Trust me. I’m a reporter.

I hated five o’clock

Every day at that time I trooped down an ugly green corridor and into a room mercilessly full of mirrors and vicious, heavily made-up women with brushes. They strapped me into one of their torture chairs and proceeded to coat my face in orange paste that smelled like polyfilla. It might have been. They sprayed industrial glue on my hair and combed my beard so hard several small, unidentified furred creatures were dislodged.

But through one eyelid that was not glued shut, I managed to see the guy sitting beside me – being coiffed and actually enjoying the attention.

“Hey Lloyd,” I said. And Mr. Robertson looked over and, as he always did, started asking questions about investing.

This was deep in the bowels of CTV’s flagship operation in Toronto, where I was the on-air business editor for a few years. In fact, I did time in a number of media gigs – most of them (Globe and Mail, Sun Media, Maclean’s) where you didn’t need nice hair and a puss covered in voracious makeup in order to tell people what was up.

I mention this because I know the media, as an editor, columnist, reporter, publisher, broadcaster, owner and talking head. And never have I been more disappointed in the craft. This puppy’s going down fast. Coverage of the one asset where most people have most of their wealth shows it.

We have a few reports.

First, to Toronto, where the local real estate cartel released the latest batch of numbers on Thursday. And guess what? Everything is bitchin’ hot.

Here’s how the city’s main all-news radio station reported:

TORONTO, Ont. – Buying a house is still a great investment. Greater Toronto Realtors sold one per cent fewer homes in 2010 versus the previous year, but the average price ended the year on a high note.Real estate is all about location and anywhere in the GTA is considered prime property.

“We’re still seeing pretty strong demand across the various market segments, whether you’re breaking it down by geography or breaking it down by home type,” Jason Mercer, an analyst with the Toronto Real Estate Board, told 680News. He expects the average selling price to hover around five per cent growth this year.

And here’s what really happened. In December, a total of 4,395 houses sold in all of the GTA, which was a substantial 21% decline from December of last year. In fact, the entire second half of the year was a complete disaster.

Sales of resale homes plunged for six consecutive months compared to the year before – one of the longest and deepest sales contractions in the area’s history. Yes, the market was robust in the first half of 2010, resulting in just a slight year-over-year sales decline. But that’s like saying a guy who was fine until April, whose liver then croaked, was generally healthy on an annual, seasonally-adjusted basis.

Now, to Vancouver and the delirious outer bits around it. Only in a creeped-out place like this would the arrival of hopped-up property assessments – guaranteeing higher municipal taxes – be greeted with orgiastic pleasure. Here’s how the Burnaby rag reported it:

Forget the lottery. The Lower Mainland’s rebounding housing market has just minted 21,000 new real estate millionaires.That’s how many homes in the region ticked over into seven-figure assessments when new valuations were released this month.

The number of million-dollar homes doubled in both Richmond, which is up from 2,329 a year ago to 5,433 now, and Burnaby, which rose from 2,248 to 5,114. Roughly 8,000 million-plus homes were also added in Vancouver, 2,553 In North Vancouver, and 2,000 in West Vancouver. Surrey, which previously had the third highest number of million-dollar properties, is now fifth behind Richmond and Burnaby with 5,087, an increase of 1,878.

The numbers were crunched by Landcor Data Corp. and president Rudy Nielsen said he’s not surprised by the gains.”Get on your hands and knees and kiss the ground for the fact you live in British Columbia,” Nielsen said. “We’ve got a great place and people have to really appreciate it.”

And here’s what really happened.

House sales in the Lower Mainland – despite the media bias and anecdotal evidence of crazed Asians throwing money – are in a freefall. Last month a lowly 1,899 houses changed hands in Vantown, a withering 25% decline. In fact for the year – despite robust sales in the Spring – there were 14% fewer transactions than in 2009. And this came at a time when mortgage rates were readily available in the 3% range, and as the cost of five-year home loans shrank faster than a guy in a cold pool.

So why are prices rising? Simple, because listings have fallen. So reduced competition among a smaller pool of buyers pops prices up. All this, of course, changes in a few weeks.

Now, let’s go back to CTV and Uncle Lloyd. This story ran yesterday on the network.

A new survey says Canada’s real estate market is heading into a stronger-than-expected year that will likely see home prices steadily rise, while overall transactions moderate.  Royal LePage reports that average home prices are expected to rise 3% to $348,600 in 2011, while the number of transactions is predicted to fall 2%.
The survey also found that average house prices rose between 3.9% and 4.6% in the fourth quarter of 2010.  Royal LePage said that price appreciation is expected to continue a moderate and steady climb throughout the year…
Canada’s real estate market has been on a rebound over much of the past year after sales dried up in late 2008 and hit a multi-year low in January, 2009.
The domestic real estate market has been much quicker to recover than its American counterpart, in part because of a more stable banking industry, historically low interest rates and improving consumer confidence.
© 2011 CTVglobemedia Publishing Inc. All Rights Reserved.

And here’s what really happened.

Royal LePage commissioned no research company to collect data. No potential buyers or sellers were interviewed. No public sampling was done. No economists were polled to gather a consensus view. There was, simply put, no market data.

Instead the sole source for this ‘report’ was an internal survey of the company’s own sales force. This is in the small print on the company’s web site: “Housing values in the Royal LePage House Price Survey are Royal LePage opinions of fair market value in each location, based on local data and market knowledge provided by Royal LePage residential real estate experts.”

That’s right. Real estate agents – who bravely live or die by commission – were asked if they thought prices would rise or fall. And guess what?

Royal LePage is sleazy to peddle such meaningless, self-serving promotion as news. But news organizations, like CTV, should hang their heads in shame that they fall for it. Or don’t care.

But, damn, Lloyd has good hair.

263 comments ↓

#1 HouseBuster on 01.07.11 at 12:06 am

What bubble? I’ll buy that

#2 Perfect Storm 2011 on 01.07.11 at 12:06 am

– stagnate jobs/economy – we now have the worst GDP growth per capita of the G7, worse than Italy
– final leg of our decade-long commodity run – last major commodity peaks were 1920, 1951, 1980…[insert next number in sequence here]
– rising fixed interest rates (variable by summer)
– surge in 65 year old boomers further hinders economic growth in 2011
– next leg down already underway for US home prices
– our debt/income is now much worse than the US
– China slowing (their property bubble bursts 2011?)
– Canadians finally realize we’re not that special after losing world junior hockey championships, again

#3 Burnt Norton on 01.07.11 at 12:19 am

#229 edmonton mortgage broker on 01.06.11 at 5:21 pm

… mortgage brokering has been good to me for the 9 years i’ve been involved in it. who do we work for? ourselves of course. if a client is dumb enough to go for broke and stretch for a 0/40 mortgage, i might try to talk them out of it, but i wouldn’t try too hard, and i’m as honest as they come. after all, if i told all my clients what i believed of this bubble of a market, how would i feed my family. take that for what it is…

************

With no due respect, I won’t take that for what you offer it to be, but I will tell you what it actually is.

It is a gutless attempt to publicly (although anonymously) absolve yourself of admittedly devious and destructive behaviour. Not only do you admit to having done a disservice to clients who placed misguided trust in you, as an advertised “professional”, to help them navigate an intimidating and emotionally complex arena, you have the gall to call them “dumb” and somehow imply that they are to blame because they do not have equal access to insider information. This mentality is no different than a crack dealer shrugging his shoulders each time one of his junkies jumps off of a bridge.

To top it all off, you bring your family into it by justifying the whole charade as a means of supporting them. When they’re all grown up, I wonder if you’ll give your kids an open and honest appraisal of what it was like to be a “mortgage broker” for 9 years and how it related to some of their friends being forced to move out of their parents’ (your clients’) foreclosed homes during the ensuing 9 years.

Didn’t think so.

#4 phinny on 01.07.11 at 12:24 am

Jeez, at least CBC Edmonton reported that Edmonton SFH have dropped 40 grand since June 2010 (or July, not sure). EREB is calling it a buying opportunity, but they’d call a rotting moose carcass aged black angus, if they could make a buck off it.

This news, along with a loaned copy of Greater Fool is (hopefully) convincing my buddy and his wife NOT to sink their life savings into a condo down payment.

#5 Toronto McMansion on 01.07.11 at 12:25 am

Great article as always.

You shouldn’t only single out CTV, the Toronto Star ran an article today with the headline “Canadian housing prices set to rise in 2011” based solely on a Royal LePage “survey”.

http://www.moneyville.ca/article/917037–canadian-housing-prices-set-to-rise-in-2011

Almost all the media cow-tows to the real estate industry. It is similar in the gold, oil and retail industries, but obviously not to the same extent.

#6 Min in Mission on 01.07.11 at 12:27 am

“Housing values in the Royal LePage House Price Survey are Royal LePage opinions of fair market value in each location, based on local data and market knowledge provided by Royal LePage residential real estate experts.”
————————————
Sounds like saying “on good authority” to me. After all, aren’t Real Estate agents as trustworthy as Car Salesmen??

One of my friends has their house for sale. On the market 9 months, price drop of 50K so far. No offers. He turns 65 this spring and cannot afford the mortgage. Good news for them, they will be glad to hear that the prices will go back up next year!!

Lloyd has always had nice hair.

#7 HouseBuster on 01.07.11 at 12:28 am

#2 Perfect Storm 2011 – Hey, you might like this:
http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/opinon/2010/12/137_78896.html

“Closer to home the doomers are anxiously awaiting the eruption of a massive super volcano underneath Yellowstone Park, triggering a nuclear winter and launching another ice age that will, of course, wipe out most of us.”

#8 RockO on 01.07.11 at 12:28 am

Right on Garth. Great post.

#9 Soylent Green is People on 01.07.11 at 12:29 am

I wrote my email to F today. ha hah ah

From Pushed to the Left:

On January 1 (no not April 1), the Canadian Press named Jim Flaherty the top business newsmaker of the year for his handling of the economy.

Forgetting about the sub-prime mortgage mess he’s gotten us into, they were basing their opinion on his cool head during troubled times.

However, the house of cards is tumbling down, after learning that of the G7 countries, we are in sixth place in terms of economic recovery, and fifth place, when it comes to employment recovery.

http://pushedleft.blogspot.com/2011/01/will-flaherty-give-back-his-award-after.html


#10 BC Bring Cash on 01.07.11 at 12:31 am

Does the Devils Advocate really exist? Could it be that Garth is posing as DA just to stir things up. A Kelowna RE agent, thats a good one. Is there a RE agent out there that would really put up with the abuse from this blog.

#11 The Great Gazoo on 01.07.11 at 12:32 am

In Garth We Trust.

#12 T.O. Bubble Boy on 01.07.11 at 12:34 am

That Royal LePage “forecast” is about as helpful as F’s economic “forecasts” (you know – the ones where he boldly stated that we wouldn’t see a recession, wouldn’t have deficits, etc. etc.).

#13 race against time on 01.07.11 at 12:35 am

“All this, of course, changes in a few weeks.” – Garth

I’ve been reading this blog for awhile, but I have a question. Other than a fresh round of spring re-listings, what exactly is going to make this change in a few weeks?

#14 Devil's Advocate on 01.07.11 at 12:45 am

Pretty neat indeed but where are we going to put all
those healthy wealthy people?

http://www.flixxy.com/200-countries-200-years-4-minutes.htm

Oh I’ve got a novel idea…

#15 AxeHead on 01.07.11 at 12:49 am

This just in…my mail box that is…(Calgary):

STOP Renting and learn the SECRETS on how to eventually LIVE for FREE. Why not attend our FREE firt home buyer’s seminars? Helping renters becme owners for over 19 years!

Save money and time by learning some fo these industry secrets. Testimonials: ” I would have paid $100k to attend.” “WOW, that was really a great seminar, I learned so much!”.

Discover how we can help you save over $100k in interest cost!

Pat Kelly, Mortguage Associate with over 17 years experiance will help you:
. qualify with no down payment
. qualify even if you can’t verify your income
. get the best mortgage for you from Canada’s top lending institutions.

Unbelievable. Re/Max. DA’s cohorts.

#16 concessionman on 01.07.11 at 12:50 am

Finally we get a shot of the bunker!!
Security looks pretty loose…:)

#17 Northern_dirt on 01.07.11 at 12:51 am

#13 race against time

Federal budget?

#18 Devil's Advocate on 01.07.11 at 12:52 am

#10 BC Bring Cash on 01.07.11 at 12:31 am
Does the Devils Advocate really exist? Could it be that Garth is posing as DA just to stir things up. A Kelowna RE agent, thats a good one. Is there a RE agent out there that would really put up with the abuse from this blog.

Please allow me to introduce myself
I’m a man of wealth and taste
I’ve been around a long long year
Stole many a mans soul and faith…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9Vl8ygka98

#19 ams on 01.07.11 at 12:56 am

This was my email to F today, I got back the canned response that they got the email.

Dear Minister of Finance,

I am writing to you to add my voice as a concerned citizen about the current unaffordability of housing and massive amount of debt of the Canadian public at large and I believe that we are in the same position as the USA was in a few years ogo. I live in Vancouver and my family income is over significantly over the median and average family income yet a house is 10x our annual income.

Everyone I talk too seems to have mortgage debt of $500,000 or more on 5/35 mortgages. I have spent the past 6 months studying the housing market, and I can tell you from where I stand that the government policies have created this enormous housing bubble in Canada and I believe that government policy can help deflate this monster before it gets even bigger and cause more damage than it has already caused.

5/35 mortgages are truly perverse for the following reasons.

1) CHMC premium on 5% down is 3.15% leaving new owners with 1.85% of equity in their house
2) Over the first five years of the mortgage the owners will pay down a tiny portion of the total principle around 7%
3) On selling the house the realtor fees are 1.5% to 3%
4) So someone buying a house with 5% is actually starting out so with little equity that even a 2% drop in prices in cause negative equity and that will lead to default. So while the government’s intentions was to increase home ownership there is no way I would put myself and my family in financial peril by using a 5% down payment all that the government policy did was allow foolish Canadians to risk their financial well being with 5% down payments and bidding wars that have raised the price of homes to record levels creating a huge bubbles.
5) Banks no longer have an incentive to keep lending practices tight because my tax payer money in the form of the CHMC is backing their bets, this is perverse while the banks still nickel and dime me to death with all the fees they charge they rake huge profits because my taxes are backing their bets in the housing market. I don’t this ends well for the average Canadian citizen.
6) The record cost of real estate is crushing our small business I am a small business owner, and I can not hire full time employees because I can’t afford to pay them enough to cover their housing costs which are astronomical. Sure we have a low CPI inflation which of course does not include housing, but how many things must my business sell at low prices to cover the inflated prices of housing, and rents … etc this is truly unsustainable and a huge blow to our competiveness as a nation is a brutally competitive global economy, not only must we compete with low cost labour from overseas, we are being crushed by insanely high real estate costs.

When the Canadian housing bubble burst are you going to have a policy of high inflation and wipe out my savings, or will you listen to the real estate lobby and the home owners. We truly live in crazy times when housing has become gambling and families make more money from the rise in housing prices than they do from their jobs.

Report after report in the newspapers and speeches from the Bank of Canada Governor warning about debt levels. Minister no amount of talking and warning will do, sadly our Canadian Education systems leaves most of us financially illiterate, the only thing people understand is what the monthly payment is, so please restore some sanity to the mortgage market don’t allow CHMC to insure mortgages below 20% and more than 25 year amortizations otherwise CHMC will suffer the same fate as Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae in the USA and my tax dollars will have to bailout CHMC

#20 nonplused on 01.07.11 at 12:56 am

The Globe and Mail carried that Royal LePage propaganda piece on the top of their website today too. The comments section was fun, almost 300 when I looked. I didn’t have time to read many but of the sample I looked at nobody believed it, and some people had choice words. Be interesting to see if the comments section is still there, the G&M usually buries the story or deletes the comment section if they get too much push back.

Also on the page was a different article stating that housing sales were at their lowest level in ten years but noting that average prices still went up. (I think this is because only prime properties are selling.)

Appraisals are up 8% in Calgary too, and if you look at exactly where they were comparing year over year, there was a rebound. But volume is way off as Garth mentioned. This is how a market should react. Rising prices mean falling demand. So it probably means the bubble of 2006 & 2007 is over (where prices and volume rose together). If the bubble is truly over, the next test is how low can they keep listings and thus sales? To achieve rising sales in a normal market, prices usually have to fall. And I don’t think prices have to fall far before our 5/35 friends are in a world of hurt, which could cause the balance point the market needs to find to “overshoot”. Falling prices in heavily margined markets have a habit of causing “margin calls”.

More anecdotal evidence today: Someone I know just bought a house that was originally listed for $699,000. Closing price? $590,000. And it was mint, 3 car garage and supposedly $350,000 of fairly recent renovations. Still, the last sale of that house would have been 12 years ago and probably less than $300,000, so it’ll still show as a big gain in the National Bank / Teranet housing index.

#21 realpaul on 01.07.11 at 12:57 am

The really bad thing about these ‘rising prices’ is that it will encourage the dreaded public servants to start screaming and striking for more pay!!! They see the money..they want the money. They don’t seem to grasp that the money has to come out of their neighbours pockets.

This years long ‘rise’ in property values has birthed an excess of spending and a constant swirl of ‘salary negotiations’. We have ‘pay outs’ of hundreds of thousands of dollars’ and the committees thinks thats just rosy…..because they know in their black little hearts that they are going to get the million dollar golden pensions too.

Its a vicious circle all borne on the backs of the taxpayer….all based on the fantasy of rising prices.

What will be the result when values aren’t rising. How will we pay for all the built in excess? Only by raising taxes to astronomical levels will we be able to continue to lift all these clowns out of the workaday world to where their shit doesn’t stink.

So far we have succeeded in creating the richest civil service ever known…we’re paying teachers and police and firemen three and four times what the equivalent positions pay in the US…our closet economic comparable …although we pale in comparision…sorry but true.

They’ll have us sleeping in cots at the office working 24/7 to pay for this excess before this new decade is out.

The rise in ‘value’ means nothing to the vast majority of Canadians who are using their homes for what a home was intended for…..to sleep. Instead the government is forcing itself inside to share in the ‘increase in value’. So what is the bottom line……you have to pay for your own home so that some clown can get a raise. Do you think this cabal won’t continue to ‘raise prices’?

#22 Devil's Advocate on 01.07.11 at 1:00 am

#271 McLovin on 01.06.11 at 9:54 pm
Average price Dec 2010 was $462,527 Medium price was $418,750 At the peak of the market in April 2008 the average price was $552,830.87 and the Medium price was $494,500.

