The gift

Greg cares for a couple of friends desperate to buy a house in Vancouver. But with yesterday’s news that the average SFH in the city is $1.1 million and almost as much in aviation-fuel-scented Richmond, they ain’t listening. They’re convinced if they don’t get in now, he says, they will never own.

“I have tried telling them to just wait a year or two at the most to see what happens. I even sent them too your website, but they say you are an old fart who is just trying to sell some books.” Isn’t inexperience a refreshing thing? Everybody has to learn for themselves how to shoot their own foot off.

But this post is not exactly about dizzy ingénues in Vancouver or Toronto or Winnipeg. And it’s not about me being negative on real estate. Actually I love the stuff, and own a whack of it. Instead this is more about a time to buy, and a time to sell.

If the thought of owning property makes your privates tingle, then how can you ignore the gift now before us?

As I’ve said a few times, sell Canada, buy America.

You will never again in your lifetime see the confluence of factors that now make this more than compelling. Daily, for example, I’ve given you reasons why the Canadian housing market will flatline at best and more likely crumble. In some cities (Halifax) it will be moderate. In others (GTA) it’ll be long and drawn-out. In a few (Vancouver, Richmond, Kelowna), it could be biblical. And as utterly predictable as all this is, people will still be shocked.

In other words, for all the reasons I’m now bored writing about, real estate in most of Canada has only one direction in which to travel. If most of your net worth is in a house, or forms your retirement plan, or you have virtually no equity, sell. Now.

Meanwhile, real estate in most of America also has only one direction to follow. Up. Of course, housing there has yet to scrape bottom and that might happen later in 2011, but with a 30% average price dump already in place, we’re close enough. Last week’s Case-Shiller report showed that the moment of maximum despair is likely close at hand, as prices continue to fall, new shadow inventory moves to market, mortgage rates increase and now gasoline prices rage higher.

You know the story. I’ve told it before. Neighbourhoods in Phoenix off 82% from 2005 bubble highs. Vast tracks of recently-built homes in Florida selling for 60% of values four years ago. Upscale cities like Boston and Seattle with 30% price declines despite having robust economies. Even decreases in L.A. and Manhatten – some of the world’s most sought-after real estate.

This reflects the same human emotions which have turned places like Vancouver into housing casinos. Except this is fear, not greed. Americans have seen for the past five years what real estate can do to a country, a city and a street. When lending standards slip, speculation runs rampant, people get hungry for status or profits or enough folks think it’s different this time. When everyone says, buy now or buy never, the outcome is assured.

So in the USA in 2011, real estate goes begging. Supply overwhelms demand. The proportion of people choosing to rent soars. And the bulk of those under the age of 30, surveys show, are in no mood to feed the monster that ate their Boomer parents.

No wonder, with one in four families under water and five trillion in personal equity erased. Inventories of unsold homes are swelling. Hundreds of thousands of new homes, never lived in, may never be occupied.

Is this real estate nirvana? The average price of an American home is now half that of a Canadian one. Property taxes are usually lower. Mortgage interest deductible. Deals and bargains abound. All in country strikingly like ours where middle class families make an equal amount and a culture exists that we’re already saturated in.

But there’s more.

This week the Canadian petro-dollar is worth $1.03 US, which means the average American single-family detached home worth $172,000 will cost you even less. Can you buy a garage for that in Richmond?  And don’t be fooled by low valuations – that amount of money gets a perfectly fine home in a great neighbourhood in a slew of cities.

So never before in the tedious life of this old fart has there been such a time. Such a rare moment pregnant with opportunity. Such a gift.

But you must do this correctly, eyes wide open.  There is danger.

Tomorrow…

235 comments ↓

#1 Crazy on 03.02.11 at 11:59 pm

First again?

#2 Love this Blog on 03.03.11 at 12:03 am

THAT’s what I’m talkin’ about baby!!

#3 Timing is Everything on 03.03.11 at 12:09 am

#210 edmonton mortgage broker – said “yes and what’s your point?” wrt CAAMP membership

Garth – said “I am totally open to knowing the source of your conviction. But if it’s CAAMP, don’t bother me.”

Kinda like the ‘Hell’s Angels’ I guess, right Garth… If your a member….

#4 Timing is Everything on 03.03.11 at 12:10 am

#1 Timing is Everything

Sorry that should read ‘you’re’….u anal asshat.

#5 Frank on 03.03.11 at 12:11 am

Well said Garth. Time to pull the ribbon.

#6 Kelly Walrus on 03.03.11 at 12:11 am

I bought a house in Florida for $75 000 two years ago and am waiting for prices to rise again. Glad to know I made the right decision.

#7 Crash on 03.03.11 at 12:12 am

I see the kitchen in the photo has granite but no stainless. I’ll pass…

#8 Nice hats on 03.03.11 at 12:12 am

Nice hats

#9 Jsan on 03.03.11 at 12:14 am

Buying US real estate, I don’t think it’s a bad idea, I’m just not sure that it is a great idea? So what if real estate stays stagnant in the US for a decade…..or more? I think some people are expecting it to bounce back but it could just sit there and stew. Do people really want to be long distance landlords? It’s tough enough to be a local landlord. So you buy a house for 150,000 dollars US. From what I have seen, rental rates are quite low. So after paying property tax which can be very high in some US cities, paying insurance, maintenance and a local management company to look after the house, how much is realistically left over? You still have to pay Canadian income tax on the money earned from rent no?

It would be a good idea if property values bounced back but again, realistically speaking, what are the odds?

#10 1st!! on 03.03.11 at 12:15 am

Thanks a lot Garth, we have been reading your blog everyday, and we truly look forward to your posting for tomorrow….

We would love to hear the strategy and the rules, as well as what to “look out” when shopping for residential RE in the states….

#11 sh33p on 03.03.11 at 12:16 am

Not sure the Facebook referral link is working right. Either that, or it’s lagging and I’m going to have five referrals sitting on my wall in due course.

#12 ALE on 03.03.11 at 12:18 am

LA is a toxic waste dump. Environmentally, economically, and socially.

#13 Elmer on 03.03.11 at 12:19 am

I find the advice in today’s blog entry largely irrelevant and inapplicable to the average Canadian. What use is a house in the US to me when I can’t legally work there? Renting out a property in a distant city is also not feasible for the vast majority of people. You may as well be pitching cheap real estate in Tanzania. Besides, if you want cheap real estate you don’t have to go all the way to the US, you can go to Windsor where the average house is only 2.1 times average income. Source: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/story_print.html?id=4168053

#14 Morry on 03.03.11 at 12:19 am

She can take my mind off Real Estate.

#15 Honey on 03.03.11 at 12:21 am

Did she come with the house purchase? :)

#16 RAINBIRD on 03.03.11 at 12:23 am

Who (including Garth) on this blog has purchased property in the States; where? and what kind of property?

#17 tiger baby on 03.03.11 at 12:24 am

“Stockholm syndrome is the most common ailment suffered by the sheep and when the cure is offered to them they turn tail and run to their sheperd”

what bboomer was thinking was probably that shepherd Garth is recommending a balanced diet of vegetation from various farms and shepherd Lebowski is directing all sheep into one farm …

#18 Northern_dirt on 03.03.11 at 12:25 am

Is 33 too young to be looking into buying a home to retire in, in AZ?… or palm springs?

Maybe Ill have a chance again in 20 years when the whole cycle rinse and repeats?..

#19 Peter Pan on 03.03.11 at 12:30 am

I started reading F.A. Hayek’s book “The Road to Serfdom” yesterday and was struck by a phrase in the introduction.

“although history never quite repeats itself, and just because no development is inevitable, we can in a measure learn from the past to avoid a repetition of the same process. One need not be a prophet to be aware of impending dangers. An accidental combination of experience and interest will often reveal events to one man under aspects which few yet see.”

Written during WWII, but so applicable today…

#20 Timing is Everything on 03.03.11 at 12:33 am

Ahh yes, Phoenix, Alberta. I’d like to poke around down there a bit.

A couple good points tonight, Garth.

#21 Rich in Calgary on 03.03.11 at 12:37 am

Geez, I hope she’s wearing a hair net..

#22 bps on 03.03.11 at 12:40 am

article from Australia:

Is Canadian housing the next domino?

http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/Property-housing-prices-Australia-Canada-pd20110301-EJ29W?OpenDocument

#23 Fiendish Thingy on 03.03.11 at 12:43 am

In California, it’s either a sign of the apocalypse or possibly the market hitting bottom: last month, 52% of all homes sold were bank owned/short sales, and 30% of all purchases were 100% cash , no mortgage (10 yr. avg. something like 16% cash only). Source: print editions of SF Chronicle and Santa Cruz Sentinel.

#24 canuckfilly on 03.03.11 at 12:44 am

Well we see real estate values stagnating here but as Garth first said anyone buying is looking for farms or small properties where they can raise animals and have a big garden. We are only 120 miles from Kelowna and real estate is one third the cost. Most sales have been 3 acres and up and the cost is 200K for a small place, not very much compared to almost every other town we have looked at. How can the values in our places go down 30%, they are already in the basement. I just hope we won’t be as hard hit as the yuppie towns. If anyone here was depending on retiring on the value of their house in the Kootenays they were already bound for disappointment.

#25 mab on 03.03.11 at 12:44 am

Mish’s article below says it all (you can read the larger report to get even more sick). Even Warren Buffet on CNBC today has changed his tune tremendously from what I recall and views the current spending by the US gov’t as unsustainable. As he states, there are 3 things to solve the gov’t debt crisis:
1. Increase taxes
2. Default/change the terms/break the promises of the obligations to pay
3. Inflate your way out (i.e. print $)

He thinks the US gov’t has already chosen #3 as their solution. Note: this won’t help the housing situation at all b/c house prices won’t be inflating.
The government’s current reply to this is that all their Quantative Easing (QE) thus far has not increased inflation much (well that is a whole other topic in itself if you believe gov’t statistics and can’t see that gas has gone up 25% in the past year and by the way the gov’t statistics don’t even include food and energy in their calculations !) to which Warren has a great analogy:
You can’t always measure the eventual outcome of an action by what has happened thus far. If a man jumps off a 45 storey building, nothing has really changed during the first 40 floor freefall, it’s the last few that make it interesting and we all know what the final outcome is.
http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2011/03/usa-incorporated-grim-look-at-financial.html

#26 Northern_dirt on 03.03.11 at 12:45 am

#18 Peter Pan on 03.03.11 at 12:30 am

I started reading F.A. Hayek’s book “The Road to Serfdom” yesterday and was struck by a phrase in the introduction.
……………………………………………………………………………..

Great book, and you can see why Taleb Nassim holds Hayek in such high regard based on that opening sentence.

#27 Yummydummy on 03.03.11 at 12:50 am

Looking at the picture ……….Yummy Dummy is thinkin’ : “Wish I’d be 18 again with the brain of today!!”

AND THEN she’d reply: “WOW ….you’re so different!”

An ode to the good ol’ times.

#28 City Slicker on 03.03.11 at 1:04 am

When the revolution breaks out in Saudi Arabia and oil goes over $150 the US economy will crash, maybe forever. Good luck on house capital gains.

#29 Fritz on 03.03.11 at 1:11 am

More photos like that in the future…. please!

#30 kenda on 03.03.11 at 1:16 am

nice blog… and above all nice pic! .. must be from the ex!!
what does it take to get on that guest list?

#31 Mikey the Realtor on 03.03.11 at 1:20 am

#6 Kelly Walrus

you’ll be wating a long time, the US of A is doomed for a very long time, unless of course they start ww3 and ramp up their military manufacturing. In the mean time, Canada is the place to buy. Rates will be low for years to come, the economy is stalling again. Even if our carnival king rises the rates this year a quarter or 2 that still will not be enough to have any effect on majority.

#32 dd on 03.03.11 at 1:23 am

… and you were saying ….

#33 dd on 03.03.11 at 1:24 am

#27 City Slicker

…US economy will crash, maybe forever…

I would love to buy stocks at the bottom if the investing public had this kind of voice.

#34 Rick in Japan on 03.03.11 at 1:26 am

#15 RAINBIRD
I purchased properties in Buffalo, NY (and, Tonawanda, NY) as well as Detroit. I was sure of myself and thought that I could do well because free trade was brand new. I had owned two rental properties in Ottawa prior to going into the US. I owned a large multi-unit in Detroit (65 apartments off Woodward Blvd.), houses in Buffalo (Tonawanda and Riverside) as well as commercial and multi-family downtown (Elmwood/Lower West Side of Buffalo).
I was in the US for just over 2 years before I left having lost my initial capital and around $40,000 (US) in debt. I sold everything because I thought I might want to return and paid all outstanding invoices, though it took a few years of working in Japan to pay everything back. . . I never did go back. I now own rental property in Ontario and Japan.
I think that there are opportunities in the US, it is just a really tough and different market.
I am interested to hear what Garth has to say.
BTW-I was in the US from 1992 until 1995.

#35 Michael on 03.03.11 at 1:27 am

I really wish you could explain what makes you think that US real estate market is about to start recovery soon or even in this decade.

Much like bubbles keep going longer than makes logic sense, so does the downward trend.

Add to this that the general economic news out of the US aren’t really all that good (with China making it utterly clear today that they want to replace the USD as the world reserve currency “soon”) I fail to see why values in the US would increase in the short to mid-term. Because the rest of the world wants to buy houses in Florida?

Unless you plan on moving to the US anytime soon I really don’t see any value in buying in the US. IF and WHEN the prices start reversing then maybe. Considering the huge amount of inventory currently available in the US waiting to see if the recovery is real or not won’t price you out of the market or make it any less good of a deal.

Good strategy. Wait for prices to reverse and rise. Atta boy. — Garth

#36 dd on 03.03.11 at 1:29 am

“But you must do this correctly, eyes wide open.”

