Grow a set

Banks slather over them. Cater to them. Draw them in. Builders tug the heartstrings. Feed the need to nest. Parents prod and push. Peers pressure. So, overwhelmed by marketing, media and societal expectations, young couples find themselves in bidding wars, standing in line outside sales trailers, borrowing unfathomable amounts of money, paying whatever it takes, and being reassured it’s all a rite of passage to adulthood.

Of course, it may equally be a path to penury.  Tens of thousands of new buyers in the last two years have gambled real estate values will only go up. Because if they don’t, well, fail. Even flatlined house prices will be a disaster once interest rates start to normalize at the end of next month and buyers fade. A correction of any kind would put them under water.

Suddenly, buying something costing hundreds of thousands of dollars with 5% down (or less), which consumes most of their disposable income, with a debt you can’t get your parents to fix, and is falling in value, would look idiotic. Like it does in the US right now. Or Britain. Or much of Europe. Or, soon, Australia.

Days ago I told you about a nascent movement in that country – with a Canada-style housing bubble – urging hormonal young property virgins to go on strike. The logic’s simple: reduced buyer demand will hasten lower prices. It will also give the kids some much-needed social reinforcement that refusing to buy a crappy houses from a greedy seller with a crushing debt, is cool.

Here’s an update: Since then the Buyer’s Strike has gained traction. This past week it was discovered by the MSM, and started blazing through the key social media sites. There’s now momentum behind it, as this television interview shows. The only question that remains: will Canadian kids grow a set?

While our spent youth drink the LePage-Re/Max Kool-Aid, the deluded citizens of Vancouver continue to bombard me with reasons why the Chinese will eventually eat all of it. Here’s one now:

Dear Garth: I enjoy reading your penetrating and insightful commentaries on the Vancouver real estate scene.  As much as I wish all you have predicted would come true, my reason begs to differ.  I am of Chinese origin (from Taiwan), but unfortunately the wrong kind for the Vancouver housing market.  In a few clearly futile recent attempts at house browsing I encountered, almost exclusively, hordes of Chinese buyers, sellers and realtors streaming through house after house, whose language I understand but with whom I apparently share little in common.  These are people who can easily put down $5 million in cash to buy a house with no questions asked, whereas I rely on a wage easily represented by that 31 to 1 price-to-income ratio for Vancouver.

This brings me to my question.  All the predictions you and other respondents made at your column about an impending bursting of the bubble seem to be based on one number, namely this price-to-income ratio of 31 that cannot sustain the current housing market.  But if I just step into any weekend open house in Vancouver, my logic tells me that the correct ratio to use should be instead the Vancouver house price versus the Chinese millionaires’ income, which is more like one-to-one.  And in this picture, Vancouver houses are really dirt cheap and has ample room to grow another several hundred percent.

I also know there is practically an endless supply of Chinese millionaires for the size of the Vancouver market, and they ALL want to buy houses here, driven by several factors:

  • The same mass hysteria that emptied all the Chinese supermarket shelves of salt during the recent Japanese nuclear scare.
  • All East Asian governments have recently implemented severe laws cracking down on property speculation, making gambling in Asian real estate not profitable any more.
  • Vancouver continues being ranked the number one city to live in the world by The Economist.  There is a Chinese obsession with rankings.
  • Vancouver has excellent educational resources.  There is a Chinese obsession with education.
  • Vancouver is one of the best North American cities for keeping up an East Asian style of living.
  • Buying with cash, these millionaires can afford to sit out any temporary downturn without lowering their house price, unlike in traditional bubbles.

I wish all your predictions would come to pass tomorrow so finally I would be able to borrow frrom the bank up to my eyeballs and get maybe 200 square feet of house somewhere in New Westminster.  But from what I said above and from what I read in the Chinese newspapers,  I do not believe it will ever happen.  Maybe you are trying to prevent a mass panic by not giving the picture I am painting?

Isn’t it time to get real and talk about the real price-to-income ratio as I described?  And isn’t the right question to ask what the BC government plans to do in the face of this runaway situation that will eventually drive every non-Chinese-millionaire out of a house?  Nothing?  This “bubble” is not like all the ones before, and relying on it to burst by itself because of the phony price-to-income ratio is unrealistic.  I can see this ratio go to the hundreds if nothing is done about it.  So please help me out here.

See what I mean? Delusional. The yellow peril thing is being played to the hilt by local real estate marketing groups like The Key, and repeated ad nauseum by the Vancouver media. There has not been a single hard number generated in the past three years to show the extent of Mainland Chinese money flowing into the city’s housing market. Just a short swim away, Victoria’s real estate board has found that 90% of buyers there are Canadian, and eight out of 10 live in BC.

Are Chinese buyers gobbling up some houses? Without a doubt. Are they responsible for runaway prices? Hardly.

Grab a mirror, Van City. Take a hard look. You’re house junkies. Get over it.

Now look at this. And tell me how it ends.


#1 TaxHaven on 03.31.11 at 9:55 pm

Canadians are nothing if not ludicrously, zanily & rose-coloured-glasses-ly optimistic.

They’ll put all their savings (5%, next-to-nothing in many cases) plus tons of debt – for a lifetime – into a little box, often strata-title in the sky, that looks exactly like all the others in the catalogue from which it was chosen…

In a small town, we just paid half the cost of a Vancouver condo for a near-century-old house, all native wood floors, on a HUGE lot and plan eventually to LIVE in it. So don’t really care about price (or, as they say, “value”)…

Value is personal. It’s all a factor of what you can afford, what is important to you and uniqueness…

#2 Blobby on 03.31.11 at 10:03 pm

IF (big IF) these foreign investors exist. Then surely as investors, the minute they catch ANY wind of the market turning south, they’ll start to dump quicker than a fat man after a hot curry?

Surely that’ll ADD to the problem, rather than save it?

That’s something people dont seem to understand. And this isnt just limited to richmond, etc.. It doesnt take much to walk around false creek in the west end of vancouver to see 90% of the apartments empty – bought as investments… To worry about what happens when the market goes the other way.

#3 scond on 03.31.11 at 10:05 pm


#4 cheri on 03.31.11 at 10:06 pm

This clip on China is nuts

#5 CalgaryBoy on 03.31.11 at 10:07 pm

Love reading your posts! Keep up the good work! At least we have someone who’s honest in this country unlike all the politicians!

#6 Big Al (New) on 03.31.11 at 10:07 pm

Seriously could I be First.

#7 Jsan on 03.31.11 at 10:10 pm

Stunning! 64 Million newly built empty apartments in China.

China’s economy is a sham. Take away the cheap labor or allow the Yuan to rise a little and the worlds manufacturers will move to the next cheap labor pool. Add to this the ridiculous infrastructure spending by the Chinese government to keep the world believing that their GDP is for real and not just a another credit fueled bubble and you have the making of an eventual meltdown that will make the US crash pale in comparison.

#8 Devore on 03.31.11 at 10:12 pm

Maybe you are trying to prevent a mass panic by not giving the picture I am painting?

“Mass panic”? Because the Chinese are coming?

This is beyond delusional.

#9 phinny on 03.31.11 at 10:15 pm

Cap’n, you know I’m not a pro-union guy…

But, in this case, I’ll go on strike, too.

#10 Big Al (New) on 03.31.11 at 10:19 pm

This economy and housing market relies on one thing and that’s quality jobs. The truth came out today and the truth is that through a stealth QE process called the Sunshine list the 100k plus club, in Ontario has grown by 11 % last year. If you don’t think that helps this Toronto centric benefit to the housing prices than your fooling yourself. This too shall come to pass as the balance sheets of Toronto and all it’s surrounding underlings are getting squeezed along with the provinces. That BS announcement today on transit will die as certainly as the Liberals this fall, it’s only if they get elected will they have to figure out how the he’ll their going to fund 8 billion dollars of infrastructure. I don’t think their are two people that can add 5 and 5 together at any level of government and come up with the correct answer.

#11 Secret Creek on 03.31.11 at 10:20 pm

There are deals in my part of the woods, houses with property that don’t cost 9 times your income.

Space where you can grow your own vegatables and raise your own meat.

A creek that runs through it.

A window to look out that isn’t your neighbors lawn.

Crown Land.

A 15% down payment that doesn’t wipe out your savings.

One salary mortgage payment…………

They exist, because that is all we are willing to pay.

#12 Jsan on 03.31.11 at 10:21 pm

To the poor, naive, foolish Vancouverites that still believe that “It is different there”. Florida residents used to believe the very same thing. My friend moved to Florida over 10 years ago. He bought a house that skyrocketed in value. He said that the bubble talk was absurd, that “it was different in Florida” after all, Florida is one of the most popular and fastest growing states in the US. People from around the world flock there and buy retirement, vacation and investment property. It will only get more popular. Or so he thought. A sibling of mine has in-laws that are American and live in Florida. A year ago they bought a new house that previously listed for 650,000 for a mere 180,000 dollars. That is the reality of what happens after a housing bubble bursts.

Here is what one Florida paper said back in 2005.

“The more the experts talk about vulnerable real estate bubbles, the more Pasco County’s new home market seems to defy the bubble babble.”

I guess the “bubble babble” wasn’t babble after all. Here is the reality of that county today. Remember, the local experts said that things could not be rosier for housing back in 2005.


#13 kc on 03.31.11 at 10:21 pm

“Buying with cash, these millionaires can afford to sit out any temporary downturn without lowering their house price, unlike in traditional bubbles.”

Please answer the next question if this BS is true… How do these “rich millionaires” get their cash out of China?

Black Market anyone? and if it is black money it will fit right into Vancouver’s Gang life style and CROOKED politicians….

#14 somecatchphrase on 03.31.11 at 10:24 pm

A buyers strike in post secondary education would be a great idea as well.

Government backstopped student loan programs (a la CMHC) have led to inflation in tuitions. Today’s generation of young people is being reamed in more ways than one, and, the leading edge boomers have barely started to retire.

Try Google searching the terms “college is a scam.” Most of your results will be American, but a lot of the material is highly relevant to Canada, despite the popular perception that Canadian governments are benevolent and generous with students.

“How government programs drive up college tuitions” by Peter Schiff

#15 Jon B on 03.31.11 at 10:25 pm

Quite the eye-opener on the state of RE in the Middle Kingdom.

#16 k on 03.31.11 at 10:27 pm

That last video was shocking. What exactly happens to Canada when China implodes? How dire is the situation to the rest of the world?

#17 not 1st on 03.31.11 at 10:29 pm

The biggest bubble known to man is currently being inflated. Take trillions of stimulus money coming out of the U.S. coupled with phantom production and wealth in China as evidenced by their empty cities and we have the making of a crash the world has never seen before.

#18 Montrealer on 03.31.11 at 10:31 pm

I have yet to see anything that give the number of foreigners buying house in Vancouver, or even the number of people overall that are paying “all cash” (most of them would be rich chinese people since they probably wouldn’t get a loan anyway)
Both information are probably easy to get (especially the all cash deals) but I’m quite sure they don’t want to show the numbers, because it would prove that there aren’t that many Chinese buyers.

#19 TaxHaven on 03.31.11 at 10:33 pm

Garth, the writer is likely correct and the phenomenon he describes is keeping the high end of the Vancouver market afloat.

Just here in Taiwan there is an enormous amount of idle money floating around, much of it sitting in residential real estate. This is a place where they MAKE THINGS. An island of thousands of small manufacturing enterprises. Owning or running a factory keeps one rolling in money, as does being a doctor, dentist or long-time government employee. Vancouver prices, for a west side HOUSE, are still rather CHEAP compared with condo prices in Taipei, let alone in Shanghai, Beijing or even Xiamen or Shenzhen.

You forgetting that some Canadian housing competes in a world market.

But Chinese buyers won’t be the slightest bit interested – yet – in anything outside Vancouver or “Rich”mond (yes, Chinese are very superstitious…). Even Victoria is beyond the pale and 90% of buyers being Canadians is no surprise. And they won’t buy anything OLD (except for the land). Or too far out from the centre. Or with too big a yard (that WILL be corrected!)…

Living in a rancher in Powell River, to a Chinese, would be like being condemned to Urumqi or Ulan Bator for the rest of one’s life…

#20 Jsan on 03.31.11 at 10:36 pm

“#16 k on 03.31.11 at 10:27 pm

That last video was shocking. What exactly happens to Canada when China implodes? How dire is the situation to the rest of the world?”


Allot of the commodity boom that is happening is due to the Fed printing money that has to go somewhere, that can’t go on forever and another equally huge part of the commodity boom is the “belief” that China’s economy is some sort of mythical monster waiting to gobble up all of the world’s resources. Well, after building 64 million empty apartments and countless millions of empty roads, malls, bridges, etc. the reality is they have probably pulled a huge amount of future growth into the present. This means that commodity producing nations such as Canada and Australia would feel a China slowdown much harder than other lesser commodity producing nations.

#21 Frank on 03.31.11 at 10:55 pm

The economy of China will not last as it is today, they have way too many internal problems that they will need to deal with sooner or later and they will cost plenty. We did quite well without China before and we will continue to do well without them again. Freedom of choice always wins.

#22 Mikey the Realtor on 03.31.11 at 10:57 pm

Thanks for the second video, it looks like DA and I have a calling (the dream team) as we call it today have to make our way over to China, it looks like they are in dire need of good agents.

#23 Hoof - Hearted on 03.31.11 at 11:04 pm

Instead of a buyers strike there may just simply be a backlash against foreign ownership. If BC real estate is one big laundry cycle, the people need to say enough is enough.

Translink was on the news, and they still want to keep on building mega – projects.

Re China, I read that because of their one child policy is now coming back to bite them in the ass. They may be due for a major correction like Japan did.

#24 Aussie Roy on 03.31.11 at 11:06 pm

The delusion is alive and well here in Australia, regardless of the current fact that prices have turned the corner and are heading south. I noticed today several stories saying that due to Australias housing (land) shortage (LOL) that by not building any more properties prices will sky rocket over the next few years.

How is it that there could possibly be a shortage and prices are falling, in my 30 years of risk management I have never known a market with a shortage to also have falling prices. This would only make sense to those dumb enough to believe it.

The bulls would have the delusional sheeple believe there is no overpricing, there is no bubble and everything is just fine with the RE industry, I call BULLS*&^.

So while the delusion people of Van (just like a year ago those on Australias Gold coast ) point to rising prices and a feeding frenzy by Asian infestors (not a typo) none have the brains or common sense to look towards the future. Gold coast prices have fallen 15% in the past year but still we hear Asians will return with their buckets of money to bid prices to the moon really, really soon. More complete rubbish peddled by the RE industry.

Aussie Update

Investors see no capital growth for many years to come, rental yields at 3% while mortgage rates are at 8%. Even the delusion have worked out how to use a calculator – hooray, finally…

So Brisbane gets flooded with several hundred homes needing to be demolished and rebuilt, this extra demand must support prices, right?.

From December 2010 we are nearly 3% down nationally, Today -“The national median dwelling price in the capital cities has eased down to $459,000 over the three months to end February from a peak of $473,000.”

#25 TaxHaven on 03.31.11 at 11:08 pm

Gawwwd…! You guys in Canada just will never get it, will you…!?

YOU’RE poor, indebted, paycheck-to-paycheck wage-collectors living in peasant ruritania… Canadians seem to have NO IDEA just how much liquid net worth many Asians have amassed. Not all of them by any means but a goodly number.

And that money is looking for a better quality of retirement life in the west, with more space and better education systems. Vancouver’s $900K+ single-family houses are CHEAP in comparison to condos in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong or Singapore. CHEAP. And that money won’t be competing for ordinary Canadian housing, but it will hold up the Vancouver higher-end market. Even if “China collapses”.

Yet all Canadian commenters can talk about is “crime”, “Asian gangs”, “corrupt money transfers” and (true, but irrelevant) China’s overbuilt infrastructure, etc.

