgage. Basically, if you had a pulse, you got approved”.

Have your banks lending standards changed over the last 10 years? Have people been able to borrow more due to low interest rates?. I’d say yes but do your own research. The question here is has credit been easy and increasing as a multple of household income.

“Many states in the U.S. have non-recourse mortgages. This means that if you default on a mortgage loan, the only remedy for the bank is to take back the property. They cannot sue you for any loss suffered. This also doesn’t apply in any province except Alberta?”

Firstly only 9 states have non recourse loans. Did the other 41 states not have a crash? – think Florida. We get this one here as well, its rubbish. Usually there is also something about we Aussies love our houses more than anyone, LOL.

This is a “FLUFF” piece which chooses to look at the differences instead of the obvious similarities. These may include.
House mania, rapidly increasing prices, compressed rental yields, large personal debt as a percentage of GDP, house mania, TV shows and seminars on how to get rich from RE, mega profits from the mortgage industry/banks and did I mention house mania.

Until someone can convience me that price to income ratios and rent to price ratios dont matter (highly unlikely but I keep an open mind), its obvious when you look around the world its a global credit bubble nothing more nothing less.

#131 Lonely Limey on 12.16.10 at 2:19 pm

In todays Business section of the Toronto Star:

Paul Anand blames the FIFA World Cup fever on the low point for sales in July.

“Everything just stopped…….no one was buying”

There you go folks, those powerhouses of world football – Algeria and Slovenia – were playing, so all the buyers in the land thought sod this for a game of soldiers and lets watch the match…….. What a bag of bollocks

Estate Agents……………they don’t half boil my piss.

#132 bigrider on 12.16.10 at 2:21 pm

Moneta #105.

Yes just as easy but the argument I was trying to make was that leveraging to buy securities is not only risky for the investor doing ,so but the responsibility and liability to the advisor is such that greater care is normally taken by the advisor. I am not putting advisors on a pedistal by any means but the amount of compliance both from the underlying dealer and regulatory bodies is such that when a complaint is registered on an advisor, their is hell to pay. Advisors are guilty until proven innocent in the eyes of all.

Where is the regulation among mortgage brokers and RE agents when it comes to the advice they give especially with regard to leverage?

That was simply the point I was trying to make.

#133 GregW, Oakville on 12.16.10 at 2:32 pm

Hi Garth,fyi Is your blog going to get cut too???

YouTube Allows Users to Flag Content as Terror Promotion
http://www.infowars.com/youtube-allows-users-to-flag-content-as-terror-promotion/

#134 fancy_pants on 12.16.10 at 2:47 pm

smoke and mirrors folks. Those stats make for a great show if you take it for face value – entertainment. And no, those aren’t 3D glasses you’re holding – they are rose-coloured glasses.

When the curtain comes down CREA will swear it was a blindside and nobody could have seen it coming. Fools who purchased RE to support a perceived indicator of economic or social status are first up for a slice and dice.

Now if you’ll excuse me I have to go and get some popcorn. I hear the encore presentation is fabulous…and I’m putting on my 3D glasses for that one.

#135 prollywrong on 12.16.10 at 2:56 pm

Y’know, although I don’t own property, the bubble – and your HELOC – has been good to me. I spent most of my twenties (2003-2009) in Vancouver. I worked six days a week, ten hours a day in construction from May through September of every year. I started as a labourer making 14.00 bucks an hour, and spent the last several seasons running crews for 28.00. For a semi-skilled worker, those are bubble wages.

We lived in a two bedroom apartment off Main for 800.00 a month, and I banked 75% of every cheque. We never spent recklessly, and I never felt tight for cash.

The bubble paid for four years of post-secondary education, debt free.

The bubble paid for 18 months of international travel after I graduated. It paid for sunrise over the Taj Mahal. It paid for being blessed by a Tibetan monk in a temple at 18,000 feet in the Himalayan mountains. It paid for a month living in a clay hut on the beaches of Southern India. It paid for time spent hanging with the gorillas in Uganda, for feeding wild Hyenas in Ethiopia, for kayaking through the jungles of Northern Thailand.

The bubble paid for the additional six months I spent rockclimbing in the Southern US, and it paid for climbing El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. It paid for several lifelong dreams.

Now, in my early thirties, my wife and I are debt free. We have good jobs and two hundred grand in the bank. And we are out of Vancouver: it was the right place for us then, but not now.