Yes totally. Know a person that bought down in Az. Change of law of rentals mean that everything has to be brought up to code. $30,000 extra so far for updates. Watch out.

#37 JT on 03.03.11 at 1:32 am

What’s up with all this buy in America stuff? Who in their right mind would want to live there? Two words: no medical. Not me man.

#38 Mikey the Realtor on 03.03.11 at 1:33 am

ohh, almost forgot to give the pups and poodles an update on whats going on in the trenches, business is booming folks, DA and I have been busy closing and it has been terrific. Anyway, DA sends his love and apology for not being able to drop in lately. xoxoxo

#39 Sasquatch on 03.03.11 at 1:34 am

I agree Garth, just wish I had a couple of nickles to rub together.

#40 Joe on 03.03.11 at 1:42 am

What’s with the porno pictures? I fail to see the relevance. Ducks falling in a sewer grate and slamming stay-at-home parents was better than what you’ve got posted today. There are millions of site offering pictures of naked women, but I come here for real estate market insight. I can go elsewhere for business news, just as your horny old “blog dogs” can go elsewhere to get their jollies. Kindly reconsider the 3/4 nude lady pics.

#41 Joe on 03.03.11 at 1:44 am

I agree with Joe’s and Shoggy’s comment with re: to todays picture

#42 RubyToozday on 03.03.11 at 1:50 am

Hi Garth,

This is off-topic with respect to your post today, but I just wanted to say that I received my copy of Money Road and I’m greatly enjoying it. It’s a fun read and I thank you for demystifying investment jargon and methods. There’s a lot of very sobering material to digest in the book, too, but if I can apply even a few of your concepts to my limited resources, I figure I will be well ahead of the curve compared to many.

Thanks again!
Julie

#43 HouseBuster on 03.03.11 at 1:52 am

Forget the house, I’ll take two of her.

#44 Kuwaiti on 03.03.11 at 1:55 am

There’s no point trying to save people from the RE train wreck about to happen in popular cities in this country, just watch the show “Til Debt do us apart” to get a feel of what people around you believe about money.

It’s entertaining in a very very demented way.

#45 Shoggy on 03.03.11 at 2:02 am

Garth, why in the world would a Canadian want to buy real estate in the US? The reason most people are out buying housing in Canada and over leveraging themselves is because they usually live in the city they have bought a house in. Furthermore owning a house in the US can become a nightmare with the various Federal and state statutes. Also do foreign buyers qualify for mortgage interest decidability? And what a re the tax consequences of owning, renting and selling a house in the US. Yes, prices of houses are over extended in some cities in Canada but that does not mean that these same people want to buy a house in some other city in the country. Like myself who lives in BC, how would owning a house in some other part of the country which is cheaper help with my housing situation other than making me an absent landlord?
Cheers
Shoggy

#46 Jon B on 03.03.11 at 2:05 am

Canadians have amazing access to the USA. We are the envey of the world. Take advantage of this relationship. Sell your products to 330 million more people, spend your winters in their warmer climates, spend your money there when it makes economic sense (like right now – cars, real estate) and most of all appreciate what makes both countries great. I think US real estate should be in every cold-climate-hating Canadian’s financial objectives.

#47 Brian1 on 03.03.11 at 2:06 am

I think it is not so much the present level of foreclosures that one must consider. Nor is it the properties that are currently underwater. Nor is it the shadow hidden inventory. It is the marginal inventory yet to come which is ten times the present number.

#48 Mackie on 03.03.11 at 2:10 am

I wouldn’t touch real estate in the US unless it was buying a retirement home for myself. And I have no desire to retire anywhere south of the border with their pathetic health ins. And all…

#49 Tim on 03.03.11 at 2:10 am

Sure, you can buy a house in Phoenix, Detroit, or many Californian cities on the verge of bankruptcy for cheap, but look at the unemployment rate and the future prospects. The places that are desireable like NY, San Fran, Boston, Seattle, while they’ve corrected, are still very expensive. Furthermore, you don’t know when they’ll change the tax laws and stick it to the Canadians. Why not buy in Europe? What about Spain, where over a million condos sit vacant? At least they have culture, class, nice architecture, good food…

#50 Jas Girn on 03.03.11 at 2:13 am

That’s what I am talking about Garth! I am not going to comment anything about real estate today. Hahaha.

#51 BrianT on 03.03.11 at 2:14 am

#34Michael-Yes-you pretty well summed it up. The other factor is that cities like Phoenix will face considerable headwinds with $300 oil (which is not out of the question). Already Phoenix (as an example) which had the fastest pace of population growth and used this to fuel it suburban sprawl mode, is no longer growing. What happens to their prices with actual large yearly declines in population? With the inventory they are still churning out, it would be breathtaking.

#52 Pat on 03.03.11 at 2:14 am

#6 Kelly Walrus:
“I bought a house in Florida for $75 000 two years ago and am waiting for prices to rise again. Glad to know I made the right decision.”

What is your net cash flow from this house?

#53 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 03.03.11 at 2:21 am


#179 Dan in Victoria on 03.02.11 at 6:29 pm and #200 shanks on 03.02.11 at 9:03 pm

Thanks for the feedback folks. Dan, I use Firefox and the link doesn’t work. Any suggestions?

I’ll keep ’em coming, but I will avoid certain subjects (despite the fact it’s plain and simple for all to see).
*
Nice pic and good post Garth, but I still wouldn’t buy — too much of a headache for us.
*
Libya Why are the US, UK and Canada going there when they are not needed? Libya Two Choosing sides.

Rainbows Recall the rainbows over China and Chile just prior to their ‘quakes? Another over LA.

Truth or Fiction? US manufacturing. It’s either getting better or flatlining.

Cayenne Peppers Hot ‘n’ Nasty. Stops heart attacks. Cinnamon also helps prevent strokes. Big pharma doesn’t do anything at all, except increase profits.

China Curious what kind of reaction would come from Benny and the Presses re: debts.

Nobody is too big to fail, least of all banks.

Mayan Gold Two clips plus info. on possible undiscovered gold.

US$100 bln. Roubini sees that amount in muni defaults.

What A Mess Japanese and US men. Suicide is painful for those left behind.

#54 Pat on 03.03.11 at 2:24 am

#212 Fiendish Thingy:

“Just pointing out that public employees in my neck of the woods aren’t living high on the hog…”

Really? Do you know, for example, what BART employees make?

(we are talking about California/SF bay area)

#55 BrianT on 03.03.11 at 2:25 am

#34Michael-Yes-the other point is that USA real estate prices, although down greatly from the bubble peak, are not low at all, in fact they are artificially elevated far above their fundamental value. The USA guv/taxpayer is cosigning for pretty well all the money lent out to buy residential RE-and the USA public is so beaten down they cannot even afford these low prices. IMO if you are going after USA RE it had better be RE of interest to foreign money-that is about your only hope of capital gains.

#56 Roial1 on 03.03.11 at 2:26 am

Yes Garth, I follow your reasoning, BUT! What about a road like the one Japan has been on since 1997.
Could this be the US???? Flat lined forever??

Oh! that picture. I am p.o.ed.

Somebody forgot my invitation!!!!!!!

#57 Pat on 03.03.11 at 2:27 am

@ #22 Fiendish Thingy,

It’s a sign that the low-end market is close to a bottom. The better neighborhoods are still overpriced (price/rent and price/income).

#58 Cato on 03.03.11 at 2:55 am

US banks are still pretty risk adverse even with substantial downpayment otherwise I’d be tempted, all cash just carries too high an opportunity cost. Areas I’d consider owning in San Diego, San Fran, NYC have already bounced pretty hard off the bottom. My uncle (california) flipped a foreclosure he picked up for $620K close to the beach in Carlsbad back in ’09 and did quite well. I didn’t have balls to get off the fence – he sold it last summer for 1.1M. Opening for that type of deal was only 6 months, once stock market started recovering buyers for upper end property in desirable areas came back. Still alot of talk regarding banks holding shadow inventory so perhaps there will be another bite at the apple, then again there are alot of deadbeats living in million dollar homes who haven’t made a mortgage payment in over 2 years and still haven’t been evicted. Property taxes down there are brutal and most cities are in dire financial straits so something to keep in mind for anyone thinking about a revenue property.

#59 US Investor on 03.03.11 at 3:05 am

Wow, a lot of people from up north are pretty pessimistic about the US situation. Keep in mind, the last 5 years here there have been intense structural changes, we have been taking some pretty nasty medicine (think of that awful Canadian stuff what’s it called – Buckleys?), while other parts of the commodity producing world have been in deep denial. I look around and I see an economy that has shed a lot of fat, been repairing balance sheets, a population that has woken up to the dangers of public spending and entitlement, and is hungry to get back to work. Yeah the banks are dumping property but the market is working, we have been clearing the system for years now and guess what, people are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I don’t want to make this into some kinda comparrison, I think Canada is awesome, all I am saying is do not underestimate the depth, creativity, and ingenuity of the American market.

A wise man once said “don’t bet against the USA”.

#60 realpaul on 03.03.11 at 3:06 am

Aren’t there 8 times more houses held in bank owned REO inventory than are currently on the market in the US….and aren’t the really scary numbers just beginning with a new tidal wave of ALT-A mortgages going into foreclosure? The shadow inventory is in the millions. I would think that at the slighest uptick in purchase stats the banks will flood the market with inventory for years to come….never mind new builds.

The price for US real estate may continue to go down…how much is anyones guess. But its going to be a very long hold for anyone thinking of making a profit. The return on US real estate over th enext decade and a half will make GIC’s look Brazillian by comparison.

Yes, look at those succulent juicy rates of return for investors in Brazil…T-BILLs paying 11.5%…yummy.

The hold for making new money on Canadian real estate could be a lot longer. — Garth

#61 Jeff Smith on 03.03.11 at 3:08 am

Love the gift. Garth, you are the best!

#62 Jeff Smith on 03.03.11 at 3:35 am

Guy like Warren Buffet has reason to complain, cause the US might continue its QE3/QE4/QE5… QE(n). With enough QEs deployed even Buffet’s wealth might get squished/reduced.

#63 The Original Dave on 03.03.11 at 3:38 am

does anyone know of any ways to get back funds from an advisor that basically ran off with money? I still speak to him via email roughly 3 times a year. He says he’ll pay funds etc. but never makes attempt to contact and I always have to initiate.

Any tips on what I can do would be great. We’re talking 5 figures that he has of ours.

What are the details? This is a very unlikely scenario in Canada. — Garth

———————————————-

Hi # 50, I am a compliance officer.What you need to do is contact the compliance officer at the investment dealer-the company that should sponsor the advisor’s license. If you’re getting statements (you must get them, but if the advisor is really doing something bad, they might be fake) the name of the advisor’s dealer is listed on the front.

If you lent the advisor money, and/or made a cheque payable to him/her personally or a company controlled by him/her, you should still try to contact the dealer’s compliance officer.

In any case,if you can’t find out the dealer the advisor was registered through, do contact the MFDA if it is mutual fund investments only that you bought, and if you bought stocks/bonds/Mutual funds in one account,then contact IIROC.

You need to act fast. You should check the advisor’s registration standing by going to osc.gov.ca for Ontario based advisors, or outside of Ontario, you should be able to check the advisor out through the CSA (Canadian Securities Administrators site).

JO
————————————-

Thanks for your responses. Let me clarify as I didn’t explain things properly. This individual, whom I don’t think sells legitimate financial products anymore worked as a broker. He sold insurance products, mutual funds, seg funds etc. While he was working with this firm and I was reviewing my portfolio with him, he told me about another investment where you’d earn 12% guaranteed.

I trusted the individual and gave him $10k. His broker/dealer name wasn’t on the document that I signed and I learned afterwards that this was something he was doing on the side. Anyhow, he was involved in some U.S real estate thing. When I caught wind, I tried to get my money back. It was 2006 when this happened. He said everything was fine. A couple of years later he stopped selling mutual funds and sold his book of business (I guess). I think he had tons of clients. I still speak to him on occasion. He continually says “I haven’t forgotten about you”. My wife, who was my girlfriend at the time invested as well – unfortunately.

Anyhow, I don’t know if there’s anything I can do in this situation. Maybe I”m just up sh*ts creek. I really wouldn’t know where to turn. Surely, there’s a few bricks in the U.S that I should own or something.

A lesson in greed and due diligence. — Garth

#64 Jeff Smith on 03.03.11 at 3:38 am

>#27 City Slicker on 03.03.11 at 1:04 am
>When the revolution breaks out in Saudi Arabia and oil
>goes over $150 the US economy will crash, maybe
>forever. Good luck on house capital gains.

I heard the Saudi king will be giving out lots of treats to the populations there. So they probably don’t want to start a revolution there.

#65 Calgary Hat on 03.03.11 at 3:43 am

Not sure if anyone has been noticing, but several stock markets around the Middle East and India have been crashing.

Saudi Arabia ‘Day of rage’ threats lead to 11% stock market crash

Saudi Arabia’s stock market continues its rapid crash, falling 11% in wild trading in the last two days. The entire Gulf region was affected, and Dubai’s stock exchange plunged to a 7 year low. Saudi activists have called on Facebook for a “Day of Rage” on March 11.

http://www.generationaldynamics.com/ww2010/g110302.gif

#66 Jeff Smith on 03.03.11 at 3:44 am

>#34 Michael on 03.03.11 at 1:27 am
> Add to this that the general economic news out of
>the US aren’t really all that good (with China making
>it utterly clear today that they want to replace the
>USD as the world reserve currency “soon”)

I am sure China wants to do that. I also want to go out and buy myself a Ferrari, and a nice mansion in Bridle Path, and also have that chick in the above picture. See what I mean? Want is one thing, can get is another thing. :(

OK, I will pass the Ferrari and the Mansion, but can I have the chick in the photo? pleasez… ? ??

