It’s here

“Garth,you are still making this correction happen in your little stupid head….we need to see prices down first you moron, then who gives a shit about volume?” – Comment yesterday.

It’s hard not to love this pathetic blog. Where else can you find such a robust collection of people with the infinite patience of fruit flies? Screw technical analysis, they cry, show us blood! Keep all those idiot economic indicators to yourself, they hiss, until house prices fall, Turner, you fail!

Fair enough. Forget the big stuff for a moment. You know, Japan, nukes, Libya, the Dow and your helplessly indebted and addicted neighbours. The impact of many things now unfolding will be felt later, and they’ll not be kind of real estate. But flies live for today. They’re desperate to find windshields. Here are a few.

In a beautiful seaside town in BC’s Lower Mainland, local realtors and house-pumpers from Vancouver have been telling the locals and the media for weeks that Hot Asian Money is flooding in. They wish. But how can claims that 50% of all sales are to house-horny, cash-sodden Chinese, when this is reported to me?:

Garth we have accepted an offer on my mom’s condo.
Here’s the details:
·         March 2008 – bought new condo in retirement complex. Total $315 taxes in.
·         Currently 5 comparable units for sale in the same complex and 1 has been sitting 12 months.
·         Jan 2011 – listed 229K – 30 days 1 showing, no offer. Price reduced to 209K – 30 days no showing, no offer. Price reduced to 199K – 1 showing, 1 offer, sold for 180K (minus move, commission, legal = 170K)
·         Paid $315, Sold $170, Loss $145K

Next door in Alberta, where you’d think $100 oil would have ignited the real estate frenzy that died three years ago, and have petro cowboys buying $65,000 trucks and snapping McMansions, that ain’t the story. Not in Lethbridge. Or Edmonton. Red Deer or Grande Prairie. In fact, Phil tells us about the closure of a GP 62,000-square-foot, $16-million store, now an empty box:

Garth: Been following for 2 years, 1st time writer.

In Grande Prairie, a Rona store closed its doors last month. This in itself is interesting, except this one was the largest independently owned Rona in Canada. What makes it even more interesting is that the owner also owned the largest home builder in the area.

Yesterday, his home building company went into receivership. Elaborate Homes has 46 homes under various stages of construction. This cannot End well.

In Toronto, where six million people live and together account for more real estate activity than the rest of the country nailed together, the numbers are disturbing. After sustaining lower year-over-year sales for a withering eight months – amid realtors blaming the HST, too hot weather, too cold weather, mortgage changes and (wait for it) Japan – the numbers are down yet again.

In the first two weeks of March, despite the property virgin rush to beat the 35-year mortgage ban,  sales lagged 2010 numbers by 5%. But at the same time, prices were higher by 4.6%. As I’ve pointed out elsewhere in recent hours, this – rising prices on declining volumes – is a classic sign of a market in transition. Be it stocks or houses, it ain’t good news. Worse, listings in the GTA have sunk by a dramatic 15% from last year.

Fewer buyers. Fewer sellers. And in a period of generationally low mortgage rates with a looming rule change that could sideline an estimated 20% of first-time purchasers. Worse, the average SFH in 416 now cost $758,409. That is 8.54 times the average household income of $96,040. The American market disintegrated at 4.6.

Said the local cartel boss, Bill Johnston: “A positive economic outlook for the Greater Toronto Area, including steady growth in jobs and incomes, has kept households confident in their ability to purchase and pay for a home over the long term.” Let’s hope so. Because in the short-term, today’s buyers are entering a futures contract no sane investor would touch.

Here (finally) is my point: There’s no longer any sense waiting for a real estate correction. It’s here. Some markets populated with serious boatloads of greater fools may take a little longer to show it, but the outcome is inevitable. After being an out-performing asset for decades, creating more personal debt than people a generation ago could imagine, housing is entering a decline. It’s not even a cyclical one. It’s just done.

If I didn’t worry so much about being repetitive, I’d suggest selling now, buying later and staying a virgin.

Don’t forget yer bug spray.


#1 Lady Luck on 03.16.11 at 9:43 pm

Just sold my home, and am really hoping it holds together. Possession date May 15, 2011.

#2 Kevin on 03.16.11 at 9:50 pm

If anybody is wondering if their town/city is in a housing bubble, a good rule of thumb to gauge this is if the place had bidding wars anytime in the last half decade. Bidding wars + bubble mentality.

BC has busted ( except Vancouver and area)
Alberta prices are back to 2006.
Saskatchewan is next and so is the rest of the country.

#3 bsallergy on 03.16.11 at 9:58 pm

The last thing the fly will remember when it hits the windshield is its asshole going through its brain.

#4 Mr. Reality on 03.16.11 at 10:13 pm

“this time its different”. I love it when people say that when discussing real estate!

Every chart i look at shows a top including real estate. People need to explore their options and think about using inverse ETF’s to make money on the way down!

Garth, really appreciate the blog man…..Keep it up

Mr. R.

#5 Village Whisperer on 03.16.11 at 10:14 pm

All I can think of is someone staring in disbelief at the Re/Max piece in the Ad agency and asking: “Ummm… was that my commerical?”

Someone’s brother, nephew, or other relative must work at the Ad Agency… either that or some pre-planning was done for April 1st.

#6 curious on 03.16.11 at 10:18 pm

Hey Garth, just wondering where you get your stats from. You said “the average SFH in 416 now cost $758,409.” We sold our home in Markham in November for $610,000 and are planning in investing it, possibly in commercial real estate. You got any stats on that?

The SFH stat came from the Toronto Real Estate Board. — Garth

#7 Chaddywack on 03.16.11 at 10:20 pm

Wow……you know the market has hit the top when you see commercials like that.

Loved the plug for the rich Asian, Persian, and German!?

#8 moloko on 03.16.11 at 10:27 pm

A Vancouver Realtor

#9 squidly77 on 03.16.11 at 10:30 pm

Despite the realtors squeels, Alberta been busted for 2 years plus. All that have bought sinse 2006 have lost money, lots of money.

#10 observer on 03.16.11 at 10:31 pm

Using a price-to-income ratio on its own to forecast the future direction of home prices is problematic. This approach ignores the fact that average home price growth over the past decade in Canada has been largely mitigated by low interest rates.

This is why the share of the average household income dedicated to major home ownership costs, including mortgage payments, has remained consistently within accepted borrowing standards over the past 10 years.

A better way of determining if the current average home price level is justified is to consider what percentage of average household income is going toward mortgage payments associated with the purchase of an average priced home.

The current percentage is lower than the long term averages for Canada and the GTA. This means that there is still room for moderate price growth, even after taking into account the consensus view that mortgage rates will increase in 2011 and 2012.

#11 Elmer on 03.16.11 at 10:32 pm

BC’s minimum wage is rising from $8 to $10.25/hr so it looks like all those homes in Vancouver won’t be running out of buyers any time soon.

#12 Sasquatch on 03.16.11 at 10:35 pm

I think your right Garth. Those in a bad financial position are now simply screwed. Looks too late to pull the chute on real estate. I say it’s time to hang on, it’s going to be a rough ride.

#13 Big Al (New) on 03.16.11 at 10:42 pm

Toronto is a shit hole waiting for a dump all wrapped in it’s own bullshit. Seriously this town wants to BE so bad but always just misses the mark. Who in gods name allowed that abortion of waterfront planning those Easter Island type monolithic condo monuments to line the lakeshore. What decision making process was used other than an open palm and a wad cash. Then in the same breath the city hall retards about tearing down a burned out shell on Young St. because it might be a hysterical building. The sooner this pile of steaming shite collapses the better. Most of the people that I know in the big stink and smoke are two or three paychecks away from defaulting. Bring it on bitchez I’ve got no skin in the game any longer sold all the shit I was holding right after I developed PTSD after the 2008 collapse. The one thing it did besides making me financially paranoid was to question until I had an answer. The biggest question that I could not reconcile with satisfactory answer was how in a finite world does humanity propose to satisfy infinite exponential growth. At any rate of growth beyond “0” we are doomed the math doesn’t bullshit. But but 2% growth is nothing, 2 % growth a year gives a doubling of population in 35 years. Folks we are in the 59 th minute of an hour long existence on this planet with no way of turning back the clocks short of a mass extinction event. Peak everything is at hand and we’re wasting our time decorating homes so someone will think we’re FN special, seriously humanity doesn’t deserve a do over. Maybe there’s still hope if the boomers all die on mass we can develop a process to expedite there conversion to light sweet crude to replenish all the oil they pilfered away in there lifetime riding Harley’s and thinking they were bad ass, stupid.

You had some decent points before you turned into your parents. — Garth

#14 Big Al (New) on 03.16.11 at 10:52 pm

For any word omissions and or incomplete thoughts in my last rant I blame my anger and Steve Jobs and this piece of crap Ipad my wife bought.

#15 Mike D. on 03.16.11 at 10:53 pm

“#13 Big Al (New) on 03.16.11 at 10:42 pm
Toronto is a shit hole”


You need more than 1 paragraph..

#16 TheFirstRick on 03.16.11 at 10:59 pm

Prices in Vancouver are falling like a rock and the statistics are being manipulated.

#17 Big Al (New) on 03.16.11 at 11:00 pm

Big Al’s a boomer Garth, I can only wish I led and existence similar to my parents, at least they left their kids something. We on the other hand just squandered it away and left our kids holding the bag. Bring on the light sweet crude conversion process for me .

#18 Rick in Japan on 03.16.11 at 11:01 pm

Hey Big Al (New),

I agree with your ideas of “peak-everything” and exponential growth. . . you need to articulate your thoughts better. . .

#19 E-Rock on 03.16.11 at 11:01 pm


I’d been jamming your book and blog in my parents face for about a year and they gave in and sold. I thought you should know. They bought 15 years ago in Calgary, my Dad finally did enough research and agreed. Listed the house to sell; ‘could have got 100k more at this time last year’ he said. It was on the market for 9 days, first offer was 5k less than asking. Off they go to Phoenix next month.

It was bought by a young couple (younger than me!) with a baby on the way. I grew up in that house. They made a fortune off it. Good riddance.

You saved at least two people in Cowtown (well, three see any inheritance ;).

Thank you.

#20 sutluc on 03.16.11 at 11:09 pm

“BC’s minimum wage is rising from $8 to $10.25/hr so it looks like all those homes in Vancouver won’t be running out of buyers any time soon.”


#21 GenXer on 03.16.11 at 11:10 pm

#10 observer – Your argument is exactly the same as Garth’s. In a normal market, incomes must be in line with prices in order to sustain the market. Low interest rates are the only thing left to prop up the market – people have stopped focusing on their ability to pay off the principal and are instead focused on monthly carrying costs.

All this is fine when rates are at historic lows, but will rebound drastically when rates begin to increase again. With nations around the world printing dollars to try and force inflation, an increase in rates is an easy call.

#22 VICTORIA TEA PARTY on 03.16.11 at 11:13 pm


As March 18, Canada’s real estate D-Day approaches, thoughts of earthquakes (and definitely not of the collapsing property prices kind), and its various consequences, unravel in my mind.

