No more Garth

It was nice on the weekend, so Mike went for a walk through his Kits neighbourhood – that cool enclave fed by Vancouver’s Burrard Street bridge. At the same time as a detached house in that city was peaking at $1,144,537 – the highest recorded average price for a city in Canadian history – Mike filed this report:

I noticed that there is a lot of property for sale here in Kitsilano, and a lot of property still for sale as well. There were lots of listings still hanging around from last fall: condos, townhouses and detached homes. One example is a pair of new and adjoining buildings containing two townhouses each. They were constructed last summer and at that time the big sign at the front of the property said they were priced between 1.1 and 1.4 million. Now a banner sign has been overlaid over those figures and they are all priced at 998,000. I could provide you with more but the point is that prices are clearly falling because properties are just not moving. We are the couple who bought a 1 bdrm condo for 149,900 in Dec. 96 and this property is now assessed at 340,000. It is entirely paid for and we don’t really care if it does goes down in value but a lot of people (many young and starting out) must be starting to squirm. The spring is going to be very interesting.

Of course, this will not last. Vancouver’s a real estate casino. Like Victoria and Kelowna, housing has only one direction in which to travel. The bursting of the bubble on the Island, in the valley and the Lower Mainland will be made all the worse by the attention it’ll receive. And the implications will be national. VanCity wanted to be symbol of Canadian excess during that Olympic thingy, a beacon to the globe that we can be world-class fatuous, jingoistic and trite. And we made it. One point one million for the average family home in a city where the average family earns $83,130.

Pop.

But this blog is not about Vancouver. It’s about me. Finally. I thought you’d never ask.

As I was watching the girls install the giant snow blades on the Hummer – so cute in their matching mechanics overalls with the bunny tails – the following email poured in. Subject line: No More Garth.

Hello,

I’m sorry but today is the last time I visit your site, and read your blog. I’m sure you are a lovely person but reading your blog you speak so contemptuously of any person who bought a house or even entertains the idea….. you speak as if you were God disciplining his stupid humans.

To quote you  today “Okay, so how about all those wrinkly, diseased Boomers ……  ”   Yesterday you referred to buyers as needing to change their Huggies.  And every day there’s so many references to ‘house-horny’ people, as if buying a house was a depraved act or something.  No, its not smart right now, but no need to be so condescending and arrogant.

Finance is not taught at home.  Its not taught in schools either. Most of the population learns by (painful) experience. Thank you, though, for the good information about how the market and economy is going.  I have so appreciated it.  Its just that I can’t take any more of your contempt.  I’m on overload.

Mrs. BL

Now, I could dismiss Mrs. BL as being merely an undersexed, wrinkly, Depends-wearing Boomer with an unsalable McMansion in desperate Thornhill who plans her meal times around airings of Property Virgins, but that would be cruel. I actually don’t know where she lives.

And I could shrug off her opinion as that of a humourless pilgrim, had I not spotted other posters in recent days calling me negative and aberrant. In fact, you should have a gander at some of the comments I have chosen not to publish. Apparently there are so many things one can be told to do with various orifices…

In fact, the house pumpers, bullion bunnies and end-of-days death squad have led me to delete more posts in the last 30 days than in the past twelve months. Either I suck as a market commentator, have the writing skills of a hammer or there are delusional people who believe I matter. And that’s truly scary. Could this pathetic blog with its audience of loser misfits, iconoclastic contrarians and property pornographers, move the market in, say, trendy Timmins?

Nah. Course not. Like the National Post, this site is for entertainment purposes only. It’s a mash of current events taped together with tawdry images and emotional wreckage, peppered with gratuitous sexual references largely culled from my own dark and dodgy life.

There is nothing serious or decent here. Kinda like F. Or Vancouver.

So, Mrs BL, I hear ya. Come back, babe. I admit it. I need a moral compass. And I bet you’d look hot in a tail.

234 comments ↓

#1 squidly77 on 02.01.11 at 11:29 pm

Edmonton condo sales below 190- Prices fall to pre-2006 levels – Edmonton has crashed.

#2 Anon on 02.01.11 at 11:30 pm

Humility? Good one!

#3 T.O. Bubble Boy on 02.01.11 at 11:31 pm

Apparently Mrs. BL doesn’t read ANY mainstream news websites either? Every housing-related article on the CBC, Globe&Mail, National Post, etc. will have hundreds of comments, most of which reiterate that we’re in a housing bubble and most buyers are sheeple.

#4 bsallergy on 02.01.11 at 11:34 pm

Alas, alack, poor Garth. You are like cold water, the equalizer of all males.

#5 Weeping in Windsor on 02.01.11 at 11:37 pm

Mrs. BL:
{Finance is not taught at home. Its not taught in schools either. Most of the population learns by (painful) experience.}

What Garth is trying to do with this blog is to teach his readers about finance.

Perhaps this blog SHOULD be required reading in school.

#6 Soylent Green is People on 02.01.11 at 11:37 pm

Ms BL has had a big nerve TOUCHED… bad. Oh boy.

p.s. The National Post makes me cry because many people don’t know it just paid advertising for Steve Harper and his Corporate Party of Canada.

—————————————

When Harper Speaks, the World Yawns.

Canada should look long in the mirror before advising Egypt on democracy or demanding accountability from the developing world. A sorry record defending one and delivering the other strips credibility and exposes hypocrisy.

Actions do speak louder than words. International expediency and domestic secrecy reduce Ottawa’s voice to a whisper when Prime Minister Stephen Harper promotes political freedoms for Egyptians and demands more maternal aid transparency from the rest of the world.

Rarely has the mismatch between behaviour and principles been so obvious. Cairo protesters have no reason to take Harper’s Monday support for Middle East democracy seriously.

As on the maternal health issue he championed last week, the Prime Minister is talking loudly and carrying a broken stick.

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/931048–travers-when-canada-speaks-the-world-yawns

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#7 Geoffrey L. on 02.01.11 at 11:38 pm

You’re too modest my friend!

#8 Throwstone on 02.01.11 at 11:43 pm

Garth,

Your the best! Your sarcasm is excellent!…Have never heard you speak (err…whisper..friend saw you speak said your a meek dude/laid back surfer with a beard)…either way, I can’t see how anyone could be offended!

TOO BAD FOR THEM!…I want free speech! and that includes your boomer bashing sarcasm!

I think the regular blawg dogs have learned to take you with a grain of salt….K..maybe a dash!

Keep dishing it out…your worth the salt!

#9 kitchener1 on 02.01.11 at 11:46 pm

That comment was the very epi-center of what we call Canadian.

So fragile, so used to being pampered, not having ideals questioned, no negativity, think posistive baby attitude.

This very conversation- minus Garths name (sorry) came up over the weekend with a few friends over dinner. Watching the world the last few months/weeks/days has been sureal.
UK- students almost mob King Charles and make a mess of picadaly square over rising tution costs
France- comes to a standstil over raising retirement age
Greece- burns once again over austerity
Tunsia- is rocked and shocks the world, dictator flees with 1.5 tonnes of gold
Egypt- 7 days of protest and marches lead to the fall of the govt

And in Canada, we just complain, and complain some more. CBC babies us in their news footage, TV stations battle each other over who will bring us the most neutral stance on every story. etc..

Garth, youve been around the block a few times, things will only get worse for you, prices will drop, people will be scared, more insane posts about SHTF etc..

For RE, people are still hoping, its all they got left, and here you are prying it away from them with every stroke of your keyboard, kind of like chinese water torture, were they put the person under a drippy tap for a few days…. slow and painfully prying away the dream that houses will double in value every few years and that yes, there is such a thing as a free lunch.

This pop is going to leave a mark on many folks. just like it has in the US

#10 I pity the fool who drinks soy milk on 02.01.11 at 11:51 pm

Not that it matters, but I wanted to follow-up with a posting from last week about a colleague, leveraged to his earlobes, getting seduced into another rental property. He corrected me that it’s not a broker, but in fact the mortgage specialist at his bank, the “regal depository of Canada” if you know what I mean. Is this utter stupidity? or am I just stupid. uh, rhetorical question only.

#11 Medic on 02.01.11 at 11:53 pm

“……peppered with gratuitous sexual references largely culled from my own dark and dodgy life.”

Word has it that Garth Turner once vacationed in the Virgin Islands. After he left, the official name was changed to The Islands.

#12 GenXer on 02.01.11 at 11:54 pm

Garth – global asset inflation is starting to kick in.

http://www.zerohedge.com/article/world-becomes-zimbabwefied-cotton-futures-surge-17-one-month

Corn spot up 7.76%, wheat up 5.63%, Rice up 10.08%, Hogs up 10.16%, Sugar up 5.64%, Orange Juice up 3.33%, and cotton…. up 17.08%. That’s in one month!

Oil is also up.

In your opinion, are we looking at general inflation or commodity inflation only? If the feds keep interest rates low any longer, aren’t we going to see houses prices skyrocket as inflation rears it’s ugly head?

#13 Jeff Smith on 02.01.11 at 11:55 pm

I dunno Garth, you really did us in. I mean how the heck can we really live without Mrs. BL visiting this blog. I mean, I am now so despondent. Maybe throwing myself at the subway track ? Oh god help me, no more Mrs BL…

#14 Jacen on 02.01.11 at 11:57 pm

Wow. Some people just don’t appreciate satire.
I just thought it was only Germans.

#15 Small Steps on 02.01.11 at 11:58 pm

Keep the faith, Garth. You have a lot of fans that love your work and do not like being oppressed by bullying in the form of political correctness.
I look forward to your blog postings every day. Your material is both entertaining and informative, and most refreshing in a world where you are constantly told the sky is not blue. Thank you for your writings, I look forward to reading your next book. And I am not alone.

#16 Tkid on 02.02.11 at 12:02 am

People are getting cranky because what they were told would happen is happening. They’re blaming the messenger.

#17 Dodged-A-Bullit-in Alberta on 02.02.11 at 12:02 am

Greetings: If more of the Canadian population discovered this blog, maybe more might be able to avoid those “painful experiences”.

#18 JP on 02.02.11 at 12:07 am

Hi Garth,

I agree wholeheartedly with Mrs. BL. I have followed you since the mid 70’s when you were the finance editor for the Toronto Sun. You were in my home when you were running for the Conservatives in our riding. Man how you have changed. You have trashed a lot of good people on this blog. One blogger stands out in my mind – Downsized and Delighted. About a year ago we debating the 60/40 split and you really offfended him/her big time and he/she stopped writing in. It’s your blog and you can do whatever you want with it but I too am bowing out.

JP

#19 Timing is Everything on 02.02.11 at 12:07 am

Well, I certainly find this pathetic blog entertaining and informative. If I didn’t, I’d have removed it from my bookmark long ago. Not only that, my vocabulary has improved. Why do folks take comments on this blog (you) so seriously? Seriously.

Stick that in an orifice and smoke it.
Keep it up Garth. Ummm, well, you know what I mean.

Have a sco-cone on me, Garth.

#20 Jan Etter on 02.02.11 at 12:07 am

This blog is indeed entertainment, par excellence. Not only the host but certain regular posters who, after reading this blog more or less since its inception, are so familiar to me I can tell what they ate for lunch. I have to say Garth, this is the only blog that I read on a regular basis, a daily dose of insight with liberal amounts of humour, sarcasm and, yes, contempt, condescension and arrogance keeps me coming back for more!

…hmm. On second thought, this isn’t really healthy behaviour. Can you recommend psychological counselling as well as financial?

#21 daystar on 02.02.11 at 12:13 am

Entertainment purposes only? Sure its not a two f’r at the least? By the by…. success is never pathetic! When the solids stop swirling in the liquids, all will see it for what it is. To usher in the new, one has to get rid of the old and you do it well, dude! (as an avid detoxer would say, its good to flush) I have boat loads of gratitude specifically for you in case you ever so humbly can’t find any for one’s self. ;)

#22 Crash Callaway on 02.02.11 at 12:16 am

So the touchy feely soggy diaper crowd don’t like having their buttons pushed.
Boo hoo… somebody pass me a trendy hankie, I feel a tear coming on.

You reap what you sow people and if your HGTV fantasies are pooping before your eyes suck it up and take your medicine.
You certainly didn’t whine when you choked down the kool aid.

#23 Patz on 02.02.11 at 12:21 am

It’s a little known fact that King Henry II actually said, “Will no one rid me of this earnest priest?” It was Becket’s earnestness that really irked Hank 2. Basically Henry just wanted to kick back have a bit of fun, maybe trash talk a little; play a few pranks and cat around but there was Becket throwing cold water on all of it.

So Ms. BL come back when you’re ready for a guy in black shit kickers, riding a HOG, who’s a potty mouth sometimes but has a bit of fun when dishing it out.

#24 Sgt. Bilko on 02.02.11 at 12:25 am

This blog rocks – Canadians and their silly housecats are so mollycoddled – we’re boring and pathetic and I hope to hell the shit hits the fan here!

#25 Joseph [original] on 02.02.11 at 12:28 am

You are different, but that contemptuous side of you comes with the package. We all have our negative side. If the lady focuses on the negative side in each one of us, she will have to step off the planet to avoid being put off by humanity. Things bug us, but we should move on. You provide inavluable insight. It is astutely wicked. An older friend of mine went to the doctor and during an exchange of questions and answers the doctor stopped in his tracks and said,”You breathe through your mouth. THAT REALLY IRRITATES ME.” He didn’t dump his doctor as far as I know because he is so knowledgable. Same goes for Mrs BL and Dr. Garth.

#26 nonplused on 02.02.11 at 12:32 am

#11 Medic,

Word is Garth also skied “the Virgins” at Sunshine this season and then all the ski patrollers got fired. It’s supposed to be a “family” resort!

Garth,

Seriously though, nobody would read this blog if you turned your frown upside down. The subject matter and medium demands a little sarcasm, cynicism, and a good old grump to deliver it in an unabashed and shameless manner.

We have a great many things to talk about in the next 10 years as a society, including peak oil, unrest in the middle east, unsustainable government finance, unsustainable government Ponzi pension schemes, how to retool the economy, and why the world didn’t end in 2012 to save us from having to face it all. If we can’t look at the first and simplest of the issues, housing, right in the eye, it’s going to be a long haul indeed.

As for how you reply to responders, well, it’s your blog.

I haven’t had any responses deleted that I am aware of, put I have been told to go jump in the lake once in a while. I have to admit that some of the replies I get now and again from trolls are much worse than anything Garth throws out. They aren’t even funny! I don’t mind being called names, but at least be funny.

Back to the news:

I read a fair amount of commentary today on Egypt (I get paid to be aware of such things) and a new meme is emerging from the blogosphere and non-MSM news sites especially overseas. I think it is worth consideration:

The argument goes that the west is misinterpreting (or trying to co-opt) the protests in Egypt. In fact, the Egyptians for the most part see Mubarak as an extension of western (particularly American) foreign policy, and that is the main thrust of the dissention. They aren’t after a western style democracy, they are after something more locally flavoured.

It is also not lost on the Egyptians that Mubarak is considered an ally by the US and Israel, that most of the army’s equipment is American built or built in Egypt under license (and with a large part of the supply chain) from America, and that the tear gas canisters being thrown in the crowd say “Made in USA” on them. Bad publicity, that last part.

None of this is my thoughts on the matter but it made me stop and think. And either way, I repeat my belief that events in that region of the world have a habit of spiralling out of control.

Mubarak has now expressed that he will step down in September after regularly scheduled elections. It isn’t going over well. Will Egypt be paralyzed for 8 more months? But on the other hand, I can see that you don’t just quit and turn the country over to “whoever has the upper hand”.

#27 GregW, Oakville on 02.02.11 at 12:35 am

Hi #5 Weeping in Windsor, You have some good sounding ideas.

#28 Bigboy on 02.02.11 at 12:40 am

23Patz–Yes, right on! I couldn’t have said it better. What is better than a “potty mouth, hog riding dude in black” rock on Garth!

#29 Mister Obvious on 02.02.11 at 12:42 am

I’ve only been sniffing around this blog for about eight months but I figured out very early on that candyasses don’t belong here. The ocassional poster who crosses the line is usually diciplined by Garth. (Sometimes not quickly enough in my opinon). But, on balance, I’d say greaterfool.ca meets reasonable civility requirements for polite company like us. If this particular blog bruises your sensibilities you really must have lead a sheltered life.

#30 Diane on 02.02.11 at 12:47 am

Garth, as a Canadian I enjoy your posts, as there aren’t many with information such as yours that I agree with. I must say that I admire your tenacity and courage for continuing to blog from your heart, in whatever form that arises! I am a 60 year old woman/baby-boomer who never takes personally anything you say. In fact, I chuckle at your outrageousness, so refreshing, in contrast to other seemingly polite Canadians. Go Garth go!!

#31 now that's entertainment! on 02.02.11 at 12:51 am

Good post Garth, and it’s too bad Ms BL is pooped out. And yeah I’ve commented on your negative vibes before.

You’re funny but I don’t buy the whole “bad, dark and dodgy” schtick. Face it, you’re just another boomer (albeit a smart and successful boomer who’s an ex-MP!) making his way through life the best he can. And this blog’s a good soapbox for you and there’s a bunch of us who enjoy it.

