Omnipotent

Andrew’s condo is 500 square feet, which is less space than my Hummer takes. Lucky boy, he’s been invited to pack up his KY Jelly, Axe Body Spray and latex collection and move in with his girlfriend. “It’s too small for two, so time to get out,” he tells me.

But he figures the box is worth $375,000, or $750 a foot. This week he lists.

“All my friends think I am stupid for selling the condo. ‘You’ll NEVER get back in…’ so, none of them have financial advisers except mls.ca.”

Andrew’s as smart as he is blessed and horny, so this will probably end up pretty well. But as the pervasive comment from his friends attests, he is definitely swimming against the stream. Without a doubt, the vast majority of people in the country are convinced real estate is safe and the government (or something) will prevent any more bad stuff from happening.

It is this which keeps them borrowing, spending and consuming. Unwisely. Examples are all around us. Like in the GTA’s frenetic burbs where entry-level housing (anything under four large) has turned hot in the wake of F’s announcement he is murdering the 35-year amortization. Suddenly the idiot young have rushed to get pre-approved for motherous mortgages, and are back outbidding each other for machine-made houses in places like Milton and Whitby.

Why would they rush headlong into something that government now deems toxic? Because they fear debt not. Despite looking south and knowing what happens to people who buy assets at the most expensive point ever and with extreme leverage, they do it anyway. Feeling impervious. Omnipotent. Entitled. Greedy enough to gamble.

Hey, it’s infected the stock markets, too.

Almost as if we were not coming off a generational financial crisis, with revolution fomenting in the Arab world, the US at low tide, governments and families heroically indebted, Europe screwed and the planet straining to feed teeming billions while the climate degrades. Whatever. It’s party time. Everyone’s making money piling on, so let’s pile.

As markets open today, the bulls are in control. Bullish sentiment has been surging lately, with the surfeit of optimists over pessimists at its highest level in four years. In case you hadn’t noticed, the Dow is almost exactly where it was in the Spring of 2008 – months before it collapsed in the worst rout since the 1930s. Bond markets are selling off as people clamour out of low-yield investors to join the ‘it’s different this time’ panty-snapping nosh on Wall and Bay. And the more cash governments throw around trying to stimulate the economy, the more these investors think there’s a guaranteed safety net beneath them.

Impervious. Omnipotent. Greedy enough to gamble.

Meanwhile bond yields creep higher as bond prices fall. What happens when stocks inevitably wobble and those guaranteed fixed-income returns start looking tasty? Yep. Pretty much the same thing as when people figure out paying $375,000 for a home the size of a furnace room epitomizes risk.

So this is about being a contrarian.

Despite what most of your friends, neighbours, irritating co-workers and stunned inlaws may believe, the world’s actually a more dangerous place than a year ago. There’s more debt, instability, leverage and denial. The media’s still misleading and politicians still manipulating. The economy’s moving sideways, with zero income growth, and yet people are spending more than ever. The savings rate is pathetic, few have money for their RRSPs or TFSAs and 70% of us are without pensions.

Don’t know about you, but this does not make me confident.

Sure, owning real estate is just fine if it’s not leveraged to the hilt or forms more than a third of your net worth. You have to live somewhere. And having a portfolio of financial assets is a no-brainer, so long as it’s properly balanced between fixed income and growth, and actively managed. Cash or GICs ain’t retirement strategies.

In the near term irrational exuberance could blind most people. Won’t be the first time. How long it lasts is unknown. How it ends isn’t.

When stocks bubble higher on a sea of froth and young men pay hundreds of thousands to live in boxes, it’s time to leave town.

BTW, if you’re in romantic Burnaby and free Wednesday night, come and see how markets really work:

PEOPLE NEEDED TO LINE UP FOR NEW CONDO PROJECT

Date: 2011-02-13, 4:06PM PST

Just as the title says, we need people to hold spots and line up for a new condo project located in Burnaby (Kingsway/Willingdon Ave). Line up may start as early as weds/thurs night. Grand opening is Saturday February 19, 2011.

Warm beverages and washrooms will be provided by the developer.

Shifts are determined on how long you would like to stay. (preferably 8hours+)

Get paid cash quickly for sitting in a line up!

E-mail me your phone number + e-mail for more details. [email protected]g

236 comments ↓

#1 MarcFromOttawa on 02.13.11 at 11:52 pm

1st

#2 Anton S on 02.13.11 at 11:54 pm

Lets see if any credible mainstream media picks up on the plants in the line up in Burnaby. Any media outlet that picks up the story, and neglects to mention anything about the plants, might as well join the Star and National Enquirer.

#3 Chris B on 02.13.11 at 11:58 pm

Great post as always Garth. It’s fun to watch the sheeple flock to investments as they gain momentum and near the slaughter. Poor sheeple … if only they read this blog.

#4 john m on 02.13.11 at 11:58 pm

Great post Garth……..”PEOPLE NEEDED TO LINE UP FOR NEW CONDO PROJECT” <<<< this is shocking! Have we evolved into a society where open fraud and dishonesty is a way of life???….sadly more and more that seems to be the case..

#5 Dumfukcanuk on 02.13.11 at 11:59 pm

Moneta

From your previous string here is what I have to say. Seattle f*cking rocks. Best damn city I know and I miss it like mad crazy. I grew up in Toronto, now live in Vancouver, but lived in Seattle for three years preceding living in this hell hole I now call home. Anyone who says Vancouver prices are strong and things are selling with bidding wars is lying. Prices have been creeping down and inventory is definitely staying on the market longer. If I am ever lucky enough to get another chance, I am moving back to Seattle. Frankly, I don’t know why people try to compare Vancouver to Seattle all the time. NO COMPARISON. If you want real people in a blast of a city, and a ton of recreation then Seattle is your place. Vancouver is what I call a “surface city.” Everything is plastic and fake here and there is NOTHING to do. Vancouver is shiney and new and bores me to tears, but when you peel away the onion there is honestly nothing to do. Vancouver looks bigger than Seattle depending on the angle you’re viewing the city, but once on foot, you’ll see Seattle is much bigger. There’s a real grit and engine in Seattle that one can’t explain unless you actually live there. Been tracking many comments over the past few days. Weather, economy, arts, jobs, roads, neighbourhoods, healthcare, people, education, acceptance, are all definitely better there too. Seattle is missing a real network of a train system for mass transit, but they’re working on it diligently right now. They have Link Light Rail, which is nice, but they are making it bigger. When the city is done with all of its public works project, it won’t be touchable. The street trams are being put in on surface streets, the rail system is being greatly expanded, they’ve received a massive federal grant for implementation of a high-speed train system, they’re putting in “smart” highways which are highways that can actually determine traffic flow and congestion and open lanes/close lanes and change speed limit signs to adjust accordingly. The Seattle waterfront isn’t that great because they have a viaduct there, but it is coming down in a few months and they’re going to build the world’s largest bored tunnel in way of diameter underneath the ground and place a f!#king amazing waterfront park for nearly two miles along the downtown core. When you’re there go check out the Olympic Sculpture Park (it opened right after I left), Capitol Hill, The Underground Tour, Gasworks Park, you gotta ride the Duck (embarrassing and fun), hit a show at the 5th Avenue Theatre or the Paramount, hit the symphony at Benaroya Hall, go to the Seattle Art Museum and the Frye Art Museum, hit some jazz concerts and clubs, go to Kerry Park and view back at the city, hit Alki Beach as a must-do, walk through The Arboretum and Discovery Park, and eat at Restaurant Zoe, Cafe Flora, Madison Park Cafe, Spur, Local 360, Boka, Portage Bay Cafe (shit, i miss the food there. all the restaurants are friggin’ awesome). You’ll love it. Wish I could go with you, but let me know if you want any other suggestions.

#6 TO Renter on 02.14.11 at 12:04 am

I was buying my groceries this weekend, and when I was leaving, an older woman asked if I rented or owned. I said rented. She admonished me for “throwing my money away”. I said I wanted to save for a decent downpayment. She said nonsense, you can get a second mortgage and you’ll be ok.

Shoe shiner’s stock tips & Joe Kennedy moment?

#7 Sid on 02.14.11 at 12:05 am

is this ad for real.

#8 T.O. Bubble Boy on 02.14.11 at 12:06 am

It does seem like an appropriate time to check your holdings, take some gains, and make sure you’re balanced (if not weighted towards the conservative side).

I figure things will start slowing down as soon as RRSP season is over at the end of the month.

#9 Ignorance Is Bliss on 02.14.11 at 12:09 am

Garth, do you think there will be another stock market crash – or significant correction, shall we say?

#10 CoB on 02.14.11 at 12:09 am

http://www.bclocalnews.com/greater_vancouver/burnabynewsleader/news/104511279.html
It’s the BOSA development. The postage-stamp size site is supposed to host 200+ units and a hotel. At least there’s a cheap Hot Pot place across the street at Crystal Mall.

#11 S.B. on 02.14.11 at 12:09 am

In what city is this 500 sq foot concrete rat-box listing for $750/foot? Even in Toronto they are running $600/ft. max and this is new.

#12 City Slicker on 02.14.11 at 12:14 am

Garth, since bonds are selling off it could explain why more are moving into the stock market. The TSX is strongly weighted with resources like precious and industrial metals which have been doing well, and look to continue the momentum.
Also since sentiment is slowly shifting away from RE could be another reason more are moving into equities.
The TSX was about 15,000 before the melt down, but whose to say it won’t be 17,000 by year end due to sentiment turning away from other investments.
Was I first!

#13 Jacen on 02.14.11 at 12:15 am

First…?
Garth, When are you going to introduce the ‘voting’ on quality comments, that disappeared so quickly?

I suspect many of us don’t have time to wade through 200+ comments for the 10 or so decent ones.

#14 kamiboy on 02.14.11 at 12:17 am

First !

#15 TS on 02.14.11 at 12:20 am

The economy’s moving sideways, with zero income growth, and yet people are spending more than ever.

Kids of today do not know the sting of rising interest rates. Seems most people have forgotten.
Economies maintaining themselves on debt do not end well. Ireland, Greece to name just two.

#16 TS on 02.14.11 at 12:25 am

The economy’s moving sideways, with zero income growth, and yet people are spending more than ever.

Kids of today do not know the sting of rising interest rates. People seem to think that debt is wealth.
Economies maintaining themselves on debt do not end well. Ireland, Greece to name just two. The wealth effect is such an illusion.

#17 Kuwaiti on 02.14.11 at 12:29 am

$750/square foot?

Where does this guy think he lives, South of France? Monaco? lol

#18 Sid on 02.14.11 at 12:31 am

Garth, I thought you were bullish on equities. What does one with cash invest in if real estate is in a bubble, bonds are being sold off and now stocks are entering bubble territory.

#19 BC Bring Cash on 02.14.11 at 12:34 am

Absolutely right on Garth. Your comment “the Government (or something ) will prevent any more bad stuff from happening.
Thats exactly what people have been saying through out history. Housing pricing busts have virtually always been followed by a banking crisis. Witness the US experience. Why is no one talking about a banking crisis in Canada? Is it different this time in Canada? All types of investments especially within Canada are at risk. Let it be ETF’s, stocks, bonds etc… There is a chance we could be facing a financial crisis.
There are many examples throughout history of housing bubbles preceding a banking crisis. One example is Finlands starting in 1991 the duration of declines lasted 5 yrs. Worldwide these declines on average have lasted 6 yrs. The Finnish decline finally bottomed out at approx. 50%. Maybe perhaps there is no talk of crisis in Finland for example today due this relatively recent experience.
Back in the day people in Finland before the crisis were saying, the Government won’t let anything bad happen. Well guess what, these events can overtake any Governments tinkering. Witness F trying to deflate the bubble here aswell. Too little too late me thinks.

#20 Sid on 02.14.11 at 12:35 am

Garth, I thought you were bullish on equities. What does one with cash invest in now.

#21 Elmer on 02.14.11 at 12:39 am

I got the following info from a realtor:

WHAT TO EXPECT IN 2011:

1) Toronto Condo resale volume will be the same as in 2010. Prices will increase by 5%. The best time for buyers will be in the first quarter of this year. Most experts will not recognize the strength of the real estate market until the third quarter.

2) The downtown Toronto condo market will see sales increasing by 10% and prices up by 3-5%. Condo rental rates will increase by $100 per month on average. The current vacancy rate for rental condos is under 1% and for apartments it is about 2%. Condos are renting in 10-15 days on average. Expect that trend to continue.

3) Bigger condos in Toronto are now selling at the same price per sq ft as smaller ones. Going forward, two bedroom plus units will sell for more per sq ft than one bedroom units due to their lack of supply.

#22 Utopia on 02.14.11 at 12:43 am

Did I just read that right?

A guy named Andrew has a miniature GTA condo he wants to unload that is priced at 750 dollars per square foot. Lets all say that in whole words in unison so as not to lose the true impact of the moment…..

Seven Hundred and Fifty Dollars per square foot..!!!!
You must be kidding me!! Say its just a terrible joke.

My head is reeling. Has this whole country gone insane. I just looked at a nice little house here in small town Saskatchewan. Built in the 50’s, solid as a rock, has a lovely cold cellar for veggies, water cistern that collects roof run-off, sits on a lot size of 75 by 120 feet with a gigantic garden space, two car garage and even comes with an airtight wood stove as backup in case the power goes out. Nice little place too and very comfy at just over 800 sq feet.

The Price? Well you will hate this. It costs just a measly and pathetic 21.00 dollars per square foot. That is not a typo. The house can be 100% paid off in a year or maybe two on payments according to the owner or just put it on your credit card for fun.

No diff really. It’s a house. A really good house too with a new roof and a high efficiency furnace.

Downside for you is that this house is in small town Saskatchewan, the land of wide open spaces and big blue skies where plenty of fat plump gophers abound for the taking.

I only make mention of the gophers for you squirrel-eaters out there who are now feeling just a touch jealous and angrily flipping through your rodent recipe guides in abject frustration.

So let me see…where would I prefer to be. Downtown Toronto and maybe in some god-for-saken burb of the GTA where prices by the square foot cannot compete equally with an acreage and a house in my country…… or out here in the midst of the finest grain growing lands on the continent where the locals will let you shoot your own steer at a discount if you will just share some of the better cuts with them after the kill.

Hmmmm. Tough decision. Now where’s that gun?

#23 D from London, ON on 02.14.11 at 12:47 am

#4 john m wrote:

_”Have we evolved into a society where open fraud and dishonesty is a way of life???….sadly more and more that seems to be the case…”_

Absolutely. Any “gains” in morality (maybe just an illusion anyway) we may have made in the last half of the 20th century are quickly sinking in the cesspool that has existed forever. We’re back to snake oil and organized religion times. And it seems to be picking up steam…

#24 wes_coast on 02.14.11 at 12:49 am

Maybe all the asian buyers a friend of mine saw today cruising around by the car load looking at ghost town (olympic pillage) were hired as well. This reminds me of the movie ‘ The Trumanb Show’ when the desperate creator of the facade that Truman lives in gets more and more panick and pissed off about Truman learning the truth.

#25 Karl Hungus on 02.14.11 at 12:52 am

TSX is rising because the economy is recovering. Crazy crazy notion, I know, but its called an economic cycle. Guess what? in about 10 years we will have another recession and another recovery.

#26 nonplused on 02.14.11 at 12:53 am

The developer is paying people to line up? Marketing, I suppose.

Great post again tonight Garth.

If anyone has ever read my responses, which I doubt (so I use it as a self help thing), my landlord has offered to sell me the place below what he paid for it. But I think I have reached a decision. It would cost me 3 years rent to just stop the air from funnelling trough it when the winds blow and repair the roof. But my kids from my first wife are only 3 years from university or where ever live brings them. They won’t be here as much. So if I buy, I’m on the hook, plus realty fees.

My current wife doesn’t want to settle here, she wants to be closer to “where our families are” (read: her mom.) That is fine, that is where my family is too. But not my first kids. So why spend ungodly amounts of money on buying the place then just restoring it when I know I will sell in just 3 or 4 years???? Why not rent? Rent is a good option when the future is uncertain.

#27 Jeff Smith on 02.14.11 at 12:54 am

>#2 Anton S on 02.13.11 at 11:54 pm
>Lets see if any credible mainstream media picks up on
>the plants in the line up in Burnaby. Any media outlet
>that picks up the story, and neglects to mention
>anything about the plants, might as well join the Star
>and National Enquirer.

what kind of plants? oak? cedar, pine? maple?

#28 Burnt Norton on 02.14.11 at 1:04 am

Seattle’s price descent on front page of NYT:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/14/business/economy/14dip.html?_r=1&hp

Coming soon to a Vancouver near you?

#29 sluggo on 02.14.11 at 1:06 am

http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2011/02/german-ex-finance-minister-bows-out-of.html

“Please consider the Canadian Association of Income Trust Investors article Mark Carney exempted Goldman Sachs from Flaherty’s income trust tax.

Flaherty’s income trust was structured by Mark Carney in such a way that only the little investor was taxed and the big guys were given a free ride. Not only were the big guys given a free ride, this tax was imposed in such a way that the big guys were able to prey upon the small investor and expropriate wealth from the small investor in the amount of some $35 billion.