For instance, as the good burgers of Richmond BC settle down in their multimillion dollar clap-board Vancouver Specials, they may wish to contemplate the truth of the geology they live on top of.

There isn’t any!

Unless you call spongy pudding-like porous, waterlogged soil as some kind of foundation. The land of Richmond lies about 1.5 metres below the Fraser River. Dikes and pumps keep the muddy waters at bay, and the real estate magic going in that good luck kinda place.

That is until a mag 8 or 9 comes to town. Then all the house porn on the planet won’t matter a damn. Damn! People will pay ANYTHING to live where they think they can profit most in the short run. Bless ’em all.

While they’re watching the after-effects of the Japan earthquake/tsunami disaster on their big screen TVs, they may want to think about how this catastrophe will be affecting their wallets and whatever currency and reeasonable facsimilies thereof reside, should they be so lucky and not have to contend with some big tremors as well.

Just-in-time production, one of Japan Inc’s. miracles of business so many decades ago is coming home to roost, on all of us. Jobs will be lost, careers put on hold; lots and lots of this ‘n’ that. Because with the prospect of limitless rotating power outages Japan’s factories and research facilities are screwed big time. The fall-out, if you’ll pardon the expression, remains to be seen.

Speaking of fall-out, check out this from London’s Telegraph paper.

‘Japan nuclear plant: Just 48 hours to avoid ‘another Chernobyl’

Japan has 48 hours to bring its rapidly escalating nuclear crisis under control before it faces a catastrophe “worse than Chernobyl”, it was claimed last night.

Nuclear safety officials in France said they were “pessimistic” about whether engineers could prevent a meltdown at the Fukushima power plant after a pool containing spent fuel rods overheated and boiled dry.

Last night radiation levels were “extremely high” in the stricken building, which was breached by an earlier explosion, meaning that radiation could now escape into the atmosphere…five workers had been killed at the site, two were missing and 21 had been injured.

Last night a US nuclear safety chief said that the Japanese government had failed to acknowledge the full seriousness of the situation…

…Thierry Charles, a safety official at France’s Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety, said: “The next 48 hours will be decisive. I am pessimistic because, since Sunday, I have seen that almost none of the solutions has worked.”

…Asked about the maximum possible amount of radioactive release, he said “it would be in the same range as Chernobyl”.

Francois Baroin, a French government spokesman, went further, saying: “In the worst of cases, it could have an impact worse than Chernobyl.” He added: “They have visibly lost the essential of control.”

The alarming issue here has been a lack of communication.

The prevaricating, shuffling, unaccountable PR blather issued by Japan Inc’s. minions and factotums is dangerous, dodgy crap.

Everyone from that burnt-out old emperor right down to some low-level douche from the Prime Minister’s office, to even some American and British nuclear “experts” whose maddeningly waffling, stilted, prose is enough to fry your hide.

I just look at the TV coverage of the evacuation going on in Toyko to figure out the trutyh. This is a world class whatever, whose outcome could be deadly pure and simple for way too many innocents.

My wish is that those in the know tell us in plain single cylinder English, what the hell’s going on and why; and how people can protect themselves and their nearest and dearest. The world’s public is NOT BEING SERVED HERE, JAPAN INC.!

#23 betamax on 03.16.11 at 11:19 pm

Pretty fly for a white guy. The video demographic is telling: everyone else has bought in, so now they’re targeting bottom-o-the-barrel urban f***nut wannabees.

#24 Makes Cents on 03.16.11 at 11:26 pm

Are you [email protected]!kin’ kidding me with that commercial?! I wish I still smoked, that always made me feel better.

#25 Peter Pan on 03.16.11 at 11:37 pm

Speaking of HST, kudos have to go out to Jock Finlayson, executive VP of the Business Council of British Columbia who demonstrates the duplicity of the business community in our fair province.

Today, he was saying that it was a very bad time to increase minimum wages in BC for restaurant workers because owners were suffering due to the introduction of the HST. Yet, in June of last year, declared the adoption of the HST would be irrelevant (and perhaps positive) for restaurants.

#26 early mid life crisis on 03.16.11 at 11:38 pm

Evelyn is now in receivership; “they underestimated the luxury market”

And now all the poor souls who bought into the Olympic dream condos are suing b/c of the problems with the development;

I feel for them; but i wouldn’t have touched that development with a 10ft pole. Someone in the Global story claimed that the owners were only suing b/c of anger over the price differential between what they paid for their units and the current reduced (fire-sale) prices but the deficiencies are obvious. There were construction problems with that development before it was even finished. It was slapped together way too quickly. Never mind the shoddy construction, it’s poorly designed and looks like a dank isolated ghetto. One that taxpayers will be paying for.

#27 Does Not Matter on 03.16.11 at 11:44 pm

“Some markets populated with serious boatloads of greater fools may take a little longer to show it”

littleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee longer!
I Have been following this blog for more than two years reading about correction which is never happeing.

#28 fiendish Thingy on 03.16.11 at 11:46 pm

Would that seaside town in the lower mainland be White Rock?
As one poster already mentioned, the REBGV is manipulating/cherry picking statistics for their monthly propaganda releases (at least FVREB provides some raw numbers you can extrapolate from); is there any other trustworthy source of info on Greater Vancouver sales/listings?

#29 The Phantom on 03.16.11 at 11:49 pm

Ref #13 from Big Al (New):

The only suggestion that I would make for you Big Al is this: “Don’t hold back, man…let it all out!”

The Phnatom

#30 Pat on 03.16.11 at 11:52 pm

#19 E-Rock:

“You saved at least two people in Cowtown”

It’s a zero sum game.

#31 nonplused on 03.16.11 at 11:56 pm

This Japanese reactor thing has me kind of worried. It’s looking like it might be way bigger than the Gulf of Mexico BP blowout. It’s hard to get conclusive news, but it seems either:

– There have been 3 partial meltdowns and 2 containment breaches, and the cooling pond in unit 4 is in serious trouble,


– The situation is stabilizing and things will be back to normal in no time thanks to the efforts of 180 heroic plant employees (“The 50” they are called, because they work in shifts of 50 at a time).

If the first scenario plays out, all we need is an easterly wind and Tokyo may need to be evacuated.

But even if the second scenario plays out, the power grid will not be able to support a return to normal GDP output for more than a year.

In either scenario I don’t by the “dramatic increase in GDP as they rebuild” argument (broken glass fallacy). A lot of the stuff that was damaged simply won’t be replaced until it has to be. Even the clean up effort represents an outright cost to the economy with no new net benefit, only more debt.

But the loss of production might have serious implications for the Japanese economy and therefore their ability to service debt and/or buy and hold US treasuries.

How does Garth put it? “Rates have only one way to go”? Well, now we have an idea when, too. About 6 months from now, as the clean up gets underway in earnest.

And seriously, I don’t know what can happen to these containment ponds once they loose all the water, but I do know there is 40 years of spent fuel sitting there. The radiation levels could be so high that no one can work anywhere on site, leaving the other ponds and the reactors to their own devices.

I used to be a fan of nuclear, but now I wonder if there is really any hope that any of these ponds can be relied on to safely store spent fuel for a hundred years before it is safe to remove. We’re basically asking our great grandchildren to clean up that mess, for power we used years ago. And there are more than 100 sites like this in just the US alone.

PS, for all you greenwashers out there, electric cars run on coal and nuclear power. Natural gas might play an increasing role, but right now the power comes mostly from coal and nuclear. Electricity doesn’t just fall from the sky like manna (although Telsa thought it might be made to, but so far no one has got it to work).

Back to the bad day box, rationing and empty shelves are the order of the day across all of Japan, according to many reports. The only thing readily available is booze.

Things are so bad I forgot all about the civil wars breaking out in the MENA region. And the European dept crises. And the US debt crisis. Yikes! I can’t believe the market is holding. I would have thought it would have been off 2000 points by now. But so far it’s only the uranium sector that is suffering a black swan event.

#32 cool on 03.17.11 at 12:01 am

a bit off topic but considering whats going on in Japan,

Nuclear does not have to be Uranium fission.

#33 Timing is Everything on 03.17.11 at 12:02 am

#18 Rick in Japan said – “you need to articulate your thoughts better. . .”

I understood Big Al (New). He thinks people that ride Harley’s are ‘big ass, stupid.’

#34 The Phantom on 03.17.11 at 12:06 am

Sorry about that miscue for #20…how embarrassing…I meant to sign off as…”The Phantom”…

The Phantom

#35 Nemesis on 03.17.11 at 12:07 am

“In a beautiful seaside town in BC’s Lower Mainland”…

I’m guessing Steveston… Back to you, Hon. GT

PS – VD, if you’re out there… your best guess on the production spend on the REMAX spot (and media buy/markets)??? ;)

#36 somejerk on 03.17.11 at 12:10 am

Mox is the black swan for Van-groovy… I love how F planned taking out those 35’s the same day “Scientists Project Path of Radiation Plume” to hit. He’s one smart cookie…

Sadly most of the smart ones that sold will be able to pick up, and move into Big Al’s shit hole keeping the prices up for awhile… the rest will be taking the return bus ticket back to Alberta… ;)

How you continue write the blog amazes me, with all the loons crap’n on you day after day…

#37 Utopia on 03.17.11 at 12:13 am

You are absolutely right Garth. This market is already on its way down yet so few seem to recognize it. We rolled over the top months ago but the data is only coming in now to prove it as a fact.

This kind of reminds me of the sinking of the Titanic.

In the big final scene the ship is already half underwater but up on top (on the end that is rapidly rising in the air) the band keeps playing like nothing has changed!!!

Yesterday I mocked the newbie first-time buyers a little for refusing to listen to good advice (We Don’t Need No Education; Pink Floyd) but I am pretty sure they won’t “get” that message either. What is the use?

I have been discussing the issue of the current risk of buying R/E at this time with a group I know who are in that vulnerable group that is most under pressure.

They are thirties, newlywed and wanting to nest. My best efforts and utilizing all the facts I might present are just barely enough to hold back the dam and dissaude them from buying in right now.

Yesterday one couple caved.

They went to the bank. You know, just to sniff them out and get a feel for how much they could borrow. The deal came back fast. Credit-worthy for just a touch under 400,000 which is pretty typical these days for a couple of average working stiffs.

Seems that the city of Saskatoon is offering to pick up the tab for the 5% downpayment. And hey, who can resist free money, right?

I had read about that deal on this site before but was trying to ignore it because it is just such an ignorant idea at this time (I hate being embarassed by my town).

Long story short, they are thinking of buying. You know, before they are priced out FOREVER!

I swear that one-liner should be an epitaph on the gravestones of all the folks of this generation who got sucked into buying at the literal top of the market. The folks who acted as part of the frenzy and trusted the word of realtors and banks over friends.

Technicals be damned indeed. It’s game-over now. Too bad.

#38 pablo on 03.17.11 at 12:16 am

Garth; if gta sales are off 5% yoy and listings are down 15% yoy, then demand is up by 10%; ureka !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It’s boom time in the

Big Al; it’s time to take your ritilin.

#39 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 03.17.11 at 12:17 am

Well, the car cuts back on garage use by parking vertically. It’s here, in more ways than one.