Get real…Vancouver housing is competing NOT with Podunk or Peoria or Sudbury or Nanaimo, but with Shanghai & Singapore!

#26 TOTHEMOON on 03.31.11 at 11:13 pm

Short answer: won’t work. You can’t create a market correction.

How did that GTA gasoline strike work out?

Silly intellectually challenged real estate bears.

Funny stuff! Nice try tho!

#27 wes_coast on 03.31.11 at 11:13 pm

I don’t know who is buying but I live in the Vancouver area and I still see new housing starts. Old crappy houses being bought up and torn down. Most listings in the last month are on the market for less than a month (all anecdotal observations). I don’t care where the money comes from or what country the buyers come from – the higher this thing is pushed up the harder it will fall. Its like the scene from the Titanic movie (the one with DiCaprio). As the nose went down everyone ran to higher ground – the rear. That got higher and higher and further from the cold waters of the north Atlantic – but – we know how that ended. If you wouldn’t buy a ticket to get on the Titanic at that moment why would you buy a Vancouver property at this moment.

#28 goldenfox on 03.31.11 at 11:13 pm

Comments on Restaurants:
I stopped going to timmies. You think with all the money they make, that they could afford decent washrooms. Tiny, no paper towels, just hot air. I saw one with a sticker on it “push button to hear speech from Harper.” The coffee’s not so great anymore either. I went into one that was co-ed and the toilet seat was spring-loaded so that the seat stayed down. Not so great for the ladies as the seat was covered with sprinkled leftovers from male patrons.
If I go to a restaurant and the washroom is not clean, I never go back. If they don’t care about the washroom, which the customer sees, imagine what the kitchen is like.
Actually, I prefer to eat at home, as my wife is a great cook, which no restaurant can match. However, we do eat out occasionally, as the little lady likes a break from the kitchen now and then.
We prefer family run restaurants as the owners seem to have more pride in their business and seem to truly care about their customers. I stay away from fast food joints like the plague.

#29 Ronaldo on 03.31.11 at 11:14 pm From this mornings Nanaimo Daily News.

Waterfront condos being reduced by 20% in a languishing market with some units being reduced by $140,000.

Says Cam Good, a Vancouver realtor regarding the Vancouver market: “literally plane loads of Chinese coming here to buy real estate”.

Wonder if they’re the same ones who bought in one of those vacant cities in China. Sounds like Harbour Air might be overwhelmed here soon once those real estate craving Chinese find out about Pacifica and the fantastic deal being offered for those condos on Nanaimo’s waterfront. Wouldn’t be surprised if they sell out in a week.

#30 HouseBuster on 03.31.11 at 11:15 pm

Well these so called “Chinese millionaires” are motherf’ing idiots if they are dropping millions on Vancouver real estate. They won’t be millionaires for long if this how they “invest” their money. LMAO.

But obviously this is a hyped up BS story. There are no Chinese, just a bunch of delusional fools and MF’ing morons.

#31 S on 03.31.11 at 11:16 pm

Zheng Zhou, 11 am Thursday morning… streets are empty, wow… maybe everyone’s at work?
With all these empty apartments why aren’t the prices dropping to meet the apparent demand?

#32 Jody on 03.31.11 at 11:17 pm

Oh gawd! The women going on about how the Chinese are driving everything, I don’t bloody think so. I can gurantee you that if the CMHC was gone tommorrow real estate in this country would crash at least 80%, interest rates would skyrocket to 20% as banks had to actually take on risk instead of being backstopped by the tax payer.

No, we are all well and truly fucked economically. I really hope you have some land to grow vegetables on along with other food, buy a gun and some ammo and just be prepared to fire upon those who would rape and kill you for what little you have. Will a mad max scenario play out? I think so, everyday I think it’s gonna happen more and more, the more shit I see and hear about the more I see things just going to hell. To much shit is currently hitting the fan for things to turn out all hunky dorey.

#33 BPOE on 03.31.11 at 11:17 pm

The guy who emailed is not delusional. Just stating the FACTS. Just admit it, Vancouver and Richmond have been one hell of an investment the past decade or so. The repsonse to anyone bullish on the Coast is “the person is delusional” The FACTS, multiple bids, buyers with cash speak otherwise. RICHmond buyers have gotten RICH over the years while the renters are kicked to the curb. But I guess we need people to clean windshields as well on our Benz’

#34 DML on 03.31.11 at 11:20 pm

Excellent video,capitalism,for all its faults,is light years
ahead of a group of bureaucrats running a command

#35 BPOE on 03.31.11 at 11:21 pm

Streets deserted as buyers snap up Vancouver! Oh yeah things are getting better by the minute out here! Everyone loves it here. Everyone. Just got voted best airport in North America! How many awards can one City achieve!

#36 Phil on 03.31.11 at 11:35 pm

I mean, if you seriously dont believe that the entire Vancouver market is being driven by Chinese, whether they hold a passport or not, you are simply deluded. And yes, I understand that a Chinese person can be a Canadian.

#37 kilby on 03.31.11 at 11:35 pm

China’s ghost cities look like out condo in North Vancouver, 27 inhabited out of 88 after 1 year. Tower next door I think has 8 or 10 out of 88, not many lights on at night!

#38 Just Jack on 03.31.11 at 11:45 pm

If areas like Richmond and parts of Vancouver are being dominated by the fabulously rich Chinese nationals then those areas have a potential to suffer tremendous price swings. Internal changes in the the Chinese government can stop the flow of currency to the west. That would mean no Chinese buyers for months, at the same time listings would explode as the same nationals need cash. A solid (BC home grown) market is preferable to the whims and fancies of a foreign government. But, my thoughts are that it’s just irresponsible marketing by the real estate agents that has the potential to cause social problems. Which has happened several times in Vancouver’s history – and we really don’t want that to happen again.

#39 Crash on 03.31.11 at 11:46 pm

I’ve seen this Asian story in Vancouver several times in the past few decades. 1981-82, 1988-89 (before the HK takeover by China) and now 2009-11. Look guys, it always ends the same way, with a big bust. It is always the same tune, rich Chinese (or Hong Kongers, or whatever) are coming in droves to buy all our houses. There are always the rumours of somebody flying into town, buying a few (or dozen) houses and flying out the next day. This is all accompanied by the media getting the locals whipped into a lather over skyrocketing R/E prices (we’ll be priced out forever!). Sure, there is always an element of truth to these stories, but in reality, they never amount to anything over the long term. And a few speculators aren’t going to change an entire market in any city. China’s economy is a centrally managed communist party fraudulent fake, and when it tips over, watch out below.

#40 BPOE on 03.31.11 at 11:46 pm

Folks, this video is exactly WHY the Chinese are moving in masses to Vancouver and Lichmond! They don’t WANT to live in those “ghost cities” because they are haunted and nobody lives in them! My doctor said I have crabs. So, they just bring all their money here to China Town and they start buying condos and houses and shit. I am telling you that Vancouver is here to stay and will increase again this year by like 50% or something!!! Fiddlesticks, these crabs are makin’ me itch and squirm. I shouldn’t have banged that tranny cab driver over on Robson Stret. The Chinese will just keep coming here, people. They are savvy investors who know a great deal when they see it. Plus, they’re rich! Did I mention they’re rich too? Vancouver is poised to be the capital of the WORLD, folks! Did you hear that? THE WORLD!!! That’s right, folks, no longer will the city of California be the capital – it will be VANCOUVER. Chinese know this because they are smart and smart people will naturally come HERE to VANCOUVER because this is where all the smart people live. Okay, I’m going to have to get some cream and take care of these sons of bitches. Its like grinding against a cheese grater with legs. Some ice and RIT would be nice right about now. When they’ve finally bought ALL the land here, then prices will REALLY sky rocket. See, folks, people just don’t get it unless they have enough money up front to pay in CASH! This is the most amazing place on EARTH (try avoiding the prostitutes, though) and CASH IS KING. Here in the BPOE we have trees, mountains, water, limited land, a fugly Sky Train, Chinese people and all those other foreigner kind of people to make us say we are really diverse, awesome weed, and a highly edukaited werk force? If you can get the money then you need to buy here NOW because it is only getting more expensive every day. I need to go and get that ice now… sorry… be back in a while…

#41 randman on 03.31.11 at 11:47 pm

Hey Taxhaven

I lived in Taiwan for 5 years…2000-2005 Condos were just starting to rise then…was back there in Dec and noticed property up as you would expect in Taipei…but girlfriend and I were looking in Linkou and Taoyuan…still relatively affordable there IMHO

Thinking of coming back to live and teach….

Miss it alot!


#42 Rich in Calgary on 03.31.11 at 11:52 pm

I find it odd that for as long as I can recall I’d always heard that people in China make about $.50/per day working (estimated figure for the sake of example) 12 hours and that it why all the manufacturing jobs went there… Labour is so cheap.

Now suddenly, all I hear (mainly from the MSM) is how everybody in China is a millionaire.

I’m no math whiz by any means, but can somebody explain to me how people making such pitiful wages can become millionaires virtually over night?

Be advised that just like in school, I’m going to need you to show me your work.

#43 Debtisforever on 03.31.11 at 11:52 pm

I agree, I think the whole hype about the Chinese economy is way overdone. Here in BC we seem to think the Chinese will save everything-housing, commodity prices etc (oh, unless you own a house outside Vancouver, apparently the Chinese have not yet discovered the Okanagan). I think it’s all overdone, kind of like back in the 90s (?) when everyone though Japan was going to take over the world. We know how that ended.

#44 BPOE on 03.31.11 at 11:52 pm

See, folks, it is people like this who just DON’T GET IT! Vancouver night life is amazing. You can eat dinner and walk around and talk! Who really needs clubs and music and people and arts and stuff to be called a vibrant sity?

#45 sluggo on 03.31.11 at 11:54 pm

The bigger issue is there is no reason for the banks to stop lending since Harper and Flaherty covertly bailed out the banks through the IMPP and now that the CMHC has all but guaranteed any losses will be socialized, there is no incentive for the banks to stop.

This guy gets it.

#46 realpaul on 03.31.11 at 11:58 pm

These ‘pigs in the trough’ civic servants (lol) never have to worry about rising prices. Is this why policy from the higher ups is so full of shit and abuse?

The sun is shining on Canadian Gov.-Gen. David Johnston.

The annual public sector salary disclosure reveals that he took home more than $1.04 million last year from the University of Waterloo.

The package represents almost a full year’s salary plus a portion of the approximately $1 million in “administrative leave” pay he earned over almost 12 years heading the university.

“It’s kind of a bridge for them to go on and do other things,” University of Waterloo chairman Bob Harding said.

“It recognizes … that there’s no guarantee that after the first term that they would be re-appointed for an additional term.”

Johnston was one of 71,478 civil servants making $100,000 or more — an 11% increase from last year’s Sunshine List.

The top earner was Tom Mitchell, president and CEO of Ontario Power Generation, operator of the provincially owned electricity plants including nuclear, with a salary of $1.325 million.

Last year’s Sunshine list found 63,761 public servants in the six-figure club, up 18% over the previous year and 90% over three years.

……And for those of you who constantly complain that my news is always so ‘negative’…’s called ‘life without ones head up ones ass’. Theres no sunshine for the taxpayer when the pigs in the civil service are stealing the country blind.

#47 Crash Callaway on 03.31.11 at 11:59 pm

That China clip is proof that the big red world savior is as screwed as everybody else. They’re just lucky enough to whitewash their insanity by feeding $ into the bogus GDP.

And the kicker is 64 million empty apartments.
Apparently the real tots must not be baking cookies for their showings.

#48 Varun on 04.01.11 at 12:00 am

Thank you for the awesome post. Amazing story in China.

#49 deeloox on 04.01.11 at 12:03 am

Just picked up my mail and received a pamphlet from a local realturd. Here it is word for word, and if you live in the Thornhill/Richmond Hill area, you may have received this as well. Pay close attention to paragraphs 3, 4 and 5.

March 2011

Dear Friend,

With the Toronto Real Estate Board reporting the sale of 6,266 single family homes in February, 2011 is starting off with very strong sales numbers. The strong sales as well as the shortage of properties for sale have resulted in an increase of the average sale price to $442,978 from 2010’s year end price of $431,463.

Based on the 10,518 sold in January and February, (two of the “slowest” months for home sales); it looks like we will have approximately 85,000 sales in 2011, making it another great year for Toronto real estate.

Continued immigration, foreign investment, growth in jobs and incomes and a declining unemployment rate, has kept the demand for home ownership strong, while at the same time remaining affordable so that the average person can still be involved in the market.

How can prices keep going up but stay affordable? Primarily living space! Builders are offering condominiums for $300,000 but the average size may be 600 square feet, small for a family, but perfect for the many singles and young couples willing to exchange location for size.

Downtown locations continue to be excellent investment opportunities as rents continue to climb in demand areas. Many parents are buying condos if they have kids heading for the Toronto Universities. It’s cheaper than rent and a good long term investment strategy.

My oh my. Garth, I’m afraid that if the financial illiterates of the GTA keep hearing things like this, we won’t see a nice dip in a long while since these buyers set prices. Would it be a problem if I published this realturd’s name for others?

#50 Jas on 04.01.11 at 12:07 am

Garth, whoever wrote that message to you must be insane. Seriously. I mean what the hell is that person on? God damn. I cannot believe the nerve of that person to write you a condescending letter.

Some people are just nuts and they cannot deal with reality. Vancouver will pop, and it will not be pretty.

#51 Kevin on 04.01.11 at 12:15 am

Whether it is a soft or hard landing in China, out of all the provinces, Saskatchewan would be hardest hit.

#52 Abitibidoug on 04.01.11 at 12:15 am

In response to posting #17: This crash could shake up stock markets and bring on another buying opportunity like in 2009. Bring it on!

#53 Ex-Cowtown on 04.01.11 at 12:18 am

Scary stuff. The Ghost Cities look like the city of Chernobyl after the meltdown. They even play the same eerie music to stop keep whoever has to work there from going insane.

So this is where our oil, copper, iron ore and coal are going?

This will not end well. As to the rich chinese, a friend of mine (who is chinese) told me that when you see a young, beautiful rich chinese girl in a Range Rover hauling around a couple of kids in Vancouver, she is the second or third wife of a corrupt Chinese official. So that explains where the money comes from.

HAM is exactly what what it is HOT Asian Money. HOT as in STOLEN.

#54 Whistle punk on 04.01.11 at 12:19 am

The Dateline Story about China needs to be brodcast on Canadian TV. It may open the eyes of the stupid that think China is the best thing to sliced bread for Canada.

I watched the video 2 weeks ago it is a real eye opener, living in British Columbia where forestry is a big employer along with the Chinese buying the timber has given the industry a boost. The way things are portrayed in the Dateline video the demand for timber could drop off at any time.

Oh ya I like the title Grow a Set LOL.

#55 April on 04.01.11 at 12:35 am

Is this person who wrote you this letter, Garth, for real?
Could they be making this up to suit their own agenda?I live in New Westminster. I’m going to start going to open houses in Vancouver.

#56 buylow on 04.01.11 at 12:37 am

with interest rates to rise would it be a bad idea to park some money in a bond ETF like XCB or XHB?

interest rate hikes = lower bonds but I’m not sure if the ETF’s are a more protected


#57 vomitingdog on 04.01.11 at 12:38 am

Ontario-based bloggers who wish to write about the Vancouver market need to start listening to what Vancouverites are saying. We don’t need more analysis. We need a voice and an ear in Ottawa.

It’s ridiculous to write off what we are all living, each day, in housing, in restaurants, at University and say we are imagining it as we borrow (not!) to purchase 1.7 tear-down houses for 2.3M over asking. Locals are not the driving force behind the changes in the last 6 months. China is. Changes in Chinese laws and changes to their own real estate market are.

#58 inglishmagor on 04.01.11 at 12:40 am

I am not a gold bug, but seeing how much of the worlds financial footings are still resting on illusions are people spot on to think it will hit 3,000$ an ounce?