Despite all the Hummer and house-horny comments and girl-talk and double-entendres I bet you’re still pretty darn conservative. So to speak.

Hey no offense, but I come to this blog to read and learn and listen…..the whole concept of “dark and dodgy Garth” is pretty hilarious!

#32 Wise Guy on 02.02.11 at 12:52 am

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The Good,
My friend tells me that he has just sold his lakeshore west condo in Toronto for $285,000, bought for $240,000 in 2007. He tells me that he has made $45,000 on it. I say think again! After taxes, broker fees….hmmm..how much did he actually make?

The Bad
After making his so called profit, he is now going to “UPSIZE” to a fixer upper, $400,000 range.

The Ugly
This will take place in the next 5-10 years as he drains more dollars into his new fixer upper, confused as the price of this over priced commodity loses value and is in fact worth less than what it was when he bought, despite the thousands of dollars that are poured into it!

#33 Island Renter on 02.02.11 at 12:53 am

For a moment I was afraid that you were going to stop blogging with the title of today’s post but now I feel a little better. Even though we are home owners (on the east coast) and home renters (on the west coast), I anxiously wait to read your sharp, nasty wit. It makes me smile at the end of each day and makes me think more about what we should be doing with our money.

Keep on blogging, and don’t stop with the sarcasm.

Oh and I love those property shows, mostly because I like to watch morons wish for gourmet kitchens to reheat their M&M meals in, and dream of expansive master suites where they can hide from the children they create while racking up mountains of debt that they have no hope of ever paying off.

Now I should turn off my computer because I really need to find somewhere to put all these vegetable seedlings. Nothing says tasty like a fresh grown tomato.

#34 race against time on 02.02.11 at 12:54 am

Garth Vader

I don’t think I can name another blog that has such a great mix of truth and sarcasm.

Thing is, people like to think that having a positive attitude means ignoring reality.

You can only make good decisions when you have the facts, and near as I can figure, you tells it like it is.

Doesn’t mean people have to like it, but they do have to deal with it.

I read the title of todays post with trepidation, thinking you were throwing in the towel. Don’t; Canada needs you.

One thing for sure, given your language it is unlikely you will ever run for public office again, which is great… no vested interest. And probably the most freeing decision you ever made.

Amen. — Garth

#35 InvestorsFriend (Shawn Allen) on 02.02.11 at 12:55 am

How ’bout dat stock market?

Roared higher on Tuesday…

Pity the people who lost money in stocks in the last crash or two and took it out at the bottom and now are stuffing money into long term bonds at about 4% max. When interest rates turn higher they will be crushed.

Someone should charge them with “money endangerment” and take their money away from them for its own safty. They are like serial killers of their own money. We’ve got to think of what is in the best interest of their money.

P.S.

Ya gotta know the humorless and easily-offended Mrs. BL is reading this blog one last time to see how Garth responds. Hope she knows to quit while she is behind!

Garth is obviously given his readers exactly what they want. Soft Porn and verbal bitch slaps… If you can’t take the heat…

#36 TS on 02.02.11 at 12:56 am

Some people just don’t like the truth. All I see you suggesting is a balanced portfolio. You have a great way of suggesting that buying a place to live with huge debt and stretched amortization schedules is a curse. Describing how people have jumped on the bandwagon due to greed and envy is hilarious. You may have saved a few people from hurting themselves. I am sure H,F and C plus the financial institutions must dislike you as much as Mrs. Bl. Real estate agents are not joining your fan club anytime soon. They too do not want to hear the truth or the long term consequences to Canada. Maybe just maybe they may get a conscious someday. Or at least feel their behavior.

#37 shaggy on 02.02.11 at 12:58 am

We’re all suckers for not knowing any better than Garth, and for believing everything he says. Which of YOU is the greater fool?

#38 Young Old Fart on 02.02.11 at 12:58 am

…..but I too am bowing out.

JP

————————————————-

Don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out!!!

#39 Tim on 02.02.11 at 12:59 am

Yeah, property in Kits will drop by 20 percent, so it will still cost half a million for a two bedroom condo, big deal…

#40 No crystal ball... on 02.02.11 at 1:01 am

Garth – you are kinda like Ricky Gervais at the Golden Globes…
Some here are mortally offended by you because the truth sometimes cuts too close to the bone, and the rest of us get your humor and appreciate that you speak the truth.

#41 Mean Gene on 02.02.11 at 1:01 am

For some, the truth hurts.

#42 $froma$ia-The mother of all Bubbles on 02.02.11 at 1:02 am

“No, its not smart right now, but no need to be so condescending and arrogant.”

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

c’MON BUB!

Garths been given a cold shoulder by BNN.

Garth is consistantly shit on.

Give me a break!

$$$$$

#43 Tim on 02.02.11 at 1:04 am

Re #6: We all know Stephen Harper has done nothing good for this Country. He’s done everything possible to keep himself in power. He’s weakened democracy, he’s prorouged Parliament twice to save his own skin and to avoid being held accountable to the Canadian public. He’s offering real solutions to improve this country by spending our money on attack ads to attack the opposition instead of trying to do anything proactive for this country. Americans were dumb enough to elect Bush a second time, which resulted in their permanent decline from world superpower status, let’s hope Canadians aren’t stupid enough to vote Harper in again…God help us if he gets a majority

#44 LG on 02.02.11 at 1:11 am

When I read the title ‘No More Garth’ my first thought was, “Oh no! He can’t stop.”

Now, I don’t want to write to him to ask his advice on my pathetic retirement savings (wouldn’t want his scathing opinion of my inadequacies being made public). I’m working on those issues privately but I do value his advice and have printed off the 11 things I have to do this year.

I am a baby boomer – middle of the pack so the diapers aren’t required just yet but, guess what, you can’t argue with time and what I face in the next twenty or thirty years will be no different than what you younger folks will have to do in forty or fifty – the body does not last.

But in terms of money and retirement lifestyle, you younger folk can make some important changes now.

Keep going Garth, I recommend you to everyone who talks about real estate or retirement!

#45 Min in Mission on 02.02.11 at 1:12 am

Read the title: No more Garth. Immediate thought; Crap, where will the common sense come from now.

I read many different blogs, both sides of the spectrum. Would definitely miss this one. Great humour. Great “word pictures”.

Prices here are definitely drooping here. Not much, but, it is happening. Many of the sellers don’t seem to realize it. But there are some buyers poking around.

#46 Nick on 02.02.11 at 1:13 am

Your Hummer should run on the tears of property virgins.

#47 BC Bring Cash on 02.02.11 at 1:18 am

Just read this article in today’s Globe & Mail. I’m quoting Grant Robertson. “Despite their reputation, Canada’s six largest banks do not necessarily have stronger balance sheets under new global banking rules than their major U.S. counterparts, a new report has found.” So much for F flapping his gums about our superior banking system. Conservative, prudent, well regulated etc… His elite audience that he is bullshitting to must be rolling their eye balls. His crap is obviously being aimed for domestic consumption. Need I say more. He is trying to pull the wool over our eyes. How come most people cannot see the BS.

#48 Watchingfromtthesouth on 02.02.11 at 1:20 am

Keep it up Garth, sometimes you have to call a fool, a fool, a hundred times before they hear you. In this “everyone gets a trophy” world we are now living in, people like Mrs. BL are not used to being told the truth.

Keep calling them out until they change their stupid ways! Although I think you should change “Property Virgins” for “Economy Wrecking Morons” but that’s just me!

#49 Sasquatch on 02.02.11 at 1:24 am

Don’t change that moral heading one degree Garth. It’s the flavor country. Too many people are PC, so much so, that they no longer have thick skin. This is the place to be told the truth and get a much needed slap in the face.

If people need to be cuddled, told that it’s okay and all is right with the world; go read a Realtor blog.

Me, I’m here for the stark truth, mind warping imagery, and witty writing.

#50 Seen this in the States and now its here in Kelowna on 02.02.11 at 1:25 am

@Devil’s Advocate, why is every realtor I speak with in Kelowna selling their house and buying in Arizona, Florida, and California.

I have spoken with many and although I can easily afford to buy any house here in Kelowna I’m waiting to buy because those realtors have absolutely no faith in their own market. When I ask them they say it’s a good time to sell, but they aren’t repurchasing in Kelowna, they buy in the States. I’m following their lead and will be buying somewhere in the States later this winter, not in Canada.

I suspect that they too know the prices have reached the peak in Kelowna and are getting out while they can. After all it is their industry, they are the experts.

Can you explain to me why I’m seeing huge declines in the asking prices of house, but for some reason you don’t. For example at Barona Beach Resort (48 units for sale) and along prestigious Pritchard Dr. in West Kelowna, houses are dropping their asking price by $500,000. A few of the houses on Pritchard Dr. are now in foreclosure. Then let’s not forget all those million dollar foreclosures that along Lakeshore Road.

I’m not sure anyone can trust you opinion; save your typing strength and move on.

#51 Kurt on 02.02.11 at 1:27 am

#12 GenXer

The things you listed are all commodities. Garth has been clear: inflation in consumer goods (mostly commodities), deflation in assets. Are you trolling? If so, why?

#52 nonplused on 02.02.11 at 1:28 am

PS, I’ve got a new crazy idea for Garth to dis everyone! I’m not done but I’m working on it and it’s in line with all my “2% property taxes confiscate the house every 35 years” responses. Not many of the ideas are mine.

So here is the new premise, not mine, I didn’t think it up, but it makes sense to me:

History is not an event, but a process.

Of course history book document events because they are easy to identify and nobody can see the process at the time or bothers to look for it afterwards, so we have come to think of things as “events”. But history isn’t a football game. And the Super Bowl isn’t just an event either, but the culmination of an artificially created process.

Inflation, also, is a process, not an event. A process that in the world’s reserve currency started with the Korean War. It was furthered by the Vietnam and finally in 1971 when Nixon closed the gold window. It should have lead to the collapse of the American dollar right then and there, and it practically did as through the 70’s the US (and Canada) experienced something that while we don’t call it hyperinflation, it was bad. A zero got added to everything. That turns out to be 90% devaluation, which isn’t that far away from 100% but at least there was something left.

The central banks have been very smart since, managing inflation expectations to 2% per year. But that is nearly a 100% devaluation every 35 years and they are lying about the true inflation rate.

At times, the inflation has gone into assets. (Perceived as good inflation.) It’s starting to shift to commodities (bad inflation). Gold has been predicting this for 10 years but it is money not a regular commodity so that’s where the smart money went first. (Yes, Garth, you insufferable old coot, it’s not currency.)

Bottom line is we have been in a controlled inflation for some time, and any exponential (expressed as x% year over year) is by definition “hyper”. We are living through hyperinflation. That our houses went from $20,000 for a nice one in 1970 to $2,000,000 for the same house without rebuilding it (in Vancouver) has lead us to think it’s a good thing. But we are also paying $4 for a litre of gas, when $4 used to get you 2 barrels of oil, barrels, 52 gallons each, more than 200 litres, before they started this thing.

PPS, just to piss Garth off, gold is still going to go up. It will go up until they stop printing currency in excess. Yes, that is what they are doing. Have been for a long time. Yes, I agree, stocks may outperform, because many of them represent real assets too. But they haven’t been for, oh, ten years running. Now excuse me, I have to go lick some bullion.

#53 wetcoaster on 02.02.11 at 1:31 am

Mentioning Garth Turner in mixed company is the equivalent of having Debbie Downer in jack boots hanging off your arm and she lets go a fart.

Victoria average prices down $40,000, they hate reality in La La Land,just a mild winter thing they say, nothing to worry about, or even pay the slightest attention to, spring is coming and everything will be just dandy.

#54 Jane on 02.02.11 at 1:32 am

Don’t think I’ve heard so much joy, no make that glee, in your writing in a long time! Poor lady, did she not know what was coming with a letter like that? Has she not been reading for long enough to know she’d get roasted?
I bet you skipped around the room with this one. Keep up the blogging. You speak the perspective that few other leaders in this country are willing to admit even exists. Keep it up.

#55 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 02.02.11 at 1:39 am


“Pop. It’s about me. Finally. I thought you’d never ask.”

Reminds me of The Alan Parsons Project number “Let’s Talk About Me”, but this blog is not about me, so that ends well.

“. . . you speak as if you were God disciplining his stupid humans.” — Most (not all) humans are stupid — witness H-C-F, a.k.a. The Three WhackNuts — so there is nuffink wrong with said statement.

“. . . there are delusional people who believe I matter. And that’s truly scary.” — Good call there! Most here are happily delusional nutbar meatheads, and proud of it!

H-F-C — they don’t count anymore, as they don’t do anything useful (other than f*^k the country up).
*
#16 Tkid — “They’re blaming the messenger.”

That’s right; more and more (esp. when mtgs. reset) won’t know what’s hit them, so will point angry fingers at others who had nothing to do with their situation. See the ME and Europe for what will happen here.

Just like fed., prov. and state govts. do — blame everyone else, pass the buck but assume no self-responsibility.
*
#224 Timing is Everything on 02.01.11 at 11:08 pm — One third of NA hit by blizzard and Queensland welcoming rather bad cyclone. Is HAARP working overtime or what?! Roughly the same time, no less. But the far east cannot be left out.

2:23 clip Hoof Hearted — The US moves the ‘War on BS’ by using willing patsies.

Pharoahs Down, oil up.

First para. is good. Shows who prints paper money, and asks why many dictatorships are toppling.

Actually, Europe began the revolutions but the ME has taken it a step further, so it’s Europe’s turn again, building toward a loud crescendo which includes us.

CERN Hadron Collider. Look for more unexpected jollies thruout the year.

Fun with Mario and Jerry, if it can be called fun.

Pentagon This is where America spends its money.

The Sound of Silence (reading this blog) is far more enjoyable, peaceful and serene than stuff of this world.

#56 Lynn on 02.02.11 at 1:52 am

I love reading your opinion, and your sense of humour is a riot! Sorry that you don’t understand,
Mrs. BL. Keep it up, Garth!

#57 Amarillo on 02.02.11 at 1:55 am

I really enjoy this site for the most part. The only thing I dislike are the Liberal-like labels like ‘racist’ whenever the valid topic of immigration is raised. It’s that kind of labelling that has facilitated those odious kangaroo-courts known as Human-Rights Tribunals, brought to us courtesy of the Liberals. Come on, if you value free speech, then let’s talk about immigration when someone wants to. It’s a topic critical to our future, ask any European.

#58 Skeptic on 02.02.11 at 1:59 am

Except that you (and other real estate bears, like me, though I’m starting to change my mind) have, in your arrogance, been wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong about the market. All that’s left is an anecdote about how someone noticed some initially overpriced (even for this market) condos. This is evidence of nothing. “I could provide you with more”? Please do. Statistics, not stories. That such things are published here makes the whole argument look rather desperate.

If you look at real numbers, you’ll see that listings for detached homes and apartments in Vancouver are almost identical to this time last year; attached are up a bit (Yatter Matters).

The old arguments and certainties (“this will not end well” etc. ad infinitum) no longer have any impact. Because people were saying precisely the same thing one, two, three, four, and five years ago.

When will it turn around? I am no longer holding my breath.

#59 honest weights on 02.02.11 at 2:02 am

Could the research firm who published these results also be deluded:

http://www.vancouversun.com/life/British+Columbians+dining+less+because+they+bored+research+firm+says/4199908/story.html

For a place where people spend 70% of their money on their abode, it seems obvious why they’re not eating out. Boy, I’d sure be intimidated having a Vancouverite over for dinner.

#60 Chris in Langley on 02.02.11 at 2:07 am

“Now, I could dismiss Mrs. BL as being merely an undersexed, wrinkly, Depends-wearing Boomer with an unsalable McMansion in desperate Thornhill who plans her meal times around airings of Property Virgins, but that would be cruel. I actually don’t know where she lives.”

Truly…one of your finest moments Garth.

What escapes so many people…is the fact that you poke fun at yourself as much as anyone else. You’re self effacing humour is terrific. The boomer bashing is excellent because…drum roll please…you’re a boomer!

Some people are so thick.

Oh, by the way…a whole whack load of for sales signs popping up all over Langley. I guess it’s people trying to get a jump on spring.

#61 Thetruth on 02.02.11 at 2:11 am

More people come to this blog to read other peoples responses … not to reread Garth’s fiction everyday.

It is after all the same doomer message every day; just dressed a little differently. Fear = followers = money

#62 Thetruth on 02.02.11 at 2:13 am

or,

misery (posters) loves company (doom and gloom messages)

#63 Tiffa on 02.02.11 at 2:16 am

Ohh.. you got the mommy speech, mister.

Look, I personally enjoy a little snark. Good for what ails you. (Particularly if “what ails you” is a half million dollar mortgage when housing prices are set to bust).

But either way, we’re adults, presumably. We can put on our big girl pants and cope with the variety of personalities we face in a day, getting great information even from people we might not invite for tea. If you’re not a fan of one aspect, say to yourself: That’s a good site. Not big on the tone, but hey, valuable information.

The very fact that nowadays we have access to a wealth of sources of information, including a variety of individual people who are ACTUALLY BEING THEMSELVES should be viewed as incredibly positive. Absorb what you can from things, let the bits that don’t sit right with you just roll on by.