What would you expect from the architect of Flaherty’s income trust tax, Mark Carney, who spent his entire career at Goldman Sachs and wouldn’t have dealt with a single Canadian retail investor in his entire career and evidently doesn’t give a hoot about them and probably perceives them as ripe for the picking.

I cannot discuss the merits of that Canadian case because I do not know them. However, it is clear that Goldman Sachs has tentacles slowly infiltrating every nook and cranny, including various Central Banks and the SEC.”

#30 Utopia on 02.14.11 at 1:08 am

#1 MarcFromOttawa wrote…

1st
——————————————————–

When I first began noticing the number of people here who were making an effort to be “first” to comment I was irritated. “What a waste of time”, I thought.

In retrospect though, I think it is a tribute to the success of this site that some of the contributors will literally wait hours for that brief fraction of a moment in time when they can launch a new name and lay claim to being the first poster of the new days article.

Maybe they should spend so much effort planning their own retirements and setting up savings plans for the golden years. Or not.

So here is a quote from the American King James version of the bible that is fitting for you “first” folks who want to be at the head of the line.

“So the last shall be first, and the first last: For many be called, but few chosen”. Mathew 20:16

#31 Maxamillion on 02.14.11 at 1:13 am

Finally people who will be buying your home have arrived in record numbers in Canada. Most have job offers before arriving and make an average $79,200 three years after arriving.

I was born in this country, university educated and can’t find a job and people arriving here are making $79k per. Where are these jobs? I’m beginning to feel like the new immigrant who is supposed to be struggling to make it in this country. Also read the comments section of the article.

http://www.thestar.com/news/investigations/immigration/article/938158–canada-admits-record-high-number-of-immigrants#article

#32 Burnt Norton on 02.14.11 at 1:19 am

Poll for the blog dogs. 2 questions.

1) Which scenario would you choose?

a) Retire at age 65 with paid-off house and $1 million retirement fund (no pension).

b) Retire at age 60 renting accommodation and $2 million retirement fund (no pension).

2) Do you have / plan to have children?

Just curious.

#33 Angela on 02.14.11 at 1:24 am

Looked on Craigslist to see that ad for myself and found it, but…

“This posting has been flagged for removal. (The title on the listings page will be removed in just a few minutes.)”

Good. At least someone knows fraud when they see it!

#34 Tim on 02.14.11 at 1:29 am

Garth,
I see you have had your Sunday evening dump. You say that the economy is moving sideways and your tone suggests the stock market is over valued, yet many blue chips are exceeding their quarterly profit forecasts, at least in Canada. Some of these firms have tonnes of cash on their balance sheets. If we wait until the economy improves won’t we miss the run-up on stocks?

#35 Peter Pan on 02.14.11 at 1:31 am

Looks like they yanked their ad off craigslist when they started to get nasty e-mails (such as mine)…

I sent an e-mail to a couple of Vancouver Sun journos daring them to follow up on the story. I told them I doubt they would ever PO one of their advertisers.

#36 Timing is Everything on 02.14.11 at 1:33 am

#26 nonplused

I read your post…and your future is very uncertain…Rent!

#37 Tim on 02.14.11 at 1:36 am

re #30: get a life! Or at least have something informative to say.

As for the outlook for the stock market, Canadian exporters had their best month in almost 3 decades (Globe & Mail) and the biggest trade surplus with the Yanks since the recession began. The gains were broad-based, and not just due to surging oil prices. Housing will tank, but I think the stock market will do just fine over the next few years, with a minor correction being the worst case scenario

#38 Tim on 02.14.11 at 1:38 am

#5
If you want to live in a country where 60 million are on food stamps, and guns are common-place, and one that has the widest gap between the rich and poor of any developed nation and a highly dysfunctional political system then go back to Seattle. You may get a deal on a house, the market has tanked 25%

#39 TheBigLebowski on 02.14.11 at 1:40 am

#18 Sid-What does one with cash invest in

Gold/silver related assets, the mining stocks, the blue chip ones are at historic low valuations. Barrick is trading at a p/e of 11 and increasing dividends.

#40 Coho on 02.14.11 at 1:44 am

In fairness to the twenty somethings; they haven’t been walking on this orb long enough to have figured out or become cynical or jaded about the “reality” about what life is about. The Egyptians with class and resolve threw off a brutal dictator of 30 years. Here in Canada we (the people) laud these people for what they have done, but consider ourselves free. But, we’ve been shackled as well, although our chains are more subtle than people who live under the boots of dictators. They are called lines of credit, 500K mortgages, etc.

In 2nd and 3rd world countries, the citizens struggle to put food on the table and we struggle to live a lifestyle that we can no longer afford, if we ever truly did to begin with. It is harder though, to excuse the ignorance and denial of us 40, 50 and 60 somethings who refuse to stop grazing long enough to lift our head up and look around. If we did we’d realize that things are not going in the right direction and thus would not be pushing our kids (if that be the case) into buying something they (the kids) rightly feel they cannot afford.

Young adults are programmed to think that they can achieve anything, including affluence, and the world is their oyster which is being run fairly and equitably for the most part. Sure, they think, there are a few bad apples causing the problems that need to be weeded out. But the reality is the exact opposite. The good and principled are the few, and the sell-outs are the many.

Fairness and equity never seems to prevail. Rather, the people get poorer and the rich get richer as the gap between the haves and have-nots continues to widen. Even when we, the “dishrags” think we cannot be twisted any more dry, those who dictate policy to the front men we complain about and “throw tomatoes at” (Central Bankers, Presidents, Prime Ministers and their staff) find a way to get an even better grip on us to twist out a few more drops.

Some kinda timing this global economic crisis, eh? As the depth of bankster fraud and disenfranchisement of people the world over continues to be exposed, do we really think the boomers will be allowed to keep their (apparent) wealth as they enter retirement?

And with western backed despots like Mubarak reportedly said to be worth 40 and 80 billion dollars, (which works out to between 4 and 8 million dollars per day, every day, for 30 years) running countries, is it a small wonder why his people are poverty stricken? If 60 billion was Mubarak’s cut during his brutal reign, one can only imagine how much more of Egypt’s wealth was drained from the people and put into the pockets of others (multi-national corporations, corrupt elite, central bankers, etc).

There have been headlines stating the leaders around the world are cheering and supporting the Egyptian people, but that is a farce. It is hypocritical and they are just pretending to be behind the people because to do otherwise would make them suspect about their sincerity behind the rhetoric of “spreading democracy“. The people stood their ground and dislodged what was thought to be an immovable object. Now that he’s out, his supporters, the UK, USA, etc have turned on him. A Golden Boy to his handlers one minute, and disgraced the next. Much like Saddam Hussein. These are good examples of how the elite often abandon their tools to keep up appearances. Anyway, governments must be watching things in Egypt closely and are in truth worried as hell whether the people in their own countries have taken notes and whether they will soon decide if enough is enough to their rights being chipped away and to being bled dry. Let’s hope the age old technique of first breaking the wallet and then proceeding to break the peoples’ Will, hopes, and aspirations doesn’t always work….

#41 Carp on 02.14.11 at 1:56 am

I have wished for so long to be first but with 3 young kids alas I never have been ….

But I can contribute knowledge with this article:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/industry-news/energy-and-resources/surging-corn-set-to-fuel-widespread-price-hikes/article1905386/

Garth you are dead on ….

#42 Tom from Mississauga on 02.14.11 at 1:56 am

Hi Garth
I’ve been thinking the same thing on stocks. It isn’t time to repay the mortgage but it is time to stop borrowing more to pick up another ETF?
Tom
PS I’ve added 3 months to my income over the last 7 months using your advice. Thanks dude! Some of us are learning.

#43 Blobby on 02.14.11 at 1:56 am

>is this ad for real.

Yes – it is here:
http://vancouver.en.craigslist.ca/bnc/rej/2212992997.html

I’ve jsut emailed them asking how much they’re offering.. for the right price, i’m game… Hope someone in the media interviews me…

#44 Carlyle on 02.14.11 at 1:56 am

Carlyle from Milton here.

So I have a couple stories for you today.

First off, regarding the conversation I had with my realtor a couple days ago … I think he was clearly shocked as the savagery of sales in the last few weeks. He told me that he had never seen anything like it in terms of the insane price increases Mattamy starter towns have seen in the last 6 weeks. He also said that he felt that the buyers realtors were not doing their clients any favors helping them to buy overpriced real estate at what he felt is the top of the market.

Second story … talked to my wife today. We have friends that bought a townhouse in Toronto two years ago (Kingston and Lawrance area a real ghetto neighborhood) right around the same time my wife and I bought in Milton. At the time they got a deal at 254k. Fast forward to a couple months ago and they sold it for 340k … almost a 90k profit!

Here is the thing though … they turned around and bought a new huge detatched house in Oshawa at 309k (they don’t even have kids, it’s not like they needed more space … they just did it because they could … well that and Kingston/Lawrance is ghetto). They didn’t put any of the profits from the sale of their Toronto house into the mortgage either. Nope, they put 5 percent down over 35 years and spent most of their profits on upgrades – additional 30 – 40k in upgrades (granite countertops, flush sink, hardwood everything, etc, etc).

My wife was talking about how financially sound they are (he works at TTC, she’s held her insurance job for years) … and I said to her “you realize they are now in more debt than they were before … and compared to us they are 300k plus in debt compared to us since all our debt will be paid off when we close”.

She said to me “yeah but aside from their mortgage they have very little debt and good jobs”

I thought about it for awhile … really this is what Garth has been talking about for awhile … people don’t look at their mortgage as “real debt” anymore. It’s all about the carrying costs and who gives a shit what the final price tag is. I still can’t really believe that instead of paying down their mortgage they instead bought a huge

Although my wife and i will have very little in the way of assets when we close on the sale of our home I think we’ll be better off than our friends.

It’s not worth it to “live the dream” if that dream means carrying a mountain of debt for years on end. That’s the realization I feel that liberated me. If my wife and I do ever buy again it will be with a minimum of 25 percent down (preferably more) and only in a down market.

So my thanks to Garth for lighting the fire under me to do what needed to be done, and doing it while we could still save ourselves.

#45 BigAl (Original) on 02.14.11 at 2:00 am

#22 Utopia on 02.14.11 at 12:43 wrote:
“…So let me see…where would I prefer to be. Downtown Toronto and maybe in some god-for-saken burb of the GTA where prices by the square foot cannot compete equally with an acreage and a house in my country…… or out here in the midst of the finest grain growing lands on the continent where the locals will let you shoot your own steer at a discount if you will just share some of the better cuts with them after the kill.

Hmmmm. Tough decision. Now where’s that gun?”
=====================================

I’ll take the Toronto ‘burbs over any other part of Canada hands down.
Any jobs in small town Sask?

#46 Timing is Everything on 02.14.11 at 2:03 am

SEATTLE — Few believed the housing market here would ever collapse….

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/14/business/economy/14dip.html?ref=realestate

#47 Dan in Victoria on 02.14.11 at 2:06 am

@5
Been following the Vancouver/Seattle debate here for the last while.
Back in the day all the construction site radios were tuned to Seattle instead of Vancouver.
I always enjoyed the underground music scene out of Seattle.
Some real good music from those early bands….

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kskwZW9iQNM
Winner MTV first basement tapes way back.

But theres always the Champ from Vancouver though…….
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhaD7R_0aYc&feature=related

#48 Utopia on 02.14.11 at 2:07 am

#26 nonplused wrote….

“If anyone has ever read my responses, which I doubt (so I use it as a self help thing)…….”
——————————————————–

Just so you know, I always read your posts.

#49 Lookinin on 02.14.11 at 2:10 am

Been away from this site for several months. Sorry, but it doesn’t appear that I’ve missed much. Silly boys and girls trying to be “first”, people who’ve never taken a risk in their life predicting the future and Garth’s “workin’ man’s” words like “KY Jelly” and “Latex toys” just erode any serious contributions that others might feel to add.
That’s enough of the doom and gloom for me. No wonder we Canucks are considered so damn boring around the world.

#50 BigAl (Original) on 02.14.11 at 2:10 am

From:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/feb/13/will-hutton-innovation-must-be-encouraged

“…But on one big thing he is surely right: the importance of innovation as a driver of growth and the imperative to exploit it. Over the past couple of decades the key question – what new goods and services are entrepreneurs going to come up with using transformative technologies – went largely unanswered. Instead western policymakers were bullied by the financial oligarchs into believing that the market is magic. Thus banking could become a deregulated global market, privileged ahead of all other forms of economic activity. Innovation was left to look after itself. What were seen to matter were lower regulations, lower taxes and reduced worker entitlements – not using the state to build the ecosystem in which innovation, experimentation and investment flourish as had been done through the early part of the 20th century, even until the free market revolution.”

“For 30 years or more the consensus has been that governments necessarily and always fail – and only markets succeed. But reality is beginning to intrude. Even the coalition government, wedded to the old-time religion, is finding that if it wants a growth strategy it has to do what used to be prohibited – design markets and build institutions that innovate. Take energy: its market has been redesigned by government from top to bottom with a proposed minimum carbon price to encourage an enormous investment in nuclear and renewables. An innovation strategy is being devised. Invention and innovation, we are discovering, are much too important to be left to the tender mercies of markets.”

#51 Utopia on 02.14.11 at 2:19 am

OH! It’s 12:07 of February 14th.

Wishing you all a happy VD day. (wear a hat).

#52 Professor on 02.14.11 at 2:21 am

I think from now on, after I read Garth’s post, but before reading the comments, I’m gonna smoke a fatty and pop some corn. Awesome man.

#53 realityguy on 02.14.11 at 2:22 am

Garth

You remember the guy who wrote a book in the early years.

One line I remember, He was eating in a restaurant and his waiter was recommending him stock.

He knew at that time it was time to get out

#54 thecomingdepression on 02.14.11 at 2:25 am

2011 Predictions:
Real Estate will plummet due to the high cost of food.. Who in their right mind would fill their bankers gut with interest instead of preventing themselves from starving to death? It’s the suckers who fall for the media hype and the rejects who post here, claiming real estate will keep going up. A loaf of bread will be $7, a lb. of asparagus will be $10, 1 tomato will be $3 or $4. ALL MEXICAN Crops have been destroyed, frozen, dead…. gone. There will be some BIG suffering in CANADA this year folks…

#55 Line Up = monkey see, monkey do on 02.14.11 at 2:26 am

Influence, The Psychology Of Persuasion

http://karenmarrow.com/internet-and-affiliate-marketing/influence-the-psychology-of-persuasion

#56 pablo on 02.14.11 at 2:27 am

Feeling impervious. Omnipotent. Entitled. Greedy enough to gamble.
Hey, it’s infected the stock markets, too.
Impervious. Omnipotent. Greedy enough to gamble.
So this is about being a contrarian.
In the near term irrational exuberance could blind most people. Won’t be the first time. How long it lasts is unknown. How it ends isn’t.

Good job Garth, and funny pic as well.

If anyone thinks that the economy is rebounding I’ve got a couple of anecdotal tales for you.
Firstly; a friend whose been out of work now for almost three years, recently attended a job fair held by one of the big box outfits, showed up half an hour early and thought they wouldn’t even be set up, (his first job fair),he was astonished to see that there were already at least fifty people already waiting for interviews for these part time jobs. By the time he left, maybe forty-five minutes later, there were another twenty-five, to thirty people lined up for their turn.
Another acquaintance is considering using credit cards to fund the monthly p.i.t.u’s to hold on to their house while he visits social services to help with the groceries. Again a middle-aged male, unable to secure employment after a productive lifetime of gainful employment that ended with a downsizing. The economy isnt getting stronger, it’s all just a sham.

#57 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 02.14.11 at 2:31 am


“Impervious. Omnipotent. Greedy enough to gamble. Hey, it’s infected the stock markets, too. It’s party time. Everyone’s making money piling on, so let’s pile.”

For the real Omnipotent, see the last link, but duz this current heading refer to the ‘gee-whiz’ dude on the bike about to experience his great eye-opening moment of reality, or are you referring to the gazillions of morons / bimbos who are whirling helplessly in a vat of Jack Daniels?

“Don’t know about you, but this does not make me confident.” — Well, there isn’t anything that anyone can do to prevent tomorrow from becoming its own reality, so we might as well keep going about our daily functions and duties, and let the rest take care of itself.

BTW — the last link. If FEMA pulls this stunt off, watch to see if Harper and the CPC employ emergency powers to keep themselves where they are, just as Mubarak, the Ceaucescu’s of Rumania and others have done.
*
Two Perspectives on US (and Cdn.) housing market, I guess. Print it out and send it to realtors and wish them a Happy Afterlife!

Persia The largest population of Jews in the Middle East outside of Israel actually resides in Iran.

Fannie and Freddie How much will CMHC’s bailout be? DC should be able to pay it off, as there are no borders between us now.

#30 Utopia — “So the last shall be first, and the first last: For many be called, but few chosen”. Mathew 20:16, a.k.a. the God Stuff.

Links in Further to (engineered) food shortages and rising prices. Plus Food Quality.

Irish bailout falls short and Little to no manufacturing.

Tax Kleptocrats and Obama In Living Color.

New Madrid Fault Goes with the earlier links about the nuke reactors smoking and shaking in Michigan (except FEMA may be involved). Might trigger Yellowstone and the SAF. “This video has PROOF that TPTB are tooling with the New Madrid Fault-line!” 37:38 clip.