Oh and…

P.S. The word is “median” McLovin not “medium” it’s a statistics term… but clearly you wouldn’t understand that. Of course we should overlook that and trust that your other statistical arguments hold water… right? ;-)

#23 Mike on 01.07.11 at 1:05 am

Knowlton Nash is spinning in his grave right now.

#24 Mike on 01.07.11 at 1:06 am

^ apologies to my man Knowlton. Still going strong!

#25 Dave in Victoria on 01.07.11 at 1:07 am

Some Victoria RA sent this out. Seems pretty far fetched, especially the need for ‘shorter term’ information.
________________

Welcome to 2011! I am looking forward to another year on the planet and hope that it brings peace, prosperity, and happiness to you and to your family.

If the majority of news reports can be believed, we are in for an exciting year as the world wide economy continues to recover – especially for our friends south of the border. Even though we hardly felt the impact of the recession here in Victoria, we are sure to feel the change as the economy of the United States recovers and begins to grow again. We can expect an increase of foreign buyers, especially for second homes and recreational properties. Unfortunately, we should also expect increasing interest rates and increasing costs for other goods.

In these changing times ahead, current information is even more important than it was before. Our quarterly market update that we will continue to send you will be valuable, but we feel that a faster information cycle is necessary as well. To give you the best information possible, we are now posting regular market updates to our blog, our Facebook real estate page, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

#26 AxeHead on 01.07.11 at 1:07 am

Spelling corrected, sorry for premature post.

This just in…my mail box that is…(Calgary):

STOP Renting and learn the SECRETS on how to eventually LIVE for FREE. Why not attend our FREE first home buyer’s seminars? Helping renters become owners for over 19 years!

Save money and time by learning some of these industry secrets. Testimonials: ” I would have paid $100k to attend.” “WOW, that was really a great seminar, I learned so much!”.

Discover how we can help you save over $100k in interest cost!

Pat Kelly, Mortgage Associate with over 17 years experience will help you:
. qualify with no down payment
. qualify even if you can’t verify your income
. get the best mortgage for you from Canada’s top lending institutions.

Unbelievable. Re/Max. DA’s cohorts.

#27 Ricky on 01.07.11 at 1:09 am

aall that on the net news. The comments were taken off your pages; it isn’t working Garth, be happy. You have saved some fools.

#28 pablo on 01.07.11 at 1:14 am

I hope MSM keeps pumping out this type of hype cause the spring vendors will need all the help they can get no matter where they live in this great country. Myself included; if I can get wifie to buy into this insanity that is.

#29 pablo on 01.07.11 at 1:15 am

FYI GARTH; the pic’s are really starting to suck, do i have to take a gravol before coming to your page now?

#30 Aussie Roy on 01.07.11 at 1:16 am

Garth great post today, and its just not Canada, you could be writting about Australia. Less then 1 in 10 housing news stories are actually news, the rest are dressed up info-mercials. No wonder we are in the midst of a mania.

As I pointed out yesterday, many housing spruikers use fear and greed to motivate buyers, whether realtors agree or disagree, how many stories do we read attempting to influence the masses to buy now or forever be priced out, housing is a great solid investment that can only ever go up. It seems to me that most people trust in these organisations to report the truth is misplaced.

Anyone with a calculator can tell housing as a yield producing investment (based on historical norms) is not an investment at all just pure speculation that the price appreciation will continue forever. I know I’ve written this many times but take away this forever increasing price appreciation (when prices rise not based on income gains) and the bulls theories are exposed for what they are, total fantasy.

How many economists does it take to see a bubble?.
Or should that read, why most realtors cant tell a bubble from their backside.

http://www.badlandsjournal.com/2011-01-06/007604

#31 Brad on 01.07.11 at 1:17 am

Royal Lepage = Scum

#32 nonplused on 01.07.11 at 1:19 am

PS, this “pump and hype” propaganda is what passes for financial news coverage now. It’s not just CTV and the Globe & Mail, CNN and FOX are the worst offenders. How anyone with a brain can watch the blond bimbo ask some young trader “do you think the market is going up” to which he replies “Oh I do, I really do think we’re going to see substantial upside at this point” and think they just learned something I do not know. The only think going up is in the trader’s pants. But I do have to admit the US financial media does know how to pick their hosts. BNN gives us old guys in suites (no offense Garth).

We are at the point now where the only source for somewhat factual news coverage is the internet, and even there you have to have your bullshit detector kit running at all times until you figure out which sites aren’t run by crackpots. For while it lasts, as it appear congress is going to try and put a big nanny filter on the internet soon.

Some sights I find reliable:

Zerohedge.com
Calculatedrisk.com
Mish (globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com)

Even sites like MSN.com and Yahoo do a better job than CNN, but I wouldn’t trust them much.

There are literally tons, but I’m moving on for the night.

#33 Deadmonton on 01.07.11 at 1:21 am

As others have said, prices are beginning to unravel in Edmonton, one of the most overpriced markets considering it is the armpit of Canada (born and raised here). I mean really, a city in the middle of nowhere or should I say a windswept, snow covered 6 months of the year moonscape of a prairie city in the middle of nowhere where the only thing to do is go hang out at a mall. A city that saw a brand new house in a brand new neighborhood go from 200K to 500K in only a few years thanks to fear, hype, salivating realtors and the belief that the price bubble would last forever. A city that acted like they ran out of land yet has enough room around it to build a thousand cities of the same size.

Good riddance, it will be nice to see prices plunge back to the basement where they have been for the last 75 years before the bubble hype began. I still won’t buy though because paying any amount for a house in this city is still paying too much. I would much rather rent because the peace I have knowing that I can pack up and leave at the drop of a hat is worth it’s weight in gold. Being stuck with a depreciating house that I couldn’t sell would be my worst nightmare.

This is just the beginning, the rest of Canada can expect to see the same start to happen in their bubble markets also, this is guaranteed!

“House, condo prices continue to slide”

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/edmonton/story/2011/01/05/edmonton-house-prices-drop.html

.

#34 Alex on 01.07.11 at 1:29 am

Sweet post. I’d had enough today and spent about an hour writing the editor-in-chiefs of most of Canada’s major media outlets. I pointed out a bunch of info and (gasp!) facts, and essentially asked them how much sleep they’d comfortably get tonite after publishing such one-sided tripe. Still awaiting replies. I’ll keep ya posted.

#35 Jeff Smith on 01.07.11 at 1:31 am

Ah, but those new organization gets their candies from realtor advertising. What would you do? Cry wolf! ?

#36 Rich Renter on 01.07.11 at 1:33 am

The media and their real estate pimps are all a bunch of Doofus in my book. Thanks Garth for having a set.

#37 Patz on 01.07.11 at 1:37 am

The press has always functioned within and for the societies in which it’s found itself. In Canada and the US it has never presented a thoroughgoing critique of the political, economic and social structure we’ve coyly called liberal, democratic capitalism.

But back in the day we were sometimes naughty and told stories out of school. We were able to pull back the curtain a bit from time to time and expose a bit of the skulduggery plied by our corporate and political leaders. But the last decade has erased even that slim volume of truth–telling and we’re left with infomercials. Although if I remember rightly some of those infomercials were downright hard–hitting compared to the pablum that’s spooned out today!

#38 McLovin on 01.07.11 at 1:41 am

DA last thread:

“April 2008 the Average Price of the 270 Single Family Homes sold in Central Okanagan Divison was $596,875 for the month (does not include condos).

December 2010 the Average Price of the 96 Single Family Homes sold in Central Okanagan Divison was $513,487 for the month (does not include condos).

As for those above numbers they do suggest you are grossly misinformed in addition to the fact that to compare a “peak” month at the “peak” of the market to a “trough” month (April against December) at the “trough” of the market (2008 against 2010) is a gross error in itself. Your logic there-in sucks as fatally flawed. A year over year comparison is what you ought to be comparing if not at least similar months.”

How can you possibly say this and hope to have a shred of credibility with the readers here??? Spin the numbers anyway you want. Peaks or Troughs be damned. Anyone who bought in April 2008 is down nearly 15%. PERIOD. I don’t see how that logic is flawed. It is a fact you cannot spin nor deny. Trying to just makes you look like another lying Realtor.

DA # 22

“P.S. The word is “median” McLovin not “medium” it’s a statistics term… but clearly you wouldn’t understand that. Of course we should overlook that and trust that your other statistical arguments hold water… right?”

I find it hilarious that you would even comment on me using the word medium when you know I meant to use median. I really must be getting under your skin by using what you fear most, undeniable facts. Facts that can’t be twisted or spun. By trying to discredit my argument in this manner reeks of desperation!

Face it DA, you are an salesman (not a professional) who is trying to hide the truth of the state of the market in Kelowna.

You have been exposed yet again as a fraud.

Kelowna is the Miami of Canada and ground zero for the meltdown.

#39 Mean Gene on 01.07.11 at 1:49 am

The Royal LePig got some new lipstick.

#40 45north on 01.07.11 at 1:49 am

for six months sales have declined 21% year-over-year in the GTA and 25% in Vancouver

I said that the decline in sales will force a political debate. Up to now it hasn’t. The government knows that prices will follow sales, the banks know it and the opposition parties know it. However Mark Carney did give a warning.

#41 bridgepigeon on 01.07.11 at 1:54 am

Dinner tonight at successful friends’ prime TO home. Twin beemers, nanny, new 300k reno…paycheck to paycheck like I used to be only on a way larger scale. Amazing how so many of us bought into it. Right now I don’t have to keep up with anyone, except my three year old boy.

#42 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 01.07.11 at 1:54 am


“And never have I been more disappointed in the craft. This puppy’s going down fast.”

But the elite doesn’t yet control the ‘net, but they’re trying damn hard. The only good newspapers left are independents and most of them are gone.

“Forget the lottery.” — It is over a decade since I last bought tickets. Lotteries, smoking, drinking, drugs — all addictive and I don’t need them anymore.
*
#291 Utopia on 01.07.11 at 12:20 am

The term ‘Handbags At Dawn’ is the same as ‘Pistols At Noon’, two people walking thirty paces from one another then turning and firing. One lives, the other doesn’t. Handbags is a less dramatic term.

“I can only assume this is being done deliberately. Anyone who can engineer a slow managed deflation at this stage without triggering a bust must be sheer genius.”

In Wed.’s post, Garth mentioned AIG. There are links connecting AIG and zionism, but I won’t say any more.

Other than that, you are right, there are a number of factors involved in the present takedown, most of which none of us will ever hear about.

Suffice to say that what goes around comes around — karma.
*
56:22 clip The leveraged buyout of the US (we’re pennies on the dollar now). Harper was right — the old Canada is gone, and we don’t recognize the replacement. He changed it for his own self-interests.

The Third Rail The DJIA is in cloud cuckoo land.

Inflation For DSP. Plus — Brazil Truth or bluster?

Methinks the Chinese are preparing themselves accordingly.

Plus two bombs today, all caused by GW. Plus — Manitoba as well. One more — Theories Weather temps., sea temp. cooler, possible ice age.

More birds falling in China, Sweden, all over. Of note: This year has been exceptionally cold in Scandinavia, China, etc. May be a link, and don’t forget the floods in Pakistan and Oz.

Our neighbor in space (nice pic).

Jes’ Wunderin’ Would all these avian kamikazes be caused by chemtrails lingering in the air? Fish kills are simpler — poison the water.

Default Not taxpayers responsibility, the BoC and US Fed — they get to pay it all back. Or change currencies.

Japan Edging closer to freefall. Plus — Guessing Game 2011 – 2012. What’s up, Doc?

Inflation + JPM. We are doomed.

#43 squidly77 on 01.07.11 at 1:57 am

The Pump.
http://canadabubble.com/bubble-watch/1827-real-estate-demand-mind-boggling.html

The reality.
Residential property sales in Greater Vancouver totalled 1,899 in December 2010, a decrease of 24.5 per cent from the 2,515 sales recorded in December 2009

Best saying that I have heard in a long time.
Rotting Moose = prime aged Black Angus.

#44 canali on 01.07.11 at 1:57 am

seems on a popular RE blog they’re discussing your earlier post of the RE heads asking members to contact their MPS to avoid F and M to change some of the RE purchase rules
(you and a blogger named ‘taipan’ are on the same wavelength, btw).
http://www.realestatetalks.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=58736&start=15

#45 Peter Pan on 01.07.11 at 2:00 am

“Royal LePage residential real estate experts”

A one week course and a mug shot is all it takes to be a “real estate expert” in the industry.

What a travesty…

#46 Peter Pan on 01.07.11 at 2:05 am

A majority of journalists give street walkers a bad name…

Thank God I never went to J-School…

#47 Oleksandr on 01.07.11 at 2:05 am

Whatever Garth says, but all my six senses cry exactly the opposite –

Inflation in grocery store,
Hyperinflation in RE

Every day you need more and more money to buy the same stuff.

The only deflation could happen with one’s income :-))

#48 Edmonton Guy on 01.07.11 at 2:06 am

Same is so true in Edmonton here, prices bubbled up 6% for condos & 9% for houses in the first half of 2010. Now in the last half of 2010 prices have contracted in total by about 10%. Some of the best areas of downtown & the west end of Edmonton have even seen a sharper decline as more speculaters stopped buying or pulled out of the market realizing prices have no where to go but down!
I’m so glad I read your book in 2009, and sold my condo exactly 1 year ago when inventory dipped for a bit. Thanks you so much Garth for saying how bad things could be and being REAL!
I was sooo lucky. I sold my condo in the $230,000s, the City of Edmonton says it’s worth $210,000 on their new property assessments! Condo prices have dropped into 2006 level prices as of December 2010 here in the edmonton area (including Ft Sask, Sherwood Park, Stony Plain & St ALbert).
I hope it’s not too late for a lot of people to sell & get out if they want, but I think it is!

#49 canali on 01.07.11 at 2:07 am

RE: “Royal LePage is sleazy to peddle such meaningless, self-serving promotion as news. But news organizations, like CTV, should hang their heads in shame that they fall for it. Or don’t care.”
Heck Garth, how about EVERY reputable ‘major’ media source that prints this spiel uncritiqued should hold their heads in shame….just as when the Globe and Mail prints it so too does the anger burn from many readers at such ”impartiality” (not).
…and here is Don Campbell’s pitch for what 2011 RE holds in store:
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/video/whats-in-store-for-real-estate/article1859578/

#50 MadMan on 01.07.11 at 2:10 am

Hey Garth, didn’t you read Realpaul the Riot Act the other day? And yet he still rants. Turf him from your blog so he can out of the house and finally get the help he so desperately needs.

#51 Junius on 01.07.11 at 2:15 am

#21 realpaul,

You said, “The really bad thing about these ‘rising prices’ is that it will encourage the dreaded public servants to start screaming and striking for more pay!!!

I usually avoid your posts because they are such long rants but they appear to be getting worse (if that is possible).

The really bad thing about these “rising prices” is that they will lull people into thinking they mean something. They are assessments and people confuse easily these days as we have no legitimate media.

The really bad thing is more innocent people are going to be hurt because they will become the next greaterfools.

The public unions are going to get screwed. There is no question that we will have to take the same measures in Canada as we are seeing in US states. You will get your retribution although probably not as much as you hope.

Meanwhile, you need to chill a bit.

#52 Ahab on 01.07.11 at 2:20 am

DA:
Shut up. As the fool who thinks banks lend out other people’s savings, you have no business calling out other people for their ignorance or grammatical errors. Seriously. You’re too financially and economically stupid to be giving out advice.

#53 realityguy on 01.07.11 at 2:23 am

A bunch of co-workers got their property accessments this week.

The talk was 17% up from last year. Meaning 17% more taxes for them to pay this year. And next year it will be doubled because property taxes goes up from 2% to 4 percent.

Now these guys own houses for a long long time and don’t have huge mortgages. But they are concerned with how they will be paying this property tax and still be able to feed their family in the future.

My Parents whom are over 65 have to pay 6500 dollars this year after all the deduction,

How the heckers are they going to live on their pension next year when the tax doubles to 13,000 bucks. The only ones gaining to the government and their taxes.

BTW just the taxes alone is equivalent to approxiately 1100/month rent.

Just think what those guys paying 300 to 600/month in strata fees + the property taxes.

#54 Carp Coyote on 01.07.11 at 2:28 am

Since I’m on the beach waiting for headhunters to get me my next contract, I’ve started going to the gym in the afternoons and escape family life.

I was amazed at the number of 65-ish looking folks coming in for orientation. I guess there are bunch of retirees looking to work out more…. All I kept thinking was – first comes health and then come finances – come this spring all of these folks will put their homes up for sale so they can pay for their gym membership!

Take cover!

#55 InvestorsFriend (Shawn Allen) on 01.07.11 at 2:28 am

Nonplused at number 20 mentioned that renovations don’t get accounted for in the Teranet real estate index data.

I think that is true.

Good point, to have a nice house usually requires renovations.

Here is my house as an example

Built circa 1982 decent 3 bedroom two-storey an larger lot in St. Albert (most desirable suberb of Edmonton)

Bought by me in 1995 for $135,000 came with fresh lino but basically the house was original. Scrapped together 25% down to avoid CMHC fees. Managed to pay it off in 2002 with proceeds from sale of a rental house and due to paying extra on the mortage each year.

installed hardwood in dining room around 1999 $2k

Reno number 1 Total bathroom reno $10k

Reno number 2 in 2002, new roofing shingles, cut a side door, small front veranda added, new garage doors (overhead and side door) and added brick facing to front, new front fence, new front door and enlarged to add side window by door $30k

Reno number 3. Major total kitchen reno, large expanse of granite, moved location of sink, removed sliding doors replaced with window, cut new back door at differnt location, hardwood, deluxe cabinets. $50k

Number 4 Ensuite bathroom complete reno $10k

carpets replaced throughout house $4 k

Replace carpet with hardwood in living room $6k

Cork flooring in basement $10k

Plus other things, light fixtures, new draperies, painting, back deck replaced. Modern front loading washer…

New dishwasher, twice so far…

New furnace a and water heater

Air purifiers added

So all told a lot of renovations to keep this now 30 year old house modern and improved.

So its worth maybe $450 or $500 now compared to $135 I paid but maybe half that gain is due to renos.

so yeah, the rise in house prices over the years is not the whole story.

Remember too that a new house today is probably twice as large as a new house from 50 years ago. So its apples to oranges…

While it is true that even dumper unrenovated 40 year old houses have soared in value, most people pay a lot in renovations and upkeep over the years. It ain’t all profit guys.