I’m still in contact with some of my Vancouver construction buddies. Things have slowed. The overtime is gone. They have fifty thousand dollar trucks and impossible mortgages. They saved nothing.

Bubble or bust, it’s all about priorities.

#136 BrianT on 12.16.10 at 3:02 pm

Lira sums it up simply-meanwhile Goldman announces gigantic record bonuses today http://gonzalolira.blogspot.com/2010/12/want-to-ruin-your-own-country-assume.html#more

#137 Aussie Roy on 12.16.10 at 3:05 pm

http://www.alternativeinsight.com/Tulips_of_Stone.html

“As home buyers are pushed beyond all reasonable limits in taking out their mountainous mortgages by schemes ever more fantastic, implausible and irresponsible, including the macabre and hyper cynical “death bed mortgages” hatched in the cynical home of mortgage engineering “par excellence,” the UK; the so called regulators whimper weak warning signals about an impending avalanche of potential defaults. As if to prove the insanity of the human mass psyche, any thought that this improbable lunacy may stop is met by the mentality, reminiscent of the “Tulip Mania” of Holland, and the “South Sea Bubble” in England, that these investments can never go down as though bricks and mortar have some association with an all powerful deity and are immune from the laws of economics and common sense”.

#138 jess on 12.16.10 at 3:22 pm

I’m disgusted. Seasonally adjusted, I’m blissed.

…too funny…

but all that smoothing will roundoff your pointee parts

#139 Reasonfirst on 12.16.10 at 3:30 pm

I am thinking this is how “shoulders” happen. Enough people believe the BS that there is a recovery to push things up a little which then clears out the remaining fools.

#140 triplenet on 12.16.10 at 3:37 pm

Is it possible that CREA is using the same statisticians as the global warming scientists?
That hockey stick graph – was it seasonally adjusted?
Ya think?

Seasonally adjusted and average price – info for those who like to read. That’s all.

It is difficult to find any house that sold for the average price.
Tell the hotel clerk at the Fairmont you want to pay the average price for your room – and you want that quote to be seasonally adjusted.
Get it?

#141 GregW, Oakville on 12.16.10 at 3:42 pm

Hi Garth, fyi

Flaherty pitches pooled pensions to the provinces
http://news.sympatico.ctv.ca/home/flaherty_pitches_pooled_pensions_to_the_provinces/25cbe484
CTV.ca News Staff
The federal government wants all the provinces to sign on to a plan that would allow small businesses, employees and even the self-employed to set up their own pension plans….

#142 David B on 12.16.10 at 3:43 pm

#115 Bottoms_Up on 12.16.10 at 1:05 pm
—————–

It’s is happening here by not hiring replacement retirements and it is about to get even worst.

Remember the chatter they want more MP’s and Senators?

USA population 330 million
CDN …………… ..33 million

USA 100 Senatos CDN 105!

USA 465 Congressmen CDN 308!

And Harper & Co want more!

#143 Live within your means on 12.16.10 at 3:51 pm

Follow up to my rant. Its 3:30 pm and we finally have power on and the NS power guy put in a time of day meter. Electrician only charged us $1452. for panel, surge protector, etc. And its above board. Considering his time, etc. thought that was good. We had a few good conversations as he and his wife travel extensively. He owns his own business. So nice to have elec. back on.

#144 Utopia on 12.16.10 at 4:00 pm

My neighbor was setting up his new Christmas tree yesterday. Out with the old and in with the new.

He set the box with the antique plastic tree out by his backyard bin where it subsequently got strewn across the lane by some unknown rowdy. He saw me collecting the detritus in the morning and asked good naturedly “So are you digging through my trash now?”

“This is pure gold” I answered. I had a stack of three weathered and yellowed Star Phoenix newspapers from the late 1970’s in my hands. “These damn things read like they were written today!”

Gold it was reported, was rising sharply, there were inflation fears, concerns over oil supplies and worries about the US pulling us all out of recession.

“And hey, I shot back, don’t you remember when we all listened to ABBA and it was really cool music? A music ad in the classifieds had caught my eye. “What on earth possessed you to throw these papers out?”

He just shrugged, got in his car and headed off to work. These papers are a goldmine I thought, shivering out in the lane so I headed inside to read them for the first time again in 33 years.

From one of the papers of December 1975:

A 675 square foot starter home could be had for under 25,000 or a brand new Honda could be had for a mere 3395.00 with no down payment needed. To our south, the US was about to celebrate it’s 200th birthday, it’s bicentennial. Guy Lombardo will bring in the new year at New York’s Waldorf Astoria hotel with his own rendition of Auld Lang Syne, the paper gushed.