(p.s. I expect/demand the next picture to be Garth in his big girl pants.)

#64 your daily blog dog on 02.02.11 at 2:19 am

After a long day of work, I settle to my computer, pay my bills, count whats left, read this blog, and ponder. I realize, this blog is an art piece in motion. Its a satire about the players and fools in the housing industry. Garth directs, and naturally, plays the lead role. His merry methods of slogging (and yes enlightening) the fools and players on housing issues entertains the masses. Some of us can guffaw at the blunders of this person, or cackle at the stupidity of that person. Whereas some of us are pervs and enjoy the facetious narrative that continually pushes the art form to the edge. An enjoyment similar to the rush and fascination found in the notions of watching in slow motion an inevitable crash in the housing industry.
Fans of this play throw their hats in the ring, point fingers at others, mutter in disbelief, try to outsmart the last person. Who is the greater fool?
Garth reads these remnants daily. He knows well what he is doing. He is amused, and only mildly likes the notion that his play has nearly gained CULT status.
After the show, the wizard appears from behind the curtains. Lo and behold… its money himself. Now money is a guy who has seen the worst in all of us. Not only are we fools to the guy…. we’re slaves to him. Oh well. The gig must go on!

#65 Heinz Skitzvelvett on 02.02.11 at 2:24 am

re: #38 Tim “Yeah, property in Kits will drop by 20 percent, so it will still cost half a million for a two bedroom condo, big deal…”

Tim, consider this: take said $625k condo you’ve bought with a 5/35. That’s a $31,200 dp

A 20% haircut means the $31k has become $-93k of equity, plus the o/s mortgage of $631k+ on a place worth $500k

nah, not a big deal.

#66 a prairie dawg on 02.02.11 at 2:29 am

Ooh. I don’t agree with someone on the internet. I think I’ll write a letter. lol

You wouldn’t walk into someones house and presume to tell them how they should act there. An internet domain is no different. It’s a virtual house.

It’s pretty simple. If you don’t like a persons site, don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

#67 Gord In Vancouver on 02.02.11 at 2:34 am

What a relief!

When I first saw “No more Garth”, I thought you were closing the blog.

#68 Brynn on 02.02.11 at 2:36 am

first, the kitsilano story is utter cow dung. Prices are up and there is no supply on the west, and now east side. a house thatI gave away for 1.1 million is now selling for 1.6 million 3 years later…I learned a harsh lesson for listening to people who dont know what the hell they are talking about who tell you Vancouver is in a bubble…

Whatever little anomoly properties he is referring to are likely inhabitable for one reason or another.. Check your facts put your kleenex away, not time for the happy ending just yet, spring will bring higher prices guarenteed. Arbitrary numbers like 20% drops are just ludricris. This guy just sang your tune to have his 15 minutes…lies..

And No before I get your boring, retort – i am not a “pumper” or a real estate agent as you bitter have nots will reply.. its always black or white for you small minded hateful people..there is no grey…

Mrs BL is too sensitive for your crassness. I’m from Hamilton, crass doesnt bother me but close minded fear mongering and lies like this Kits story does.

#69 Junius on 02.02.11 at 2:38 am

Garth,

There is so much pablum and nonsense out in the MSM it is refreshing to read something real and honest once a day. You may be harsh at times which I suspect is over compensating for the fact that there is so little out there in touch with reality.

Please don’t stop.

#70 zara on 02.02.11 at 2:41 am

Toot a loo and bye bye for now to the Ms. Bunny B.L……. without the hot little tail. You remind me of my 96 year old grandmother – such a sore looser – we weren’t allowed to win a game of bridge or Granny would be cranky bitch for weeks and take it out on poor old Grandpa. You….. simply are pissed that you haven’t sold your house and CAN’T….. Garth warned you but you were too slow and stupid and you didn’t sell. That’s your problem….you are simply a SORE LOOSING BOOMER with out money for depends. Take a hike you won’t be missed.

#71 Don on 02.02.11 at 2:43 am

People like Mrs. BL scare me. However, they are entitled to their wacky sense of logic

Just as Garth is entitled to speak the truth.

This should be a basic course in High school, what’s the delay?

#72 Edmonton Guy in Alberta... on 02.02.11 at 2:44 am

Update on the NEW Bankruptcy Laws and RRSPs.
There was some talk about RRSPs and being able to keep them when you go Bankrupt. Looks like they will claw back only the last 12 months of RRSP contributions before the Bankruptcy anything you’ve had longer than that will be protected!
http://www.nbbankruptcy.com/Canadian-Bankruptcy-Reform.htm

#73 Michael on 02.02.11 at 2:45 am

And I could shrug off her opinion as that of a humourless pilgrim, had I not spotted other posters in recent days calling me negative and aberrant. In fact, you should have a gander at some of the comments I have chosen not to publish. Apparently there are so many things one can be told to do with various orifices…

In fact, the house pumpers, bullion bunnies and end-of-days death squad have led me to delete more posts in the last 30 days than in the past twelve months. Either I suck as a market commentator, have the writing skills of a hammer or there are delusional people who believe I matter.

If anything it’s a sign that people are starting to feel the heat. So they go after the messenger hoping that if the messenger is that the reality won’t hurt them.

Ah well…. expect more of this, and then….. desperation.

#74 Cordoroy Cowboy on 02.02.11 at 2:46 am

Ha, who doesn’t look hot in a tail?

Thanks for the imagery and the many chuckles I’ve had reading this most fecund blog,so… got any hot stock tips,LOL.

#75 smartalox on 02.02.11 at 2:50 am

Dear Garth,

I’ve been reading this blog for more than a year now. I also bought and read your book. While some of yoru lessons have managed to register (The wife and I sold our Vancouver condo in March 2010, and now rent twice the home for less than what we paid per month to service the mortgage) other lessons have been harder to learn because I’ve often found it hard to tell where the sarcasm stopped and the truth began.
For us rookies, particularly those of us who are recovering from having all that we used to believe dashed on the rocks, the sarcasm can make it hard for us to trust the lessons that you’re trying to teach.

#76 John on 02.02.11 at 2:52 am

Garth, Thanks for all your work in spreading knowledge.

Could you please let me know where to invest during times of inflation and which are the best sectors?

I have done some research – copper, oil, gold are some of the options.

#77 betamax on 02.02.11 at 2:53 am

BL and JP can start their own Greater Silly Person blog, where polite prudes are welcome and bad behaviour just won’t be tolerated. Tea at four, doilies optional.

#78 betamax on 02.02.11 at 2:59 am

Garth: “VanCity wanted to be symbol of Canadian excess during that Olympic thingy, a beacon to the globe that we can be world-class fatuous, jingoistic and trite. And we made it.”

Prose like a scalpel: razor sharp and cutting true.

#79 DR on 02.02.11 at 3:04 am

Garth I have to agree with the lady you wrote about. When I first was introduced to you, I bought a book that you graciously signed. I read about 3 chapters and lost interest. Spent some time at your site. Saw the same thing over and over and over again.

I get the jist of your website and sales pitch; the world is going to end, and every who doesn’t listen to me, (buy my books and keep me from getting a real job), is stupid.
It’s all very Republican.
And Fox News in its repetition.
You should have a colour coded alert like Homeland Security. You could have a graph at the corner of your website with your assessment of the real estate market – Housing Crash Threat Level – Granite! Crash imminent!!

And your “followers” are like the Tea Party, in fact they will have their own name, it shall be the Stainless Steel Party. These people make comments about Gold, their neighbours house that is or isn’t selling. Oh my god, my neighbours house did or did not sell. “Can you believe it, it must mean . . .” idiots. You also have a very upset Russian guy who talks about everything but Real Estate. You have a large amount of doom and gloom people. You sure know how to pick em Garth.

Tell you what, I know you are 100% correct on housing, it will come down. Nothing can go up forever. Every market, has ebb and flow. House goes up, house goes down. Markets change. Shit happens. I get it.

But I do not buy for 1 second you are the white knight coming to save the masses before its too late.

I believe you are one of two things. Either you are a smooth operator sucking at the teet of peoples fear’s to make a few bucks, or you are the guy that we walk by in the city who always seems to be having a conversation with himself mixed with the occasional scream or cuss.

But good on ya, if you can make it work, it doesn’t look easy. But if you are in the neighbourhood, please don’t drop by. I don’t want to have to hide the valuables.

#80 Utopia on 02.02.11 at 3:13 am

To Jacen from yesterday….

You seem to have a lot of questions. That is not my problem though. It is for you to grow up and grow a set. Learn for yourself pal. Don’t ask me for answers that you might already know.

To Oasis: You are right. I am not your buddy. I was only being polite. So let me be a little more honest with you today…….you are wasting my time.

Why don’t you just short the USD smart guy and then show me how profitable that trade works out for you.

Impress me “buddy”.

#81 BC is even better than ten best place on earth on 02.02.11 at 3:26 am

Folks,

Just back from a business trip to Beijing. People jumping on buses to fly to Vancouver to buy up all vacant hosing with billions in ca$h.

They know are front loading the marked on a strategy to dominate the mainland market. This is it, buy in or forever be priced out.

The greatest fools are those who believe garth and the “Best place on earth” guy who completely contradicted himself on a post yesterday.

Rumor has it Air China will refurbish a 747-400 in first class only layout for real estate flights.

Vancouver crack shaks will hit $2m ave by year end. There is a total scam set up whereby there is a total avoidance of capital gains and income tax on rentals.

This scam is further supplanted by blatant cheating in the process of getting their kids in top public schools and towards the investor class visa (no companies are actually set up here after depositing the $800k which is fully refundable AND there is no follow up of the validation on the legitimacy of tue source of income – key example is the fact the close family of a Tunisian dictator got an investor class visa).

All this tells you “it is not the same” is true in a microcosm such as Vancouver.

Get in now! I came from Europe and just got my realtor license, want to sell or buy, I will get you the lowest buy and highest sell and only charge 1%!

Honesty is my middle name, I am blessed by the pope himself and with bumblebees flying I promise (R) you will make at least 20% this year.

On top of that you will be able to attract any of the local pretty girls (pretty they are doing the grouse grind all the time) because you have property.

Vancouver also has the shorts waiting list for all Gsrraris, Lambo, Bentley, RR etc. HELOCs are a couple of cents a month for such a car and guaranteed by the Canadian government. Get in now, leveraGe your way to live like a millionaire, you live only once and it IS different this time!

Being in debt for a couple of millions to own an asset which always appreciates is a no-brainer! Talk to your trusted realto(R) ASAP!!!

#82 Memories on 02.02.11 at 3:34 am

Garth has been good at parroting the news.

As far as citing credible investing outcomes – well that’s a different story. Real estate continues to do well, ditto for the stock market, the high CAD and unemployment haven’t stopped our GDP from racing higher, and Carney and Flaherty have kept and will keep short rates steady and low.

Or maybe Canada is just awesome!

For Canadians who have bought into stocks and real estate in the last few years it’s profits as far as the eye can see!

#83 debtified on 02.02.11 at 3:35 am

Goodbye Mrs. BL. I hope you find your happy place. Sounds like you’ve taken things here personally.

Boys and girls: Don’t take it personal. None of our feelings are really that important here.

Now, back to…. Let’s get ready to ruuuuummmmbbbbleeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!

#84 debtified on 02.02.11 at 3:52 am

#1 squidly77 on 02.01.11 at 11:29 pm

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

I admired how the real estate agent told things like they are – just unbiased presentation of facts. Much like the real estate agent my family has been doing business for several buys/sells – respectable.

#85 TaxHaven on 02.02.11 at 4:14 am

Aren’t people’s egos fragile? I bet you get hundreds or thousands of comments saying you’re “too negative” or “too gloom-and-doomy” or somesuch.

How many comments do you get saying, in a reasoned way, that you’re WRONG? Not too many, I’d guess.

Thanks for opening up our eyes to what is right in front of our faces! It’s a truism that you can’t see a bubble while you’re in it.

Every week of the last few months of 2010 I saw two or three price reductions on my property want list; now I’m seeing four or five, sometimes 10-20% at one fell swoop, plus many “back on market”.

But thanks to you I’m waiting for more. In smaller towns even the blandest 2000 sq. ft. rancher, built @1970-1980 on an average city lot and with 2010 taxes of $2000+, is asking $180-270K.

So I know something is still wrong.

#86 NorthOf49 on 02.02.11 at 4:18 am

Acquiescing to pantywaists? Some people have no sense of humour.

#87 West Coast on 02.02.11 at 4:24 am

Garth you remind me of my grandpa. (Who has passed on God bless him)

He was an angry man, he once (or several times depending who’s telling) hit people with his cane. But he was honest. There is just something about your tone. Don’t suppose you also have a gun rack?

#88 Now I'm Wet! on 02.02.11 at 4:28 am

Good God Garth, I read this blog entry and was laughing and crying so hard that now I’ve wet myself. Can’t go get anymore Depends either as the house won’t sell.

Yes, finances are that tight.

Think I’ll drag out the bible to get myself back on track…

…as I dry myself off.

I’ll have towel with me, tomorrow.

#89 Dee Why on 02.02.11 at 4:29 am

“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.”

Charles Mackay

8 months ago I stumbled upon this pathetic blog which
led me to “The Money Road” which led me to finally take
control of my Financial Future which led me to seek a honest and knowledgeable Financial Advisor which fueled the desire to share” The Greater Fools” message which was and is ignored for the most part which empowered me to pursue the Financial Literacy that I so ignored in my early years which has led me to seek and pursue the financial habits of the successful investor.

I’m finally on that road thanks to this blog-it’s early in the journey but my focus is forward and clear because of this Furry Harley Riding ex Politician.

Many Thanks Garth for separating me from the herd.

#90 Jody on 02.02.11 at 5:01 am

I hope Garth never changes, his sarcasim is a breath of fresh air. I think people all over the western world need to take a chill pill and remove the baseball bat from their arse. I come here nearly every day because it’s life in the raw, the way it should be, to hell with the politically correct asshats who get offended by everything. I’ve learnt so much here, more than any relative or teacher ever taught me. As a teacher I don’t think anyone should expect public schools to teach your kids financial literacy, you think things are bad now, wow, how badly do you want to screw things up?

A great book for learning the basics of money, Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt, Austrian economics kicks ass.

http://www.amazon.ca/Economics-One-Lesson-Shortest-Understand/dp/0517548232/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1296635414&sr=8-1

For all those who think metals would never be practical, it’s what people default to

http://www.zerohedge.com/article/greek-scramble-physical-brings-gold-price-1700-ounce

#91 Monex on 02.02.11 at 6:41 am

Research indicates that wage increases have not kept pace with rising living costs. Among the results was the fact that while the average family had 180 to spend per week last November it had only 174 available for weekly spending this November.. Economists agree that inflation remains high and prices of commodities are raising the cost of living.

#92 housedoc on 02.02.11 at 7:34 am

No more Garth?
Careful how you phrase your titles. Geez!

#93 Herb on 02.02.11 at 7:45 am

(Pst: Garth Turner is reduced to illustrating seducing the canine on his pathetic blog. Pass it on …)

#94 Love this Blog on 02.02.11 at 7:46 am

#42 Tim,
Who would you suggest as a better loeader and replacement?? There must be a leader or party I am not aware of.

#95 Bob on 02.02.11 at 8:01 am

Garth,

3 simple words to live by…”Stay the course”.

Cheers.

#96 Theo on 02.02.11 at 8:25 am

To all those with overly sensitive sensibilities – I am offended at your offensiveness!

Sheesh – seriously it’s a crying shame when people can’t figure out that satire is a perfectly valid way to get a legitimate point across. especially, when the target audienc is sleepwalking.

Wake up and get over yourself!

#97 Jas Girn on 02.02.11 at 8:47 am

Ms. BL is just being silly. Lol. She probably has a house that she cannot sell, and is warding off her denial by attacking this “blog.

BTW, I have lived in many countries, and Canada is blessed with a huge land mass, yet property is so expensive. Moreover, I do not think people realize the meaning of living within ones means. The way an average person lives here would make a hard-working middle-class person in a third world country cringe with jealousy.

#98 pbrasseur on 02.02.11 at 8:51 am

“No more Garth” -Garth

Scary title, for a moment…

I have become addicted to your witt and colorful writting. Don you dare quit on us :-)

#99 News Flash; Vancouverites are incredibly sophisticated! on 02.02.11 at 9:09 am

#56 honest weights, nice catch on that Vancouver Sun article. I love it, folks there are eating out less because they’re “bored”. Yeah, when I’m bored the last thing I “want to do” is go out to eat.

Oh, I meant when I’m “broke”, the last thing that I “can do” is go out to eat.

But the quote below is priceless. Amazing that someone gets paid to write drivel like this! The restaurant consumer in B.C. is so incredibly sophisticated that the very trends they are bored with are only now spreading across the country!

hahahahahaha ouch my ribs!

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

“It would appear the restaurant consumer in B.C. is much more sophisticated than restaurant consumers across Canada,” Carter said citing a theory that B.C. consumer expectations are so high that consumers are now bored. Although B.C. is the culinary apex of the country, most full service dining restaurants (think Cactus Club and Earl’s) are now serving very similar menus — menus which are successfully expanding across the country, but no longer appealing to B.C. consumers who seek ever greater innovation and variety.