#56 TaxHaven on 01.07.11 at 2:31 am

I find it difficult to believe that you could find a million-dollar home in…Richmond.

A totally flat, undifferentiated stretch of suburban subdivisions, peppered with highways, strip malls, auto & furniture dealerships and theme parks…

Have we gone collectively, or just individually, insane?

#57 Fiendish Thingy on 01.07.11 at 2:36 am

The Canadian media are only following in the US media’s footsteps, unquestioningly reporting the RE/mortgage industry propaganda.
It was the same here in the states, where the press continued to try and put lipstick on a pig several quarters into the crash.

It wasn’t until nearly a year’s worth of double-digit declines in both sales volume and prices had passed, AND foreclosures began to spike, when the spin finally stopped in the press and they began to consistently acknowledge the market had turned. This was in 2007 I believe, before the stock market crashed, but after sales and prices were stagnant, then declining for a year or more.

It’s going to have to get a lot worse before you can hope to get anything approaching the truth from the mainstream media.

#58 InvestorsFriend (Shawn Allen) on 01.07.11 at 2:36 am

House prices seem to be staying fairly high and may continue to do so as long as interest rates stay rock bottom and credit is freely available.

Basically tons of people have too much debt and would be late paying the mortgage some months except for the fact that almost everyone has a line of credit that acts as a cushion.

When you can borrow to pay your debts your credit rating stays high. (Then you can borrow even more)

The banks know people have too much debt but if they stoped leting people add to lines of credit then people would start being late with mortgage payments. Death for banks…

So the music keeps playing.

If it misses a beat due to high interest rates or high unemployment then suddenly banks will get very nervous.

If it it ever becomes hard to borrow then house prices wil drop in a hurry.

Until then everyone keeps paying their loans, half are using borrowed money to pay those loans but as long as banks keep lending people money to pay their loans the music keeps playing….

At some point it may stop.

If something can’t go on forever, it won’t.

Meanwhile pray for low interest rates and low unemployment. But be prepared in case the music does stop.

Do not become dependent on the kindness of strangers (i.e. banks)

#59 Tim on 01.07.11 at 2:50 am

Lloyd may have good hair, but he’s got no balls. The decline of the media in Canada is astounding. Staff have been gutted and the pay is poor, so they have more coverage of the weather, and in BC we have the bimbos who are about as deep as a wading pool. The media is loosing any remaining credibility. It is disgusting and shameful the way they are reporting on real estate. This will result in a further decline of the media.

#60 Dan in Victoria on 01.07.11 at 3:02 am

Real Paul @ 21
“They’d rather set average working people against one another – comparing one groups modest incomes and benefits with another groups modest incomes and benefits”

http://robertreich.org/post/2615647030

#61 warptweet on 01.07.11 at 3:10 am

Wonder about the quality of our journalism?
The typical journalist is a b grade arts student who couldn’t decide what to do in life.
Why put quality people in such a “profession” when we have all these excess underachievers to use up!
Imagine if you had this quality in the engineering field or perhaps medicine! There is no way you could tolerate such lax standards.
Anyway whats a little stretching of the truth if it pays the mortgage and feeds my family?

#62 TheFirstRick on 01.07.11 at 3:10 am

I take offense to the posters referring to Real-a-turds as being “low as used car salesmen.”

I’ve bought a few vehicles in my life. Mostly new, some used. Never a negative experience.

I wish I could say the same about my experiences with Realturds® I really do.

#63 Devil's Advocate on 01.07.11 at 3:16 am

What’s the difference between a pigeon and a REALTOR?






A pigeon can make a deposit on a BMW.

#64 Debt's Dark Embrace on 01.07.11 at 3:22 am

Yesterday in Ottawa Jim Flaherty called the head Stats Can guy into his office. I forget his name. Flaherty tossed a sheaf of papers at him and said “What do these numbers actually mean?” The guy replied “What do you want them to mean?”

#65 Mountain Girl on 01.07.11 at 3:22 am

Why don’t we turn supermarket flyers into headlining “news” articles while we’re at it? Seriously, what’s the difference between these “market reports”/propaganda campaigns and the latest exciting sales at Safeway? Both are selling a product. Why is one treated as credible news and the other as advertisement? The lack of critical faculty employed both by journalists and the folks who are reading this crap like it’s gospel truth is truly staggering.

#66 Derek on 01.07.11 at 3:22 am

#291 Utopia on 01.07.11 at 12:20 am wrote:
Anyone who can engineer a slow managed deflation at this stage without triggering a bust must be sheer genius.

Not really. The key to managing a deflation without a bust is balance. If the government has to increase the cost of mortgages to prevent the bubble growing larger then the government also has to ensure that its citizens have enough extra income to pay the increased cost so that the bubble shrinks instead of popping.

It can ensure that the citizens have extra income by reducing GST or income tax. The obvious problem though is that doing so would increase the Federal deficit. Fair enough. But balance can fix that too. Since we have reduced one tax, say GST, we balance it by increasing another tax, property tax. Why property tax? Well, that would have the twin advantages of reducing the Federal deficit and of making housing more expensive in the same way that interest rates do. So buying housing would become less attractive even though interest rates remain low because monthly payments would become higher. And low interest rates mean that cheap money would still be available for investment in the real economy.

So the bubble can be reduced without raising interest rates and without raising overall taxes or increasing the Federal deficit. Hence, no bust.

It’s not genius. Just commonsense. So will the government do it? Well, let’s just say I’m not going to hold my breath until they do.

#67 Kopaja_Avenger on 01.07.11 at 3:37 am

Lloyd does have a decent quaff. You paint a good picture of the make-up room.

#68 Bill Grable on 01.07.11 at 3:48 am

Most real news people have been replaced by empty headed readers of whatever is put in front of them.

Radio news rooms have been gutted. Newspapers are basically rags, selling to the highest advertiser.

That advertiser will be a RE company. Every weekend the prevarication, hype and trash is fed to an increasingly dim public.

I talk to friends who sneer at me because I no longer own a home. I rent. They are incredulous.

Not to blow smoke – but usually Mr. Turner’s name is brought up, my friend, Bob Campbell of San Diego, or Professor Shiller – and tell them to WAKE UP. They ignore me and give me this ‘look of pity’.

I just shake my head and sigh when all these same people tell me that they don’t see anything wacky about spending thousands on rock for a countertop. Thousands on cars from Helocs.

While I am writing this – I am enjoying a couple of months in Hawaii – all paid for from the vig from the semolians that I took out RE and mixed it into “The Turner Portfolio”. Up 11.0% in 13 months.

Thanks to Mr. Turner – I sleep very well.

Thanks to our Hummer driving host – this Family is secure.

How different things would be – if Mr. Turner was in his rightful place as our Finance Minister….under a PM that was more interested in reality, than singing bad rock and roll and mangling this wonderful Country.

#69 the commenter formerly known as... on 01.07.11 at 4:36 am

“The country’s GDP is projected to grow by 2.6% in the first quarter of 2011 based upon continued demand for Canada’s raw resources.” “After the first quarter of 2011 the country’s GDP only grew by 0.9%, lower than originally forecast as we didn’t foresee the demand for Canada’s resources would subside.” Source = Any economist and a Ouija board.

#70 Aussie Roy on 01.07.11 at 4:58 am

When a realtor in Australia can’t decide which cliche to use, we get to choose our own.

The cliche, the realtors friend, what would they do without them?..

Choose you own cliche, real estate sign in Australia.

Might just be my Aussie sense of humour but, Deceased estate, investor liquidates, do seem to be some how related. LOL.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_WlPESUmNkYs/TSWnHEXrAFI/AAAAAAAAAd4/NMQBLCPwFaw/s1600/Forsale.JPG

#71 Thetruth on 01.07.11 at 5:01 am

Richmond bungalow home gets 49 offers, sells for $300,000 over asking price…

http://www.bclocalnews.com/richmond_southdelta/richmondreview/news/

Supply is going down and prices are rocketing higher. These are stats.

What’s causing it? Greaterfools? … hardly!

If anyone posts the cause, it will get censored on this blog. And Junius et al., it is more than 5,000 per week. Dig deeper.

#72 Cookie Monster on 01.07.11 at 5:02 am

Here is Cookie Monster expressing to Kermit the frog (Garth Turner) his desire for cookie (gold standard). Think ‘gold standard’ whenever they say cookie.

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

In end, handsome frog give Cookie Monster cookie.

#73 Cookie Monster on 01.07.11 at 5:29 am

In this episode Garth plays a librarian surrounded by books (paper money) and the Cookie Monster wants cookie.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3ZHPJT2Kp4&NR=1

#74 Blobby on 01.07.11 at 5:41 am

I read something similar on cbc the other day about how the property market is great, etc etc – on checking their figures it blatently wasnt.

But what REALLY worries me when i read stuff like this, is that if they’re wrong on stuff i UNDERSTAND and follow and know stuff about. Then how can i trust them on other things – like what’s going on in the middle east for example?

It’s VERY disturbing having a media which can obviously be “influenced” in how they present the “facts”… As a member of the public – can i TRUELY trust them any more?

It’s no wonder no-one buys newspapers anymore…

#75 Future Expatriate on 01.07.11 at 5:49 am

Hey Garth! A report that makes you look like head of the realtor’s lobby….

80% drop!?!?!?!!

Carry on!

#76 Rob now in Nova Scotia on 01.07.11 at 6:58 am

Garth, are those the girls that detailed your Humvee?

The media works on the mushroom principle. Anyone know how mushrooms are grown? Yeah, that’s right. Mushrooms are grown by keeping them in the dark and feeding them a load of crap.

#77 Confused, Qualified Sheeple on 01.07.11 at 8:13 am

Can anyone enlighten me?
Q1 Does the price of a house which costs 8x average income refer to the income of the highest wage earner in a household or does it mean the sum total income of Dad, Mum and three adult children who still live at home because they can’t/won’t move out?
Q2 Is this a small starter home in an outer city suburb with green laminate counter tops circa 1970 and a 2hr commute to work, or does it have 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, acres of granite and be situated in a leafy suburb close to the city center?
Q3 How will I decipher the information from the next census?

#78 Sail1 on 01.07.11 at 8:19 am

So why are prices rising? Simple, because listings have fallen. So reduced competition among a smaller pool of buyers pops prices up. All this, of course, changes in a few weeks.

A few weeks is around the corner, I guess we will have to wait and see who is full of crap.

#79 1ObtuseObelisk on 01.07.11 at 8:29 am

#22 Devil’s Advocate on 01.07.11 at 1:00 am

some agreed definitions for “medium”:

1) a state that is intermediate between extremes; a middle position*

2) around the middle of a scale of evaluation**

What would you know about the proper employment of statistical terms RE man? Pretty rich coming from a guy who thinks his use (and the philosophy) of the word “comparable” is legitimate and not a money grubbers wet dream. Shouldn’t you be all butthole and elbows hustling the last 2 or 3 FTBs in your tract of paradise? GET ‘ER DONE! The toxic distractions that emerge from your delusional mind. For such a pompous guy that enjoys teasing fly scat out of pepper, I thought you’d be clever enough to not engage in ad hominem attacks. Never overestimate a REALTOR and avoid disappointment.
*, ** raur

#80 House on 01.07.11 at 8:29 am

So why are prices rising? Simple, because listings have fallen. So reduced competition among a smaller pool of buyers pops prices up. All this, of course, changes in a few weeks

I thought fewer buyers meant that prices fell. That’s the way things work for most goods.

#81 Rifles on 01.07.11 at 8:56 am

Sometimes a great notion

http://www.yattermatters.com/2011/01/vancouver-homes-for-sale-implode/#more-23833

#82 Utopia on 01.07.11 at 9:11 am

“So why are prices rising? Simple, because listings have fallen. So reduced competition among a smaller pool of buyers pops prices up. All this, of course, changes in a few weeks” —Garth

———

A classic sign of a bubble top. Listings falling while prices continue to rise. This situation is expected to reverse (even dramatically in some regions) as spring approaches and becomes summer.

I will be keeping an eye on Victoria, Nanaimo and Kelowna. The Island in particular seems to show the cracks sooner and gives a snapshot of what is coming for everyone else.

By the way Garth, your blog seems to be getting pretty popular. But I just don’t have time to read all the posts once they go past 200 in a day. Now you are pulling close to 300 on occassion and hardly anyone seems to communicate with each other like they used too.

Can’t say I blame you for discouraging some of the repetitious agenda driven blather. You might be swimming in posts and going blind sitting in front of your computer screen if it wasn’t nipped once in a while.

Bet Mrs Turner misses you, your laptop gets all the affection.

#83 Macrath on 01.07.11 at 9:13 am

The uncomfortable truth about mind control: Is free will simply a myth?
http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/features/the-uncomfortable-truth-about-mind-control-is-free-will-simply-a-myth-2177014.html

In modern psychology there are widely accepted “principles” used to describe, explain, and predict human behavior. Many businesses use these principles when developing marketing and advertising strategies.

I believe the psychological manipulation of the masses is much more advanced than the simple mushroom
principle.

It is advanced targeted and so effective few realize it even exists.

#84 fancy_pants on 01.07.11 at 9:27 am

#47 Oleksandr on 01.07.11 at 2:05 am
Inflation in grocery store,
Hyperinflation in RE

think about this for a minute…

All your basic needs expenses go up; groceries, gas, taxes etc. That will result in less income at your disposal for mortgage payment. Unless incomes are going up proportionately, RE prices increases of the magnitude we have seen in the last 5-10 yrs are unsustainable.

Having said that, perhaps you should talk to the Devil’s Advocate as he can probably find you a “deal”. Better yet, talk to one of the realtors pictured, they can get you a deal as they have a few tricks up their sleeves… um, I mean… skirts.

#85 Felix on 01.07.11 at 9:27 am

@ nonplused (#20): Did you notice the Globe & Mail took the article down? We can see it on Google as the first result: http://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&q=house+prices+to+see+steady+climb+globe+and+mail

But the link now redirects to a piece on Winnipeg.

#86 Kevin on 01.07.11 at 9:29 am

The price of detached bungalow in Saskatoon has increased from over 60k to over 340k from 1981http://saskatoonhousingbubble.blogspot.com/2011/01/saskatoon-detached-bungalow-prices-1981.html
But thats OK, as prices are expected to increase here another 6% and there is no bubble as long as the Governement leaves the rules alone.

#87 Kevin on 01.07.11 at 9:31 am

Sorry, that should read
Saskatoon detached bungalow prices 1981- 2010 nominal prices
http://saskatoonhousingbubble.blogspot.com/2011/01/saskatoon-detached-bungalow-prices-1981.html

#88 fancy_pants on 01.07.11 at 9:32 am

#81 House on 01.07.11 at 8:29 am

I thought fewer buyers meant that prices fell. That’s the way things work for most goods.

you have to look at both supply as well as demand.
buyers= demand listings=supply

current situation:
less demand + less supply = prices constant

coming soon to a city near you:
less demand + more supply = prices fall

#89 Herb on 01.07.11 at 9:34 am

Dan @ #60

Good one!

#90 bigrider on 01.07.11 at 9:35 am

Motorcycle Show today, airport road, International buildings.

You going Garth ? I’ll look for you.

Indian Motorcycles resurrected and going to be there for the first time. Might get me one of those.

#91 David B on 01.07.11 at 9:37 am

House accross the street is still not sold sign went up early last fall and the home needs nothing. Others with signs are much the same, perhaps people are waiting for more selection, who knows, but we will see. Sad to read about Lloyd, sure not ending a long carreer on a high note because those words will bite him sooner rather than later.

On unemployment.

Word from investors is only a large broad spike in employment will move markets upward, as long as jobs just trickle in things will remain the same.
————–
Not good and of course not good for Real Estate.

#92 Moneta on 01.07.11 at 9:57 am

One of our many systemic problems stems from our attitude towards government.

Since Thatcher, we have been trying to force government into a profit making machine when it can not compete.

As such, CMHC was forced to compete with private companies and expected to generate growth.

Of course, you can’t expect true competitive operations from an entity that is obligated to offer many services that private businesses would never offer.

Because so many Canadian neocons don’t want government, we’ve been pretending that government can be just as efficient.

What a mess.

#93 OttawaLaLa on 01.07.11 at 10:00 am

With all the RE bullsh*t going on I wonder if journalism has always been so light on brains and integrity?

Oh wait…I just remembered that Barbara Walters has been in journalism for 100 years. Never mind.

#94 Cookie Monster on 01.07.11 at 10:01 am

So why are prices rising? Simple, because listings have fallen. So reduced competition among a smaller pool of buyers pops prices up. All this, of course, changes in a few weeks

I thought fewer buyers meant that prices fell. That’s the way things work for most goods.
————–
Prices aren’t rising, its just that sales of lower cost homes have fallen while sales of more expensive homes have stayed up (probably because there’s no such thing as a low cost home anymore).

So the medium-median-average-middle-mean-whatever price has risen slightly.

#95 Utopia on 01.07.11 at 10:06 am

#69 Zenith Foretold wrote:

“The recession is over. If people aren’t getting more optimistic almost by the day, then they’re probably not paying attention,” said Craig Wright, chief economist at Royal Bank of Canada”.
——————————————————

I think Craig is blowing a little sunshine up our butts here. Does he not work for the same bank that was just downgraded by Moody’s over the head of some balance sheet issues? He wishes and hopes things are getting better I am sure.

But let’s look at some of the other issues.
1) interest rates are widely expected to rise this year.
2) wages meanwhile are not climbing.
3) unemployment remains sticky in its range.
4) housing has reached a peak with little upside room.
5) commodity prices are the basis of much of the recent revenues increases and economic activity, not healthy jobs growth, savings or productivity improvements.
6) The number of part time jobs is still rising.
7) The Federal Government is promising to not expand stimulus type investment further, instead opting to cut program spending and eventually eliminate the deficit. That sounds an awful lot like a soft version of austerity to me.
8) Manufacturing in Ontario and Quebec have been gutted in the past few years of recession and with a rising dollar there is significant added stress on those remaining.
9) Our largest trading partner is barely treading water.
10) All levels of government are grappling with debt issues that rival even those in the US in some cases. A crumbling of real estate prices will bring a whole new sense of reality to the domestic municipal scene as tax revenues dry up and assessments eventually change.

I have not even started and I am not even trying to be negative but let’s keep perspective here. We are not booming just because the TSX is heading for the old highs based on a commodities and gold. We are not booming because housing is nearing a bubble top and is ready to roll over.