Over in British Columbia meanwhile a bitter strike involving bakeries and supermarkets was headed back to negotiations as a January deadline of “back to work” legislation loomed.

Pierre Trudeau had just introduced wage and price controls under his anti-inflation program a few months earlier limiting wage increases to between 8 an 12 percent! Bring back those days, eh.

What really struck me most though was the quality of the journalism and the depth and insights in the articles presented by these papers. Gee I thought, I really have to start getting more of my news from “the old days”.

And so here is ABBA from 1979, the year that Gold was parabolic and just months before it reached it’s highest price point in history. I recall dancing up a storm in a Vancouver club with a girl I was crazy about in that year and to this exact same song. The tune resonated then as it does now. It suggested hope when life looked to be it’s darkest. And couldn’t we all stand to be more hopeful now?

So this post has nothing to do with today’s article, but it is almost Christmas and I am in a good mood. It just struck me as funny how old memories could get stirred up by trash swirling around my back lane after a Saskatoon snowstorm.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiJMln3q7GU&feature=related

#145 Vancouver_Bear on 12.16.10 at 4:38 pm

#30 BC Bring Cash on 12.16.10 at 1:23 am

According to Devil’s Advocate (from parallel universe in Constellation of BCREA) things are covered in gold and silver in Kelowna….he does not have physical ability to collect it all….so he hired legions of helpers to help collecting gold from the ground and trees. Sarcasm off.

#146 poco on 12.16.10 at 4:44 pm

Anyone see BNN on Tue–Don Campbell-President of Real Estate Investment Network was on talking about the outlook for Canadian RE
I’ve seen him before and he seemed pretty well “staight up”

http://watch.bnn.ca/#clip389379

he talks about the gov’t interference with the market and the run up in prices and how in July the tables turned and sales and prices started falling

he goes on to say how “chinese money” came into the GTA and Van markets as they saw these as safe havens and now these same chinese investors are removing their money as they don’t see the RE market as safe or stable

i went to BNN website to watch this clip again and found they have cut the video at 1:54 in—no doom and gloom allowed

watch the 1:54 and look at Michael H.’s facial expression when Campbell mentions the gov’t interference

if the link doesn’t work it was tues 4:45 bnn.ca

I guess this guy will not be back on BNN –banned, just like Garth

#147 Sail1 on 12.16.10 at 4:46 pm

#116 T.O. Bubble Boy

At the end of the day, there are dishonest/misleading press releases from the CREA that get re-published by every media outlet with zero editing/analysis… and that is a problem.

And this is a problem for who?

People that that own homes out right?

People thinking of buying a home?

Highly leveraged people?

Provincial governments?

Federal government?

Unions?

Stock market?

Any political party?

People looking for a employment?

exactly who is this twist on numbers going to hurt short term?

#148 BrianT on 12.16.10 at 4:57 pm

Greg141-Every person in this country, employed or otherwise, should be forced to contribute a certain amount of money each month to the connected banks (let’s call this latest scam a “pooled pension” ). They can watch over it for us and when we are old and sick they will take care of us with a gentle touch.

#149 big_cheese on 12.16.10 at 5:04 pm

confused3 – how are you going to make foreign companies responsible for debt.

My experience in the past shows, if there is a will there is a way.

If a foreign company walks away from a mortgage, how are you going to get them. A corporation is a separate entity, they will kill the company and create another company. Therefore company A debt will be a wash.

If foreign investors distributes money to their buddies and friends and then declare bankruptcy in a foreign country. How are you going to get them.

OH please, our justice system can’t even stop rapist, and hard criminals. Do you think they will get this right.
I’m sure the Banks has an OUT and same with the foreign rich people, it will take us a decade before this problem can be solved. But I’m banking on higher taxes and the working class dog forking out and paying the bill for this.

#150 Bill Grable on 12.16.10 at 5:07 pm

Auld Lang Syne to a lifestyle?

Posted in light of the fact that this is OUR BIGGEST TRADING PARTNER.

Remember the adage ” When America gets a Cold, Canada gets Pneumonia”.

From > Is America the sick man of the globe?

“Not long ago, if you wanted steak for lunch at the Texan Restaurant, less than two minutes drive from the Nexteer Automotive assembly plant, you had to be in the door by 11 o’clock in the morning.
If you arrived any later, you joined a long line with other laggards and waited for a table to open up.