#58 Thetruth on 02.14.11 at 2:32 am

Highest per capita of any nation on Earth!

#59 LS on 02.14.11 at 2:33 am

Fannie Mae And Freddie Mac Are Toast

Yesterday morning the Treasury Department issued a press release on behalf of the Obama administration outlining their plan for winding down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. I won’t regurgitate the entire proposal here (you can just as easily click on that link) but I will point out that the key concept is to start by more appropriately shifting the risk back to the homeowners and the mortgage market and away from the taxpayers:

1. Phasing in more realistic risk based pricing for the insurance Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are providing
2. Reduce the conforming loan limits
3. Requiring at least 10% down payment on loans guaranteed by Fannie and Freddie

What else can I say other than “brilliant”! We can argue about how much of a role these entities played in the whole mortgage meltdown but let’s not forget that out of all the government bailout funds dispersed over the last couple of years the only funds that won’t be recovered will be those provided to these two clowns. Even AIG, GM, and Chrysler will end up essentially returning all the taxpayer money they took. On the other hand the number I’ve seen thrown around for the cost of Fannie and Freddie to the taxpayers is a minimum of $150 B – non-recoverable and probably growing. In addition, it’s not healthy that the government is now behind 90% of all new mortgages. That’s not sustainable.

Read more: http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/chicago-real-estate-getting-real/2011/02/fannie-mae-and-freddie-mac-are-toast.html#ixzz1DuYcP9F6

Freddie and Fannie are the US version of CMHC.

#60 Bailing in BC on 02.14.11 at 2:37 am

Wow, over 300 comments to Garth’s last post.
That is a record if I am not mistaken.

#61 AxeHead on 02.14.11 at 2:58 am

Want to see Omnipotent? Overpriced? Overdrugged? Overblown? Go to Fort McMurray. Where pimply faced high school drop outs make 100k a year (with OT) driving Oversized tonka trucks loaded with oil soaked sand so they can drink a 6 pack every night, drive 10k skidoos, 12k quads, twin engine boats, and 80k testosterone fueled trucks with 8 inch lift kits and a nice set of steel testicles riding off the bumber…while they live in their parents basements cause it’s too expensive to buy a house – somewhere around the 750 per sq ft mark.

#62 Edmontonian Guy on 02.14.11 at 3:08 am

I’m not sure if people have woken up here in Edmonton, or it’s just the wave of FORECLOSURES surging here in Alberta (where foreclosure % are the highest in Canada.
2 bedroom condos from $87,000! You won’t find that in Toronto-yet!

#63 xyz on 02.14.11 at 3:14 am

About the craigslist ad for fake eager buyers, this isn’t new. I saw an ad as well about a year ago, same thing. I recall sending it to the media, can’t remember which one. Of course the story never surfaced… silly me. In my opinion this kind of behavior constitutes fraud.

#64 Thetruth on 02.14.11 at 3:23 am

Another link:

281,000 + 182,000 + 96,000 = 559,000 per year

http://www.torontosun.com/news/canada/2011/02/13/17260546.html

Hahahaha….so those buying condos to rent out aren’t greaterfools after all!!

#65 BrianT on 02.14.11 at 3:28 am

#29Sluggo-the funny part is Mish was always very dismissive of anything resembling a “conspiracy theory”-every week he is getting pulled farther to the dark side. The internet is a very powerful information techology.

#66 BC is even better than ten best place on earth on 02.14.11 at 3:59 am

If exposed, I can see he headlines:
“so much demand for condo project that rich investors are paying locals to line-up on their behalf”, sub script:”Re/Max comments, more evidence the market has started the new year on an up. Despite tightening mortgage and interest conditions it is obvious Vancouver real-estate is still excellent value with strong consumer confidence underpinning strong expectations for capital appreciation.” body text:”Burnaby is an up an coming place where upwardly mobile first time buyers want to be seen and seasoned Investors know there are low hanging fruit for real estate diversification out of the Vancouver core market. Chinese airlines, Cathay pacific and the local helicopter operator have all applied for bi-directional low level flight paths; our aviation expert Marc Harris, with over 12 flying hours to his credit, statetit was to ensure both the port and starboard side passengers could get a view (left and right to you and I).

Furthermore, the developer is convinced the local real estate is at such a premium he is renting busking slots at 75% revenue split, cardboard boxes for homeless at $4 per person per night, injection spots (standing room only) for addicts at $15 a shot and bleeding spots for stab victims at a mere 20% of their estate, justified by the larger surface area needed to lie down on.

What can we say, the lower mainland has now hit 10 out of 10 for real estate market growt, buyer stupidity and industry ethics, way to go!

#67 realityguy on 02.14.11 at 4:01 am

Its all human greed,

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/vietnam-devaluation-offers-reminder-for-china-2011-02-13

China created their own sinkhole. Screwing around with their eco system to build more real estate.

At the end of the day, Mother nature always gets the last word.

#68 TaxHaven on 02.14.11 at 4:46 am

Just to be a devil’s advocate, there IS the possibility that real estate, even overpriced, is being seen as a play against inflation. After all, the stock markets have defied gravity for nearly two long years now…and you would no doubt say the same about gold.

BTW, it’s “TEEMING billions”, isn’t it?

#69 jwb on 02.14.11 at 5:11 am

A number of houses we have been tracking on Maui have dropped 50k PER MONTH for the last 4 months.

#70 blase on 02.14.11 at 5:17 am

Garth,

There are two sites, reddit.com and digg.com that allow readers to upvote and downvote comments. It would push the crap to the bottom and allow the cream to rise. Mainly though, it means the quality stuff is easily accessible. Hope you can put it on here, would save readers a lot of skimming.

#71 betamax on 02.14.11 at 5:18 am

#25 Karl Hungus: “TSX is rising because the economy is recovering.”

Thanks for the belly laugh.

#72 blase on 02.14.11 at 5:19 am

nonplused,

sounds like a no-brainer. There’s a reason your landlord wants to sell. Otherwise, why would he want to lose a good tennant who pays the mortgage every month? The writing is on the wall, and if you wait those three years, everything will have a 25% haircut, and you’ll want to move anyway. Keep your options open!

#73 betamax on 02.14.11 at 5:30 am

#28 Burnt Norton: “Seattle’s price descent on front page of NYT”

I remember Seattle realtors crowing that Seattle was immune because prices didn’t drop there immediately like in FL, NV or CA. Now they know different.

And yes, the same thing will happen in Vancouver. After thinking “it’s different here” for years, people will find out it’s the same all over.

#74 Pat on 02.14.11 at 5:40 am

#3 Chris B wrote:

“Poor sheeple … if only they read this blog.”

Then they’d be Garth’s sheeple?

#75 Pat on 02.14.11 at 6:00 am

#262 The American on 02.13.11 at 4:34 pm:
“…if the U.S. had such a lackadaisical policy to allow anyone to buy his/her way into our country…”

Sorry, but I have to call you on this one; the US has an even more ridiculous policy – offering citizenship by way of a lottery.

#76 London Calling on 02.14.11 at 6:56 am

“So this is about being a contrarian.”

For me the “So this is about being a contrarian” tag means investing in things people are selling and/or at a low historical price.

#77 London Calling on 02.14.11 at 7:07 am

This is interesting… I’ll leave it up to you if you think it’s an omen coming to our markets.

Today:

“Bangladesh stock market continues free fall… It has fallen over 30% in the last few weeks, including an additional 7.27% dive on Sunday, Feb 13.

“DHAKA (Reuters) – Hundreds of Bangladeshi small investors, angry at a new plunge in share prices, set fire to tires and pelted police with bricks on Sunday outside the stock exchange and demanded the resignation of the finance minister.

The country’s main Dhaka Stock Exchange General Index dived by more than 474.77 points or 7.27 percent to 6052.41 on Sunday, the steepest one-day fall since January 20.

“Who is to blame for the continuing fall of share prices? Why haven’t they been found and punished?” shouted Shafiqur Rahman, a small investor.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina last week asked the relevant authorities to take immediate steps to stabilize markets, with about 3.3 million people, mostly small-time investors new to stock trading, relying on it to supplement meager incomes.

Share prices nearly doubled in 2010, encouraging new investors into the market.”

http://www.generationaldynamics.com/ww2010/g110213.gif

#78 Paully on 02.14.11 at 7:38 am

Can we all agree that anyone and everyone that opens their post with “first” or worse, simply posts the word “first” are declaring to all just what an idiots they are, and move one with some actual intelligent discourse?

#79 Brian1 on 02.14.11 at 8:03 am

I have been watching the crises in Egypt and Tunisia and see it as all a smokescreen. Why now for democracy? It is because the powers that be know that hard economic times are ahead and the terrorists also know it. The young moslems will not find jobs and when they realise that they have been had will unleash a fury of retaliation. Mubarek could have put up a fight but seems content to retire (he is over eighty and seems to be the kindest of dictators. I fear the worst is yet to come.

#80 SquareNinja on 02.14.11 at 8:26 am

@DumFukCanuk: You certainly are what you say you are. There’s nothing to do in Vancouver, even though you can do everything here that you just mentioned for Seattle?

I’m pretty certain that you don’t live in Vancouver proper, judging by your narrow point of view… there’s some of the most amazing food from around the world here, and at reasonable prices. Cheap, even. Tonnes of cultural and physical activities, too. You can’t overlook a superb public transit system, either. No good for cars? That’s positively fabulous!

Universal healthcare and affordable post-secondary education? My gosh!

#81 pbrasseur on 02.14.11 at 8:49 am

The DOW is at 2008 levels and we are supposed to be impressed?

#82 Dumfukcanuk on 02.14.11 at 9:05 am

@ 37… Tim, your comments demonstrate why Americans view Canadians as “cute” and “ignorant” and “hypocritical.” First, a gun is now easier to come by in Vancouver than it is in Seattle. I have NO QUESTION IN MY MIND about that. That’s that moral superiority b.s. I’m talkin’ about. Our gap between rich and poor is quickly widening too, and who knows where that will end up as we’re just starting this downward roller coaster ride. Hey, no surprise Seattle prices have dropped. I don’t recall anyone on the blog saying the haven’t or wouldn’t. In fact, I think that was one of the points being made is that you can have a bigger city and a better economy, but it still wasn’t impervious to the real estate collapse. Vancouver should learn something, but I no longer fear it is too late… Instead, I KNOW it is too late. 25% drop maybe in Seattle, but prepare for a bigger drop in Vancouver. I’ve already been through one of these drops, so I know what to look for. Vancouver is mirroring exactly what happened when I lived in Seattle. Only, the signs are much more telling now here in Vancouver. It is definitely going to get nailed here.

#83 Moneta on 02.14.11 at 9:11 am

Here in Ottawa, while watching my daughter’s practice, the conversation switched to “asset management” in this group of Gen-X parents.

The consensus was that all have less money in their investment portfolios than what they have put in over the years. If you are staying put for the long term in your house, paying off mortgage debt is better than investing because it’s a sure thing while getting a good investment advisor is not a slam dunk. Many said that the investment portfolio they managed themselves has done better than the one being managed by an advisor.

A few opined that if they were intelligent they would buy a house for their kids now (8-10 years old) because real estate is the best thing long term.

Just giving you a heads up on public opinion in the upper middle class.

#84 Moneta on 02.14.11 at 9:17 am

If you are staying put for the long term in your house, paying off mortgage debt is better than investing because it’s a sure thing while getting a good investment advisor is not a slam dunk.
———
So IMO, if they start losing money on their bonds and real estate weakens, more money will be used for deleveraging than for buying up securities.

#85 David B on 02.14.11 at 9:19 am

This will never happen in Canada eh? (Fr NYT)

Housing Crash Is Hitting Cities Once Thought to Be Stable
By DAVID STREITFELD
Published: February 13, 2011

SEATTLE — Few believed the housing market here would ever collapse. Now they wonder if it will ever stop slumping

#86 S.B. on 02.14.11 at 9:24 am

#21 Elmer on 02.14.11 at 12:39 am

Of interest here are several 2 bedroom “plus” units in a new high end Toronto building (top King St. W area) some have languished on the market since the summertime.
Prices were listed above 700k if I recall, now listed sub 700k:

Condo fees increased 30%, already, soon after this building was completed…really these units are fancy debtors’ prisons. We’ll willingly walk in, and then the door slams shut.

http://www.realtor.ca/propertyDetails.aspx?propertyId=10299210&PidKey=-115463041

http://www.realtor.ca/propertyDetails.aspx?propertyId=10241884&PidKey=561305241

http://www.realtor.ca/propertyDetails.aspx?propertyId=10293941&PidKey=1642296066

http://www.realtor.ca/propertyDetails.aspx?propertyId=10243229&PidKey=-387245670

#87 Buyright on 02.14.11 at 9:26 am

RE:First…?
Garth, When are you going to introduce the ‘voting’ on quality comments, that disappeared so quickly?

I suspect many of us don’t have time to wade through 200+ comments for the 10 or so decent ones

**************************************
AGREED !
Please do something

.
.
.
.

#88 Ex-Cowtown on 02.14.11 at 9:45 am

#25 Karl Hungus on 02.14.11 at 12:52 am

TSX is rising because the economy is recovering. Crazy crazy notion, I know, but its called an economic cycle. Guess what? in about 10 years we will have another recession and another recovery.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
You crack me up. The economy is recovering? Do you actually believe that? The only thing holding this economy together is spit, binder twine and a $1.6 trillion gazzilion kajillion QE package that Obama is financing.

Didn’t you notice that the last jump in the stock market was sparked by Bernanke’s QE2 (or QE4 or QE4 … I lost count already) announcement?

Unrestrained borrowing is what got us into this mess and unrestrained borrowing is the only thing propping it all up. Recovery? YIKES!!!

#89 Dumfukcanuk on 02.14.11 at 9:47 am

@ 28… Burnt Norton

I was living in Seattle at the time their prices started to take a hit. Today, I went online and checked the latest downtown listings in the 98101 zip code (that’s the heart of the downtown). Prices have definitely come down there in Seattle. I’m seeing buildings that were once listed over $2,000/square foot are now sitting at roughly $1,200/square foot. I know the signs to watch for now and Vancouver epitomizes what I saw in Seattle, but multiply it by 3. Seriously, by THREE. I’ve never seen more delusional people who lie to themselves only to justify their misery of having paid nearly double what they should have for shelter. I think it will come down close to %50 here in Vancouver.

Here’s a link to look at listing…

http://www.trulia.com/WA/Seattle/98101/p_6/#for_sale/98101_zip/resale,new_homes_lt/

#90 Moneta on 02.14.11 at 10:09 am

Dumfukcanuk on 02.13.11 at 11:59 pm
——–
My husband loves Seattle. He was probably a mountain goat in a previous life. We have considered moving there but with out son with special needs, I’m not sure it makes sense.

I also refused to buy there at the peak… maybe it will all make sense in the near future!

#91 mefirst on 02.14.11 at 10:10 am

first!!!…hundred!

#92 Moneta on 02.14.11 at 10:15 am

Dumfukcanuk on 02.13.11 at 11:59 pm
——–
I have 2 days on my own while the other one works :) For years I was the one dragging him along and he was the tourist.

If you had 2 days to get the best out of that city, what would you do?

#93 Utopia on 02.14.11 at 10:25 am

#45 BigAl (original) asked…

“I’ll take the Toronto ‘burbs over any other part of Canada hands down. Any jobs in small town Sask”?
———————————————————

Are you kidding Al? Saskatchewan has the lowest unemployment rate in the country and some of the highest average incomes. The province is amongst the few that is posting a surplus instead of digging its way out of debt and deficit and with the commodity boom still going full throttle things will only get better and better here.

This province was made to suit the times we now live in. It’s resource base revolves around natural gas, oil, uranium, potash and diamonds. Those are the main things in the ground.

On top though is an ocean of canola, wheat, peas, lentils and other mixed crops from one end to the other. What is there not to like about this place?

Plus, the fishing is terrific (and we have Weyburne).

#94 Moneta on 02.14.11 at 10:27 am

1) Which scenario would you choose?

a) Retire at age 65 with paid-off house and $1 million retirement fund (no pension).

b) Retire at age 60 renting accommodation and $2 million retirement fund (no pension).

————

c) Leaf in the wind scenario.

I’m 42. No retirement goal. Who knows who I’ll want to be in 20 years? My discipline: Save at least 18% of household income per year for retirement. Manage investment portfolio as best as I can. Follow opportunities as they pop up. And will retire as health and money allows at the time.

#95 Young Old Fart on 02.14.11 at 10:31 am

#54 thecomingdepression on 02.14.11 at 2:25 am

2011 Predictions:
A loaf of bread will be $7, a lb. of asparagus will be $10, 1 tomato will be $3 or $4. ALL MEXICAN Crops have been destroyed, frozen, dead…. gone. There will be some BIG suffering in CANADA this year folks…

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

Really? The local fruit and veggie stand in the sleepy Mexican beach town where I stay for winter seems nicely stocked and when I can buy a big papaya for 50 cents (cdn)?? No, we are doing just fine down here. Oh, and keep believing the hype in the media, my wife and I love our walks on the beach without all the tourists! ;o)

“What happens when stocks inevitably wobble and those guaranteed fixed-income returns start looking tasty?”

Buying now Garth or should we wait a bit?