I’m only in my mid 30’s and I feel totally out of touch with todays financial landscape. Everything looks like a thinly valed lie with predators manipulating every single investment statistic including the basic medium of trade itself… money.

does investing exist at the moment or is it all speculating?

#59 nonplused on 04.01.11 at 12:50 am

Good post Garth, but I’m going back to my favourite topic of the day, Fukushima!

More specifically, I’m ranting today about the many responders, not necessarily to this blog but Zerohedge has a bunch of idiots with non-useful feedback.

“Nuke it” is one often proposed solution. So what would happen if they did that?

Well, you would drop a nuclear bomb, probably a hydrogen bomb, on the plant, supposedly eradicating the problem. Not so. One of these bombs is something like 12 kilos of plutonium and an undisclosed amount of tritium (a hydrogen isotope), which is probably a lot less than the amount of material that has leaked from the reactors so far. But boy what a punch it has. Now, these events happen in milliseconds, so think like a snail. First, the plutonium goes super critical, which releases a large amount of neutrons which arrive at the 5000 tons of stored nuclear material well before (in quantum time) any blast wave. Then, due to the nifty structure of the device, the tritium goes critical launching a second much larger wave of neutrons. If any of these neutrons are captured in the 5000 tons of waste, further chain reactions may occur, and potentially there could be much sub critical nuclear activity. Then the shock wave hits and sends all 5000 tons of nuclear waste into the stratosphere, much of it now newly decaying.

Even if I am wrong that the neutrons from the bomb could cause additional nuclear activity in the spent fuel and what’s in the reactors, it matters not. What will happen for sure is that all 5000 tons of spent fuel plus the fuel in the reactors will be pulverized to dust and much of it spread around the area around the plant and some large portion of it will be ejected to the stratosphere for deposit globally.

People say “Well, look at all the tests! We’re still ok!” All the tests ever conducted do not equal the total amount of radioactive material stored in just one plant like Fukushima, not even close. Although I will admit that the tests involved more highly enriched materials.

What they have to do is contain the leaks and bury the plant in concrete. So far, it is clear that the plant is leaking at various locations, but not to the extent Chernobyl did so workers can still operate. Of course I think the workers are all still dead in 6 months and then they have a problem, but if they can contain the leaks then work can continue on entombment.

Entombment is the only option from here. There is no way to clean up whatever happened inside the containment units for 10 years, and even then it’s dicey. Look how long it took to stabilize Three Mile Island. And 3MI never had a reactor breach, which Fukushima certainly has times 3.

It’s going to take TEPCO (now an acknowledge ward of the state) 20 years to clean this mess up and bury it.

It’s also going to paint the whole nuclear industry with a big black eye. Which is a shame, because there are new designs using alternate fuels (such as thorium, or “pebble bed reactors”) which hold the promise of being a lot safer than these 40 year old designs that were built to produce plutonium we are currently using.

They are saying it’s going to cost 300 billion to rebuild Japan. Well, maybe. But it’s going to cost another 300 billion to manage and then bury Fukushima.

Man mad disasters are always worse than what mother nature throws at us. More people will die in the Fukushima clean up than died in all of the earthquake and tsunami. Just like so many people are dying right now in the Middle East, and that number is going to go only up until they run out of people to kill. Somalia, anyone?

#60 Utopia on 04.01.11 at 12:53 am

Thanks Garth.

That Dateline piece on China’s ghost cities was really remarkable and equally revealing about the state of their economy.

We thought we had poblems here didn’t we? None of us should think for even one second that should China’s property bubble burst (it will) that it will not take down the world economy in it’s wake.

Nothing like this has ever been seen before (on this scale) and if the prospect of a bursting bubble there does not keep you up at night then you probably have no idea how interconnected we really are with Asia.

In a world of globalization, none are immune to the troubles the neighbors might suffer. That means China’s problems are our problems too.

#61 moloko on 04.01.11 at 12:55 am

the yellow peril thing is not really delusional. I see a lot of truth in that letter that you received. I live in Vancouver’s West Side and I can tell you that almost every house that’s listed is selling over asking and to mainland Chinese.
Apartments on the other hand are not flying off the shelves like the houses are, nor are the townhouses.
It’s a drag to see such a beautiful neighbourhood change so drastically:( beautiful old heritage houses being knocked down to build ugly modern boxes that take up the entire lot. It certainly is not the Shaughnessy that it used to be. I believe that “old timers” and “locals” are just taking their money and running now…total drag!

#62 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 04.01.11 at 1:04 am

It is interesting to see how this ME thing plays out. The west are stealing their resources — not much doubt about that, but it may backfire on them, as they are being stretched thin across the globe and are building up an awful lot of animosity toward themselves.

A couple of months ago, this stuff wasn’t happening, except for the 34 US Navy ships that left last Sept. / Oct., then France kickstarted things off.

Eventually it may lead to WW3 or thereabouts, so growing a set may not make much difference to anyone. Look at Japan’s exports in the ’60s and ’70s; hardly anyone wanted them, viewed them as substandard and weren’t worth anything.

Fast forward a few decades and see Japan has flatlined economically, plus a host of other problems, but every country has their own crooks and liars.

Trouble is, we keep electing these yahoos and give them free rein to do as they want, which is to f*%k sheeple royally up.
1:02 clip Is this really Robert Plant of LZ singing Whole Lotta Love? Man, he’s aged!

2:32 clip Our CPC govt. at work for us. Suuuuuuure.

Japan’s saving grace.

Brazil considers helping Portugal.

US Fed making secret loans, and Ireland in bondage.

Saudi nukes in the Persian Gulf. Where did they get their nukes from?

Japan’s ‘quake — Natural or Engineered? It was engineered, as the links were put up a few days ago, just as the next one, to hit either the NMF or the SAF will be. It’s called depopulation.

Japan First para. is quite interesting, as it may cause a cascading effect thruout the world.

As said b4, Syria’s next but it’s not by whom anyone thought. 2:13 clip Here is the reason for the preceding and all the other nonsense.

Food Speculation Someone has to make a profit to buy the food.

Weekend reading and Aha! Not the group, fantabulously wealthy folks.

Dates One date for the end of the Mayan Age is Dec. 24, 2011; this is a few weeks earlier, in Nov. 2011.

15 min. clip Apparently, the North Pole shifted twenty degrees without telling anyone.

GW causes glaciers to sprout up on Mt. Shasta, along with record snow. Avoid GW! It’s bad for your health!

Link in. The Toilet is 100% Pentagon and CIA-run.

Mercury’s Surface Little too warm for my liking!

This is the reason why the RC Church has expanded the role of exorcists, from Jesuit priests now to Franciscan priests, bishops, etc.

#63 Mr Big Balls on 04.01.11 at 1:07 am

% -> O/O

#64 Joe Clarke on 04.01.11 at 1:08 am

He is right. I live in Coal Harbour, one of Vancouver’s more elite neighbourhoods. It’s Asian, Asian, Asian owners as far as the eye can see. The numbers are simply overwhelming. Garth – you can pooh, pooh all you want. Canada’s population is soooo infantismally small compared to the populous wealth in the BRIC countries (well, ok – China alone trumps us in spades) – our housing market, starting with Vancouver will be distorted for decades.

#65 a prairie dawg on 04.01.11 at 1:09 am

@ #13 kc

“Please answer the next question if this BS is true… How do these “rich millionaires” get their cash out of China?”

Easier than one might think. I read a book years ago called The Underground Empire. It chronicled an agency in the US called Centac that was after some major smugglers, drug kingpins, etc. 1100+ pages, in paperback. A monster read. Most of it happened in the 70’s, but the numbers were still staggering, even by today’s standards.

One thing stood out from that book that relates to your question:

According to the book, the Chinese Mafia used to (and probably still do) offer a cash relocation service. They charged a relatively small flat fee, and all you had to do was hand them your cash, pay the flat fee, and they would deliver you a different suitcase full of money in any country you wanted. Odds are, it’s still available. ;)

#66 moloko on 04.01.11 at 1:09 am

I’m not saying the market isn’t going to crash in Vancouver, I’m just saying that right now that letter feels pretty “dead on” if you’re living on the West side of Vancouver.
It will correct, It’s just unfortunate that the correction is being delayed once again.

#67 BPOE on 04.01.11 at 1:09 am

I had a dream last night that angels came and carried Richmond up into the sky. People don’t want to buy those condos near Beijing because the air is so polluted. Did you see out that window? No. There’s so much of smog. They want the fresh clean air of Vancouver and clean water and good schools. There are no jobs in an empty shopping mall. Vancouver and Richmond have jobs and industry. It’s the BEST PLACE ON EARTH.

#68 Veej on 04.01.11 at 1:13 am

Immigrant Investor Program

I watch the BC lower mainland real estate like a hawk. It peaked in sales volume and price in April 2010 and began a steady decline into December 2010. Port Moody droped over 18% from Dec 2009 to Dec 2010 for example. In December 2010 two relatively major events took place. A) Flaherty announced the changes to CMHC which were the ammortization period down to 30 years and the CMHC no longer insuring HELOC loans to use your house as an ATM to buy whatever the hell you want, and the real big one… B) The Minister of Immigration re-opened the door for the “Immigrant Investor Program”. What is the Immigrant Investor Program? Prior to June 2010 immigrant “investors” could buy/invest their way into Canadian citizenship by slapping down $400G on pretty much anything including a house, yes a house as a principle residence counts as an “investment” and gets you Canadian citizenship. In June the Immigration Minister decided that we needed to up the ante and be more in line with other desireable countries so they increased the minimum “investment” to $800G put an immediate freeze on the program for 6 months and re-opened it in December 2010 at $800G.

Do you think this has anything to do with it? Vancouver and Richmond absolutely took off after that date.

Do not doubt that there are hundreds if not thousands of wealthy Asian buyers after BC real estate. Every open house in Vancouver over $1M is pretty much exclusively Asian. Walk into one and you may not hear a word of english. The condo complex in Burnaby that sold out in one day that had the line up for days before? I walked past that line up, it was easily 90% asian.

This is not the time to be in denial. This is the time to be pissed off at our government for allowing this crap. We are selling out BC and turning it into Bejing. There are entire schools in Vancouver that don’t have a single white kid. Not classes, schools.

Think about this for a minute and ask yourself if it makes an sense at all – there is a program that we extend to wealthy immigrants that gives them Canadian citizenship if they buy a house for $800K or more. They don’t have to bring new technology into Canada, they don’t have to bring culture, artisitic creativity, a unique business that may provide employment for Canadians, a unique skill or trade, abolutely nothing, all they have to do is buy a house.

After that they get free education and health care because they don’t work. They don’t have to worry about “global assets” because they know the government will never go after them or even ask.

Is it just me or is this complete bullshit?

ALSO – I just found this out today (March 28) re: the March 18 deadline. All you have to have done is get preapproved on or before the 18th and you could have gotten a 35 yr mortgage. So you have 90 days from approval to buy a house with a 35 yr mortgage even after the 18th. Most lenders will extend that as well for up to 1 year.

So we could see buyers with a 35 year mortgage pre approval for up to a year after the 18th still not having bought anything.

March 18th changes nothing at least not for the foreseeable. April 18th will have more of an impact. Why the hell was CMHC insuring loans for Winebagos and Caribean Cruises in the first place. They should be dismantled just like Freddie and Fannie and the sooner the better.

The “recovery” was fabricated by quadrupling the backstop at CMHC and dropping rates to zero. Take housing out of GDP and we’ve been in a bad recession ever since.

#69 tran, Calgary on 04.01.11 at 1:30 am

Holy cow!

#70 tran, Calgary on 04.01.11 at 1:31 am

Fukushima Fallout Hits the US

#71 Taiwan is not China on 04.01.11 at 1:37 am

In China, its called re-distribution of wealth….All the apartments are sold to investors with real money (atleast 50% down and finish the mortage by 3 years). So once it crashes investors will be dumping,and the people can buy with pennies on the dollar ( or whatever their currency is). Socialism for the new age.

If it crashes…Commodity based countries like Canada and Australia are toast.

#72 Statistics Canada Immigration Numbers on 04.01.11 at 1:38 am

These recent numbers debunk the fabricated Taiwanese story above.

International migrants dropped 57% from last year.…..b1-eng.htm

And absolutely no growth (0.0%) for BC’s population.…..b2-eng.htm

Maybe these fictitious Chinese are moving to Winnipeg. Manitoba’s the only province showing meager population growth.

#73 Statistics Canada Immigration Numbers on 04.01.11 at 1:41 am

Darn it, this link should link to both links above.

#74 groundzeropat on 04.01.11 at 1:44 am

Probably one of the best videos I have ever seen. Gives you a clear look on the inner workings of China’s fake economy and real estate. I knew 5 years ago that this was happening from my wifes relatives in China but there was never any proof due to media censorship. Now the whole world can see the truth. The clock is ticking. I believe that 2012 will be the reckoning like no other when the house of cards comes down around the world. The planet will still be alive and well but to the people who bought on credit it will be a living hell and to them it will feel like the end of the world. Just like when people worried about computers crashing after Dec. 31, 1999 at 11:59:59pm. Computers didn’t crash but the tech. heavy Nasdaq stock exchange crashed over 80% shortly after.

#75 Tim on 04.01.11 at 1:45 am

there aren’t many Chinese buyers in Victoria because there’s not much shopping there, and that’s part of the appeal of Victoria. Have you ever been to Richmond? South Van? East Van? Metrotown? There is definitely a huge percentage of people in the Lower Mainland of Chinese descent buying up properties. It would be interesting to see a statistic on this

#76 realist on 04.01.11 at 1:46 am

Residential real property statistical analysis can be spectaculary skewed by a relatively small number of high-end sales data. Try not to be dazzled by the raw numbers.

Average price means almost nothing in relation to average income when comparing the price of Malibu ocean-front properties to the pedestrian wastelands of suburan L. A.

Such is the case with certain neighbourhoods in Vancouver. They are now on par with, or at least approaching, some of the priciest real estate on the globe.

Canada is viewed internationally as politically stable, even docile, in relation to much of the planet. A great place for the uber-wealthy to park their dough while enjoying the scenery, if you will.

Multi-million dollar real estate sales in la-la-land make headlines that should be discarded shortly after consumption, for they are anything but average.

#77 Cato on 04.01.11 at 1:55 am

Perception is everything and RE industry has done a masterful job of insinuating market is being driven by the well healed be they chinese or newly minted millionaires from the oil patch. Sure, its not hard to point to examples of cash buyers being in the market but peel back the veneer and the real driver is debt laden speculators.

Its game over, the countdown to correction starts today. The inflation boogeyman central bankers around the globe have denied exists was today confirmed by the one entity that can override Fed policy of pretend & extend – WAL-MART. Inflation expectations of world’s largest retailer have risen sharply and price adjustments are now in the pipeline. Once WAL-MART starts raising prices the flood gates will open and the real driver of housing bubble will be withdrawn in the form of rate hikes. This once in a lifetime free money ride is about to come to an end.

Its usually not until a bubble unwinds that malfeasance hidden in the market is finally exposed. Thanks to CMHC I think Canada may see its very own S&L scandal when shine finally comes off the market. Plenty of suspicious activity on part of specuvestors/builders in my neck of the woods – I highly doubt its just a local phenomenon.

#78 Seller Beware on 04.01.11 at 1:59 am

blowing bubbles…build it and they will come…provide unlimited fiat credit and they will sell…when the last fool buys…pull the plug…just for fun!

#79 BigAl (Original) on 04.01.11 at 2:03 am

What force prevails in the short and long terms: Cultural Habits or Economic Fundamentals? And what external influences (government policies, media/information manipulation) can distort the outcome, and for how long?