#67 Utopia on 03.03.11 at 3:48 am

Seems Warren Buffet sides with Mr. Turner on this topic.

His latest newsletter to stockholders of Berkshire Hathaway on March 1 2011 (just two days ago for those who can’t do dates) suggests that he believes US residential real estate is going to rebound in 2011.

But what the hell does he know?

That old fool is only one of the most successful investors alive and he controls a mega-company that has made billions upon billions of dollars over the past 40 years.

(Did you catch the sarcasm in my tone by the way?)

Apparently Warren Buffet and other major US investors seems to think that US real estate has fallen near its bottom and that given inflationary pressures is now on the verge of being a good investment again.

He has even cited his own words…..buy when others are fearful and sell when others are greedy. And that my friends is the theme for today.

Do we not live in a country that is totally obsessed with the greed of real estate gains and the false confidence that only comes with arriving at the top of a market?

Is the US by turns not in it’s moment of greatest fear where few who are sane will consider owning property and fewer still are willing to borrow to buy?

Mr Turner may not have said so in the following words so I will do it for him today. It is right out of Warren Buffets own playbook. And here is that maxim…….

Sell Greed; Buy Fear.

And that my friends is all you really need to know.

http://www.therealestatebloggers.com/housing-general/warren-buffet-predicts-real-estate-rebound-in-2011/

#68 jane54 on 03.03.11 at 3:52 am

The key is indeed to buy if you have a reason to buy – such as retirement. Renting in another country is indeed a mugs game and can introduce inheritance problems.

So think , what are your longer term goals? How do international RE bargains fit this plan. If there is a fit then yes this is a once in a lifetime buy. Garth is right.

We live mostly in England so although I am tempted by US bargain homes it makes more sense for us to watch RE values drop in Spain. We can fly there in two hours for about 40 UK pounds.

Lastly think about health insurance. Can you get it and how much will it cost? We have family friends who as they got older had to sell thier Florida dreams as they could no longer obtain health cover. Staying with the EU for us means being covered by the NHS everywhere so no worries there.

For now. I wager both cheap flights and health coverage will change. — Garth

#69 confused and a little crazed on 03.03.11 at 4:29 am

hi people ,

at this point… i don’t care . it was beyond reasoning in 2008…really expensive in 2006. Now It like …am I on the right planet?

It I have to rent the rest of my life…fine. I ‘m not paying a million $$$ for a 2100 sq ft home

just this week i sold 2 stocks made about $2700 ” stop loss ” . i ‘m keeping my commodites + financials b/c they still going up one has actually gone up about 60 % pretty sweet

oh and yes i agree it will crash… but when is the question. but then i would keep most of my gains and buy some more afterwards

hey why not get a million dollar stock portfolio… that will be something :)
imagine getting yearly interest / dividends amounting to $40- 50 K. i ;m sure with kind of money i can rent anywhere

#70 Just a Tech on 03.03.11 at 5:54 am

Hey guys this is unrelated to this particular real estate post, but is there a maximum amount of TFSA’s you can have? Could I have multiple TFSA’s with one institution or could I start one with each institution, eg. 1 at royal, 1 at TD, 1 at CIBC, etc…
A heads up would be greatly appreciated, thanks in advance.

#71 chesther on 03.03.11 at 6:47 am

“Actually I love the stuff, and own a whack of it…”
This wouldn’t be the reason you are telling people to sell-so you can buy more of it at lower prices?

Sure. This blog moves the national market. What a nob. — Garth

#72 luc on 03.03.11 at 7:13 am

You own a whack of real estate ? What % is your home and what % is your rentals?

I practice what I preach. Real estate as an asset class is a third of my NW. And you? — Garth

#73 BPOE on 03.03.11 at 8:01 am

Bottom line is anyone buying Vancouver Real Estate since this blog started made out like a bandit and will continue to do so. 1.1 million average price and buyers coming in by the plane load, ya gotta love it. Hurry, they’re going fast!

#74 Love this Blog on 03.03.11 at 8:42 am

#36,
No, you are wrong. Full of shat, actually.

#75 luc on 03.03.11 at 8:49 am

little house worth $250,000, 25% of net worth, now you know how much I`m worth

#76 Smoking Man on 03.03.11 at 8:56 am

Some people will only by magazines just to read the stories.
I come here for the pic’s

Nice

#77 Ret on 03.03.11 at 9:08 am

Don’t do it! It’s a trap. Go for that cake young man, and your life, as you know it, could be over.

Yeah I know, all you heard was, “Go for that cake young man.”

#78 Robert Dudek on 03.03.11 at 9:13 am

The problem is that anyone who actually wants to live in the USA has already moved there.

#79 Pr on 03.03.11 at 9:24 am

Well, a real pro will not buy any real estate in the usa right now, only if your really plan to stay their for a long, verry long time, beside that its a loser deal, guaranty, its going mutch lower, for a lot more reason than fundamentals values. Mortgages are at 5.17%. Where would they be without zero interest rates, at 10%? As real interest rates and empty inventory rises you can bet millions of homes will lie vacant for years to come

#80 Love this Blog on 03.03.11 at 9:38 am

#73 My comment was directed at BPOE, who’s post was numbered 36……….for some reason the numbers change when the site gets update and posts approved.

#81 JL on 03.03.11 at 9:39 am

yes, i come here for the commentary on RE, not dirty pictures, so agree with other posters today. today’s picture in particular seems to have crossed a line. i would like to suggest you replace these pictures with a picture of an outrageously overpriced house, and the link to the listing. we know they are out there.

How is that possibly ‘dirty’? This may say more about you than anything else. — Garth

#82 Joe Q. on 03.03.11 at 10:27 am

Toronto sales numbers were out this morning. Sales down 14% from last February, comparable to the number of sales recorded in Feb 2005. Prices were up, though — average detached in the City of Toronto proper going for about $725k, average semi is now more than $500k.

#83 Carruthers on 03.03.11 at 10:32 am

#58 US Investor on 03.03.11 at 3:05 am: “I look around and I see an economy that has shed a lot of fat, been repairing balance sheets, a population that has woken up to the dangers of public spending and entitlement, and is hungry to get back to work.”

Dude. You’re kidding right? “Repairing balance sheets”??? By trillions in debt monitization you mean? Not really a repair is it? Kinda like saying all of the dog sh#t in the park is gone because there is a fresh skiff of snow on the ground.

I’m skeptical that the US government has done anything to repair any balance sheet except for those of Goldman Sachs and General Motors and a couple of other too-big-to-fails.

BTW “and is hungry to get back to work.”…before were Americans hungry to get out of work? Peckish perhaps.

BTW2 “2011 Explorer, North American Truck of the Year, is Ford’s fastest-turning vehicle; Explorer retail sales more than triple year-ago levels…” Glad to see that American ingenuity is taking into account the affects of future oil prices. What does it cost to fill the tank on an Exploder anyway?

Not ripping on you or the US dude. Love Americans for the most part. My best friends are American. Salt of the earth. Just don’t think your monetary woes have been dealt with nor do I think that Americans overall have adjusted too much to what is coming in terms of future energy supply disruptions.

#84 bigrider on 03.03.11 at 10:48 am

Garth for clarification of the blog, I would imagine the whack of RE you own is mostly commercial. Tell me your not renting out single family dwellings or multiplexes.

You need to know this, why? — Garth

#85 Utopia on 03.03.11 at 10:51 am

Meanwhile, back in Tripoli…

When looking at the current situation in Libya and the discussions surrounding the imposition of a “No Fly Zone” I have come to the conclusion that the the US and Nato are making the correct decision in keeping out of the fight.

This is a Libyan battle, not ours and the optics of Western involvement at this stage just do not work. Without any real legitimacy in the region (or in much of the Arab world for that matter) there is just no room for mistakes. As we all know though, there are always errors in the fog of war and few are ever forgiven.

We should therefore not intervene with force at this point and thus deprive Liyans of the opportunity to take the country back by standing on their own merits and resolve. On their own terms.

There is a provisional government now forming in Bengazi and the East of the country. If they have any real legitimacy then it is within their power to offer amnesty to any members of Ghadaffi’s Air Force and to any pilots who seek to defect.

An offer should be made to them with an absolute assurance that no criminal charges will be brought against them after this uprising is finished if they defect now.

This may be enough to drive a wedge between Gadaffi and his loyalists and to break his grip on one of the key means by which he projects power against his countrymen.

Has anyone else noticed that these so-called well trained fighter jet pilots are really very poor shots? I don’t think this is for lack of training but instead represents a real unwillingness to fully comply with orders.

Call it a passive aggressive stance of compliance.

The Air Force is seeking a way out of this mess. A few fig leaves and some guarantees might just do the trick and bring this regime to a quick end.

#86 Dontcallmeshirley on 03.03.11 at 10:51 am

Meanwhile back on Earth…

BMO successfully issued $1.5 billion of 5 yr debt at 3.979% and the ECB held their overnight rate at 1%.

Conditions are nearing plateau but we are realistically 12-18 months from “punitive” interest rates.

Nothing interesting will happen until 6-8 mths after the PCs win the next election. Take it to the bank.

#87 Frank on 03.03.11 at 10:59 am

I tend to agree with JSAN. There is an article this morning from Shiller and he says that the U.S. real estate is going to drop another 25% this year alone and the advice from analysts is to wait at least a year to buy. So with these predictions and the world upside down, I really do not see U.S. real estate going up quick anytime soon. In Canada things look pretty stable and I belive they will continue to be with small price declines if any.

#88 Utopia on 03.03.11 at 11:01 am

Did I mention “Divide and Conquer” is a double edged sword? Libya’s opposition can use the strategy too.

Egypt meanwhile, who does have the largest and most potent air force on the African continent can mop up the rest of the loyalist air defences and do so legitimately on the basis of potecting their own nationals living under threat in Libya.

#89 Wally on 03.03.11 at 11:10 am

#39 Joe- I agree, and to add, I find it very interesting that Garth, although I find him very informative, seems to think that there are no women reading this blog. I have to assume this about him because the pictures never seem to cater to their visual fantasies.

Garth, I’d like to let you know that there are many business minded women who are reading this blog daily and who are getting sick of the chauvinistic attitude
here regarding the pics. Either chill out or cater to both sexes.

Hey, I showed a pic of a guy hunk yesterday. — Garth

#90 Wally on 03.03.11 at 11:14 am

#39 Joe- I agree, and to add, I find it very interesting that Garth, although I find him very informative, seems to think that there are no women reading this blog. I have to assume this about him because the pictures never seem to cater to their visual fantasies.

Garth, I’d like to let you know that there are many business minded women who are reading this blog daily and who are getting sick of the chauvinistic attitude
here regarding the pics. Either chill out or cater to both sexes.

I’ll find a hot guy for you. — Garth

#91 Victoria on 03.03.11 at 11:22 am

Does anyone know the average house price in Victoria?

(We should have been included with Vancouver, Kelowna and Richmond in Garth’s blog.) People here still think property will collapse everywhere in Canada but Victoria.

#92 Wally on 03.03.11 at 11:23 am

That’s lame Garth, not a good answer to a reasonable suggestion.

#93 Cowboy on 03.03.11 at 11:26 am

I too am tempted to buy in the US, however, has anyone
ever thought about THE CRIME RATE EXPECTED TO SKYROCKET DUE TO THE CRAZY UNEMPLOYMENT?!!
To quote Gerald Celente, ‘When people lose everything and they have nothing left to lose, they lose it!’
(throw a bunch of guns into the mix, druggies as well)
Friends of mine had their house broken into in Phoenix, vandalised and trashed, everything taken out.
They did not find out until MONTHS later.
Alarm? I question whether police will actually come as services to the people are being taken away more and more and will continue to screw the people so I would worry about my house sitting there like a sitting duck.
Any comments? There are so many investment properties down there it does not take a master mind (criminal) to observe a place is vacant all the time.
Would an alarm company actually act on it for $30 a month if their life was in danger?
Just thinking, that and the fact that Arizona is way too hot for us Canucks for half of the year keeps me from buying.
Plus, prices are still dropping, why would you buy now?!
Anyone feel safe with their properties so far away?

#94 Dan in Victoria on 03.03.11 at 11:30 am

Vlad @ 53
Go to You Tube, type in the “Story of stuff.”
She has also done one on bottled water.
Its a good listen too.

You know what they say, “Hide it in plain sight”
Also, Think elephant trap……

#95 I'm a Believer on 03.03.11 at 11:31 am

The three most delusional individuals in the world:

1. Moammar Gadhafi

2. Charlie Sheen

3. James M. Flaherty ( aka Sweet Daddy Bigbucks )

note: not necessarily in that order

#96 Al on 03.03.11 at 11:32 am

Toronto Condo Prices “may or may not fall” as per the following website;
http://www.torontolife.com/daily/informer/to-market-to-market/2011/03/02/toronto-condo-prices-may-or-may-not-fall-and-canada-may-or-may-not-be-facing-a-housing-bubble-reports/

#97 Northern Dirt on 03.03.11 at 11:40 am

#78 Robert Dudek on 03.03.11 at 9:13 am

The problem is that anyone who actually wants to live in the USA has already moved there.
…………………………………………………………………………….

Not true, I’m still stuck up here..
My sister is starting to look in Florida.
(We both have dual citizenships, she works in an industry that allows her to work away from her office, I on the other hand don’t)

Did you mean retired folks?

#98 Evan Richard on 03.03.11 at 11:50 am

Garth, when do you change from “old fart” status to “geezer” status?

Right after ‘studmuffin.’ — Garth

#99 mefirst on 03.03.11 at 11:52 am

man…with a ~24 years old lady like that….who cares to buy her an over priced property….you will have fun anyways!….damn it, sometimes life is not just about how to keep making and making money and be stress all about it…..