#100 High Park Renter on 02.02.11 at 9:14 am

Good morning Garth,

No doubt you’re familiar with John Kenneth Galbraith’s short and brilliant book, ‘A Short History of Financial Euphoria.’ I thought, when people are putting you down, you could take comfort from Galbraith’s observation:

“The euphoric episode is protected and sustained by the will of those who are involved, in order to justify the circumstances that are making them rich. And it is equally protected by the will to ignore, exorcise, or condemn those who express doubts.”

I understand he too received threats because of his expressed skepticism about financial bubbles.

It’s a quick book that I think every blog dog would enjoy.

#101 Valkyrie F6 on 02.02.11 at 9:25 am

“It’s your blog and you can do whatever you want with it ” J.P.

That’s right J.P., lots of other blogs out there to satisfy your sensibilities. Way ya go….

Thank you Garth and all the dogs for “Cross Country Check Ups” darker side.
G, you make me laugh!

#102 Chris on 02.02.11 at 9:34 am

It IS different here in Timmins!

Thanks for the shout out Garth. Our sleepy little backwater could use the nod. For a look at a place where it is different check us out. I moved from smoggy snowed in Toronto with my cushy public service job, bought a 2500 square foot house for 400k on 40 acres with a forest and backing on to a beautiful river for no more than 2.5 times my combined salary. Did I mention my commute to work is 12kms, I can’t see a neighbour and I am within 3kms to the airport? We have a housing shortage, the mines are booming and we are exempt from the recession and global
crisis due to the strength of bullion which is likely to stay strong for years to come. So I guess you could say it is different here. Too bad its still Timmins…..but I can sacrifice style for substance and ease of life. Traffic jam? Have a nice time Southern Ontario with that one.

#103 Wayne on 02.02.11 at 9:34 am

Garth … the images I sent you are not ‘tawdry’ … cheap, maybe.

Mrs. BL … get stuffed.

#104 Medic on 02.02.11 at 9:49 am

Anyone hear the news release from Twisted Sister a while back? Twenty-five years later, they are now willing to “take it”. They clarified that while they still prefer not to take it, taking it is now an option.

#105 Mikey the Realtor on 02.02.11 at 9:57 am

#33 race against time

“no vested interest”

Think again

#106 the Oracle from the North on 02.02.11 at 10:05 am

GARTH — ignore Mrs. BL and other nay-sayers who cannot handle the TRUTH that you so graciously share with all of us your faithful readers. You are an OLD TRUTH TELLER with much experience in the realms of public service & personal finance and are simply holding a mirror (using entertaining and KEEN language) up for Canadians to peer into the ABYSS that is the coming crash.

The good news is once the crash happens the whole insanity circle of pump and dump can begin anew and new money to be made… properity just around the corner — like they say in NewFoundland.
But, that’s a post for another day, eh!

#107 Oasis on 02.02.11 at 10:16 am

#78 Utopia on 02.02.11 at 3:13 am

To Oasis: You are right. I am not your buddy. I was only being polite. So let me be a little more honest with you today…….you are wasting my time.

Why don’t you just short the USD smart guy and then show me how profitable that trade works out for you.

Impress me “buddy”.
____________________________________

i’ve been short the USD since mid-2002. i’ve been really happy about that. but,would be hard to impress someone who can’t tell up from down. must be those drugs you’re taking. again the USD got slammed yesterday. straight down. WHOOOSH!!

no Cairo bounce. no safe haven. just toilet paper.

even Bill Gross has been getting out of the toilet paper.
http://www.pimco.com/Pages/Devils-Bargain.aspx

and i don’t think i’ve ever called you my “buddie”. you must have been reading someone else’s post. so, it’s no wonder you get confused by direction.

#108 Etobicokehead on 02.02.11 at 10:16 am

Hang on. You’ve done other blog posts since ‘Rambo Chick’?

#109 Mtl RE Observations on 02.02.11 at 10:28 am

I enjoy your sarcasm, Garth. You like to ruffle feathers and stir people out of their complacency.

However, I think you’d reach more people if you communicated the key points without the attitude. Otherwise you’re just preaching to the converted and attracting contrarian thinkers.

But I guess it all depends on what you’re trying to accomplish at the end of the day …

Thanks for all the insights. I’ll keep on reading.

#110 BDG-YYC - Edmonton you say? on 02.02.11 at 10:42 am

#1 squidly77 on 02.01.11 at 11:29 pm
Edmonton condo sales below 190- Prices fall to pre-2006 levels – Edmonton has crashed.
…………..

Nope … its only taken off some froth. There is nothing on the horizon that is too likely to take prices to the upside … and some very thin ice sitting just under current pricing. 2006 is now 5 years in the past and we are now looking that crop of mortgages (at least the fixed rate stuff) coming up for renewal. The great majority of first time buyers who went in with less than 10% down are underwater after closing costs and considering CMHC premiums etc. The market is about 20% below peak … and that means that the lucky dogs that bought a SFH up there have taken about a $100K haircut on average and a $50K trim on the Condo side.

A huge chunk of the run up in pricing was due to the run up in Oil Sands construction activity … which coincidentally peaked with the housing market (just by coincidence of course :-) ) and that action was only compounded by low interest rates and nothing down foolishness.

I’m afraid the tide is only half out at this point and while it looks like everyone in the water has their suits on it is only because they have thier asses firmly planted on the bottom. I think its quite reasonable to expect that the water line will be dropping quite a bit further before the year is up.

There are a hell of a lot of people who are effectively trapped in equity hell with negative net worth and no way out who can only hope the market comes back to save them … no chance of that happening any time soon sadly.

What we’re seeing here is the development of PENT UP SUPPLY … while at the same time we have a demand-killing policy environment with rising downpayments, shortening amortizations and higher carrying costs soon to be further damaged by rising interest rates.

This is a formula that could very easily shave another 5% or 10% off prices … and that unfortunately could just be enough to … well … open the door to yet another 5% or 10% … could be looking at a percent or two a month for 12 to 24 months.

Keep in mind that what has come off so far is the froth from the construction boom … the impact of tightening lending standards … hasn’t yet begun to take effect … and that could be an absolute ball buster.

The situation in Calgary? Pretty much the same … give or take a bit.

But hey … I’m an optimist.

#111 The American on 02.02.11 at 10:47 am

At #42: Tim, first, Americans did not elect Bush a second time around. Bush stole the first election fair and square and the second election around it really came down to Ohio, which yet another family member of his was in control. It was a farce to be perfectly honest.

The U.S. has not lost its status as a world superpower. Actually, its still #1 in that department. The U.S. will certainly pay for the Bush era, but we’re finding our way back on track. Our country is flexible and resilient, as is evidenced by our current choice of President. He may not be doing the best job we had hoped for, but he IS trying nonetheless. We have ability to constantly reinvent ourselves, and we do as history has proven.

I would agree on one thing, though. Your Harper is our Bush. Sad really. So, why is Harper in his position in Canada after seeing what destruction a personality like that (Bush) can do to a country?

#112 Lisa on 02.02.11 at 10:49 am

“Now, I could dismiss Mrs. BL as being merely an undersexed, wrinkly, Depends-wearing Boomer with an unsalable McMansion in desperate Thornhill who plans her meal times around airings of Property Virgins, but that would be cruel. I actually don’t know where she lives.” Classic Garth, you crack me up! I’m almost in tears laughing at that one. I adore your blunt, borderline crude honesty, even though I can’t get any info out of you regarding the Newfie RE market. Please keep up the good work!

#113 Lisa on 02.02.11 at 10:51 am

(p.s. I expect/demand the next picture to be Garth in his big girl pants.)

I second that!!

#114 The American on 02.02.11 at 10:52 am

At #42: Tim, for your viewing pleasure… Harper meets Bush.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEtQmMnAbG8

#115 Devil's Advocate on 02.02.11 at 11:04 am

I’ve been reading and occasionally posting on this blog now for… quite some time. Admittedly at the onset I believed we were headed for a most unpleasant outcome. Now two and a half years after the economic shit hit the fan at the epicenter of the quake in Washington DC I am really quite surprised that we have weathered it all so well.

I would be one of the very first to criticize the various economic policies of various governments around the world none the least those North American. But the truth is they are pulling it off. Will we face unpleasant economic fall-out over the horizon as consequence? Again, I’d have thought so long ago but it never happened. Was it merely postponed or is it this a new economy bulldozing debt forever forward we must learn to accept as so. It is just fiat currency after all and as such presents to its controllers many levers, dials and buttons of choice by which to control it. But underneath that hood is a most powerful sometimes uncontrollably so economic engine.

Helicopter Ben is battling a most vicious beast; deflation once out of control can be most difficult to rein back in. Ask Japan… Inflation on the other hand is easily curtailed.

It is not so much a fact that housing costs have risen as your fiat currency has lost its purchasing power. No I am not a gold nut although I do believe that since departing the gold standard the dollar has taken on a life of its own and that isn’t an entirely good thing as the orchestraters of the whole charade are learning. Not once in history has a fiat currency survived. But of course this time it’s different, right? We’ll see…

Garth serves up to you on a daily basis some good food for thought. It does grow tiresomely repetitive though at times. That he has the time to write such eloquently witty revisions of the same old same old Garth song and dance boggles my mind. This blog is like a Masters and Johnson version of financial disorders and dysfunctions peppered with a sarcastic wit akin to Bill Mayher. If that is not receipe for an addictive read I don’t know what is. But then economic is a passion of mine… almost as much so as that subject matter of Masters and Johnson. Too much of a good thing though can grow old… so sometimes I actually skip Garth write and go directly to the comments section.

Our economy is a resilient thing far from static. If you manipulate it here it bubbles out over there and by the time you run over there to supress that bubble it has bubbled somewhere else. Austrian economics seem to understand this better than most and have by far gained my favour of late. But I was not always an Austrian fan. In university, as most all nieve students, I tended to favour a more leftist perspective although still far right of center by most classmates standards. My point is I have evolved. I like to think it a positive evolvement. Again many of you may and will disagree I am sure. But evolve I have and I owe that much to this blog. Certainly my evolvement has been contrary to the influence of this blog though rather than swayed to follow the predominant belief here-on that a financial Armageddon lies in wait.

I honestly three and four years ago was certain our economy was ready to break with avengence. I believed this so much so that many friends began to avoid the subject around me. Today I don’t think so much so that it will. I believe our governments are doing an amazing job putting out fire after fire even if it means doucing those fire with buckets of fiat currency dropped from helicopters. Is it right? Hell no, but it is the way it is.

Our governments it seems have created a purpose for themselves; meddle and fix, meddle and fix, meddle and fix. Is it by sinister design of some influencing overlord organization? I don’t think so much. Certainly no more than were it Garth who orchestrates it so, if only to provide him a perpetuating subject matter for his blog. In any event it is what it is and it appears there is not a lot you or I can do about it beyond adjusting our own sails to ensure we arrive at our destination despite largely unpredictable shifting winds.

Seems we’re always looking for problems, be it global warming (climate change for others) or a national or international financial challenge. We love problems. We like problems more than solututions. Problems are entertainment. Reality TV is us being entertained by someone elses problems. I think we are let down when the season concludes with a solution. “Oh SHIT, now what problem can we entertain ourselves with?” We love problems, we seek them out with far more persistent hunt than we do their solutions and I just don’t see that changing. I think it is becoming a more rampantly prevalent obsession. What used to be isolated to neighbourhood gossip thorugh our advanced communications has become a most complex global gossip community. Hell, this very blog is little more than a technologically advanced old fashioned party line on which you have thousands (millions Garth?) of eves droppers. Enjoy…

Treat each day as the first of the rest of your life it is and respect and enjoy it as were it the last for it may very well be.

Ya I know, I digressed again… nor do I have time for spell check.

A.D.D.D.A. ;-)

The fact you find me repetitive defines irony. — Garth

#116 Trino Tuta on 02.02.11 at 11:10 am

Mrs. BL bought a cave in Vancouver last year for a million bucks with a 5/35. That’s why she can’t stand reading the blog anymore. The everyday reminder of her mistake is way too much too handle.

“Finance is not taught at home. Its not taught in schools either. Most of the population learns by (painful) experience”

That’s right woman. So take advantage of what’s being shared in this blog and learn something. Political correctness is a modern day invention to justify the pussification of the North American culture. Nothing can go against my opinions, beliefs or actions. If it does…then… I’m offended…BAAAWWWW. For God sakes, grow a pair.

#117 mailman on 02.02.11 at 11:11 am

Garth for PM!!
There is almost no cleavage in that picture?
Why are you being so polite lately? Have you got that flu that’s going around?

#118 Jamaican_Gal on 02.02.11 at 11:37 am

Cho, Miss B. Yu mus’ lighten up a bit.

I have no interest in real estate right now, but I visit this blog daily; Garth’s writing is irresistible. His playful mix of everything is like a cauldron of hot Jamaican callaloo soup.

And the way the other posters just jump right in! I feel like I’m hanging out with the boys.

Thank you Garth – don’t change a thing. Love the pics.

Cool runnings, mon…

#119 MadMan on 02.02.11 at 11:40 am

RE: #99 Chris on 02.02.11 at 9:34 am

I dunno Chris ~ as a life-long resident of Timmins I observed that the near doubling of property values in the last 10 years started when low interest rates, 0/40 and 5/35 mortgages became the norm. The current high price of gold just means the miners are qualifying for bigger mortgages and loans for the toys. I find that personal and mortgage debt is just as insane here as anywhere else. All this in a town that is an 8 hour drive from the nearest world-class city.

Timmins: It SHOULD be different here (but it isn’t !)

#120 BDG-YYC - on 02.02.11 at 11:46 am

#112 Devil’s Advocate on 02.02.11 at 11:04 am
“I’ve been reading and occasionally posting on this blog now for… quite some time.”

What the HELL ??!!!!

I Sir, might say honestly “I’ve been reading and occasionally posting on this blog now for… quite some time.” you on the other hand would only be approaching the realm of accuracy with a statement more along the lines of ” I’ve been reading and obsessively posting far beyond the bounds of reason or courtessy for quite some time … but what the hell … I’ve got nothing better to do … so … ”

Gawd … space it out and shorten it up … less could be so much more.

#121 Timing is Everything on 02.02.11 at 11:47 am

#51 wetcoaster said “….[In Victoria] spring is coming and everything will be just dandy.”

I hope so! Spring 2030 that is.

#122 AG Sage on 02.02.11 at 11:57 am

Some days I almost agree with BL, but then I remember that the insanity of the world is so big it needs a heavy hand to balance it out. I chalk the unchained ego style of the blog up to art. Without that artistic expression, the act, I doubt Garth would have the energy to write up these nice long posts everyday, or to deal with us, more’s the point. There needs to be an extra intrinsic benefit or forget the whole thing.

The people born in the baby boom era (notice I didn’t call them Boomers) drove the continent’s culture to match their needs at every stage of their lives, dragging the rest of us along with them. But they don’t see that, at all, which is in itself interesting. And they are extremely defensive of even having that pointed out. It’s like growing up with a sibling who always gets their way, but never notices it happening.

>As I was watching the girls install the giant snow
>blades on the Hummer – so cute in their matching
>mechanics overalls with the bunny tails

I have a secret fantasy (well, it was until now) that we only meet Garth’s alter ego and in reality he is too shy to even point out that the clerk at the corner store stiffed him a dollar when he gave him change.

#123 Oasis on 02.02.11 at 12:04 pm

would you look at the USD going down again today. is there no hope any more for that currency? straight down. WHOOSH. 60 here we come.

in the mean time, riots in Cairo, Joradn, Yemen…

agricultural commodities continue rising. copper at an all time high again (where’s that clown claiming a double top), oil up, cotton continues skyrocketing…
inflation is rampant everywhere. get used to it.

#124 Devil's Advocate on 02.02.11 at 12:05 pm

#48 Seen this in the States and now its here in Kelownaon 02.02.11 at 1:25 am
@Devil’s Advocate, why is every realtor I speak with in Kelowna selling their house and buying in Arizona, Florida, and California.

I have spoken with many and although I can easily afford to buy any house here in Kelowna I’m waiting to buy because those realtors have absolutely no faith in their own market. When I ask them they say it’s a good time to sell, but they aren’t repurchasing in Kelowna, they buy in the States. I’m following their lead and will be buying somewhere in the States later this winter, not in Canada.

I suspect that they too know the prices have reached the peak in Kelowna and are getting out while they can. After all it is their industry, they are the experts.
Can you explain to me why I’m seeing huge declines in the asking prices of house, but for some reason you don’t. For example at Barona Beach Resort (48 units for sale) and along prestigious Pritchard Dr. in West Kelowna, houses are dropping their asking price by $500,000. A few of the houses on Pritchard Dr. are now in foreclosure. Then let’s not forget all those million dollar foreclosures that along Lakeshore Road.

I’m not sure anyone can trust you opinion; save your typing strength and move on.