There are many areas of concern for the economy and these need to be kept in mind. The single most significant worry is real estate of course as that will impact consumption at every level, will impact our so-called wealth effect and will determine how employment numbers will change in the future.

We might be on a bed of roses right now but there are plenty of thorns sticking through too.The Royal Banks chief economist knows this well. But if blowing sunshine makes us all happy then it has to be good for the bottom line too. So don’t worry, be happy.

Craig said so….

#96 hobbygirl on 01.07.11 at 10:10 am

Mad Vlad re dead bird link:

Here’s another theory, just like the movie ‘Signs’ from a few years ago with dead birds falling out of the sky – space aliens.

#97 Utopia on 01.07.11 at 10:14 am

OK, I just discovered I have a keyboard defect. When I use the “)” preceded by an “8” then a smiley appears. This happened before but I thought Garth was messing with my words. Apparently he is not messing with me at all.

Please ignore the smiley face in the previous posts. It does not reflect my opinion and should not be there. I just need a keyboard repair, that’s all.

8-) — Garth

#98 Smoking Man on 01.07.11 at 10:17 am

Garth why would you or anyone be surprised the media does not always tells the truth. They don’t, they knowingly lie all the time. They are a profit centre, influenced my lobby groups, government and advertisers.

Buck in March when the market was out of control, all of them preached a little gloom and doom for re. Then when it worked and put the brakes on the market and it started rolling backwards , they started blowing sunshine. And man can they Blow…….

Canadians are dumb, they are at the mercy of massive mind manipulation techniques that big brother and the media have perfected over time.

You and your loyal disciples are no match for the machine. Fundamentals who cares!!! Peter Mansbridge and Lloyd are GOD.

Going to enjoy a nice 5% spike in my property value this year…. Happy new year.

#99 Nostradamus jr. on 01.07.11 at 10:17 am

Friends, , the “Have Nots” across Eastern Canada will continue to pile up enormous Provincial Budget deficits.

As a result, Secession by the Western Provinces is a “given”.

It isn’t any wonder relocation there is increasing and RE prices are rising across the Western Provinces.

Nostradamus jr.

#100 robert James on 01.07.11 at 10:21 am

This is priceless.. I am sure the OMREB wrote the book on “sleaze” LOL The Okanagan realtors are warning people that are sitting on the fence waiting to buy that they should buy now because ,, this is bloody Hilarious,, interest rates are forecast to go up later this year and there is strong speculation the Fed will tighten mortgage financing rules.. Like,,”DUH” why do you friggin idiots at OMREB think that the Fed might tighten the lending rules and who be stupid enough to buy at the “high” when interest rates are at record lows ?? Oh,, that is right,,sales tanked and you want people to buy so to can make a living.. LOL These people are truly amazing!!!!! http://www.castanet.net/edition/news-story-59308-1-.htm#59308

#101 C on 01.07.11 at 10:24 am

US jobs # out this morning, up 103K jobs. NICE RECOVERY there America. I love how the economists have been getting hot and heavy lately thinking the worst has passed us. The so called recovery was fuelled by adding more debt to bad debt. It’s a mirage. And the fact the unemployment rate dropped big time is bad news not good. The media will tout it as good news but the fact is less people are looking for work. If you have a weak jobs # and the unemployment number drops big, it’s because the labour force shrunk. But the MSM will say hey unemployment in the US is now down to 9.4% yippee!

#102 Sean on 01.07.11 at 10:26 am

Sad isn’t it.

Unfortunately the masses will eat it right up.

#103 Moneta on 01.07.11 at 10:28 am

Macrath on 01.07.11 at 9:13 am

Recent research on the brain is showing that the way we think about human behavior is flawed. All our systems and social structures are based on the assumption that behavior is a product of conscious intention when most of it is unconscious. So it’s no wonder we are in the predicament we are in.

Unfortunately, we could not have done any better because even today, we still don’t know enough about the way our minds work to build a system that would work around it.

Something tells me we are destined to many more boom-bust cycles.

#104 Daisy Mae on 01.07.11 at 10:36 am

“Now, to Vancouver and the delirious outer bits around it. Only in a creeped-out place like this would the arrival of hopped-up property assessments – guaranteeing higher municipal taxes – be greeted with orgiastic pleasure…”

Yes, just as I thought as I read my assessment notice — up $25,000. What a cruel joke….

#105 AACI-Okanagan on 01.07.11 at 10:42 am

“Royal LePage commissioned no research company to collect data. No potential buyers or sellers were interviewed. No public sampling was done. No economists were polled to gather a consensus view. There was, simply put, no market data.

Instead the sole source for this ‘report’ was an internal survey of the company’s own sales force. This is in the small print on the company’s web site: “Housing values in the Royal LePage House Price Survey are Royal LePage opinions of fair market value in each location, based on local data and market knowledge provided by Royal LePage residential real estate experts.” ”

I have sat in those meetings with my cup of coffee and I can tell you it is a BIG JOKE. They never base their findings on facts or market evidence.

“CHMC to insure mortgages below 20% and more than 25 year amortizations otherwise CHMC will suffer the same fate as Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae in the USA and my tax dollars will have to bailout CHMC”

Will people stop comparing Fannie Mae to CMHC (not CHMC btw), CMHC is government owned, has been since 1946.

#106 Carruthers on 01.07.11 at 10:43 am

Confirmation bias is a tendency for people to favor information that confirms their preconceptions or hypotheses regardless of whether the information is true. As a result, people gather evidence selectively, and interpret it in a biased way. Confirmation biases contribute to overconfidence in personal beliefs and can maintain or strengthen beliefs in the face of contrary evidence.

Or, perhaps, it’s just plain old predatory fraud perpetrated by a gang of self-interested sociopaths?

#107 Daisy Mae on 01.07.11 at 10:45 am

“Now, to Vancouver and the delirious outer bits around it. Only in a creeped-out place like this would the arrival of hopped-up property assessments – guaranteeing higher municipal taxes – be greeted with orgiastic pleasure….”

Yes. Just as I thought as I read MY ‘hopped-up’ Okanagan property assessment…

What a cruel joke.

#108 Live Within Your Means on 01.07.11 at 10:52 am

#91 bigrider on 01.07.11 at 9:35 am
Motorcycle Show today, airport road, International buildings.

You going Garth ? I’ll look for you.

Indian Motorcycles resurrected and going to be there for the first time. Might get me one of those.

………………

Do you mean the m’cycles as in ‘The World’s Fastest Indian’ staring Anthony Hopkins? Loved that movie. Watched it 3 times, rare for me. Hubby has 2 old beemers – a K75 and 100RT from the 80’s. His babies.

#109 Moneta on 01.07.11 at 10:53 am

Macrath on 01.07.11 at 9:13 am

I believe the psychological manipulation of the masses is much more advanced than the simple mushroom
principle.

It is advanced targeted and so effective few realize it even exists.
———-
Continuation of previous post….

My point is that many indviduals understand the reality of the human mind and use it to control markets and masses but it’s amazing to see the number of people who refuse to accept the concept of limited free will.

Many are fearful of rejecting the concept of free will because it would mean an abdication of personal responsibility. In reality, an individual might commit a crime and plead innocence under the pretext that his split personality made him do it but the fact remains that this person is a menace and should be locked up or rehabilitated. It does not mean that criminals can roam about untouched, it means that our justice system would have to do a 180 degree turn. It would need to go from punishing to rehabilitating.

But our understanding of the mind is still not good enough to rehab, nor is it to fix our entire system. And if we could excel at doing this, wouldn’t it simply become controlled brainwashing?

#110 Calgary REality on 01.07.11 at 11:02 am

This is the #1 reason why we choose to get our PRIME TIME NEWS from:

GARTH TURNER

Keep up the great work Garth. As you point out, it’s amazing how the media is spoon fed from the CREA what to say and report. News Stations? They should rename them “PRESS RELEASE stations!”

#111 jen on 01.07.11 at 11:13 am

Do these so called journalists legitimately believe, due to a lack of critical thinking skills and group think, the real estate pumping rhetoric? Or are journalists simply cogs in the wheel who are getting their stories spiked and slanted by editors trying to appease advertisers?

This is what is confusing about this problem.

#112 Ret on 01.07.11 at 11:20 am

House prices up YOY 16% in Hamilton to $347,000. Yippeeeeeeeeeee! Fabulous news. I guess that everyone wants to live in Hamilton.

The bad news? Those numbers include the numbers of the nearby affluent city of Burlington. The top area in Hamilton was only $324,000. Central Hamilton was $150,000 but you wouldn’t be going out at night for a stroll in that area unless you had something to sell.

Gross manipulations and selective reporting of data for the sheeple and the MSM.

http://www.thespec.com/news/business/article/318511–house-prices-spike-in-december

#113 warptweet on 01.07.11 at 11:23 am

“Further conceive, I beg, that a stone, while continuing in motion, should be capable of thinking and knowing, that it is endeavoring, as far as it can, to continue to move. Such a stone, being conscious merely of its own endeavor and not at all indifferent, would believe itself to be completely free, and would think that it continued in motion solely because of its own wish. This is that human freedom, which all boast that they possess, and which consists solely in the fact, that men are conscious of their own desire, but are ignorant of the causes whereby that desire has been determined.”
— Baruch Spinoza

#114 WINIPEGER on 01.07.11 at 11:25 am

The Peg is “different”…… comments Garth?????

City housing market still supercharged
Price increases poised to lead Canada
By: Murray McNeill

IF you thought those heady days of bidding wars and soaring house prices were over, think again.

One overjoyed St. Vital homeowner recently got $24,000 more than her asking price for her 50-year-old, 900-square-foot bungalow. And Royal LePage Real Estate Services predicted Thursday the Winnipeg market will lead the way in house-price increases for major Canadian cities in 2011.

The firm said in its fourth-quarter 2010 house-price and market forecast report it expects the average selling price for a resale home in Winnipeg to jump by seven per cent to $244,000 this year from $228,000 in 2010.

That’s more than double what it thinks the national average increase will be — about three per cent — and well above the projected increases for the other eight cities covered in its report.

It also would come on the heels of a 10 per cent average-price hike in 2010.

The Royal LePage report notes that while the Winnipeg market has slowed a bit over the past year, demand remains strong and listings remain in short supply. That’s keeping upward pressure on selling prices.

And while not as common as they were during the pre-recession boom of 2007 and early 2008, multiple offers and above-list selling prices are still very much a part of the local market, the company added.

A good example is the St. Vital bungalow Royal LePage Prime Real Estate agent Brad Gross sold last month on behalf of a client who is moving into a care home.

The woman’s two-bedroom, Hindley Avenue home was listed at $199,000 and sold for $223,000. Gross said there were seven bids for the home, all at or above the listing price.

“That’s pretty rare. Usually you get at least one or two that are below.”

He and John Froese, a broker with Royal LePage Prime Real Estate, said the hottest-selling homes these days are bungalows. They’re popular with first-time buyers because they tend to be more affordable than two-storey homes and older buyers like them because they don’t have to climb as many stairs.

That’s why bungalows saw the biggest price gains between the final quarter of 2009 and the last quarter of 2010. Royal LePage said the average selling price for a standard bungalow jumped by 10.3 per cent to $266,500. By comparison, the average price for a standard two-storey increased by 6.5 per cent to $296,750 and the price for a standard condo rose by 7.8 per cent to $170,286.

Although Royal LePage expects Winnipeg to post the biggest price hike this year, it predicts unit sales will essentially level off, with an increase of only 0.9 per cent to 11,600 units from about 11,500 in 2010.

Froese blames that mainly on the short supply of available homes.

“If we had more product, we could sell a lot more.”

But he also noted mortgage rates are expected to start climbing again in the second quarter of this year, and that could bump some first-time buyers out of the market. Manitoba’s also having a provincial election next fall, he said. That creates uncertainty, so some may postpone their house purchases until they see what happens.

— Source: Royal LePage

Of course, it’s different in Winnipeg – a world-class city where everyone wishes to locate. Especially for the climate, sea breezes, mountain views and the cosmo atmosphere. Never argue with Phil Soper. — Garth

#115 warptweet on 01.07.11 at 11:31 am

The local scandal and RE advertising rags (The Vancouver Sun and Province) announced the assessment hikes as if everyone won the lottery!
Another reason why I canceled my subscription a long time ago. These papers set off my BS detector so bad it ruins my whole day!

#116 Live Within Your Means on 01.07.11 at 11:32 am

#65 Mountain Girl on 01.07.11 at 3:22 am
Why don’t we turn supermarket flyers into headlining “news” articles while we’re at it? Seriously, what’s the difference between these “market reports”/propaganda campaigns and the latest exciting sales at Safeway? Both are selling a product. Why is one treated as credible news and the other as advertisement? The lack of critical faculty employed both by journalists and the folks who are reading this crap like it’s gospel truth is truly staggering.

…………….

Good point. I shop at Loblaws (Superstore here) and Sobeys as we really don’t have any other choice. I laugh at, especially, Loblaw ads – Just Cheaper Prices. Last week a product was e.g. $2., next week it’s advertised for $1.49 – Save $1. They should be charged with false advertising, but I won’t hold my breath.

#117 Live Within Your Means on 01.07.11 at 11:38 am

#98 Utopia on 01.07.11 at 10:14 am

I’ve always used the colon, then a dash and then an ). No spaces. Let’s see if it works. :-)

#118 dave in calgary on 01.07.11 at 11:39 am

#53 realityguy: How the heckers are they going to live on their pension next year when the tax doubles to 13,000 bucks.

Garth has been talking about this for a long, long, long time. Boomers will be forced to flood the market with their homes (which is the bulk of their net worth) in order to make ends meet. They will be trying to sell these homes, all at once, to a generation that doesn’t have as much money as the boomers. I think, I may be wrong, that this boomer effect was predicted by Garth to start in 2015. Sort of a perfect storm to keep this decade as the “lost decade” in Canadian real estate.

#119 HouseBuster on 01.07.11 at 11:41 am

Decades for home prices to recover
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Decades-for-home-prices-to-cnnm-1435904245.html;_ylt=Ar3.Ne4bJAIVM2MppXBiL4W7YWsA;_ylu=X3oDMTE1MzZwYmZmBHBvcwM1BHNlYwN0b3BTdG9yaWVzBHNsawNkZWNhZGVzZm9yaG8-?x=0&sec=topStories&pos=2&asset=&ccode=

This is happening an hour drive away and you don’t think it can happen here?

#120 mattbg on 01.07.11 at 11:42 am

The “rising average price” part doesn’t surprise me.

I have been looking at listings for the past few months with “moving up” in mind (but only in mind — just a thought experiment to see what value is out there).

I am seeing very little value, and a lot of clearly overpriced houses. Some sell, but a lot don’t.

I am in pretty good financial shape, and I find very little on MLS that I’d be willing to pay anything close to asking price for because it simply isn’t good value. There must be lots of others who are contemplating the same thing, especially if buying the house would put them under significant financial strain.

Value starts to look a lot better to me when you shave 15-20% off these asking prices.

#121 Dark Sad Monster Bunny on 01.07.11 at 11:43 am

83 Utopia – some stats you might be interested in if you dont know them already

http://www.vireb.com/assets/images/pdf/2010_annual_sales_summary.pdf

#122 Macrath on 01.07.11 at 11:55 am

I`m waiting patiently for Garth`s next book which he said will delve into the hitherto unknown aspects of human behavior.
We are certainly driven by our unconscious animal spirits and the corporate psychologists tap our greed, lust and envy. The extent to which remains largely unreported or discussed. The real estate industry being possibly the most blatant example of this manipulation.

The old adage “There’s a sucker born every minute” is a phrase often credited to P. T. Barnum (1810–1891), an American showman .The show has turned scientific in our age where corruption rules and the masses get fleeced.

#123 Utopia on 01.07.11 at 11:57 am

#50 MadMan wrote:
“Hey Garth, didn’t you read Realpaul the Riot Act the other day? And yet he still rants.”….

He does rant. Must be something to it. Ex-wife was a public servant maybe…..or Revcan caught him cheating on taxes and he is still angry.

He gets on my nerves too. No balance to the thinking.

#124 Devil's Advocate on 01.07.11 at 12:01 pm

”Of course, it’s different in Winnipeg – a world-class city where everyone wishes to locate. Especially for the climate, sea breezes, mountain views and the cosmo atmosphere. Never argue with Phil Soper.”Garth

Your sarcasm of the attraction to Winterpeg infers the real desire for it’s polar opposite; (figuratively within a Canadian context of course) that’d be Vancouver. ;-)

BTW did you not read that post in response to a sarcastic one of my own where-in one of the Blog Dogs chastised me, saying something to the effect that the use of sarcasm is demonstrative of a lower form of intelligence?

And where again is that sarcasm font?

#125 edmonton mortgage broker on 01.07.11 at 12:08 pm

#3 Burnt Norton

With no due respect, I won’t take that for what you offer it to be, but I will tell you what it actually is.

It is a gutless attempt to publicly (although anonymously) absolve yourself of admittedly devious and destructive behaviour. Not only do you admit to having done a disservice to clients who placed misguided trust in you, as an advertised “professional”, to help them navigate an intimidating and emotionally complex arena, you have the gall to call them “dumb” and somehow imply that they are to blame because they do not have equal access to insider information. This mentality is no different than a crack dealer shrugging his shoulders each time one of his junkies jumps off of a bridge.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

choice words! you sound like a bitter former client of mine. Who said anything about absolving myself of guilt? i’m 100% guilty as charged for giving people exactly what they want. Mortgage brokers don’t discriminate. white black or blue, intelligent or not. and if you want to hang yourself, i’ll hand you the noose and do it with a smile. insider information? what are you smoking buddy? most everybody in the industry are drinking the same koolaid as the lemmings of clients they are leading off the cliff. sorry to disappoint you, but there is no internal memo floating around to mortgage brokers warning them of impending real estate collapse.
Have i talked people out of getting mortgages? yeah, family and friends, although even that is no easy task when they are hard for granite and hardwood. Would i do the same for a stranger? yeah right… i was a mortgage broker, not mother teresa.

i’ve come to THIS Blog to absolve myself??? too funny. no, my bitter friend. i’ve come to get flamed. so flame on, it’s damn cold in Edmonton (actually it’s very mild right now:P)

#126 GregW, Oakville on 01.07.11 at 12:12 pm

Hi #56 TaxHaven, re: Have we gone collectively, or just individually, insane?
Seems that way. Why??? How? By accident / stupidity / design?
Maybe chemical/environmental and…
(some stuff to think about)

YouTube Conformity 10min
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TrNIuFrso8I

Mercury Exposure Makes People Go Nuts Article
http://www.infowars.com/mercury-exposure-makes-people-go-nuts/
“Parents need to be highly informed to protect their children today from…”
“Chemical, heavy metal and radiation exposures have been increasing dramatically through the years as chronic diseases have surged, even among the young who are the most vulnerable, and we have done absolutely nothing about it except to worry…”
“We have mostly shrugged it all off and left our governments to resolve our problems. What a huge mistake! Even faced with massive insanity and theft on the financial front most go back to their TVs and sleep without much alarm. I think the day is coming soon that this denial is going to be crushed by events and life will no longer continue to be the massive amusement park that we have made it.”