#96 Kodakjello on 02.14.11 at 10:40 am

So, the market is bubbling higher and some are thinking it might be over bought compared to the fundamentals. Is now a good time to load up on some Ultra Short ETFs to positions yourself for a market decline? I’m looking at DOG and DXD….anyone else contemplating investments like these?

#97 WAYNE on 02.14.11 at 10:49 am

As John Wayne put it: Life is difficult … and even more difficult when you’re stupid. Now go ahead … buy something you can’t afford.

#98 Dumfukcanuk on 02.14.11 at 10:49 am

@ 80… Square Ninja

Not that I need to justify it, but I live in downtown, just off Robson. Can get any more “Vancouver proper” than that. The “amazing” food you’re referring to is definitely good. But, it isn’t any better and it is often not as good as what I can find in Seattle. The food in Vancouver is “amazing” by Canadian standards. What tons of cultural activities are you referring to? Our lousy VAG? Seattle Art Museum is well over 2 1/2 times the size of our VAG. Vancouver has NO sculpture park.

Granted, we do have universal health coverage. After living in both countries, however, the care one receives in the U.S. is second to none. Bar none, the best. I don’t have to wait forever to have a doctor look at me. I had the freedom to do it whenever I wanted. As for our free post-secondary education, I have to admit it sucks. And, even if it was good, why don’t more people take advantage of it? Vancouver has like %30 of its people with degrees. Seattle is over %50 of its people. So, they’re paying for it, and a heft sum at that. What’s our excuse for everyone not to have taken advantage of what we provide? Oh yeah, I forgot already. Because it sucks.

Tonnes of cultural and physical activities, too. You can’t overlook a superb public transit system, either. No good for cars? That’s positively fabulous!

Universal healthcare and affordable post-secondary education? My gosh!

#99 Moneta on 02.14.11 at 10:50 am

When stocks bubble higher on a sea of froth and young men pay hundreds of thousands to live in boxes, it’s time to leave town.
———
In 2005, TSX was at 35% in financials, materials and energy. Today it’s close to 80%. Something tells me this can’t last forever and it’s time to switch to everything that is not in these 3 sectors.

That made me look at the S&P500 more closely. If all GIC sectors went back to 2009 lows and the CAD dropped to 75 to 80 cents, what would happen? Well, there are 3 sectors in which you would not lose 1 penny.

#100 Moneta on 02.14.11 at 10:58 am

Ultra Short ETFs
——-
These only work if you perpetually trade them. Over the longer term, volatility eats up your gains despite a good call.

#101 Ida Know on 02.14.11 at 11:06 am

If there’s all this demand is being pulled forward to beat the March and April deadlines, it just doesn’t look like there’s much demand left at all. It’s probably just lack of inventory more than anything else keeping prices buoyant.

Monthly Volume History of Mortgage Applications from Ontario
http://www.canequity.com/ontario/mortgages.htm

I’m not entirely clear on how to read this chart. The Y axis shows “Percentage of Mortgage Applications”, and these are based on pre-approvals taken via the internet.

Regardless, assuming that it represents some manner of volume, demand is clearly petering out.

#102 Keith in Calgary on 02.14.11 at 11:08 am

Regarding the CRAIGSLIST want ad soliciting people to commit fraud for the financial benefit of a RE developer…………

I have said it before and will say it again…..the “REIC” is overwhelmingly populated by criminals, con men, frauds, cheats and lairs.

Thanks to the internet however, their sales tactics and inner workings are rapidly becoming exposed for all to see, and the public sentiment towards them and their product is also changing for the negative.

It’s funny that no one has even tried to prove me wrong yet……..

#103 kilby on 02.14.11 at 11:15 am

Walked through the olympic village yesterday and saw lots of couples walking around with flyers in hand, did not see anybody entering any suites, an employee said that despite the 30% reductions that people thought that they were still too expensive……I wonder if anybody was being paid to be there? The home ownership/renting debate is a really personal thing if you are not carrying a big mortgage. We just sold our home of 20 years and are now renting a condo in a new “ghost building” in North Vancouver for $1,600 per month, great location, flashy appliances but poor quality finishing. The owners live in China and I don’t think they have even been here. We have a condo in Victoria that we bought 9 years ago for $107k 2 bedroom Oak Bay border. Don’t care about the price fluctuations as we like having it to visit and enjoy doing the renovations/upgrades. Are going to buy a house in Qualicum Beach in a year or so depending what the market does, we will pay cash and have fun working in the garden etc.. Anyway we LIKE being homeowners BUT would not buy in this market now and would not carry a mortgage

#104 grantmi on 02.14.11 at 11:27 am

Yet… prices KEEP going up in Lotus Land!!

amazing….

Average price of B.C. home jumps 11 per cent in January compared to a year ago.

The average price of a home in British Columbia rose 11.5 per cent, to $548,183, in January compared to the same month last year, according to the B.C. Real Estate Association.

The BCREA said in a news release this morning that Multiple Listing Service sales climbed 7 per cent in January from December 2010, on a seasonally adjusted basis.

Read more: http://bit.ly/eq8BNd

#105 grantmi on 02.14.11 at 11:30 am

It look like it’s a BOSA project that is trying to be sold with line extras. Let’s hope some of Garth’s media followers (I know there are many), follow up on this and contact BOSA for a comment!!

http://www.buzzbuzzhome.com/Sovereign-by-Bosa-Properties

#106 bridgepigeon on 02.14.11 at 11:30 am

79 Brian1
What do you watch, CNN?

#107 Dumfukcanuk on 02.14.11 at 11:31 am

@92… Moneta

If you’re in Seattle for only two days, that’s really tough. It will be incredibly difficult to get a real sense of the city. Probably takes at least a week. But, you can still have fun while your’e there. Try going to Purple or Restaurant Zoe for dinner evening, eat at Belle’s Buns for breakfast or at Portage Bay Cafe or at Lola for breakfast. The Underground Tour in Pioneer Square is a lot of fun, although there isn’t much to see, it is very informative and interesting. Take a 45 minute Seattle float plane tour from South Lake Union. THIS IS A MUST SEE AND DO. If for nothing more than understanding the area and seeing some breathtaking scenery, you have to do this. You’ll see how incredibly compact it is for nearly 4,000,000 people living in it, and you learn a lot of really cool facts along the way. What date are you going there? I’m thinking of heading down there myself in the next couple weeks, and I’m going to be looking at the schedule for SAM and Benaroya Hall and the Paramount. I could let you know what events are taking place. If you can, try staying at the new Four Seasons hotel, the W Hotel, the Hyatt at Olive 8 or at the Fairmont Olympic. Downtown Seattle has multiple duplicate hotel brands so specify which address when making a reservation.

#108 AG Sage on 02.14.11 at 11:31 am

>#54 thecomingdepression on 02.14.11 at 2:25 am
2011 Predictions:
> There will be some BIG suffering in CANADA this year folks…

You have a wonderful microclimate around the Lake Ontario escarpment. Too bad you are filling it with houses.

#109 Dumfukcanuk on 02.14.11 at 11:39 am

Moneta,

One last thing to consider… If you have a child with special needs, the care and treatment he would receive in Seattle will be unbelievable. Seriously, you will not believe the programs in place and the care he would receive. It is an incredibly compassionate and educated place with an emphasis on caring for others. Plus, they love Canadians.

#110 Vortex on 02.14.11 at 11:40 am

Wondering if you happen to know a trustworthy financial adviser in Montreal area. It’s damn hard to find one. As hard as find a good car mechanic (still couldn’t find one)…

#111 The Apocalyptic One formerly Old is Gold on 02.14.11 at 11:40 am

Watch out Canada – the party’s over!

Austerity Coming to America

Geithner warns of MUCH higher interest rates – Bloomberg

#112 David on 02.14.11 at 11:41 am

Everyone can relax a little about the price of $750 a foot…truth is that once you shrink down to small sizes, the price per sq. foot is no longer meaningful as a value measure….it’s just funny to calculate, and makes good grist for our mill.

#113 TS on 02.14.11 at 11:45 am

Seattle apparently does not rock anymore.
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/14/business/economy/14dip.html?src=busln

And Gluskin Sheff had this to say last week. Apparently our loose credit habits in Canada could look like this.

One thing that I left out in my prior musings that was pointed out by a reliable contact of ours, a former colleague who is extremely knowledgeable regarding
the credit market, is that one-third of Americans have FICO scores below 660 and most lenders will not even give an FHA (Federal Housing Administration) loan to anyone with a FICO score below 660. In fact, the average FICO score for a new FHA/VA loan is around 700, up from 630 just a year ago.

At the same time, the demographics in the U.S. are not constructive for builders of single-family homes. Move-up buyers of the last cycle want to trade down, the empty nesters will increasingly opt for smaller bungalows. Moreover, the youth cohort is not just grappling with record-high unemployment, but graduates are saddled with massive debts and without a job cannot get a credit score or see their current awful FICO scores eviscerated. Coupled with high student loan debt ratios, many 20-somethings simply do not qualify for a home, and that assumes they have at least a 10% down payment.

#114 Tkid on 02.14.11 at 11:45 am

Dear Mr. Turner,

Thank you again for your advice to sell and rent. I discovered water damage in the ceiling of the bathroom this morning.

The landlord is freaking, building management is investigating, but I am more worried about how the cat will respond to strangers entering the unit (he pees on couches when he gets upset) than I am about the water leak.

May your Harley forever purr,

Tkid

#115 C on 02.14.11 at 11:46 am

Listings in Burlington, Ontario continue to fall on MLS.

$300K-$400K, house, Burlington, Ont.:

January 4th, 2011 193
January 7th, 2011 207
January 14th, 2011 216
January 18th, 2011 222
January 21st, 2011 229
January 24th, 2011 241
January 28th, 2011 247
February 3rd, 2011 242
February 4th, 2011 237
February 8th, 2011 233
February 9th, 2011 242
February 11th, 2011 236
February 14th, 2011 230

#116 Moneta on 02.14.11 at 11:48 am

Dumfukcanuk on 02.14.11 at 11:31 am
—-
I’ll be there for 1 week but on my own for 2 days.

#117 Kodakjello on 02.14.11 at 11:49 am

@ Moneta

Good to know. Are put LEAPs available for indexes? How does one short a market for the medium to long term without having their profits eaten up by fees?

#118 The Apocalyptic One formerly Old is Gold on 02.14.11 at 11:50 am

Ultimately higher interest rates will kaibash all illusions of all the budding Don Trumps out there. Little do the masses realize that the Don has lost his shirt (and his hairpieces) at least 3 times through bankruptcy, however, being in the big leagues he can ‘Write off’, rather the banks write off his losses. The general public ain’t going to be so lucky. Once the stampede for the exits begins, there will be bodies littered all the way from BC to PQ, the Maritimes may be the only region that may escape unscathed.

Though not given to prognostications, I will predict that within 18 months, there will be a 20% drop in prices across the board from BC to Montreal, in some areas like Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto the bloodbath could be made into a vampire movie, it will be that bad…these ain’t normal times, and normal forecasting just does not work in these circumstances. Think 50% in Vancouver within 2 years…

#119 Moneta on 02.14.11 at 11:51 am

Dumfukcanuk on 02.14.11 at 11:31 am
—-
I’ll be there for 1 week but on my own for 2 days.

————–
Feb. 21 to 27

#120 The Apocalyptic One formerly Old is Gold on 02.14.11 at 11:59 am

#79 Brian1 on 02.14.11 at 8:03 am

I have been watching the crises in Egypt and Tunisia and see it as all a smokescreen. Why now for democracy? It is because the powers that be know that hard economic times are ahead and the terrorists also know it. The young moslems will not find jobs and when they realise that they have been had will unleash a fury of retaliation. Mubarek could have put up a fight but seems content to retire (he is over eighty and seems to be the kindest of dictators. I fear the worst is yet to come.
___________________________________________
RIGHT ON! Couldn’t agree more – the Egyptian people were probably better with the devil they knew than the devil that is coming…

#121 Dumfukcanuk on 02.14.11 at 12:01 pm

@ 113: TS

That’s the point. Seattle still rocks, make no mistake. The point is Seattle is a larger city with more GDP and more industry bay far than Vancouver. So, if Seattle is affected, there’s no way on earth that Vancouver won’t be affected even more.

As for the demographics in the U.S. for builders not working in the builders’ favor right now, have you considered that is a GOOD thing? Excess inventory needs to be purchased before a glut of additional homes are built. People trading down is a GOOD thing.

Also, you don’t understand how a FICO score works. FICO scores are actually typically good for graduates out of college. It is when your debt to credit is off that the FICO score really takes a tumble. For instance, a person buys a home in Vancouver and mortgages it for %95 of the list price. He/she can barely afford to make payments on both of their incomes, but they want that new BMW. They buy it and rack up more debt, believing their house makes them wealthy. But, the payments are still too difficult to make. So, they start putting groceries on credit cards, making the debt on the lines of credit sky rocket. If you don’t think we aren’t headed in the same direction, you’re mistaken. I would venture to say in the last week, I’ve seen at LEAST four people buy food with a credit card – not a debit card, but a credit card. That is scary and a definite rise from what would have been seen here only a year ago.

#122 canali on 02.14.11 at 12:04 pm

what a crazy study in RE contrasts: Vancouver BC vs Seattle WA:
vancouver’s prices jumped 10%…http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Average+price+home+jumps+cent+January+compared+year/4278542/story.html
vs Seattle’s dismal RE scene in which values declined
http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Metro+Seattle+homes+worth+less+than+mortgages+owed/4278746/story.html

#123 Daisy Mae on 02.14.11 at 12:11 pm

“Thanks dude! Some of us are learning.” Yes, we need to have this reality drummed into our heads on a continual basis! LOL

#124 David B on 02.14.11 at 12:15 pm

Garth ….. how much longer can the USA continue on this path. They are only taking in $2.62 Trillion and should another Katrina hit , then what?

WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama released a $3.73 trillion budget for fiscal-year 2012 Monday where he sought to balance two competing and conflicting agendas: dramatic cuts to federal spending while also investing in programs to improve U.S. competitiveness.

#125 SK on 02.14.11 at 12:16 pm

Here is what 100k will get you in Regina, lol, I Love Regina:

http://www.realtor.ca/propertyDetails.aspx?propertyId=10158326&PidKey=387788353

#126 Scalgary on 02.14.11 at 12:18 pm

Since this Craig list thing is exposed, now the builder will try to find other way to have a line-up that guarantee his sales. It is very easy to buy the media as well…

I guess there is no end to it…

#127 AG Sage on 02.14.11 at 12:38 pm

>#118 Dumfukcanuk on 02.14.11 at 12:01 pm

What an assumption. I always buy food with a credit card. It pays the balance in full off the checking account every month plus I get a 1-4% cash back bonus (depending on the card) for it being a grocery store transaction.

Debit cards charge an idiotic fee per transaction and if anyone steals the information from the transaction (or gets the routing and account numbers off your paper check) they can simply empty your bank account and then you get to have a long argument with the bank trying to prove it wasn’t you. If someone steals the cc data the credit card company just deals with it, no muss no fuss.

Data thieves simply sit outside stores wirelessly sniffing every transaction from the terminals inside. It’s that easy to get the data.

#128 Josh on 02.14.11 at 12:40 pm

#62

Where are you learning about these foreclosures in Edmonton, iv looked all over for good solid stats but it seems hard to find.

#129 South of 49 on 02.14.11 at 12:41 pm

If I was going to spend $700,000 or more to buy a condo, I would expect to not have to personally stand in line for up to 60 hours. I would ask the condo sales guy to rent me a person to hold my place in line – hence the Craig’s List ad.

But what an archaic concept – to expect your customers to stand in line so that this condo marketing scheme can get some exposure in the media.

#130 $froma$ia-The mother of all Bubbles on 02.14.11 at 12:41 pm

On the verge of QE4

Theres nowhere to stick your money for a return but the markets.

Zero at the bank.
Zero in a housing market that is debt leveraged and nationaly insured.
Stock market offers dividends and supported by commodity prices.

No where to go Garth.

Getting sick of it!

#131 Otto Doppelganger on 02.14.11 at 12:46 pm

#122 canali “what a crazy study in RE contrasts: Vancouver BC vs Seattle”

it’s not a contrast; same bubble, different timing.

#132 Utopia on 02.14.11 at 1:02 pm

112 David wrote….

“Everyone can relax a little about the price of $750 a foot…truth is that once you shrink down to small sizes, the price per sq. foot is no longer meaningful as a value measure….it’s just funny…grist for our mill”.
———————————————————-

David, no offence, but are you crazy?

750 dollars per square foot equates to some of the home prices the Japanese were paying just before the housing market there collapsed and crashed.

We are not Zimbabwe yet are we? While I would tend to agree that there are some inflation issues, these do not apply to real estate in light of what has already transpired in most of Europe and all of the United States.

Those ridiculous prices are on the moon and only make sense in some fictional LaLa land where money does not matter anymore.

I will go further. Anyone who has paid that amount of money for a shoebox size apartment is an absolute idiot and deserves to lose his shirt, his wife and his bottle of KY jelly too. It is just plain stupidity when reflected against the realities of today.

And just for a little perspective, first class hotel space in this country, where rooms rent for an excess of 250 dollars per night do not command those prices by the square foot. No sane investor would buy at that rate.

