Spring

The black beast throbbed and shook, as if awakened in anger. Finally the liquid in its arteries turned from cold sludge to hot surge. Shafts of outside light reigned down on its curves for the first time in long months, revealing a coat of residue it yearned to have blown off. Finally, amid thunderous reverberations and eager accelerations, it moved. Inches first, then yards, then a ravenous, reckless devouring of the ground beneath. Cowling warm now from the sun, even as it weaved and dodged through the last tenacious ice. Finally, wide open. Into the embrace of spring.

There’s no other time of the year Harley owners or house buyers get these many hormones all at once. It’s a heady and intoxicating dose of joie de vivre, which has guys plastering on leather and Re/Max agents drooling on their ties.

And the spring real estate market of 2011 should already have been a corker. After all…

  • Variable-rate mortgages remain dirt cheap as the Bank of Canada holds off on any increase now until after the May 2 federal election. Money is still available at less than 3% – close to all-time lows.
  • F’s murdering of the 35-year mortgage gave first-time buyers with house lust but no money a huge incentive to borrow their still-undeveloped brains out and leap into the market prior to March 18th.
  • A whole nation of real estate agents, developers and mortgage brokers poured their hearts into email blasts, Facebook pages, direct mail, media releases and every other vehicle they could think of to pull forward future demand on the back of the federal mortgage rule change.
  • The Japanese tragedy sent investors scooting into bonds, dropping yields and leading to decreases in fixed-rate mortgages.
  • The Arab Revolution goosed oil prices dramatically, igniting a host of other commodity prices, and the Toronto stock market, to boot. Canada is a commodity-rich place, and this was enough to propel the loonie higher – adding to investor confidence.
  • And all this happened against a backdrop of  media hype for houses as the Canadian MSM continues to blow air into the national housing gasbag.

Alas, bust. At least, that’s the way things are looking.

March is a prime month for real estate activity, and yet the numbers are not encouraging – at least those we have thus far. Over the next week there’ll be more hard evidence of exactly where things sit. But it seems my assertion some time ago that the correction has already started holds water.

For example, despite $100 oil and all that shooting testosterone, Alberta’s going in reverse. Yesterday we heard that YoY sales in Calgary dropped again, this time by 3%, while listings tumbled 19% and prices dipped 2%.  Similar story in Edmonton, where sales and prices also declined. And don’t even ask me about poor Red Deer.

In Ontario, sales in Kitchener are down 7%. In London they’re off 8%. In Toronto during the first two weeks of March leading up to the new mortgage rules, sales fell 5% from last year, while listings plopped 15%. Prices advanced 5%, and a SFH in 416 climbed to almost $760,000 – or 8 times family income.

In Montreal, sales are down 7%. In Kelowna all evidence points to the March numbers being a disaster when they’re published in a few days. And in Victoria, sales plunged this March by 21%, while the average detached price of $619,275 was down 4%. And Vancouver? Well, the average price of a SFH has just plunged $20,000 in the last month – to a cozy and affordable $1,155,007. That’s 14 times what households there earn.

Well, real estate’s local, of course. And everywhere, everybody thinks it’s different. While reality settles in over parts of the prairies, the troubled Okanagan or Ontario’s rust belt, delusion and myopia still rule in radioactive Richmond.

But the fact remains, March had stuff going for it. Green shoots. Girls on swings. Animal urges. Unconditional offers. Prime rate plus passion.

That sales in most markets would decline again ain’t a good sign. That sellers would unexpectedly retreat from the market is not healthy. That prices would advance in the most unaffordable bits of the country, even as volume shrinks and the yellow peril grows, is a warning.

The smart money waits patiently elsewhere, making money.

And the bugs await my teeth.

202 comments ↓

#1 Big Al (New) on 04.01.11 at 10:07 pm

This isn’t going to be pretty if our dollar continues above parity. I’ve already noticed a substantial slowdown in our sales this year and have gotten the same response from our suppliers. One of our customers a long time Med Co. Out of the Barrie area US owned is packing it up for the Carolinas. But we shouldn’t fool ourselves this is the desired effect from the Feds policy of US dollar debasement the repatriation of some of the offshore and Nafta jobs. It certainly will be interesting throw in 1.30-40 gas and it gets to the breaking point for some budget real quick.