#100 Crazy on 03.03.11 at 11:53 am

Joe Q said:
Toronto sales numbers were out this morning. Sales down 14% from last February, comparable to the number of sales recorded in Feb 2005. Prices were up, though — average detached in the City of Toronto proper going for about $725k, average semi is now more than $500k.
————–

Well, that is good news, right?

#101 The American on 03.03.11 at 11:55 am

At #16: Rainbird, I’ve purchased properties in the States :-) I have a primary residence in Seattle in a skyrise in downtown, a beach property on the Southern Oregon Coast with amazing ocean views.

Then I have a winter home in Orlando, Florida that I purchased for $330,000 cash from the bank last October. The house sits in a 5-star gated community on a golf course with amenities center. The home is 4,400 square feet, has an amazing salt water pool, a hot tub, waterfall feature, and large courtyard with casita. I only bought the house for investment purposes as I know the market will indeed pick back up there. The house will now sell for about $410,000 in today’s market. Originally, the home had been bought for a little over $800,000 back in 2007. So, after realturd fees and excise tax expense, the net total would be about $381,000, or a $51,000 profit. All other expenses on the property, including improvements, maintenance, home owners dues, and property taxes, are a write off for me each tax year. I’d say it has been a tremendous investment that benefits me in more ways than one.

#102 mefirst on 03.03.11 at 11:55 am

dirty picture????….I wish I had that dirt at home!

#103 ash on 03.03.11 at 11:56 am

What is the point of that picture? Come on, I thought this blog was about things that are important. I support Joe’s comment below

“What’s with the porno pictures? I fail to see the relevance. Ducks falling in a sewer grate and slamming stay-at-home parents was better than what you’ve got posted today. There are millions of site offering pictures of naked women, but I come here for real estate market insight. I can go elsewhere for business news, just as your horny old “blog dogs” can go elsewhere to get their jollies. Kindly reconsider the 3/4 nude lady pics.”

Don’t be another distraction…

#104 jgg123 on 03.03.11 at 12:02 pm

Good strategy. Wait for prices to reverse and rise. Atta boy. — Garth

Garth, what’s the difference if you buy 10% from the bottom on the way down (like you’re suggesting) or buying 10% from the bottom on the way up?

Probably a couple of years of holding a property you don’t need…

#105 ash on 03.03.11 at 12:09 pm

I also support Wally’s comment

“#39 Joe- I agree, and to add, I find it very interesting that Garth, although I find him very informative, seems to think that there are no women reading this blog. I have to assume this about him because the pictures never seem to cater to their visual fantasies.

Garth, I’d like to let you know that there are many business minded women who are reading this blog daily and who are getting sick of the chauvinistic attitude
here regarding the pics. Either chill out or cater to both sexes.”

And my response to you Garth about this comment, in response to Wally’s comment-
“Hey, I showed a pic of a guy hunk yesterday. — Garth”

You are obviously not in reality if you are making comments like that. Shame on you

#106 Utopia on 03.03.11 at 12:10 pm

#86 Frank wrote……

“There is an article this morning from Shiller and he says that U.S. real estate is going to drop another 25% this year alone and the advice from analysts is to wait at least a year to buy…”
———————————————————-

With all due respect given to Mr. Shiller who is an academic, I think he is not entirely correct. All that is required to arrest the fall in US home values is a change of public sentiment.

Right now, he is feeding into the negative emotions that are ruling the current readings and that is not helpful for markets.

As more and more serious investors begin to express confidence that US housing is again a good bet the trend will slowly change and that can only be a positive for everyone, especially the Banks who hold huge portfolios of unsold homes.

This is indeed becoming the case which means that Shiller is on the wrong side of the bet. Despite comments suggesting otherwise, there is in fact many hundreds of billions of dollars floating around in the US looking for a safe shelter from the coming inflationary storm.

Gold is not the only investment to be made in times like these and where a major asset class has shown that it is undervalued and ignored by most people then an obvious opportunity is therefore expressed.

US Real estate is now close to being poised for a comeback. Nobody anticipates that there will be any significant capital appreciation in the near future as there was in the past but few will disagree that select investments can offer better than average returns that exceed those offered by both Bonds and Dividends.

Lets not forget that real estate is a hard asset. It is a good alternative to riskier paper investments and an obvious vehicle to both protect and preserve wealth in a time of uncertainty. Some US real estate now offers investors the same benefits that were previously only available in the form of Treasuries, Bonds and Equities.

No serious investor can ignore that an opportunity now exists to shift some resources back into property and banks have become more than willing to assist those with capital to take positions out of the overhang.

That means there are good deals available and very cooperative sellers willing to offer the best of terms.

Shiller may be right that prices will fall further but I very much doubt that the national averages will decline as much as he currently predicts. The trend is on the cusp of a change and I do not think he recognizes that yet.

With a few guys like Warren Buffet on board, some fresh investment arriving from outside the US (Canadians for example) that recognizes the opportunity and the re-emergence of the landlording class this whole situation could be turned around very quickly at this stage of the game.

Any quality real estate that can provide good positive cash flow and returns at this time will be a welcome sight to those who are seeing the more traditional investments being eaten away by the rising inflationary trends and the devaluation of the dollar.

I see change coming and confidence returning.

Don’t you?

#107 Nemesis on 03.03.11 at 12:22 pm

“…eyes wide open.”! – Indubitably…

What a splendid illustration, GT – ah, nostalgia, sweet sweet nostalgia, but I digress…

More to the point, quite apart from any [ostensible] fiscal prudence in arbing CDN/USD property plays you’ve got to ask yourself whether ‘investing’ in a society where school/hospital closures are rampant and the growth industry is prison construction actually constitutes a ‘shrewd move’… ???

Sign me skeptical…

Food for thought/context…

[CNN] – Michigan approves plan to close half of Detroit schools

“…The plan calls for the closure of 70 schools, which would cut the number of schools in the district in half by 2014, leaving only 72 public schools in Detroit. The closures would be on top of the 59 that were shuttered last year.”…

http://tinyurl.com/4nod2dl

#108 Prof ANON on 03.03.11 at 12:37 pm

@ #37 JT

Because the following situations are any better?

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/story/2011/02/28/edmonton-sherman-health-allegations.html?ref=rss

http://www.ecanadanow.com/health/2011/03/03/bc-tim-hortonss-doubles-as-er/

http://www.globalsaskatoon.com/sitemap/cookie+fired+Alberta+dumps+embattled+health+boss/3883276/story.html

Having lived in both countries, I’d say the medical system is equally f’d up in both places. Just in different ways. I also suspect that Canadians better health and longevity are more linked to high sin taxes (i.e., it’s just too damn expensive to be a smoker/heavy drinker) than quality of care.

#109 Spiltbongwater on 03.03.11 at 12:38 pm

94 I’m a Believer on 03.03.11 at 11:31 am
The most delusional individuals in the world:

1. Anyone upset about the cancellation of Two and a Half Men.

2. Moammar Gadhafi

3. Charlie Sheen

4. James M. Flaherty ( aka Sweet Daddy Bigbucks )

note: not necessarily in that order.

FYP

#110 $froma$ia-The mother of all Bubbles on 03.03.11 at 12:39 pm

“I have tried telling them to just wait a year or two at the most”

Yup, been doing this since 2005 and listening to Garth from 2008.

In the beginning, Garths take was therapeutic…

#111 Kevin in Winnipeg on 03.03.11 at 12:40 pm

While it’s great real estate in the US is half the cost of Canada, you still need a job and there is no way that is going to happen. Your article should be directed to people ready to retire.

Retirees who have property in Canada would be stupid not to sell and move to warmer climates. What an opportunity.

There are far better investments than buying US real estate. Were you referring to commercial real estate Garth?

#112 Suburban Guy on 03.03.11 at 12:43 pm

I wanted to send that pic to my friend for his birthday. Went away for a few minutes and it was gone. What happened to it? Tell us where you got it from?

Family pix. — Garth

#113 edmonton mortgage broker on 03.03.11 at 12:44 pm

#3 Timing is Everything on 03.03.11 at 12:09 am
#210 edmonton mortgage broker – said “yes and what’s your point?” wrt CAAMP membership

Garth – said “I am totally open to knowing the source of your conviction. But if it’s CAAMP, don’t bother me.”

Kinda like the ‘Hell’s Angels’ I guess, right Garth… If your a member….

I’m truly insulted. how dare you compare mortgage professionals to the likes of Hell’s Angels. Those overweight social outcasts with personal hygiene issues are amateur pickpockets compared to a card carrying CAAMP member. I looking at my certificate on the wall right now, it says “founding member” so you better watch what you say buddy, or you’ll be getting a late night visit from my buddies at CAAMP with some 2x4s with your kneecaps written on them.

and FYI, even Hells Angels need mortgages. don’t ask me how i know…..”so sir, uh we’ll just put your occupation down as uh, debt collection specialist…”

#114 Dorothy on 03.03.11 at 12:46 pm

While it’s true that today’s housing market has a “casino” like feel to it in SOME areas such as Vancouver and Toronto, it’s certainly not true in ALL areas, and that is what people need to consider when making a decision about whether or not now is a good time to buy.
If you live in an area where real estate has NOT been artificially inflated by speculators, then this current low interest rate environment might be a very GOOD time to consider buying. One size does not fit all when it comes to this kind of a decision.
For those of you living in places like the Lower Mainland, Kelowna and the GTA, I would follow Garth’s advice and wait for the inevitable correction. But if you live in a smaller, less popular location, where prices have not soared to ridiculously high levels, any coming price correction will be fairly insignificant and short lived. This is because it will only be caused by the effect of all the bad news emanating out of the more overpriced centres, and not for any fundamental economic reason. So once the dust settles a bit, buyers in these smaller markets will return in their usual numbers and life will go on. Because the truth is that rental accommodation is often at a premium in such places, and people DO need a roof over their heads.
So, if you live in a place that has been relatively unscathed by the recent buying frenzy, feel free to go ahead and buy that home you’ve been saving up for. Just don’t be tempted to do it with only 5% down. Buyers should ALWAYS give themselves a bigger cushion than that in order to protect themselves from the inevitable ups and downs in ANY real estate market. Real Estate, just like stocks, fluctuates in price even when the market is not in a speculative bubble, so it is important for buyers to always CYA in order to ensure they are not underwater when it comes time to renew their mortgage. But that doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t buy, because if you’re planning on living in the house for the long term, the price WILL eventually go up again. So long as you view Real Estate as a place to lay your head, and not as a short term investment, you won’t have a problem.

#115 Nemesis on 03.03.11 at 12:46 pm

It is a sad day indeed when the Zesty/Effervescent Hon. GT capitulates to prigs… Next you’ll be telling us that you’ve retired the Hummer’s testicles…

:(

That was a limited edition sighting. — Garth

#116 DJH on 03.03.11 at 12:56 pm

US double-dip?

http://money.cnn.com/2011/03/03/real_estate/housing_buy_or_not/index.htm

#117 BR on 03.03.11 at 1:01 pm

Scotia uses made-up numbers to support their claim that the risk of a sharp housing correction is low:

http://financialinsights.wordpress.com/2011/03/03/scotia-calculates-the-risk-of-sharp-housing-correction-is-low-gaping-holes-in-their-logic/

#118 John on 03.03.11 at 1:04 pm

Garth, I must say I find the photo of people pitching a baby over a canyon to be very offensive. It’s outright exploitation of babies everywhere.

Bring back the birthday babe.

#119 Joe on 03.03.11 at 1:05 pm

Tossing baby. FUNNY! How else would you get it across safely?

Much better than the naked chick. Thank you!

#120 fancy_pants on 03.03.11 at 1:09 pm

sometimes I wonder if it will be a while yet before the house of cards falls; occasionally in passing thoughts I imagine it is not unrealistic we could be here yacking up the same outlook a year from now.

Nothing really out there yet to kick fear into action. The greed hand is still being played out.

Having said that I will continue to play my hand cautiously.

#121 confused and a little crazed on 03.03.11 at 1:16 pm

the chic photo was alright… people are too sensitive
i ‘ve seen better/ worst on cable TV

#122 BrianT on 03.03.11 at 1:19 pm

#59US-IMO “creativity” is absolutely the LAST thing the USA real estate market needs. The current market is due in large extent to the wonders of the creativity you laud.

#123 doc on 03.03.11 at 1:19 pm

I see you changed the picture which I thought was lovely and fun. Some of us geezers of both sexes had a great laugh with that lovely reminder of youth. Such a generally serious blog is leavened by a bit of fluff. I rue the day Garth folds to political correctness. Give your head a shake Garth and be yourself.

#124 Future Expatriate on 03.03.11 at 1:22 pm

Viva Las Vegas…

#125 BrianT on 03.03.11 at 1:34 pm

#88Wally-Good point-here is a good site for the female “visual fantasies” you require http://www.christiesrealestate.com/PropertyDetails/75276/166941/503/1

#126 BrianT on 03.03.11 at 1:43 pm

#105Ut-Oh brother-look Warren Buffett would have totally crashed and burned without his taxpayer bailout-just because he recommends an investment doesn’t mean anyone should listen.

#127 jwkimba on 03.03.11 at 1:44 pm

Like EVERY investment, do some homework.

A 65k house in ft myers rents for ~1000/month.
subtract, taxes, mgmt fee, insurance it nets ~ 650/month

650*12=7800/yr or about 12%.

Capital gains are a bonus, if they happen at all. It’s the cash flow returns that make it a winner. Trips to fla to check on your investment are a write off. it’s a potential retirement house. All expenses are decudtible from your US income (incl mortgage expense if any). Tax hit is minimal.

#128 jwkimba on 03.03.11 at 1:45 pm

P.S. missed the pic, but the flying baby is hilarious. Sent to my wife.

#129 BrianT on 03.03.11 at 1:46 pm

#106Nem-re the Detroit public school system-it is a total mess producing the worst results in North America-the kicker is that they are spending an incredible $12000 annually per student! The only logical thing would be to shut it down and totally privatize the whole thing.