Indeed, they would sell. As fast as possible too and then run with the money before anyone found out. By your logic, it is OK to pay double or triple for dog houses in other peoples back yards.

Hey, lets all buy 3×9 sleeping quarters at the local international airport and live there for a million gross. What do we care if the payments are affordable and the digs warm. Makes sense to you right?

So smaller is more valuable. What’s in your wallet?

Not brains apparently if you bought so richly.

#133 Spiltbongwater on 02.14.11 at 1:02 pm

#92 Moneta on 02.14.11 at 10:15 am

A trip to Seattle is never complete without paying respects to the 2 naturally preserved mummies at the Olde Curiosity shop. Even if I am intown just for the day, I go into that store to see them, plus the 3 headed pig that has 12 feet and has been stuffed in a jar of formaldehyde for 50+ years.

#134 Carpe Diem on 02.14.11 at 1:09 pm

G-Man, I had to laugh when I read your post today – not that I disagree with it, but we held a dinner party Saturday night and a hot discussion on where real estate and to that fact the stock market was heading – I was out gunned and low on energy to convince 2 brother-in-laws that things could change in a hurry and to take some simple precautions – I am a home owner, I realize what may transpire – but we bought for shelter reasons, and since we purchased in 2002 – our mortgage payments + property taxes are much inline with today’s rental fees for a comparable home.

My 2 brother-in-laws are in much a different boat – they both work construction (which could spell trouble) and they both purchased in the past 2 years – simply they bought at the height of this insane market – and with just a 5% flush and they have lost all the equity they have boastfully claim has been built.

As someone who works in the Insolvency field – I have seen first hand those who walk into the office filing a bankruptcy or proposal – a surprising number lately are walking in with $100K in unsecured debt, and seem unaffected by it all – like as if they just ordered a cheeseburger and forgot to add onions to it – one of the most asked questions – will they be able to save their house, doing a quick calculation of their expenditures and it is so obvious that the house has eaten most of their after tax income – that the house caused the financial hardship – the house forced them to use credit to make ends meet – but they will not hear a word of caution if the house can be saved. Living within your means is a foreign concept to the new generation – maybe a serious downturn (without government intervention) will breed a new class of citizens who will view debt as evil, will not buy into the 18 months no payment, no money down BS –

The stories of how those in the depression who were marked for life and lived within their means, well, unfortunately we may need a dose of that to bring finances in alignment – the longer this bubble builds – the more people will suffer from it, a sad fact that to learn from our errors – many will be cast adrift in a life of utter financial hardship – a moment of silence to the inevitable financial storm and those who will be swallowed up by it.

#135 Northern Dirt on 02.14.11 at 1:16 pm

#32 Burnt Norton on 02.14.11 at 1:19 am

Poll for the blog dogs. 2 questions.

1) Which scenario would you choose?

a) Retire at age 65 with paid-off house and $1 million retirement fund (no pension).

b) Retire at age 60 renting accommodation and $2 million retirement fund (no pension).

2) Do you have / plan to have children?

Just curious.
……………………………………………………………………………

b).. except I have a pension..

2) No kids, don’t ever plan to have any.

#136 Janie on 02.14.11 at 1:17 pm

http://vancouver.en.craigslist.ca/bnc/rej/2212992997.html

The ad is still up. I’d do it but for all the rain we are getting here in Vancouver…

#137 Abitibidoug on 02.14.11 at 1:21 pm

Quote from posting #40 by Coho: Young adults are programmed to think that they can achieve anything, including affluence, and the world is their oyster which is being run fairly and equitably for the most part.

That’s consistent with my observations. Don’t believe all that talk about younger people having it harder than the baby boom generation. From what I’ve seen they grew up in far more affluence than we had in the 1960’s and 70’s and have higher expectations. Last year, while working out of town and renting a room, I needed some stuff and fished the following items, all in working order, out of the garbage: a bicycle, window air conditioner, and boombox stereo. I also bought a working TV for 5 bucks at a yard sale. A younger guy I worked with (27) couldn’t figure out why I would do that, and I’ve heard similar comments from other young people. Meanwhile people my age (50) understand the logic of what I do. I also find younger people who can’t figure out why I am more interested in what someone like Mark Carney has to say than being up to date about celebrity gossip or sports. I guess ingorance really is bliss. It’s no wonder we’re in a mess with so much debt.

Hey, it’s YOUR money and it’s up to YOU to manage it.

#138 This is Wonderland on 02.14.11 at 1:34 pm

After 25 years out of school I enrolled in a 3 year full time program at Sheridan Collage last fall. To be honest returning to school after such a long absence is very challenging. My class mates and I (after 4 month of intensive studying) have bonded, most of these students are young some have carried on into Sheridan Collage from different universities, a few have come straight from high school and the rest are new Canadians or foreign students and the smallest group are mature students like me. I have been pulling descent marks for the most part simply because of the hrs of studying every night and weekends. Recently I had arranged a discussion with the head of my dept.
I was becoming frustrated with Math, no wonder since the last time I took Calculus Boy George had just realest Karma Chameleon. This is what my dept head told me after I pushed my way into his office. First he looked at my grade point average 2.8 and told me not bad for a returning student who has no math and very little computer skills. We started discussing my options with math, first he suggested that I get a tutor I told him I had already done this and the college gave me a 22 year old Canadian who hadn’t looked at calculate since high school herself and told me she didn’t really want to tutor anyway but her parents were making her, so I got my own tutor but was still finding it very challenging. Next it was suggested I discuss the situation with my math teacher which I had done but was basically told he didn’t have the time for me since he had students in the class that were at University level math. I asked him if there were any other programs in the collage or outside the collage that I could take to help me with my math. This is what I was told…we are getting an influx of foreign students at all colleges and are finding it very difficult to keep up with the amount of students entering the system, so its ether sink or swim and those who figure out how to negotiate collage will succeed and good luck don’t let the door hit you in the ass when you leave.
My reason for writing this post is not to wine or complain (even though after 25 years of working and being a good little citizen I’m basically being told that I don’t count). What I’m trying to get across is that for the most part these students (majority from the Middle East) are very well educated, very dedicated to school and are hungry. These kids from Kuwait, Dubai and Jordan have already mastered calculus in grade 8 and by the time they leave high school are already prepared for math at a second year university level. The other day we were sitting around waiting for class to start and I was asking all the younglings what they did over the weekend, from the foreign students I was told they had finished up some project did some studying and went out with some friends. From the young Canadian students I got a shoulder shrug and a (got loaded why)? Don’t get me wrong there are just as many Canadian students who are working hard in the program as these foreign students it’s just that the foreign students are happy to be here they are hungry they see their opportunity is here and guess what we need them.
Lastly I know this is a housing blog, and I believe that we are in for a large correction but I also believe that our future is not as doom and gloom as everyone thinks it is. I also think that some of the bloggers here should get out and hang around with some young kids and see where our future lies. Gotta go Math starts in an hour…….Blah!!

Oh, if anyone knows of a good math tutor in the Oakville area can you please post it. Thanks.

http://www.sheridaninstitute.ca/About%20Sheridan/Mississauga%20Campus.aspx

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmcA9LIIXWw

#139 smartalox on 02.14.11 at 1:40 pm

That NYT story on the collapse in house prices in Seattle was picked up by both the Vancouver Sun, and The Globe and Mail.

Interesting to read the exact same rhetoric used there as we’ve been hearing in Vancouver: it’s different here, economists forecast a negligible drop of 11%, rent is so cheap, it doesn’t make sense to buy now,

It was different there too, once.

#140 Live Within Your Means on 02.14.11 at 1:45 pm

OT – Interesting article on political polling.

The Perils of Polls and Other Lessons in Amateur Punditry

http://www.punditsguide.ca/2011/02/the-perils-of-polls-and-other-lessons-in-amateur-punditry/

#141 Nomis Ralpmet on 02.14.11 at 1:50 pm

To Carlyle from Milton here.

My hats off to you for not running with the herd. The 21st century has proven to be a volatile time and I don’t see this changing soon. By focusing on reducing debt as fast as you can you are hedging against unexpected personal events. I lost my job in 2008 but having paid off our mortgage several years earlier, I was actually able to enjoy the downtime.

#142 Throwstone on 02.14.11 at 1:52 pm

#31 Maxamillion-

I second the motion, to CLOSE THE DOORS on immigration.

I particularly dislike the fact the government is giving new immigrants the tools and support to make life easier in Canada.

My student loans in the mid 90’s became a debt prison, reinforced with the changes made to bankruptcy laws. Maintaining you can not declare bankruptcy on student loans for 10 years, later amended to 7 years.

The repayment terms were also set at prime + 1% for the federal loan and prime+2% for the provincial. Making my repayment terms an average of 6.5% on $30,000. Further, with a loan in arrears the Government withholds tax returns and GST/HST cheques.

It is also important to note that tuition fee’s rose by 174% in the mid 90’s and grants were removed entirely.

How can that not be deemed systematically oppressive policy.

Perhaps it is a revenue source for the government; to indebt the Canadian students and import those already skilled and educated to fill the employment gap at no cost. Actually that would be a profit; one hell of an unpatriotic profit.

Furthermore, being a caucasian male, I have to navigate through the employment equity legislation.

Apparently the government views women, aboriginal Canadians, and visible minorities as those with ‘status’.

If employment equity actually existed and the best person is to be selected for the job…THEY WOULD NOT ASK YOUR STATUS WHEN YOU APPLY!

I do not dislike women, aboriginals, or minority groups I’m not xenophobic, homophobic, racist or sexist or any other ‘ic’, ‘ist’ or ‘ism’…EXCEPT MAYBE A REALIST OR EQUALIST.

I am tired of being forced to repent or repay for some historical injustice that happened as a result of our forefathers’ ignorance and lack of sensitivity, and equality.

Even more frustrating is the outright denial to speak on such apparently politically incorrect issue’s; for fear of being branded a prejudiced, sexist, racist or any other label the politically correct class might choose to apply.

As a Canadian Canadian I would like to see equal access to equal rights and a maybe we will have a better sense of equality.

#143 CalgaryRocks on 02.14.11 at 2:03 pm

Any comments on this article from DR? As far as I know, they’ve been negative on US housing for years.

http://dailyreckoning.com/buy-a-house-then-buy-another/

#144 DW on 02.14.11 at 2:05 pm

From Patrick (US RE)…

Link —> http://lansner.ocregister.com/2011/02/12/blogger-sees-5-more-years-of-housing-decline/99238/?source=patrick.net#ContentWrap
Blogger sees 5 more years of housing decline

Link —> http://patrick.net/housing/market.html
* Patrick’s site which I’ve followed for quite some time

Excerpt: “… I think housing will continue to decline for the next five years, probably slowly, but there could be a sudden lurch downward if interest rates spike, or if there is an earthquake. In affluent neighborhoods, housing is still grossly overpriced compared to renting the same thing. In poor neighborhoods it’s now cheaper to rent, but if unemployment remains high, prices could keep declining there too. Housing depends on jobs more than on anything else. …”

So he puts the bottom in around 2016 which is right in the middle of my estimate. Anyways way more downside to go in the USofA (and other nations). Following this keep in mind Japan – RE there peaked way back in 1991. It corrected back to the trend line and has stayed flat since then. If you buy at the ‘bottom’ get a place to live in and not for speculative purposes.

Likewise keep in mind that the Great Depression in the US can be said to have lasted about 18-years. Welcome to 1930.

DW

#145 good luck on 02.14.11 at 2:34 pm

My suggestion: live mortgage free and ensure you have enough to cover your expenses.

Because a housing bust ain’t pretty:
http://www.planbeconomics.com/2011/02/09/3-charts-the-scary-unemployment-picture/

#146 Jan Etter on 02.14.11 at 2:34 pm

“#112 David on 02.14.11 at 11:41 am Everyone can relax a little about the price of $750 a foot…truth is that once you shrink down to small sizes, the price per sq. foot is no longer meaningful as a value measure….it’s just funny to calculate, and makes good grist for our mill.”

Agreed, but that fact speaks to what the market has been willing to tolerate in terms of shrinking suite sizes. I was looking at newbuild downtown TO condos back in the late 90’s and it was unusual to see anything under 700sf. Now smaller suites seem to be commonly in the 400-500 sf range.

For SFD, $/sf can also be misleading as it only considers indoor living space, e.g. in a 905 greenfield development area I compared similar size houses (3000-5000sf) only two concessions apart, one subdivision registered in late 80’s, the other registered in the early 2000’s. Lot sizes in the late 80’s subdivision I estimate averages 65×150, the 2000’s lots seem to average 45×80.

#147 BigAl (Original) on 02.14.11 at 2:43 pm

#98 Dumfukcanuk on 02.14.11 at 10:49 am

I think you must be an American in disguise.

You adopt that insulting name, then denigrate everything about Canada, and on top of it you talk about superior culture and healthcare…from “America” no doubt.

Typical American.

Busted!

#148 604 on 02.14.11 at 2:44 pm

@ #121 re: buying food with a credit card

– this is an indicator of …nothing. Since I acquired my first credit card in university over 20 years ago, I’ve always paid for everything I could – groceries or otherwise – with my credit card and pay cash only when there’s no other option (e.g. certain restaurants). Why? Paying by credit card allows me to accumulate points/rebates that let me get free stuff.

I always pay my credit card bill each month completely and have NEVER missed a payment and have NEVER been charged credit card interest in over 20 years.

My similarly educated friends and family have been doing this for years. (Isn’t everyone doing this?) For informed and capable consumers, using a credit card has nothing to do with not having enough funds and everything to do with *being smart* with your money. Why would you NOT use the credit card’s grace period (at least 2+ weeks) when you can and be rewarded with free stuff, instead of forking over your hard-earned money on the spot via debit or cash?

#149 Edmontonian Guy on 02.14.11 at 2:47 pm

It’s interesting to see some of the prices in Edmonton are starting to go lower than even Regina! We’ve overbuilt so much in the area I guess it’s just a matter of time before the real estate market completely erodes off a cliff!
#126 We have nicer House Trailers than you for under $50 in Edmonton! LOL
http://www.mls.ca/PropertyDetails.aspx?&PropertyId=9914691&PidKey=-1988250888

#150 Box$$$$$ on 02.14.11 at 2:49 pm

Here is Whitby as I see it in 2011; a large supply of four bedroom vinyl boxes with big box renovations listing around $469K. After the open house they drop to $449K and eventually they are pulled from MLS around $429K to enter the home reno cycle again before being relisted. There is a real stalemate between Sellers who want yesterday’s prices +10% vs. Buyers who have waited patiently for a correction. These prices are unrealistic considering you can buy a postage size lot within the city limits for next to nothing and hire a big box builder for not much more than $100/sq foot. Most people in Whitby are too busy paying taxes or commuting but still a custom build home should not be a cheaper alternative to buying someone else’s recylced dream.

#151 Live Within Your Means on 02.14.11 at 2:51 pm

#195 Moneta on 02.12.11 at 10:21 pm
Live Within Your Means on 02.12.11 at 5:04 pm

————–
“I think the most important word in your paragraph was thin. When I moved to Ottawa, I was amazed by the sheer number of overweight people here. Quebeckers are thin by North American standards that’s for sure, so that was a shock.”
……………..

Don’t forget I lived there in the late 60’s/early 70’s. People weren’t as heavy back then. Did see an old roommate from Ottawa a few years ago when we visited – wow – did she put on weight. Several of our neighbours have put on lots of weight over the last few years. No wonder, they eat out or order in lots of high calorie types of foods several times a week. I’m still quite slim – small appetite.

“In Montreal, the transit system is good and bad. When I lived in the West Island, I took the train. I would drop off the kids at daycare or school and had to make sure I was in the train parking lot by 7:39am. One minute later and I could not park my car and would have to get back on the 20 and drive to the Pointe-Claire Station. The problem is that the traffic jams up at St-Jean, the exit for the train station, so I would miss 2 trains to get to that parking. 3 trains in total, 1 hour late.

IMO, when you compare one city to another, you’ve got to compare the irritants, those little things that make your day-to-day life miserable and stress you out. And those can be different from one person to the next.”

Agree – I was only referring to the city of Mtl not the burbs. Totally understand where you are coming from as I have a friends/family who live off the I of Mtl. I live in Dartmouth, NS – public transit is terrible. When we moved here from HFX 19+ yrs ago, I had sold my car & carpooled w/my cousin’s hubby to the ferry. One afternoon he wasn’t available. Took me 1hr 45 mins. To get home – transfers, walk up hill with a heavy briefcase, suit, high heels, etc. in the heat. Said never again. After he retired, DH would pick me up at a bus terminal in Dartmouth. But that became a problem. I bought a small car and parked downtown until I retired 8+ yrs ago. Lucked out on parking price wise. Left at 6:45 am (flex time) and it took me 20+ mins back then.

If you haven’t already left for Seattle, I wish you a great time. You sound like a very smart lady.

………….

Re my DH’s joke about Harleys. Eons ago, he and a partner owned a bike store overseas – sold Harleys, among other types, and I believe he also owned a Harley. Several of his current biker buddies ride Harleys. He just prefers old Beemers.

#152 Draat on 02.14.11 at 3:06 pm

Alright! I made #127!