With noon fast approaching on a recent day, however, only a handful of customers sat in one of the restaurant’s two sections and the other was closed.
Asked how the decline in the U.S. auto industry has affected the local economy, Tammy Maynard, a waitress here since 1988, waved a hand around at the empty tables and said: “You’re looking at it, sugar.”

Regulars and retirees keep the restaurant in business, while workers at the nearby auto supplier plant buy steak at the beginning of the month when they get paid — if they come at all — and then dine on specials over the next four weeks.

“I just keep praying every day that we’ve hit the bottom and that things are going to get better,” Maynard said, “because it doesn’t seem like it could get any worse.”

http://tinyurl.com/33h2omk

#151 Utopia on 12.16.10 at 5:07 pm

There is an article discussing some of the implications of the recent commodity boom on the Third World, outcomes for bonds, concerns over holding cash in the current rate environment and related global risks.

Here is the link for those with a bit of extra time to burn and an interest in a macro view of the global economy.

http://www.rickackerman.com/2010/12/a-world-in-upheaval/

#152 Devore on 12.16.10 at 5:07 pm

#132 bigrider

Where is the regulation among mortgage brokers and RE agents when it comes to the advice they give especially with regard to leverage?

Time and time again we hear from the real estate “professionals” what a good, time-tested investment real estate is. Are these people qualified to dish out investment advice? I don’t think so. Is anyone reporting on their news releases doing any critical research or investigation, or labeling the story “Advertisement”? I don’t think so.

CREA and the regional REAs work for the real estate industry. As long as there is money payable to their members on real estate transactions, it will always be a good time to buy, and real estate always goes up.

As Carney reminded us yesterday and earlier in the week, assets may be up, but assets that Canadians own (their homes) do not service their debt. Debt is serviced from current cashflow. The most important criteria in lending, ability to repay (or at least service) hinges on historically low rates. If rates go up, or ability to service declines due to economic circumstances, then it does not matter what the assets are worth, because it will be impossible for everyone to sell them (to the 30% remaining non-owning population presumably).

This is a very dangerous situation, as I am sure will be painfully demonstrated in the not-too-distant future, and Carney, if he doesn’t ride off into the sunset by then, will smugly remind us “I told you so”.

#153 D from London, ON on 12.16.10 at 5:20 pm

#130 Bill ( Peterborough) – from posting way back on Dec. 9th –

In answer to your two questions:

1) Q: Could you please clarify this , especially about ” work for their masters on call”?

A: Sure, no problem. In this statement I am refering to contractors and subcontractors, both the traditional kinds (i.e. construction) but also the vast array of people who work individually or in small teams on contract work of all sorts (IT, Engineering, and so on and so on). They work when their masters (the people who have the work to get done) call them or put work out for tender. These people (especially when they employ a few helpers) really believe they are “small business people”.

2) Q: Would like to hear your version of what is ”Real Capital”.

A: Also no problem. The people with the real capital are the 2% of the world’s population who control 90% of the world’s wealth (i.e. economic elites). The rest of us 92% are just fighting over the 10% table scraps.

As you can see by now I am a long-time subsriber to Elite Theory. Wikipedia is a good place to get a short description of the theory.

I would be pleased to answer any other questions.

D

#154 TheBestPlaceOnEarth on 12.16.10 at 5:33 pm

English Bay. Stop. Look at the Towers of Progress. Of SinglePurpose. Awe! Might! Strength. Be Silent! You are Aware of A True Presence, something not of this World. You are witnessing Vancouver

#155 Off-gridder on 12.16.10 at 5:50 pm

“RE/MAX is Canada’s leader with over 18,000 sales associates situated throughout its more than 690 independently-owned and operated offices in Canada.” (source: http://www.remax-oa.com/media-newsroom/article/63/)

My question is how many realtors are there nationally in comparison to annual national house sales? How many houses per realtor per year? How many of them own a house or two? Are they covered by E.I? What will the overall impact be on realtors in the event of a bust? Just wondering….

#156 Ottawa on 12.16.10 at 5:59 pm

In case you missed:
http://www.financialpost.com/personal-finance/Warning+Asset+bubbles+underway/3976343/story.html

wait and enjoy

#157 Mikey the Realtor on 12.16.10 at 6:30 pm

#10 april

You caught me. Your desperation for a RE collapse is revealing as with most on this blog, but because I’m a nice fellow, I’m still here to make purchases happen for the pups and poodles.