The reason you are seeing such “huge declines in the asking prices of Barona Beach Resort” is because it was a product of the very pinnacle of wanton lust exuberant speculative demand where developers were building not for end users but buyers speculating that a greater fool to which they would flip the product for wild profits. Ya like that can go on forever. Simple answer is they were and are still overpriced and that they are being reduced is proof of that as the sellers move to meet the market. (I still contend that your claim of 48 units being for sale is false if only that they who fly under the MLS radar are not “seriously” for sale)

Never trust my opinion. I have been wrong before and I am sure I will be wrong again. Take my word as general guide only.

I have never told a client what to do and when pressed to answer such an inquiry I always preface it with “What I would do is not necessarily what you should do…” Do your own due diligence. You are an autonomous human being, exercise your right as such and take responsibility for the consequences, be they following someone else’s advice or formulating your own.

I will tell you this; I do, honestly, believe, to the very core of my being, that right now, this very instance, is a perfect opportunity for someone to buy or sell real estate as an integral component of their own unique life plan for their individual future and I am here to help them achieve those goals while helping them navigate around the perils along the way. There appear to be no shortage of such who agree with me. ;-)

#125 AG Sage on 02.02.11 at 12:11 pm

>#108 The American on 02.02.11 at 10:47 am
>At #42: Tim, first, Americans did not elect Bush a second time around. Bush stole the first election fair and square and the second election around it really came down to Ohio, which yet another family member of his was in control. It was a farce to be perfectly honest.

If you think Bush won Ohio indisputably, you need to read this:
http://www.maxim.com/amg/humor/stupid-fun/86265/mysterious-death-bushs-cyber-guru.html
Or just google “Michael Connell GOP”

Ohio’s secretary of state in 2004 was a fiercely partisan Christian named Ken Blackwell. Blackwell had hired a company called GDC Limited to run the IT systems, which had subcontracted the job to Michael Connell’s company, GovTech. Connell had in turn sub-contracted SMARTech, an IT firm based in Chattanooga, to act, it was claimed, as a backup server.

“By looking at the URLs on the Web site, we discovered that there were three points on election night when SMARTech’s computers took over from the secretary of state,” says Arnebeck. “It is during that period that we believe votes were manipulated.”

Sorry for the OT, Garth, (certainly don’t want the wrath of Garth…) this will be my only comment on the topic.

#126 Devil's Advocate on 02.02.11 at 12:12 pm

The fact you find me repetitive defines irony. — Garth

This A.D.D.D.A. will take that as a compliment. Thank you. We are men on a mission more similar than you might think.

#127 CrowdedElevatorFartz on 02.02.11 at 12:14 pm

Garth, I dont find you negative in the least.
Your “refreshingly truthful” about what is going on.
Some people dont like to be called stupid. Too bad.
When BL( or virginhomebuyer) has their own blog with the same amount of audience members, I’ll listen to her opinion.
I find a lot of you comments (negative or positive) very amusing.
Keep up the good we. We NEED your brutally honest observations NOW more than ever.
Bleeding hearts be damned.

#128 Utopia on 02.02.11 at 12:14 pm

It really is very unfortunate what has transpired in Egypt over the past few hours. The country has abruptly lurched from a peaceful populist uprising against a despised leader and into the makings of civil war within hours of Mubarak’s speech to his countrymen.

This is not a big surprise. The leaders of the uprising had demanded nothing less than Mubarak’s immediate ouster. They painted themselves into a corner with a demand that was sure not to be met.

When Mubarak subsequently stated that he would stay on for nine more months AND seek to arrest those that were responsible for the instability, arson of buildings and vehicles etcetera, Egyptian everywhere knew instantly that the seeds were sown for an explosive outcome.

Mubarak said exactly the words that what would make the protesters as uncomfortable as possible. Their worst fears materialized instantly. The much hated leader basically told them he would stick around to pay back those who stood up against him. His words were a clear threat and a recipe for disaster as every Egyptian heard exactly what was really encoded in that message.

I just shook my head in disbelief as I listened to the “analysis of the moment” by one of the media talking heads as she spun the speech in a positive way to leave the impression that Mubarak was an honourable leader who had worked hard to serve his country.

Indeed, Mr Mubarak himself stated that he had “exhausted his life” in his work on behalf of the country. What he meant to say was “exhausted the treasury” but that would have been too blunt.

Actually I burst out laughing because some of these media people are so out to lunch. Perhaps they don’t know that Hosni Mubarak’s personal fortune is estimated to be somewhere in the range of 40 billion dollars. Does anyone out there think he made all that money with a string of falafel and hotdog stands in downtown Cairo?

What that 40 billion really represents from the perspective of most Egyptians is plain old vanilla flavoured theft. Of course, over here in North America we know better. The US bought Hosni’s loyalty and bought 30 years of peace in the Middle East.

His wealth in fact represents almost half of all the US dollar contributions to Egypt over the time he has held power. Naturally this leaves a bit a bad taste in some peoples mouths. Just the idea that he might now secure that wealth and be enabled to shift his money out of the country over the remaining months of his term is poison to Egyptians.

The fact that he will try to exact revenge on his opponents at the same time is insanity to his opposition and totally untenable to all the protesters. Riots were the only outcome.

The country is now in turmoil with protesters turning on one another. This is the expected outcome. It is an effective strategy of the government as it takes the pressure off the president for the moment.

Here we have a classic divide and conquer strategy.

Chaos and anarchy are breaking out in place of the very focused energy of the revolt as the anger has instead been diffused into neighbourhood feuds and personal conflicts as pro and anti government forces clash, unleashing all their anger and waging war on one another instead of against the president.

Do not suppose for even a moment that Mubarak is not a tactician, strategist and a true warrior at heart. This final act of his was scripted beautifully from his perspective and the 90% of his populace that never participated in the uprising will now be calling for the military to crush the nascent revolt before the nation is totally destroyed by the fighting.

It is unlikely that this will end in anything other than bloodshed and riots as the military is finally forced to intervene.

As it is, Egyptians already blame the US administration and other Western nations for not having been more supportive of the protesters and not having taken a firmer stand against Hosni while demanding he step down.

How much more resentful will they become as their cities turn to smoking ruins while Mubarak continues to cling to power and to his ill gotten gains.

As Mubarak, in his speech, told his people that he would “die in the land of Egypt” I heard that one of the protestors immediately quipped that the people were going to give him his wish.

The real price that country is now paying is not the humiliation of the theft from its treasury by an oppressive and arrogant dictator but by the sudden realization the country is now on the path to a civil war.

A very big price indeed.

The Pharaohs must be turning in their graves.

#129 bridgepigeon on 02.02.11 at 12:16 pm

American,
Your Obama is your Bush, just better marketing…

#130 Ayn Rand on 02.02.11 at 12:30 pm

Take a look at the Tor Star today where in an interview with David Chilton, the Wealthy Barber author finds fault with HGTV for folks overusing their Lines of Credit (renos creating loads of debt):

http://www.moneyville.ca/article/931311–wealthy-barber-we-ve-become-such-great-spenders?bn=1

House Porn!

#131 Junius on 02.02.11 at 12:33 pm

#66 Brynn,

You are not a Pumper? On THAT I call BS. To paraphrase Hamlet, “Methinks you protest to much.”

You said, “Prices are up and there is no supply on the west, and now east side.” Really?

When I said at the beginning of the month we would have very high listings this month you scoffed at me and insulted me. Here are the year over year comparisons (hat tip to VHB on Vancouvercondo.info for these):

January
sell list sell/list
2001 1225 3395 36.1%
2002 2248 3626 62.0%
2003 1966 3810 51.6%
2004 1954 3039 64.3%
2005 1697 3360 50.5%
2006 1924 3471 55.4%
2007 1806 4067 44.4%
2008 1819 4675 38.9%
2009 762 3700 20.6%
2010 1923 5147 37.4%
Mean 1732 3829 45.2%

2011 1876 4820 38.9%

We have the second highest amount of listings in the past decade and below the Mean Sales/List ratio. Like last year this is before the run up to the rule changes yet sales are not even keeping up to historical averages.

7 weeks to go before the changes and counting. Watch for listings to continue up above historical levels and sales averages to fall further behind as we get to the Spring.

Better try a different name (again) Pumper.

#132 HouseBuster on 02.02.11 at 12:37 pm

I’m seeing some price decreases on resale homes in the GTA. These 600K+ homes are just not moving and these sellers want out before the avalanche of listings headed our way.

#133 MikeT on 02.02.11 at 12:38 pm

@113 Trino Tuta:
My goodness, I laughed so hard at your extremely precise description of so-called “political correctness”!!! Three Kudos for you!
It is pussification indeed. Too much softness, too many wussies, too much covering up of what’s really going on.

#134 bill on 02.02.11 at 12:38 pm

mrs/ms/miss bl , it is plain to see, has led a very sheltered life.
under no circumstances ,bl, should you visit a sawmill lunchroom on payday when the company has screwed up the cheques once again.
the language used in those confines on the particular times it occurred , makes Garths pronunciations quite tame in comparison. bland even. and way, way safer .
so bl and jp ,good luck in your future endeavors and in parting [without any sorrow whatsoever] I recommend
‘deci damps’ as the ear protection that discerning folks
like yourselves ,would most likely be happy with as far as stopping unpleasant truth goes.

#135 Junius on 02.02.11 at 12:42 pm

#96 News Flash,

That article in the Vancouver Sun was an absolute joke. However it reminds us that the pumping in the Re industry is not the only industry where press releases get released as news stories.

Clearly the HST is having a negative impact on the restaurant business. I also give some weight to the notorious “no fun” laws in Vancouver that limit opening hours for liquor serving businesses. However no where in the article does it discuss the current state of the economics.

Read the comments section on the article. Note how many times people discuss the high cost of living and housing as the real reason people aren’t eating out.

Vancouver has an excellent restaurant industry. It is probably the best in the country in quality and variety. It beats Toronto by a mile and only has real competition from Montreal. The conclusions are bunk.

People don’t have the disposable income. Ask people in the discretionary service industry from personal trainers to massage therapists. Spending is down because no one has enough money.

#136 MythBuster on 02.02.11 at 12:47 pm

Mrs. BL.

I know how you feel. That is how speculation suckers feel – when they see their mounting losses as their account is depleted. Soon thereafter they close their positions and take their enormous losses.

My advice to you:

Quit and sell and cut your losses. Don’t kill the messenger. If you have been reading Garth’s blog, you obviously did not learn anything! So, you might as well not have read it.

Garth is writing with a hilarious sense of humour. But in your pain of your mounting losses – you can’t take it anymore. That is the mark of a loser. Rather than act, they become oblivious to reality – until they are forced to quit and take their losses. This, apparently, will happen to you.

You were forewarned but did not have the guts to BELIEVE and to ACT. Now you are toast.

Too bad, and good bye. You won’t be missed.

#137 Daisy Mae on 02.02.11 at 12:54 pm

Your rebuttal today is hilarious! Never mind…your insight and advice is invaluable. You ARE making a difference. However, at times it must be soooo exasperating.

I occasionally forward your blog to family and friends…but no one wants to hear the truth. Which is very unfortunate. I find it frustrating but, oh well…..

#138 Utopia on 02.02.11 at 12:56 pm

#104 Oasis

You are mixing bonds with currencies. What gives? There is a little confusion in your camp buddy. Meanwhile, I would be careful with those USD shorts as trouble is on the horizon and you might just lose your shirt.

The reserve currency is still the security of last resort.

Expect the dollar to stage a significant rally before the fat lady sings. If that simple idea has not yet impacted or permeated your wild imagination then you are in for some significant losses and a wild ride down the cliff.

Still, I hear Lemmings trimmed with Basil and artichokes are a taste sensation this time of year.

#139 Moneta on 02.02.11 at 12:56 pm

For those of you who think it will just be business as usual despite negative equity, here is some interesting bit of news:

http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2011/02/report-46-of-mortgage-refis-are-cash-in.html

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Report: 46% of Mortgage Refis are ‘Cash in’
by CalculatedRisk on 2/01/2011 11:08:00 PM

“Some people are doing ‘cash in’ refis because they have negative equity, others to avoid PMI, and apparently a large number are bringing cash to closing to meet conforming loan limits”

Yes I know, mortgages in the US are not identical to Canadian ones but Canadians need to understand that Fannie and Freddie were created to deal with the risks of bullet loans. Bullet loans are what we still have in Canada.

Yes we have CMHC and we have instituted some practices to protect our players but theses mostly aim to protect the lenders, not the borrowers.

Thinking that people will be fine with negative equity is just plain wishful thinking. The #1 rule of banking:

Bankers will always lend you money when you least need it and will quickly take it away when you most need it.

Forget this principle at your own peril.

#140 Soylent Green is People on 02.02.11 at 12:58 pm

A must read for Canadians….

‘SHEEPLE’ – Caucus Confidential in Steve Harper’s Ottawa

Garth Turner was a freshly-elected Member of Parliament when he was dooced… the first politician in Canada – possibly the world – to be fired for his web site. For the unacceptably honest and blunt opinions that appeared on his site – especially those critical of colleague Steve Harper – Turner was threatened by party operatives, stripped of his caucus and party affiliation, reviled, shunned and left for dead.

Was his blogging a betrayal? Or the future of a more democratic politics?

#141 Al on 02.02.11 at 12:59 pm

Here’s a note from a realtor that I received.

Hi XXX,

Once the new mortgage qualification rules kick in on March 17th, your dream home might be just out of reach.

If you plan to buy a Toronto house or condo this spring, you’ve got just 6 weeks to become a smart, educated home buyer and maximize the purchase price of your dream home.

Yep, better get on that and maximize what I pay for the house.

#142 TherealDeal on 02.02.11 at 1:03 pm

Garth I love reading your blog however you barely mention Montréal. could you please elaborate on the situation here in a blog post.

thanks

#143 Devil's Advocate on 02.02.11 at 1:04 pm

#117 BDG-YYC – on 02.02.11 at 11:46 am
#112 Devil’s Advocate on 02.02.11 at 11:04 am
“I’ve been reading and occasionally posting on this blog now for… quite some time.”
What the HELL ??!!!!

Chill Dude… do you honestly think I didn’t take pause when typing that one, foreseeing what would come, before moving on? But you win as first to bite the bare barbed hook. I just don’t have time to play out the line right now.

#132 Junius on 02.02.11 at 12:42 pm

People don’t have the disposable income. Ask people in the discretionary service industry from personal trainers to massage therapists. Spending is down because no one has enough money.

And the real estate industry is to blame for this, right? Or are you now going to start lambasting us with rationale why the high cost of eating out is the crux of our woes? Damned those restaurateurs, greedy lying bastards that they are, padding their profits such that I am priced out of enjoying a good old fashioned romantic candle lit dinner with my sweetie and instead have to sit on the hard bench of Rotten Ronnies next to that overweight welfare mom and her 10 brats.

Face it Junius… it is not the price of things which has increased so much as the decrease in your fiat currency’s buying power.

#144 bill on 02.02.11 at 1:09 pm

Brynn
nope he is telling the truth. Looking out my window here on 8th ave in kits I can see two condo’s that have been for sale for some time now. further to the west i know of a house /townhouse that has been empty since it was built last october .
further along 8th one encounters yet another similar to the one described by garth.
if you wish I will head out [despite vile cold ] and get the particulars.
I am sure they would be listed tho’ as they both involve major realtors.
to those that have been following our vacancy problem, it is still with us here and the competition seems to be growing.
very nice apt with refurbished oak floor ,quiet building
minutes from the iga and londondrugs……
well run ect ect
got a nibble last night [ we showed the suite] the first person in a month that has come for a look.

#145 Utopia on 02.02.11 at 1:12 pm

#62 your daily blog

I loved your post. Hopefully you will stick around and add plenty more of the same. We need more of your kind of wit, sarcasm and analysis here.

#146 rory on 02.02.11 at 1:13 pm

#108 The American you said:

“Our country is flexible and resilient, as is evidenced by our current choice of President. He may not be doing the best job we had hoped for, but he IS trying nonetheless”

You must only read Yankee MSM news on Obama. I would characterize him as the biggest sell-out your country has ever produced (assuming he really was born in the US – sorry had to add that part).

Flexible – translates to can’t make a decision and stick with it. Just one large compromise after another and none any good except for his banker and corporate buds.

Resilient means a huge ego that thinks he is always right + he is just on a mission to destroy your country.

Doing the best job – he has never had a real job. And a $1.7 trillion dollar deficit is a good job. WTF? What’s a bad job?

As for trying …he has done nothing. Absolutely, nothing. Where is any of the change he promised you? Any change? Even his famed Obamacare is a huge disaster in the making and maybe even unconstitutional.

So your statement is pure fantasy brought to you by the MSM and the poltical steamrollers. Sorry dude but the truth sucks.

Back to Canada – The choices we presently have in our political parties may not be the best but seriously, why would anyone want Iggy or Jack in charge unless they believe in the ‘everyone wants everything and no one wants to pay for it or sacrifice for it’ theory. Oh, and we want it now!

Only one thing that works for me is a smaller gov’t with a balanced budget, and taxpayers that are not over burdened – as in we have no more to give.

Jack and Iggy will not get us there. I just do not see that happening, ever and I believe in Unicorns.

Harper may or may not as well, but if I have to choose I pick Harper. At least there is a chance with him – IMHO.

I will take the short term pain for the long term gain.