#153 TheBigLebowski on 02.14.11 at 3:14 pm

In case you hadn’t noticed, the Dow is almost exactly where it was in the Spring of 2008

But inflation adjusted the dow is 40% below its high back in 2000. That means if you invested in the dow 10 years ago and held on til now, your purchasing power has dropped by 40%. Its a scam that has people dooped because they only look at nominal value terms, not real return values.

#154 Azza4 on 02.14.11 at 3:24 pm

#32 Burnt Norton

For your survay:
1) – option b)
2) – yes, I’m planning on 4 kids.

Comment to answer 1. Actually, I would prefer to retire at 45, with 2 mil in portfolio, and rent or buy cheap house in middle-sized coastal city in France. When you build such a portfolio 5% or so going toward shelter in sunny climate with wine and cheese is not out of proportion.

#155 Devore on 02.14.11 at 3:46 pm

#112 David

Everyone can relax a little about the price of $750 a foot…truth is that once you shrink down to small sizes, the price per sq. foot is no longer meaningful as a value measure….it’s just funny to calculate, and makes good grist for our mill.

That’s delusional. There is no set of conditions that allows you to suspend the laws of economics. The moment you justify valuations in this way, you KNOW you are living in a bubble. Whether it’s pets.com, or a shoebox in TO.

#156 Kristin on 02.14.11 at 3:49 pm

I am looking for someone from Vancouver who would like to talk about the posting on craigslist. [email protected]

#157 BPOE on 02.14.11 at 3:54 pm

You see the American just doesn’t get it. Vancouver News today Home prices UP 11% since last January. Meanwhile in VancouverWannaBe Seattle it’s goin down. That’s the difference folks between World Class Vancouver and Rainy Seattle
_______________________________________
The owners of one-third of the houses with mortgages in the Seattle metro area now owe more than their homes are worth, Zillow.com estimates.

That’s up from less than 23 per cent a year ago, the online real-estate database and marketplace said in an analysis released Wednesday.

At the end of 2010, 34.3 per cent of all single-family homeowners with mortgages in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties were “underwater” on their homes, Seattle-based Zillow said. That was higher than the national figure, 27 per cent.

This region’s rate of increase over the past year — and especially over the last quarter — also topped the national increase.

“Negative equity” is rising faster now in the Seattle area largely “because of where we are in the housing cycle,” said Stan Humphries, Zillow’s chief economist.

Home values in this market kept rising for a year after values began falling in most of the rest of the country, Humphries said. Now Seattle is seeing steeper drops — leaving more homeowners upside down — as price declines in many other metropolitan areas are moderating.

#158 Frank from Calgary on 02.14.11 at 4:02 pm

Hats off to you Mr. Turner

You are trying to do a noble deed in you opinion bogs.

What was that old saying,”Fools ruch in where Angels fear to tread.”

Or was that “greater fools”?

#159 Burnt Norton on 02.14.11 at 4:03 pm

#153 Azza4 on 02.14.11 at 3:24 pm

Nice. Bonne chance.

I’m curious b/c when I ask people at work, if they have kids they pretty much always choose option (a) even though option (b) seems like the obvious choice. BTW we’re talking about a decent paid-off house in Vancouver, so average $1-1.5 mil.

#160 Dumfukcanuk on 02.14.11 at 4:06 pm

@ 145… Big Al

I assure you I am a Canadian. I choose not to be so blinded, however, by all the hype we’ve been blowing up our asses for nearly a decade. If that makes me appear to be an “American” as you put it, then what would that say about you? Do you buy into everything you read and hear from our media? I hope not, because that would make a person blind with ignorance. KNOW THAT I LOVE CANADA, but Canada can learn some things from our neighbours in the South, including their economic woes and downturn. We too have been taking a very slippery slope in the past five years with the “we’re different” attitude. This is absurd. We’re more in common than we are different. Why do we always love to hate on them? Some of my best friendships have been made and sustained there. I don’t agree with everything their government has done, but I don’t agree with everything our government has done either. They’re ten times our size, so they’re going to have more going on, naturally. All things considered, they’re a very smart, innovative, and hard-working culture. Because I prefer Seattle to Vancouver should not make me any less Canadian than you. I take offense to that.

I am only tired of the attitude we have that we are superior in all ways… we simply are not. I do not feel the American healthcare SYSTEM is superior. However, I do feel the care one receives in the U.S. is far superior after having used it myself in an emergency and continued care situation (not going to get into the details), covered or not. You cannot be turned away for lack of coverage. Was it expensive? Not really as I had coverage provided through my employer. Had I not had coverage, it would have cost me an arm and a leg. This is why the SYSTEM is not superior. However, most people with a job are covered. The statistics we hear of those who are not covered include the massive illegal immigrant population in the U.S., or about %50 of the total uncovered people. See, we like to hype it up. Why should illegal immigrants be covered in a system they are not paying into? And with all the money I could save not paying these crazy high taxes in BC, I could have provided complete coverage out of pocket for my family and still come out ahead every month had I not had coverage. I still feel it is government’s role to provide it to every man, woman, and child. But, I also see a flip side and wonder where the hell all my money is really going with the taxes I am paying here. It is insanity for sub-par service.

As for culture, I feel it is about the same on either side of the border. I’m just tired of the delusional mindset we’ve chosen to take more recently. I do find the U.S. to have more diversity in general, and they aren’t ignorant like my fiends here in BC would like to say.

Maybe living there for three years has opened my eyes to a LOT of preconceived notions I previously had. I’m sure that comes through when I write. But I have no apologies for it whatsoever. You say “typical American,” and I say I think for myself.

#161 CrowdedElevatorFartz on 02.14.11 at 4:21 pm

@#138 This is Wonderland.

Good to see you’ve learned to write a grad.
Your “written English” is typical of a University student . BAD !
Spelling, grammar, new paragraphs. Brutal.

#162 The American on 02.14.11 at 4:22 pm

#157: BPOE, believe me, I get it. You’ve missed the entire point. First, as I said, Seattle weather is definitely better than Vancouver as I proved to you with statistical data showing Seattle has more sunshine, less rain, and higher temperatures in every month of the year. So, you can stop there now, or would you like me to repost the weather data again? Vancouver weather S U C K S more than a hooker at a Harley convention.

The point I made is that Vancouver won’t be impervious to the housing bust. Vancouver has a much, MUCH smaller economy than Seattle with about the same population. Hence, there’s no justification for sustainable prices. Also, I pointed out to you that Seattle’s prices have come down and already taken a 25% cut. So, no new news there either. What are you saying that we haven’t already gone over? I’m not really sure LOL So, with a viable and very healthy economy, Seattle still lost 25%+ of its value in real estate. As I’ve already said too, this means Vancouver will no doubt come down 40%+. Watch and wait. It isn’t coming because it is already here. I know it, and you know it.

Vancouver is about 5 years behind the U.S. right now. So, Seattle’s prices have been coming down. Vancouver’s prices will be coming down too, only more so. That’s a guarantee. Oh, and as I pointed out in the other string on Garth’s earlier post, you’re clearly a realtor trying to pump it up. You may even know the jack ass who posted on craigslist for buyers to line up. Yeah, I wouldn’t think that would be necessary in such a “healthy” real estate market. Shouldn’t they just sell themselves? Good luck with that. We’ll talk in a couple years and see how good it is going for you then :-)

#163 The American on 02.14.11 at 4:26 pm

#157: BPOE, one last thought… Seattle and Vancouver are similar in size. However, the metro of Seattle is 61% bigger than the metro of Vancouver. Who’s a wannabe here? LOL That’s RICH! :-) Vancouver and its development council is always producing publications comparing it to Seattle, Portland, and San Francisco. Hmmmmmmm. Wonder why????? That’s some funny stuff.

#164 Bill Grable on 02.14.11 at 4:34 pm

Buying food with Credit Cards? I have seen that in Vancouver for the last few years – *caveat* come people collect “airmiles” – but I think that putting essentials on a credit card doesn’t bode well for cash flow.

Here in Hawaii – there are a ton of people using food stamps. I am shocked at the look of the people buying milk for Junior with these stamps. They drive nice cars, well dressed – but they can’t look at you, and it’s very upsetting. Really feel for these young families.

Debt is the boogie man at the door for so many people, and yet the high end restaurants here are semi full, and the car rental guy seems busy.
So – like Mr. Turner says we can’t know when this party ends, but it will.

Checking the numbers in Obabma’s new budget – I think we have a fork in the road, just up ahead, and I am wondering if we should rent a Hummer and stoke up on Squirrel meat – at Kama’aina prices, of course.

Aloha.

#165 Mister Obvious on 02.14.11 at 4:34 pm

Like #103 (Kilby) I also took a walk to the Olympic Village on Sunday. The highlight of my walk was a small duck sanctuary just to the west of the village. About a year ago this was more of a dirty, slow moving steam of algae, sludge and what appeared to be a thin film of oil. Today it is much cleaner providing a peaceful habitat for a few hundred mallards.

I like to think the ducks did this all by themselves. There is no one else who seems to care about such trifles next to the great Millennium Water development, or whatever they’re calling that monstrosity these days.

It’s still essentially deserted. There was an open sales office with about 25 or thirty people clustered around a model of the village. A few others walked the barren streets with papers in their hands perhaps looking for display units, although I didn’t see anything obviously open. It’s all still quite depressing, cold and austere.
Later I took a walk over to 6th Avenue to check out the $1.125 million dollar dump recently featured here at greaterfool.ca. Remember this?

http://tinyurl.com/4kulxgt

It’s in the heart of the nearby industrial district. Yep, still for sale but its now also sporting a ‘For Lease’ sign. Whichever comes first, I suppose.

One other comment I’d like to make. Any zipperhead can be the ‘first’ to post. It takes determination, planning and considerable derring-do to hold the prestigious position of ‘the last posted comment’. That’s my challenge to all you ‘first’ nimrods. If you want some real respect, figure out how to show up at the very bottom. I’ll be watching.

#166 David on 02.14.11 at 4:49 pm

#155 Devore. Delusional? That extrapolating apparently linear relationships like price vs. square footage outside the usual empirical range results in a breakdown of the relationship?

I think my post can stand as is.

#167 Moneta on 02.14.11 at 4:51 pm

Kodakjello on 02.14.11 at 11:49 am
@ Moneta

Good to know. Are put LEAPs available for indexes? How does one short a market for the medium to long term without having their profits eaten up by fees?
.———-
What’s your definition of LT?

#168 Moneta on 02.14.11 at 4:53 pm

Spiltbongwater on 02.14.11 at 1:02 pm
#92 Moneta on 02.14.11 at 10:15 am

A trip to Seattle is never complete without paying respects to the 2 naturally preserved mummies at the Olde Curiosity shop. Even if I am intown just for the day, I go into that store to see them, plus the 3 headed pig that has 12 feet and has been stuffed in a jar of formaldehyde for 50+ years.
————-
LOL. I finally figured out why I keep on coming back to this blog!

#169 Paolo on 02.14.11 at 4:56 pm

#44 Carlyle

Well said. It’s become a ‘credit card’ mentality about paying only the minimum down.

“I thought about it for awhile … really this is what Garth has been talking about for awhile … people don’t look at their mortgage as “real debt” anymore. It’s all about the carrying costs and who gives a shit what the final price tag is. I still can’t really believe that instead of paying down their mortgage they instead bought a huge home…”

Lesson to be learned in near future is a hard lesson. Debt is debt and real debt is real. There is a stigma associated to ‘renting’ but people are renting huge debts from themselves. It’s ended badly all over the world, Ireland and USA to name a couple of places so it will be just a matter of time here in Canada.

It’s just a matter of time.

#170 Devore on 02.14.11 at 5:01 pm

#121 Dumfukcanuk

So, they start putting groceries on credit cards, making the debt on the lines of credit sky rocket. If you don’t think we aren’t headed in the same direction, you’re mistaken. I would venture to say in the last week, I’ve seen at LEAST four people buy food with a credit card – not a debit card, but a credit card.

http://www.scotiabank.com/cda/content/0,1608,CID13391_LIDen,00.html

What’s in your wallet? I put everything I can on my card. If someone can give me a cash discount on the spot, well, that’s pretty rare.

The rest of your post (and other posts today) is equally misinformed and ignorant.

#171 BPOE on 02.14.11 at 5:12 pm

Yes folks…you heard it here first. It doesn’t rain in Vancouver any more, the finest world class city in the universe. Heck, Seattle’s half way around the world from Vancouver, so how could it possibly have any impact on this fine city, finacially or climatically.

Better get in before it shoots up another 20% by late next month.

#172 Azza4 on 02.14.11 at 5:32 pm

#142 Throwstone on 02.14.11 at 1:52 pm
I second the motion, to CLOSE THE DOORS on immigration.

This doesn’t matter anymore with globalization and communications advances. Your potential job can be as easily moved to Chindia. Also, think about it as loss of your freedom, not as gain of something. Not even 100 years ago you could move from country to country and settle wherever you want. You need visas and work permits and heath checks and record verifications, etc., etc. now.
Problem is that a lot of cows think that they are free only because they are not in cowshed, but in free run ranch. Think of the borders like those gates you cannot pass without farmer selling you off to another farmer. I, for one, always call my corporate card that I carry a cow badge. This way I have hope to be truly free one day and working towards this goal.
It should be common goal to have more freedoms, not less, as far as I concerned. Otherwise, enjoy those searches at the airport.

#173 London Calling on 02.14.11 at 5:35 pm

/RANT On

“TSX hits 2011 high as resources rally”

This is insane. I’m out of the market. Wake me up when “normal” doesn’t mean what it does today.

If anyone is waiting for a clear signal to get out of the market, we just had it.

/Rant Off

#174 Otto Doppelganger on 02.14.11 at 5:40 pm

Garth, it’s interesting that three paragraphs were added at the beginning of this morning’s Seattle Times article about Seattle housing values plummeting.

The original story did not include the first three paragraphs which mention how Bellingham, which is closer to Vancouver than Seattle, has only dropped 10% vs. Seattle’s 31%.

To me, the added paragraphs seem to have been bluntly inserted to reassure Vancouver readers that there’s very little threat of ‘damage’ to the markets north of the border.

There’s also a sub-headline that’s been added “Homes near Canadian border avoid much of damage”

Here’s the original from Seattle Time’s writer Eric Pryne: http://bit.ly/e3KLOE

and here’s how it’s been edited in the Vancouver Sun:
http://bit.ly/dT7WbV

That’s really all you need to know.

#175 jess on 02.14.11 at 5:53 pm

Monday, February 14, 2011
When the number of Americans on food stamps goes up, the profits of JPMorgan Chase also rise.

The powerhouse national bank contracts with 26 state governments and the District of Columbia to produce debit cards for food stamp recipients, a service that nets JPMorgan a clear profit.

Among the states using JPMorgan is Florida, which paid out $50 million over the last three years to have its food stamps distributed. Until recently, though, some of the taxpayer money paid to the bank went to employ workers in India to operate call centers. These foreign operators earn an average of $2.50 to $3.50 an hour, which is about 70% less than Americans in the same position make.

When word got out that JPMorgan was using stimulus funds to operate overseas call centers, Florida officials complained. The bank has promised to move its Florida calls back to the states.

But it continues to route calls from other states to India. Any of the 488,000 food stamp families in Tennessee who have questions have to deal with Indian operators. The same goes for the 130,000 households in West Virginia.

The number of Americans using food stamps has jumped from about 26 million in 2007 to 43.6 million today—one of seven throughout the country.
-Noel Brinkerhoff

http://www.allgov.com/Where_is_the_Money_Going/ViewNews/JPMorgan_Profits_When_Food_Stamp_Use_Increases_110214

#176 Victoria on 02.14.11 at 5:57 pm

I wonder if Victoria might just stay flat instead of going down. What do you think?

#177 VICTORIA TEA PARTY on 02.14.11 at 5:57 pm

MIDEAST “DEMOCRACY” AND VICTORIA REAL ESTATE FANTASIES: DELUSIONAL.

I’m all TV’ed out right now. Why?

Because I’ve spent the last three weeks viewing numberless cranks, conflict-of-interest whiners and assorted government and media hacks pronouncing the low-down on Egypt’s so-called democratic revolution.

Only ONE talking head has made sense: Robert Baer. Mr. Baer is a retired CIA spook, a real meal deal Mideast operative as his book, “The Devil We Know”, makes plainly clear. When he speaks, I listen; carefully.

The other day he quickly cut through those talking heads’ verbosity and nonsense to make two salient points, that the removal of Mr. Mubarak (the Muslim Brotherhood’s web-site today says Mubarak’s apparently in a coma!) amounted to a MILITARY COUP in Egypt. No democracy.

The next point he made is that Hamas, an Iran-backed group of bandits, er, I mean “freedom fighters’ in Gaza, may start trying to push out the in-charge PLO from both there and the West Bank. This will have a series of very bad outcomes, mainly for the West, should this come to pass. Very bad indeed including higher oil prices.

THE BLACK SWANS COMETH

This gives even more credence to the following from today’s Garth:

“Almost as if we were not coming off a generational financial crisis, with revolution fomenting in the Arab world, the US at low tide, governments and families heroically indebted, Europe screwed…Whatever. It’s party time. Everyone’s making money piling on, so let’s pile…In case you hadn’t noticed, the Dow is almost exactly where it was in the Spring of 2008 – months before it collapsed in the worst rout since the 1930s. Bond markets are selling off as people clamour out of low-yield investors to join the ‘it’s different this time’ panty-snapping nosh on Wall and Bay…Impervious. Omnipotent. Greedy enough to gamble.”