#158 Junius on 12.16.10 at 6:46 pm

#154 BPOE,

You said, “Something not of this World.”

That would be you.

#159 Love this Blog on 12.16.10 at 6:58 pm

#154 Hello DA. Things must REALLY be slow.

#160 Junius on 12.16.10 at 7:03 pm

#147 Sail1,

You asked,”exactly who is this twist on numbers going to hurt short term?”

It sustains the illusion and may catch a few more greaterfools. This hurts us all because they will be just one more Canadian family hurt by this insanity and no doubt will impact us all indirectly because it will diminish their lives, lower their purchase power and possibly add to the national debt when they can’t pay their mortgage and the CMHC steps in.

Where have you been?

#161 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 12.16.10 at 7:04 pm

#141 GregW, Oakville — Hi Greg — a really good post and link.

Seems that just like the WH is thinking of stealing folks’ 401K’s and LIRAs, and replacing them with worthless T-Bills, so the feds. here may be looking for an escape route (passing a dumbed-down version of CPP / OAS / GIS) by inviting the broke provinces to participate in things they cannot afford.

The feds., provinces and States are dead meat. We’re simply breathing empty fumes to sustain us. The sooner sheeple wake up and realize this, the better — maybe they will have enough time and money saved to put their own lives in order.

#162 Junius on 12.16.10 at 7:06 pm

#156 Mikey,

Your ability to smell desperation is truly a wonder. After the RE thing collapses for you there is good job at the airport sniffying out terrorists awaiting you.

Airport Security lines will also remind you of the good old days of multiple offers as people trot by on their way to somewhere else.

Clearly you have the aptitude if you are willing to upgrade your education.

#163 Devil's Advocate on 12.16.10 at 7:18 pm

1. The reason the stats are not what you believe they should be is conspiracy. Yup that is what it is… we are manipulating the data and reporting it one way or another or not at all to suit our own CREA agenda.

2. Actually now that the Competition Bureau is seeking unfettered access to the MLS raw data. So we’re tainting it, rendering it useless, sabotage.

3. Next? Commission is out and Retainer is in. Already started in the US. Just a matter of time.

… which is true and which is false; 1, 2 or 3?

#164 jess on 12.16.10 at 7:36 pm

Maybe instead of bank closing Fridays rename it to
fraud fridays

“reframing ” the framework”

http://republicanleader.house.gov/UploadedFiles/Financial_Crisis_Primer_Final.pdf
========

The cost of the war in Afghanistan to the US taxpayer is currently running at about $100 billion per year. The cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to economist Joe Stiglitz, is not less than $50,000 per American family over the last nine years. Tea Party candidate and victor Senator-elect Rand Paul has suggested that talk about debt reduction is meaningless if one ignores the single largest discretionary spending item in the budget, the defense budget. Paul says that all items must be “on the table.”

==============

Wall Street operating from a business model based on fraud Ya think?
“A corrupt network of insiders at some of the world’s leading technology companies served as so-called consultants who sold out their employers by stealing and then peddling their valuable inside information,”

WARLORD, INC.
Extortion and Corruption Along the U.S. Supply Chain in Afghanistan
Chairman Tierney Releases Majority Staff Report: Warlord, Inc.
The Majority staff of the Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs released a report entitled, Warlord, Inc. Extortion and Corruption Along the …
oversight.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content…id… – Cached
===========

#165 AG Sage on 12.16.10 at 7:48 pm

#154 TheBestPlaceOnEarth on 12.16.10 at 5:33 pm

Seriously? You have devolved into performance art.

I’ve been a lot of places over my now grey haired years. For shopping, hands down, I’d take Singapore. For restaurants, New York City. For outdoor socializing, Munich. Sure, the view from the condo I usually rent is nice, and the upward viewscape in general because of the hills has something NY doesn’t, but that’s it. Good food is hit or miss. The shopping is eh, and expensive. And there is no place to sit outside and drink for hours on end with 7000 of your closest friends. It’s really sort of lame. Fortunately, I’m usually too busy with responsibilities to care, but it does make me wonder where the punchbowl of koolaid is because I haven’t managed to accidentally drink any and I haven’t been too careful.

The other thing that would freak me out, long term, is no one there I’ve ever asked (and this has become a habitual survey of mine) has any plans/supplies in the way of disaster preparedness. No one.