This pushing ‘the can down the road’ crap makes it a waiting game. No one likes to wait unless you are on Unicorn watch.

#147 CandleFish on 02.02.11 at 1:15 pm

Radio in Kelowna this morning talked about the glut of condos on the market in town. 850 condos for sale, about 12 months supply worth, and that’s not counting the new condos also for sale. But interestingly, apparently prices have actually risen slightly over the past year. I expect interest rate hikes later this year will have an impact.

#148 Dale in TO on 02.02.11 at 1:20 pm

GARTH: Good to see you man up! Maybe its good that some people take everything you say so seriously. What a humbling experience … your only human, eh.

p.s. I’m buying this year come hell or high water. Three years in a basement and I’ve grown wings and fangs.

#149 45north on 02.02.11 at 1:24 pm

I noticed that there is a lot of property for sale here in Kitsilano, and a lot of property still for sale as well.

not in the Best Place on Earth!

Northof49: no you’re not you’re definitely south:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burlington,_Ontario

#150 SwampLily on 02.02.11 at 1:24 pm

Garth, my husband and I very much appreciate your blog; it’s a beacon of truth amidst the lies of the corrupt media. Plus, you make it all so easy to read because it’s written with your excellent sense of humour. Thank you thank you thank you.

#151 Utopia on 02.02.11 at 1:25 pm

Some of you posters are putting me in fits of hysterics this morning. Is it any reason we love this site so much?

#152 Two-thirds on 02.02.11 at 1:28 pm

People blast you for things satirical, anecdotal, and poetic (like the proverbial “Hummer”, with its endless array of customisations).

But you speak the truth, concerning RE.

With unique style, down to earth language, and hilarious narrative.

For free! Everyday.

What’s not to like about that?

#153 BingoBabe on 02.02.11 at 1:31 pm

#59 TheTruth

So what does that make you? Oh, right, your different.

#154 Ronaldo on 02.02.11 at 1:37 pm

Dollar Store should have a run on “rose colored glasses”. Mrs. BL is an indicator that we are getting close to the “big pop”. Keep telling it like it is Garth. Won’t be long now. Going to be a long dry spell in RE similar to the early 90’s……..after the big drop that is.

#155 vomitingdog on 02.02.11 at 1:43 pm

First of all, those are newly-built Kits duplexes. They never asked 1.4M but they did ask 1.1 but that was back in the days of 5% GST. Once the 12% HST came in, they lowered the price to 998K. I can see on my auto-updater-thingy that one just sold for 990K. So it’s mostly an HST vs. GST thing. Not evidence of market fatigue whatsoever.

#156 tracey on 02.02.11 at 1:46 pm

You made me snort with the retort about the Thornhill McMansion. I love your sarcastic wit and agree with you. Though it’s lonely sometimes to be screaming at the TO Star’shome section while sipping my Timmy’s coffee. I fantasize about setting that certain Developer spokesperson’s hair gel on fire. But then I realize he is the devil’s spawn and when it falls apart he’ll be more worried about cement shoes then his hair gel… Love you Garth. Don’t change a thing.

#157 kc on 02.02.11 at 1:48 pm

132 Junius on 02.02.11 at 12:42 pm

“People don’t have the disposable income….Spending is down because no one has enough money.”

There is also another reason… fear is playing a part of the equation. In my household we have slashed back ALL spending and stuffing all extras into a “rainy day” jar. Where I work we just had a shut down of two weeks, And I am expecting more on the horizon for this year.

140 Devil’s Advocate on 02.02.11 at 1:04 pm

“Face it Junius… it is not the price of things which has increased so much as the decrease in your fiat currency’s buying power.”

Inflation is interesting in commodities, however, I am pretty sure that maybe some are having a tougher time paying property taxes and costs of maintaining the roof over the head.

#158 JP on 02.02.11 at 1:53 pm

#37 young old fart

….Don’t let the door hit your a*s on the way out!!!

———————————————-

Thank you for validating my decision to leave this blog!

JP

#159 alf on 02.02.11 at 2:12 pm

I find Garth’s writing far less “offensive,” or more accurately annoying, than the prevalent mean spirited,
know it all douche baggery of certain posters to the comment section. Lots of good ideas but you don’t need to be a dick about it. Seems like a whole lot more childish intellectual bullying than when the blog started. This overly aggressive/competitive way of interacting with other adults that you don’t know or have to actually look in the eye is the cause of a whole lot of the problems discussed here daily. As unlikely as
it may seem there is always the remote possibility that
you do not know everything. It actually sickens me when I finish reading a post and can almost hear Nelson, the bully from the Simpsons, taunting and mocking all listeners with his high pitched “Ha ha.”

#160 MythBuster on 02.02.11 at 2:13 pm

#65 Brynn,

“a house thatI gave away for 1.1 million is now selling for 1.6 million 3 years later…I learned a harsh lesson for listening to people who dont know what the hell they are talking about who tell you Vancouver is in a bubble…”
====================
You sound like one with a chip on his shoulder. That is called GREED.

Perhaps you checked your facts, or perhaps you just keep checking to see if the market continued moving up AFTER you sold.

Neither Garth nor anyone else can tell you when and where the top of any market will be. No one can estimate the number of suckers still in the line up or about to join it.

Is you wife nagging you? Telling you: “You see, I told you prices will continue going up….” Funny how those who do not have the guts to act criticize those who do. And they always do their criticism IN HINDSIGHT, which is 20/20 as we know…

What Garth is talking about is the big picture, not micro-timing. He tells you what he sees coming. You pick the timing. If you made money – be glad. Never mind how much you ‘could have made’. You could also have lost. There is no ‘sure thing’ in the markets.

Do not subject your mind to lesser intellects. Do not accept your gutsy action as if it was ‘failure’. In real estate you must sell on the way up. If you wait to sell on the way down – you might be locked in a frozen market.

So, do not blame Garth because someone else tells you: “You could have made more money.” That’s the dung you are talking about, not the big picture Garth is describing.

All losers want to be told exactly what and when to buy and what and when to sell. They have no clue of the bigger picture nor timing. And you blame Garth because you did not make as much money as you could have?!

Check your ‘pair’ as Garth probably would say. Man, trust yourself. Do not put yourself down and jump to the opposite extreme because someone tries to convince you that you are a loser. Of course, maybe you are… I don’t know.

But from my viewpoint, all that your experience has to teach you is this: You can’t just depend on what someone else tells you. You must also do your own homework. Obviously you did not – and you find it easier to blame Garth. That is perhaps why I would classify you as a loser. Not because you sold, but because you did not do your own homework. You acted on a ‘tip’ from Garth.

I write this because I am sure there are multitudes in your situation.

And my advice to all of you is this: STOP BLAMING OTHERS FOR YOUR OWN FAILURES.

#161 Derek on 02.02.11 at 2:17 pm

#120 Oasis on 02.02.11 at 12:04 pm wrote:
inflation is rampant everywhere. get used to it.

Hmmmm. {checks wage packet, inspects payslip, sighs}. Nope, definitely no signs of inflation there.

#162 buylow on 02.02.11 at 2:20 pm

JP: We thought you left already….

#163 comfortably numb on 02.02.11 at 2:29 pm

I posted this very late the other nite so likely no one saw, but thought I would re-post based on some of todays comments…my perspective on what is happening in the municipalities just outside Vancouver . I just got a list from my realtor of 72 SFH sold in Coquitlam/Port Moody between Oct and mid Jan in the 500-700k range. Not surprisingly 65 of them sold for an average 32k BELOW list…3 of them went for more than list and 4 went for list. The house we presently rent just sold for 25k BELOW list after 8 months on the market. The owner sold for same as she bought for back in 2007. Add in her property purchase tax, legal and commissions and she took a hefty hit to get off the property ladder !! Personally we sold back in July ( as we saw the melt coming ) and are happily sitting on the fence waiting to see how it all pans out. Our money is safely invested and our TFSA’s just got topped up today to the tune of 30k. The truth is that other than the West Side and Richmond, most of Greater Vancouver and surrounding area is in various phases of decline.

#164 Devore on 02.02.11 at 2:43 pm

#112 Devil’s Advocate

I’ve been reading and occasionally posting on this blog

Say what?

DA, you define delusion.

#165 Victoria on 02.02.11 at 2:45 pm

#96

People are not eating out because of the new tough drinking laws – almost impossible to even enjoy a glass of wine and also they are broke.

we don’t eat out because we are broke and certainly can’t afford a taxi there are back.

#166 Junius on 02.02.11 at 2:45 pm

#154 kc,

Agreed. You can see the pace of spending going down in Vancouver. It is very obvious that people are cutting back in lots of ways.

As for what DA said, I don’t know what his point was. Whether we are talking about price inflation on goods or deflation on assets it all adds up to less disposable income going forward.

#167 super dave on 02.02.11 at 2:59 pm

Someone look at the stats for Victoria? a plunge of
$50,000 on the Average selling price, and that with sales of 11 homes above 1 mil.

Inventory is starting to surge, and listings expiring without sales. In my PCS i have not seen 1 sale in the last 2 weeks, i look at 3BR SFH homes, and townhouses in the Glanford, Swan Lk area.

the announcement of the 35/5 going away has done nothing to push the market here… I think people are begining to see the light… at the end of the tunnel.

Garth, you are the Howard Stern of the Blogspace…
We enjoy your ranting…

#168 greyhairedoldgoat on 02.02.11 at 3:05 pm

Huggies are quite comfortable. What’s the problem?

#169 Timing is Everything on 02.02.11 at 3:09 pm

#126 bridgepigeon

Good one…Agreed.

#170 nonplused on 02.02.11 at 3:13 pm

This one is a must read

US Vacancy Rate Hits 11%

http://www.cnbc.com/id/41355854

The “economic recovery” is a myth.

Anyone know how to get vacancy rates for Canada?

#171 LS on 02.02.11 at 3:28 pm

Someone do me a favour and link to those duplexes or give me a little flavour. How big, exact area? $1.0 million sales price doesn’t sound that high considering what I see other places go for.

Two observations, the amount of inventory in the Arbutus area is definitely up. The houses priced over $3 million aren’t moving. (BTW, there used to be only one or two approaching that figure, now there are 9 houses over $3 million! This is not Shaughnessy!)

A couple of years back $2.5 million was pretty much the ceiling on the west side.

And finally, as I’ve sold my home and am looking for a rental, lots of the rental houses are sitting on Craigslist for a month or two or more.

#172 Debtfree on 02.02.11 at 3:46 pm

Why do you not also help us with dealing with the government ? You know the ins and outs ,Garth .

The only thing that I have discovered is that the only time you can actually talk to them is before they get elected .

If you read this blog gordo. I bet you can feel the irony that as you took power in vikiville . The danes finished their bridge/tunnel to sweden and now that you are being turfed out they have announced a tunnel to germany. This from a country with only one million more people than bc . I sure hope you enjoy your drive to whistler on the hwy where you put our money . If I were you I would hang my head in shame.
http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,743151,00.html

before you beak off at me junus …. yes I have seen the first world first hand .

#173 Devil's Advocate on 02.02.11 at 3:58 pm

#163 Junius on 02.02.11 at 2:45 pm
#154 kc,
Agreed. You can see the pace of spending going down in Vancouver. It is very obvious that people are cutting back in lots of ways.
As for what DA said, I don’t know what his point was. Whether we are talking about price inflation on goods or deflation on assets it all adds up to less disposable income going forward.

“It’s not that the price of housing, or a loaf of bread, has risen so much as the purchasing power of your fiat currency has fallen.” Fiat currency and its inherent ability to be manipulated is what I’m talkin’ ‘bout. Think about it.

I think #62 your daily blog dog on at 02.02.11 at 2:19 am understands. Outstanding post ydbd!

#174 Oasis on 02.02.11 at 3:58 pm

#158 Derek on 02.02.11 at 2:17 pm

Hmmmm. {checks wage packet, inspects payslip, sighs}. Nope, definitely no signs of inflation there.

_________________________________________

sadly no. just evereything you consume is going up. governments are doing a sweet job of bending the public over and giving it to the ..

#175 Devil's Advocate on 02.02.11 at 3:59 pm

#163 Junius on 02.02.11 at 2:45 pm
#154 kc,
Agreed. You can see the pace of spending going down in Vancouver. It is very obvious that people are cutting back in lots of ways.
As for what DA said, I don’t know what his point was. Whether we are talking about price inflation on goods or deflation on assets it all adds up to less disposable income going forward.

“It’s not that the price of housing, or a loaf of bread, has risen so much as the purchasing power of your fiat currency has fallen.” Fiat currency and its inherent ability to be manipulated is what I’m talkin’ ‘bout. Think about it.

I think #62 your daily blog dog on at 02.02.11 at 2:19 am understands. Outstanding post ydbd!

#176 Bill Grable on 02.02.11 at 4:01 pm

“VanCity wanted to be symbol of Canadian excess during that Olympic thingy, a beacon to the globe that we can be world-class fatuous, jingoistic and trite”.

Mr. Turner – besides having skin thicker than Flaherty’s skull, you have also saved my Family from catastrophe, and many of the other pathetic pond scum that have followed Greaterfool.ca – and SOLD.

The taunts, jibes, moronic nonsense and plain dumbness you have to absorb, all the while maintaining a pace that would give Seabiscuit a hernia, has been something to behold.

If the folks that think you are full of applesauce could be with me right now, I would like to throw them inmy overpriced rental SUV and take them up this hill from our RENTED home here on Maui.

Beautiful (*soon to be termite palaces) homes sit forelorn and unwanted by the score, as over limit FHA dumps (look up FHA) sit here – with nary a greaterfool taking the bait.

Maui is a disaster. BUT – the most telling comment was from the rental clerk at the Car Company, when we had to report being in a scrape with a dude, (*we were heavily insured, and should be for the fee) and the clerk looked at the invoice for our monthy rental, and she said that she wondered if “we could adopt her”. (Think she was only half kidding).The mortgage tally on her place (remember this is a car rental clerk) was about what we were paying for this lumbering (Garth would be proud) Ford – I felt like giving her a hug.

The same story with all the locals I chat with….they are way underwater and they have a certain wisftful look in their eyes that makes me very sad.

It is even worse for mainlanders that have to keep paying death ray maintenance fees and horribly high power bills on these condos on Ant beach.

There are way too many ‘rentals’ to absorb the dwindling flow of frozen folks from Illinois.

Big Hotels have gone bankrupt. It is terrible.

That brings us back to the quote from Mr. Turner, I snagged to start this we post.
People in Vancouver are pathetic. The hubris that is about to destroy them, buried Sir Isaac Newton, in his day, and millions of people since.

It ain’t different in Vancouver. It is a town with many homes and apartments that are built so poorly they have to be retro’d and re-screened, and still no one gets it.

They will.

Just come over to my winter home, and take a look in the eyes of the folks that thought they had struck gold on this island paradise. Now it is a HELL for thousands of people.

Sadly, like I predicted on this very blog regarding the fate of the “Milly Waters”, this looming disaster will be a game changer for generations.

So, dawgies. Read, learn, and make your move. *Maybe, better late, than too late.

How is that TFSA coming?

#177 poco on 02.02.11 at 4:02 pm

#160-Comfortably numb–you my friend are dead on–prices have been dropping in the tri-cities since last spring–i get e-mails from my realtor every day -i mainly follow the condo (disaster) and the TH markets

i too, sit back comfortably and laugh at all the pumpers on this blog who really don’t have a clue what’s going on

i have reams of paper work to prove the pumpers don’t know sh_t !!!!

#178 Jamaican_Gal on 02.02.11 at 4:05 pm

JP! Don’t you know it’s not nice to eavesdrop? I guess you just can’t get enough of us. Yank the broom stick out, sit down and sup with us. A bit of rough and tumble will do you good! It builds character and might just prepare you for the “real world”.

Cool runnings, iyah.

#179 totalchaos on 02.02.11 at 4:09 pm

Hey Brynn, here’s a thought… your 1.1M invested in a well balances, tax efficient portfolio for 3 years should be valued at about 1.5Mby now, and it has the added bonus of liquidity. It seems to me that if your situation is real, you only listed to the “sell” part of Garth’s message and neglected the “invest” part. And now somehow this is Garth’s fault?

#180 whattheheck on 02.02.11 at 4:17 pm

I don’t get what everyone’s problem is on this blog. I mean we all know that the housing market is gonna go down here! Garth has told us the reasons why a million times, and it’s starting to get boooorrinng to hear. So he might as well make us laugh by ripping into a few idiots who write in every once and a while! I really enjoy it. And if they get offended, then so be it.

#181 Jwb on 02.02.11 at 4:20 pm

I hate to break it you but compared to many parts of Sydney east van is cheap. Think 3 million for pretty average homes with a tiny ocean view. Funny thing is many of these places were 5 million in 2007.

#182 BC Bring Cash on 02.02.11 at 4:28 pm

#144 CandleFish
Did you catch the blurb about now is a great time to buy due to high inventory levels, motivated sellers etc. and he also mentions in the same interview that it will take years to absorb the excess inventory? This is typical stuff coming from RE experts. How can it be a great time to buy when obviously the inventory of condos listed are going to go up due many factors, units under construction for eg. and obviously falling prices?