NOW, THIS FROM THE CITY OF REAL ESTATE PERFECTION

Speaking about partying, let’s visit Victoria’s bloated, dream-land real estate fantasy zone where a house is on sale in the Fairfield neighbourhood. A great big monster house.

Fairfield (home to innumerable illegal suites to help mortgage out mortgage victims) is an attractive petit-bourgeois enclave of up-and-comers, retired BC civil servants, aging cranks, latte guzzlers and bitchy big-dog owners most of whom seem to be members of the NDP (This makes them perfect in every way, apparently, if you’re ever talking to them; that is if they LET you!).

Anyway, on one quiet street, of nice trees and SFDs, is a huge, brand-new, 3300 square foot SFD unfinished and on the market for nearly $1.3 million! Five bedrooms, five bathrooms, two fireplaces, two-car garage, and so on. Its realtor is the locally famous “If you want it gone, call Suzy Hahn!” nice lady.

This granite facaded wood frame house, started out as a 1911-built wreck of a place that, last year, was lifted and stuffed underneath with the usual bells and whistles transforming into a…big house with all kinds of good stuff inside! Most such projects contain four or more tiny condo apartments, but this mother is just plain friggin’ huge.

Low interest rates keep such housing excesses going. Higher interest rates will be happening soon. The world’s economy is sick, bloated, unsustainable. Is there a black swan in that house’s future?

Today, JH Kunstler’s read on what’s shakin’ out there, as far as he’s concerned:

“I don’t blame poor Mr. Obama for trying to keep the lid on all this (Egypt, etc.) – which is arguably a conceit in itself – since the country that he is most in charge of (US) whirls around a very impressive drain of hopeless debt and vanishing prospects.

But my guess is that the next big event in the center ring of current affairs will be a First World money crisis. It is true that the stock market only goes up.

And then, one fine day, a large, angry, long-necked bird unfurls a set of elegant black wings and goes honking off into a red sun, and suddenly you are in a new realm where the stock market only goes down… and certain sovereign bond rates soar with that angry bird… and things Too-Big-To-Fail fall on their asses and fail… and everything changes.”

TINY WORLDS AND SLOTHFUL ATTITUDES

In the tiny world of Victoria’s real estate domain, the unnumbered stuffed shirts and giant egos continue swanning about in oblivious delight, “reasoning” that here “housing prices never go down”.

Between these pompous property schemers and the poor wretches demonstrating for freedom in Cairo, all have made many assumptions that, longing for satisfaction, instead will be hoisted upon the petards of history. Only the date has yet to be established.

This movie has been shown before. Seen by millions.

#178 Otto Doppelganger on 02.14.11 at 5:59 pm

Oops, make that a 26% price decline, not the 31% drop as originally reported.

#179 TEMPLE on 02.14.11 at 6:16 pm

BigLebowski, your figures are a little bit off, I think. On January 14th, 2000 the Dow hit a high of 11722. Today, the Dow is at 12268. That doesn’t include dividends. While not stellar, that is not a 40% drop in purchasing power, even after inflation adjustments. Total inflation over that time was 31.88%, which would have been offset entirely by dividends. Again, not a great return, but no loss of purchasing power. In fact, such a result is somewhat impressive, considering the financial strain of the last few years.

However, you have chosen the worst case scenario- i.e., someone plowing in their entire wad into the market at its peak, and then not investing a penny in the meantime. Why choose that timeframe and scenario? What specific point are you trying to make about stocks?

TEMPLE

#180 morry on 02.14.11 at 6:24 pm

Is there a Canadian equivalent to Zillow.com (an online real estate database and marketplace) ?

Thanks

#181 canali on 02.14.11 at 6:26 pm

I live near this area (and can’t wait to get out) as per your last quote of a condo showing at willingdon/kingsway…YUCK…1 blk away from Metrotown (that screams suburbia) and predominantly in an Asian (mid income/working class) area….crowded, uninspiring area big time (worse as you go east along Kingsway to the once called ‘middlegate’ mall area of new condos just recently had a name change to ”Highgate” (yeah, sure…and McDonald’s is the Keg). NO THANKS.

#182 The American on 02.14.11 at 6:26 pm

At #175: Jess, wow. That is so very true. I would absolutely love to discuss this as I have very inside information with respect to this practice at JP Morgan Chase. In fact, I would venture to say it was one of the top three primary contributing factors why I quit working for them. I am actually not permitted to discuss the details of this business for disclosure reasons. I can say, though, I was VERY close to this, and you are correct that this is extremely, I MEAN EXTREMELY, profitable for them. How was it put one state treasurer at one time? Oh yes, “You bring business for us and we’ll keep your names out of the papers. You don’t want that, do you?”

#183 Azza4 on 02.14.11 at 6:28 pm

#121 Dumfukcanuk on 02.14.11 at 12:01 pm
//I’ve seen at LEAST four people buy food with a credit card – not a debit card, but a credit card.//

You need to pay attention what kind of cc they use. I use Smart Cash from MBNA. It’s in sexy white and cream. It pays 3% cash back on gas and groceries and 1% on everything else. I see $50 checks in mailbox often and pay 0% on cc interest as I do not ever carry balance. They call us “freeloaders” in cc companies. :-)

#184 Kuwaiti on 02.14.11 at 6:31 pm

You all will love this… ever wonder how the people around you in this country live the good life, without the good income, here is the answer :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hn5EP9StlVA

Happy Valentine’s day!

#185 kc on 02.14.11 at 6:35 pm

87 Buyright on 02.14.11 at 9:26 am

RE:First…?
Garth, When are you going to introduce the ‘voting’ on quality comments, that disappeared so quickly?

I suspect many of us don’t have time to wade through 200+ comments for the 10 or so decent ones

**************************************
AGREED !
Please do something

Give it up people. This is the site of free speech and Garth wouldn’t regulate that kind of nonsense.

kinda reminds me of this story…

“First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist so I did not speak out.
Then they came for the Socialists and the Trade Unionists, but I was neither, so I did not speak out.
Then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew so I did not speak out.
And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.”

#186 No crystal ball... on 02.14.11 at 6:44 pm

We put everything on credit cards too. Pretty much all groceries, Starbucks, fuel, restaurants. And I am talking even very small purchases. We even pay some of the utility bills, plus car and home insurance, cell phone bills etc. And we pay it ALL off every month.

We would be crazy not to do it with the points that we get. Also the bank issues a statement at the end of each year of exactly where we spent our money – which is a really good way of knowing where your money is going.

I wouldn’t assume that this practice indicates financial trouble in everyone that you see doing it. Not at all. (Unless their purchases are being declined). It makes good sense when you can rack up enough points each year to take a trip knowing you can save the cost of your airfare and possibly even your hotel.

PS – Post #138 (This is Wonderland) – We live in Oakville and my son won the math award for his high school last year. I will ask if he is interested in tutoring. No promises – you know what 18 year-olds are like!

#187 dangeresque2 on 02.14.11 at 6:49 pm

Happy Valentine’s Day to Garth and all the blog doggies, may you be rich in love!

#188 zimmerp on 02.14.11 at 6:49 pm

I just want to confirm that trees really do grow to the sky.

#189 Devore on 02.14.11 at 6:50 pm

#166 David

For one it’s delusional that you believe this relationship to be linear. How exactly does a place smaller than the already tiny condos next door to it command a psft premium? I don’t think the market of people willing to shell out $750/sqft to live in a closet is very large.

Delusional.

Bubble.

#190 Bank Buster on 02.14.11 at 6:56 pm

“The American,” does the term Global Treasury Management ring a bell? If so, get back at me. It has to be you, and we should talk. You know how to check me first.

-BB

#191 Coho on 02.14.11 at 7:07 pm

Only ONE talking head has made sense: Robert Baer. Mr. Baer is a retired CIA spook, a real meal deal Mideast operative as his book, “The Devil We Know”, makes plainly clear. When he speaks, I listen; carefully.

The other day he quickly cut through those talking heads’ verbosity and nonsense to make two salient points, that the removal of Mr. Mubarak (the Muslim Brotherhood’s web-site today says Mubarak’s apparently in a coma!) amounted to a MILITARY COUP in Egypt. No democracy.

Does anyone really believe there is such a thing as a “retired” CIA operative, particularly one who frequents the airwaves as often as Baer does? His role has merely shifted from covert operative to overt propagandist. He’s waded into the topic in an effort to dash the hopes and aspirations of those who desire freedom by downplaying the significance of what the people achieved in Egypt.

The notion of “better the devil you know” serves the purposes of the oppressors. Such ideas keep those under the boot of tyranny and in other traps, such as those in abusive relationships, in fear, doubt, and confusion. This is a good example of ruling class propaganda which aims to stifle movement towards a better life by the disenfranchised.

Yes, revolutions have been undermined before because those running world affairs manoeuvre quickly to replace what was with more of the same to serve their own selfish purposes. The end result is people never truly gaining their freedom, as it goes against the interests of those that view so called sovereign nations and their people as their own personal property.

#192 big_cheese on 02.14.11 at 7:09 pm

Vancouver MLS Listing number

Dec 2010
Burnaby – 944
East Vancouver – 2013
=================
Jan 2011

Burnaby 1339
East Van – 2122

============
Feb 14 2011

Burnaby 1586
E Vancouver 2654

As you can see the listings are steadly rising, but from what I can there are alot of sold sign on lower priced houses.
It will be interesting to see what happens after the march cutoff

#193 jess on 02.14.11 at 7:14 pm

How facts backfire
by joe keohane
july 11th 2010
motivated reasoning.”

I know I’m right” syndrome, and considers it a “potentially formidable problem” in a democratic system. “It implies not only that most people will resist correcting their factual beliefs,” he wrote, “but also that the very people who most need to correct them will be least likely to do so.”

http://www.truth-out.org/bill-moyers-facts-still-matter67571
How facts backfire – The Boston GlobeHow facts backfire. Researchers discover a surprising threat to democracy: our brains. By Joe Keohane. July 11, 2010 …

#194 Ex-Cowtown on 02.14.11 at 7:30 pm

Just for sh*ts and giggles, I wanted to see how the U.S economy compared to the Canadian economy prior to the meltdown. In 2006, housing comprised 18.75% of the US GDP. When it melted down, it took the U.S. economy with it.

In comparison, in Canada right now, housing comprises 20% of our GDP. The question is: “Do you feel lucky, punk?”

Yeah, it’s different here alright, we are more prone to testicular trauma than the U.S. was.

#195 trinotuta on 02.14.11 at 7:38 pm

I dunno if someone posted this link already, but here it is. I find it outrageous.

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/saskatchewan/story/2011/02/08/sk-down-payments-1101.html#socialcomments-submit

Unbelievable. I guess home ownership is a RIGHT in this country. I wonder whats gonna happen to these families when rates go up, when theres a price correction…

#196 David on 02.14.11 at 7:42 pm

And CMHC officially joins in the butt-covering tactics….if you needed one more sign of the coming real estate apocalypse, this is surely it!!

#197 Kopaja_Avenger on 02.14.11 at 7:50 pm

I live in Indonesia and was surprised to find out that a mob of protesters could easily be rented to demonstrate for your cause, whatever that might be. There are hundreds of professional protesters.

Looks like money could be made in Canada in being able to offer the same service for promotion.

#198 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 02.14.11 at 7:59 pm


#32 Burnt Norton — “1) Which scenario would you choose?

b) Retire at age 60 renting accommodation and $2 million retirement fund (no pension).”

FWIW, my choice is b. Already retired (disability pension, wage replacement loss, still contributing TFSA and RRSP: Total $25K / Yr.).

#40 Coho — Excellent post. The Shah of Iran was put in place by the CIA in 1953; Mubarak was the same. Now Soros and TPTB are making changes, and we are caught up in the middle.

A few months ago, a link said China and Russia were to be the head of the NWO. Add to that cycles are changing to the Chinese / Mongolian / Russian race, one can see everything is being turned upside-down.

#77 London Calling — Interesting post. Reminds me of Oct. 1987. Only a few weeks later, investors were gorging on profits again. What goes up (both ways) . . .

#120 The Apocalyptic One formerly Old is Gold — “I fear the worst is yet to come. . . . RIGHT ON!”

Correct. TPTB used Mubarak and Obama in order to shove what they want down peoples’ throats, and people have been blindly led down the garden path again, so there is obviously change leaning toward the negative — another totalitarian state.

#124 David B — “They are only taking in $2.62 Trillion and should another Katrina hit , then what?”

Bankruptcy, then totalitarian state. See Old is Gold’s #120 post.

#130 $froma$ia-The mother of all Bubbles — “On the verge of QE4”

Death by a thousand cuts. TPTB are slowly but surely strangling us.

#141 Nomis Ralpmet — Good post. Moniker — Simon Templar, a.k.a. The Saint?

#143 CalgaryRocks — Not a chance in hell. The less material stuff I own, the better off I am. My 2 cents.

#172 Azza4 — “Your potential job can be as easily moved to Chindia.”

That is what is happening presently, and it can’t / won’t be stopped. Low wages and no benefits, with work done all over the world mean higher profits. Loyalty flew out the windows years ago.

#199 Roial1 on 02.14.11 at 8:08 pm

From the G&M

Former CRTC boss Bertrand won’t stay mum on Internet decision (about charging the competition out of business with band width control charges)

She also sits on the board of media giant Quebecor, which owns cable Internet provider Videotron – an owner of network infrastructure that has supported the concept of usage-based billing for its wholesale clients.

I Guess she has “no” self interest here ———-R_I_G_H_T!

#200 Otto Doppelganger on 02.14.11 at 8:16 pm

@morry #180 “Is there a Canadian equivalent to Zillow.com”

Not to the best of my knowledge. I suspect CREA would never, ever allow such a thing, too transparent.

#201 Hoof Hearted on 02.14.11 at 8:31 pm

Andrew’s condo is 500 square feet, which is less space than my Hummer takes. Lucky boy, he’s been invited to pack up his KY Jelly, Axe Body Spray and latex collection and move in with his girlfriend.

=======

I don’t get it..are their double entendre’s involved ?

#202 Boycott on 02.14.11 at 8:51 pm

Why not boycott companies shipping jobs overseas?
Would there be any left to patronize?

#203 Dodged-A-Bullit-in Alberta on 02.14.11 at 8:52 pm

Greetings: # 88 [Ex-Cowtown]

I am willing to bet ten barbecued squirrels that 90% of the bloggers here have no idea what binder twine is, is used for, or have ever seen a binder ie: McCormick. Spent much time as a boy riding on the back and helping roll up the canvas. Ground drive with big bull wheel, later converted to PTO and Farm-al tractor.

#204 VICTORIA TEA PARTY on 02.14.11 at 8:57 pm

#191 coho

I see your point about Mr. Baer.

Perhaps he is a propagandist, but so what?

His opinions won’t influence US foreign policy changes or the actions of any of America’s colonial subjects in Egypt and elsewhere.

As for his continued “effectiveness” as a spy, every spy who survives the job has his day. Mr. Baer seems to be a writer now. And a good one. I doubt that he changed history, but he sure as hell must have lived some of it!

Tragically, the relationship between the Middle East and the West resides in a much-poisoned chalice, well beyond some CIA spies knocking about in various deserts: crusades, colonial expansion, oil, wars, lots of wars, all the machinations of various special interest groups.

In addition, history hasn’t “given” the Middle East time to reflect and to decide where to go next. There’s been no religious reformation of any recognizable form for one. And then there’s the ageless fratricidal conflicts.

Ever since I began studying Middle East issues back in the late 1950s, there’s been constant conflict with the “masses”, so-called, being the chief victims.

What’ll come out of this latest roundelay?

We must wait because nothing Mr. Baer, on CNN, says will change a thing. Mr. Obama, at this stage, has “won” that Egyptian situation because the military remains in full control. That means oil prices will “stabilize” at over $100.00 US a barrel because the Suez Canal is “safe”.

So, exactly what did the Egyptian people accomplish by their three weeks of “rebellion”? I don’t know. It’s too soon to tell.

But I’m sticking with a “not much” conclusion now that the military overlords are calling for the demos to end. Another rally is planned for Friday, apparently. And the “feared”, by the West, Muslim Brotherhood seems to be gathering steam day by day.

For us in the “prosperous”, for now, West to transpose our values upon those living in the Middle East is nothing more than ongoing colonial thinking by us. It is also a very dangerous process especially for those living “over there.”

We’d all like the Egyptians to be “free.” But free from what? There’s so much oppression for them to be free from. Which “free” do they want first? And then what after that?

We in the West, through communications technology, Facebook and such, have helped to unleash SOMETHING.

I hope “it” all works out and that everyone goes home happy, except, of course the bad guys. Who are they, then? Mr. Baer? Not likely. The Egyptian army? Not today, but maybe tomorrow if they starting shooting the “good” guys.

#205 TasteBand.com on 02.14.11 at 9:16 pm

Surging Corn To Fuel Widespread Price Hikes…

The rising price of corn is already finding its way into a multitude of products. Prices for chicken, pork and beef are expected to jump by as much as 4.5 per cent this year. Several companies including McDonald’s Corp., Coca-Cola Co., Kraft Foods Inc…

#206 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 02.14.11 at 9:28 pm


The Better Half and yers trooly spent a delightfully decadent day at Timmie’s. What a genius piece of thinking by moi! Still working my way thru the cream part of a Boston Cream donut. Total health food in a circle!