#130 Utopia on 03.03.11 at 1:53 pm

Seems the prudes have won today.

Curses! Where is the sense of humour gone when a rare few uptight geeks cannot bear to see a little skin on a good old fashioned and righteously indignant real estate site?

Are you people just too sheltered? Are you not the same ones who have already sold your virginity and the glory of your innocence and youth at the altar of greed and house porn?

As Elaine on Seinfeld said….we have already seen the nipples on your souls and found you wanting (or something along those lines).

#131 TS on 03.03.11 at 1:56 pm

#116 John on 03.03.11 at 1:04 pm

Garth, I must say I find the photo of people pitching a baby over a canyon to be very offensive. It’s outright exploitation of babies everywhere.

Bring back the birthday babe.
I second that. It kind of reminded me of real estate lust.

#132 Mr. Crispy on 03.03.11 at 2:03 pm

Robert Kiyosaki’s take on the U.S. economy (his update from today) …

“For someone out of work, deeply in debt, and not earning enough money to make ends meet, it’s hard to imagine that the world’s problem is too much money. It’s like the old saying, “Water, water, everywhere, but not a drop to drink.”

If you’ve read Conspiracy of the Rich: The 8 New Rules of Money (COR), you know that the world’s problem is too much money. The problem is that without financial education in our schools, which is part of the conspiracy, most people—even highly educated people from good schools—are short of money even while floating in a sea of money.

Today, trillions of dollars are circling the globe looking for people who know what to do with it all. This tsunami of money is causing booms and busts all over the world. For example, in China and Brazil, massive sums of money are causing inflation. Rather than solve the problem, these countries are timidly raising their interest rates and increasing the required down payment on a home from 40 percent to 60 percent, and still, real estate prices are climbing. I predict that in the near future, China’s real estate bust will make the real estate bust in Dubai look like chump change.

For those of you who understand macro-economic forces, when tons of money moves into a country, the banks need to lend that money immediately. The reason this credit expansion happens is because savings are a bank’s liability. Money in a savings account costs the bank money due to storage fees and interest payments. The only way a bank makes money is by lending out your savings at interest.

Hence, banks need borrowers. The more money in savings accounts, the more banks need to lend money, and soon, as banks pass out money like candy, we have real estate, stock market, and commodity booms. When hot money flows into a country, the expansion of money can be explosive, if it’s not well managed. As you know, this is what happened in Japan, the US, and Europe. Economic booms led to economic busts. The rich got richer and the poor and middle class are paying for the clean up.

In spite of all this chaos, I watched a former Federal Reserve Bank governor say on television, “There is no inflation.” He’s either lying or really stupid. The riots in Egypt were set off due to high unemployment and high food prices—both symptoms of corrupt governments and too much money driving up prices.

This former Fed governor, today a college professor, basically said this wouldn’t happen in the US. I don’t know what this guy is smoking, but if the US doesn’t control its spending and reduce its deficit, the problem will only grow worse. If governments start laying off government bureaucrats due to budget cuts—which might be a good thing—we’ll only have more unemployment and higher prices.

As a person who invests in oil production and not oil stocks, this is good news for me because the price of oil keeps going up. Unfortunately, since oil affects all prices, high-cost oil destroys the living standards of the poor and middle class. To make matters worse, the Obama administration hasn’t reopened oil drilling in the gulf since the BP disaster. Due to environmental fears, the government has stopped energy exploration on the Outer Continental Shelf and has canceled 77 drilling in Utah.

This may be good news for environmentalists, but it’s bad news for the economy. In a few years, it’s possible we’ll have gasoline prices in the US as high as they are in Europe, which is around $7 a gallon.

As all this turmoil swirls around the world, the US government continues to create more debt to buy old, bad debt. This makes no sense to me. Yet, what can politicians do? All they can do is keep the lies and deceptions going, and as long as people are happy, the party roars on.

Personally, I would rather take matters into my own hands and not be dependent upon the “smartest” people in the world, our leaders in Washington. This is why COR is important, especially the 8 new rules of money. If you’re playing by the old rules of money, you may also find yourself surrounded by money, money, everywhere but not able to afford to live. “

#133 BurnabyMike on 03.03.11 at 2:04 pm

#86

No I don’t see that at all and heres why.

There is a huge pool of homes winding their way through the foreclosure system on top of the huge supply of homes on the market already.

On the American scene Republicans are hell bent on destroying the few who have decent jobs as seen in WI and other states. On top of that the Federal politicians are looking to cut and throw more people out of work. So when people fear for their jobs and are uncertain they do not spend and certainly will not by homes. Some say 200-700 thousand more layoffs coming.

Shut down of the government looms too.

The banks are still bloated with those delinquent homes they now ‘own’ and are in a very precarious position weighed down with assets they can’t sell and are decreasing in value weekly.

There is much instability overseas and as it continues and even increases it will have a destabilizing effect.

China has acted strongly to their real estate bubble as their economy finds it feet. Look up ghost cities in China.

Some how I don’t think Canadians will be able to really help the US housing sector. Even if every one of us all buys a house there, pure fantasy.

Robert Shiller is not just a regular economist there is a house price index named for him and Mr Case his associate. FYI there is a mean average homes have ALWAYS returned to and they are not at the mean yet. When prices fall as they are now they usually pass the mean on the way down. Then it is a time to contemplate a smart move. We are not there yet.

I wish it were not so and I wish we could have good times forever but that is not realistic. So I do not see the wonderful change coming yet. Canadian should listen to Garth and prepare.

You seem to be very involved in real estate so there is reason for your take on the subject. I will paraphrase a quote from Abelard ‘learn the difference between actual facts and those merely of persuasion’

#134 Pete on 03.03.11 at 2:08 pm

Sales down again for the last nine months in a row. Prices have dropped alot since last year. Yes you can look at the manipulated data from realtors are say no prices are up unless you look at the facts. Homes which sold for $600k now sell for $500K and those homes which sold for $500K can not sell for that price and so they sit on the market. You get more house for your money then last year but realtors and other vested interest need to hide the truth. Some people have no idea that sales have dropped for nine months in a row. Anyone stupid to buy now should be smart to drop their ask by tens of thousands and upto $100K. Many sellers are living in a dream land and clueless to reality. Realtors are hungry for sales since housing sales have crashed. After march , sales will even be harder to come by and the need to sell will be even greater as the months go by. To buy now is to pay more since prices will fall each and every month for years. Everyone in the biz is in a panic.

#135 borrowedcarbon on 03.03.11 at 2:09 pm

I can’t believe you would post a picture of baby-tossing. *gasp* I am so insulted. Don’t you know how many mothers and fathers reading this blog will be offended? They come here for a daily dose of anti-real estate, not baby tossing. In the future, please restrict your photos to “for sale” signs in front of really old houses. This is not offensive.

#136 KelWalts on 03.03.11 at 2:10 pm

Oh shucks, I missed the hotty picture today! BTW – Garth’s hunky picture is available all over the web and most of it is not even at premium $$ to download. Kepp the great pictures and let the old prudes suffer, it will be good for their sense of superiority.

#137 ash on 03.03.11 at 2:13 pm

Again, I agree with Joe above. Thank you Garth for changing that pic. If people want to see naked girls, go to a porn site.

She was neither naked nor a girl. Just metaphorical. Porn’s in the eye of the beholder. Now we know more about you. — Garth

#138 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 03.03.11 at 2:14 pm


#70 Just a Tech — My understanding is as long as one stays at the max. of $5K per year, different places can hold them. It is the individual’s responsibility to keep track of their own investments.

#92 Cowboy — “When people lose everything and they have nothing left to lose, they lose it!’”

Correct, and this is what leads to revolutions. Think The French Revolution; the only reason society’s rejects started along that path was they had nothing left to lose to begin with.

#93 Dan in Victoria — Thanks Dan. Good links.

#97 Evan Richard — “Right after ‘studmuffin.’ — Garth”

Assorted studmuffins galore. Cash on Delivery, no returns and HST exempt!

Here, here, here, here, and here.

#124 BrianT — Great point which the m$m has conveniently ignored. Buffet is like any other business person — he will stand in line, like GS, JPM and the banks waiting for taxpayers to bail him out.

#139 bystander on 03.03.11 at 2:23 pm

Sell loonie, and let the law of gravity to work on your side. This is called leverage. If you’re still long Real Estate in this country, soon you will learn what REVERSE LEVERAGE is.

My apologies to all patriots on this forum, but it has nothing to do with being unpatriotic to your country. Decide for yourself if you’re willing to get burried under the avalanche that is coming. Sell you property. Sell the Lonnie before you get wiped out.

The time is NOW.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

#140 Michael on 03.03.11 at 2:26 pm

Good strategy. Wait for prices to reverse and rise. Atta boy. — Garth

That’s not really an answer to my question, now is it? I know you have a huge following and I agree with the housing assessment on your end, but where you tend to lose me is when it goes beyond that. You seem to somehow have this odd idea, much like the pumpers, that real estate exists in a vacuum and that people will flock to it (and should) when the “price is right”.

I have asked you a few times to explain to me the logic behind that sentiment but either it was ignored or I got zingers like the one above.

Is it really that hard for you to keep a two paragraph, high level, answer to my question? I doubt I am the only one who wonders that.

Of course they will. Real estate is a useful asset, but valuable only at the correct cost. In that, it shares characteristics with every other asset class. How hard is that to grasp? — Garth

#141 Timing is Everything on 03.03.11 at 2:33 pm

#88 Wally – Just 4 U and the ‘ladies’

http://www.emergencemarketing.com/images/calvin%20klein.jpg

#142 Michael on 03.03.11 at 2:39 pm

@59

Wow, a lot of people from up north are pretty pessimistic about the US situation.

If it helps, I am pretty pessimistic about the Canadian situation too, and the world in general at this point. We haven’t dealt with anything, we just put a bunch of band aids on a very large bleed.

Keep in mind, the last 5 years here there have been intense structural changes, we have been taking some pretty nasty medicine (think of that awful Canadian stuff what’s it called – Buckleys?), while other parts of the commodity producing world have been in deep denial. I look around and I see an economy that has shed a lot of fat, been repairing balance sheets, a population that has woken up to the dangers of public spending and entitlement, and is hungry to get back to work.

Okay, let’s address this one at a time:

1. Denial: Yes. this will hurt…. a lot.
2. Shedding Fat: Really? Where? US companies either got bailed out or scraped by but there has been little to no new job creation.
3. Repaired Balance Sheets: Two words: Quantitive Easing. The sheets don’t really look all that good. The mistake you make is to think that the drop will be one fellow swoop. It won’t. People will, for example, defer the purchase of a new car but sooner or later they will have to. So suddenly you see a rise in sales of cars, that’s not a sign that the economy has rebound, it is a sign that penned up demand was caught up with. Unless you see a year or so of continues strong car sales, nothing has recovered. The same goes for other sectors as well.
4. Spending and Entitlement: You’re in a race to the bottom. There will be no winners on either side. Be it private or public sector. The “age of austerity” has been talked about but has not been implemented by either companies or Governments. Stay tuned, eventually they will have no other choice.
5. People wanting to work: I have no doubt. I have no doubt that most people always wanted to work. But if there is no market for products people won’t be hired to make them (whatever is still made in the US anyway). So you got a catch-22. Unless people have a job that allows them to buy products nobody needs them to make the products they would buy. Temporary increases in sales (see point 3) don’t change that fact.

Yeah the banks are dumping property but the market is working, we have been clearing the system for years now and guess what, people are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I don’t want to make this into some kinda comparrison, I think Canada is awesome, all I am saying is do not underestimate the depth, creativity, and ingenuity of the American market.

You mean the same creativity that brought the crisis on in the first place? What makes you think that “this time it’s different?

A wise man once said “don’t bet against the USA”.

Two words: black swan.

You only need to have one of those to prove you wrong. But you need a lot of white ones to prove you right.

#143 Michael on 03.03.11 at 2:42 pm

@66

I am sure China wants to do that. I also want to go out and buy myself a Ferrari, and a nice mansion in Bridle Path, and also have that chick in the above picture. See what I mean? Want is one thing, can get is another thing.

The only difference is that China owns the Ferrari factory and can build itself as many Ferraris as it likes.

The “problem” so far was that China only allowed the Yuan to be used within China, not for international trade. They have announced that they will be easing the restrictions beginning this month. This means for the first time Yuan can flow out of China and into the market.

Even if they do not succeed, it WILL cause chaos, confusion and uncertainty in the markets and despite what all these economists tell you, the market is driven by fear and instinct not rationality. It will have an effect (at least in the short term) on the US’ standing in the world and with that it’s economy.

#144 BBC on 03.03.11 at 2:44 pm

Garth, what is your take on the David Rosenberg comment below….

“The housing mania has been effectively defused and so it is with high hopes that
the household debt bubble in Canada will also lose air without being popped in a
destabilizing manner.”

David Rosenberg, March 1, 2011

#145 SAD on 03.03.11 at 2:46 pm

When will interest rates rise?
Anyone’s guess. If Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke stops playing around it will be very soon.
http://www.finpipe.com/interest.htm

#146 Grrr on 03.03.11 at 2:49 pm

Before running out and buying US RE, a few words of caution.

1) There is still a lot of inventory waiting in the pipeline to go to market. While price reductions have been significant, there could still be major price drops yet to come in many markets.

2) US municipalities are hurting for money, and significant property tax increases should be anticipated. Foreign owners (such as Canadians) make tempting and politically viable targets.

3) Many of the houses that are selling cheap are doing so for a reason. Major back taxes/HOA fees against them. Decay in the structure and services. They may be in a neighbourhood that is failing. Make sure you go and see the place and do your homework.

I won’t be buying US.