#166 Vancouver_Bear on 12.16.10 at 7:50 pm

#154 TheBestPlaceOnEarth on 12.16.10 at 5:33 pm

Little correction here…..The city as of last Sunday called Gangcouver. Therefore bulletproof vests must be worn at all times by asian investors and other visitors. AK-47 is nice to have, but not necessary to carry yet.

#167 karl hungus on 12.16.10 at 7:51 pm

CTO,

Who said the immigrants had to buy? They all have to live somewhere, so they can rent and someone else buys the house.

The point is that with more immigration comes more demand for housing. Someone has to buy the house that they rent from.

#168 CTO on 12.16.10 at 8:00 pm

mikey the puppy

Do you sell RE in Florida,…cause that’s the only place I’d be buyin right now!

House in Sunny Cape Coral, Ocean access
$65,0000.

Compared to a dump in decaying T.O or Van….

#169 Behavioral Finance on 12.16.10 at 8:24 pm

RE Bear

The Bentleys, Ferraris and Lamborghinis. The Rolexes. Indeed, I went for lunch at a sushi joint, and I saw not 2, not 3, but 7 mainland Chinese billionaires on at least 2 cell phones each talking to their RE reps in investing their trillions of wealth in the market that’s hot-hot-hot– Vancouver.

This kind of reminds me of what happened to Japan in early 1990s and couple years later the dream was gone.

#170 Behavioral Finance on 12.16.10 at 8:30 pm

Interesting article. Housing accounts for 20% of GDP. Ouch.

http://money.cnn.com/2010/11/12/real_estate/canada_housing_bust.fortune/index.htm

Lower housing prices could hit Canadians fairly hard. Housing accounts for more than 20% of Canada’s GDP, and its employment gains have been fueled by continued spending in the construction industry, which is one of Canada’s largest and fastest growing employment sectors. In October, while the number of workers in Canada’s massive service sector declined by 33,000, construction added 21,000 jobs.

#171 Behavioral Finance on 12.16.10 at 8:31 pm

That is pretty scary.

That level hasn’t improved. Recent government data shows that the average Canadian with a two-story home spends almost 50% of his household income on mortgage servicing, with the average is closer to 70% in red-hot markets like Vancouver

#172 Behavioral Finance on 12.16.10 at 8:33 pm

This is a pretty decent report. Definitely this debt trend is unsustainable.

http://www.rbc.com/economics/market/pdf/house.pdf

#173 Boombust on 12.16.10 at 8:44 pm

“Over in British Columbia meanwhile a bitter strike involving bakeries and supermarkets” (1975)

I remember it well. Strolling through a bare-shelved Super-Valu…

The year before that, we had a RE boom. No HUGE collapse, however. Rising wages allowed house prices to stabilize and go sideways for many years afterward.

Not this time, though.

#174 jess on 12.16.10 at 8:48 pm

bless you JP

December 16, 2010 3:17 PM
JPMorgan Chase to donate $2.3 million for Detroit neighborhoods, education citywide
By Sherri Welch
| | | | | |
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) plans on Friday to announce $2.3 million in grants to stabilize and improve two Detroit neighborhoods and education throughout the city.

Thegrants focus on continuing neighborhood development and foreclosure mitigation in the city’s North End and Southwest neighborhoods, and education there and in other parts of the city through a grant to Teach for America.

With the newest grants, which encourage collaboration among nonprofits, JP Morgan Chase has contributed a total of $3.2 million to nonprofit efforts in Detroit this year

#175 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 12.16.10 at 9:05 pm


Going back to Greg W.’s post #141, it poses (for me, anyway) a few other questions.

Banks generally have loan-loss provisions to cover their butts, so how much would they have put aside for the stuff now unfolding before our eyes?

IF banks receive inside info. that us sheeples are not privy to, and increase their LLProvisions by a significant amount, does that not indicate they are seeing storm clouds in the offing?

Obviously those losses would be covered by CMHC, but how much can that govt. agency (re: taxpayers or us) cover before people start saying no more?

Already happening across the pond. If the above can be answered yes to, that would also mean that the news announcers this a.m. (Thursday) saying the CPC expects a federal election this spring, as they know that foreclosures are coming thick and fast here, just like the States.

If next year sux big time, wait ’til 2012 and on. This gives a better understanding.
*
With C-H-F leading us sheeples down the garden path, We Don’t Need No Edukayshun.

Banks “Why? Because the banks are keeping the money and not loaning it back out.”