“. . . a robust collection of people with the infinite patience of fruit flies? Don’t forget yer bug spray.”

Hey, Fruit Flies have feelings too! It’s Be Nice To Fruit Fly Month, in case y’all didn’t know!
Horsefeathers Or BS? The elite are supposedly closing up shop for the end of this month. Link in, and ‘Quakes and Stuff “Japan was big and bad, but I don’t think it was the Big One.”

US Backing for one world currency. They are admitting the dollar is dead, and this — Fourteen Reasons — Japan’s collapse has begun.

UK Unemployment and Wealthy Foreigners in UK.

Clip Ring of Fire prediction by person who accurately forecast the ’89 World Series ‘quake, and The Big Two The SAF jumpstarting the NMF are next.

List of all US nuke power plants, and Nuke and Economic Meltdown in simultaneous progress. Japan’s economic aftershock.

Making The Connection BP and the GoM, and Japan’s US-built reactors.

Neocons Goal — Iran by way of Libya. This planet needs an asteroid bump, to knock the whacknutz into the middle of next year.

Pickering, Ont. — Anyone seen this on the m$m?

Banxters Doomed? “We keep hearing more and more bad news, which means the news is certainly worse than we are hearing.”

Gold One and Gold Two.

Remember China, the US and Latin America?

Plutonium and Mox plus Portugal, part of PIIGS.

Interesting quote from Ayn Rand (I think).

#40 The American on 03.17.11 at 12:18 am

Interesting article about the millionaires in the U.S. and the rise in numbers of millionaires in 2010. Millionaire “come back” in the U.S. Also, U.S. dollar expected to rally in the next several days, gaining significant strength.

#41 Westsider on 03.17.11 at 12:19 am

Just drove from the water to Richmond through Kerrisdale. Been watching very closely over the last few years. Everything has “sold” signs on it. Unbelievable!!!
One realtor has sold 3 on one block. This is HAM at it’s best!!!! Our neghbourhood has sold 3 in past week. Let me outta here!!!!! There must be sanity somewhere!!!

#42 Alberta Boy on 03.17.11 at 12:21 am

We have gone back to 2006 prices & sales continue to soften. Housing prices down over 10% fro just 10 months ago.
I was told its a good time to buy in Edmonton here, but with Foreclosures surging, a second wave of Bankruptcies-I think I’ll just wait!

#43 pablo on 03.17.11 at 12:23 am

Looked at the homes built by elaborate homes on their website, what crap, they deserve to be in bankruptcy. He opened the Rona store cause he knew the demand for repairs and upgrades would be there once he sold enough shacks.

#44 JJ on 03.17.11 at 12:30 am

Garth, whats your view on commercial real estate? Some analyst I found on youtube says we have way too much square footage of store space and that online sales are set to obliterate the store model.

#45 Mr. Vmax on 03.17.11 at 12:31 am

So I should put the 2200 into fix my vehicle…not buy the 28,000$ Accord!

Buy the DOG ETF and batten down the hatches!!!

#46 The American on 03.17.11 at 12:34 am

U.S. millionaires now exceeds 8.4 MM people. What did that do to save our real estate market? Nothing!!! That is 2.72% of the U.S. population. There are roughly 251,000 millionaires in Canada today. The U.S. has over 3,360% more millionaires than Canada. When you take per capita into consideration, the U.S. has nearly FOUR TIMES the millionaires than that of Canada. Money doesn’t save a market. Market perception of the ENTIRE POPULATION is what is necessary to sustain values – not just a few. Get real with the “rich Asian” argument. Its total bull shit.

#47 trinotuta on 03.17.11 at 12:36 am

We know nothing about RE Porn. Bow to the Aussies!

#48 HouseBuster on 03.17.11 at 12:36 am

#13 Big Al (New) “tory answer was how in a finite world does humanity propose to satisfy infinite exponential growth.”
Even if you take humans out of the equation, the Earth has a limited lifespan. Just two points of many:

1)At some point the Earth’s core will cool causing a marked decrease in the magnetic poles. You can look at Mars as the outcome.

2) The Sun will expand into Red Giant star and engulf the Earth. This will fry the Earth completely, imagine throwing a marshmallow into a bonfire.

Now this won’t happen for billions of years but we’ll need to find a new planet before this happens.

Recently NASA found a habitable planet but here’s the kicker, it is 2000 light years away. It would take 1.7 billion years to get there traveling at the speed of sound.

Meanwhile here in Canada people are lusting for houses and granite counter tops. That is what they think is important. They are about to get a rude awakening.

#49 librarykaren on 03.17.11 at 12:38 am

Some sad news from our Left Coast peeps. Just the beginning??

#50 Mikey the Realtor on 03.17.11 at 12:42 am

RE is going up folks, Mr Turner has been wrong for decades and is wrong again, no surprise. Now lets get into the technicals, the dow is down today and up tomorrow, it means diddly squiddly (no pun intended squidster) Japan is scaring them young folk into a sell off, give it a week and up we go.

When the pups and poodles are ready, give I or DA a call, we will gladly assist you into the real world and away from this pathetic blog.

#51 Ralph Cramdown on 03.17.11 at 12:45 am

One thing’s for sure: If I needed a house sold, I’d want Ricky Roma as my agent. Not the pencil-necked balloon-a-gram guy in the video, the REAL Ricky Roma.

#52 Utopia on 03.17.11 at 12:54 am

#10 Observer suggested….

“A better way of determining if the current average home price level is justified is to consider what percentage of average household income is going toward mortgage payments associated with the purchase of an average priced home”.

You know Observer, that is the beauty of the logic behind drawing buyers into a market certain to take a beating. It just sounds so logical. It is hard to argue with is it not?

Yet if there was real truth to the maxim as noted above then the Americans would never have run into trouble would they?

That argument of yours fails to consider what happens when the prices of homes actually fall as they did in the US. Or what happens when unemployment rises. It is also a good reason to ignore the basic premise that price sustainability can be sourced in data working with average figures. It does not always hold water in reality.

Might work from the banks perspective though.

But what happens to your numbers when interest rates increase? What happens when taxes rise? What happens when the municipality does not allow your secondary suite or the new tenants bash the house or the spouse leaves you or, or , or……

You get my drift I am sure.

Real estate is a major life purchase and not one to be undertaken lightly. Not one to be done without running the myriad variables that can sink your sorry ship along the way.

It is my contention though that current prices are NOT justified merely based on the percentage of the average income required to sustain mortgage payments. That is fiction and bullshit in a market that is rolling over to a decline and it is a dangerous idea to your long term financial health, even your solvency.

#53 Jack the Lad on 03.17.11 at 12:57 am

Garth wrote:

“After being an out-performing asset for decades, creating more personal debt than people a generation ago could imagine, housing is entering a decline. It’s not even a cyclical one. It’s just done.”

So real-estate will never, ever go up again, forever and ever, ahem?

#54 Don on 03.17.11 at 12:58 am

Thanks for the read Garth it’s a pleasure. A realistic take on current events. Reading this blog is refreshing and entertaining – a real-time look into how stupid thinks! Sorry, I mean ‘misguided citizens’.

#55 The Original Dave on 03.17.11 at 1:14 am

Prices in Vancouver are falling like a rock and the statistics are being manipulated.


lets hear the stories folks. I’d like to know more

#56 Tim on 03.17.11 at 1:15 am

“It’s hard not to love this pathetic blog. Where else can you find such a robust collection of people with the infinite patience of fruit flies? ”

And with the same amount of grey matter, judging by many of these two sentence posts that were so well-thought out. I don’t know of too many people who don’t think that there will be a big correction in Vancouver soon. The town is running on air. I’ve met many unemployed professionals here, and many people who are ready to move due to the high real estate prices. However, many people I know who own have already seen 50%-100% appreciation, so they plan to hold on, hoping the correction will only be 20-25%.

Either way it is a difficult argument to convince someone to pay half a million for a two bedroom condo when you can rent one for $1500/month.

#57 Canayjun on 03.17.11 at 1:19 am

There are a lot of “new” listings of houses that have been sitting on the MLS for over a year in Langley, BC. It doesn’t matter what the MSM says, you can see price reductions if you look for them.

#58 Mark on 03.17.11 at 1:29 am

Lol, the last frontier is former NDP cabinet ministers in Saskatchewan teaming up with the CMHC to brainwash the low income crowd into buying houses they can’t afford!

“Home ownership course”. Lol.

#59 r on 03.17.11 at 1:37 am

“This approach ignores the fact that average home price growth over the past decade in Canada has been largely mitigated by low interest rates.”

mitigated by or enabled by?

“…what percentage of average household income is going toward mortgage payments associated with the purchase of an average priced home.”

do you suppose you can post this info so we can see what you mean? because if the price to income ratio is going up, do you mean the percentage of monthly income going to mortgage payments has actually been going down?

that just makes no sense unless income has been increasing faster than housing prices has been increasing. i know for sure my income hasn’t been rising faster than housing costs.

#60 Whistle punk on 03.17.11 at 1:58 am

I have been reading this blog for the last 3 weeks or so and it has changed my plans. It has actually taken a lot of the stress off, lets put it this way I’am not house horny anymore. A good eye opener and I know many that are going to be screwed when house prices start taking a huge dump in the Republic of British Columbia.

Not sure how I stumbled on this blog but sure glad I found it.


#61 wes_coast on 03.17.11 at 2:20 am

To #10 Observer, everything you said is based on the assumption that rates will stay lower and will do so for the next 35 years (the length of most amortizations). Your statement has nicely summed up the mentality that got the US to where it is and where Canada is sadly headed. People need to wake up and realize you don’t owe the monthly payment – you owe the principal amount you borrowed. The monthly payment fluctuates more exponentially the greater the principal. As we can’t go lower with rates – guess which way they’ll fluctuate?

#62 The Original Dave on 03.17.11 at 2:20 am

here’s some trivia. My wife and I are saving cash, renting, investing. I know a person who’s married and has a little boy. They bought a house 6 years ago for about $450,000. They recently decided that they’re going to tear down that house and build a new one. The new one will cost about $550,000 to build. Since they have to tear down their home they need another place to live. They decided to buy another house for $350,000 to live in until their home is built. They figure they’re going to then either flip that extra home or just keep it for “investment”.

They’re in for 1.35 million right now. They make roughly $150,000 combined a year.

Now guess which couple is deemed as the idiots?

#63 Soylent Green is People on 03.17.11 at 2:22 am

I’ve begged everyone I know to sell their house. Everybody thinks I’m crazy. Just like they do when I tell them about police abuses in Canada and how we’ve lost our democracy. I guess I can understand how hard it is for them to know how things have changed here over the last five Harper Government years.


Stephen Harper Trying to Buy the Election With OUR Money

After spending millions and millions and millions and millions, of tax dollars for self-promotion ads, the ‘Harper’ government has decided that they may be able to squeeze a few more dollars from the public purse, to buy an election.

And if that means giving exorbitant amounts to snowmobile clubs, as a good use of your money, then so be it.