#183 Geology Joe on 02.02.11 at 4:34 pm

Acreage and rural sales outside of Calgary tanked last month. Average prices off 20%, median price squeaked up a bit. Can anybody say “deleveraging”?

I know of a younger guy who made a couple of $mill in the oil patch a few years ago. Went on a spending spree thinking that he would make that every year, bought houses, boats etc. and an acreage west of Calgary. Looks like his DP on the acreage evaporated. I hope he sold out last year.

http://www.calgaryherald.com/business/Calgary+acreage+sales+prices+fall+January/4209237/story.html

#184 TO Girl on 02.02.11 at 4:36 pm

Garth, I’ve been following your blog since I came across your book Greater Fool in 2008. I’ve been following you ever since, which means I do value your point of view and respect you as writer and commentator. This is the first time I have been compelled to comment. The tone and attitude of your blog has changed over the years. You know your audience better than anyone, I am sure, but I am concerned that your writing is stooping to the level of some of the knuckle-draggers who follow your blog. There is a silent audience that puts up with the vitriol and brash humour because you have something worthwhile to say. You’ve never pandered to anyone; please don’t let the lunatic-fringe drag you down. I know you’re better than this.

#185 NOBODY on 02.02.11 at 4:37 pm

Jeez Garth…..don’t you get sick of playing the same tune? We get it.
You’re telling the world not to buy a house. I’ve been hearing from you real estate bears “this is going to get ugly” since 06/07.
Posters here go from blog to blog saying the same things….doom to come, such as “I have so many friends who are in trouble, and the real estate complex forced everybody into making bad decisions”.
Can anyone here tell me if/why 5 or 6 of your friends are in trouble?
Are they being forced to sell because they’re moving?
It must take you posters here an hour to go to bed at night……have to check all those closets and under your bed for real estate agents because they’re out to get us you know.

2011 will not see a crash…again.

#186 Chris in Langley on 02.02.11 at 4:40 pm

The fact you find me repetitive defines irony. — Garth

Wait just a second now Garth…this is a realtor from Kelowna you’re talking about!?!?

He is your self appointed equal in these matters of housing, economics, and pretty much anything else that falls out of his mouth.

He’s made it clear that you and him are really two peas in the same pod, cut from the same cloth, brother’s in arms.

He is your loyal and trusted friend, based on his interpretation of reality.

Not only that, he holds all the records for the most inwardly focused posts in a day, the most bizarre posts of the day, the largest number of contradictions in any given post.

He is the 2010 “greatest fool!”

Give the man his due.

P.S. – ask him about his 22 year old wife, maybe he’ll send you a pic! Oh, I forgot, he’s quiting this blog, no he’s staying, no he’s quitting, no he’s staying………….

#187 David on 02.02.11 at 4:42 pm

As a seasoned politician like Garth knows, a vote is a vote…if you lose one self-proclaimed ‘smart’ voter but gain 2 ‘stupid’ ones, it’s a good day at the office.

So toodly-doo to Mrs. BL and her all-too-easily-offended sensibilities …. my wife and I have already taken your spot.

And Garth can keep sleeping the sleep of the just!

#188 Mr. Plow on 02.02.11 at 4:53 pm

Personally, I enjoy this blog for its shear entertainment value, and the shreds of good information that come through every now and then.

Today has been particularly entertaining to watch as more and more people stuff their faces up Garth’s rear end.

Garth slaps them around a bit with his references to the blog’s “audience of loser misfits”, slaps them around a bit more in his comments on their posts and they keep coming back for more Garth fluffing.

I like reading it, but I always end up wondering, “Garth is sooooo the man… when he puts his pants on in the morning does he get them on with both legs at once or one at a time?”

#189 same same on 02.02.11 at 4:57 pm

Garth, your writing is witty and entertaining and that is really what it is all about,

#190 Jan Etter on 02.02.11 at 5:03 pm

“#167 nonplused on 02.02.11 at 3:13 pm
This one is a must read
US Vacancy Rate Hits 11%
http://www.cnbc.com/id/41355854
The “economic recovery” is a myth.
Anyone know how to get vacancy rates for Canada?”

Not sure where to find national statistics, but this report was just released dealing with vacancy rates, average rents, among other housing-related data for the GTA:

http://www.civicaction.ca/drp/sites/default/files/Toronto%20Regional%20Housing%20Data%20Bank%201%20Feb%202011%20(FINAL).pdf

#191 Ronaldo on 02.02.11 at 5:04 pm

#173 – Bill Grable….great post Bill. I was in Maui 3 years in a row 07, 08 and 09 and it was obvious even then that things were changing fast, especially in 09.

Was there for a month March/April. Nice condo in Kehei for $85/nite and they were almost begging us to take it and right across from the beach. Bulletin boards were full of ads by private owners advertising their rentals. Most from the mainland who have residents of these condos looking after them.

Walked the beach from North Kehei to Ocean Center and passed by huge hotels that appeared empty….nobody on the balconies…no signs of life…very few people along the way….I believe you.

What I noticed the most from previous years was the lack of crowds anywhere. Yes, those who think Vancouver is different are going to get a major rude awakening and soon. Oh, and my TFSA as of 3:33 p.m. EST was up 174.98% thanks to banks and resourse stocks and fully invested. Cheers.

#192 Pat on 02.02.11 at 5:24 pm

@ #182 Mr. Plow,

Yep. I also wonder if Garth is as much of a man in person or he is more mellow. I know that the cowboy boots help a bit (2 in?), but is it enough?

#193 PABLO on 02.02.11 at 5:36 pm

Now, I could dismiss Mrs. BL as being merely an undersexed, wrinkly, Depends-wearing Boomer with an unsalable McMansion in desperate Thornhill who plans her meal times around airings of Property Virgins, but that would be cruel. I actually don’t know where she lives.Nah. Course not. Like the National Post, this site is for entertainment purposes only. It’s a mash of current events taped together with tawdry images and emotional wreckage, peppered with gratuitous sexual references largely culled from my own dark and dodgy life. I DUNNO MAYBE IM THICKSKINNED BUT I READ THIS AS SARCASM AND NOT CONTEMPT, BUT THEN THIS IS WHY WE LOVE THIS SITE, I MEAN U SAID IT BEST; Either I suck as a market commentator, have the writing skills of a hammer or there are delusional people who believe I matter. BUT JEEZ GARTH DONT BELITTLE YOURSELF BY GROVELLING TO YOUR AUDIENCE, THAT WOULD TRULEY BE CONTEMPTUOUS.
So, Mrs BL, I hear ya. Come back, babe. I admit it. I need a moral compass. And I bet you’d look hot in a tail.
OH SHIT, TOO LATE!

#194 GregW, Oakville on 02.02.11 at 5:37 pm

Hi #122 AG Sage, I’m glade Canada still has paper ballots that are hand counted by the people still, at lease Federally. Locally they used an electric vote counting machine, maybe to condition use to think there ok? Electronic vote counting machines could be subverted, just look south. I wonder why H. has asked elections Canada to look into the use of electronic voting machines??? If the Canadian Federal vote is ever taken using machines to count it, I see no use in voting again, what would be the point! I do trust my fellow citizens-neighbors to count the paper votes by hand!!! Who cares of the results aren’t instant, I want them to be safe and protected.

#195 New Era on 02.02.11 at 5:43 pm

this is suppose be a good time for seller but

http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Average+house+price+Greater+Victoria+tumbles/4210096/story.html?tab=PHOT

Gee what happened to the BS the Vancouver sun was pumping out. Stable market and expected 7 % rise.

Noticed there hasn’t been too many Real estate pumps on the vancouver sun lately.

Wonder why.
My prediction is , the market will slowly decline until May, then it will start correcting itself.

Right now there still people trying to get into the market supporting it. Then Prices will slowly decline and then people who were sitting on the fence would stay on the fence and watch the market, with no urgent need to buy. People with multiple properties will feel the pain as they get double penetration from house cost to rental income and a declining house value.

The rest will be psychology and that can get pretty ugly or depressive.

#196 comfortably numb on 02.02.11 at 5:46 pm

#174 poco – another thing i’m seeing is lots of houses/condos sitting on MLS for months only to end up on Craigslist as overpriced rentals. Not many people are prepared to spend over $2000/month for rent. I’ve seen lots of places (condos and houses) continue to drop rents to try and attract tenants with no luck. Yesterday I called a guy about a house for rent in a neighbourhood we used to own in. I knew he had just bought the house and thought it was an investment property for him. Turns out he and his wife are living in the basement hoping to find someone willing to pay $2000/month for 2/3 of his $634k house. What’s the point of owning a house if you have to live in the basement to afford it. Oh yeah..the new landlord (of the property we rent) is a cabdriver. His realtor tells me the bank almost killed the deal at the last minute because they wanted a bigger downpayment so he needed a few more days to close to borrow more money from his family ! LOL…Another greater fool

#197 Victoria Tea Party on 02.02.11 at 5:59 pm

RE: NO MORE GARTH

To BL,

I think you have a problem with perspective, that is in determining the differences amongst sardonic humour, sarcasm, potential Churchillian greatness (in terms of writing ability, not war-making), or just plain bloody-mindedness from our glorious Penman.

It is in fact a satire on the sillinesses of humanity and the whirring buzzsaws people are determined to walk into especially when their eyes are wide open.

I sympathize to some extent to your following contribution:

“…Finance is not taught at home. Its not taught in schools either. Most of the population learns by (painful) experience. Thank you, though, for the good information about how the market and economy is going. I have so appreciated it. Its just that I can’t take any more of your contempt. I’m on overload.”

Overload indeed.

Want some overload? Check out Egypt and the ongoing awfulness that is about to get a lot more awful. The army there is trained to do two things: kill the locals and, when the time is right, go after Israel. Watch the next short while closely.

Some more overload: check out the collapsing Baltic Dry Index and the complaint that ships’ owners can’t get fuel when their ships are going through the Suez Canal. Is that a portent of big oil price increases coming or what?

Gath’s merriment is such a relief from the rest of it.

So, honey, it’s gonna be quite the ride, so stay in touch and keep on writing in. It’ll relieve some of your stress and maybe you can teach us a thing or two. But don’t make like Elvis and “leave the building.”

#198 X on 02.02.11 at 6:01 pm

CDN banks???

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/business/Complying+with+Basel+easy+task/4207603/story.html

#199 Dan in Victoria on 02.02.11 at 6:06 pm

Mr [email protected] 185
I wonder when he puts his pants on in the morning does he get them on both at once or one at a time?

I found some highly classified footage at Wikileaks from deep in the bunker, not sure who smuggled it out.
It has all the proof that you need.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mk6zbY8i4_8

#200 jess on 02.02.11 at 6:09 pm

when corruption becomes the news stories the people start to get pissed

Honesty is indivisible
Arun Kumar
January 29, 2011.
Illegality in India today touches almost every economic activity. It is both systemic and systematic.

Illegality in India today touches almost every economic activity. It is both systemic and systematic.The Indian ruling class faced its severest crisis of credibility in 2010. Its past caught up with it and skeletons and scams were spilling out of its closets. The scams have a symbiotic relationship with the black economy. The number of scams is growing and so is the size of the black economy, which has reached a mind-boggling level of 50 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product, that is, it annually generates Rs.33 lakh crore in black income. While the 1980s saw eight major scams, in the period between 1991 and1996 there were 26 and during 2005-08, there were around 150.
There has been an exponential growth in the average amount of money involved in each scam. Bofors was the biggest scam of the1980s, estimated at Rs.64 crores. It was dwarfed by the Harshad Mehta scam in 1992 involving a loss of about Rs.3,000 crores(Janakiraman Committee Report). Many felt this was a gross underestimation. In the period between 1991 and 1999, about 2,500new companies floated in the stock markets disappeared with public money, much like the robber-barons of the United States inthe period between 1870 and 1890. The loss to the public ran into thousands of crores of rupees but the governments of the daydid not prosecute the promoters of the companies that disappeared. This emboldened the corporates to indulge in even greatermanipulations in the just concluded decade. In 1991, when Harshad Mehta was fixing the market and the issue was raised in
Parliament, the then Finance Minister said he would not lose sleep over it. This signalled to the speculators that they couldmanipulate with impunity. One of the biggest scams followed, which impacted the Reserve Bank of India and the entire financial system. The Unit Trust of India crashed in late-1990s due to manipulations by sharp operators.
The Satyam scam in 2009 is estimated to involve upwards of Rs.7,500 crore. The losses due to the mining operations in Bellary and elsewhere are reported to run into thousands of crores of rupees. Finally, the mother of all scams, the allotment of 2G spectrum in 2008, is estimated by the Comptroller and Auditor General to involve a loss of Rs.1,76,000 crore. Even if that is a notional figure, in 2008 itself various analysts had estimated the loss to be upwards of Rs.50,000 crore. Cases of irregularities in land allotment and diversion of food materials from the public distribution system are pouring in and these involve the loss of thousands of crores of rupees.
Clearly, not only is the number of scams growing but the money lost by the public per scam is increasing exponentially. Minor scams hardly draw public attention even though they affect the citizen’s daily life, such as examination paper leaks, rotting foodgrain, police recruitment irregularities, and so on.
The other major recent scams pertain to the Adarsh Society, the Commonwealth Games and Madhu Koda. Then there are the Citibank-related fraud, charges against certain former Chief Justices of India, impeachment proceedings against two High Court judges, provident fund scam investigations against High Court judges in Uttar Pradesh, the Medical Council of India fraud, the deemed universities imbroglio, Indian Premier League manipulations, the Sukna land scam involving some of the seniormost Army officers, and so on. The list is endless…..
(The author is Chairperson of the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University,

New Delhi. He is the author of The Black Economy in India (Penguin India).
http://www.taxjustice.net/cms/upload/pdf/Honesty_is_indivisible_Hindu_piece-1.pdf

#201 john m on 02.02.11 at 6:10 pm

It appears to me that a lot of “greater fools” are starting to creep out of the woodwork as reality starts to set in…and they are beginning to realize>>much too late that “H” “F” and “C” really did not act in their best interests by proclaiming over and over again how “things were different here” and that even in the middle of a world wide recession caused by the same policies they adapted..could never happen here? Well Garth has given us the straight goods since day one so it would be refreshing if a whole lot of damn fools directed their animosity towards the people that created the problem!

#202 Get Real on 02.02.11 at 6:14 pm

Check out this million dollar “thin” house

http://whispersfromtheedgeoftherainforest.blogspot.com/

WTF moment…..in the Vancouver RE saga

#203 MJ on 02.02.11 at 6:27 pm

Hi Garth,

Since reading your blog a year ago – we have been putting money into investments and living within our mens – I don’t dream about that house anymore. I don’t watch HGTV either…renting, investing and eating out.

Love your blog – don’t change a thing!!

Life if GREAT!

#204 MJ on 02.02.11 at 6:28 pm

OOPS, I mean living within our MEANS!

#205 Devil's Advocate on 02.02.11 at 7:07 pm

Heads up!

Not my gig as I have nothing to do with the Lower Mainland housing market (Vancouver) beyond helping the occassional seller there buy here (Kelowna), but talking to my real estate and mortgage buddies in Vancouver they confirm the market is on fire and it is the Asian buyers which are fueling it.

Again I have nothing to gain by telling you this and know well that I will take heat from you all for “falling for their lies” but why would they lie to me? These are credible colleques who I do believe… sorry. One such verifiable story a home listed for $750,000 sold in two days to a builder who then flipped it over with to be built for $1,600,00 within a week who then bought another lot down the street and did the same. Yes, we are talkin’ ’bout Richmond. Really I could verify this info with addresses and MLS numbers but I trust and believe these guys and for me to ask that of them would raise some concerns I am not about to for strangers such as you. You’ll just have to believe me… or not.

#206 Devil's Advocate on 02.02.11 at 7:29 pm

On the Vancouver/Richmond Asian buyers thing… based on the credibility of my real estate and mortgage buddies who, as I mentioned, tell me the market is on fire with them I have come to the conclusion that whatever it is the Blog Dawgs cry most about as foul and untrue is, foul or not, more often truer than not.

Suck it up… it’s real… for what ever reason it is real and that reason is a not so bad a reason as it is good reason or it simply would not be. That is how it works. If it doesn’t work that way then you must be prepared, when things go well for you, that the rug might be pulled from under you then as your enjoyment will come at another’s expense (Pareto effect).

Could it be that you consider it so bad only because it is not good for you? I think maybe so as anyone who is apparently doing better than you is a fool to be scorned and ridiculed by you.

#207 Behavioral Finance on 02.02.11 at 7:36 pm

I think this article clearly shows why people would rather buy a house and leverage themselves than invest their money into other assets such as stocks, etfs, commodities etc.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Why-Were-Not-Wired-for-usnews-3319848969.html?x=0&sec=topStories&pos=4&asset=&ccode=#mwpphu-container

#208 comfortably numb on 02.02.11 at 7:45 pm

@DA
Richmond is but one very small piece of the Vancouver pie and it certainly has not translated into the burbs where I live, and yes, I do have all the mls info to back that up. It’s like comparing Kelowna to Vernon..they are 45min apart but very different communities. Keep in mind that no-one but Asian and maybe some East Indian families want to live out that way anymore. I just sold a car part to an old timer from Richmond. He was chomping at the bit to put his house on the market and get gobbled up by Asians. His neighbour just had 30 offers, all Asian. They cant wait to leave as they have become minorities in their own community. Personally I dont see the big deal about a place most people in Vancouver never go to let alone live in. Again, its having no price effect on surrounding communities.