What struck me as absolutely true is the letter-writers assertion that the Chinese are obsessed with rankings. This is absolutely true. So is the fact that they are obsessed with following the direction of the herd. Anyone who has dealt directly with either Chinese within China or new Canadian-Chinese knows this. I was meeting with a Canadian-Chinese realtor who was baffled that I wouldn’t follow the herd and buy in the North GTA (Richmond Hill, Aurora, Newmarket, etc), as that was where the herd was going. He wasn’t particularly attached to the North, but he said almost exactly the following: “Isn’t that what life is about? Figuring out which way everyone is going, and following?? This is always the sure bet!”.

I’ve run into the same thinking amongst other cultures as well. I interact with different cultures/new Canadians a lot. A few recent Pakistani new-Canadians I know are very obsessed with rankings, and they are constantly discussing the “top” university in Canada, the #1 business or engineering school, incessantly citing this ranking or that, and their thinking cannot admit the idea of bias, methodological arguments, or the relativeness of it all. They feel all rankings simply MUST be true, or why would they publish them.

To ignore cultural differences when analyzing any social or economic phenomena is to ignore the whole body of work of entire disciplines – social science, political science, anthropology, and their inter-disciplinary sub-specialties.

This is basically why, in China, tens of thousands of units of empty real estate (condos, shops) that generates no income, are now traded just like stocks and other commodities. (Whether this is sustainable is another question).

To say that economic fundamentals will eventually prevail is fine. But to say that cultural influences are completely irrelevant to the discussion, particularly in Canada, is faulty analysis. (Again, whether it is sustainable is another question).

#80 Left Vancouver and Happy on 04.01.11 at 2:07 am

If China is trying to cool its economy, why is it also trying to keep its GPD high with construction??? The two statements are completely in contradiction with each other.

Somebody is making money in China off those cities being built. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if it is that exact same money that is making its way into Vancouver.

Garth, you need to take the blinders off regarding Vancouver and maybe spend a few days there going to open houses to see for yourself who is attending them. Let me know if you hear an English spoken. Even 4 years ago when my wife and I went to a few open houses for new towers in downtown Vancouver – the realtors basically turned their backs on us whenever we tried to talk to them, so they could talk to the foreign buyers instead. They had next to no interest in trying to sell a unit to us. While we weren’t ushered out, we may as well have been though. And it wasn’t like we didn’t have the money to buy, we were earning $160K/yr at the time…

#81 Runawayscreaming on 04.01.11 at 2:08 am

Whatever happens with the bubble in China there seems to be no end to the dirty money flowing from China to Vancouver real estate. The damage is done and appears to be getting much worse. PRC Chinese have now purchased a substantial area of the west side of Vancouver, which is most of the geographic area of Vancouver. Wealthy, corrupt offshore Chinese are displacing people who earn their income in Vancouver. Legitimate businesses are fleeing Vancouver because of the real estate bubble and unemployment in Vancouver is rising. Indeed local fools are contributing to the devastating Vancouver bubble but it is very obvious on the ground that upper-class robber baron ne’er-do-well’s from the People’s Republic of China are having a tremendous impact. Vancouver is the first Canadian city to create refugees out of its own citizens by inviting wealthier people from China to replace them in the “Best Place on Earth”.

#82 mad vancouver on 04.01.11 at 2:09 am

Vancouver is beyond sanity. Next to my place, Polygon is selling 2 bedroom condos for 1.3 million $, condo fees at $700 a month! And there is not even a nice restaurant or shop in the neighborhood. Waiting for Hot Asian Money to snap them. No line up so far. Not even a few cars.

If only Chinese are buying in Vancouver, it proves one thing: the Ponzi scheme is running out of local buyers.

Nevertheless, the media craze about HAM is creating ethnic tensions in my surroundings. It is frightening. The place feels dislocated, like a camp site in a shopping mall, nothing left of a town, of a community, or of a local culture. Everything is about money. A giant Monopoly game.

It seems some buyers in Richmond have recently realized it is THE place where not to be in case of an earthquake… Tremors are felt in their wallets…

Either the China’s economic dream falls flat, and the tide will recede here, or I am gonna have to run away from that madness. My formerly treeded neighborhood has been completely destroyed by condos, in less than 5 years, and the local school has a new immigrant population. Fancy cars driving everywhere, students and broke retirees speculating… I feel completely out of phase, and I am far from being the only one. Lot of anger in delusional Vancouver.

#83 Taiwan is not China on 04.01.11 at 2:18 am

Someone should start a “BUYER’S STRIKE” in Canada….
People please save the first time buyers…its just like saving the Pandas… :)

#84 SuddenValley on 04.01.11 at 2:23 am

I’ve grown a set! I’ll need help though. Details to come.

Thank you Garth for the inspiration.

#85 Dorf on 04.01.11 at 2:28 am

Garth, are you riding to Salmon Arm Sturgis this summer ?

(Salmon Arm, BC – warm as hell, packed with babes)

#86 Dorf on 04.01.11 at 2:42 am

All these believers are known categorically as The Greater Fools. They are in the class of people known as collateral damage. They will be the ones who represent a single unit in a statistic somewhere. Someone has to fail, for others to succeed and survive. People who are not prepared to listen to someone who knows, will find themselves ill-equipped to make a good decision. These people are, thus, ill-equipped for survival. Let them perish, they will anyway with or without us trying to help. They are comfortable not knowing anything, and are very confident in their abilities, which are based on a lack of knowledge. We are entering the age of intellectual genetic cleansing, the beginning of the end of stupid people. In the future, you’re really going to need to use the grape. If you don’t, you’ll be left to perish. Particularly dark maybe, but very much based in reality.

#87 UK lurker on 04.01.11 at 2:45 am

Taxhaven, you’ve nailed it there. They like to live cheek by jowel. I’ve seen the same thing in Auckland. They buy a polt of land in a chinese only area and fill it with house so their yards are just big enough to hold a trash can.

The Chinese bubble is the last National bubble to pop in this long debt bubble that started in Japan in the late 80s. It is the mother of all bubbles. What people don’t realise is that a good percentage of the millionaires who come to Vancouver, are only “millionaires” because they have seen the valuation of their “investment” properties in places like that city go up and up, so they can borrow against them. Now that speculation has been subdued in China they are placing their new bets overseas. The thing is, those empty properties in that video are still very expensive, and still held by these investors. They are global newbies to speculative bubbles because of generations of communism. They are also very arrogant and believe that the Chinese are better than everyone else, and so will avoid the mistakes of the US. They are very wrong. When the emperor’s new clothes are seen for what they are, there will be a mass withdrawal of capital from places like Vancouver to cover the negative equity they will have on their own doorstep.

#88 warptweet on 04.01.11 at 3:14 am

Inflation is something that rears its ugly head long after the stimulus has ended. That is why it is so attractive to governments. They don’t have to deal with it and they index their pensions to take care of their selfish needs.
QE is nothing more than the theft of wealth from older savers to save a government any pain of austerity in confronting an economy that is sick. By adding QE into an economy you are essentially debasing the currency.
The new twist however is that all the countries are doing it at the same time in order to maintain equilibrium in the FX markets.
Now they all have an excuse to rip off and abuse the elderly. No spoiled child could ever match the elder abuse of an inflating government. I remember in the 70’s all the stories about elderly eating cat and dog food. While inflation was raging at 12%. Watch the carnage unfold after this latest inflation scam.

#89 osoborous on 04.01.11 at 4:07 am

particularly a 3rd world war…

dont worry…its on its way….

#90 BrianT on 04.01.11 at 4:37 am

#7Jsan-True, but it is all relative. What do you think USA GDP is at this point? it is $80000 nights in the hospital, computers relentlessly trading with other computers, layers of accounting fraud piled upon layers of accounting fraud. The reality is that China can actually build needed infrastructure (and they are making a lot of mistakes as you state). Here in NA NEEDED infrastructure investments are not being made.

#91 SquareNinja on 04.01.11 at 4:44 am

#2 Blobby, #12 Jsan: I totally agree with you both! Firstly, there is a lot of Chinese money in Richmond, but they are momentum investors (i.e. speculators). Indeed, once the pool of greater fools (aka buyers) dries up and prices nudge even a little south… those speculators will have dumped their properties and moved the money somewhere else by the time the average Joe realizes what’s happened.

Florida is also a magnet for foreign money, isn’t it? I heard it’s the gateway to America for millionaires from the Latin America.

Is it just me… or does it seem like property bubbles are always bigger in warmer places? Florida, Arizona, Nevada, California, B.C., etc.

#92 SquareNinja on 04.01.11 at 4:58 am

#19 TaxHaven: I must disagree with you on your comparison of Taipei. The avg. price of an upmarket condo in the poshest area (Da’an) is merely $750 psf, with average size being 1,600 sq. ft. (45-50 ping) for this end of the market. That gives us no more than $1.5 mil. for a super-nice condo, in the best area of the economic, cultural and governmental capital of the country of Taiwan. (The country where most of China’s foreign capital comes from.)

How is a mouldy shack in Kitsilano, which is not even downtown, in only a regionally-important city, cheap compared to that? At the very least, you have to compare it to a downtown condo… which would run you around $3.5 mil. for a truly apples-to-apples comparison.

#93 BrianT on 04.01.11 at 5:41 am

The USA taxpayer has to subsidize the bad guys to keep them in jewels and hoes and then the USA and Cdn taxpayer has to pay to fight with the same guys they are subsidizing

#94 BrianT on 04.01.11 at 7:10 am

#42Rich-The top 1% of the Chinese population, financially speaking, is about 13 million people. The other 99% have nothing to speak of. The other 99% don’t even have the money for airfare, let alone buying Vancouver properties. OTOH 13 million people is a lot of people by Cdn standards. This isn’t advanced calculus.

#95 Aaron - Melbourne on 04.01.11 at 7:10 am

This literally just aired a moment ago on Australian TV (same channel as the Dateline program – fairly credible journalism)'to-overtake-Sydney's

#96 Moneta on 04.01.11 at 8:00 am

I’m no math whiz by any means, but can somebody explain to me how people making such pitiful wages can become millionaires virtually over night?
Didn’t you just watch the ghost city video? They’re probably using the equity in they 64 million ghost city spec condos to buy RE in Vancouver.

#97 Ralph Cramdown on 04.01.11 at 8:44 am

Way back when, as the US housing market began its swan dive, I thought Miami wouldn’t feel the brunt of it, as it’s a major gateway city to Latin America and its rich upper crust.

Boy was I wrong.

#98 S.B. on 04.01.11 at 8:45 am

Hydro rates: yes, we are going soviet block style here. Get out your single plate warmers and extra scarves, especially if you live on a fixed income (all the Boomers approaching retirement, not all are rich). Huddle in your bleak concrete towers. Wave at the Party elites as they pass by your building in all of their finery.
The Party is slowing bankrupting us with their central planners’ grand delusions.

Say, is it time for vultching in China? They are becoming more capitalist by the day, whereas we move in the opposite direction. How’s the health care system there? Is it an ideal place for retirement?
The price of electricity, already triggering shock from consumers and businesses in many parts of Canada, will rise rapidly through the end of the decade, according to an analysis by CBC News.

A study of provincial utilities’ power-purchase agreements and financial statements indicates the average cost per kilowatt-hour countrywide will rise more than 50 per cent by 2020.

And as provinces introduce staggered time-of-day pricing, seniors and other ratepayers on fixed incomes will suffer a double hit to their wallets, advocates say.

The numbers
CBC’s analysis of electricity prices is based on our database of current and planned power plants, research by the MIT Energy Initiative, provincial power-purchase contracts and provincial utilities’ financial statements.
“Electricity prices have run up very substantially since 2003, but the increases that we’ve seen so far are just a warm-up for what we’re likely to see over the next four or five years,” said Tom Adams, an energy analyst and former head of Energy Probe.

#99 Diana on 04.01.11 at 8:47 am

@ #73 StatsCan Immigration Numbers

Pish. How dare you bring something as low as facts into these debates? For shame. And while our immigration has increased, no we aren’t seeing the hordes in Winnipeg.

#100 allister on 04.01.11 at 8:51 am

Like all government planning schemes and programmes, China is just another in a world full of bureaucratic bungling.

Keep this in mind during our Federal election campaign. Everything you are promised will be another sinkhole of waste.

And you wont qualify for the promised benefits, but you will pay for the comrade workers.

You are being bribed with you own money.

#101 Love this Blog on 04.01.11 at 9:08 am

#22 Mikey
When can you leave??

#102 UK CDN Expat on 04.01.11 at 9:18 am

Plane loads of rich Chinese to Vancouver is false.

Just came back from Vancouver flying 1st Class. The Air Canada 1st Class lounge didn’t have any Chinese in it at all. If the Chinese are so rich, they would be there.

Sure, there is some Chinese buying RE in Van. Just wait till the Chinese RE market crashes and the Chinese need their money back. Might turn Vancouver into Detroit with so much money leaving at once.

#103 BPOE on 04.01.11 at 9:37 am

Sorry everyone, it was my “mistake” AGAIN. I don’t know why I keep telling these lies here. My bad. Folks, VANCOUVER WAS NOT VOTED BEST AIRPORT IN NORTH AMERICA. Heh, not even close I guess. Instead, it was voted “Best Airport in North America to Take a Nap.” That’s right, folks, I’m not shitting you! You can take a good NAP at our airport! AMAZING, eh? The article says very clearly, “Vancouver International Airport was rated by visitors to a travel website dedicated to sleeping in airports as the best place to catch a nap while waiting for a flight in North America.”

Still, that’s a VERY prestigious honor. I just can’t believe how many bonafide and legitimate awards Vancouver constantly receives! Mother f*cker! These crabs just won’t let up! They must be starving. On second thought, the little buggers could have come from that glory hole I visited a week ago at the Casino. Our airport is amazing and people can actually sleep there. This is where we’ve sent all the thousands of homeless people and thousands of crack addicts out of Vancouver and Lichmond. It is because we care and support our homeless and crackies. I’m so not going back to that glory hole. I’m going to my doctor… if I can get into him this week. Noooo, that’s too much time out of my day here in BPOE. Instead, I’ll just get a razor, a match, and an ice pick. I’ll shave off half of my crotch hair down the median. Then, I’ll set the other half of remaining hair on fire! As the little buggers make a run for the clearing, I’ll stab them to death with my ice pick! EASY AS PIE and yet ANOTHER wicked awesome idea all from myself and my brain and mind! I am amazing. GO CANADA!

#104 Crazy on 04.01.11 at 9:39 am

China learned several lessons from the opium wars centuries ago. All they are doing is converting worthless paper dollars to buy material and build housing, for their massive population.

Do not forget– China is a Communist nation. Did you see those people living in squalor? Those are the folks who will eventually fill those buildings.

Yeah, yeah, not at those prices. So what?

#105 Brad in Van on 04.01.11 at 9:43 am

Whoever is impersonating as BPOE is ridiculously funny. Although it may seem all too easy and immature to make commentary like this, it is actually quite difficult and intelligent. There’s only ONE person clever enough to write like that on this blog. I’m confident I know who’s doing it. I think it is hilarious. Keep up the good work, man! I haven’t laughed this loud in months!

#106 TaxHaven on 04.01.11 at 10:04 am

@#92 SquareNinja…if you have spare money to burn that “shack” in Kitsilano gives you space, air quality, an English-speaking environment, cosmopolitanism, better shools, safer & cleaner neighbourhoods & streets, better views, and (they presume!, wrongly) better healthcare. Etc., etc.

In terms of quality of living, there’s just no comparing Vancouver to any large Taiwanese city. My point is that $2m in Vancouver gets a SFH on its own lot with garage etc., while in Taipei it gets you at best either an older house in some grungy area like Yungho or Panchiao OR a high rise condo. HOWEVER luxurious, no condo can compare to owning land and a single-family house!

A “regionally-important city”? They’re not coming to Vancouver to work; they’re retiring, buying second home or sending the wife and/or kids to Canada. My bet is: few are looking at homes in Canada as investments.

If cash and job is not an issue, where would you rather spend $2m? Somewhere you can drink the tap water and open your windows at night or a place where you have to jockey for ten minutes to park your car UNDER your condo?