#147 jess on 03.03.11 at 3:00 pm

..i’m betting on the toss the chance is less risky then these poor little kiddies who were out gathering wood one morning when a DRONE cremated them.

Gen. David Petraeus apologizes for deaths of 9 Afghan children”

#148 Genghis on 03.03.11 at 3:05 pm

This published a few hours ago by The Economist magazine.

On why you don’t want to put all of your eggs into the real estate basket. Very well presented arguments. Many points touched on by Garth in previous posts.

Title: Bricks and slaughter
Property is widely seen as a safe asset. It is arguably the most dangerous of all, says Andrew Palmer
http://www.economist.com/node/18250385?story_id=18250385

#149 SAD on 03.03.11 at 3:07 pm

Delinquency Rate for CMBS Hits a Record
The clean up game continues…

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703409904576174652993921360.html?mod=dist_smartbrief

#150 SRV ES339 on 03.03.11 at 3:08 pm

A (wealthy) friend bought a very nice gated community home in St Petes a couple of years back (deal of a lifetime at $200K… $400K + new.

Last fall he bought a better, bigger one (deal of a lifetime for $120K)… $500K + new.

The last one is now valued below $100K… the US R/E market is a sick, corrupt mess, with land mines at every step (even the basic ownership of millions of properties are in question).

I’d rather throw cash at Casino Rama… I hear they at least give you a chance of winning. But I’m just a PM investor suffering through 150% ROI over the last 18 mths, so what would I know.

#151 Timing is Everything on 03.03.11 at 3:09 pm

#112 edmonton mortgage broker

Ah, you’re a ‘full patch’ member. I thought so.
I needed one of your gang for a ‘job’ just before
Xmas. He got us a great deal on a 5year fixed! He just told me “Don’t ask ANY questions, and I will do the deed.” All very professional. ;)

#152 bridgepigeon on 03.03.11 at 3:12 pm

Sorry to see some can’t see beyond a little skin to get the irony, humour, and lessons creatively shown in your chosen photos. More sorry to see you feel you have to compromise your artistic expression. Try to please everyone and what’s left ?

#153 Alpha Bravo on 03.03.11 at 3:20 pm

#38 Mikey the Realtor

“DA and I have been busy closing and it has been terrific”

Two midshipmen rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Hope you both find a lifeboat…

#154 Crazy on 03.03.11 at 3:22 pm

Interesting twist for Greece

http://www.cnbc.com/id/41864622

How will the Euro meltdown affect Canada, if at all?

#155 BrianT on 03.03.11 at 3:25 pm

I gotta say-so far this Rob Ford guy is pretty impressive-he seems to kick ass http://www.thestar.com/news/article/948101–tchc-chair-slams-ford-as-board-quits?bn=1

#156 heloguy on 03.03.11 at 3:28 pm

Jeff Smith on 03.03.11 at 3:38 am

>#27 City Slicker on 03.03.11 at 1:04 am
>When the revolution breaks out in Saudi Arabia and oil
>goes over $150 the US economy will crash, maybe
>forever. Good luck on house capital gains.

I heard the Saudi king will be giving out lots of treats to the populations there. So they probably don’t want to start a revolution there.

I just happen to live and work in Saudi and there is no indications that revolution will happen here. The king gave out 100 billion for the population to combat unemployment among other things. The so called “Day of Rage” that is happening on the 11th of march is not a facebook organized protest. Protesting is outlawed so the “protesters” asked for and received a permit to gather. What you see in Canada is what CBC/CTV want you to see. When I see the locals dancing in the street and celebrating the king and his policies I have no worries that the area is secure.

Cheers

#157 Brian1 on 03.03.11 at 3:29 pm

I see a lot of sold signs which now say ‘TOO LATE’.

#158 Alberta Boy on 03.03.11 at 3:36 pm

I googled the previous picture just by describing it and the results brought up the same picture plus about a dozen others in the set (I didn’t really look at them, just glanced). They were all very offensive.

#159 OttawaMike on 03.03.11 at 3:41 pm

I was on the phone with the Eco energy audit firm today to book my final inspection before the March 31st deadline.
A great program killed by the feds on April Fools Day 2010 without any warning.

The rep told me there are rumours out that the program will be resucitated just in time for the coming election.

A great program to help reduce our collective energy usage but also an indirect boost to housing by stimulating renos.

#160 Two-thirds on 03.03.11 at 3:48 pm

Here are some RE news from a place with lots of sellers:

“No rush for Edmonton homebuyers despite tightening mortgage rules.

EDMONTON – Tighter mortgage rules coming in March aren’t causing a rush in Edmonton home sales, says the president of the Realtors Association of Edmonton.

On Wednesday, the group released Edmonton-area MLS figures showing 1,044 homes were sold in February.

That number shows an improvement over January, when 735 homes were sold, but that’s 20.6 per cent off the pace set a year earlier.”

http://www.edmontonjournal.com/business/rush+Edmonton+homebuyers+despite+tightening+mortgage+rules/4372236/story.html

As some of the b-dogs here have been reporting, things seem to be quite slow in Edmonton.

Maybe time does slow down the closer one gets to -273 C?

Edmonton may be on its way back to 2006 stats.

#161 debtified on 03.03.11 at 3:54 pm

I like the new photo. I like the previous one also. I like them all. I mean, who am I not to like any of them and complain about it? There are a lot more disgusting things on this blog than any of the photos. I can always ignore or not visit this blog altogether if there’s anything I don’t like about it. I don’t see the need to complain.

http://www.greaterfool.ca/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/gift.jpg

Keep up the great work, Garth!

#162 Live Within Your Means on 03.03.11 at 4:13 pm

To all those who object to Garth’s pics, no one is forcing you to visit his site. Do any of you pay for a Sun rag or watch TV. You’ll see far worse.

Friend popped in today. Was surprised to learn that both property owners and renters receive a T slip in Ontario and Quebec stating what they paid in property taxes and, apparently, they can deduct them from their income tax. Friend has worked in an accounting office for 30+ years. Is this true?

#163 betamax on 03.03.11 at 4:15 pm

I’m shocked by the baby tossing picture — not because I give a rats about baby tossing, or even if he catches the kid (relax, it’s Photoshop), because I was looking forward to seeing the birthday babe that I saw last night. Where has she gone with her lovely party hats? Will I ever see her again? Damn, I knew I should have saved the picture to disk…

#164 Live Within Your Means on 03.03.11 at 4:17 pm

PS to my previous post – thought you people were talking about the beautiful young chick. Still say, get a life. Ever heard of photoshop.

#165 Derek on 03.03.11 at 4:52 pm

Heads up!

Steve Keen has just posted his latest thoughts on the relationships between new mortgages, house prices and unemployment. All highly technical and based on the latest Australian data but his insights are very relevant to Canadians given that we are in much the same situation as Australians with regard to exports, debt and house prices

Check out Australian Debt Update on his blog if you are interested.

#166 NP on 03.03.11 at 4:55 pm

Spoke to a sis this aft. She and her husband (retired) bring in about $25k ea. TH condo paid off. He pays for certain things and she pays food, etc. – no joint acct. Both are spenders. Do know she gets by with a LOC until her cheques come in at the end of the month. She buys some of the best cuts of steak/roasts and just about every weekend has a friend or 2 over. Buys big pack chicken drummies for the dog but will only cook 10 at a time, ’cause frozen, cooked chicken is not the same for their dog. Gimme a break. Since last summer, she now has a fussy cat that only eats certain things and won’t even allow her to touch her.

So tonight she’ll go to a g’friends a street below to have a taco (sis’s choise – didn’t want her friend to go to too much trouble). Already bought her friend an expensive bottle of wine and bought $14 of tulips. My sis, though I love her dearly, is out to lunch. She owes $500. on her income tax, doesn’t know how she’ll pay it. As our mutual friend of 35+ YRS today said, she has given up on my sis re her spending habits and told her she no longer wants to hear about what she has bought.

Sorry for my rant. But, she’s always giving me advice about what I should buy.

#167 Timing is Everything on 03.03.11 at 4:58 pm

Ya think?

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/story/2011/03/03/bmo-housing.html

#168 firsttimerinwaiting on 03.03.11 at 4:59 pm

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/story/2011/03/03/bmo-housing.html

Tomorrow they’ll report that we have a healthy market poised for double digit gains in 2011.

#169 Wally on 03.03.11 at 5:02 pm

#49 Tim- San Fran and Seattle are cloudy puddles for the most part, been there, done that…. the US will NEVER stick it to the Canadians (for 2 reasons: 1) they are desperate for our assistance as real estate consumers to help stimulate their economy and 2) you and the rest of the herd are not paying attention to what Harper and Obama are working on “big picture” wise), and lastly, the real estate collapse in Spain is mostly in Costa de Sol, and unlike the past few decades you’re likely to get robbed or stabbed if you take a wrong turn.

#170 Alpha Bravo on 03.03.11 at 5:14 pm

Housing overvalued, BMO warns

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/story/2011/03/03/bmo-housing.html

#171 NP on 03.03.11 at 5:20 pm

#157 OttawaMike on 03.03.11 at 3:41 pm
I was on the phone with the Eco energy audit firm today to book my final inspection before the March 31st deadline.
A great program killed by the feds on April Fools Day 2010 without any warning.

The rep told me there are rumours out that the program will be resucitated just in time for the coming election.

A great program to help reduce our collective energy usage but also an indirect boost to housing by stimulating renos.

…………….

We used the program last spring and were told by the Eco energy audit firm the feds would soon scrap the program. This govt. doesn’t believe in eco programs. They will only revive it if will garner them some votes. If they ever (hopefully not) gain a majority, they’ll cancel it.

Was polled this aft. Based on questions, it was NDP.

#172 ash on 03.03.11 at 5:33 pm

Garth, I meant girl in the sense of boy-girl. She was not naked but the intention of the photo was to invoke feelings of lust in people, I feel. Personally I do not watch tv as I am tired of being constantly bombarded by useless crap such as woman being objectified. I read your blog for the information and to see you posting pictures like that makes me feel insulted as a woman. The intention of porn is also to invoke feelings of lust in people. It is a distraction from what is really important. Plus, the fact is that I don’t see you objectifying men like you are woman. I don’t want you to, but please don’t objectify my sex either. Be respectful and stick to what’s important. That was all I meant when I made my earlier comment. And to all of you who comment on us “prudes” trust me I am not a prude, but I have class and to me, that picture is something that should be shared in private. Thanks for your time

#173 Wally on 03.03.11 at 5:47 pm

Re # 63- Burned by Broker’s side job:
FILE 2 CIVIL LAW SUITS, obtain 2 judgements, one for your losses, one for you wife’s losses, and get your money back. He probably won’t let it get far enough for the judge to grant the judgements – he’ll offer to settle out of court when he’s served. If it goes to jugement he’ll be on the hook to you, and won’t be able to escape, for the full amounts.

This guy is killing himself laughing dude. You are a prime victim, no offense. Dumb enough to invest in a product that you didn’t understand was independent of his regulatory realm( he knew it), and ignorant of recovery law (understandable until my post, you’re welcome) and he knows this too.

STOP BEING HIS DAMN FRIEND AND SUE HIS CROOKED ASS OFF. REMEMBER >>> “CIVIL” LAWYER, “CIVIL” LAWSUIT.

#174 City Slicker on 03.03.11 at 6:15 pm

And so the domino effect begins? Boise Idaho first municipality to file for bankrupcy:

http://www.idahostatesman.com/2011/03/02/1548057/boise-county-files-for-bankruptcy.html#

#175 Tony on 03.03.11 at 6:18 pm

The drop that all you poor folk are praying for so that you can scoop a house is not going to come. Yes, there may be a correction, but if you missed the boat 5 years ago, you missed the boat and will pay more now for less–even if there is a market correction.

I was reading this blog 3 years ago when the same thing was being pitched over and over again–Garth kinda reminds me of an Evangelist extolling the second coming of Christ. But Peter Popoff’isms will not bring about a bubble burst and neither will it bring the Christ back to earth. Face it, they are both myths.

Yeah, you are right. Assets values will rise endlessly. Jesus will make it so. — Garth

#176 BrianT on 03.03.11 at 6:20 pm

#170Ash-Your narrow view of “objectification” is misguided-men are objectified just as often as women, on this site, or anywhere in the MSM. How often have your heard the opinion of some grifter like Buffett quoted-why? Because they have a lot of money-usually that is the only reason guys like him or Trump, etc. are ever mentioned. Why is Charlie Sheen a big story? He is a crazy guy who happens to be THE HIGHEST PAID TV STAR-he is totally “objectified”-he would be totally ignored if he was a highly talented struggling actor. Men are objectified, women are objectified and the planet keeps turning.

#177 Macrath on 03.03.11 at 6:28 pm

#170 ash
I don’t see you objectifying men like you are woman.
————————————————————————
Did you not see yesterdays picture?

#178 Mr. Reality on 03.03.11 at 6:36 pm

Sorry Garth i do not agree with buying US housing. A country with that much debt will never again be able to leverage their way out of it (remember how much of our exports go to the US). Stagflation will kill that country and us along with it. Japan style. Add into the mix a changed Middle East and emerging markets such as China, India and Brazil having problems and you got a situation where illiquid assets are more harm than good.

#179 Timing is Everything on 03.03.11 at 6:37 pm

Garth, I know ‘dwarf tossing’ was banned a while back.
I thought baby tossing would have been banned too…Maybe not? Extreme baby tossing?

———————————————————-

Speaking of ‘gifts’….My buddies wife got a ‘free’ horse as a gift…Their free horse has cost them $300,000…
so far.

– she bought a second horse (horses need companionship, apparently)
– horses on your septic field is not a good idea.
– replaced septic field
– sold their 1 acre property and bought a 3 acre
– vet costs
– horses eat a lot
– infrastructure (stalls, paddock, riding ring, tack…etc)
– F-350 and trailer for two horses.