You do know there is mercury in the flu shot and silver dental fillings!
See post yesterday post #240, the last link informs you on just how much there is in the shot!
And I heard/read an article some corn syrup manufacturing process, some how leave some in it. Honey may have corn syrup added up to 30%, but they don’t need to let you know.
(I have an organic bee keeper friend that told me it ‘could’ have up to 30% corn syrup and still be Canada grade No 1 on the label. He told me he doesn’t add any, and I believe him.)

I remember hearing about some Canadians including some Politicians having there blood tested for toxic chemical exposure, and yes mercury was just one of the things in there blood. But were is it coming from (we know about some) and are we still being exposed? The guys that did the study wrote this book,

At google books, (only part of the book can be read/seen here)
Slow Death by Rubber Duck: How the Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Life Affects our health
http://books.google.com/books?id=EIg3HhEjJAsC&pg=PA90&dq=Slow+Death+by+Rubber+Duck:+The+Secret+Danger+of+Everyday+Things&hl=en&ei=JSgnTdrfJ4HGnAfPuqSwAQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CDYQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q&f=false

Still drinking the supplied water? I don’t anymore! Know what’s in/added to yours?
http://www.fluoridealert.org/
Fyi, brital doesn’t remove it.

YouTube Critical Thinking 5min
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OLPL5p0fMg&feature=related
Don’t you worry I know, I’m still working at it myself ;)

#127 Utopia on 01.07.11 at 12:19 pm

#66 Derek.
———————————
Derek, property tax levies are a municipal tax for the most part although the provincial gov’ts take a cut on rurals. This cannot directly offset GST reductions which are a Federal revenue pogram. Further, there is a building risk inherant in the current and existing high levels of municipal taxation.

Look over the border and down to the US. Cities are on the verge of bankrupting as revenues erode. Why you ask? The first problem is that home assessed values are used to calculate tax rates based on the mill. When housing values rise, so do civic taxes. When housing values fall……well, you can see for yourself the results.

The risk premium on municipal bonds is on a steady rise as cities grapple with reduced revenues and increased borrowing needs (and costs). What everyone needs is for property values to rise again however that is not likely to happen anytime soon.

Popped bubbles rarely re-inflate. So here we are in Canada with a housing market that has topped and a huge risk going forward for municipalities everywhere.

Higher property taxes are not the answer.

#128 doctore on 01.07.11 at 12:19 pm

You know Canada is in for a drubbing this year when we got slaughtered in the hockey game the other night. The tea leaves do not show a good year for realestate.

#129 boomer62 on 01.07.11 at 12:26 pm

Today’s quote….

Artificial Intelligence is no match for Natural Stupidity.

Garth,

I suspect many more folks would pull up their stakes and head for rental space until they factor in selling their house is back-end loaded (i.e. seller pays the broker’s 5% plus taxes, plus legal, plus moving etc. etc.).

Little wonder realtors are so cocky.

#130 Northern Dirt on 01.07.11 at 12:26 pm

#67 Kopaja_Avenger on 01.07.11 at 3:37 am

Lloyd does have a decent quaff. You paint a good picture of the make-up room.
………………………………………………………………………………

Yeah, but that corridor is baby blue, not green.. Unless they painted it over 10 years ago.. ;)

#131 Live Within Your Means on 01.07.11 at 12:26 pm

#55 InvestorsFriend (Shawn Allen) on 01.07.11 at 2:28 am

Good point, to have a nice house usually requires renovations.

Here is my house as an example

Built circa 1982 decent 3 bedroom two-storey an larger lot in St. Albert (most desirable suberb of Edmonton)

Bought by me in 1995 for $135,000 came with fresh lino but basically the house was original. Scrapped together 25% down to avoid CMHC fees. Managed to pay it off in 2002 with proceeds from sale of a rental house and due to paying extra on the mortage each year.

………………..

Our home is 30 yo. Bought about 20 yrs ago @ $119K with 25% down and paid off in 7 yrs. Ten + yrs ago removed walls between kitchen and tiny dining room and reversed placement. Put in German engineered patio doors & kitchen window. Added hardwood on main level & stairs, except bdrms (next year’s plan to replace 30 yr old carpets). First 10 yrs spent about $15K on landscaping, though you’d never know it now due to lots of circumstances. Also hubby put in air/heat recovery system, alarm system, new decks, shed in back,etc.

Last year replaced all windows and front door, new 1-1/2 rigid foam insullation, siding, new roof, gutters, etc. New small bathrm upstairs, extended and redid bathrm/laundry downstairs/guest bdroom. Last wk chap retaped and pollyfilled/sanded most of dnstairs due to our house having had to be lifted ($$$). Hubby put in new potlights, etc. and this wkend will clean up everything as painter will be coming Monday to redo some of the rooms and paint the rest. Haven’t actually costed out everything, but think it’s somewhere around $60K this year alone.

…………………..
So its worth maybe $450 or $500 now compared to $135 I paid but maybe half that gain is due to renos.

so yeah, the rise in house prices over the years is not the whole story.

Remember too that a new house today is probably twice as large as a new house from 50 years ago. So its apples to oranges…

While it is true that even dumper unrenovated 40 year old houses have soared in value, most people pay a lot in renovations and upkeep over the years. It ain’t all profit guys.

………………….

Awaiting our tax assessment due any day now. Yes, homeownership can be a money pit.

#132 john m on 01.07.11 at 12:28 pm

Of course, it’s different in Winnipeg – a world-class city where everyone wishes to locate. Especially for the climate, sea breezes, mountain views and the cosmo atmosphere. Never argue with Phil Soper. — Garth……………..<<<<<<<<<<<< LMAO now thats funny :-)

#133 Nuke on 01.07.11 at 12:35 pm

“Housing values in the Royal LePage House Price Survey are Royal LePage opinions of fair market value in each location, based on local data and market knowledge provided by Royal LePage residential real estate experts.” – that’s just wrong.

Why doesn’t the news report that unless the house is a maximum of 3 times your income and financed with a minimum 20% down, plus being less than a third your total net worth it is not affordable and you don’t even consider buying. Interest rates are relevant but not vital since they will go up and down while your debt stays. Since we have emergency rates, any mortgage should be based on 1% above the normal interest rates of the past 10-20 years. You then need to bring in all the additional expenses associated with home ownership, including the opportunity costs of external investments and the owners ability to relocate for work etc. When you factor these standard measures into home ownership there is not an expert in all of Canada that could mouth affordability to describe the real estate market today. Why aren’t these experts (ie Garth and others) being asked along with the commissioned real estate agents. It seems rational financial planning concepts have no place in the real estate market. It’s like only Creationists need explain where man came from and we shouldn’t listen to a scientist who states the world is more than 6,000 years old.

#134 boomer62 on 01.07.11 at 12:35 pm

As a second request to all posters,

Please post your local real estate board volume and price stats for 2010.

Thanks in advance.

#135 Live Within Your Means on 01.07.11 at 12:38 pm

#116 warptweet on 01.07.11 at 11:31 am
The local scandal and RE advertising rags (The Vancouver Sun and Province) announced the assessment hikes as if everyone won the lottery!
Another reason why I canceled my subscription a long time ago. These papers set off my BS detector so bad it ruins my whole day!

………………

I visit National Newswatch and non-MSM sites. My morning fix. I never read the Sun as I consider it a rag also.

#136 Alex on 01.07.11 at 12:44 pm

Hmm…looks like the Globe and Mail *did* remove yesterday’s “House prices to see steady climb” pump-job article. Could it be the 300-plus comments that almost unanimously criticized them for so obviously being dangerously irresponsible boobs? Could it be that enough of us wrote the editors directly to say the same thing? Regardless, it’s good to see.

#137 Nostradamus jr. on 01.07.11 at 12:48 pm

Higher Debt in Ontario and Higher RE Prices in Vancouver…

Ontario sells C$750 mln due June 2021
11:25 EST Friday, January 07, 2011

NEW YORK, Jan 7 (Reuters) – The Canadian Province of Ontario sold C$750 million ($750 million) of notes on Friday, according to a term sheet seen by Reuters.

The 4.00 percent notes, due June 2, 2021, were priced at 99.702 to yield 4.035 percent or 70.5 basis points over the Canadian government benchmark.

The investment dealer arm of Bank of Nova Scotia was the lead manager of the sale. ($1=C$1) (Reporting by Pam Niimi;Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

©2011 CTVglobemedia Publishing Inc. All rights reserved.

#138 GregW, Oakville on 01.07.11 at 1:06 pm

Hi Garth, fyi 9min interview on msnbc

Ron Paul Talks With Ratigan About the Kabuki Theatre of Debt Reduction
http://www.infowars.com/ron-paul-talks-with-ratigan-about-the-kabuki-theatre-of-debt-reduction/

& if someone is interested?
Alex Jones & Nick Begich On Coast to Coast 38min
“First hour guests, radio host Alex Jones and researcher Nick Begich commented on the recent bird die-off in Beebe, Arkansas…”
http://www.infowars.com/alex-jones-nick-begich-on-coast-to-coast/

#139 Mitch on 01.07.11 at 1:09 pm

Hi Garth,

Great blog. I just ordered your book, as well. Look forward to it.

My question is: What are YOUR sources of data? Although I tend to believe you, I haven’t seen any references yet. (Although, I am not yet a long time reader, perhaps you’ve posted before.)

This blog is for entertainment purposes only. And soft porn. Oh yeah, and financial opinion. — Garth

#140 ALE on 01.07.11 at 1:10 pm

Garth,

In Calgary over the first week of January it is the first time in months I’ve seen inventory consistently build. Sales are extremely weak and falling.

Inventory growth is the second shoe to drop but it hasn’t really mattered. In Q4 prices were down y/y (but only big jumps in tax assessments were reported locally!).

Here’s Mike Fotiou’s excellent blog site with statistics for the Calgary market for those that haven’t found it yet.

http://www.findcalgary.ca/page_content-19.html

#141 boomer62 on 01.07.11 at 1:10 pm

#137 Nostradamus jr. on 01.07.11 at 12:48 pm

FYI, the source….Ontario Financing Authority

http://www.ofina.on.ca/borrowing_debt/issuedbonds.htm

#142 Timing is Everything on 01.07.11 at 1:15 pm

Ha! Too funny… Just 4 U goldies…

http://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/White-Tiger-Gold-unaware-capress-754783310.html?x=0

#143 Mr. Plow on 01.07.11 at 1:17 pm

#21 realpaul…

Enough with the civil servants crap.

Garth, not calling you out, but how much longer will this go on for?

Just watch me. — Garth

#144 Utopia on 01.07.11 at 1:20 pm

117 Live Within Your Means said:

#98 Utopia on 01.07.11 at 10:14 am
I’ve always used the colon, then a dash and then an ). No spaces. Let’s see if it works.
.

———————————————————-

OK. Where do you learn this stuff? I swear I am hopeless with keyboards. All I want to do is put bolding and italics in my text but nobody seems to have the time to explain it. Do you know how?

#145 Mr. Plow on 01.07.11 at 1:21 pm

#33 Deadmonton…

If you hate Edmonton so much, and you have the power to “pack up and move at the drop of a hat” why don’t you?

I too am born and raised here. I have seen a lot of the world, and Edmonton, while cold is actually quite a nice city. Except for maybe all of the mouth breathers in their jacked up pickup trucks.

You too are born and raised, and still here. Must not be that bad.

#146 Mr. Plow on 01.07.11 at 1:23 pm

#38 McLovin…

You and DA continuing a little dick measuring contest from a previous thread is kinda pathetic.

Why don’t one of you be the bigger man, and not respond.

Its entertaining the first 5000 times you nip at each other, but it is starting to get…yawnnnnn tiring.

#147 Devil's Advocate on 01.07.11 at 1:29 pm

#129 boomer62 on 01.07.11 at 12:26 pm
Today’s quote….
Artificial Intelligence is no match for Natural Stupidity.
Garth,
I suspect many more folks would pull up their stakes and head for rental space until they factor in selling their house is back-end loaded (i.e. seller pays the broker’s 5% plus taxes, plus legal, plus moving etc. etc.).
Little wonder realtors are so cocky.

You do have four choices boomer62.

1. You can decide to stay where you are and not sell your home

2. You can decide to sell your home privately. Every year hundreds of homeowners decide to try this, some are successful.

3. You can decide to list your home with a traditional agent who will do all the traditional marketing

4. Or you can choose someone like me who will act as your consultant and guide you toward your best options. Someone who is a shrewd negotiator who will guard your equity like it a Pitbull and fighting for you relentlessly. Someone experienced who has the skill to be your transaction overseer handling those periods of turbulence keeping the deal together to a successful most profitable conclusion.

So what’s it going to be boomer62; 1, 2, 3, or ME?

#148 Cheerup on 01.07.11 at 1:31 pm

I think that BC Bring Cash may be correct.
Who is the Devil’s Advocate but GT himself.
If I ran a blog such as this it would simply be too much fun not to stir it up… :)

Wrong guess. My alter ego is the Big Lobotomy. — Garth

#149 Live Within Your Means on 01.07.11 at 1:34 pm

#145 Utopia on 01.07.11 at 1:20 pm
117 Live Within Your Means said:

#98 Utopia on 01.07.11 at 10:14 am
I’ve always used the colon, then a dash and then an ). No spaces. Let’s see if it works.
.
…………..

Well, I just did a net search and found this site. I’m too lazy to do it. See if it works for you. BTW, I learned that smiley at least 10 yrs ago and had also read about tags. There are oodles of sites to tell you how to create fonts, etc. Hope that helps.

http://www.pageresource.com/html/textags.htm

#150 StunningStu on 01.07.11 at 1:38 pm

It is not true that a higher assessment automatically means a higher civic taxes. Nothing could be further from the truth. If assessed value of your property goes up 10%, but the tax requirement only goes up 2%, then on average, your taxes should only increase 2%. It comes down to how much revenue your city needs, it’s entirely possible to have your assessment go down but your taxes to rise.

Higher assessments set the foundation for continuously increasing municipal taxes. There is no way levies will not at least pace inflation, if not double it. Your theory is correct, but here in the real world we all understand the relationship between municipalities and ‘independent’ assessment agencies. — Garth

#151 Another Albertan on 01.07.11 at 1:48 pm

#144:

Oh, you mean like this?

http://www.htmlcodetutorial.com/quicklist.html

As for your smiley, that’s the rendering engine from the website interpreting your #8.

Everyone else’s mileage may vary.

#152 Derek on 01.07.11 at 1:52 pm

#144 Utopia wrote:

All I want to do is put bolding and italics in my text but nobody seems to have the time to explain it. Do you know how?

It’s straightforward. Put at the beginning of text you want bolded and at the end. Likewise for italics but the magic letter is i instead of b. Don’t add the spaces that you may see in my example. I just added them in an attempt to prevent the blog software from making them vanish.

#153 Hoof Hearted on 01.07.11 at 1:52 pm

Well, for whatever reason, they are still building lots of units in Richmond B.C. Still think it simply scared Asian money. In fact, if China does anything either side of neutral, I think it will encourage even more investment in Greater Vancouver area…and moreso Richmond. The Asian community is so entrenched in Richmond I think Richmond is still going to be an anomaly with respect to other markets.

#154 Mikey the Realtor on 01.07.11 at 1:54 pm

Just spoke to a guy in his early 20’s and the only thing on his mind is buying a house, forget education or anything else that matters. With this type of thinking royal lepage will be right, you heard it here first.

#155 Jon on 01.07.11 at 2:02 pm

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Save money and time by learning some fo these industry secrets. Testimonials: ” I would have paid $100k to attend.” “WOW, that was really a great seminar, I learned so much!”.

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Pat Kelly, Mortguage Associate with over 17 years experiance will help you:
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—————————————————-

I wouldn’t trust a person with that many spelling mistakes in their marketing literature with two dollars of my money, let alone helping me with the biggest purchase of my life.

#156 Derek on 01.07.11 at 2:03 pm

Hmmm. As my attempt failed. The blog software used the formatting tags instead of displaying them. Let’s put it a different way. The idea is to use angle brackets with a letter inside at the start and angle brackets with a / and a letter at the end. For bold that letter is b for italics it’s i.

In case this gets mangled to the point of incomprehensibility, see this website for a quick list of the tags

#157 Bottoms_Up on 01.07.11 at 2:05 pm

#21 realpaul on 01.07.11 at 12:57 am
———————————————–

http://resource.educationcanada.com/salaries.html/

Certainly doesn’t look like teachers get paid all that much.

#158 Hoof Hearted on 01.07.11 at 2:08 pm

Also:

In Dec. of last year(ie less than one month ago) Our Council reported a surplus of $ 6 Million and was all giddy about it.

However, this week the following came out at a Committee Meeting

http://www.richmond.ca/__shared/assets/Project_GP_01041129415.pdf

However, if one reads the report, the FEDS have proposed granting extensions to Infrastructure Grants.

When I do the number crunch, low and behold, the Federal Grant is in the same range as the reported civic surplus. The reason I am further suspicious is our Council did the old “gee should we give the taxpayers a break ” then nothing. They are detached from reality and are engaging in frivolous ventures in 2011 and don’t show the least sign if reigning in spending.

I wonder if this little scam is being repeated throughout Canada, ie that City’s delay projects so as to roll and manipulate the Feds grant and play the old liars will figure and figures will lie scam.

#159 boomer62 on 01.07.11 at 2:12 pm

#147 Devil’s Advocate on 01.07.11 at 1:29 pm

You need to provide at least three (3) references (no ex-boyfriends/girlfriends or banjo playing kin-folk) and a little less pitt bull.
and,

What will I need to prevent a STD?