The federal government handed out yet another cheque Monday to a Quebec snowmobiling club, the latest in more than $6 million of federal funding announcements that have gone to snowmobile clubs in that province since the last
federal election. Natural Resources Minister Christian Paradis presented a cheque for $70,000 Monday to the Club motoneige Beauce-Frontenac — located in his riding — for the purchase of a new snowmobile trail-grooming machine. The same club got $90,000 last year from Paradis for a trail-grooming machine.

Not a dime to fight poverty, or create decent jobs. But thousands for a snow making, “trail-grooming” machine.


#64 tran, Calgary on 03.17.11 at 2:26 am

Is it time to stock some food and water?

#65 tran, Calgary on 03.17.11 at 2:27 am

The BIG ONE is long overdue.

#66 Karl Hungus on 03.17.11 at 2:32 am

Garth, you yourself have said that real estate is local, so unless you keep droning on and on about vancouver and toronto, i dont see the crash that you are talking about in edmonton. Squidly was partially right, prices took a dip but, alberta has not busted. Things have rebound quite nicely in the economy, housing will follow this spring.

Should I come back and comment every month when the crash doesnt happen in Edmonton?

#67 InvestX on 03.17.11 at 2:38 am

“The current percentage is lower than the long term averages for Canada and the GTA. This means that there is still room for moderate price growth, even after taking into account the consensus view that mortgage rates will increase in 2011 and 2012.”

Low interest rates are definitely a factor and I’ve wondered to what degree. Price-to-income is too simple.
Let’s see how fast these rates rise.

#68 Crazy Times on 03.17.11 at 2:39 am

My little seaside town White Rock/South Surrey is seeing a frenzy of activity from HAM. I would guess that without this money, we would be see a more moderate sales cycle but right now it’s beyond reason. I’m seeing houses relisted for half a million dollars higher than what they were purchased for six months prior. I am a renter having sold six months ago, and am very content to sit and watch this drama play out. I wonder, when our interest rates finally start to increase, the number of listings increase, and the number of sales drop, how will the HAM players deal with the drop in prices?. I’m sure they won’t keep investments that don’t make money – so does this mean there will be more homes for sale than a normal spring market? Hmmm sounds like trouble ahead in this quiet little seaside town – oh how I will miss the sounds of helicopters overhead….

#69 SquareNinja on 03.17.11 at 2:41 am

That ad for Re/Max would scar me for life… if I was a real estate agent.

It shows two agents… if they are representative of the real estate agent population, then the Re/Max guy is 10% of all agents, whereas the other guy is every other agent out there.

#70 prollywrong on 03.17.11 at 2:43 am

prices in this little floodplain of a town down 10% (Chilliwack, Eastern Fraser Valley).

agree about the slow melt. seems almost more dangerous than a crash: everyone realizing a few years down the road that their retirement plans were slowly hemorrhaging away. oops!

#71 reality guy on 03.17.11 at 3:20 am

The Realitors can only keep the Facade up for so long.

All the people whom were holding off bought in the last two months.

Those people were the poor asses which were so desperate to get in and couldn’t afford a extra hundred a month.

The rich who has sold are sitting on the sidelines. Hovering and waiting.

The next months should be an interesting one. You can only put so much lipstick on a pig. Before you realize it is a PIG.

You should see a domino effect around May and confidence begin weaken.

#72 Values on 03.17.11 at 5:07 am

In Calgary, we are starting to see a RE asking price fall in the new listings very simular to the one in early 2009 as inventory keeps shooting upwards.

#73 Tim on 03.17.11 at 5:47 am

Olympic Village Condo Owners Sue due to Shoddy Construction

Owners are suing the City for poorly built and badly designed units. Well what a surprise! in this neck of the woods? lol! How many leaky condos are there in the lower Mainland? You can’t drive around without seeing a tarp on some condo. A tradesmen who works as a Glazier said that he would never buy a condo in the Lower Mainland based on what he’s seen. Cheap materials, shoddy construction, bad design, welcome to the Lower Mainland…But really, if you are dumb enough to pay over a million dollars for a condo in Vancouver, then what does that say?

#74 Oasis on 03.17.11 at 6:39 am

WOW. the USD is just getting destroyed again today. just getting CRUSHED!!


#75 TS on 03.17.11 at 6:44 am

To:#10 observer on 03.16.11 at 10:31 pm
This approach ignores the fact that average home price growth over the past decade in Canada has been largely mitigated by low interest rates.
This means that there is still room for moderate price growth, even after taking into account the consensus view that mortgage rates will increase in 2011 and 2012.

Can you please elaborate who is stepping up to the plate to fill the vacuum? Price growth is based on demand and employment.
Housing demand was stolen from the future thanks to those low interest rates and stretched out amortization schedules, construction employment is shrinking quickly due to stimulus funding ending and minimal demand from real buyers for new housing.
So the future has arrived.
Are you one of those people who believe immigration is the solution to our problems?
What industry it going to replace the million or so people working in or related to construction?
Government will no longer be the number one employer as has taken place the last few years.
I believe it is readjustment time. It should of taken place quite a while ago. The market has to adjust for the games we played and decisions taken long ago.
You cannot grow an economy on personal debt combined with envy and greed for ever.
You never know though maybe H,F and C have some more rabbits in their hats. Although they would lead you to believe the cupboard is bare.

#76 Brian1 on 03.17.11 at 6:47 am

For all the people who own more than four houses with mortgages paid; you are still in big trouble.

#77 McSteve on 03.17.11 at 7:31 am


I think you continue to make a compelling case on a real estate correction. Having a father in the car business, I know that people don’t look at the cost of the purchase, just the monthly payment. Shortened ams will effect this but the real impact will be a return to 6% (or higher) fixed rate mortgages we saw just a few years ago.

My question is this – you are supporter of Canadian financials as part of your portfolio. How is it that the banks won’t get slaughtered if a correction happens? Right now the banks are testing pre-crash levels and would be the sector most effected by a downturn, I would think.

#78 Housedoc on 03.17.11 at 8:04 am

The Remax logo is a balloon!
Now I get it.
The video was a joke, right?

#79 bigrider on 03.17.11 at 8:08 am

Garth -‘” After being an outperforming asset class for decades, etc.”

It has only been an outperforming asset class this past decade. It fell all through the early nineties and started to rise late 1998. I would argue stocks were a better place to be since the early ninties until 2000.

And stocks will be a better place to be over this decade.

Stocks are preferable to real estate 2/3rds the time.

#80 bigrider on 03.17.11 at 8:19 am

#61 Original Dave

That is quite a story. I’ll bet big that they are Italian.

It’s quite possible we know the same people…LOL

#81 Brad in Van on 03.17.11 at 8:50 am

Oasis, The USD has risen against the CAD for the past six days straight. The CAD has fallen against the USD. USD is expected to continue strengthening too. One month and six month forecasts for the USD are ALL positive.

#82 S.B. on 03.17.11 at 8:51 am

I still predict hydro will become unaffordable, making it for the rich only. In the 1/2 century we’ve used nuclear power, are they telling us nobdy every thought about an earthquake occuring? Doesn’t makes sense.
And now the global elite seize upon this regional crisis to invoke global change. Shutting down the plants and sending us back to the dark ages of power generation?
Fire up the windmill, hope it runs, in order to heat dinner? Or face massive power bill hikes?

GE’s $1 Billion Nuclear Unit at Risk as India, Germany Mull Atomic Future
General Electric Co. ’s goal of broadening its $1 billion nuclear service-and-parts business with sales of new reactors risks stalling as world leaders reconsider the future of atomic energy.

#83 Forecast on 03.17.11 at 8:58 am

Hey bloggers

Your biggest problem is when Garth says R/E will fall you all think it will happen by the time you finish reading the Blog? Duh????

A forecast is a moving target and it keeps moving until the point when it will fall. When that happens nobody knows.

I do not agree with everything the big man says but….Garth has many valid points that demonstrate that these high prices are not sustainable, but guess what we could go on for another year and nothing happens.

So if you are all telling Garth that because his forecast did not happen yesterday that he is full of it, hmmmmm

Let me understand this correctly, from an old post of Turner; lets call it the stupid Canadian Index, or in other words you the stupid blogger!
60% of Canadians have no savings, so 60% on this blog are stupid
50% of Canadians have no RRSP, so 50% on this blog are stupid, you might be part of the same number above but 70% have no pensions. Duh!

There are 9 million households and 3 million have no mortgage,
Guess what 33% are smart.
So before you call anyone stupid look in the mirror.

Shall I go on…..
Well ?
I would like to count how many people on this blog do not pay off their credit cards each month, I bet 75%

So most of you are stupid however, I will extend my apologies to single mothers and real people who try to get by with very little money, not the snotty under 30 graduates making $100,000 a year and cry poor me.

Have a nice day

#84 Brad in Van on 03.17.11 at 8:58 am

At #60: Wes Coast, I agree. Except Canada has surpassed the U.S. on EVERY level imaginable with house lust, consumer debt, compressed rates, housing overvaluation, etc. It isn’t a matter of Canada heading where the U.S. was, it almost like Canada set out to TRY and one-up the U.S. in all of its bad behaviors. That’s the truth of the matter.

#85 TS on 03.17.11 at 9:00 am

Worse, the average SFH in 416 now cost $758,409. That is 8.54 times the average household income of $96,040.

Where did you get that GTA household income from? I thought it was $79,000.00.
New GTA single family homes had the second lowest sale month in January since the year 2,000. Low rise industry hurting bad.
The Province came to the rescue though with their new affordable housing policy. Municipalities can no longer restrict basement apartments. More band aid policies by governments to support high home values. Who cares about the character of a neighbourhood?

#86 March of the Pigs on 03.17.11 at 9:08 am

I like the nuclear cheerleaders, it’s as if God said build Nuclear reactors, we haven’t existed on this planet for millions of years without Nuclear power…

#87 mattbg on 03.17.11 at 9:09 am

With some of these income-multiple numbers, you have to wonder if a “good economy” matters at all. At some point, more and more people will just say it’s not worth putting themselves under so much financial stress to own a home.

I wouldn’t mind moving and could afford a more expensive house, but there’s just nothing on the market that is good value for money when you compare it to the cost of the added financial pressure on your life that it’d require.

Also, the US problems started when the economy was good. That was one of the outstanding features of the beginning of the crash — that people were losing their homes even while they still had their jobs.

#88 Joe Q. on 03.17.11 at 9:27 am

Garth writes: “In the first two weeks of February, despite the property virgin rush to beat the 35-year mortgage ban, sales lagged 2010 numbers by 5%.”

I think you mean the first two weeks of *March*.

Compared to December, January and February (all around 13-15%) a drop of only 5% represents a pretty big surge in sales. I think this is a clear case of demand being yanked forward by the mortgage rules change.

It gets even more interesting when you look at sales by property type. Condo sales in the first two weeks of March actually went UP vs. last year. Semis and detached houses down more than 10% though. Get in now or be priced out forever!

The new mortgage rules take effect tomorrow, pretty well lined up at the mid-point of March and the end of the March break (which signals the beginning of the spring RE season here in the GTA). It’s going to be really interesting to compare the first two and last two weeks of March.

#89 Love this Blog on 03.17.11 at 9:29 am

Silly question. What is HAM everyone refers to?