So ya, she got a free horse….however…

“There is danger”…Looking forward to your posts on US property purchase ‘opportunities’. Pitfalls, caveats and possible rewards…I am sure.

#180 poco on 03.03.11 at 6:42 pm

#24 Canuckfilly
#132 Pete——–glad to see there’s still a few who can see the downturn in the housing market–my hat goes off to you!!!!–keep watching –a long way to go
too many posters on here think everything is still rosey–“the market is stable”– “it’s going up”-comments like that make me gag!!!–i have a feeling some of you are going to inherit the moniker “greater fool”

#73 BPOE–1.1m av. price— buyers coming in by the plane load—i think you need to do a little homework–the plane is now loaded with many of these speculotors who are leaving with their wallets a little lighter
(we know you’re just a troll getting the dawgs all riled up with your dribble and really don’t have a clue about anything to do with the housing market) so this is not for you –maybe some of the dawgs can still be saved(my God i’m sounding like DA)
anyways –heres a few from the False Creek area of Van
mls#v862615 bought jun10-1.24m—listed jul 10–1.447m
now dropped to 1.259m
mls#v852583 boughtjun 10 985.9k–lised sept 1.09m
now dropped to 998.9k
mls#v868448 bought june 10–1.830m–now at 1.880
mls#v871669 bought june 10–840.pk–listed july 10–888k–now 788k
and these aren’t sold yet–loses all around—and this one caught my eye
mls# v855046–listed jun 09–2.195—now 1.69–yup,BPOE, always goes up

#181 Wally on 03.03.11 at 6:43 pm

#119- Confused and a little crazed: You are an idiot, so sorry, but someone had to point out the category that you and the other male hosers on this blog fall into. I happen to be a very successful business WOMAN. Um, gee, “Wally” is not my given name however I would venture a guess that “Confused and a little crazed” is yours.

P.S. I’ll be waiting for that pic you promised Garth. Make it a good one.

#182 BrianT on 03.03.11 at 6:45 pm

What a great time to be a 12 yr old kid-isn’t the tech revolution wonderful http://www.complex.com/tech/2011/03/penthouse-to-launch-first-3d-porn-channel

#183 Love this Blog on 03.03.11 at 6:50 pm

This just in Saskatoon news today:

The Bank of Montreal says 5 provinces, led by Saskatchewan, are in the danger zone when it comes to housing.

The Bank says the ratio of average resale prices on housing compared to personal income is 39 percent above historic norms in this province.

The Bank of Montreal’s follow up to its November analysis finds the housing market is still not in the red zone for prices, but it’s close.

The report says the housing market is reaching the limits of sustainability and could tumble if there’s no moderation.

It notes that after slowing last summer, Canadian home sales rebounded in the fall and prices have continued to go up

#184 Wally on 03.03.11 at 6:53 pm

One more thing. andthus is for the girls here, we find it hilarious that you pine over that gorgeous birthday chick as totally unattainable. Wanna know a secret? Ok, I’ll tell you, lol, any guy can have that if he isn’t a drooling hoser. We hate those. (Note to all of you who felt the need to comment on her. I’m guessing you can only dream about a chick who eats right and exercises).

Class is over – but the actual practice of it can resume now.

#185 Wally on 03.03.11 at 7:01 pm

One more thought because I just know that you won’t sinks this unless I tell you, although I am tired of the imbalance regarding the pics, that birthday girl’s idea will definitely be copied by me! (and I bet I’m not the only female on here who memorized that costume for surprising our guys with) It was fabulously creative, simple and cute, just great. : )

#186 NP on 03.03.11 at 7:06 pm

#170 ash on 03.03.11 at 5:33 pm
Garth, I meant girl in the sense of boy-girl. She was not naked but the intention of the photo was to invoke feelings of lust in people, I feel.

…………..

Doesn’t it resemble house lust.

……….

Personally I do not watch tv as I am tired of being constantly bombarded by useless crap such as woman being objectified. I read your blog for the information and to see you posting pictures like that makes me feel insulted as a woman. The intention of porn is also to invoke feelings of lust in people. It is a distraction from what is really important. Plus, the fact is that I don’t see you objectifying men like you are woman. I don’t want you to, but please don’t objectify my sex either. Be respectful and stick to what’s important. That was all I meant when I made my earlier comment. And to all of you who comment on us “prudes” trust me I am not a prude, but I have class and to me, that picture is something that should be shared in private. Thanks for your time

…………..

I appreciate your opinion, and felt as you do many years ago. Hate to say it, but we’re living in the 21st century and no matter what I, or you, feel, men will be men. I’m sure my husband and several of his friends watch porn. I don’t think he respects me any less as a woman. They live vicariously. :-) I’d rather that than the opposite.

#187 kim on 03.03.11 at 7:12 pm

A lot of worried realtors on this blog spreading lies about the housing market. It’s so obvious. Sales must be really bad. Explains the 9-10 month drop in sales

#188 Crazy on 03.03.11 at 7:12 pm

Yeah, you are right. Assets values will rise endlessly. Jesus will make it so. — Garth

——————————–

My father used to often pan “Canadians” for not being wise with money. He would say that they would just sit around, spend money unwisely, and then when the next month came around they would be scrambling to pay the rent.

I know that is an oversimplified view, and does not represent the majority.

In Canada, we have a culture that thinks only about the present generation. Why do we kick out the next generation, and force them to “start over”? A family that works hard should not have the next generation paying a mortgage, or rent for that matter! If your ancestors did things right, and if you are wise to do the same, you should be able to live for free (plus the basic expenses, eg. hydro, water, etc). That way you can focus on building more wealth.

I agree that paying a mortgage is servitude in a way, but the point is to get past that, and ensure your kids don’t have to do the same.

#189 Jan Etter on 03.03.11 at 7:21 pm

“#153 BrianT on 03.03.11 at 3:25 pm
I gotta say-so far this Rob Ford guy is pretty impressive-he seems to kick ass http://www.thestar.com/news/article/948101–tchc-chair-slams-ford-as-board-quits?bn=1

***

What does this have to do with the Troubled Future of Real Estate?

Since you brought it up though, you should learn to recognize the difference between “kicking ass” and shooting first and asking questions later – innocent people get shot along with the bad guys.

#190 Pat on 03.03.11 at 7:21 pm

#179 Wally:
” I happen to be a very successful business WOMAN.”

Nah, you’re just an overcaffeinated anonymous wally.

#191 Wally on 03.03.11 at 7:28 pm

#150 BridgePigeon- if by “everyone” you mean both sexes then yes, he should be pleasing everyone. Give me a break “honey”.

#192 VICTORIA TEA PARTY on 03.03.11 at 7:32 pm

SAUDIS AND OTHER CANARIES

#65 Calgary Hat.

Yes, t’is a bit of a pickle out there isn’t it?

Saudi Arabia’s stock market is one of a number of canaries (stock markets) in the Mideast mine-shaft right now, meaning that investors are getting the shaft!

They deserve it.

Read Ambrose Evans-Pritchard’s, (London) Telegraph.co.uk, column of this date if you desire long-range fiscal heartburn: forewarned, forearmed, that sort of thing.

It looks like the worst-possible dynamic is getting closer to the surface there: the battle between the oppressed Shi-ites and the smaller dominant (in that region) Sunnis. Shi’ites dominate the peripohery of the Persian Gulf from Iran through southern Iraq, Kuwait, Eastern Saudi Arabia and the Emirates.

If that Pandora’s box opens, then take up walking or public transit. You and your local gas pump will become strangers.

REAL ESTATE TECHNICALS AND FUNDAMENTALS: THE DOCTOR’S IN THE HOUSE!

Which gets me to Garth’s sunny take on US real estate.
There may be technical reasons, low prices and taxes, that woul attract Canadian buyers.

But the fundamentals stink. The other day, Bill Gross of PIMCO (the world’s largest bond trading outfit–based in the US) urged the US Central Bank to continue printing up $100-billion a month, of money, into the unforeseen future.

To stop this monetary transfusion, Gross whined, would be to see interest rates rise! No Doubt! And with that the US economy would plunge ever deeper into the very deep financial morass it is already in.

So, the Greatest Nation on Earth, can only survive, Gross surmises, by going deeper and deeper into debt! If Bernanke, the Central Bank Guru, can create prosperity out of world-class debt, then he is an alchemist and can then turn lead into gold.

THE DOCTOR IS IN!

California’s Dr. Housing Bubble has been on the real estate case for years now. Listen to him before you decise to head south. First a piece on renting and then buying:

March 1, 2011

“–The financial allure of renting – How the real estate industry silences the voice of one third of Americans. Homeownership back to 1998 levels because owning a home requires income and affordability. $650 billion in real estate wealth evaporated in the last quarter of housing data.

One third of Americans do it…We are talking about renting. The United States is built around homeownership and the marketing machine that pushes it through the system has no regard for the renting group. However renting makes a lot of sense for a lot of people. No one really owns a home until they pay off the bank note completely. You always see on the housing shows a dreamlike state of a person buying their first home. The camera zooms in on the happy couple in HDTV and they give each other a Hollywood glance and say, “we are now homeowners!” Well, you actually own the property as long as you pay your mortgage on time to the bank. Owning isn’t the financially smart thing for many Americans yet there is no group pushing for this because there is little money to be made on telling people to not buy…”

–Certain California cities are going to see dramatic price cuts in the next few years. As banks begin leaking properties out slowly prices will decline because lending standards have gotten tighter but also perceptions are shifting.

–Down payments, stricter lending, stagnant wages, and massive pipeline of distressed inventory – 5 reasons why 2011 is not the time to buy real estate in California. Even FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair supports 20 percent down payments…

–Don’t believe calls for a quick housing bottom

–Foreclosures increase as system is still clogged.

–The calls for a bottom in 2011 for California housing do not coincide with the holistic data we are seeing for the state.

–Foreclosing on the red carpet – Hollywood home goes from $1 million to $377,000. Real estate with financial glamour. Real

–Politicians like to talk about affordable housing but in reality favor policies that keep home prices inflated.

So, I say to myself: It’s time for Canadians to live frugally.

But not so, it seems, for some Crazy Canuck, with a big ego and a bank loan, to go trotting into some US suburb like he’s some kind of imperialist Africa-bound elephant hunter of old looking for the “big one.” Yeah, right.

#193 mickey on 03.03.11 at 7:35 pm

Garth, much irony in the deleted pictures. To bad about the dumb criticism. Women are very catty about other women making them look bad.

#194 Kitchener1 on 03.03.11 at 7:37 pm

Feb numbers are out!!

http://www.torontorealestateboard.com/consumer_info/market_news/news2011/pdf/nr_market_watch_0211.pdf

Sales down 14% from last year.

Of course, their spinning it as still being good because sales are up 50% from Feb 2009.

This bird is cooked, YoY sales vlume down since June 2010.

Inventory meanwhile continues to grow slowly

Even with the 35 year deadline approaching– pulling demand forward from spring, numbers are still down.

Wait until August. large inventory overhang-declining sales and increase in rates.

#195 Nicky Bouts on 03.03.11 at 7:37 pm

More posts about the picture / picture change than about the article. People are way to sensitive. This blog isn’t just about the economy and financials but a place to get a good laugh or two and see a funny photo. Those who preach you’re here to read only…then ignore the pictures. This blog is what it is and we like it, if you don’t go find more stuck up blog/site. People always need something to protest… Enough complaining, I like many enjoyed the photo, as I do the new one…and just about every other one.

Keep up the good work Garth, this is my favourite “Lunch” article each day.

#196 Devore on 03.03.11 at 7:42 pm

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/story/2011/03/03/food-inflation-george-weston.html

Well, it had to happen sooner or later. The industry can only compress their margins and reduce package sizes for so long before bottom line becomes an issue.

#197 ballingsford on 03.03.11 at 7:48 pm

I’ve been reading this blog up to about the 100th post and I don’t see what’s sexy about throwing your child across a chasm?!?!

#198 Hoof-Hearted on 03.03.11 at 7:53 pm

Look….

Place like Vancouver simply needs an enema..

After that what we saw in ChristChurch is long overdue geologically speaking.

Metro Vancouver is simply the Titanic…..partying away and a disaster on many fronts in the making.

#199 poco on 03.03.11 at 7:54 pm

#173 Tony –don’t get out too much eh–look around –a lot of house prices in various areas on the west coast are approaching 2008 levels–down –down –down we go–hope you’re not one of those recent buyers of overpriced properties

Mikey the Realtor–you’re on about the same level as BPOE, but you are right in the fact that sales have picked up a bit –including the tri-cities–just for you MiKey–a few recent sales
mls#v862649–bought june07–302k–sold 291.tk
mls#v858298–bought dec08–310.9–sold293k
mls#v852701–bought apr08–389.9–sold385k

boy oh boy–what happened to all that asset appreciation these owners accumulated over these boom years–i think it’s called evaporation
Mikey,how did you dry those soaking wet sales contracts–you know –the tears from the sellers–did you use a hot iron on the paper work or did you just stamp them “sucker”

#200 Tony on 03.03.11 at 8:08 pm

RE: The drop that all you poor folk are praying for so that you can scoop a house is not going to come. Yes, there may be a correction, but if you missed the boat 5 years ago, you missed the boat and will pay more now for less–even if there is a market correction.

I was reading this blog 3 years ago when the same thing was being pitched over and over again–Garth kinda reminds me of an Evangelist extolling the second coming of Christ. But Peter Popoff’isms will not bring about a bubble burst and neither will it bring the Christ back to earth. Face it, they are both myths.

Yeah, you are right. Assets values will rise endlessly. Jesus will make it so. — Garth

Asset values HAVE risen endlessly–when was the last time you put down your Bible and took a hard look at human history. Sure there is better then worse, but to say that humans desire a return to the dark ages is erroneous. There is too much riding on it. Back when my ancestors were chasing down deer the guy with the better spear and warmer cave was more prosperous. Only we prefer houses now and no longer want to go live in caves.