#160 Live Within Your Means on 01.07.11 at 2:15 pm

#132 Live Within Your Means on 01.07.11 at 12:26 pm

PS to my post. Also put in a Steffes ETS unit for $3500 to cut down on our energy costs which as of Jan 1/11 went up around 6% and our water 27%. I shall be doing lots of cooking/freezing & washing on the weekend (lowest rates). Hubby thinks I’m going a bit overboard. Probably am, might change. I check the elec. baseboard heaters to see if heating is emanating (?) from them, and so far most aren’t during the day. Upstairs gets cool around 6pm for me, but not for him. Keep bdrooms cool & doors closed.

Wondering if any others have put in ETS systems in their homes and their findings?

#161 Debtfree on 01.07.11 at 2:20 pm

Just think Garth if you could have only stuck to the script you could be holding the environment portfolio in harpo’s cabinet like peter kent . A talking head in cabinet. what next a realturd in charge of industry ?

On the DA thing … if he didn’t exist the crea would have to invent him or pay some one with limitless time on his hand to impersonate him.

#162 Cheerup on 01.07.11 at 2:29 pm

Hey Realpaul and Bullion Bunny,
The vast majority of people I serve are grateful.
But I will think of you and smile when I deposit that pension check :)

And as a 4th generation BC resident…
You are always welcome here.
Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful… ;)

#163 USBound on 01.07.11 at 2:31 pm

Thanks for the honest and frank article. There needs to be another news source in Canada with the spine to cut through the media/government/financial sector hazing.

Best of luck,

#164 GregW, Oakville on 01.07.11 at 2:31 pm

Hi Garth, fyi video 1hr:11min Who’s pulling your strings?
(This is an opinion, be it very dark of the world today.
Could there be much to it? Seem there is some documantation to back it up. Made me think. But what do I know. Yes I know he might sound nuts but…)
Alex Jones: Eco-Fascists Call For Prison Cities
http://www.infowars.com/alex-jones-eco-fascists-call-for-prison-cities/

#165 Edmontonian on 01.07.11 at 2:31 pm

# 33 Deadmonton:
Yes I agree with your attitude about buying here-only a greater fool would do so with the prices of today, the market has to go through a massive correction from 2007 whcih is starting (condo prices have recently plunged to 2006 price levels).
Rent is down about 35% since it peaked in 2008, retail space rental collapse this fall back to 2003 levels. WIll housing & rent do the same? Possibly.
Edmonton is a beautiful city in the summer & fall. The longest running park (the rivervalley) in any north american city! It is gorgeous from june to September. Very cold & really expensive to live. SInce our Conservative government derregulated electricity and other things we are the most “capatalistic” area in north America, but we pay the most for groceries in north America and have seen the biggest drop of standards of living since the credit bubble began in the early 200s. Edmonton sees up to 20% highschool drop out rates right now. Poor kids got to work to help put food on the table. Government continues to turn a blind eye. In the past the Conservative Government has been set on encouraging a private Health care system and has even been fined by the federal Lineral Government for breaking Health Care Laws!
IN all, I think a huge correction which seems to be coming in RE would long term benefit most Albertans, esspcially younger ones. It would stabilze or even lower rent further which has already plunged in many areas!

#166 rosie on 01.07.11 at 2:34 pm

#158 bottoms up.

Those stats are 13 years old. Top salary Ontario 11 years exp. cat.A4 $92000.

#167 Live Within Your Means on 01.07.11 at 2:38 pm

If any of you own a K100 or K75 you might want to check out my hubby’s website – http://k100rt.aforumfree.com/t1721-dec-2010-update

He doesn’t make a $ from it. He’s owned & sold many ‘cycles (including Harlies) with a business partner 30+ yrs ago in France. It’s just a hobby for him now.

#168 Hoof Hearted on 01.07.11 at 2:40 pm

Re: BC’s new wave of Millionaires (?) (!)

http://www.bclocalnews.com/richmond_southdelta/richmondreview/news/113037069.html

The House photo in the article was once on the market for $25 Million . The article says it is assessed at less than $10 Million. Wonder what it actually sold for.

Re: the other “millionaires” ….many don’t stop and think that is only a designation based on the assessment game.

Many houses in Richmond are fairly cookie cutterish, built on similar sized lots, change the lates architectural bling on the outside, and the same F.A.R. (ie 5,000-6,000 sq.ft.

Other than perhaps anomalies of hot neighbourhoods, all one needs is a handful of “SOLD”properties at $1 Million PLUS to create a ripple effect of ” assessed value ” for thousands of other similar sized homes.

As a decent realtor I know says, she is not at all interested in assessed prices when clients discuss value

In addition, assessors generally low ball the assessed price, to fool you re tax hikes….but the local gov’t simply plays with the mill rate.

In the old days, BC had assessors for each City…then in the 1970’s the Province established BC Assessment. The assessors are neutral….but given their parameters, all this assessment does , on an anuual “RE Mardi Gras”, is allow Gov’ts and RE pimps to blow smoke with numbers right after New Year that really only benefit them, not some poor schmuck that may try to list and wonder why it ain’t selling or why their asking price is not being grabbed.

#169 TS on 01.07.11 at 2:40 pm

Great post Garth! What the real estate industry is doing to try and dupe the public is disgusting. Unfortunately the laws that apply to advertising do not necessarily apply to press releases. Pity. These b******* should be charged with misleading advertising and face criminal fines and potential prosecutions!

#170 Coraline on 01.07.11 at 2:40 pm

The Toronto Star has just put a helpful “article” online, “You can buy a house with no money down”.

http://tinyurl.com/38qclfa

#171 bill on 01.07.11 at 2:47 pm

motorcycle aficionados
To those who watched ‘The World’s Fastest Indian’ :
did a tear start in your eye at the simple beauty of the starting process of that venerable ‘cycle in the early morn?
the deft use of a cupped hand over the carb mouth as a choke left me teary eyed ,i am not ashamed to say.

#172 Devil's Advocate on 01.07.11 at 2:49 pm

#147 Mr. Plow on 01.07.11 at 1:23 pm

#38 McLovin…

You and DA continuing a little dick measuring contest from a previous thread is kinda pathetic.

Why don’t one of you be the bigger man, and not respond.

Its entertaining the first 5000 times you nip at each other, but it is starting to get…yawnnnnn tiring.

And here I was thinking getting through to McLovin and we were bonding towards forming a long lasting friendship. Or was the Junius?

#160 boomer62 on 01.07.11 at 2:12 pm
#147 Devil’s Advocate on 01.07.11 at 1:29 pm

You need to provide at least three (3) references (no ex-boyfriends/girlfriends or banjo playing kin-folk) and a little less pitt bull.
and,

What will I need to prevent a STD?

Don’t fight with pigs boomer. If you do you will both get dirty but the pig likes it.

#173 bill on 01.07.11 at 2:50 pm

burt monroe

http://www.ehayes.co.nz/burtmunro/

#174 Burnt Norton on 01.07.11 at 2:52 pm

#125 edmonton misery broker

My mistake. It’s clear from that retort that you’re a legend in your own mind.

BTW pls accept my condolences on that whole Edmonton thing. Even the Oilers suck this year. LOL.

#175 GregW, Oakville on 01.07.11 at 2:54 pm

Hi Garth, fyi article

Deregulating ‘Frankenfoods’
http://www.infowars.com/deregulating-frankenfoods/

“All over the world ‘contained’ fields of ‘isolated’ GM products have contaminated neighboring farms.”

“Instead of a discussion on deregulating this particular line of GM corn, the debate should center on whether to completely ban genetically modified organisms altogether as so many other countries have already done including Germany and France.”

#176 TS on 01.07.11 at 2:58 pm

But, damn, Garth has good hair as well.
I presume that is a prerequisite for employment on Television.
There goes another career aspiration for me.

#177 boomer62 on 01.07.11 at 3:02 pm

#151 StunningStu on 01.07.11 at 1:38 pm

If you are in Ontario,

http://www.mpac.ca/pages_english/about_mpac/mission.asp

Give ’em a call and let us know how it went.

#178 jess on 01.07.11 at 3:02 pm

Image control and the golden voice?

http://www.consumeraffairs.com/finance/quicken_loans_mortgage.html

“In Washington, the view is that the banks are to be regulated, and my view is that Washington and the regulators are there to serve the banks,”Bachus said.

http://thinkprogress.org/2010/12/13/bachus-serves-bank/

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

#179 Devil's Advocate on 01.07.11 at 3:05 pm

#162 Debtfree on 01.07.11 at 2:20 pm

On the DA thing … if he didn’t exist the crea would have to invent him or pay some one with limitless time on his hand to impersonate him.

It’s the pay thing. ;-)

Are you kidding? Seriously… the only reason, ONLY, I maintain anonymity on these blogs is for fear of retribution by my colleagues. If you review my posting history you will come to realize I am not at all as painted by the blog dogs. Quite honestly, as I am sure Garth knows my sentiments on the real estate fundamentals and where it is going are not far off from those of Garth.

It’s not what you say that is so important as what is heard. The thick skulls on these blogs just can’t get past the fact that I am a REALTOR®. They are blindly prejudice (pre-judge) and in that alone exhibit their ignorance. Of course not all blog dawgs are so, but way too many.

Why do I come back? Because I can and because maybe, just maybe I can make a difference and get through to one of those thick skulled morons that they might take objective view and see how application of something I say will improve their life. It’s not much of my time as a lot of the time I am in front of a computer screen hooked to the internet anyway. And this is my business real estate. Most days I too learn something here – a valuable take away point.

But the pups and poodles must tolerate my condemnation as I do theirs in magnitude. That or they can just scroll on by.
So in classic form to the “if they want it so shall I give it to them” I rattle the cages once in a while.

#180 throwstone on 01.07.11 at 3:09 pm

#158 Bottoms Up….

Those stats are from 2003…

Its 2011 so index those pay scales by 3% x 8 years…

or…24% …and don’t forget the index is compounded as well…

#181 realpaul on 01.07.11 at 3:09 pm

I’m envisioning a cartoon of a country with its head up its ass complaining about high taxes, high rates of poverty, lack of school books, hospital equipment, menacing structural deficits and unsustainable national debts. The figure is the Canadian people blowing smoke up its own ass because the majority ( at least on this blog) refuse to recognize the problem that ever expaning cost of government is doing to the balance sheet.

People…..the economic problems in this country, both institutional and personal , are all inter-related. It’s not pretty, and yes its obscenely negative, but we are in a death spiral towards higher debt service and taxes. At this point there is no ‘nice’ way to extricate the finances of the country without extreme and harsh measures.

The government has been on the same tragic spending binge as has been the consumer. Each is spending well over 100% of the revenue taken in. Like it or not, adulthood is going to have to kick in.

Hate me if you must over my ‘rants’ regarding out of control civic wage and pension spending……but the fact is that these budgets now take every penny in revenues and leave nothing for the services they were intended to support. The unions answer ( as always) “Just raise taxes”. I remind the left wingnuts of the old adage regarding the blood and the stone.

The governments answer…”Pile on more debt and put off the inevitable” . We are watching Canada’s future unfold in the US and the EU where civic society is breaking down into chaos.

In each case the brain dead kool aid swillers were warned long in advance. But…the greedy and the stupid were so self absorbed that the weight of the rotting limbs dragged entire populations over the cliff. The net result has been that instead of cutbacks in the most egregious areas everyone gets screwed….but the poor get it worse….and a few fat bastards slink off and hide with their filthy lucre in shame and infamy.

I’m reminded of John Crosbies admissions about the Atlantic fishery after he’d retired, fat and sassy, with his huge pension(s) intact. he admitted that they’d known all along that the fisheries were dying but it had been political expediancy that had kept them from admitting publicly that anything could go wrong with the official spin.

So…amble on my little head strong supporters of the status quo….and leave the kids a graveyard economy to clean up. Lets hope they can afford to keep paying those big taxes for ever…ever…ever…ever.

Meanwhile…more BS about ‘recovering all the jobs lost’ Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaa…filling food courts is not the same as finding a factory funding a third shift is it. Too bad Canadians can’t access information on employment as you can in the US.

In fact unemployment is way up……and you’re counting on who to keep paying you for the lifestyle you’d like to become accustomed to?

#182 Utopia on 01.07.11 at 3:13 pm

Thank you everyone who gave me a little advice on keyboard skills, (Derek, Another Albertan, Dark Sad Monster Bunny and Live-Within-Your-Means). I have never used HTML codes in my life. You might think that is crazy if it is second nature to you.

But I am a technological Neanderthal. It is a choice I made.

I do not have a television in my house. I won’t to own one. I consider them just a means to bring media pollution into my life. There is no fax at my place either. No I-Pods, no land-line or cell phone. I don‘t have a stereo, flat screen, printer, scanner, GPS, I-Pad or even a DVD player.

I have a radio tuned to the CBC that I never listen to anymore.

In short, other than three small laptops and a router I live “technology free”. This is not because I don’t have the cash to buy all that junk and more. I just don’t want it. Period.

At my place we grind grain by hand to make fresh flour daily. I make my own cheese and sausage. I prefer candles to electric light, wood burning stove to gas or electric. I happily keep a few hives (bees) for my own honey, run a few head of cattle with a distant farm neighbour so I know the beef I am getting is healthy and shop local farms for almost everything I can’t make myself.

No point mentioning the rest but you can be sure I have a dark view of our societies many weakness’s and vulnerabilities In short, if this sorry system of ours ever falls apart I will likely be one of the people who actually survives it. That is a choice too. I live it daily.

HTML codes are just not part of my life as one who lives outside societies techno norms. So I really do appreciate the extra help and I saved all your ideas to my “favourites“. Now I just have to get to learning all those codes!

#183 Derek on 01.07.11 at 3:15 pm

#127 Utopia wrote:

Derek, property tax levies are a municipal tax for the most part although the provincial gov’ts take a cut on rurals. This cannot directly offset GST reductions which are a Federal revenue program.{1} Further, there is a building risk inherent in the current and existing high levels of municipal taxation.

Look over the border and down to the US. Cities are on the verge of bankrupting as revenues erode.{2}

1} Agreed. However that’s just a matter of changing some legislation. Sales tax is already split between the province and the Feds. There’s no reason why property tax couldn’t be handled in a similar way. After all it’s already split between the municipalities and the provinces. Why not a three-way split instead ?

2} Yes there’s no question that we want to avoid the US situation of rapidly falling municipal revenues. What I suggested attempts to do that by ensuring that people still have the income to pay the taxes that supply those revenues. However it does assume that unemployment won’t increase dramatically which it has in those parts of the US which are suffering from falling municipal revenues. There is a balanced solution for that case too. Basically we have to ensure that even unemployed people can pay their property taxes. However doing that inherently needs a more radical solution. One such solution might be to introduce Mincome on a national basis, matched by the removal of the income tax personal allowance, and the entire Employment Insurance apparatus, so that the national budget remains balanced. It would solve the sort of problem that the US is currently suffering from but good luck in getting that through Parliament!

If we are to avoid the need for radical solutions such as the above we need to keep employment as high as possible so that property prices don’t fall too fast. Since the replacement of GST revenue by property tax revenue would act as a stimulant to the economy, it would keep employment up and make the US scenario less likely in Canada.

Unfortunately the current stated government policy of increasing income tax rates and interest rates will act as a depressant on the economy so unemployment will very likely rise over the next year, causing property prices to drop further than they otherwise would and potentially causing the very same problems in Canada that you have spotlighted in the US. Scary times for all of us!

#184 throwstone on 01.07.11 at 3:21 pm

Hey Garth,

If you going to send REALPAUL out for lunch, why don’t you send GREGW-OAKVILLE as well.

I’m not that interested in reading about flouride contaminated water.

Thanks.

#185 Chaos on 01.07.11 at 3:25 pm

“Control over change would seem to consist in moving not with but ahead of it. Anticipation gives the power to deflect and control force.”

Marshall “The Medium is the Message” McLuhan

excerpted from an essay by Mark Federman

Sixty years ago when t.v. was in it’s infancy, nobody could have seen the monster that it was going to grow into.

The messsage is not about the media monster but rather about the long term affect that the monster is having on us by changing our behavior and culture.

So the real question is what direction is monster moving, what are it’s intended targets and how can be defend ourselves against the monster?

As our man Dan has said here,”you must develop the means to think critically”. E.G. when Liberal Leadership candidate Kevin Falcon publically announces that he thinks that B.C. teachers should be paid by merit, what is he really using the 5 o’clock news for?

Well, I think that he is trying to create a canard by bringing the B.C. teachers into his campaign by hitting the emotional buttons of the teachers and parents and thereby deflect the smell of his tenure under Premier Gordon Campbell by confusing the very small brains of the t.v. viewer. That’s right, let’s hate the teachers and Kevin is our man to lead the way!

Kevin is using the 5 o’clock news to create the future. He wants to be Premier. So, throw the teachers and the truth under the bus.

What’s even better is that his wife is a teacher! So he claims some sort of immunity because of his wife. It’s ok because his wife really wants him to be premier!

There is a saying that “knowledge is power” and if that’s the case then the real power now exists on the internet as the only way to access the truth as defined by critical thinking.

You can bet your ass that the monster wants to devour the internet to control the truth from getting out.

In the meantime be vigilant about what you allow “Cyclops” to deposit into your brain.

#186 Hoof Hearted on 01.07.11 at 3:40 pm

“It’s not what you say that is so important as what is heard. The thick skulls on these blogs just can’t get past the fact that I am a REALTOR®. They are blindly prejudice (pre-judge) and in that alone exhibit their ignorance. Of course not all blog dawgs are so, but way too many.”

======

Van Helsing…get the garlic , the crucifix and the hammer and stake….aaaahhhhhhh

#187 Nostradamus jr. on 01.07.11 at 3:44 pm

Off Topic….Vancouver’s Superhero of Positivity

http://goodthoughtsgoodwordsgooddeeds.blogspot.com/

Nostradamus jr.

#188 (low density) Sam on 01.07.11 at 3:46 pm

#95 Cookie Monster on 01.07.11 at 10:01 am
Prices aren’t rising, its just that sales of lower cost homes have fallen while sales of more expensive homes have stayed up (probably because there’s no such thing as a low cost home anymore).
________
people that make more money feel invincible?

Or low-income suckers that feel invincible buying WAY too much house for what they can afford? What are they thinking?

“If I am to be a slave for 35 years, I might as well be a slave to a HUGE house instead of a cheap one? “

#189 Nostradamus jr. on 01.07.11 at 3:49 pm

First, thousands of birds die, then thousands of fish, now it’s thousands of crabs.

http://seenoevilspeaknoevilhearnoevil.blogspot.com/

…I’m very thankful and full of gratitude to be living on Canada’s Left Coast, where it is …”Anything you want can be yours at any time”.