Mubarak’s Billions Today’s date. Thought Switzerland had frozen most, if not all his assets, plus Military Rule.

BP — Remember the Gulf?

Supersized (4x) Jupiter Data is incomplete, but there appears to be a new planet happily wondering around. Wonder if it’s the US debt / deficit in disguise?

Rust Never Sleeps Ask Coca-Cola.

Panama Canal China proposing to build a new high-speed train line.

Immigration Due to a rising tide of Tunisian refugees, Italian Interior Minister Roberto Maroni has decided to reopen a large refugee camp on the southern island of Lampedusa. Then the Egyptians, Tunisians and Mexicans start coming to the US, and because Harper – Obama did away with the border here, it means they will be able to freely come and go.

QE3 Stock and Bond funnies?

Governments are terrified of a free society, where one can contemplate new priorities in their life, RE not among them.

Tungsten up 70%. Incl. info. on tungsten-filled gold bars.

J.K. Galbraith “For en economic system to be a system, money must flow freely at all levels and in all corners. When those in charge of the system decide to so order the mechanisms of the financial sector to drive the money into a single huge pile, the system ceases to be a system and a crash becomes inevitable. One might as well force all the blood in your body to stay in the brain. The end result is the same; death for the body.” wrh.com.

Libya It’s spreading; more refugees.

#207 bridgepigeon on 02.14.11 at 9:32 pm

Coho,
Thank you for those two. Who would have thought Muslims, yes those terrorists we are taught to be scared of every day, could stage a peaceful overthrow of the regime we have forced them under? I fear only for how we suppress them next, I don’t think they stand a chance.

As for closing the doors on immigration, take away the houses they bought, fixed and furnished, take away all the cars, computers, groceries, businesses, tax dollars, and money they spent, we would have been dead in the water a long time ago…

#208 jess on 02.14.11 at 9:35 pm

Incentive Programs ?

“Bank has lost a £50million case involving an elaborate scheme to avoid tax on bankers’ bonuses.
The bank was paying staff through a share scheme involving a Cayman Islands company.
Bankers were given ‘restricted’ shares in the offshore firm. They had little value until the restrictions were removed, meaning there was negligible tax due on the initial gift of the shares.
A Revenue & Customs tribunal ruled that the complex scheme, which ran from 2003 to 2004, was ‘created and co-ordinated purely for tax avoidance purposes’.
More than 300 bankers took part and the scheme was approved by the board, the tribunal judgment said. Deloitte advised on the scheme and drafted in Investec to help.
Swiss rival UBS is appealing after losing a Revenue case last year over a similar scheme, which cost it £50 million.
Deutsche Bank is also likely to appeal against the Revenue’s decision.
Investment bank JPMorgan is involved in a dispute with the taxman over a Guernsey trust it set up and into which it paid hundreds of millions of pounds.”

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/article-1356320/Deutsche-Bank-loses-50million-battle-tax-ploy.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

#209 debtified on 02.14.11 at 9:37 pm

CMHC fires back at critics – http://bit.ly/falmFQ

#210 S.B. on 02.14.11 at 9:56 pm

#121 Dumfukcanuk on 02.14.11 at 12:01 pm

Any purchase over $10 or 15 goes onto my credit card…for the reward points (Aeroplan). In fact they pay 1.5 miles for every dollar at grocery stores! So yes every purchase possible goes onto credit card.

#211 Montrealer on 02.14.11 at 9:57 pm

Garth must be busy for Valentine’s day.. 208+ replies and not a single comment from Garth!!

Shut up and pass the jelly. — Garth

#212 theraj on 02.14.11 at 10:02 pm

yeah !!

last !!!

#213 the hangover 2 on 02.14.11 at 10:05 pm

Who cares about difference Vancouver and Seattle.

#214 Dan in Victoria on 02.14.11 at 10:21 pm

Carlyle @ 44
Ahhh… another convert.
Good to see you starting to think critically.
You’re on the right track.
Now you’ll learn and attempt to enlighten others, that will really open your eyes and start to make you think.
Keep going.

#215 vreaa on 02.14.11 at 10:25 pm

Regarding:
#143 Canayjun on 02.12.11 at 4:47 pm

Hey, Canayjun, we found your story about nebie landlords intriguing and thus archived it at VREAA.
Two commenters there have raised questions about your renting experience/numbers of landlords/etc… if you care follow up on the post, please do. Thanks!

See:

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

#216 vreaa on 02.14.11 at 10:25 pm

Regarding:
#143 Canayjun on 02.12.11 at 4:47 pm

Hey, Canayjun, we found your story about newbie landlords intriguing and thus archived it at VREAA.
Two commenters there have raised questions about your renting experience/numbers of landlords/etc… if you care follow up on the post, please do. Thanks!

See:

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

#217 GTA house hunter on 02.14.11 at 10:29 pm

Bidding Wars Again ?
Garth,I am hearing about bidding wars again…yesterday a colleague at work bid $4000 above the asking price on semi-detached in Mississauga ON.The final price went to $18000 above asking.Whats happening ? Seems Mississauga still seems to hold strong.What are your thoughts on Mississauga as you never mention it as the suburban meltdown towns.

#218 tmg on 02.14.11 at 10:43 pm

…sad to report that many westside Vancouver SFH’s are still being bid over asking price.

#219 Daisy Mae on 02.14.11 at 10:52 pm

“Garth must be busy for Valentine’s day.. 208+ replies and not a single comment from Garth!!

Shut up and pass the jelly. — Garth”

LOL Poor Garth…..

#220 Jan Etter on 02.14.11 at 11:02 pm

“#200 Otto Doppelganger on 02.14.11 at 8:16 pm
@morry #180 “Is there a Canadian equivalent to Zillow.com”

Not to the best of my knowledge. I suspect CREA would never, ever allow such a thing, too transparent.”

That’s one of things at stake in the Competition Bureau’s case against the CREA. See https://secure.globeadvisor.com/servlet/ArticleNews/story/gam/20100130/RCOVERR30ART1941

#221 Utopia on 02.14.11 at 11:05 pm

#143 CalgaryRocks

Any comments on this article from DR? As far as I know, they’ve been negative on US housing for years.

http://dailyreckoning.com/buy-a-house-then-buy-another/

———————————————————-

Thanks for putting up that link Calgaryrocks. I did read it and happen to agree with the assessment that US real estate is once again a buy.

The average declines in prices across the country have been just a bit over 35% but in some cities there has been nothing short of a collapse leading to declines ranging from 50 and even to 80%.

Whenever prices fall this low in a major asset class it is crazy to not take a closer look. Anytime an investment returns a positive cash flow then it is back on the table as an investment option.

There are encouraging signs of recovery in the US economy now and much of the developing world and the emerging markets are entering into an inflationary period. We cannot ignore that trend as it will eventually also reach us and so naturally people like Paulson with tremendous wealth are now seeking inflation hedges that can also provide consistent solid returns.

We are very fortunate in this country actually. With home values still as high as they are and our own wealth effect (and our credit ratings) still intact, it is possible for many of us to buy in the US, cash on the nail. Hell, we can buy with credit cards if many cases as prices really are that low.

There are of course many worries about the large overhang of unsold properties blah, blah, blah…

The point is, that overhang can disappear very quickly once investors return to the scene in serious numbers and when landlording is once again seen as a profitable business.

The US market may not have hit its absolute bottom but this is a fine time to start shopping the deals and there are many. You have to wonder what some people are waiting for? 100% reductions perhaps? Right now, when fear of home ownership is at its nadir, is the time to rethink spculation.

My point is this. You do not need to wait for an absolute unknown bottom to be in before taking an interest in real estate again. All you need to know is that prices are already cheap relative to historical averages, that returns will exceed those offered by both bonds and dividends and that there is an upside of capital appreciation over the long haul on selected properties in key markets.

All the other news and fretting and doom and gloom about American RE is just fluff in my opinion. Time to ignore it and rethink the equation.

#222 Cookie Monster on 02.14.11 at 11:09 pm

Seems lately Garth is getting a little soft on deflation
More rigid on inflation
And dare I say hard for precious metals?
Happy VD day!

#223 HouseBuster on 02.14.11 at 11:15 pm

#121 Dumfukcanuk – I put everything on my credit card too. It is so I can get AirMiles. It works out to getting 1% or 2% back on your purchase.

#224 Jon B on 02.14.11 at 11:22 pm

Last!

#225 Jan Etter on 02.14.11 at 11:29 pm

#142 Throwstone on 02.14.11 at 1:52 pm
#31 Maxamillion-

I second the motion, to CLOSE THE DOORS on immigration.

I particularly dislike the fact the government is giving new immigrants the tools and support to make life easier in Canada.

My student loans in the mid 90′s became a debt prison, reinforced with the changes made to bankruptcy laws. Maintaining you can not declare bankruptcy on student loans for 10 years, later amended to 7 years…”

“…Furthermore, being a caucasian male, I have to navigate through the employment equity legislation.
…I am tired of being forced to repent or repay for some historical injustice that happened as a result of our forefathers’ ignorance and lack of sensitivity, and equality.

Even more frustrating is the outright denial to speak on such apparently politically incorrect issue’s; for fear of being branded a prejudiced, sexist, racist or any other label the politically correct class might choose to apply.

As a Canadian Canadian I would like to see equal access to equal rights and a maybe we will have a better sense of equality.”

It’s fair to debate the merits of the student loan system and the Employment Equity Act (http://www.rhdcc-hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/lp/lo/lswe/we/information/what.shtml) but how does that fit with “CLOSE THE DOORS on immigration”? How exactly are those recent Irish immigrants taking advantage of the Employment Equity Act? (http://www.expatforum.com/ireland/new-wave-of-irish-immigration-predicted.html)

By your logic, if we close the doors to immigration then maybe you could get the jobs in my office currently being filled by immigrants: the tamil guy who cleans the washrooms five times a day, the chinese ladies who toast my bagel and serve me coffee, or perhaps the filipino ladies who pick up the garbage and recycling bins at the end of the day?

#226 Tim on 02.14.11 at 11:31 pm

#98 Dumfukcanuk

You are the ignorant one. The murder rate in the states is almost 10 times that of Canada per capita. We enact some silly legislation, but we would never legalize handguns. Our health system has problems, but I haven’t heard of anyone going bankrupt due to health issues. Apparently something like 20 percent of the bankruptcies in the States are due to this. I won’t even start on foreign policy… Of course real estate will tank here, but it is still a good place to live. If you miss Seattle so much, why don’t you return?

#227 john m on 02.14.11 at 11:42 pm

#208 debtified on 02.14.11 at 9:37 pm

CMHC fires back at critics – http://bit.ly/falmFQ…..<<< interesting..CMHC seems a little nervous about being more open to the taxpayers

#228 Utopia on 02.14.11 at 11:51 pm

#185 kc responding to #87 Buyright

RE:First…?
Garth, When are you going to introduce the ‘voting’ on quality comments, that disappeared so quickly?

**************************************
AGREED !
Please do something
**************************************
Give it up people. This is the site of free speech and Garth wouldn’t regulate that kind of nonsense.

———————————————————

Hunh? Garth is a dictator you fool. He mostly uses his powers for good though (except where Gold is involved).

#229 oil tank removal Vancouver on 02.15.11 at 2:24 am

Great Discussion

#230 Dumfukcanuk on 02.15.11 at 2:34 am

At 223: Tim,

Dude, seriously, you should check your facts. You live in fear and clearly do believe everything you read or hear. Bankruptcies due to health care is handled in a very different manner than bankruptcy by poor economic planning. They’re even viewed differently when credit is in consideration. I’d rather be alive than bankrupt. That’s a no brainer.

You’re precisely the kind of Canadian I am referring to. Your murder rate statistic is way off as the U.S. has not even close to 10 times that of Canada. Check your facts if you’re going to make a claim and then post it. As I said, if the opportunity presents itself again, I’m outta here.

Vancouver is an alright place to live, sure. But Vancouver is at its absolute “best” right now, which is not even as good as Seattle even after the real estate turn there. So, where will that leave this rainy ass place in a few years? We won’t even be able to afford the upkeep on our dated glass-curtain walls.

#231 betamax on 02.15.11 at 3:51 am

#176 Victoria: “I wonder if Victoria might just stay flat instead of going down. What do you think?”

The island will do worse in a downturn, as previous.

#232 Pining for the Fjords on 02.15.11 at 5:32 am

@Tim #38 an #233 hits all the anti-American hysteria:
-60 million on food stamps,
-guns are common-place,
– gap between the rich and poor,
-highly dysfunctional political system,
-murder rate,
-bankruptcies due to health issues,
-foreign policy.

Here’s my take, as someone who has actually been down there:
-I’d like to see the citation for 60 million being on food stamps.
-people don’t wander the street waiving their guns around like it’s the Wild West, unless you’re visiting Tombstone. Do some people talk openly about having guns in their homes? Yes. I didn’t feel threatened by it. In fact, I never felt safer. And I was down there when the AZ Congresswoman got shot.
-gap between rich and poor sounds like some kind of self-evident left-wing sob story that goes something like: the rich shouldn’t be so rich, being poor sucks, so having the widest gap between the two is bad, QED. Where is the quantifiable evidence that having the widest gap between rich and poor is bad?
-the Canadian political system is as much a mess as the American one. Neither your nor my statement can be quantified, can they?
-the murder rate is higher in U.S.; the violence crime rate is falling in the U.S. and is already lower than in Canada.
-health care: some people in the U.S. go without it due to financial constraints; some people in Canada go without it because they aren’t athletes, politicians, WCB claimants or otherwise connected enough to jump the queue.
-our actual foreign policy is a far cry from the blue-helmeted peacekeeping fantasy we were brought up with.

Go visit the U.S. You might find the people there are just like you and me: they want to work, put food on the table, have healthy families, have a stake in their communities, etc.

Our smug sense of superiority will be our undoing. While we sit around tut-tutting, the Americans will be picking themselves off the mat and starting again.

#233 The American on 02.15.11 at 11:42 am

At #190: BB, it is indeed ME. How the heck are you doing? You have my digits?

At #232: Pining for Fjords, I couldn’t have said it any better myself. Thank you for your input. I do appreciate it and it makes me feel better to know that not everyone in Canada is so snowed over. I did read statistics and realized last night that Canada’s violence looks like it has been on the rise, now exceeding that of which we have in the U.S. (per capital, of course). You’re welcome at my home anytime, although, I don’t have guns in mine :-)

#234 Throwstone on 02.15.11 at 2:55 pm

#225 Jan Etter,

In difficult economic times it is important to realize that employment equals income. Perhaps not the most ideal compensation, but 50% of something is better than a 100% of nothing.

“Last year, 3,462 Irish immigrants gained permanent residency in Canada.”–THAT 3,462 JOBS THAT DO NO GO TO CANADIANS, BORN IN CANADA OR CANADIAN CITIZENS.

In fact I have a personal experience with the Irish. Last year I found work sub-contracting. Worked with a 40 something ex-cop from western Belfast who was working in Canada illegally not paying a penny of income tax. Found out he had been here 3 years. Doing the same seasonal work, I could not find in the years previous; leaving me without work.

“The Technical Engineering and Electrical Union (TEEU), one of Ireland’s largest trade unions, now trains its members for work overseas.”

Do you have any idea of the difficulty involved with becoming a skilled tradesperson in Canada? Should Canada not be supporting Canadian Citizens in the same manner? Promptly and legally employing them thereafter? Instead of importing those with skills and education while misleading those who they force into debt for the same skills and education.

“By your logic, if we close the doors to immigration then maybe you could get the jobs in my office currently being filled by immigrants: the tamil guy who cleans the washrooms five times a day, the chinese ladies who toast my bagel and serve me coffee, or perhaps the filipino ladies who pick up the garbage and recycling bins at the end of the day?”

Ok..so by your logic immigrants of minority groups are brought in to provide business owners with cheap labour?

Seems your contributing more to the problem than the solution.

You are about to be kneecapped by pissy leprechauns. — Garth

#235 Throwstone on 02.15.11 at 3:04 pm

BTW…When the Canadian economy reflects an unemployment rate of about 3-4% we can re-open the doors to immigration and filter in those who we need most…ie. doctors, nurses..etc.

Until then Canada should be closed to new immigrants, whether they be from ireland, or new guinea, germany or sudan, refugee’s or political exiles.

Funny how that irish co-worker I had would complain about the “gypsy immigrants” exploiting his country “back home”…….

I would just say…”I know how you feel..except I am home”

#236 Steven Rowlandson on 02.15.11 at 6:50 pm

Hello Garth.
One Sunday morning many decades ago I saw a TV show about a guy who was suffering from an accute case of real estate greed. A preist told him that he could keep all the land he could stake out in a day from sun up to sun down. So the mad man went crazy running around driving stakes in the ground to mark out his territory and at the end of the day he dropped dead from stress and the priest was good enough to use the mans shovel to bury him and the left over stakes to make a cross to mark his grave.
As it turned out all the real estate the guy really needed was a plot 2’x6’x6′ deep. The cost of real estate was the mans life. Was it worth the price he paid?
Doubtfull.

Steven