#107 OnlyTheBankers Laugh on 04.01.11 at 10:05 am

Excerpt from Kuwait Al-Watan news (sorry, the link takes you only to website front page)). If our only issue is RE prices, we are doing well. Iranian leaders love to stir it up but they are getting over the top.

Compares Saudi Arabia in Bahrain to Iraqi occupation of Kuwait Iran warns Saudi ‘not to play with fire’

Friday,01 April 2011
TEHRAN: Iran issued its second statement on Thursday to warn Saudi Arabia “not to play with fire” in the Persian Gulf and advised Saudis to pull their forces out of Bahrain The Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported.
The statement advises Saudi Arabia not to pursue the wrong polices of the US in the region and consider its own interests as well as the interests of the Muslim world and help restore tranquility and security to the region.
“Current developments in the region are changing the path of history and could possibly create more complicated problems which will not be to the benefit of the US and its allies who have mobilized themselves but instead these are the nations who will change equations to their benefit in regional developments,” the statement said.
“Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates whom have dispatched troops to Bahrain have made the issue more complicated which is similar to occupation of Kuwait by Saddam Hussein,” said the statement.
“An occupation is an occupation and the oppressed people in Bahrain will denounce it forever and this will make them more courageous in their struggles with the occupiers,” it continued.
The statement also refers to recent developments in Libya, Yemen and Bahrain where their governments suppress and massacred their nations with heavy weaponry that they should have employed in fight with Zionist regime.
“The Americans have proved that they mind their own interests as the main criterion in global developments,” it said.
“The silence of the US in dealing with merciless carnage of civilians in Libya is a good indication to such claim,” it added.
“The US and the Zionist regime are now regarded as the main enemies of the world and they seek to mastermind various scenarios to dominate Islamic world,” it said.
“Discord among Shiite and Sunni’s is among plots always hatched by colonial powers such as Britain,” it said.
Instead of killing people, such governments should let their nations practice democracy and administer their own fate, the statement pointed out.
Former Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, killed people in the region mercilessly and paid for its mistakes, concluded the statement.

#108 Marina on 04.01.11 at 10:08 am

Ghost Chinese cities are build for different reason – government is going to relocate citizens after severe cataclysms (earthquake / tsunami and the like) that are going to happened in part of the Chinese territory. It is nothing to do with RE bubble and you know about it, Garth.

#109 Grantmi on 04.01.11 at 10:10 am

#22 Mikey the Realtor on 03.31.11 at 10:57 pm

Thanks for the second video, it looks like DA and I have a calling (the dream team) as we call it today have to make our way over to China, it looks like they are in dire need of good agents.

Tell you what!!.. Great idea!!

Take all your brother and sisters from the RE biz, over with you… it would be a great place for all of you to go. (and stay)

#110 Herb on 04.01.11 at 10:10 am

#46 (un)realpaul,

OK, there are “63,761 public servants in the six-figure club”.

How many public servants are there in the entire Province of Ontario? Remember, the Sunshine list includes doctors, lawyers, professors, teachers, policemen, firemen – anyone earning more than $100K (salary and overtime) working for the Province or one of the agencies and organizations it funds.

Now, and more importantly, which public servants and functions are you going to eliminate or limit to save the economy? And you’d better go a bit beyond the usual 20% haircut to make a real dent.

#111 Utopia on 04.01.11 at 10:11 am

I met a gal and her husband yesterday who just arrived in Saskatoon from the United States. They have come to Saskatchewan to work in construction and were attracted here by news of our continuing housing boom.

I asked her casually if things were really as bad in the States as we see in the news. “Worse” she said in a thick Southern drawl “you really have no idea”.

Then she related how up here in the media the American recession is just a bunch of statistics that go on the news each day. The real story, she said, is what is happening to people in their day to day life that is ripping hearts out, that it’s much more than just a bunch of numbers on a graph.

“Nobody saw it coming at all” she told me. “One day we were all living a normal kind of life and two years later nobody had any money at all. It just ended. Families were getting torn apart by all the stress over no jobs. There was violence, a few suicides, divorce, kids freaking about not having the benefits parents used to give them. It was horrible, the stress” she told me.

But you know we are also tipping over here in Canada and the housing boom is almost ended. “Oh God, don’t say that” he said in the most somber of tones. “We were wanting to make a go of it up here and we put our last money into making a business”.

And then she looked at me with the dead certainty and shell-shocked conviction of a person who had just witnessed a head-on collision and deadpanned “if it’s true, you had better have some money saved. That was our biggest mistake. We had no money when it all fell apart. Nobody had cash in the bank.”

#112 The American on 04.01.11 at 10:29 am

I don’t really see how this is any kind of “news” at all or why all of a sudden it is so “shocking.” I’ve been saying it for nearly a year now that the Chinese market is a farce and they’ve built entire ghost cities where nobody is living. 60 Minutes reported it over two months ago in a full 20-minute excerpt. Again, all this proves is that China is, without doubt, cooking the books and doing its best to keep up appearances. Its over for them and has been for a while. Government-mandated stress tests on their banks in anticipation of a 60% housing correction throughout China. How will this fare for Vancouver? Not well.

As for “rich Chinese,” the entire U.S. economy is still 2.5 times the size of China’s, yet the U.S. is operating with less than 1/4 of the population of China. Because China has over 1.3 BILLION people, they SHOULD have a few millionaires around here and there. But, China’s entire population of millionaires is only 1/6th that of the U.S.’s population of millionaires, yet they have FOUR TIMES the mass population. Go figure. The “rich Chinese” argument to save BC is an absolute lie and quite comical. Clearly, very little thought has gone into that position. If every millionaire Chinese were to pack up today and move to Canada, it would still not be nearly enough to save it. Unfortunately, Canada has moved past the point of “no return” with household indebtedness, home values, job losses, wages not keeping with rate of inflation, the CMHC, rate environment, horrific lending “standards,” delusional consumption, and onward pushing of media/Government propaganda. It angers me to think F, C, and H fully understand this, yet they will not dare come forth with the information and just get it over with. Elections are an amazing thing. It truly is THE perfect recipe for complete disaster.

#113 Throwstone on 04.01.11 at 10:37 am


How about this JOB TITLE… from the SUNSHINE LIST!!….

Hamilton Wentworth Catholic District School Board PETKOFF MARGARET…

Respectful Workplace Coordinator

$103,065.75 -BENEFITS…$731.61

#114 Dr. WAYNE on 04.01.11 at 10:48 am

I’m afraid the chap from Taiwan is on the money … Vancouver encourages Chinese $$. Where else can you buy dirt cheap by their standards, retain your culture completely and not have to speak English, and essentially form your own ‘insular’ community, Richmond. If there is a bubble it will grow larger here, more so than anywhere else.

#115 The American on 04.01.11 at 10:48 am

More of the same…

I guess I could post hundreds of links all day here, but the point is this has been known for over a couple of years. China’s economy is baked and what very, VERY little accurate information the globe receives from China is what has kept it propped up for the past few years. Only a matter of time before it implodes…

#116 JoshL on 04.01.11 at 10:51 am

It’s really easy. If you’re in a line up where everyone’s income is 1 to 1 with the house they’re about to buy, and your income is 31 to 1 … you’re in the wrong line up. Even if the bubble doesn’t burst (hypothetically), you still can’t afford to buy in that market. Sorry, life isn’t fair … at least not in that way. Keeping up with Jones’s (or Wang’s in this case) is not the path to happiness. Just rent. Like Garth said in another article; You can either rent space or you can rent money. If renting money costs more than renting space … why would you do it?

#117 Ex-Cowtown on 04.01.11 at 11:10 am

Calgary RE March YOT stats:

Average price down 2%

Median Price down 5.5%

Sales Volume down 3%

And this is with sales volume pulled forward due to the 5/35 expiry. Let’s see what April looks like.

In summary, if you bought with anything less than 10% down in Calgary in March 2010, you’re likely vaporized.

Not much of an investment; 100% loss + trailing liability. Should have rented and bought tequila instead.

#118 refinow on 04.01.11 at 11:14 am

In China the 80-20 rule is likely how taxes are being collected, 80% of taxes are paid by 20% of the population, so if they can keep the 20% population working, they can continue to pay 80% of the taxes.

So with the massive construction projects being completed, a lot of people were getting paid a lot of money….. and paying a lot of taxes….

But they know the system is not sustainable, so the Chineese goverment tries to shut the barn door after the horses have left, buy intervening with policies to reduce speculation… Way too little way too late. The only good news for the Chineese is eventually once values of these prebuilt residences plummet they will have an instant solution for their lack of low income housing… But how do you decide who gets the penthouse ??

#119 JB on 04.01.11 at 11:20 am

I have so had it with all of this RE madness! I am trying to find an apartment for rent in the West End of the GTA and the RE bubble has pushed rental prices into the zone of complete un-affordability. All of these stupid property management companies post ads for units in the $1000 range for a 1BR, but when you call, every one says ‘oh, that was for a ground-floor non-refurbished unit, no the one we have for rent on the 15th floor is $1350 a month plus utilities plus $65.00 a month parking’. ALL OF THIS FOR A 1 BEDROOM APARTMENT in a 30 year old building with old carpet and lovely scuffed parquet flooring, the worst thing is, there is NOTHING OUT THERE for a decent price. Even Kijiji is a farce, with people posting 1 BR basements for $1200 a month and the buildings that post units for rent, when you call say ‘sorry, we have no available units’….so WHY ARE YOU ADVERTISING IT?!? This has to end, when someone like me who makes an above-average salary can’t afford an old 1 BR apartment in the suburbs then something is seriously wrong. I asked the lady at the $1350 building yesterday who in their right mind would pay almost $1500 a month (with utils and parking) for an old 1 BR with dated everything, the same stove I grew up with 25 years ago, oh and it was next to the elevator? You know what she said ‘I don’t know, but people do, mostly it’s couples because they can’t afford to buy’. I would need to be pulling in 70K a year to afford to live in a decent apartment outside of the slum I live in now. Carney, Flaherty…I hate you both. /rant

#120 Ex-Cowtown on 04.01.11 at 11:21 am


I meant to say the “official” 35 year expiry. You can still buy with 5% or less down. In which case your losses may be many times what you bet.

At least at the blackjack table, you can only lose what you bet. How many people would sit at a blackjack table if they thought they were betting $50 and the house only told them after the fact that the actual amount of the bet was $500?

#121 realpaul on 04.01.11 at 11:23 am

As you fly into Beijing the towers begin to sprout in clusters of hundreds…..then in a few minutes there are clusters of thousands…then tens of thousands…finally after flying over this massive capital the towers are as thick as uncut grass and spread out in every direction until your vision fails within the blanket of smog. Because there is no demand for anywhere near this number of units they remain empty.

Heres the trick though…there is no property tax in China…the properties can be held without cost. Money can be borrowed for any number of ‘investments and simply never paid back. Chinese banks are 100% corrupt and thus millions of ‘insiders’ have stripping the funds from accounts which have never been audited and ‘spirited’ out of the country. This is what the Chinese government calls ‘resdistribution’. We have plenty of examples of Chinese nationals coming to Canada ( same as in the US) and buying real estate by the dozens of millions. Then we find out that their wives, brothers in law and extended family have done the same. Since the nationalities/status are not available to the public because of Canada’s criminally astute privacy laws, the transactions are all deemed ‘local’.

Meanwhile, we have our own problems with hidden agenda’s and false economies. Where doe’s the money come from when government is the biggest employer? Government offices produce no capital…they have no product, machinery or goods to trade…….who’s paying for all this largesse and the great sucking hole that feeds ‘the government’. Although public figures are not available to the public in Canada we taxpayers are kept in the dark……but look at what the WSJ has come up with today…..

#122 The American on 04.01.11 at 11:23 am

At #102: UK CDN Expat, your prediction is precisely what is going to happen in Vancouver when China’s RE bubble implodes. Analysts across the board are expecting that. Are you in International Banking as well? This is why Vancouver is continually being referred to as “the Miami of Canada.”

#123 GregW, Oakville on 04.01.11 at 11:27 am

Hi Garth, Sorry, I try not to swear as a general rule in public, but…

The Harper Government is planing to phase out the metric system. WTF!!!

I guess if you don’t want any high paying manufacturing jobs in Canada that can compete in the world markets, you don’t need the metic system.

I wonder how much tax money it’ll waste changing all the road speed signs?
Maybe not as much as you first think, you can always hire the unemployed manufacturing workers at low wages to do it for you.

I guess we don’t want our scientist and engineers to have a measuring system that is easier to make less error pron calculation with, do we now?

#124 Toon Town Boomer on 04.01.11 at 11:27 am

I applaud the people trying to start the buyers strike. At least someones has the wisdow to say, ” No thanks, we don’t want your over priced homes or the debt that comes with it. I think far too often we sit back and think. “What can i do”? Nothing! That’s wrong.
Look what one person ( Garth ) has done. How many times have you read bloggers thank him for this blog and for saving them from buying an over valued home.Yet, he is criticized by some of attention seeking when he feels like giving up. Thanks for your voice on this immensely important topic and for being part of the sollution rather than part of the problem. Pretty sad when a family can’t have thier child live with them because of housing & economics. Bring on the buyers strike & take a stand to stop the insanity.

#125 AG Sage on 04.01.11 at 11:33 am

The spokesperson from Prosper Australia needs to work on his soundbite talking points. When asked the first time if he (I paraphrase) doesn’t care if he causes the market to crash, his response should have been: it will anyway, why do YOU want to sacrifice more young people to the market before it does?

#126 AG Sage on 04.01.11 at 11:47 am

>#80 Left Vancouver and Happy on 04.01.11 at 2:07 am
>If China is trying to cool its economy, why is it also trying to keep its GPD high with construction??? The two statements are completely in contradiction with each other.

China is trying to cool speculation, actually, an action which is not in conflict with the largest keep-the-cronies-in-power employment scheme in the history of the world, i.e., the Chinese construction boom.

#127 gomyone on 04.01.11 at 11:48 am

Hot Asian Money – I have a question to BPOE or other RE agents/brokers operating out of BC. Can you describe us in a little bit of details how a multimillion transaction in cash is processed. I believe you have witnessed multiple transactions so should not be a problem for you.
How do you deal with:

The reasons I am asking is I did open a bank account here in Euro recently (have not dealt with accounts opening for at least 10 years) and did find the whole procedure extremely intimidating. At the end I had to log in in mine brokerage account, to show them I have the money already and they did take a printout.
So I am just curious how are the the procedures involved in this “cash” transaction – from the RE agent, layer or notary, etc…
Thank a lot in advance.

#128 Junius on 04.01.11 at 11:49 am

Looks like our friend BPOE is going to set a record on their number of posts today. All the usual pump and hump stuff.

A sure sign that the end is HERE.

#129 Cowboy on 04.01.11 at 11:50 am

Well, well, a lot of sold signs noticed in Calgary lately.
Even though it is spring, I can’t help but be surprised about a few of them. People are still buying! Will houses ever correct a large amount in this city? I have waited years!
Not that I want it to happen, just expect it to. (it just is taking a lot longer than I thought)

On another topic, anyone know about retirement if you move to a warmer country to collect your pension? I am getting tired of the winters finally and want to go somewhere tropical. Are people usually hesitant to leave the country year round because then they would not have the medical care? Pension can fully be paid elsewhere I think, you just have to be careful of the exchange currency rate. Ex. all those UK expats living in Spain are getting screwed on the pound so they are finding it hard to live.

Any info welcome, totally ignorant in the immigration to another country as a Canadian….

#130 Oil Amen on 04.01.11 at 12:03 pm

Forget Vancouver, Alberta is where the next RE boom is gonna happen. I predict 1 million plus average SFH in Edmonton and Calgary within 5 years due to the labour shortage created by the next oil frenzy.

#131 Lorne on 04.01.11 at 12:04 pm

#123 Greg W
Take a look at the date!!!