Nostradamus jr.

#190 Dan in Victoria on 01.07.11 at 3:57 pm

Trust me. I’m a reporter.
Wilfred Burchett Sept. 3 1945.

#191 dark sad person on 01.07.11 at 3:59 pm

And here’s what really happened.

Royal LePage commissioned no research company to collect data. No potential buyers or sellers were interviewed. No public sampling was done. No economists were polled to gather a consensus view. There was, simply put, no market data

*******************
Well what’s wrong with that?
Didn’t you know-there’s a new rage happening in the world of Special Accounting?

Here’s an example (there’s many and it’s growing)

Auto sales increases are being pumped in the US as proof that it’s only up from here-
Sure sales have risen 2.5 million increase y/y but where are they really at-

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/ALTSALES

Looks to me like 1980 levels-

If you look at a Microscopic view-like Royal Le Page did and like Bernanke does when he needs hard and fast numbers to try and change/convince/goose Sentiment-then Special Accounting works great and all in the World is cool-

#192 boomer62 on 01.07.11 at 4:14 pm

#172 Devil’s Advocate on 01.07.11 at 2:49 pm and,

#148 Devil’s Advocate on 01.07.11 at 1:29 pm

Your proposal for ‘consultancy’ was unsolicited however, since you are hanging out your shingle…show us what you have to offer.

#193 It's Time on 01.07.11 at 4:15 pm

Here’s Timothy F. Geithner’s letter to congress about potential US default on debt.

http://www.treasury.gov/connect/blog/Pages/letter.aspx

“…..Never in our history has Congress failed to increase the debt limit when necessary. Failure to raise the limit would precipitate a default by the United States. Default would effectively impose a significant and long-lasting tax on all Americans and all American businesses and could lead to the loss of millions of American jobs. Even a very short-term or limited default would have catastrophic economic consequences that would last for decades. Failure to increase the limit would be deeply irresponsible. For these reasons, I am requesting that Congress act to increase the limit early this year, well before the threat of default becomes imminent…..”

#194 Vancouver_Bear on 01.07.11 at 4:29 pm

#243 Devil’s Advocate on 01.06.11 at 6:56 pm

OK you just confirmed that only creative financing which is in place right now supports these artificially inflated prices, any change to normal will result in a severe crash. As for those downsizing poor fellas…..I can wish them luck and say that I am refusing to finance their retirement and will only buy when the price is right and in a new development only.

#195 Devil's Advocate on 01.07.11 at 4:45 pm

#192 boomer62 on 01.07.11 at 4:14 pm
#172 Devil’s Advocate on 01.07.11 at 2:49 pm and,

#148 Devil’s Advocate on 01.07.11 at 1:29 pm

Your proposal for ‘consultancy’ was unsolicited however, since you are hanging out your shingle…show us what you have to offer.

It was not so much a proposal as a matter of fact to point out that you have choices which preclude us (REALTORS) from “gloating”. We have to work hard for your business. Fact is you pay us two ways; not through just commissions alone. If I do as good a job for you as I strive to you will before I am done refer no less than two others two me. That ensures the longevity of my business for me and for you it frees up my time to spend with you because I am not having to waste so much time seeking new business. It’s one of those WIN/WIN things you hear about. ;-)

So no I am not trolling around here soliciting my services although I am always available to prospective new clients. That being said I interview as much as I am interviewed… In other words we have mutual persmission to reject.

#196 Devil's Advocate on 01.07.11 at 4:49 pm

But please boomer62 and any of the others I affectionately refer with the pet name pups and poodles… feel free to contact me at [email protected] to voice your sentiments or ask a complex real estate related question you think I may be able to help you out with. I do limit my practice to Kelowna but it’s really not that much different here.

#197 AG Sage on 01.07.11 at 4:57 pm

>#145 Utopia on 01.07.11 at 1:20 pm

For the examples substitute the angle brackets (on your , and . keys) for the square brackets.

[b]bold text[/b]
[i]italics[/i]

#198 GregW, Oakville on 01.07.11 at 4:57 pm

Hi #184 throwstone, Fluoride is just not benign. I assume you are ‘not that interested’ since your not being force to drink it were you live. Unfortunately many people still are!

#199 edmonton mortgage broker on 01.07.11 at 5:10 pm

#125 edmonton misery broker

My mistake. It’s clear from that retort that you’re a legend in your own mind.

BTW pls accept my condolences on that whole Edmonton thing. Even the Oilers suck this year. LOL.

**********************************

It’s quite true, i’m full of myself. my wife reminds me all the time. nothing to do with my career doing mortgages though. that was just a paycheck, and a healthy one at that. especially in the golden days back in early 2000’s. Not a hockey fan, so no need to feel for me. Save your condolences for the sheeple in Toronto (where i originally hail from) where the delusion runs especially deep. god i hate that place.

#200 Sue on 01.07.11 at 5:27 pm

@Greg from Oakville.
Hey, I share all of your opinions on flouride, frankenfoods, MSG, chemicals etc This blog attracts people interested in real estate and economics. Many people stick their head in the sand about their health, hence the lack of interest.
I get to work in health care and can spread the word and get paid for it at the same time. (people actually appreciate what I have to say because they came in asking for my help)
You are probably just beating your head against the wall trying to get people here to get as passionate about this topic as you are.

#201 VICTORIA TEA PARTY on 01.07.11 at 5:27 pm

# 2 Perfect Storm 2011

Exactly and, in addition, Canadian and US stock markets today, closed down due mainly to the always fiddled and fudged (in the US, at least) job(less?) stats (as a result some commodity prices were down, badly affecting the TSX).

Looking south, fewer jobs were created last month, as compared to previous months. That disappointed mostly institutional investors, I suspect, since still-broke Mr. and Mrs. America are not playing the market as much as they used to. In other words, if these otherwise manipulated markets can’t conjure up a positive day, just how bad must these numbers be underneath?

Market Ticker has the story, and the bottom line is that long-term joblessness in the US is eating away at that country’s economic innards.

It’s a ghastly picture, which Canadians will be facing full-force soon, as their largest trading partner continues to dis-assemble itself in a thousand different ways.

As for the media’s mavens, after many years of toiling in that “craft” as Garth so sensitively puts it, I call it a past-time for those who should know better.

Everything about the media is riddled with conflict of interest with less than satisfactory results for all TV watchers.

Research. Ah, that’s the ticket! Thank goodness for the bloggers on economic matters. Read enough of them and you get the drift. And the drift is going to a bad place; has been for some considerable time, now.

#202 kc on 01.07.11 at 5:28 pm

When people in here post saying, “just look to the south” do they also feel that it is a matter of time before us Canadians will be in the same boat? Or is it a thought of… “at least we don’t have their troubles?”

Interesting read on what we could be facing in a couple years when our economy looks like the US does now.

http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article25421.html

The United States Stuck in 2011 Catch 22

#203 love that flouride on 01.07.11 at 5:33 pm

Hey GregW I’m with throwstone on this one.

I think one anti-flouride posting every couple of days is more than enough to keep us all sufficiently alarmed and informed.

The water in Toronto tastes great FWIW

*******************************

#198 GregW, Oakville on 01.07.11 at 4:57 pm

Hi #184 throwstone, Fluoride is just not benign. I assume you are ‘not that interested’ since your not being force to drink it were you live. Unfortunately many people still are!

#204 rosie on 01.07.11 at 5:39 pm

To Greg W.

Buy bottled water.

An elegant solution. — Garth

#205 Vancouver_Bear on 01.07.11 at 5:57 pm

#138 Nostradamus jr. on 01.07.11 at 12:48 pm

I thought the news about higher assessments were about higher taxes……But it’s always different in Gangcouver….right?

#206 Utopia on 01.07.11 at 6:00 pm

#193 It’s Time claimed…..

“Here’s Timothy F. Geithner’s letter to congress about potential US default on debt”

http://www.treasury.gov/connect/blog/Pages/letter.aspx

———————————————————-

That site is just nonsense. Pure fluff and feathers. Geitner never wrote the letter you posted. If he really did and that truth was released….then we would certainly be on the road to economic hell and destruction. It is fluff.

#207 Vancouver_Bear on 01.07.11 at 6:01 pm

#196 Devil’s Advocate on 01.07.11 at 4:49 pm

“complex real estate related question” sounds fancy but in reality is as simple as 2 times 2.
To become a realtor you don’t even need to finish high school…so what complexity are you talking about? If Missy Bunny could pull it then it’s not that complicated as you try to present it.

#208 Sue on 01.07.11 at 6:04 pm

Rosie,
Lots of bottled water has 0.4ppm flouride…read the label. 0.4ppm is the equivalent of a truckload. It’s not that easy or elegant.

Anything that silences the fluoride guy is elegant. — Garth

#209 Live Within Your Means on 01.07.11 at 6:05 pm

#182 Utopia on 01.07.11 at 3:13 pm
Thank you everyone who gave me a little advice on keyboard skills, (Derek, Another Albertan, Dark Sad Monster Bunny and Live-Within-Your-Means). I have never used HTML codes in my life. You might think that is crazy if it is second nature to you.

But I am a technological Neanderthal. It is a choice I made.

……………..

No problem Utopia. I used to be a low level techie many years ago – even taught my DH (that’s short for dear hubbie) DOS about 20 years ago. Now that I retired about 9 yrs ago I lost interest and am OAD (out of date) :-)

#210 Gary in Alberta on 01.07.11 at 6:17 pm

#181 realpaul – I have to fundamentally overall agree with most of your rantings.

I had two successful businesses and sold them out several years ago and i can tell you that with all the bureaucratic crap that one has to put up with for compliance and filings, etc. i think i would rather take a bullet than be back in business again.

Life is way way too short for the kind of gut wrenching complexity and risks required to be in business these days.

In addition the fact that the Powers That Be can and do just pass any new law or to their fancy levying more requirements for compliance ultimately (i think) must lead to at least some kind of unwind or readjustment.

“They” get to print fiat paper money and credit with reckless abandon to keep their ship afloat and steered in the direction “They” want and the result so far has been to debase the savings on the savers and to effectively tax the borrowers like people needing and wanting a simple home to live in.

You are not wrong for beating your drum but there are so many vested interests in the current game that it is very easy to run into criticism and be condemned for some of your stances.

One of the drums not being beaten that deserves more than passing interest is that of the Canadian banking oligarchy who continue to post record multi billion dollar profits ever three months.

Nowhere but Canada does this go on at such a predictable rate and with such little risk.

#211 boomer62 on 01.07.11 at 6:17 pm

#196 Devil’s Advocate on 01.07.11 at 4:49 pm

For first time buyers, going the high leverage path, what is the average ratio of market price to assessment value and the standard deviation for the same, upon completion of sale in Kelowna and other parts of the province?

and,

#212 boomer62 on 01.07.11 at 6:20 pm

How large is the Kelowna market (Gross sales per year)?

#213 Roial1 on 01.07.11 at 6:23 pm

#42 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 01.07.11 at 1:54 am

Jes’ Wunderin’ Would all these avian kamikazes be caused by chemtrails lingering in the air? Fish kills are simpler — poison the water.

Chem trails??? Hey dough for brains!

Don’t you EVER even think?
If the P-T-B where spraying poisons into the air—-

THEY HAVE TO BREATHE TOO!

The PTB would have to be as dum as the conspiricy idiots to poison EVERYONE.——-Themselves too.

Please get it straight. Vapor trails have been around as long as man has being a high altitude flyer. (WWII)

It is frozen moisture in the high altitudes air heating up with the passage of the hot engine going through it and then very rapidly condensing again. The more moist the air the bigger they are and longer they last.

#214 Vancouver_Bear on 01.07.11 at 6:23 pm

Bankruptcy chief warns Canadians about debt as insolvencies remain high

http://www.thestar.com/business/recession/article/918156–bankruptcy-chief-warns-canadians-about-debt-as-insolvencies-remain-high

#215 Junius on 01.07.11 at 6:31 pm

#202 kc,

You asked, “When people in here post saying, “just look to the south” do they also feel that it is a matter of time before us Canadians will be in the same boat?”

I can’t speak for everyone but I mean 2 things when I say that. First of all, they are our largest trading partners so if they are hurting so will we. Secondly, many of the same conditions such as high consumer debt, easy credit and euphoria that stoked the US markets exist in Canada as well. The differences that are so often held up by the Re pump apologists are just not enough to change the most important facts.

The point is that our outcome will be similar to the US. Whether it is similar to Miami, Vegas, Phoenix and Florida is worthy of debate. However the Canadian experience is sure to be bad and last a long time.

#216 realpaul on 01.07.11 at 6:32 pm

So……Van-Poo-Ver just rubber stamped ( I think they used the word ‘created’) 25,000 new ‘real estate millionaires’. Why does that picture remind me of the famous Weimar Republic photograph of the woman pushing a wheelbarrow full of money into a bakery to buy bread?

The same article also inferred that the ‘windfall’ was ‘like winning the lottery’………..oh stop !!

The reality rests within comments like #53 Reality Guy who’s parents wanted to live peacefully in a home that took them 25 years to pay off and now find that its being stolen from underneath them with an insidious incease in taxes.

Where is the increases in revenue going you have to ask yourself?

It appears that people don’t want bad news and they don’t want anyone ( like myself and others) to point a finger at the guilty parties that are the cause of the problem.

We can’t point to an ethnicity that is flooding out of a particular country because of that countries problems and throwing locals out of their neighbourhoods….even though that ethnicity aren’t Canadian citizens. Its not politically correct to call a spade a spade even though the subject is quite public in Aussie, France, GB, Holland, Belgium, Germany etc etc etc . The heads up the ass trudeau-maniacs will have none of the truth and more of the obfuscation…at any cost to Canadian citizens regardless of their origins. After all….aren’t foriegners our friends? We all want friends right?

Shhhhhhhhhhh….don’t say anything or you’ll be sanctioned….maybe even censored….possible even (shudder) shunned by the politically correct knitting circle.

Captain Nero……..!!!!!!!! The effing city is on fire !!!!!

Actually those are your pants. — Garth

#217 An Cat Dubh on 01.07.11 at 6:33 pm

My friend in Penticton, B.C. just got his assesment and it’s up $7K. He can’t understand why when there are not many decent paying jobs left, many for sale signs on homes for nearly a year. BC Assessment “authority” is a waste of tax money. Here is a good 1min Youtube view on govt. employees. (Not all of course, but a fair number are like this)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FlhV1YDDs8c

#218 Iconoclast on 01.07.11 at 6:46 pm

Isn’t most bottled water from municipal sources?

A Reverse Osmosis filter will do the trick.
And not too expensive.

#219 realpaul on 01.07.11 at 6:48 pm

Twenty year house price depression forecast for the US.

http://money.cnn.com/2011/01/07/real_estate/home_prices_depressed_for_decades/index.htm

#220 jess on 01.07.11 at 6:52 pm

i’ve got you under my spell

Romanian Witches Protest Taxes by Casting Spells against Government
Friday, January 07, 2011
The witches of Romania, a nation where people take their superstitions seriously, are ticked off at the government for making them pay taxes. And they intend to do something about it
========================

#221 AM at LHR on 01.07.11 at 7:01 pm

#184
Just scroll on, that’s what I (and I suspect many) do with DA, BPOE, Taosty Nosty etc. Who the heck has the time.

But I, for one, am with GregW, Oakville on this one. Thalidomide comes to mind and this is just industrial waste !
Interesting Chinese study. Link on George Ure’s site if interested.

http://tinyurl.com/5spyt

#182 Utopia. I salute you.

Cheers and back to regular programing

#222 EdmontonJim on 01.07.11 at 7:07 pm

People really shouldn’t blame high government spending on ‘overpaid’ civil servants. Having worked in both the public and private sectors, I can tell you that public employees are often paid less than others doing similar jobs. Even the few senior managers that make 6 digit salaries could often make more in the private sector. Also, in most public industries, other costs (for assets, materiel, consultants and constractors) usually dwarf payroll expenses. (mind you my experience is only in public works, healthcare, transportation, environment and education; I have no knowledge of emergency services, law, defense, or government administration).

At any rate my point is please stop ragging on teachers, nurses, policemen, bus drivers and civil engineers. They do what they’re paid for, they pay their taxes, and they support the economy as well as any other person who works for a living.

#223 Herb on 01.07.11 at 7:09 pm

#204 Rosie,

(Pst. Don’t tell Greg W. that a lot of bottled water comes out of municipal taps.)

#224 GregW, Oakville on 01.07.11 at 7:31 pm

Hi all, Sue#200, I hear you. Nothing more to keep it short.
& love#203, your idea is probably workable.
& rosie#204, To bath in also, Why should anyone have to? But I digress.
& Garth-an elegant solution, I will take it under advisement.

#225 a prairie dawg on 01.07.11 at 7:42 pm

@223 Herb > @204 Rosie

Also, better not tell him that Evian is Naive spelled backwards. ;)

#226 Devil's Advocate on 01.07.11 at 7:49 pm

<blockquote#212 boomer62 on 01.07.11 at 6:20 pm
How large is the Kelowna market (Gross sales per year)?

Kelowna market, from Peachland in the South to Oyama in the North constitutes a population of approximately 150,000. Typically there are 2,200 single family homes sold in a given year. It has been pretty consistently so with the exception of the peak of the market in 2008 when it hit about 3,300 single family unit sales. Those figures are for single family residential and do not include condo, townhouse or mobile home sales.

#227 Moneta on 01.07.11 at 7:54 pm

Fuoride. The debate has been ongoing since 1949.

http://archives.cbc.ca/health/public_health/clips/1811/

Plus ça change, plus c’est pareil.

#228 Mikey the Realtor on 01.07.11 at 7:57 pm

Van_bear

I’ve got a couple of nice digs you can check out, granite and marble all over the place, give me a holler and I’ll set you up in your own place, never mind about all the doom whisperers on this blog. Do the right thing chap or you’ll be priced out forever as many on here will find out by the end of 2011.

#229 Devil's Advocate on 01.07.11 at 8:02 pm

#211 boomer62 on 01.07.11 at 6:17 pm
#196 Devil’s Advocate on 01.07.11 at 4:49 pm

For first time buyers, going the high leverage path, what is the average ratio of market price to assessment value and the standard deviation for the same, upon completion of sale in Kelowna and other parts of the province?

I do not put much stock in the assessed value of a property – some sell for significantly above it and some significantly below it.