#90 robert james on 03.17.11 at 9:53 am

#89 HAM Hot Asian Money

#91 Markey on 03.17.11 at 10:08 am

Let me tell you about Brad and Janet, who, I think, are a fairly typical couple in their early 50s.

Ten years ago when they married, Brad made oodles of money as a computer programmer and Janet was a bookkeeper. Janet came into the marriage with a suburban townhouse and two children from a previous marriage. Brad owned a Muskoka man-retreat left to him by a deceased relative.

To start their new life together they sold the TH to buy a semi-detached SFH and had a mortgage of $170 thousand. Now, the kids are at university and Brad hasn’t worked in nearly four years. Jobs for computer programmers are scarce and poor Brad has developed problems with his eyes that required multiple surgeries. But these setbacks haven’t modified the lifestyle of this entitled couple. In the last three years they had the house redone with granite and stainless AND had a top-of the line, gas-fueled stove installed. They renovated the bathroom. They “upgraded” the cottage. They bought a second time share and a truck for comfortable weekend trips to Muskoka. At Christmastime they take the kids on Caribbean cruises and they make regular trips to Las Vegas.

Their retirement plan is to move to the cottage and live off the wads of money they are going to make from the sale of their house. No savings, no RRSPs, no TFSAs, no company pension plans.

Today, the mortgage on the house is nearly $400 thousand and they have a $25 thousand mortgage on the cottage. The banks have been feeding them credit in the same way a drug dealer sells crack to an addict. And those of us who live within our means, who rent because the thought of carrying hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of debt is terrifying, who delay gratification to pay cash for purchases and who try to put away a little each month — we are on the hook when these economy-drivers default. How is that fair?

#92 simkev on 03.17.11 at 10:12 am

Rappin Re/Max

This has already ended badly !

#93 45north on 03.17.11 at 10:17 am

The Original Dave: They’re in for 1.35 million right now.

you gotta be kidding!

my sister tells me stories of Italian families that have bet big on real estate (in Toronto)

trouble is they don’t think that they have bet! I think wager is a better word since it visibily and obviously comes from wages.

#94 Matt on 03.17.11 at 10:18 am

Garth, sadly I fear this time it is different. People are starting to flee Tokyo, an area with around 40 million people in it, and they cannot all go to Hawaii.

If the situation continues to deteriorate over there, I think we could easily have a few hundred thousand refugees with money coming to Canada.

I would bet they may be more willing to take their chances with earthquakes on the west coast then move next to nuclear plants in the GTA.

#95 Scare Crow on 03.17.11 at 10:38 am

Want to see what a $440,000 (approx 600sq.ft)- newly built condo looks like in the west side of Toronto – check out the Princess Margaret Home lottery draw – you can take a visual tour – they only show the balcony view.. totally laughable.

If I won – it would be on the market before I blinked – the maintanence fees must be sky high!!

#96 TS on 03.17.11 at 10:39 am

Got to love those public private partnerships. Another lesson in greed.

Wiki cables voiced concern about IAEA’s Japanese safety chief

#97 JoshL on 03.17.11 at 10:39 am

Squidly 77:
“Despite the realtors squeels, Alberta been busted for 2 years plus. All that have bought sinse 2006 have lost money, lots of money.”

Ain’t that the truth. I just sold a house in Calgary (purchased in 2003 thankfully). My realtor (25 year experience) said his closing rate is usually 95%, but was down to 10% in 2010. Price with recent sales in mind and your place will go. Price with last year or 2008 on your mind and you’ll be waiting a long time.

#98 Pat on 03.17.11 at 10:40 am

#86 March of the Pigs:

“I like the nuclear cheerleaders, it’s as if God said build Nuclear reactors, we haven’t existed on this planet for millions of years without Nuclear power…”

Until about 100 years ago we had existed for millions of years by burning wood. Try having some dental work done without electricity.

People who do what their imaginary friend (“God”) tells them are for the for the crazy house, imho.

#99 househunter on 03.17.11 at 10:41 am

“Here (finally) is my point: There’s no longer any sense waiting for a real estate correction. It’s here. Some markets populated with serious boatloads of greater fools may take a little longer to show it, but the outcome is inevitable.”

– Garth, its not here. Vancouver West Side is selling SFH’s with bidding wars going hundreds of thousands past asking. There is no correction happening. On Vancouver’s West Side, there is such pressure to purchase these homes I really can’t see it easing up unless there are serious economic issues in China. I think you might be discounting the Asian influence in this local area. Its truly a spectacle, as bad as it is. If you have access to Sold listings, search on Sold Vs Listing since Dec 2010 for Vancouver’s West Side. You’ll be truly taken back at what is happening. A lot of us here are unsure how to take this. Now that would be a blog topic worth discussing (or discusting should I say).

#100 Steven Rowlandson on 03.17.11 at 10:47 am

Garth thats a real cheesy video!

Bottom line for realtors is keep prices and commissions as high as possible and sell the dream of getting tax free profits for the home owner by selling to the greater fool no matter what the cost. Its not just the realtor and the home owners wallowing in an orgy of greed they have the banks and the government helping out too. Shortage of qualified buyers? No problem we will import them. Are the mortgage terms too oppressive?
We will go from 25 years to 35 years with low rates and low to no down payments. Anything to keep the grease flowing and keep the dream cum financial nightmare going. I would not be surprised that they would try for extreme real estate prices untill jobs and european canadians are extinct and gone. Their greed knows no limits and that’s a fact. If in doubt please check out the listings posted at this site over the years and their 6 and 7 figure price tags.


#101 Kevin in Winnipeg on 03.17.11 at 11:15 am

The ones who believe in a correction and those who believe real estate will increase forever are not so different. Both are emotionally involved and will lose something, either time or money in the end.

In the meantime, Winnipeg is fabulous!

#102 Crash on 03.17.11 at 11:16 am

I can’t see Lawyers, doctors, dentists, accountants, etc. advertising like ReMax in that UTube clip. I thought Real Estate agents liked to compare themselves to these other professionals…?
Regarding White Rock: the premise is HAM is looking at high end properties, not condos in retirement complexes, so that’s not really a valid analogy concerning W/R HAM.

#103 bridgepigeon on 03.17.11 at 11:23 am

Big Al (New) Nice one

#104 one word on 03.17.11 at 11:23 am


Only one word comes to mind after watching the above Eminem hi-jacked Re/max video anthem:


#105 Crash on 03.17.11 at 11:25 am

Always the optimists, Central 1 Credit Union here in BC forcasts:
“Housing sales across British Columbia will rise 7 per cent this year and the median price will set a new record high…”. “Sales will increase another 2 per cent in 2012 and a heady 15 per cent in 2013”.

Wow, I mean look at the track record of these guys. They have NEVER been correct in their predicitions, but they stick their neck out like this time after time.

#106 dmalbaurn on 03.17.11 at 11:27 am


You registered this domain on October 21, 2007. Since sometime around that date you have been pontificating about how the housing market is going to crash. The crash hasn’t happened yet.

How much further behind is someone who took your advice, got out of the housing market and invested in a nice diverse investment portfolio? Granted there is no good exact answer to this, generally I think the answer is: way behind.

In 1999 I told my friends to hold off buying a condo because this boom couldn’t sustain itself. Boy was I wrong. Advice that comes too early is just as bad as advice that comes too late.

The blog started three years ago this month. In late 2009-early 2009 the market did exactly as I suggested. It’s on course to happen again. BTW, if you are going to criticize, be accurate. I have never said the market will ‘crash’ but correct, and then steadily erode in a process that takes longer than anyone here seems able to comprehend. Finally, too selling early always beats selling too late. You will learn this. — Garth

#107 Values on 03.17.11 at 11:29 am

#50 Mikey the Realtor “RE is going up folks, Mr Turner has been wrong for decades and is wrong again, no surprise…give I or DA a call, we will gladly assist you into the real world and away from this pathetic blog.”.

…and WHY would I call you or use your services with an attitude like that? It’s obvious you have a lack of respect for authority figures and the common man.

#108 young & foolish on 03.17.11 at 11:30 am

Markey ….

“— we are on the hook when these economy-drivers default. How is that fair?”

Exactly! This is today’s democratic government solution to economic challenges – free up private capital, and socialize excessive debt.

#109 vreaa on 03.17.11 at 11:32 am

Olympic Village Lawsuit; CBC video transcribed with stills, for the record:

‘Nobody Loves You When You’re Down 30% And Out’
“This is not my fault. All I did is I just paid one point three million for this unit”

#110 eaglebay on 03.17.11 at 11:38 am

Your comments are very selective and pessimistic.
Obviously you’ve been influenced by the media hype as is the majority of the people.

A core melt accident occurs when the heat generated by a nuclear reactor exceeds the heat removed by the cooling systems to the point which at least one nuclear fuel plate exceeds its melting point. It may differ from a simple fuel element failure that was not caused by high temperature. A meltdown may occur due to coolant problems, like a loss-of-coolant accident, a loss of coolant pressure, or low coolant flow rate. A core melt can be the result of a criticality excursion in which the reactor is operated at a power level or neutron flux density which exceeds the design of the reactor core. Alternately, an external fire may endanger the core, leading to a meltdown. Once the fuel plates of a reactor begin to melt, the primary containment has been breached, and the nuclear fuel (such as uranium or plutonium) and fission products (such as cesium-137, krypton-88, or iodine-131) within the fuel plates can leach out into the coolant. A meltdown is considered very serious because of the potential, however remote, that radioactive materials with long half-lives could escape (or be released) into the environment, resulting in radioactive contamination and fallout, and leading to radiation poisoning of people nearby.
Remember, there are 3 containment systems built in these nuclear plants.

#111 Oasis on 03.17.11 at 11:46 am

#81 Brad in Van on 03.17.11 at 8:50 am

Oasis, The USD has risen against the CAD for the past six days straight. The CAD has fallen against the USD. USD is expected to continue strengthening too. One month and six month forecasts for the USD are ALL positive.

Brad … maybe you’ve found some nice stuff to smoke where you are, but the USD is in complete freefall.. and no, it has not risen 6 straight days against the loonie.

USD vs Loonie :

USD vs YEN :



the USD Index, which is a basket of the above, in addition to a few others:

the USD is even dropping against the Mexcian Peso. don’t kid yourselves, the USD is in complete free fall now. loonie will be at $1.10+ soon.

don’t anyone out there kid yourselves, the americans are purposefully collapsing their currency. they WANT a lower dollar. now two ways about it. the facts speak for themselves.

#112 Hoof-Hearted on 03.17.11 at 11:50 am

A group of condominium owners at the former Vancouver Olympic Village is suing the City of Vancouver, claiming their units are poorly built and badly designed.

A total of 62 owners involved in the lawsuit said their condos at the development — renamed The Village on False Creek — have a variety of complaints, including a lack of heat for four months. Others claim they can’t fit standard sized beds into their bedrooms or have leaky windows and celings.

“They want out because they bought into something that was advertised and sold to them as world-class luxury,” said the group’s lawyer, Bryan Baynham. “What they ended up with is something far less, something that is really no better quality than rental units — and then all sorts of things aren’t working.”