#132 BPOE impersonator is making me laugh on 04.01.11 at 12:14 pm

I agree with #105 Brad in Van on 04.01.11 at 9:43 am

“Whoever is impersonating as BPOE is ridiculously funny….”

Whoever is posting this stuff is cracking me up. Keep it up!!!

#133 Throwstone on 04.01.11 at 12:15 pm

HERB #110…

#46 (un)realpaul,

“OK, there are “63,761 public servants in the six-figure club”.

How many public servants are there in the entire Province of Ontario? Remember, the Sunshine list includes doctors, lawyers, professors, teachers, policemen, firemen – anyone earning more than $100K (salary and overtime) working for the Province or one of the agencies and organizations it funds.

Now, and more importantly, which public servants and functions are you going to eliminate or limit to save the economy? And you’d better go a bit beyond the usual 20% haircut to make a real dent.”

Herb, your right about a two things…The Sunshine List does in fact provide the Names and Salaries of the 63,761 public servants earning 6 digit salaries.

However, what percentage of the whole public service does 63, 761 represent?…and how many of the remaining percentage make between $75,000-$99,999.99?…

Perhaps with some solid numbers we will have a much clearer picture of the waste found in government.

Personally, I know of hospital porters, cafeteria staff, cleaning and maintanence staff, administrative staff, etc. that earn between 65k and 78k.-For 32-36 hour work weeks!!!!

Here’s an example:….
Grievance Settlement Board GOODWIN CAROLINE Registrar/Secretary $114,693.51 $186.00

We can easily cut 20%…

but in order for them to receive jobs in the private sector, the government must privatize the sectors by which they were released.


Liquor Control Board of Ontario ALTON LINDA Director, Vintages Marketing, Food & Drink & Visual Merchandising $138,887.55 $1,260.82

Liquor Control Board of Ontario DUNN JODY Marketing Manager/Editor $103,224.06 $0.00

Where is the competition against the LCBO. Its a MONOPOLY!…

Privatize it. Prices would fall, competition increases, jobs would be created.

Don’t bother with the social control arguement.

Would you really purchase and consume more alcohol just because its available at a local retailer?….

Besides do we really need this…

Liquor Control Board of Ontario BEDI SHEETAL Manager, Freedom of Information & Privacy $120,602.08 $1,364.16

Guess the LCBO deals with threats to National Security too….

HERB—Cutting 20% would be easy…. they should aim for about 35%…

Then we will get some efficiency!!…and Jobs……jobs…..

#134 Dude it's April Fool's day! on 04.01.11 at 12:20 pm

Hey Greg W don’t freak out……..


#123 GregW, Oakville on 04.01.11 at 11:27 am

Hi Garth, Sorry, I try not to swear as a general rule in public, but…

The Harper Government is planing to phase out the metric system. WTF!!!

#135 Todd on 04.01.11 at 12:30 pm

What I like about the “Chinese are going to buy everything” line is that they always say these Chinese people are waiting in the wings to drop $2m+ on a house in Vancouver. Let’s assume for a moment that’s true. Just eyeballing MLS right now, there are about 1,000 or so properties in the area west of Maple Ridge and north of the 49th parallel that fit their price range at all. Do we really think someone in the market for a $2m house is all of the sudden going to look around, see that there’s nothing in that range left and say to their realtor “ok, no more Shaughnessey homes left. What about something for $500k in PoCo?” If so, I’d argue that we’re not just counting on Chinese millionaires to prop up the Vancouver market. We’re counting on incredibly dumb Chinese millionaires specifically.

But there’s so many of them, some of them MUST be dumb as rocks, right? Just doing a quick google search shows Forbes estimates around 875,000 Chinese are worth more than $1.4m, but only 51,000 are worth more than $14m. The $2m net worth crowd can’t afford to compete with the $14m crowd, obviously, so we’re really talking about a number closer to the 51,000 mark. So if all 51,000 of these guys lined up around the block to get into the Metro Vancouver market, maybe… maybe we have someone to eat the inventory for a couple years (and I mean ALL the inventory, down to the last crap shack in Whalley). Odds of that happening? Practically zero. And what happens after that?

Oh, but it’s “the best place on earth!” Is it better than New York, London, Sydney, Chicago, Barcelona, Rome and Buenos Aires? Do you think all 51,000 of those millionaires think just like you? Are you willing to put down $2m on that bet? I’ve been to all those aforementioned places and they have more culture, character and things to do in a city block or two than Vancouver has planned for the year.

Oh, wait. It’s having hosted the Olympics that puts us on par with the great cities of the world. Makes total sense now. Hey, can you point to Lillehammer on a map? Sochi? Sapporo? Grenoble?

I guess it’s just down to mountains then. Good thing we’re the only city with those.

#136 Todd on 04.01.11 at 12:33 pm

Obviously Greg W did not check to see how much it would cost to change his spedometer to imperial.

#137 moloko on 04.01.11 at 12:34 pm

“This is not the time to be in denial. This is the time to be pissed off at our government for allowing this crap. We are selling out BC and turning it into Bejing. There are entire schools in Vancouver that don’t have a single white kid. Not classes, schools.”


#138 Mister Obvious on 04.01.11 at 12:35 pm

#50 (Jas)

“God damn. I cannot believe the nerve of that person to write you a condescending letter.”

No worries Jas. Garth has a bowl of condescension every morning for breakfast.

#139 Moneta on 04.01.11 at 12:41 pm

Ghost Chinese cities are build for different reason – government is going to relocate citizens after severe cataclysms (earthquake / tsunami and the like) that are going to happened in part of the Chinese territory. It is nothing to do with RE bubble and you know about it, Garth
Posters are really funny today!

#140 Hoof - Hearted on 04.01.11 at 12:47 pm


So….it’s even worse than we thought.
Many of us assumed that the Hot Asian Money was simply some factory owner with a Wal Mart contract investing his profits in a secure country after paying his employees 50 cents /hour.

So…you are saying that Chinese backed monopoly money can be printed….and then withdrawn..and come to Canada?


WHO is allowed in this scam….must be select few….whats the membership allow ?

#141 JoshL on 04.01.11 at 12:48 pm

#123 GregW, Oakville,
Don’t believe every thing you read … especially on april fool’s day.

#142 Papa Blu on 04.01.11 at 12:50 pm

At #123 Greg

-It’s April 1st Greg and you if you are serious have just been made a “Greater Fool” I presume…

#143 JoshL on 04.01.11 at 12:52 pm

#129 Cowboy,
I’ve seen data and charts showing that Calgary real estate prices are still lower than their 2007 highs. It may not be the drop off the cliff that you were hoping for, but it shows something of a return to reality (still over priced, but at least there’s an end to the madness). The thing in Calgary is there are still a lot of good jobs out there. Good jobs means a steady supply of “greater fools” to prop up house prices despite fundamentals. Here’s hoping the soft landing continues. Another major blip in the economy and the newest buyers with small down payments will still be in trouble though.

#144 John on 04.01.11 at 12:59 pm

Can we just stick to the facts please? What does overbuilding empty malls and apartments in China have to do with Vancouver real estate? It’s an interesting story, Garth, but a bit of a straw man argument, wouldn’t you say?

#145 mattbg on 04.01.11 at 1:15 pm

Chinese buyers could easily be a sign of a bubble. After all, the Chinese are not usually in front of new trends but they do excel at duplicating things already well in play.

They are great at counterfeiting the creations of European and US-based multinationals, but they have no multinationals of their own.

They excel at playing the music of dead German and Italian composers on the piano and violin, but there are no Chinese composers worth copying.

They don’t even have an aircraft carrier.

Funny that, in China, they are now imposing restrictions on house-buying in places like Shanghai and Beijing. Restrictions like one-per-family, or tied to a history of having paid taxes over some number of years in the city you want to buy in. Maybe that Chinese action against a real estate bubble is exacerbating the unmitigated housing market in Vancouver.

#146 jess on 04.01.11 at 1:19 pm

chinese currency

“Li Ka-shing, Hong Kong’s richest man, is planning to sell shares in a Chinese real-estate investment trust in Hong Kong’s first yuan-denominated initial public offering, according to a sales document obtained by Bloomberg last week.”

#147 Aussie Roy on 04.01.11 at 1:24 pm

Aussie home buyer strike make the UK news

Mish also reports

Too funny the BPOE imposter.

#148 Mr. Reality on 04.01.11 at 1:25 pm

What will happen to Canada when China implodes. One word:


Mr. R.

#149 SaggyBottomBoomer on 04.01.11 at 1:26 pm

#123 GregW, Oakville RE:Metric
Consider for a moment today’s date ;-)
Then pour yourself a tall cold one

#150 Live Within Your Means on 04.01.11 at 1:29 pm

#98 S.B. on 04.01.11 at 8:45 am

The price of electricity, already triggering shock from consumers and businesses in many parts of Canada, will rise rapidly through the end of the decade, according to an analysis by CBC News.

A study of provincial utilities’ power-purchase agreements and financial statements indicates the average cost per kilowatt-hour countrywide will rise more than 50 per cent by 2020.

And as provinces introduce staggered time-of-day pricing, seniors and other ratepayers on fixed incomes will suffer a double hit to their wallets, advocates say.

We Nova Scotians have seen tremendous power rate increases over the last several years. Last fall we put in an ETF system, because we can only participate in a staggered time-of-day pricing if we put in an ETF, heat pump system, etc. system Our ETF system downstairs cost us at least $$3500.+. We have a split entry (26.5 x 45.5). Since we had it installed, our rates increased. Last 2 mos. bill was $635+. Thought it was a lot, but then thought about that $250+ cord of wood we used to burn in the wood stove downstairs every mo. + all the work, mess it entailed, maybe its not such a bad deal. Now when I’m chilly, 6pm+, I’ll throw on a few logs in the fireplace upstairs like today, maybe!. Friends who heat with oil, are paying for oil + electricity costs. Think we are ahead.

I have very much changed my way of living to take advantage of time of day rates.

I believe we have the 2nd highest power rates in the country. My hubby put in programmable thermostats in just about every room (got a great deal). Main living area is set to 22c during the day. I’m a boomer, not a lot of fat on these old bones, and feel the cold. :-)

#151 Throwstone on 04.01.11 at 1:33 pm

Here’s another beauty….

Bluewater District School Board LEMON CYNTHIA Administrator of Employee Relations $117,746.94 $2,082.92

Lets give lots of money to hire someone help everyone get along.

Nah…no austerity budgets coming…why would we need to do that…

BTW…RealPaul-Great link to WSJ article on the Nation of Takers vs Makers….seems were on that path too…

#152 Steven Rowlandson on 04.01.11 at 1:35 pm

Garth as much as I hate to see foreigners coming in and bidding up real estate I think one has to remember that millionaires or better real estate investors are a minority among buyers. Are the bulk of home buyers millionaires? Doubtfull but it certainly appears that it is an advantage to be very rich or well paid before considering a home purchase. Home prices are being jacked up generaly due to extreme prices at the high end of the market. The price of yuppy palaces jacks up the price of common and or junk houses. Home buying becomes something that is only for the wealthy.

Are the majority of first time home buyers rich or well paid when they graduate from high school or college? I doubt that they are.
So except for the privileged few the majority of buyers must be cheating through combining incomes or taking advantage of low interest rates. May be even working through a home buying syndicate where extended families pool their resources to buy homes for family members. To my way of thinking this is all cheating in order to support high prices to the benefit of realtors and money lenders.
Frankly I think the real down turn in real estate prices has yet to come largely due to the fact that many people are still living in a dream world and the real world of financial limitations is being kept just a little bit beyond the financial horizon for the majority of people. They don’t see the problem as real so they don’t believe in its existance.


#153 Utopia on 04.01.11 at 1:36 pm

Regarding the taxpayer subsidized program that distributes funds to all parties who gain 2% of the national vote….the so-called “voter subsidy”

Just kill it.

If anyone in this country really believes in the party they say they will vote for then they will put their money where their mouth is and fund that organization.

The vote-subsidy system is a poor and cost inefficient program that forces all Canadians to fund political parties throught the employment of tax dollars in excess of ordinary political contributions.

This system, while appearing to strengthen the democratic process is actually devisive and only leads to apathy amongst voters who reduce support while safe in the knowledge that all of the tax paying public will keep their favoured political party afloat.

I agree 100% with the stated objective of eliminating this kind of hand-out to all parties and with apologies to Elizabeth May,….If you can’t raise money on your own then that just means your party and the ideas that it embody are not representative of the Canadian public.

You do not deserve free money if your platform does not resonate with the public enough to ensure the continuation of your party through a donor-pay system.

It is bad enough that we all pay 300 million dollars for each election without adding the burden of subsidy support for electioneering parties trying to seize control of the country.

This should tell you very clearly that you will not get your turn at leading the country nor have political entitlement until you can come up with good enough ideas to stimulate votes in your favour and therefore contributions from the public at large.

Bad ideas earn zero money. If you are really a solid grassroots party with widespread public support then show me the money. You know…. the money that you actually raised from your supposed electoral base….

Subsidies be damned. They are actually anti-democratic.

#154 Mister Obvious on 04.01.11 at 1:39 pm

Heard on the CBC news this morning:

Harper announces RRSP survivor benefits for dogs. I know its April Fool’s day but, like all good jokes this, item has an air of believability.

Lots of childless boomers (with mucho cash on hand) will have only Fido to leave their inheritances. Better it should go to man’s best friend than the government.

No worry about younger people (who will outlive their next 5 dogs) taking offense. They don’t vote anyway much less follow the airheaded pronouncements of election campaigns.

Geez… I hope this really is a joke.

#155 Throwstone on 04.01.11 at 1:43 pm

Sharpen the axe for this job too…

City of Hamilton CATERINI ROSE City Clerk $114,265.55 $729.36

#156 April on 04.01.11 at 1:52 pm

I’d rather believe Garth, The American, Poco and Junius because they are among the few here who sound believable. Many of the bloggers here who pump RE and Chinese buying are probably people in the RE industry or people who are hoping their asset/s will not decline in value. They just don’t sound credible.

#157 Mr. Plow on 04.01.11 at 2:12 pm

#123 GregW, Oakville

At least you didn’t go on a rant… That would have been embarrassing.

#158 Gary on 04.01.11 at 2:18 pm

I think we should just sell all of Vancouver to China and be done with it. It has become a Chinese colony anyway. Anyone who lives here can witness that fact.

At least let’s get a lump sum of cash from China to pay down Canadian debt before officially hoisting the Chinese flag above City Hall.

Canadians are perhaps the most stupid, naive country in the world. It reminds me of the German warship that visited Poland at the start of WW2. The Polish people came down to celebrate and cheer the arrival… and then the warship turrets turned towards them and began to open fire.

Even Garth Turner can’t recognize or acknowledge that we have lost our city.

#159 Mr. Plow on 04.01.11 at 2:18 pm

#128 Junius

Or he gets a kick out of seeing people responding to him, and or giving him attention he likely does not deserve.

The Investors Friend can be inflammatory, but at least he provides some really good insights.

#160 Mr. Plow on 04.01.11 at 2:20 pm

#119 JB

Yes blame others, I hear that is a stellar strategy for lifelong success.

#161 warptweet on 04.01.11 at 2:23 pm

#123 April fools!

#162 OnlyTheBankers Laugh on 04.01.11 at 2:24 pm

The American – good post on socialization of losses while government takes the praise for keeping economy afloat with crazy long term effects! It’s truly criminal what they’re setting us up for.

I trust that this melts by the time my kids come along to buy which is 2025’ish when my first hits 25. I would never front the down payment at these levels. Crazyness.

#163 realpaul on 04.01.11 at 2:37 pm

Pimp my ride…Chinese style.