#209 DHJ on 02.02.11 at 7:51 pm

Been reading this seductive blog almost from its inception. And always look forward to each new one. Did take Garth’s views into consideration a couple of years ago and sold a condo. Have rented since then. The same condo would now cost me an additional 50-60 K, and I’ve handed over $25,000 in rent. Overall, a loss of around $80,000. Not overjoyed with this outcome, but still generally agree with the master’s viewpoint. In a couple of years we’ll know whether he should be tared and feathered or, nominated for sainthood. Cheers and good luck.

Did you invest your house proceeds to gain a return adequate to pay your rent? Or did you skip that blog post? — Garth

#210 Out of the Box on 02.02.11 at 8:01 pm

Hello Garth,

Personally I love your blog and do have contempt for the house-horny get-rich-quick contribute-no-value-to-society ignorant SOBs in this 1st world entitled society, that I say DO keep being the voice of reason and cutting to the heart of the matter!!! Everyone in the last 20 years has become PC (politically correct) and want to do whatever their selfish hearts desire but let anyone say anything or have an OPINION that is different than my one or the collective herd as we might hurt someone’s poor feelings because ignorance is bliss and I like to be an uninspired person because then I can never have failed at anything in my pathetic life.

However I will go out and live out the 7 sins (greed, lust, glutony, etc, etc) and house pump the market and f*ck society out of their ability to buy a shelter and put a room over their family and live at least a comfortable life, rather than running with the Jones and think that we all too can live the life of greedy American TV reality TV celebrities and houses, cars, boats, trips, etc (all bought on credit.) How beautiful!! How I can finally be happy — I have arrived! And been part of a warped view of life and screwed everyone else on the way.

Mind you our leaders allow for this to happen. Furthermore we supposedly don’t have financial education provided to the populous. Cop-out! Get your head out of your ass!! Get over yourself. It was obvious that this was a pump-and-dump. Regardless of what you ultimately believe, ultimately VOTE for leaders that will provide a good quality of life, NOT a good standard of living in the shortest time possible…

Garth don’t change a thing! The people that don’t subscribe to herd mentality and actually think for themselves lov’ yah! Keep telling it like it is!

#211 Master Chief on 02.02.11 at 8:06 pm

I tend to agree with Devil’s Advocate, it is Chinese New Years this Thursday so a lot of the China mainlanders are coming to Vancouver to vacation and possibly buy property. Ugly 3 storey, 1200 sqft Townhouses going for 500K and there are no new SFH going for less than 1.4 million in the Richmond area. Ok, there is one at 1.388 but with HST ….

#212 TS on 02.02.11 at 8:16 pm

Real Net report New Homes GTA for 2010.
Price increases are over.
Another year in the books…

It was a tale of two different new home markets in 2010. Sales of new High Rise units finished at the second highest level in the last 11 years with 20,349 units sold, just shy of the record set in 2007. New launches were a major factor with 65% of the High Rise sales coming from 99 buildings that launched their sales campaigns during the year.

On the other hand, 2010 produced the second lowest total of the last 11 years for Low Rise product sales with 16,454 units sold. There were 87 new sites that began selling during the year that combined for 32% of the total sales for the year. Brampton had the highest volume of sales at 3,089 units, followed by Vaughan with 2,070 and Markham at 1,736.

Overall, 2010 ranks 10th over the last 11 years for most total new home sales.

#213 45north on 02.02.11 at 8:40 pm

Comfortably Numb: I just sold a car part to an old timer from Richmond.

what car part? like an alternator?

#214 john m on 02.02.11 at 8:45 pm

202 Devil’s Advocate on 02.02.11 at 7:07 pm

Heads up!

Not my gig as I have nothing to do with the Lower Mainland housing market (Vancouver) beyond helping the occassional seller there buy here (Kelowna), but talking to my real estate and mortgage buddies in Vancouver they confirm the market is on fire and it is the Asian buyers which are fueling it.

Again I have nothing to gain by telling you this and know well that I will take heat from you all for “falling for their lies” but why would they lie to me?<<<<<< now that's funny :-)

#215 The Apocalyptic One formerly Old is Gold on 02.02.11 at 8:45 pm

http://www.mybudget360.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/detroit-michigan.png

Houses in Detroit from $1 to $50

In the early part of this millennium a house in the North End of Winnipeg sold for $5000, and many properties exchanged hands for less than $25K. Methinks these days will return with a vengeance; Canada will have its version of Detroit and Phoenix, Miami and Las Vegas.

Windsor = Detroit
The Peg = Phoenix
Vancouver = Las Vegas
Toronto = Miami

Who’s Mrs. BL?
More importantly, who cares?

#216 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 02.02.11 at 8:54 pm

#51 wetcoaster, #64 a prairie dawg, #75 betamax, #81 debtified, #88 Jody, #93 Theo, #113 Trino Tuta and many others — Great posts!

#114 mailman — “Have you got that flu that’s going around?”

I had no idea that flu causes cleavage. Ya learn something new every day! Thanks for the eye candy!

Just a thought, but wot if Ms. BL married Brynn, Mikey the Realtor and JP? Isn’t that similar to a WWE free-for-all match made in heavens-to-Betsy?

In the meantime, our son and DIL, who were desperate to buy last May, have sold and will rent. Same price in and out — condo at $250K, but at least they will soon be debt free, and can stuff money into TFSAs and RRSPs, possibly looking to buy something in a few years.

#217 Alberta Ed on 02.02.11 at 9:07 pm

Dang! This classic column just made me sneeze my coffee out my nose. Speaking as a wrinkly boomer (with a Harley, nonetheless).

#218 luketheduke on 02.02.11 at 9:07 pm

I’m staying..I love to tell you how full of shit you are..and just selling your books….that are quite good I must admit..

#219 Vancouver is a great town .... to be from on 02.02.11 at 9:09 pm

DA #203

The following quotes apply to Van RE:

“I can calculate the movement of the Cosmos, but I cannot calculate the irrationality of people” – Sir Isaac Newton

“Stupid is as stupid does” – Forrest Gump

“This is this…. it isn’t something else… this is this!”
Robert DeNiro in “The Deer Hunter”

“I wouldn’t have seen it if I hadn’t of believed it!”
Anonymous

“9 out of 10 people are idiots” – wife’s uncle

“You can cover shit with a pot and it’s still going to stink” – old Ukrainian saying

The point being that just because a small, final hold out group of people are acting like complete morons doesn’t make their delusion real. Or relevant to anyone else. Now, take a trip to the local casino. Look in the door. Who is sitting at the table yelling “Bao!!” when they break at Blackjack? The same people who will be yelling “Bao!!!” when they break on the RE bets.

#220 john m on 02.02.11 at 9:09 pm

#208 Master Chief on 02.02.11 at 8:06 pm

I tend to agree with Devil’s Advocate, it is Chinese New Years this Thursday so a lot of the China mainlanders are coming to Vancouver to vacation and possibly buy property. Ugly 3 storey, 1200 sqft Townhouses going for 500K and there are no new SFH going for less than 1.4 million in the Richmond area. Ok, there is one at 1.388 but with HST ….<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< lol you kind of sound like a greater fool trying to salvage a dying commodity….first off..what kind of a damn fool would be coming to Vancouver to vacation in February? (it rains every day,if you actually see the sun once in 2 weeks your damn lucky..who goes on holidays to be depressed? #2 the dampness and the cold winds off the ocean would make a teenagers bones ache #3 last but not least anyone who has through their lifetime accumulated enough cash(legally) to buy a million dollars tear down with no regard is no damn fool …so dream onnnnnnnnnnnnn :-)

#221 Patiently Waiting on 02.02.11 at 9:14 pm

Numbers are in for the Fraser Valley and January sales are down 15% compared to January 2010 (and are trending lower from Novenber & December as well).
Fraser Valley Home Sales Stats – as of Feb 1st, 2011 (20 of 20 Working Days)
JAN 2011 Listings 2638 Sales 826
DEC 2010 Listings 1083 Sales 873
JAN 2010 Listings 2841 Sales 981
http://www.homebuyandsell.com

#222 Junius on 02.02.11 at 9:18 pm

#202 DA,

Re: Asian buyers

Are they local asians or coming from abroad?
Are they buying or selling or both?
Are they investing?

Everyone here knows that some Asian money is fueling high end purchases in this city. It has been that way for a long time. It is also true that many of the “Asian” buyers have been in Vancouver for years if not decades and are no different from any greaterfool prepared to buy at this time.

It is the constant drone that this buyer pool is endless as it has unlimited resources and is dumb enough to continue to buy into the world’s most unaffordable market (well, maybe #3 this week) while the world burns that we all doubt.

No one questions that Asian buyers are out there. I have a friend who sold a large home recently and he had 40 Asians through his home. No offers. He sold to someone from Europe. What does this tell us? Nohting.

BTW – he bought a much smaller home in Vancouver and with the difference he bought a great place in California and still have 7 figures left over to invest for his retirement.

#223 Dan in Victoria on 02.02.11 at 9:18 pm

Le Mad Vlad
I found this when I was surfing the web last night.
I thought of you right away.
The intro is pretty good, then go to the slide show on the right hand side to finish off.
Cheers.
http://www.gizamap.com/geomatrix/

#224 Devore on 02.02.11 at 9:42 pm

Hmm, more shenanigans with real estate statistics. Apparently Vancouver average detached price for January reached spectacular record highs.

http://www.yattermatters.com/2011/02/vancouver-average-price-unprecedented/

Just the numbers ma’am, hmm?

But, what is this? We find that in the month of January, in the dead of Vancouver winter, 21 houses sold for over $10M. Those wealthy Asians must be flooding in with suitcases full of money.

According to the data, these 21 sales accounted for 2.5% of the sales, but 25% of the sales value, heaving the arithmetic average by over $200,000 just by themselves.

This is very suspicious, as currently there are about 20 properties listed for $10M or more in all of lower mainland, and about 10 in Vancouver.

This is unlikely, but possible. We know Asians love Vancouver real estate.

#225 ballingsford on 02.02.11 at 9:42 pm

Mrs. BL, take a valium. Although some national rags think this site is popper cocky, the facts will reveal soon, just as Garth predicts.

Here’s a song sung to the tune of ‘The House of the Rising Sun’:

There was a house in Tor-on-to (or Gangcouver, Ottawa, or another favorite city),
They called the Rising Sun,
It was the ruin of many a poor young couple,
Who went bankrupt when they bought with 5/35 down.

Mother’s tell your children, not to do what I have done,
Spend your money on overpriced houses, stainless steel, and granite,
If you are trying to impress your family and friends that you are now number one,
We don’t care about you spoiled young brats, so go to hell dammit!

#226 Devil's Advocate on 02.02.11 at 10:07 pm

#183 Chris in Langley on 02.02.11 at 4:40 pm

I never said she was 22. I said the woman from the picture on Garths “Survivalist” Blog Editorial looked like her. Neither I think are 22 she just looks a whole lot closer to it than other women half her age.

I don’t lie Chris. I’m not immune to making mistakes. But on this one my eyesight is good and there is no mistake.

#227 Daisy Mae on 02.02.11 at 10:07 pm

Well, the spring listings are starting….another one today for this gated community in West Kelowna, BC. We have not had any ‘price wars’. Prices haven’t deviated much. Assessments went up — and so has the tax rate being considered but not yet finalized — so it will translate into higher taxes.

One listing has been on the board for a couple of months — no activity. A real estate agents’ home listed by another agent. Why? Is it a ‘conflict of interest’ thing?

#228 Alex on 02.02.11 at 10:18 pm

I believe that if house is bought for 750k from person A and “sold” to person B and then person B sold it to person C for 1.6mil it is a pure scam. Person A,B and C are part of the scam. Person C will stop paying and in a few months will declare bancruptcy. They will share profit of 800K and bank will shoulder it to CMHC aka taxpayers. So yes in a way housing is good bussiness if it goes up everything is straght forward if it goes down they need to come up with more “fancy” ways how to
make a profit. Of course they need to share profit with someone in the bank who let them borrow 1.6k at 5%
down (in Scotiabank they would get those 5% back).

#229 Devil's Advocate on 02.02.11 at 10:26 pm

#219 Junius on 02.02.11 at 9:18 pm
#202 DA,
Re: Asian buyers
Are they local asians or coming from abroad?
Are they buying or selling or both?
Are they investing?

Interestingly there are but few statistics that have been compiled to address those questions Junius. Many would like to know the influence and sustainability of the phenomena. Suffice it to say that it is an apparent market which with the economic boon being experienced in China is likely to continue for some time. That negates the battle cries of the Blog Dawgs that Vancouver is so near poised to collapse. Certainly it might slow somewhat as the Chinese government takes measures to cool what they consider their own “overheating” economy. Of course the government there can do what ever they want with expedience as they needn’t fear the wrath of voter repercussion so much (what voters).

My point is, even though numerous times in Vancouver, reading these blogs would give one reason to question the goings on in Vancouver and doubt that “Asian Influence” as is so often debunked here. But now that the myth, to my satisfaction anyway, has been largely dispelled I am even more convinced that we are over the worst of it and likely to not see any significant price capitulation going forward.

Oh I agree there are areas where we will see prices drop… but those will be isolated to those areas and sectors which took on an even more inordinate unwarranted gain than others during the period of exuberance.

#230 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 02.02.11 at 10:32 pm


#220 Dan in Victoria — Thanks Dan, and great link!

As above, so below. When we meet again on the fourth heaven, the Mental Plane after these physical lifecycles have run their course, the cities there are quite similar to here, except it is so vast in size!

Still in the lower psychic regions of course — the higher pure spiritual realms can only be physically described by using a crude form of sign language.

Appreciate it!
*
Lead pic at http://rense.com/ is rather good!

Civil Wars Play a hunch — this story is planted to encourage enraged citizens to take up arms, effectively bankrupting their countries.

1:27 clip UFO over Jerusalem. It exits vertically and quickly.

Kannaduhh Curious as to how this is reported in an English rag.

Cloaking Device is real, so the Romulans and Klingons do exist!

Safety Deposit Boxes “U.S DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY HAS TOLD BANKS – IN WRITING – IT MAY INSPECT SAFE DEPOSIT BOXES WITHOUT WARRANT AND SIEZE ANY GOLD, SILVER, GUNS OR OTHER VALUABLES IT FINDS INSIDE THOSE BOXES!” From the Department of Homeland Theft.

IMF is the problem for the world, not the solution.

Stability My Ass Probably goes with last night’s link re: The Sound of Silence.

Adios, Uncle Sam! Mexico gonzo.

6:28 clip Evidently, Egypt’s economy is similar to the US — it’s in al Quaeda (The Toilet).

Thugs “When the Egyptian people realize that Mubarak has Israelis in the streets targeting the protesters, the whole Mideast will explode.” wrh.com.

ObamaCare Not all warm and fuzzy, too expensive so it’s almost history.

Bill Gates “Did we just stumble over the globalist bribe system?” wrh.com.

4:19 clip Mini ice-age at the doorstep? Yes, but don’t tell Al Bore — he’s a glorious joke!

#231 RE Bear on 02.02.11 at 10:45 pm

I saw a great article today regarding the CMHC and it’s deficiencies. It was, let us just say, the mother of all red herrings– the argument avoided the obvious moral hazard of the CMHC and instead focused on the unfair competitive advantage that the CMHC receives versus Genworth when it comes to insuring mortgages– namely that the CMHC is 100% backed by the tax-payer, and that Genworth is… get this… only 90% backed.

The author is completely oblivious that the risk/reward ratio is still royally screwed when risk is reduced by 90% but the reward level is maintained.

Also another interesting tidbit– the loss/premium ratio is 32% at Genworth (for Canada), which is pretty high… if defaults hit 1.5% from their current (supposedly) level of 0.5%, then Genworth is broke.

Not good.

#232 Dark Sad Monster Bunny on 02.02.11 at 11:00 pm

217 John – been nice on the coast the last few days. Went boating yesterday, cycling today. Remember the Owelympics? The snow on the hills – oops I mean mountains – was melting it was so warm (about 14C).
February always brings a week or so of nice springlike
weather on the coast.

Hows that blizzard goin’ back east?

#233 Judy on 02.03.11 at 4:02 am

Dear Garth,

Most of us are way too addicted to this pathetic blog to ever leave, despite your aberrant comments and deviant pics.

Truth is, beggars can’t be choosers. We Canadians are so financially ignorant (I am not a conspiracy girl but why exactly don’t the public schools teach us a thing about this subject?) that we depend on easy-to understand-teaching sources like this scandalous, morally offensive blog to become financially literate.

Keep up the good work.

#234 TOC on 02.03.11 at 12:11 pm

ANOTHER TOPIC OF DISCUSSION….STRETCHED A LITTLE BIT TO MAKE IT LOOK AND SOUND GOOD HERE IN VANCOUVER
http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Metro+Vancouver+housing+market+balanced+January+demand+rising/4212643/story.html