A group of owners at Vancouver’s former Olympic Village claim they were sold shoddy units and want their money back. CBC Baynham said that as the owner of the land and the lender, the City of Vancouver has an obligation to step in and fix these problems or give the owners their money back.


World Class is a marketing term. Means nothing.

I thought I read that any OV buyers were SOL…the COV has a document that prevents you from suing them for anything….

#113 Gord In Vancouver on 03.17.11 at 11:54 am

Olympic Village Update

Olympic village buyers suing for refunds

#114 Mr. Plow on 03.17.11 at 12:04 pm

#70 Jody

Wow that’s a lot of anger.

Or maybe the pizza hut worker you are turning your nose up to will work harder because she has a mortgage to pay, and become a lifelong contributor to society and the economy.

Two sides to look at things, just cause she works at Pizza Hut doesn’t mean she will automatically default on a mortgage.

#115 CalgaryRocks on 03.17.11 at 12:04 pm

#62 Soylent Green is People on 03.17.11 at 2:22 am
I’ve begged everyone I know to sell their house. Everybody thinks I’m crazy… Harper Government years.


Stephen Harper Trying to Buy the Election With OUR Money

I hope that WHEN Harper gets a majority he will do some heavy house cleaning. Start with starving the treason party from Quebec by removing public financing then move on to public unions.

Good times ahead (unless you’re in a public union) but only if you vote conservative.

#116 Jamie Groulx on 03.17.11 at 12:13 pm

@ housedoc. #78 and the first to get it. Bravo.

#117 April on 03.17.11 at 12:14 pm

The lawyer speaking for the Vancouver Olympic condo owners said in a CBC interview this morning that the Van condo market “is back to 2007/2008”. Check it out. So much for the media reports that things in Van are continuing to be UP. The Olympic owners no doubt have legit complaints but complaining because they can’t open the bedroom doors once furniture is in there, and can only get a single bed in there, didn’t they see that before they bought. Why would anyone pay 3m for a home if the rooms look so small. I guess part of their dissatisfaction is due to the fact that the value of their purchase is dropping fast. Can’t blame them but then again they allowed themselves to be duped.

#118 HouseBuster on 03.17.11 at 12:18 pm

Just watched the video. WTF was that???

#119 somejerk on 03.17.11 at 12:24 pm

question: are you “helping” market Re/Max or making fun?… hummm who DO you represent? Much enjoyed.

Nobody. — Garth

#120 Brad in Van on 03.17.11 at 12:30 pm

At #111: Oasis, you are incorrect. I’m not sure where you’re finding your false data, but the U.S. Dollar has risen against the loonie six days in a row now. Here it is for yourself.

Mar-16-2011 1.012190 0.987957
Mar-15-2011 1.016651 0.983622
Mar-14-2011 1.025003 0.975607
Mar-11-2011 1.026873 0.973830
Mar-10-2011 1.029169 0.971658
Mar-09-2011 1.031824 0.969158

#121 Brad in Van on 03.17.11 at 12:32 pm

Oasis, in fact, the USD is the strongest it has been in the past 30 days against the CAD. The chart I provided in the previous post proves it.

#122 Victoria on 03.17.11 at 12:34 pm


I am not seeing any surge of listings in Victoria. More and More over $1 million but not crazy and they seem to still be selling. $500,000 to $1 million generally nothing.

Anyone see anything different? I have the private client listing service for all of Victoria and surrounding area $350,000 to $25 million.

#123 Cowichan on 03.17.11 at 12:39 pm

Olympic Village 600sqf. condo with leak= $700,000.
Olympic Village condo w/ 2 very small bedrooms = $1.3 million.
Being a greedy, stupid S.O.B buying something without looking first= [email protected]#n priceless.

#124 Kuwaiti on 03.17.11 at 12:47 pm

WOW I’m sitting in class right now and the philosophy prof asked the class about the mistakes people might have made… one girl admitted to being suckered into a condo, and she’s just a student. Man some people here are really financially illiterate, and the Realtor who suckered her in should be punished severely! unbelievable!!

#125 The Original Dave on 03.17.11 at 12:54 pm

#61 Original Dave

That is quite a story. I’ll bet big that they are Italian.

It’s quite possible we know the same people…LOL


Yes, they’re Italian. Maybe we do know the same people. Haha.

We need something challenging on this blog like: which city will get clobbered the most or who’s crazier Italians or Asians.

In regards to my story, the people with the 1.35 mill in real estate are the wise ones, because they have gained 2 assets. What I have is deemed worthless. I can’t stroke bricks that belong to me like they can

#126 GregW, Oakville on 03.17.11 at 1:03 pm

Hi #32 cool, Thanks for the link.
Using thorium instead of uranium is interesting.
(CANDU EC-6 from AECL can use thorium. It has been tried in China CANDU reactor and works fine.) As for fluoride used as a coolant in nuclear power reactors, I don’t belief it’s a good idea. (I better not start down that other ‘toxic fluoride’ drinking-water issue.)

Any production of power is not completely benign. Even so-called renewable sources have cost, larger that you might first think to make equal amount of electricity. It’s not often windy on the coldest and hottest days in souther Ontario. Don’t here much about bird and bat strikes from wind power? Building dams across rivers is not benign. Most good hydro sights are already in use in Ontario. I believe when wind power is put up they also build gas power plants to make electricity when it’s not windy. Burning coal, oil and gas is known to cause harm and death to some people from air pollution.

I’m still pro-nuclear(CANDU EC-6, at this time.)
I have friends that are totally against all nuclear power.
And I know people in-between.
(It’ll be interesting to see what the Japan emergency out come will be as fare as nuclear power world wide?)

I keep looking at the stuff we can due to keep us all supplied with the energy we consume when we need it. I haven’t seen a simple answers that works in all cases yet, but I’ll still looking.

Here’s a link to a solar cell improvement. I just got it, it sound good.
But I wonder if it is scalable? Many research solar cell improvement are done on small samples, only a couple cm square. But it sound hopeful. Time will tell.

MARCH 14, 2011
‘One layer triples solar cell prowess’

The creation of renewable power sources is not begin, and the space and quantity of raw materials need to make equivalent quantity of energy is not small. Toxins are produced, used and need to go some wear when making energy producing sources. Unfortunately for people near by the toxins aren’t always controlled. Is the power you’ll need always available when you’d like it? Trying to store large amounts of electricity is problematic, expansive, or not even doable for very long, and not totally benign either. Some new technology for storing some power in special power fluctuation allocations is now available and worth looking into.

The plug-in hybrid car have promise. You still need to make energy from some were to
recharge there batteries. Power for long hall trucks is another issue. My guess is diesel will most likely be with us for some time for long hall trucks. Hybrid diesel or other fuel for stop and go truck like garbage truck and city busses has some merit.

I keep looking at the stuff we can due to keep us all supplied with the energy we consume when we need it. I haven’t seen a simple answers that works in all cases yet, but I’ll still looking.

#127 Timing is Everything on 03.17.11 at 1:09 pm

#122 Victoria

Mostly agreed. As they say, home of the ‘newly wed and nearly dead’. So, things move a bit slooowwwwer here.

RE News from behind the Tweed Curtain…

#128 Devore on 03.17.11 at 1:14 pm

#74 Oasis

I wonder what’s happening to the Yen carry trade. FX desks around the world must be crapping their collective pants.

#129 Alex on 03.17.11 at 1:24 pm

Today some truth from the Victoria mainstream media on the lunacy and the very real societal impact of the housing bubble. Good for the Times Colonist – at least this time.

#130 Timing is Everything on 03.17.11 at 1:29 pm

Travel News? from Calgary…Bring Cash (B.C.) ;)

#131 Jan Etter on 03.17.11 at 1:30 pm

Just a note to those in the advertising industry: the concept of conservatively-dressed white guys breaking suddenly into rap is no longer funny and has jumped the shark.

“#93 45north on 03.17.11 at 10:17 am
The Original Dave: They’re in for 1.35 million right now.
you gotta be kidding!
my sister tells me stories of Italian families that have bet big on real estate (in Toronto)…”


Not to say this is exclusive to the GTA Italian community, but I believe many are influenced by the fact that a lot of the success stories from the community come from the construction and development industry (Muzzo, DeGasperis, Bratty etc). Also, many in the community work in the construction and development industry or have connections, and so it is natural to gravitate to what you know and what those around you know.

#132 incubus on 03.17.11 at 1:36 pm

Shrinking Labor Pool Means Shrinking Demand For Housing

Points to Consider

•The civilian population is steadily rising. However, none of that increase in recent years is looking to buy a home.
•Those not in the labor force are not looking
•Those unemployed are not looking
•Those afraid of losing their job are not looking
•Those in a house and underwater are not looking
•Those just out of school and deep in school debt are not looking

•Those facing retirement may be looking to sell or downsize
•Mortgage standards are much tighter for those who are looking

#133 Pr on 03.17.11 at 1:40 pm

A picture worth 44 Billion dollars:

#134 BrianT on 03.17.11 at 1:40 pm

#48House-You are missing the possibility that our technological economy has levelled out. Look at the gulf oil disaster and the Japan nuke thing-just getting power to hold everything together is going to be a big problem and priority going forward, which means very long range schemes like that one will be pushed way down the list. Look at the trend: look at space travel say 1951-now look at space travel 30 yrs later (1981)-now look at 2011-the trend doesn’t look good at all.

#135 squidly77 on 03.17.11 at 1:43 pm

Its not fair dude. Florida 2006..

I guess we are Florida too.

#136 The Original Dave on 03.17.11 at 1:52 pm

there’s no perfect energy source. Japan will have power outages due reactor problems. This should be telling you all something. Don’t take things for granted. Nuclear is a major part of our energy mix. Hugs and Kisses will not power the world – unfortunately.

What I can’t understand is that Japan allowed for a nuclear power plant to be built on a major fault line…..and be hit by a tsunami. That’s nuts. Are people neglecting that this was one of the worst quakes in the last 100 years? Huge quake (not often) and bad planning (shouldn’t happen).

#137 The Original Dave on 03.17.11 at 1:55 pm

Brick stroking is the new beard stroking

#138 Alex on 03.17.11 at 2:30 pm

So…I just spoke with a fellow who came by to purchase some hot tub chemicals from me. We started yapping, and he told me about his brother, who bought a place two months ago in New Westminster. He paid $500,000.

It is, according to this fellow, a complete dump, in need of much repair. His brother had been renting for years prior to the purchase. I quizzed him as to why his bro finally decided to take the plunge, and he had three words for me: “He was afraid.”


“Afraid of what?” I asked.

“He figured if he didn’t buy now, he might not ever be able to buy.”

So very sad, isn’t it? A half million dollars on a festering cesspool – a purchase driven by fear.

Anyway, his brother is now regretting the decision big time. The place is a sh*thole, the peripheral costs have been much higher than anticipated, and he doesn’t even like the area. But he felt he “needed” to buy, and now he’s stuck. Stuck for god knows how long.