#164 Freedom50something on 04.01.11 at 2:41 pm

Cowboy, a lot of tropical (Caribbean) countries require that you have medical insurance if you’re going to live there full time. And it’s VERY expensive, anywhere from $1K to 2K a MONTH. Better to stay just for the winter months and retain your AHC. And DON’T buy a vacation home … rent instead. Tons of vacation rentals are available and you can pick different destinations and try them out. Only buy if you decide you really love a place, you’re OK with spending every winter there and you don’t think you’ll need the large amount of cash you’ll have to tie up by purchasing.

#165 Hoof - Hearted on 04.01.11 at 2:43 pm

#103 BPOE

How could have crabs?
Yesterday you admitted having a small Johnston

Did you leave toothpicks for the crab to pole vault?

#166 Steve on 04.01.11 at 2:43 pm

Hello Garth….. Even White Rock now, Asia’s, Germans, French elite are gobbling up all the million $ plus houses and creating the trickle down market. I reluctantly agree with the letter and unfortunately he is not the delusional one in this case. What goes up must come down, if true, it may not happen for a very long time.

#167 Observer on 04.01.11 at 2:54 pm

Vomitting dog

It is amusing that posters from outside of Vancouver dismiss the “on the ground observations” of Vancouver bear posters.

These are not the rants of uninformed or delusional bears. These are the views of those that have done their due diligence, conducted their fundamental analysis, and keenly observe what is going on in the city and their communities. These are the views of those that watch actual transactions within the market.

I will be flagging this post for reference in a few years time. Because when Vancouver officially becomes “ Hongcouver” in another decade or two this post will come back to bit you.

When you land at Richmond airport in 10 years time, the first language at YVR will be Mandarin ( it already is one of three “official languages” listed on all signage in the airport); when you look for a house to live in you will need a translator, to either communicate with the overseas Chinese landlord or the real estate agent; when you look for a school for your kids, you will have to prepare them to learn Mandarin or else they will be unable to understand the language of instruction; and if you go shopping, be prepared to spend a long time as most shops will have prices and product information listed in a language that his not English.

I bet many posters here would be willing to take Garth on a tour of the communities where the Asian money is going. I know I would.

Spend a WEEK out here Garth, visiting open houses, walking around in key communities, shopping malls and schools in Vancouver and Richmond and I guarantee that you will change your tune. You will not dismiss the so-called “yellow peril” after you have seen entire heritage neighbourhoods replaced with monster homes built to the edges of lots (many of which are vacant); entire schools with nothing but ESL students; fleets of high end vehicles driven by those with disdain for everyone local; entire universities whose composition reflects that of Shanghai; and shopping malls where you cannot read the signs or communicate with shopkeepers because English is a passé language to communicate in.

Is there media and RE industry hype around the extent of the influence. You bet. Is there a huge amount of truth to that hype – you bet. No bear every wants to admit that the RE industry is right – ever. But they are right to a certain extent now..

It is certainly easy to call Vancouver bears delusional amidst your Anglo Saxon dominated “rural esque” home now isn’t Garth?

You were doing fine until you mysteriously turned into a dickhead in the final yards. — Garth

#168 Scare Crow on 04.01.11 at 2:55 pm

I never noticed till today that BPOE (Butt Plug On Ecstacy) – he/she (or possible mix) tries way too hard in trying to convince others that he/she doesn’t even believe themselves. It’s actually gone past the point of minor annoyance – medication may be needed.

BPOE – what your missing – the quality of life – I couldn’t care less if 5,000 people are lining up at Realestate firms just dying to buy the next house to be listed – that’s no what truly is at stake – it’s why do people buy – security, investment – a whole slew of reasons, but it has gotten to a point that it is obvious that the herd mentality has set in – if I stopped and stared at the sidewalk, I can bet that within minutes others would stop and stare too – even if there is nothing to see – that’s what’s happening BPOE –

You are filling the blog with useless chatter – trying so desperately to seek attention, but why – the Vancouver thing is an outlet for what – if this is just a way to pass time … okay – but if you are convinced in your writing – please seek help – passive aggresive tendencies can become quiet volatile if not treated ..

#169 Solitario on 04.01.11 at 3:05 pm

Garth’s predictions track record, political ones included, is pretty miserable.
In this latest article, what he doesn’t seem to comprehend, is that in any market the price is set by the marginal buyer.
The “wrong kind of chinese” cited above, had just found that out…

#170 a prairie dawg on 04.01.11 at 3:08 pm

@ #128 Junius

Yes BPOE is a BPITA, along with 2 or 3 other Realwhores® who like to Spam this blog daily. But it’s the same lame tactic used in others circles as well.

Both CREA, and H’s federal Cons, are getting the word out to have “their” people hang on social media sites and constantly pitch “their” side to the masses. Electronic misinformation. Troll warfare. Disrupt, cause dissension. Keep telling the other side they’re wrong. Repeat the same BS over and over, and some people will start to believe it. And it also drives some people away.

It’s a high school psychology quality tactic that sounds good in a “pump up the troops” rally, but it’s effect in the real world is shyte. At least on those with a brain.

Maybe G will consider limiting their posting abilities.

Only 1 RE pump story per blog, per dawg. Anything more than that and it’s pure spam.

But hey, only shady Realwhores® and shady politicians (or their minions) would stoop so low and do it so blatantly day after day. Time to grow a set.

#171 Throwstone on 04.01.11 at 3:11 pm


This was posted on the Globe Mail comments section!…

It gives perspective to the complete disaster of a government your going to vote for.

By the way! Your arrogance is showing through,… presuming everyone needs answers!

Are you daft?…Are you unwilling or unable to see the facts?

What is truth
8:06 PM on March 31, 2011

“I am from Winnipeg. The whole g-20 cost structure was ludicrous….and far too extravagant
Consider the money spent , and put it into perspective… The entire operating budget of the City of Winnipeg is 800,000,000 … the enitre City… police , fire , community services ,waste and water , administation , roadds , infrastructure etc etc … for a whole year… THIS is less by 20% of the total spent for a SINGLE day operations of a non event…. for what? to what benefit the country? ….
Imagine what a billion dollars can do … amongst early child care, or seniors citizen for GIS, hell it would evn buy at least 12 of the F-35s Harper so dearly wants…( at his stated costs )
A fiscally conservative government ?? NOT on your life.. THIS is a spend and borrow Government”

Does that help you at all?…..

Answers!…Ha haa..ha…typical bumbling boomer…don’t have a clue…

#172 Throwstone on 04.01.11 at 3:20 pm


BTW…I’m in favour of taxing all churches, synagoges, temples, mosques and any other place of religious worship.

Are you?…

#173 Hell in a Handbasket on 04.01.11 at 3:22 pm

I gave my anti-real estate speech at work twice yesterday. I work with a bunch of accountants. They were shocked at my plan to rent after I sold and I kid you not when I heard them say the following phrases “But you are just throwing your money away on rent, you could be building your equity.” and the ever present “vancouver is different.” I said that we are all accountants, we all can read charts and graphs, that is what we do for a living. I proceeded to sketch out the year on year rise in house prices, then sketched the month on month decline in sales volume. I told them that you study any bubble in history, any bubble at all, you see the same markers. They dismissively asked me what else my crystal ball said. One woman went as far to say that if she made just alittle more money she would buy property in a heart beat. I told her that she would lose every bit of equity she had come renewal time and may even lose the home if the bank decided not to roll over the financing without some top up. Didn’t change her mind a bit.

The most startling thing from that entire exchange is the way they looked at me when I said I was selling my place so I could rent. It was like I was speaking a different language, you could see their minds working as they struggled to explain to me what a mistake I was making and alittle bit of the “watch out, he’s crazy” look.

It was a similar feeling, I’m sure, to coming out of the closet to your parish.

#174 BPOE on 04.01.11 at 3:57 pm

I got ’em! I got every last one of those little bastards. My crotch looks like a beaver in a blender now, but hey, that’s what it takes to rid oneself of nasty little critters like crabs. Anyway, GO CANADA! WE ARE THE WORLD SUPERPOWER NOW! I heard it from a friend’s mom’s brother’s ex-wife’s friend’s sister-in-law. You heard it here first, folks, Vancouver is THE new world city and there is no stopping it now. Hell, we don’t even need Chinese people’s money here anymore! We are so powerful we can make our own form of currency and valuation and run the planet! Oh, and I assure you that every condo is actually being sold and lived in by these buyers. The only reason you don’t see any lights on in 90 percent of the condos around Vancouver and Lichmond is because people here think “green.” They don’t use electricity because they are so conscious of the world’s resources. Really, I promise you! These are REALLY all sold, and we would NEVER lie about results of actual sales! WE are NOTHING like China where we’ve built and built and built for a population of only 2.3 MM people, yet we have enough inventory for over 5MM. Huh? Did I say that? NO! Er, uhhhh, GO CANADA! We are awesome and cool and neato!

#175 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 04.01.11 at 4:02 pm

Had an interesting conversation with a friend who lives about one or two hours’ east of The Big Smoke.

Re: US housing. He said that what we see on the m$m are just a bunch of numbers of foreclosed homes, the surface stuff and not the human cost.

Dig deeper (most here have relatives or friends in the US), ask them directly what it is REALLY like, and you may end up being surprised.

Plenty of the ‘burbs have complete subdivisions, and all the homes are empty with For Sale signs. The situation is quite different than what is seen on TV, and the next leg of downturns is soon to start, if it hasn’t already begun.

Just like the ’60s, people are coming across the border (there is quite a lot of unpopulated land here), minding their own business while barely surviving, which is really hard if young children are involved.

On the other side of the world, Japan’s nuke troubles are barely being scratched, and it looks as if BPOE, Mikey the Realtor and others may be right — a soon-to-be influx of immigrants, not from China but Japan and surrounding areas.

The four western provinces have sufficient water and land reserves that fifty million or so immigrants could live here.

So RE may decline slightly, but until the present caucasian cycle finishes and hands over to the oriental / mongolian races, this bluster going on presently will continue, no matter who is put in charge, ‘quakes, volcanoes, wars and all.

#176 Kevin in Winnipeg on 04.01.11 at 4:05 pm

So not only Chinese-manufactured exports are fake. Things are never as they appear.

#177 Anotherlowlyrenter on 04.01.11 at 4:09 pm

@ #173 – I am well aware of that look – I got it a lot during the internet bubble. I went to at the time to keep my sanity. And emerged unscathed from that crash.

If it makes you feel better, I have money and have chosen to rent. No debt. The math doesn’t support buying by a long shot. Renting wins hands down in all of Canada’s major cities. My landlord thinks I’m odd because he knows what I do, and knows I could afford to buy. I don’t try to convince him or anybody else. Markets eventually take care of themselves. It doesn’t matter what you or me think. I’ve hedged my bets by buying some bank stocks and reits. The yields were better than I would get from owning real estate and I can sell in a heart beat.

The fact is all bubbles eventually burst but no one knows when. Usually it’s when everybody’s positive. Because you’re typically only bullish about something after you’ve bought. But after you’ve bought, you’ve used all your firepower. So how are you going to push up the market unless you convince your neighbors to buy? Are we at the top now? Who knows? Valuation is great for perspective but it’s not a good timing tool. But valuation does tell me that even if prices rise further, they will eventually fall further too, below the levels today – unless incomes really do rise exponentially.

#178 Taiwan is not China on 04.01.11 at 4:14 pm

CAGW ad on China

#179 Jim on 04.01.11 at 4:19 pm

Australian view of Canada’s eroding Democracy

#180 Jamie Groulx on 04.01.11 at 4:21 pm

@ #31 S: You’re missing the point. These houses will not come down in price because buyers aren’t/weren’t necessary to the equation. The Chinese government borrowed against future growth in order to gain a strong GDP bottom line.

Mickey the Realtor + TOTHEMOON + BPOE(‘s imposter) x Chicken little Real Estate economics = (RE)Trolls panhandling attention. “If you discuss them, they will cum”

@#58. In every market I have taken a look into lately I’m seeing the same things as you. If you don’t have enough money for the manipulating predators to pick off of your corpse, it’s equally frustrating to locate someone trustworthy enough to learn from. Blogs like this are pretty helpful, just remember to take it, and the posts, with a grain of salt. Everyone’s exp will differ.

#181 realpaul on 04.01.11 at 4:21 pm

If you think you’ve made money investing in real estate then you’re an idiot.

Inflation and the debasement of the unit of exchange ( your paper money) has just played jiggery pokery with your uneducated mind.

#182 eddy on 04.01.11 at 4:22 pm

Here our PM sings the anti war, atheist anthem:

#183 FedExman on 04.01.11 at 4:36 pm

My job is to drive around the GTA and it is clear as day that the housing market has slowed down. Very few sold signs but countless are for sales. Sold my home a few months ago and living with inlaws :( but since the market looks to be taking a dive will stay in the basement until we find a nice rental. Our biggest problem right now is what to do with $300K profits?

#184 Pat on 04.01.11 at 4:40 pm

#150 Live Within Your Means wrote:

“…Last 2 mos. bill was $635+.”

Amazing! How do people in Halifax make ends meet with such expenses, taxes and house prices?

I live in CA, in a new 2000sq.f. house with 18 ft. ceilings. Gas and electric bill – $120/mo on average. Average house prices in the hood – $650K (overpriced, imho), average income – $120K, property taxes and mortgage interest – tax deductible.

Compare this with Halifax peninsular – same house prices but much lower income and much higher taxes (income +sales; no income splitting either), utility costs, maintenance costs (old houses) and no RE tax deductions. On top of it, almost everything is 20% more expensive in NS.

#185 not asian on 04.01.11 at 4:44 pm

#167 – What you have not included is the fact that the China parent does not want a school full of chinese kids. They want their kid surrounded by non-chinese so that they can suck some north american culture from them and learn english…take, take, take. Thus their interest now in “white rock”. Richmond has become too china-like for their taste. And what do they give back? Nothing. They don’t like to share. They are leaches that attach themselves and suck blood. They take our real estate, education system, medical system…and how much taxes do they pay? Well, apparently Richmond has a very high poverty level. These people that own 2 million dollar homes don’t have any income. How can that be?

#186 Throwstone on 04.01.11 at 4:55 pm

Hey Garth,

Why won’t the government Tax Churches, Temples, Synagogues, Mosques and other places of worship?…

Just want to know your take on it?

#187 Devore on 04.01.11 at 4:58 pm

#151 Throwstone

The point you may or may not be missing is that austerity is smoke a mirrors. None of these people are at any risk. As I’ve said before, when US municipalities budgets got squeezed, it was teachers, policemen and firemen who got trimmed. But, somehow, I’m pretty sure you still have to file for permission to build yourself a deck. No shortage of paper shufflers and bureaucrats, who apparently provide services more essential than law and order itself.

#188 GregW, Oakville on 04.01.11 at 5:06 pm

Hi Garth, I’m glade tomorrow isn’t the 1st! My face still feels quit ‘red’, maybe ‘flushed’ would be a better word, lol.

The person running for your old job is kicking off her campaign tomorrow. I have a question for her, to ask of her party leader. That I’d like answered before I decide whom to vote for.
I’ve got it down to ~3 min, I hope she’s taking question tomorrow??

It seem at this point, I only have one party that I would vote for, based on there written party polices that I can find on line. So far.

#189 BPOe on 04.01.11 at 5:18 pm

I see the helicopters are parked.
They are using Hercules transport planes to parachute in Mercedes to Richmond and West Side that hit the road running. On the back is a gattling gun that shoots multiple offers, with a infrared guidance system at homes with “8”‘s in the address.

Bob Rennie is using semifore to guide them in. Many are trying guerrilla HAM attacks crawling through the sewers but impeded by the grease plugs after dim sum is over. If your toilet backs up and you hear yelling when you flush, you have a captive purchaser who is far more obligated to pay over list price. Tom Vu says he has developed a special toilet plunger that adapts for bowl (hair)cuts.

#190 Live Within Your Means on 04.01.11 at 5:19 pm

#179 Jim on 04.01.11 at 4:19 pm
Australian view of Canada’s eroding Democracy

Thank you Jim for posting the above. I’ll be forwarding it to others.