If what you are asking is what the sale to list ratio of properties is, without checking the current stats I do know that sales last year were on average 95.28%
of the last list price at which the property was offered for sale.

If I might take this opportuity to gloat, although the buyers in the crowd will not like to hear it said, my listings sell for more than that, enough more that it generally covers my commissions.

#230 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 01.07.11 at 8:32 pm

#56 TaxHaven — “Have we gone collectively, or just individually, insane?”

In a word, we’re not sure anymore!

#63 Devil’s Advocate — Good one! Is that the sarcasm font?

#96 Utopia — “6) The number of part time jobs is still rising.”

That is precisely what TPTB want — a continent mostly filled with part time workers ($15 hr. and less), no benefits, no vacation time, easy come – easy go so no stability, along with technological advances.

#97 hobbygirl — “. . . dead birds falling out of the sky – space aliens.”

Aliens and KFC makes good sense!

#123 Macrath — “. . . delve into the hitherto unknown aspects of human behavior.”

That opens a whole new can of worms — Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, Harper, Vlad the Impaler, Santa Claus, dubya — how low is Garth willing to explore?

Bloggers are exempt, as we do get a healthy dose of reality here!

#127 GregW, Oakville — G’day Greg. Exc. link on conformity; for my part I don’t conform to anyone’s rules.

#181 realpaul — “. . . filling food courts is not the same as finding a factory funding a third shift is it.”

No, it’s not. See my reply to #96 Utopia above; part time working continent, big biz. has all their production facilities in Chindia, Bangladesh and we buy their stuff.

#185 Chaos — “. . . the monster wants to devour the internet to control the truth from getting out.”

That monster is the one that is part of the cause for the fiscal takedown of the west — TPTB — and controlling the ‘net (as Jay Rockefeller has said in Congress) is crucial to what they want.

In other words, sheeple control. Whether they get it is quite different, ‘tho.

#193 It’s Time — Great post. Guess it is only a few weeks now when many things, other than RE start toppling over.

Time to shout TIMBER!!

#214 Roial1 — “Hey dough for brains! Don’t you EVER even think?”

Actually I was putting forth a postulate, but that is probably too large a word for you to understand. Thanks for responding, ‘tho.

#231 jess on 01.07.11 at 8:35 pm

a good history lesson on central banking
Part V: Central Banks and Gold Liquidity
http://henryckliu.com/page241.html

#232 realpaul on 01.07.11 at 8:36 pm

#221 Jess…..The Romanian witches (according to the report) use cat and dog feces to bind their spells against the civil service. I think I like the Romanians…they have a global perspective on the problem we all have with government.

#233 Andrew on 01.07.11 at 8:38 pm

The Toronto Star is still pumping 0% mortgages (“cash back mortgages”) in Canada:

http://www.moneyville.ca/article/917296–you-can-buy-a-house-with-no-money-down?bn=1

#234 crazed and a little confused on 01.07.11 at 8:55 pm

Hi Garth,

I think you are discrediting the prositutes comparing them to media reporters / realtors

at least the prostitutes tell you up front how much it’s gonna cost

229 # mikey the realtor

i was already priced out 2008…so the point is moot. i will rent a place until retired and it will cost about $210-230,000 while it cost about $300,000 to own before adding maintenance fees/ taxes/ utilities
of course since since my investments covers 90 % of my rent then maybe only 25,000-30,000 housing costs when I retired

by then I will have about 890K RRSP/ TFSA , plus my 401 K and CPP to retire on

#235 tran, Calgary on 01.07.11 at 8:59 pm

Canadians cannot afford to retire.

http://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/Most-Canadians-plan-retire-cbc-651039536.html

#236 kitchener1 on 01.07.11 at 9:01 pm

Regarding the Real Paul rants

He does have a point. Look at the bigger demographic picture.

Canada is already in debt, more and more boomers about to retire.

Simply, we will have to cut spending across the spectrum and that means service cuts.

Garth, you must know this as well, one of the biggest financial castrophes ever is going to hit when index pensions of civil workers starts to be cashed in.

To many pension govt pension funds have a return rate in the 7-8% range which is simply unattainable due to their strick investion guidelines they must follow.

Who is going to make up the shortfall? It can;t be the taxpayer, even without those liabilities they are stretched too thin.

What politician is going to tell the boomers to eat that lose?

Biggest problem we as a society face right now– same in Europe is that everyone says austerity and budget cuts are fine, as long as its not from their entitlements.

Seventy per cent of Canadians have no pension. There’s no justification of linking the demographic tidal wave we all knew was coming with pensionable government workers. Focus on the big picture. — Garth

#237 throwstone on 01.07.11 at 9:01 pm

RealPaul…there is no room for the truth right now.

There will be lots of room when a few thousand find themselves out of work due to austerity measures.

#238 kitchener1 on 01.07.11 at 9:07 pm

http://winnipeg.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20110104/canadians-retirement-survey-110104/20110104/?hub=WinnipegHome

read that article, 69% of boomers want to continue to work after 65.

WOW

Always thinking about themselves.

The National story showed some 64 year old grey haired dude working at Rona full time, said he retired at 55 and had the means not to work but was “bored” so he went back at 59.

I thought to myself, some 18-20-30-40 year old just got shafted out of a job because some boomer didnt want to be bored.

Back in university, the profs were all talking about what an awesome time it was going to be for us and the generations behind as so many boomers were going to retire and there were not enough people to take there place. guess thats not how it will turn out.

#239 wetcoaster on 01.07.11 at 9:12 pm

mikey,

News for you rookie, one is never priced out forever. Did you pay someone off to pass the test ?

#240 nonplused on 01.07.11 at 9:14 pm

“The lapse of time during which a given event has not happened is, in this logic of habit, constantly alleged as a reason why the event should never happen, even when the lapse of time is precisely the added condition which makes the event imminent.”

– Silas Marner

What’s that I hear? Tick, tock.

Listings in Calgary seem to be literally collapsing. It looks like the sellers are on strike. But I don’t think that’s going to work!

#241 throwstone on 01.07.11 at 9:21 pm

Garth,

If 70% of the canadian has no pension. Who comprises the remaining 30%?….

BTW…when do you think the government will be taxing lottery winnings?

#242 X on 01.07.11 at 9:21 pm

re video: If they are reporting the prices of 2010, shouldn’t they compare Jan-Dec prices from 2010, vs cherry picking a YOY comparison for select months from 2009 and 2010…

#243 bridgepigeon on 01.07.11 at 9:23 pm

I often walk by the impressive RC Harris water filtration plant in the beach in Toronto, beautiful building on the lake. Usually at night, the big flatbed rolls up, right down Queen street, carrying huge chlorine canisters, shaped like bombs (originally a WW1 weapon). Imagine if something ever happened…Just down the lake is Pickering nuclear power plant. Aside from all the toxic crap we flush down into our drinking water, it seems crazy to place nuclear facilities there as well. We got a notice from the city to run our taps for about 5 minutes before we take a drink, due to our lead pipes. Kinda defeats the purpose of a low flush toilet. I’m not always so fussy but the wife and child rarely drink lakewater. Oh yeah, plus flouride and…

#244 Jeff Smith on 01.07.11 at 9:25 pm

>.#42 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 01.07.11 at 1:54 am
>Methinks the Chinese are preparing themselves
>accordingly.

I heard they can build airplanes now too. I had thought they can only make cheap toys for export to Canada’s walmart stores.

http://www.aolnews.com/2011/01/07/j-20-stealth-chinese-fighter-jet-footage-surfaces-video/

#245 Devil's Advocate on 01.07.11 at 9:49 pm

#239 kitchener1 on 01.07.11 at 9:07

Back in university, the profs were all talking about what an awesome time it was going to be for us and the generations behind as so many boomers were going to retire and there were not enough people to take there place. guess thats not how it will turn out.

Surely you are not telling us you went to university only to come out and land a job at Rona or Home Depot?

I would LOVE to do that myself in my retirement. Go home and my DAY is DONE. THAT would be retirement for me. Can’t do that in real estate it’s a 24/7 no matter how you slice it. I for one will never retire. The day I can’t work is the day you can bury me.

Really used to be you retired because you couldn’t work anymore. further back than that it was because you were no match for your prey and fell prey to it rather than it you. This whole retirement entitlement thing is way outta line. Reminds me of the homeownership entitlement thing. You earn your keep boys and girls EVERY day.

#246 dark sad person on 01.07.11 at 10:02 pm

Real Paul takes a lot of flack here for simply stating the obvious-
I don’t read it as any particular profession that he’s after-i read it as trying to get people to understand and accept that we can no longer support these wages and the current size of pensions even in the private sector-
It’s not just unions and civil servants that have to back up-it’s all of us-
We are being forced by the reality of global economics-
We have lost our edge in manufacturing to countries like china-
Hourly wages are a fraction of what it costs here pensions/benefits are unheard of and that is only one of our problems-the big one is environmental standards are almost non-existent in china and for a corporation that is huge to their profit margin-so what else matters-
But the fact is-we cannot continue to support government involvement in the place of business-
Everything that governments compete in such as energy/msm/parks/health care/teachers/fire/ all need to be outsourced and put up for open tender-
Same goes for unions and their wage price fixing and refusal to budge on wage/pension roll backs-
This doesn’t mean we have to be lax about our environmental standards-because what china is doing is going to bite them in the ass and in fact it already is-

We really have no choice in the matter if we want to live in a country that can provide jobs-
Our money supply is shrinking and we must adjust to that as well-
Prices will come down as affordability decreases-they “must”
Prices will always be too high as long as governments keep supporting them (stimulus)
Everything will eventually be priced by the market in the end anyway-

Look in the US-
Cities/municipalities are firing union police/teachers/fireman and municipal workers-canceling pension contracts because-they would not negotiate lower wages and cities etc. simply do not have the money (revenues) to pay those obligations–they’re broke-
Tax payers can only bare so much and with unemployment on the rise-asset values falling and world trade/demand on the decline-where else is there to go but lower?
If prices were allowed to follow-this transition would be much smoother-

Fighting deflation is how depressions are caused-
The market does not care what we like-
It knows what we need and where it wants to take us and it will do that-whether we want it to or not-
We can flow with the market or we can fight it like we are-
We’ll lose–

*************
A bit more on the uselessness of MSM
And “special accounting” that got unsyrped-

I wonder-would lower prices help these people?

*************

Using New Formula, Census Bureau Ups Estimate Of US Poverty Rate To 15.7 Percent

There are over 4 million MORE Americans living in poverty than previously reported…

the Census Bureau estimated there were 47.8 MILLION people living in poverty in the US in 2009.

Most staggering is the increase under the revised formula for the elderly. According to the official poverty figures, 8.9 percent of those 65 and older were living in poverty in 2009. But when out-of-pocket medical costs and other expenses are taken into account, the elderly poverty rate nearly DOUBLES to 16.1 percent.

The new Census figures were NOT even reported in Thursday’s print editions of the New York Times, the Washington Post or the Wall Street Journal. This reflects the indifference of the political and media establishment to the acute and worsening social distress in the country and the vast chasm separating the ruling elite from the people.

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2011/jan2011/pove-j07.shtml

#247 Mikey the Realtor on 01.07.11 at 10:14 pm

#240 wetcoaster

no siree, hard work, dedication and the love of sellling RE made me the great salesman I am today. If you ever need RE let me know, I’m always here to help out the pups and poodles.

#248 tmg on 01.07.11 at 10:25 pm

“Devil’s Advocate”

How come you have so much time to blog if you’re so busy selling?

#249 walter safety on 01.07.11 at 10:34 pm

I know Lloyd would need a booster seat ,did you need one?

#250 Devil's Advocate on 01.07.11 at 10:38 pm

Seriously, you retire you die. By far and away more retired people die than working people. So based on that statistic alone, I’m going to work for as long as I possibly can. ;-)

But seriously, when you retire your who being tends to deteriorate. Retirement is giving up. I just don’t get retirement. Of course at retirement age you don’t want to be working because you have to – that too can take a toll on your health. But sitting on the front porch watchin the world go by…

Now traveling the world in many various forms and doing things exotic in exotic places well that would be great but that can be very expensive too – or not. ;-)

Guess it’s really just a matter of being active and challenged.

#251 Dark Sad Monster Bunny on 01.07.11 at 10:40 pm

239 Kitch – you’re worried about a boomer stealing a rona job? Doesnt that mean he gave up a better job when he “retired” so maybe one of your school buds can
have it? Looks to me like he just took a nice extended
leave of four years. He’s not allowed to try to make that
up? Hey wait – you could become his boss and exact revenge!

#252 Mark on 01.07.11 at 10:47 pm

#239, yup. Its especially bad in the public service. Old people have the gold plated pensions, paid off houses, etc., yet want to continue working because they barely do any work to begin with. Yet the young who want to join and actually have a decent salary, are permanently on temporary contracts without benefits. And many government departments actually refuse to hire top grads because of a belief that they can simply leave for the private sector.

I know, of my 2002 graduating class (engineering), most of us are unemployed, but the ones that work for the government are now making $100k/year. Usually the bottom end of the class. The top guys don’t even get the time of day from the private sector (which has outsourced everything to China). Its atrocious and it breaks my heart just to get up every day and face reality.

Blame old people. Good strategy. — Garth

#253 ballingsford on 01.07.11 at 10:48 pm

I just watched Conspiracy Theory on the tube tonight about Global Warming, now known as Climate Change. The Kingpin is Maurice Strong. Making Billions and even Trillions off of it. Al Gore, the guy who can’t spell, is one of his puppets who is also making billions on the circuit with his Global Warming and/or Climate Change speeches.

Didn’t Jean Chretian have a tie to Maurice Strong?

Garth, I know you don’t believe in conspiracy theories, but this one is hard to discount. There was also a bit of other good info in the show, food for thought, i.e., the takeover of our energy resources from foreigners such as the oil sands. (This was kind of read between the lines because the Chinese have recently invested so much.),
the European Union Euro, and the creation of a world power based on Global Warming, the billions or more dollars to be made with carbon credits, and lots of other interesting stuff if you read between the lines.

Freakin’ Scary how one man could convince the world that we have a problem we can prevent and make trillions of dollars from it. We can’t do anything about Global Warming or Global Cooling. The Sun dictates everything according the Scientists now in hiding.

This message will self destruct in 10 seconds!!

Do you go with it? — Garth

#254 kc on 01.07.11 at 10:58 pm

216 Junius on 01.07.11 at 6:31 pm

thanks for your answer Junius, I was actually making a more hypothetical question/statement. of questioning the essay that I linked to.

Myself I feel it is only a matter of time before we are USA north.

Lets do a survey… how many of you are honestly going to be planting a garden this year?

#255 Canned Goods and Buckshot on 01.07.11 at 11:06 pm

realpaul. Re: Romanian witches

What ever happened to the poster who was big on “Vanga”, a Bulgarian woman who made a prophecy about Obama starting the 3rd World War in November 2010? I guess he is a relic from late 2008 Greater Fool crowd.

#256 dark sad person on 01.07.11 at 11:14 pm

#254 ballingsford on 01.07.11 at 10:48 pm

I just watched Conspiracy Theory on the tube tonight about Global Warming, now known as Climate Change. The Kingpin is Maurice Strong. Making Billions and even Trillions off of it. Al Gore, the guy who can’t spell, is one of his puppets who is also making billions on the circuit with his Global Warming and/or Climate Change speeches.

Didn’t Jean Chretian have a tie to Maurice Strong?

**********************
The whole of Canada has a tie to that scumball-

#257 Devore on 01.07.11 at 11:20 pm

Seventy per cent of Canadians have no pension. There’s no justification of linking the demographic tidal wave we all knew was coming with pensionable government workers. Focus on the big picture. — Garth

That’s an awfully high number. If roughly 1 in 5 Canadians work directly for some level of government, all of whom are union and have pensions, only 10% private sector employees have pension plans?

#258 cellar dweller on 01.07.11 at 11:28 pm

most “News Media” drink each others bath water. Why are we all so surprised at the outcome?

#259 Laurenda on 01.07.11 at 11:37 pm

Garth!!!
I work at a big 5, took journalism… decided I dont want what I want to write to be dictated, and am looking at my current employment as info to the other side of the coin of what you preach.
Hoping you can give a lost soul some brief advice…. I now go to your blog before perez, and no one has had that honour before…
mid-20s, 30k investments, 2 locked in market based GICS performing well atm (max 35% return + 2.9 annual compounding) TFSA maxed (15k) but not invested… is with TD, what should I do with it.. I want commodities and metals, advisors scoff at me and recommed bonds… the GICs were done when I was too young to understand implications.. should TFSA be managed or should I trade ETFs and pay fees to do so via waterhouse… where can I go for advice where the advisor is not making a commission or meeting a target off of me?? Can I buy physical silver and somehow invest into TFSA?? $7000 PLC from travelling, working on that before anything else, everyone says I should buy but waiting for southern ontario to correct (will it happen here??) You’re my hero. Please help, I preach the word of garth to everyone outside business hours ;)

Nobody in their twenties should have a GIC (even market-linked), or a TFSA in cash. This is why God made ETFs and online trading accounts. Email me ([email protected]) for more, my disciple. — Garth

#260 Laurenda on 01.07.11 at 11:41 pm

FRIENDS!!!!!!!! Id anyone else has comments, ideas, hate mail, etc, kindly oblige a lost soul and share with me. No idea is bad idea, I live off food for thought.

#261 Devil's Advocate on 01.07.11 at 11:46 pm

#249 tmg on 01.07.11 at 10:25 pm“Devil’s Advocate”

How come you have so much time to blog if you’re so busy selling?

How is it Garth can moderate and manage this blog let alone write the eloquent witty editorials he does (not that I entirely agree with them all) and run a successful financial consulting buisness.

Let’s face it it does not take a lot to post comments throughout the day. Especially shooting from the hip as I do. I guess maybe you think I ponder at great length before I post. Not so. Were that the case far far fewer of the pups and poodles would take exception with what they “think” I say as I would have time to proof read and make myself clear. And avoid the multitute of gramatical and spelling errors.

#262 Aussie Roy on 01.08.11 at 12:38 am

DA I guess maybe you think I ponder at great length before I post.

Can’t say I ever thought that…. LOL

#263 Hoof Hearted on 01.08.11 at 1:32 am

This blog is for entertainment purposes only. And soft porn. Oh yeah, and financial opinion. — Garth

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

????? WTF is the difference????
Oh yeah Carney and Flaherty run the hard core shop