Eurozone “The ‘blimpish Little Englanders’ who opposed monetary union were right all along, says Boris Johnson.” — Note the words MONETARY UNION; is the NAU a clone of this?

3:11 clip Revolutions have started in the Eurozone. Christmas is a riot!

#176 BionicMan on 12.16.10 at 9:31 pm

I never get bored of this game!

http://www.crackshackormansion.com

#177 john m on 12.16.10 at 9:43 pm

Temporary MP offices cost $72M

Temporary MP offices cost $72M

Canadian taxpayers are shelling out $72 million for three temporary meeting rooms and 62 MPs’ offices, CBC News has learned.

The roughly $1 million cost per “interim office” includes all new furniture and decor for the lucky MPs involved in the temporary move. ………………….Makes me want to barf…fkn trough sucking pigs in a time of hardship for so many of our people.

#178 dd on 12.16.10 at 9:48 pm

#8 viewer

“…I understand SA quite well. But year-over-year comparisons are completely valid. Why SA sales, and not prices… — Garth”

Come on, the entire main news is seasonality adjusted. There is so much BS being shoveled by the government and business it is funny.

The media (reporters) are not asking the tough questions. It seems that the general publice really doens’t want to know the answers.

#179 jake the snake on 12.16.10 at 9:49 pm

What ever happened to the “housing starts” metric? CREA, CMHC, StatsCan, and all other industries with a vested interest in seeing a robust RE market no longer cite “housing starts” as an important indicator. Funnily enough, they couldn’t get enough of that measure when the housing market was creaming itself in 2006-2007. Now that housing starts are trolling the ocean floor like a bottom feeder the metric is nowhere to be seen in industry reports.

Methinks this is a deliberate spinning of the facts by the vested interests. As usual.

This spring is going to be one mightily disastrous RE market. POP!!

#180 jake the snake on 12.16.10 at 9:54 pm

High unemployment, those lucky enough to have a job are house poor and tapped out, inflated RE market, record-breaking household and personal debt, a stagnant, volatile economy, GDP growth lucky to be 1%, the biggest economy in the world and our largest trading partner by a country mile in the throes of its economic demise……is it any wonder we’re headed straight for a housing crash in March, 2011.

#181 a prairie dawg on 12.16.10 at 10:07 pm

“Seasonally adjusted” is to real estate…

as “core inflation” is to the inflation rate.

Just another way of distorting reality to suit an agenda.

Don’t ya just love marketing? (rhetorical)

#182 We ARE the elite on 12.16.10 at 10:21 pm

From [email protected]

“The people with the real capital are the 2% of the
world’s population who control 90% of the world’s wealth
(i.e. economic elites).”

Now from this link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_inequality

“only $2161 was needed in order to belong to the top half of the world wealth distribution, but to be a member of the top 10 per cent required at least $61,000 and membership of the top 1 per cent required more than $500,000 per adult.” (Davies et al. 2006, p. 25)

#183 Macrath on 12.16.10 at 10:23 pm

JPMorgan Chase allots $9.3 billion in bonuses
Employees see big payday as bank’s profit soars

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34875777/ns/business-us_business/

And a few crumbs for Detroit politicans

#184 Macrath on 12.16.10 at 10:24 pm

JP Morgan Chase allots $9.3 billion in bonuses
Employees see big payday as bank’s profit soars

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34875777/ns/business-us_business/

And a few crumbs for Detroit politicians

#185 Joe Q. on 12.16.10 at 10:44 pm

Garth,

TREB housing statistics for the first two weeks of December came out today, showing a 19% drop vs. the same time last year. As with other months this fall and winter, Toronto sales volumes are back to 2006 levels.

#186 prollywrong on 12.16.10 at 11:02 pm

soooo…if my East Van special is assessed at 800,000 my annual property taxes are now 33,600?!!!

please tell me my math is wrong.

#187 T.O. Bubble Boy on 12.16.10 at 11:07 pm

@ 147 Sail1 on 12.16.10 at 4:46 pm#116 T.O. Bubble Boy

At the end of the day, there are dishonest/misleading press releases from the CREA that get re-published by every media outlet with zero editing/analysis… and that is a problem.

And this is a problem for who?

People that that own homes out right?
>> Yes, because they get incorrect information about the housing market, and take out HELOCs based on a false impression of what their house is worth.

People thinking of buying a home?
>> Definitely, because the RE Associations use the “buy now or be priced out forever” sales tactic based on these stats.