#191 Aaron - Melbourne on 04.01.11 at 5:20 pm

“Despite pressure on housing affordability from rapid population growth, Premier Ted Baillieu said he was not about to close Victoria’s borders.

He said he would never ”put up the stop sign” to curb population growth, but warned Victorians will have to ”endure” the problems of a growth rate that saw Melbourne increase by more than 1500 people a week last financial year.”

Yay – growth at all costs.

#192 poco on 04.01.11 at 5:44 pm

ok — we’ve all heard of austerity programs but is this going too far or another good April Fools’ joke

#193 Devore on 04.01.11 at 5:45 pm

#179 Jim

The Australian view? Written by Ramesh Thakur, who is not Australian.

#194 BPOE crabs on 04.01.11 at 5:49 pm

Ok boys

There he is again, napping at the airport as he tries to flag down the tranny cab driver.

Next time he squats in the ladies room…..synchronized pole vault as he reads the RE ads.

#195 Utopia on 04.01.11 at 5:56 pm

#171 Throwstone wrote…

“Are you daft?…Are you unwilling or unable to see the facts?…..typical bumbling boomer…don’t have a clue…”


You seem to be taking your frustrations out on me lately Throwstone. Here is a question for you…Do you actually think that I am the only Conservative in Canada or something?

You are not winning me over by insulting me. Why don’t you find a girlfriend. They can be very distracting and are a better way to take up your spare time.

#196 Live Within Your Means on 04.01.11 at 6:03 pm

#184 Pat on 04.01.11 at 4:40 pm
#150 Live Within Your Means wrote:

“…Last 2 mos. bill was $635+.”

Amazing! How do people in Halifax make ends meet with such expenses, taxes and house prices?


Not well for most people. We actually live across the harbour in Dartmouth in a fairly nice area. House was paid off many years ago. We know many gen whatever who are up their eyebrows in debt. It’s not worth my breath to talk to them any longer.

#197 Oasis on 04.01.11 at 6:15 pm

and yet another stunning collapse for the USD today. after the “great” unemployment numbers in the morning, the USD rallied BIG for a few hours, before everyone just DUMPED the USD right after. CRUSHING it.

i guess it’s still “predicted” to go up soon? classic. lol

look at the LOONIE SKYROCKET today, at a multi year high.
the EURO close at a multi month high.
AUZZIE $ at a mutli DECADE high against the USD.

where are the dollar bulls? nobody out there to defend the US Lira? the printing presses are working overtime. enjoy the toilet paper.

#198 Nomad on 04.01.11 at 6:16 pm

I would also like to address some posters who apparently refuse to open their eyes.

Many continue to allude to Vancouver being a “shitty” city to live in, and that it’s just overhyped because of some dubious ranking system and the fact that it hosted some olympic games.

Do you honestly think there is a long list of cities that rich Chinese consider retiring to? People bring up examples of “culturally rich” locations like Chicago, Barcelona, New York, Rome. That’s great, and there is a lot of culture in those places – likely much more so than in Vancouver.

But what about existing Chinese communities? What about clean air? What about great schools? How about a visibility of above 100 meters? Please don’t fool yourself into thinking Vancouver is a “shit hole” – it really isn’t.

#199 Paul on 04.01.11 at 6:43 pm

“It’s going to be a great year in real estate”.

#200 S.B. on 04.01.11 at 7:12 pm

Like I say there is no “us and them”, there never was. It’s all one big gobal business. Think of war as a strategic merger. Weren’t the Bin Ladens in the USA meeting with US interests on Sept 11th 2001?

Gaddafi’s Son Toured Air Force Academy Before Uprising
DENVER — The Air Force Academy confirms that a son of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi visited the school last month during a U.S. tour that included businesses and other schools.

Academy spokesman Lt. Col. John Bryan said Wednesday that Khamis Gadhafi got a standard VIP tour of the school on Feb. 7 – eight days before the Libyan uprising began.

Bryan says it included academic, athletic and residential buildings, and briefings from the dean of faculty and the vice superintendent.

Bryan says Gadhafi wouldn’t have learned anything of benefit to the Libyan military.

The U.S. tour, first reported last week, was organized by an infrastructure company with business interests in Libya. It was cut short when the Libyan uprising erupted.

#201 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 04.01.11 at 7:39 pm

2:30 clip Blue light and other strange things over reactors, plus Solar Radiation “But four wrecked reactors isn’t a problem, right?” San Francisco See the headline.

Libya + The US Fed Are govts. crooked? Ooohh, that’s a hard one! And Santa Claus Bailing out everyone and their aunties.

Like A Crock GM — Our accounting and cars suck!

Harper will follow Obama’s (Soros’) lead, in helping to turn this continent into a welfare state like the old USSR.

NATO — Whose side are you on anyway? Plus US gunships. Some are off the coast of Libya, the rest in the Straits of Hormuz waiting for the green light to attack Iran.

10:01 clip Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) speaks about the illegality of the Libya war, exposing the Libyan (plus Syrian and other) agendas.

Tokyo Apocalypse Now? There are three fault lines that converge underneath.

Body Bags Obama won a Nobel Peace Prize, and yet is involved in more wars than dubya?

Wikileaks and Soros Whatever happened to Julian Assange?

5:40 clip Martial law. Wouldn’t put it past the WH and Pentagon.

Hypothesis of a US – EU – Israel leadership. gawd help us — no one else will.

Break the union hard nuts first, then sheeple fall. States first, then provinces.

#179 Jim — Great link. Now here is one for you and Live Within Your Means — 11:15 clip Harper served summons.

#202 jess on 04.01.11 at 7:46 pm

BPOE – are you in tourism or the people “relocating” trade
immigration profiteering and the north atlantic trading company in 1899
500000 x 5/ahead = good coin back then.

praire dawg

#203 Devore on 04.01.11 at 7:52 pm

Aaaannd…. boots on the ground. So I was off by a few days, probably, depending on when “assistance” is requested.

#204 Hoof - Hearted on 04.01.11 at 8:19 pm

#198 Nomad

Worst Shitholes can look clean on the outside;

Vancouver was geographically closer the Hong kong, then China. Canada loosened up its laws to allow massive investor immigration.

There has been no net benefit to Canadians who built this country, and in that I include Asians here since the CPR was built.

Its a political and economically volatile clusterf*ck that will implode any day now.

#205 Herb on 04.01.11 at 8:19 pm


careful of the rotten cherries you pick. The “Registrar/Secretary” of a board does not do shorthand. And the “Clerk” of a municipality does not schlepp files. You have to know what the job entails before you cry “overpaid”. But don’t let that slow you down.

This may come as a surprise, but public service remuneration is geared to private sector comparables in skills, education/training, responsibility etc. To shock you even further, the public service normally lags the private sector, since any PS union or professional group has to point to equivalent work and earnings on the civil side to stand a chance for a raise at Treasury Board.

Any idea how many skilled tradesmen, professionals, supervisors, managers and executives in Ontario would make the government’s Sunshine List? How about examining both sides before blasting one.

#206 jess on 04.01.11 at 8:21 pm

…”Offshore shell companies are used for profit laundering, assigning profits and losses on paper so that taxes can be minimized. To conceal profits, a company might transfer the ownership of patents, copyrights, or other intangibles to an offshore shell company and collect royalties in a low-tax jurisdiction. …

In 2002, Canada’s Auditor-General warned that corporate “tax arrangements with foreign affiliates have eroded Canadian tax revenues of hundreds of millions of dollars over the past ten years.”

A June 2008 study by the University of Quebec at Montreal concluded that the five major Canadian banks avoided $16 billion in federal and provincial taxes through offshore affiliates between 1991 and 2003.

A 2004 Library of Canada report noted that, between 1990 and 2003, Canadian corporate investments in Barbados increased from $1.5 billion to $24.7 billion, exceeding the GDP of Barbados by a factor of six. The report concluded that at least some of these investments could only be explained as tax avoidance measures.

In 2007, the pharmaceutical company Merck was assessed $2.3 billion in U.S. back taxes for transferring its drug patents to a Bermuda shell company and then deducting from its taxes the royalties it paid itself.

Tax havens are also used to conceal liabilities. Before being exposed as a spectacular fraud, Enron had established a network of 3,500 shell companies, 600 of which were registered in the Cayman Islands. When the British government nationalized the failing Northern Rock Bank in 2007, officials were stunned to discover that £50 billion of mortgages had been shifted to an offshore account disguised as a foundation benefiting Down’s syndrome children.

#207 Daisy Mae on 04.01.11 at 8:48 pm

BTW…I’m in favour of taxing all churches, synagoges, temples, mosques and any other place of religious worship.

Are you?…


#208 Live Within Your Means on 04.01.11 at 8:50 pm

#198 Nomad

Good post. Everybody is bashing Van here as if that will help their cause. It won’t. They’re just angry that prices haven’t come down in a long long time.

Vancouver is a great place to live with great people and awesome scenery.

With regards to the Chinese ‘ghost’ towns, that has been in the news forever. The problem with predicting a crash based on this kind of news is that you can’t have a crash if there is no debt involved. That’s right, the Chinese have no mortgage debt. Sorry.

If there’s no debt there’s no panic. What’s to panic about? Oh no, the bank is going to take my property away! Oh wait, there’s no bank invovled…back to eating and sleeping.

#209 Cabot Lodge brylcreem & trenchcoat on 04.01.11 at 9:19 pm

Hi Garth auto makers are trying inflationary have you noticed?

#210 BPOE on 04.01.11 at 9:23 pm

Okay, I’ll stop posting. Well, maybe not. Okay, I won’t, I won’t, I won’t. I can’t help myself. The Chinese are what is propping up our market so much. I didn’t create it, I only help facilitate transactions for CASH buyers, folks! Vancouver is unlike any other place on Earth, including all the crack heads and skank whores who give me crabs. Simply, it is AMAZING to be in the rain 24/7, 365 days a year and little to no outlet to actual news. We PREFER our real estate propaganda opposed to actual statistical data and facts that are fully transparent to the public. I have the Hershey squirts. Facts only screw up my pay check and make me actually have to werk for a living. I hate that, don’t you? I mean, it took me nearly THREE WEEKS to get my Realtor’s license and almost 45 hours. I’m NOT about to give that up. Damn, I have to go and release this demon right now. I can’t seem to get a grip with my netherlands region lately. Sorry, folks. I just get so excited when another deal is about to come to fruition and my bowls start moving like mad crazy. I’ll be back soon!

#211 steve p on 04.01.11 at 9:24 pm

poor brad lamb

#212 45north on 04.01.11 at 9:46 pm

Utopia: “Nobody saw it coming at all” she told me. “One day we were all living a normal kind of life and two years later nobody had any money at all.

good story

March 18 was the last day for 35 year mortgages. Wonder how total sales look before and after.

#213 Mr. Reality on 04.01.11 at 9:46 pm

BPOE – Your line of work is at the level of a drug dealer. You feed of the weak and use emotion to get your way. Ethics do not exist.

I can’t wait for every agent out there to be out of work so they realize that a petty 3 month course really makes you just as useless as you were before you took it. What a joke.

Mr. R.

#214 betamax on 04.01.11 at 9:51 pm

#135 Todd — Very well said! Nice bit of de-mythologizing the ‘endless Chinese millionaires’ meme.

#215 Utopia on 04.01.11 at 9:52 pm

#133 Throwstone

Do you even realize that you are a Conservative. Your ideas are so far right they make me look like a Liberal for Pete’s sake.

#216 betamax on 04.01.11 at 10:15 pm

#115 The American: “China’s economy is baked and what very, VERY little accurate information the globe receives from China is what has kept it propped up for the past few years.”

Agree 100%. My wife is from mainland China and she’s regularly surprised by how the ‘reality distortion field’ in western media portrays China as an invulnerable juggernaut. She knows first-hand how the country runs on graft, nepotism and outright corruption.

The reason the ruling party is so oppressive re. rights to free speech and assembly is precisely because they know their rule is corrupt and their riches ill-gained. They are terrified that karma is going to rise up and tear them a new one.

#217 Utopia on 04.01.11 at 10:34 pm

#28 goldenfox

I stopped going to timmies. You think with all the money they make, that they could afford decent washrooms.

Want a scary washroom experience? Go travelling to Africa. You will never feel quite the same about washrooms again and suddenly even the local Canadian reataurants bad toilet day will look like it is a gold-plated and hygenic home away from home.

#218 betamax on 04.01.11 at 10:47 pm

#208 Live Within Your Means: “…you can’t have a crash if there is no debt involved. That’s right, the Chinese have no mortgage debt.”

LOL. They are leveraged to the gills. My wife’s multimillionaire relatives in China regularly borrow against paper appreciation on one property for a down-payment on the next, and so on. Everyone’s doing it. They begin cash rich but don’t stop speculating just because they’ve used up their cash.

If you think you’re betting on a sure thing, do you stop when you run out of cash reserves? No, you leverage up as much as you can. And that’s what the Chinese have done, even — and especially — the rich.

The sock-puppet who wrote that article justifies his ‘no mortgages’ claim in a laughably obscure reference: “Did you know that home mortgages, let alone credit cards, hardly even existed in China in 2000?”

Guess what, booby, it’s eleven years later and perhaps no country has changed faster than China. 2000 is ancient history.

#219 Utopia on 04.02.11 at 12:09 am

#208 Live Within Your Means:

“…you can’t have a crash if there is no debt involved. That’s right, the Chinese have no mortgage debt.”

I am with Betamax on this one. A bubble is a bubble is a bubble and any way you look at it China’s is now the biggest on the planet. And yes they do carry debt. Where on earth are you getting your information from?

So naturally we will see a burst despite the average 30% equity investment in properties. Why else do you think the government there has placed restrictions on property speculation?

They have run the numbers and can see that a crash would have devastating consequences for that economy. Consequences they cannot afford.

I read the article from Mario Cavalo that you posted and it does not change my mind. He is a well known optimist, a cup half-full kind of guy and cannot see the dark side of what is actually taking place in China.

Empty cities and millions upon millions of empty homes in country where untold numbers can never afford to participate in the housing market is a certain recipe for social discord. It is dynamite actually and China has not graduated far enough into a capital economy yet to forget the tribulations of the past when socialism (communism) was still the flavour of the day.

When the bubble bursts there it could easily lead to another revolution and push the current regime from power. They are trying to get a handle on the situation now but I fear it may already be too late to turn the clock back.

The bubble, when it bursts, will have consequences for all.

#220 Brad in Van on 04.02.11 at 3:01 am

At #198: Nomad, Vancouver is a shithole. Really, it is a shithole of unmentionable proportions. Give me NYC,Chicago, Barcelona, or Rome any day of the week over this rain-pissed mud flat of a town. Culture here S U C K S, arts scene here S U C K S, night life here S U C K S, shopping S U C K S, and the educational system REALLY is not that great, and the traffic is pathetic.

NYC has a MUCH larger China town than we have here. As does Chicago. NYC’s China Towns exceed the entire f*cking population of Vancouver, dude. NYC has S E V E N China towns. So, that strikes that off your list. NYC also has some of the best drinking water on the planet and they don’t dump their raw sewage into the Ocean like we do here. NYC actually has good air quality, relative to population. Are you seriously going to try to compare Vancouver to the likes of NYC , Rome, Barcelona, and Chicago? It doesn’t even compare to Seattle or San Francisco – two cities just South of us along our coast line! Get real and stop deluding yourself into thinking this is some great place. If you really feel that way, then you’ve never experienced life outside of Vancouver. We have mountains here… who really gives a shit. This place is nice… for Canada. But, not that great when compared to many other places in North America. If all that matters is clean air and visibility over a few hundred meters, then I would go buy a tent and live on the outskirts of Nanaimo. Better yet, I’d escape the rain and cold and buy a place in Hawaii.

#221 Adventures in Sea-Tac with Moneta on 04.02.11 at 10:50 am

220 Brad – so if it’s that bad for you – move! No use goin’ on about it.