But on a widespread basis, this is precisely what’s been happening out here. This guy gets his info from the exact same sources that most of the general population turns to. Realtors and the media. The MAINSTREAM media, which, of course, is backed heavily by the real estate industry. This dude trusted what he read in the papers, what he saw on TV, and likely what his house pimp – er, realtor – told him. And he was scared into buying. Problem is that none of these sources delivered a neutral perspective. Trust? No chance.

And that’s precisely why I’m still slogging onward with my Global BC CRTC/CBSC complaint. My secondary statements have now been submitted for a full panel review. At the very least, Global will know they have a pitbull on its hands.

#139 dd on 03.17.11 at 2:31 pm

…The American… and Utopia… is correct. The long-term (even near-term) projection of the value for the $USD is anticipated to increasing sharply and rapidly…

So how is that working out for you? I see the USD is breaking the Novemeber 2010 resistant levels. Next support is 74 (2008). After that the USD is in unchartered waters.

#140 Timing is Everything on 03.17.11 at 2:45 pm

#70 Jody – said “I feel like that guy who got …”

Abusive, obscene or disrespectful commenters will not be published, and are subject to banning from this forum. – Garth?

I guess that is not obscene in the bunker. Normal average behavior in your parts? There outta be a law…

You just ruined a perfectly good sno-cone. Damn.

I missed that portion of the comment. It has been deleted in its entirety. — Garth

#141 Thetruth on 03.17.11 at 2:48 pm

In the mom’s condo example,

Why would she lose $145,000 at the stroke of a pen when she could have just rented it out to cover most if not all of the mortgage payments??

No one questions these stories on this blog?? Interesting. Wonder who the real sheep are? Lol

Future losses, plus $180,000 making nothing. Duh. — Garth

#142 barb the proofreader on 03.17.11 at 3:01 pm

#62 Soylent

Thanks for finding and posting those. Have copied and emailed to friends.

#143 Ottawa on 03.17.11 at 3:01 pm

Hope people will understand what’s coming after reading this news:

Hint : Erosion in take home money.

#144 Vancouver_Bear on 03.17.11 at 3:02 pm

Elaborate Homes falls under receivership….sign of bright future for RE?

#145 dddd on 03.17.11 at 3:10 pm

the better parts of east van are still on fire too.

owing a house in van seems to be a highly liquid asset.
ANY realistically priced sfh round here goes like this – sign up mon or tue; open house on sunday; sold sign by wed. (this week it was on tuesday)
smaller homes in decent shape are 900k to over 1m on 33foot lots.

van will always be at a very high premium to anywhere else in can and near DT van should suffer the least of the greater van area. but all areas seem unsustainable

#146 Vancouver_Bear on 03.17.11 at 3:12 pm

#109 vreaa on 03.17.11 at 11:32 am

The video on CBC is priceless, they got what they deserved. I have no pity for stupid.

#147 Xnilo on 03.17.11 at 3:15 pm

#142 Ottawa

Hope people will understand what’s coming after reading this news:

Hint : Erosion in take home money.


No one cares about the national debt anymore… Boomers are busy looking for burial plots and their children are too dumb and clueless to notice this monster… In a land where once their ancestors built with blood and toil, this young generation will once again live in servitude… History always repeats itself.

#148 JC on 03.17.11 at 3:17 pm


Don Campbell has just given you the title for a future post:

Four Fs… Canada’s time to shine. (I can’t believe how many times he spewed that line in the G&M live blog interview).

Perhaps you should post a logical dissertation challenging his hypothesis… as in even if all the rosy economic predictions come true real-estate is still doomed as an ASSET CLASS.

In fact, economic recovery will likely hasten the coming correction as real returns will again be sought in equities and income-producing instruments. It might be the final straw that breaks the camels back.

Clarifying risk-reward reality.


#149 Devore on 03.17.11 at 3:28 pm

#137 Alex

When you buy something based on fear or greed, anything, there is always buyers remorse the second the ink dries on the dotted line.

#150 Mike on 03.17.11 at 3:38 pm

Hey Garth,

Went to your session in Toronto a while back, great time!
Myself and a friend of mine (plus I’m sure a bunch of your readers) are wondering what the minimum take is for you and your team to manage? 100K?


I am a democrat. There is no minimum. But hiring a fee-based, no-commission advisor doesn’t make sense for everyone. You can always ask your questions of me directly at [email protected]. — Garth

#151 jess on 03.17.11 at 3:38 pm

“I Have been following this blog for more than two years reading about correction which is never happening” …

……then why the need for all those “facilities”

Lender of last resort
One of the functions of the Bank of Canada is to act as a “lender of last resort.”


We make millionaires in Canada through the lotto!
World Class is a marketing term. Means nothing.

Edward Bernays, the founder of the modern propaganda industry, described the process:
Those who manipulate the unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government. We are governed, our minds molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested largely by men we have never heard of … in almost every act of our lives whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires that control the public mind.[1]

there’s no perfect energy source

Helium 3 , a shovel full goes a long way ….although it’s on the the moon

And who the heck would spends 37k on grade three?
New York mother sues elite preschool for being ‘big playroom’15 Mar 2011 … A Manhattan mother is suing her 4-year-old daughter’s posh preschool, calling it “one big playroom” that deprived the child of the edge ……/News/…/New_York_mother_sues_elite_preschool_for_being__big_playroom_/ – Cached

#152 BrianT on 03.17.11 at 3:47 pm

Martenson makes a good point about Japan shifting to a big trade deficit and no longer being able to help fund anything external

#153 Alpha Bravo on 03.17.11 at 3:53 pm

#61 The Original Dave

“I know a person who’s married and has a little boy. They bought a house 6 years ago for about $450,000. They recently decided that they’re going to tear down that house and build a new one. The new one will cost about $550,000 to build.”


Been there. Done that in 2005. The greatest regret of my life. That 550k will turn into 750k for them if not careful. Please advise the family to consult a construction lawyer first. I hope their marriage is strong.

#154 VICTORIA TEA PARTY on 03.17.11 at 3:59 pm

#110 eaglebay


Thank you for your insight and literate explanation of what goes on in a nuclear reactor.

I have read about nuclear power over the years, but only out of interest. Now that interest has suddenly become a little more urgent because of this disaster, and potential fall-outs.

The point of my piece was to ask why someone from Japan Inc. didn’t just get on the tube to say exactly what you’ve written.

Explanations thus far are “edited” by conflicts of interest amongst the various “explainers.”

The Japanese explainers don’t want to cause panic, while the American and British explainers, just babble on in nuclear double-speak, I suggest, because this may be their first time on the tube where some egos have been heated up to the meltdown point!

Yes, I am pessimistic, but not because of media coverage; just common sense. What’s GOOD about what’s going on there?

Will those workers toil and toil only to suddenly emerge having “make nice” by putting that nuclear monster back in the bottle? I don’t think so.

I conclude that some of this debacle won’t end well. There will be more casualties. No doubt there. It’s all in that nuclear soup. No amount of blown sunshine will change that.


While some of us are fixated on events in Japan, we take a moment to fix on another huge problem, that has resulted from that disaster: the competition in the currency and bond markets for “money” being sought by the world’s largest indebted nations, as reported by Bloomberg:

March 17 (Bloomberg) — The yen strengthened against the dollar, surging to a post-World War II high, on speculation Japan will delay intervention to limit the currency’s advance as the nation struggles to avert disaster at a nuclear-power plant.

The yen soared 4.5 percent in 26 minutes as markets closed in New York yesterday and re-opened in Asia amid speculation automated trades to limit losses were taking place…Group of Seven officials will meet today to discuss the aftermath of last week’s earthquake in Japan.

…The Japanese currency strengthened yesterday after the head of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said that the Fukushima power plant is releasing “extremely high” levels of radiation that could be life-threatening.

…“The Japanese have to repatriate yen and the repatriation will continue as the crisis deepens,” said Kurt Magnus, executive director of currency sales at Nomura Holdings Inc. in Sydney.


One question (of many) arising out of this matter is what happens if the US bond issuers, as an example, can’t find buyers for their bonds.

There are two possible “solutions’: either raise interest rates, to attract investors, or print more money.

The betting is that more loot will be printed, thus shoving down the value of the Greenback even further, with future ramifications.

Higher interest rates would cause a financial calamity, at this stage in the US economic cycle.

Japan’s problems cast a wide net.

#155 Matt on 03.17.11 at 4:17 pm

@eaglebay #109:
the problem you are describing with the meltdown applies to reactors 1,2 and 3. The problem at reactors 4, 5 and 6, from what I understand, is that the Spent Fuel Ponds (SFP), filled with 20+ years of spent fuel rods, have lost water to the point that the rods are sticking out of the water and burning. whether this is from boil-off or leak is unclear.

Chernobyl was one reactor melting down. What they are facing over there is triple that, plus the SFP problem. The situation is very bad.

#156 CalgaryRocks on 03.17.11 at 4:29 pm

Wow. Canadian Nuclear plant leaks radioactive water into Lake Ontario. No worries, say authorities.

It’s St. Patrick’s day, you shouldn’t be drinking water anyways.

#157 MortgageFree on 03.17.11 at 4:42 pm

I’m in a rental Vancouver Downtown (unloaded my condo in 2010) and have one question for Mr. Turner: what happens to renting costs in after-the-bubble periods (both short and long term)? Do rental costs go up or down?

Considering that you recommend renting, perhaps one or more future blog entries could be entirely about renting and financial aspects of it (strategies, costs, areas, etc).

Thanks in advance for your time.

#158 RE CRASH on 03.17.11 at 4:44 pm

Wow alot of worried realtors who post daily on this . If the RE market was doing so well why are sales falling for the last 10 months in a row? It’s game over for RE and people are starting to wake up. Not because they are smart but because the reality of falling sales and stories from other people who are unable to sell or forced to sell for a loss or simply those who have gone bankrupt and lost their home. Power of sale continue to increase in Brampton and surrounding areas. Realtors will never tell the masses the truth. If peolpe knew the truth about the current market you would see 50%drop in sales. April sales will be a laugh as buyer will find nobody. Buy now for more or wait and pay tens of thousands and even hundreds of thousand LESS by simply waiting. Look out below realtors>>>>>>>CRASH<<<<<<<< Nothing you can do about it. Even if you realtors cry. It's over Funny how you have so much free time. LOL

#159 Sitting on the Sidelines on 03.17.11 at 4:49 pm

I live on the west-side of Vancouver (Arbutus) and tear-downs are selling rapidly BUT the new houses sit on the market for literally years. The For Sale signs come and go but no-one actually moves in and, in most cases, a Sold sign is not visible. The MLS pictures tell the story – either empty houses or obviously staged houses. The new stock being built is just horrible – the new city council allows secondary suites (aka basement suites) as well as a lane-way house (all on a 33′ lot) so instead of family houses you now have mini apartments. The lane-way houses are truly horrible – they cut off all light in the adjoining backyards so more old houses sell and more soul sucking accomodation pops up. Spending $2M plus for the privilege of sharing a tiny yard and plenty of noise just so you can afford a mortgage is lunacy.

#160 Naive or Stupid on 03.17.11 at 5:03 pm

Laok at this Idiot Bob Truman who wants instant gratification.