You must think there is little left for the rich to squeeze from the earth and the plebs. . .but indeed there is WAY more left! People have not even started to tighten their belts yet, and the earth is far from pillaged. The bubble burst will be heralded in by aching bellies far off in the future after you and I are long gone. By that time humans will be colonizing Mars and selling dirt front real estate for premium.

Naysayers are like Jesus Freaks. . .they preach to the masses without listening to themselves.

I’ll be sure and chime in to your blog in another 3 years to see how your sermons are progressing. Who knows, by that time you may already be a Pope.

#201 John on 03.03.11 at 8:12 pm

Just the picture gives me creeps, Garth.

I promise that will never buy a house until you let me, but no more pictures like this one. Young crazy chicks pics is just fine. :)

#202 ballingsford on 03.03.11 at 8:12 pm

Garth, I’ve just finished reading the blog entries up to #186 and I think I need to see what the original picture was to understand the comments. Could you re-post it for an hour or so?

I’m thinking you should have potential members take a mental stability test before they join this blog to see if they are stable enough to become a member.

Seriously!!!

#203 CalgaryRocks on 03.03.11 at 8:18 pm

Can you bring the hot chick picture back.

I am offended by baby tossing. Not because I am a prude but because baby tossing should be done in the privacy of your own home.

Please spare me the pain and suffering on having to see public baby tossing.

#204 Timing is Everything on 03.03.11 at 8:22 pm

#183 NP

Now, U R one wise and happily married woman, I am sure.

If u weren’t already married…. ;)

Wally could learn from u and seems a mite insecure, imo.

#205 Crazy on 03.03.11 at 8:30 pm

Feb numbers are out!!

http://www.torontorealestateboard.com/consumer_info/market_news/news2011/pdf/nr_market_watch_0211.pdf

Sales down 14% from last year.

Of course, their spinning it as still being good because sales are up 50% from Feb 2009.

This bird is cooked, YoY sales vlume down since June 2010.

Inventory meanwhile continues to grow slowly

Even with the 35 year deadline approaching– pulling demand forward from spring, numbers are still down.

Wait until August. large inventory overhang-declining sales and increase in rates.

—————–

Why is it that everyone needs positive YOY growth to be happy that things are well?

Can’t you have a few months up, and few months down, two years up, one year down, another month up over last and conclude that things are still normal?

You can’t have everybody always selling more and buying more all the time. It should wax and wane, and trend up slowly (in terms of sales, dud to increasing numbers of people) and slowly up in prices (as dictated by stable inflation (remember that term?).

Those of you on here who think you will be able to buy a house or condo for pennies on the dollar are dreaming. Even that did not happen in the USA.

Another thing, in reference to today’s advice (ie. buy RE now, because it has hit the lows we expected), many of you still will not make a move. Already many here are saying now is still not the time. So when IS the right time then? Dreamers I say.

#206 45north on 03.03.11 at 8:33 pm

ballingsford: I’ve been reading this blog up to about the 100th post and I don’t see what’s sexy about throwing your child across a chasm?!?!

you missed this morning’s picture

#207 wetcoaster on 03.03.11 at 8:44 pm

poco,

Seeing the same thing in Victoria. Houses bought 3 years ago are selling for the same or less. Condo sales are tanking and the media here is all over it and starting to tell the truth.

Agents being interviewed on TV are looking very solemn and depressed. One channel can’t even get an agent on there to try and spin the BS machine. They’d rather let their fearless lead ho Muir go down with the ship.

The tide is turning but Miley the realtor has to keep blowing hot air into the life raft. Soon he’ll be working beside DA at the Burger King.

#208 realpaul on 03.03.11 at 8:49 pm

The ‘Mortgage Pimps’ over at BMO have again fudged the stats and concluded “IT’s OK folks !!”. Too bad we can’t paint the entire country wih a broad brush and decide to pay Saskatchewan prices here in BC.

Mr Pimp…….while it may be that the ‘average’ person pays 35% of their pre tax income on having a roof over their heads the numbers in BC …in particular Vanc/FV…are paying 70% ++….some over 100% in fact.

Mr. Pimp …if we are all so easily comforted and safe from shock then how is it that the Sally Anns recent poll suggests that young families are having to choose between mortgage payments and feeding their kids. What about all the booze you’d have to drink to sleep through such decisions?

Mr Pimp ..if 35% is the ceiling…then why have the personal debt numbers and the LOC stats been skyrocketing. Why do people have to borrow each and every month to keep it together when there is 65% of income unencumbered?

Mr Pimp……………………get real.

#209 45north on 03.03.11 at 8:50 pm

kitchener1: talking about Toronto real estate sales: Sales down 14% from last year.

sales lead prices

March 18 is the deadline for 35 years mortgages, doesn’t the Federal budget come out about then? We’re going to be talking about a federal election rather than trying to parse March’s real estate numbers.

#210 john m on 03.03.11 at 8:54 pm

#192 mickey on 03.03.11 at 7:35 pm

Garth, much irony in the deleted pictures. To bad about the dumb criticism. Women are very catty about other women making them look bad………….<<<< how very true …lets thank God we are not married to one of that like :-)

#211 jess on 03.03.11 at 9:02 pm

house lust pathogen?

“An unnerving variety of parasites have evolved the ability to control the brains of victims to help the parasites spread. For instance, the protozoan known as Toxoplasma gondii makes rats love cat urine so that it can spread among its feline hosts — and it may influence human culture as well, making people more prone to certain forms of neuroticism”

#212 Wally on 03.03.11 at 9:09 pm

#189 Pat- I don’t drugs and Wally is a nickname given to me long ago by people that I made laugh a lot. They even had a hat made for me. ;) And in fact, it’s “Bloody Wally”, mate.

#213 stepenharping on 03.03.11 at 9:12 pm

Some posters on this blog can’t cook; therefore they find a picture of a woman in a kitchen embarassing.

#214 Macrath on 03.03.11 at 9:15 pm

#200 ballingsford
Enjoy !!

http://www.greaterfool.ca/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/gift.jpg

#215 Wally on 03.03.11 at 9:19 pm

# 203 Timing- you’ve mistaken me for another poster I guess? If you read my posts you’ll see that I loved the picture of the birthday girl (it gave me a great idea, lol). I just want Garth to post funny, sexy pics for us girls too. The difference will be that women will drool in private, not in writing. ; )

#216 robert on 03.03.11 at 9:20 pm

#201 ballingsford
for those curious you can still find the original picture posted here:
http://www.greaterfool.ca/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/gift.jpg

#217 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 03.03.11 at 9:23 pm


#162 betamax — “Where has she gone with her lovely party hats?”

I could have sworn those party hats were Cup Cakes with flaming cherries on top. Eyesight is failing . . .

#189 Pat — “#179 Wally.” — Perchance, are you referring to Wally from Dilbert? Nap time!
*
Silver One reason could be that precious metals have drifted higher, plus Silver Part Deux.

Divide and Conquer Exactly what Harper and the CPC are doing to Canada.

Inflation “Hoenig is the only voting member of the Fed who is warning about inflation.”

Heads Up! The X-37B space plane (pic in) is heading off Friday with no destination given.

Ivory Coast Must be some oil there.

US govt. avoids shutdown, but plenty of work (politicians work?) to do.

Most western govts. are doing the same — see WI, Ohio, NY, Calif. and others. Harper and the provinces will do the same here.

China Attacking the dollar? If only to put it out of its misery.

GW is a pathetic, on-going joke. However, here are some serious reasons (Topless Penguins In Thongs).

#218 John on 03.03.11 at 9:29 pm

bring back the babe. that’s what the internet is for. not doom and gloom :)

#219 Wally on 03.03.11 at 9:34 pm

Garth, looking forward to your current assessment tomorrow regarding purchasing south of the border.

#220 BrianT on 03.03.11 at 9:35 pm

Looks like those wild Utah residents are going to settle the whole “Gold and Silver as currency” debate http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/03/03/utah-considers-return-gold-silver-coins/

#221 S.B. on 03.03.11 at 9:38 pm

This morning’s “forbidden” picture was very Maryln Monroe-esque. Think: Happy birthday Mr. President…happy birthday…too…you.

(Ok that was well before my time, but…)

#222 poco on 03.03.11 at 9:39 pm

#205 westcoaster–talked to my brother in lovely Nanaimo last night –says basically the same thing–says he’s thinking of listing–told him not to “think” just do it

here in poco, we have our first highrise being constructed–several years in the making–Shaughnessy at Lions’ Park–(26 floors) terrible location–Onni development–they’ve been working since last May–i understand it takes approx. 3yrs to complete a highrise — they’re on the 2nd level

well, low and behold, the first price reductions on some of the lower priced units was announced today–a drop of approx 26k from original asking price
don’t know how many units are left for sale, but i’ld sure be pissed if i had paid full price

you’re right about the media -less and less here–i wonder where all these expert re and bank economists get their info
in a couple of years when these economists get together and try to figure out when the housing market turned downwards they can look to the westcoast and say “Spring 2010”

#223 Poor baby on 03.03.11 at 9:45 pm

that poor baby.

#224 Pat on 03.03.11 at 9:47 pm

@ #211 Wally,

Sounds great, but there’s no evidence. You may be bloody Wally, or you may be pimply Johnny.

#225 S.B. on 03.03.11 at 9:49 pm

The word going around is, Miss Stronach saw this morning’s pic and flew into a jealous rage. :P :P

Ah, I’ll bet GT is glad he left that crazy CONservative fray.

#226 Herb on 03.03.11 at 9:54 pm

I wasn’t going to comment on the picture because I knew that enough visiting prigs would. However, now that it’s gone, there are a couple of things I will say:

1. It reminds me of a picture of a certain worshipfull mayor on a previous GT site.

2. I feel deprived because I did not get such a birthday present for my 24 birthday, not even my 24th wedding anniversary.

3. That baby toss is a far greater obsenity than the birthday present and definitely should be replaced.

And now for something completely different, real estate. Folks, would you believe that house prices will rise, fall or stay the same tomorrow?

#227 Hoof - Hearted on 03.03.11 at 10:26 pm

#222 poco

Is that per chance along the new Evergreen Line ?

I don’t quite understand the “politics” but Onni seems to seed areas for development…and location is not their strong suit…

#228 Kitchener1 on 03.03.11 at 10:27 pm

#204 et al

who think prices will rise and there will never be a drop.

What happened in the US again.

Guys, remeber what prices were like when we had bank rates of 7-8%. Thats the banks discount rate.

Well, at some point- in the near future, those rates will happen. At that point, RE prices will drop.

Were not all poor renters on this blog.

lets do some math.
lets say i rent for $1500 all in, in the GTA, lots of condos in that price range to choose from.
lets say I do that for the next 2 years. Thats 36K in rent.

Now for me to recoup that from the market, at an average price of 455k in toronto, I need a 8% drop in price to ‘break even’ so to speak.

Now we all know that the BoC will raise rates and even if they only get to 3% rate level, we will see that 8% drop, actually much more then that but I only need 8%.

Meantime, my downpayment $$ is actually making me $$.

When not if but when mortgage rates hit 7% we will see if the RE market is strong enough to support it.

#229 ballingsford on 03.03.11 at 10:29 pm

Thanks to you who have provided the link to the original photo! I too like the cake and all the decorations!

#230 Hoof - Hearted on 03.03.11 at 10:36 pm

Catch that news item re Anne Hathaway and Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway?

There appears to be a correlation between Anne being in the media and Warren’s stock?

Are people that stupid ????…..it’s ok…no need to answer that…

#231 Where's the money Guido? on 03.03.11 at 11:17 pm

Re: #63 The Original Dave on 03.03.11 at 3:38 am

does anyone know of any ways to get back funds from an advisor that basically ran off with money? I still speak to him via email roughly 3 times a year. He says he’ll pay funds etc. but never makes attempt to contact and I always have to initiate.

Any tips on what I can do would be great. We’re talking 5 figures that he has of ours.

What are the details? This is a very unlikely scenario in Canada. — Garth

You will not get your money back, it’s rigged in favor of the dealer and all he has to do is quit and you have no recourse.
The business MFDA, IIROC is run by former bankers and will do nothing….
CBC did a program on exactly this on Marketplace about a year ago and said it’s rigged and the person they featured lost 7 figures !!!!
The head honcho of the SEC is a former Big Bank CEO and would/0r could not answers that they posed to him, all the while pulling in over 500 grand every year.

The SEC is American, not Canadian, and my experience is that you are wrong. — Garth

#232 Timing is Everything on 03.03.11 at 11:37 pm

#214 Wally

Fair enough. Men drool….anywhere.

#233 Michael on 03.04.11 at 12:03 am

<Of course they will. Real estate is a useful asset, but valuable only at the correct cost. In that, it shares characteristics with every other asset class. How hard is that to grasp? — Garth

Yes Garth, but you still haven’t answered my question:

1. What makes you think that the US has not only bottomed out, but is about to increase in value.
2. Why aren’t you concerned about the other things going on in the world markets / the US specifically?

Read the post. It has not bottomed out, nor did I say that. And world markets have diddly to do with the American housing market. — Garth

#234 BrianT on 03.04.11 at 12:31 am

#228Kitchener-Not actually-that condo rented for $1500 likely has a mtce fee of $500 along with prop tax of $250-so the net rent is actually $750 for this comparison.

#235 Where's the money Guido? on 03.04.11 at 12:18 pm

Re: #231 Where’s the money Guido? on 03.03.11 at 11:17 pm

My mistake on the SEC. It’s the OSC (Ontario Securities Commission) that controls the TSX.
And why did you not include my reference to former financial planner Larry Elford’s website that explains a LOT about the securities industry in Canada?????