Highly leveraged people?
>> Definitely. They have already made a bad financial decision, and these fake stats reinforce their misguided belief that their “investment” is going to work out ok… this is just like investing (on margin) in the stock of a company who lies on their financial results.

Provincial governments?
>> Yes. They need to plan investments in various parts of the economy, and inaccurate information on the health of the housing market leads to poor planning.

Federal government?
>> Definitely. But – I would hope that they have access to the “real” data.

Unions?
>> I don’t understand the relevance.

Stock market?
>> Definitely — housing-related companies (including banks) are incorrectly valued.

Any political party?
>> Yes… these parties should be making decisions based on facts, not spin. (but, that’s a bit of a naive view — ask Garth)

People looking for a employment?
>> Definitely — many people might be realtors or house flipping “investors” based on a false read of the housing market.

exactly who is this twist on numbers going to hurt short term?
>> Anyone who goes to the media to get accurate information! We have the CBC publishing misleading press releases like they are factual news! What if they reported today’s sports scores based on what the team did a few months ago??? (the Leafs lost 4-2, but they are actually WINNING because they lost 4-1 last month)

#188 Timing is Everything on 12.16.10 at 11:17 pm

#40 Painted Toenails

What about 2030? How’s that looking?

#189 TheBestPlaceOnEarth on 12.16.10 at 11:34 pm

Bear
Even the gangs want in. Vancouver=DrugMoney.
()()()
#154 TheBestPlaceOnEarth on 12.16.10 at 5:33 pm
Little correction here…..The city as of last Sunday called Gangcouver. Therefore bulletproof vests must be worn at all times by asian investors and other visitors. AK-47 is nice to have, but not necessary to carry yet.

#190 Timing is Everything on 12.16.10 at 11:40 pm

#56 Vancouver smart renter

So, Europe ain’t doing so good. Ha!

#191 Dank Castle on 12.16.10 at 11:55 pm

Canada, the country that redefined the words ‘speculative bubble’. Indeed there are many similarities between Canada and Australia, yet many differences too. The similarities include high population growth (and that surely won’t save Canada’s bacon), credit driven housing mania, an ingrained belief that you ‘can’t go wrong’ with property, and a predominantly services based economy (services that can easily move offshore to more competitive countries). Differences include an insane building frenzy in Australia at the height of the boom, and interest rates kept artificially low by the RBA, far below the appropriate interest rate for such an overheating economy. The question remains to be seen, will those differences outweigh the similarities, or will Australia and Canada discover that ‘it’s not different here’, just like Ireland and America. Only time will tell!

Dank Castle
Aussie Property Credit Crunch

#192 freethinca on 12.17.10 at 12:47 am

In order to measure the total housing supply available for sale it is essential to know how many new homes are available for sale that are not listed on MLS, and yet this extremely important part of the equation is always missing from CREA’s reports.

The new homes for sale figure can move as quickly up or down, leading or lagging MLS trends, and will of course often go in a different direction than MLS numbers.

New homes along with FSBO’s are significant variable factors.

This big chunk of missing data (about 30%) renders most of the CREA (MLS only) analysis and commentary reported alone, as meaningless for the public, and is misleading and completely irresponsible.

Even CMHC doesn’t seem to report the aggregation of total supply available.

A meaningful supply and demand figure doesn’t seem to exist, perhaps accounting for the gross inaccuracy in reporting and projecting real estate markets.

So why would anyone pay any attention to what CREA (or CMHC) has to report when it is completely meaningless?

#193 Virgil on 12.17.10 at 1:36 am

Read this to understand how the same data could pe spinned in different ways.

How To Lie With Statistics
http://www.amazon.ca/How-Lie-Statistics-Darrell-Huff/dp/0393310728

Most people don’t have time to analyse the raw data. “Mr. Spinner” will “help” you understand. You don’t have to worry. He “knows” it….

#194 Vancouver_Bear on 12.17.10 at 3:20 am

#188 TheBestPlaceOnEarth on 12.16.10 at 11:34 pm

OK, Nostri you finally acknowledged that Gangcouver is Drug Trade and Gang Capital of the world…..
The Best Place on Meth indeed!
The place to bring up kids…. while 1 in 5 kids is living in poverty and that contributes greatly to the future of Gancouver Gangs…..
Such a beautiful place – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HALzrqE7l4k

#195 Hell in a Hand Basket on 12.17.10 at 4:17 pm

You know I googled “David Lereah clone” and hit “I’m Feeling Lucky” and it lead me right back to this page.