#161 Dodged-A-Bullit-in Alberta on 03.17.11 at 5:16 pm

Greetings: If I correctly understand some of Japanese society, once this mess is under control, fingers will start to be pointed and people who failed in their responsibility will be held accountable. Unlike wall Street etc. I doubt “bonus” will be issued. Am I wrong?? Will the powers that failed to protect the reactors from a tsumai be booted out an their arses,or worse??

#162 Ken on 03.17.11 at 5:17 pm

Garth, can you do a log about the fools now suing about the Olympic condos in Vancouver? Thanks.

#163 Brave Sir Robin on 03.17.11 at 5:18 pm

House Buster – “they are about to get a rude awakening.”

When? In about a billion years or so? House Buster you need to relax a little bit, if your researching into when the world will be swallowed by the sun or implode you may need to get some help.

#164 eaglebay on 03.17.11 at 5:18 pm


Most of Japan’s debt is owed to the Japanese people and Japanese organizations.
National pride and huge savings by the people will help pay for Japan’s reconstruction. Reconstruction Bonds maybe?
Further down the road Japan will end up with huge deficits and will need to borrow money from abroad.
Then watch out.
For now the troubled nuclear plant will be under control shortly and no, there won’t be any fallout in North America.

#165 Kevin on 03.17.11 at 5:24 pm

#57 Mark on 03.17.11 at 1:29 am

When renters are being sent to “workshops” for a “home ownership course” you know the market is set to fail.

#166 jess on 03.17.11 at 5:41 pm

Quebec will no longer authorize fracking for oil, gas

By Kevin Dougherty, Gazette Quebec Bureau March 17, 2011 QUEBEC –

Nathalie Normandeau, Quebec’s natural resources minister, announced Wednesday that the Quebec government would no longer authorize any hydraulic fracturing operations in the province.

Normandeau said the ban will apply to fracking both for gas and oil, but that fracking could be done for scientific purposes.

A panel of independent experts, which the government has yet to name, will determine whether an individual fracking operation will add to scientific knowledge about the impact of the controversial technique used to extract natural gas from shale rock formations.

Gas leaks at wells that have already been fracking in Quebec led Arcand in January to question whether the industry was in control of the situation….”

#167 jess on 03.17.11 at 6:24 pm

UN security council air strikes vote – live
Live • United Nations security council expected to pass Libya resolution
• US and Britain support air strikes to protect civilians from Gaddafi
• Gaddafi declares: ‘There will be no mercy’ in Benghazi

#168 Naive or Stupid on 03.17.11 at 6:31 pm

I think Bob Truman hasn’t heard about govt intervention and emergency rates ( and still Calgary is down from 2007)….. Bobbbbbbb keep up.

Somebody please draw a cartoon for him…..

#169 jess on 03.17.11 at 6:32 pm

Gaddafi threatens to retaliate in the Mediterranean area if Libya is attackedLibyan leader vows to retake Benghazi and lashes out at foreign intervention as UN prepares to vote on imposing no-fly zone

#170 eaglebay on 03.17.11 at 7:15 pm

#155 Matt

Chernobyl was a different story. The Soviets took many short cuts while building the plant. They only installed one containment system for example.

The Japanese have three containment systems from the core to the outside on the nuclear reactor.
We cannot compare USSR technology with the Japanese technology.

#171 VICTORIA TEA PARTY on 03.17.11 at 7:20 pm

#164 eaglebay

Yes, the Japanese own most of their debt (though low interest/no interest bonds), but external owners of that debt abound as well. Anyone can by Japanese government bonds.

As Garth, and others tell us, the Japanese are now starting to cash in those chips for their retirement. That society is aging rapidly. Not enough young replacements coming along. With that in mind, when will their money run out? Then what?

I know, the world bond markets. And what will the interest rates be, lending money to a geezer society? How about double-digit?

I’m sure the Japanese will “renew” their country and a few months from now we may be asking “what tsunami?”

For now lots of suffering and perhaps some soul-searching about energy sources, including the futures of a bunch of aging nuclear reactors and no guarantees about no more quakes and tsunamis.

I think nuclear power has its place. But is it safe? And what is the definition of safe in that context? It depends on the technologies used to provide the power and the amount of money we are willing to spend to make it as safe as we can with the knowledge we have at that particular time.

This debate about nuclear power is not near over. More discussion is good. Outcomes not known at this time.

#172 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 03.17.11 at 7:26 pm

Today is St. Patrick’s Day; tomorrow Seamus Flahertwoherty discombobulates the 5-35s and Saturday is Full Moon Fever.

What more can a transsexualgendered five-leaf clovered eunuch ask for? This is better than heaven on earth, swimming in a 25,000 gallon vat of Bailey’s Irish Cream! Mamma Mia! Ohhh mercy!
2:15 clip Forty foot section of freeway falls into Pacific.

Buy! Buy! Buy! “He may be wrong. Japan may have to stop buying US debt.”, and 2:15 clip Drunk with debt.

Rescue Choppers? Banxters are too busy helping themselves to profits, and not helping others.

2:07 clip Depopulation in Bahrain. “We are in the middle of the biggest environmental disaster in history but the murdering of people by their own governments proceeds right on schedule.”

US debt increasing.

MIT Radiation “My father graduated MIT and their arrogance is part of the campus culture. The fact is that everyone connected with the nuclear power industry sees Fukushima as a threat to the very existence of nuclear power. MIT is very much tied in with nuclear power and with General Electric. Vested interest is on display here!”

Energies gone wrong — nuke and oil, and 4:35 clip Nukes, Cukes and Stocks don’t mix.

Rents could rise in some cities.

#173 john m on 03.17.11 at 7:35 pm

No worries people,life is good in Harperland and curiously enough he really doesn’t know if he’s right or wrong and what is even worse he does not appear to care considering past actions (after all he is pushing for an election)…OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canada’s budget deficit will shrink by a quarter in the next year, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Thursday, without giving precise figures.

“The deficit over the past year has already shrunk by a quarter — by over 25 percent. And it will shrink by the same amount once again in the year to come,” he said in remarks to a lunch in Brampton, Ontario

#174 goldenfox on 03.17.11 at 8:09 pm

Whose the patsie? You are!

#175 Oasis on 03.17.11 at 8:15 pm

#119 Brad in Van on 03.17.11 at 12:30 pm

At #111: Oasis, you are incorrect. I’m not sure where you’re finding your false data, but the U.S. Dollar has risen against the loonie six days in a row now. Here it is for yourself.

i guess you couldn’t see the chart i posted for you? it’s the june 2011 futures contract for the USD/CAD exchange rate… clearly showing that the loonie was not down 6 straight days.

your data is actally called a “nominal rate”. nominal exchange rates are neither buying nor selling rates;
they are indicative rates that show where the Bank of Canada estimates the market to have been at noon on that day. completely irrelevant to your arguement, and irrelevan to where the loonie actually closed that day.

in fact, i’m sure within a few weeks, the loonie will be making a new high against the dollar for the year. approaching 1.05-1.10, as the USD continues to plummet against the Swiss Franc, Euro, and Yen. and as commodities continue to skyrocket.

#176 jess on 03.17.11 at 8:23 pm

170 eaglebay
Construction on the intermediate-term storage facility was supposed to have started next year.

the industry has label japan’s nuclear situation is rated a 6
Danger of Spent Fuel Outweighs Reactor Threat
Thursday 17 March 2011
Figures provided by Tokyo Electric Power on Thursday show that most of the dangerous uranium at the power plant is actually in the spent fuel rods, not the reactor cores themselves. The electric utility said that a total of 11,195 spent fuel rod assemblies were stored at the site.
That is in addition to 400 to 600 fuel rod assemblies that had been in active service in each of the three troubled reactors. In other words, the vast majority of the fuel assemblies at the troubled reactors are in the storage pools, not the reactors. …
That is about four times as much radioactive material as in the reactor cores combined.

Danger of Spent Fuel Outweighs Reactor Threat
Published: March 17, 2011

#177 ballingsford on 03.17.11 at 8:30 pm

I never did trust REMAX and I more surely don’t trust them now after watching that video. They are the underworld under the underworld. YIKES!

#178 Devore on 03.17.11 at 9:06 pm

#157 MortgageFree

I’m in a rental Vancouver Downtown (unloaded my condo in 2010) and have one question for Mr. Turner: what happens to renting costs in after-the-bubble periods (both short and long term)? Do rental costs go up or down?

First they go down, as specuvestors who cannot unload their flip properties without a loss decide to hold on long term, and become unwitting landlords. As fear and revulsion to RE grips the common man, demand for rentals rises, and after a few years rents and prices stabilize.

At this point, if rationality prevails, prices and rents would move roughly in lockstep with a combination of incomes and inflation, which keeps RE a viable investment with non-laughable returns. If rental demand rises, more product is provided by investors, if it falls, some close up shop.

However, we all know the lessons of the day will be forgotten by then, so we can look forward to another generational housing bull market, because it only keeps going up forever. But now, as Garth alludes to, there may not be one, given the finances and demographics of Canada and the western world in general.

#179 Behavioral Finance on 03.17.11 at 9:11 pm

Bank of Japan intervenes.

#180 Adventures in Sea-Tac with Moneta on 03.17.11 at 9:24 pm

46 American – check your references. The 8.4M refers to households not individuals. And the cited study includes real estate holdings. So the number is higher than the trough, but not higher than the peak a few years ago.

Applying the same metric to Canada, we surpassed the 1M mark in households in 2005 – well before any peak, or perceived peak in Canadian RE.

So the numbers appear reasonably comparable.

#181 CalgaryRocks on 03.17.11 at 10:17 pm

Gaddafi threatens to retaliate in the Mediterranean area if Libya is attackedLibyan leader vows to retake Benghazi and lashes out at foreign intervention as UN prepares to vote on imposing no-fly zone

The guy’s a clown. His army will lay down their arms and ask for a Big Mac. Just like Iraq’s army did in the first gulf war.

#182 Love this Blog on 03.18.11 at 12:26 am

#137 Alex,

Keep slugging buddy, and keep us posted on how it goes.

#183 James Huckabone on 03.18.11 at 1:59 pm

I just got one thing to say to all the “RE/MAX is Wack” haterz out there. Get a sense of humour and/or sarcasm. Stop taking everything so seriously. Stop being a douche-y whiner. Grow up. Find something that matters to hate on. Wait, that’s 6 things. Disclosure fail.

Garth, I think your blog is great and read it all the time. I work for RE/MAX (IT guy) and am actually proud of these videos. I think it’s cool that the RE/MAX ad money was brave enough to trust silly, intelligent people to come up with some light hearted, alternative material. Is it professional? Nope. All the better.

#184 not asian on 03.18.11 at 5:52 pm

I guess chinese buyers should start reading this blog because they keep bidding up the prices on average of $200-500,000 above asking in Vancouver and Richmond. We don’t need to hire Lawn Asians here. They come free once they smell a realtor’s sign on the lawn. The prices may go up more since now they actually want to get out of asia for awhile to escape the effects of possible Japanese radiation. They are geographically a bit closer to Japan. BTW – March 18th dosen’t affect them, they don’t need to take out a 35 yr amortization. They pay cash.