#2 Rob now in Nova Scotia on 04.01.11 at 10:08 pm

Wow, Garth. I could have sworn that the end of 35 year mortgages would have created a boom in sales not a decline. This is not good.

#3 Siddelly on 04.01.11 at 10:13 pm

Yesterdays video of 64 million un-lived in and newly built condos in China truly frightened me and makes me wonder what will happen to the world economy and Canadian Real Estate when this thing finally pops over there. This is where all of our commodities go after all. Put this one under known unknowns.

#4 cool on 04.01.11 at 10:15 pm

ha hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah

#5 I. Muvrini on 04.01.11 at 10:22 pm

Holy crap, man, you can write! (seriously, that first paragraph was…lyrical.)

#6 Boombust on 04.01.11 at 10:23 pm

That your bum?

#7 Priced out of T.O. on 04.01.11 at 10:29 pm

I just looked at a couple of houses this evening here in Toronto. We’re not looking in the most posh part of town. We’re trying to be realistic. Even though my wife and I make over 120K per year combined and have no debt, I simply cannot see myself paying 400K+ for some of these tiny 2 or 3 bedroom plus one smurf sized washroom. Semi no less.

It is frustrating. We are saving money and have about 55K to put down (sadly below the 20% we want), we are also investing through our TFSA (i.e. not simply keeping money in a TFSA savings account) while also DRIP investing directly with companies (or their TA’s); we are doing all the right things as far as I can tell, but as the prices continue to rise for even a modest home in a modest part of town, we are doing nothing but getting further and further away from our goal of owning a home.

We have one kid. Another on the way. Couldn’t be happier. But this apartment is getting small and we want something bigger. House rentals in TO are expensive and few and far between. I want to give in and just buy. Sign a cheque and look away. But something in me refuses. This is a market based on a false premise. And I will not allow my family’s future to be a ruin within this bad fiction. That said…it’s getting really, really frustrating.

#8 Paul on 04.01.11 at 10:34 pm

Ok, someone is fibbing.

http://www.timescolonist.com/business/Greater+Victoria+real+estate+prices+sales+rise/4545029/story.html

Somebody doesn’t read the whole story. “A total of 622 homes and other properties sold through the Victoria Real Estate Board’s multiple listing service in March. That’s up 27 per cent from the 488 sales in February. Last month’s total sales however, lagged March 2010 when 789 properties changed hands.” — Garth

#9 Sonja on 04.01.11 at 10:37 pm

Garth,
hubby and I sold our place after months following this blog. If we ever get a chance to buy back at a considerable discount i will name my first born after you.
here’s to Best Crabs On Earth.

#10 centrist on 04.01.11 at 10:42 pm

I think that Canada should follow the Aussie example highlighted in Garth’s previous post, but we don’t have to call it a house strike. How about a 24 month cooling off period. First time home owners can catch their breath, make an informed buying decision and save a larger down payment.

#11 Elmer on 04.01.11 at 10:44 pm

If things were getting worse, listings would be climbing.

#12 Kilt on 04.01.11 at 10:46 pm

Sales are down from the record levels of last spring?

Listings are dropping substantially?

Prices on average in Canada are what, stagnant.

Don’t we need a flood of listings (supply) for there to be a correction?

Until interest rates rise, prices won’t decline. In the meantime, wages are playing catch up to house prices.

Kilt.

#13 wetcoaster on 04.01.11 at 10:47 pm

The Victoria newspaper and real estate agents are again spiking our koolaid with the headlines blasting out the flowery good news from the city of rain,flowers and random attacks on innocent people :

“Greater Victoria real estate prices and sales on the rise”.

No bullshit, no mention of a 21% year over year decline in sales.

To top it off we have this two faced garbage :

“It’s going to be a fabulous year,” Sue Daniels, a managing broker at Pemberton Holmes real estate office said Friday.

Daniels expects prices to remain steady through 2011. “I don’t think we are going to see dramatic increases.”

Fabulous year yet no price increases? This so called amateur journalist should have been canned several years ago for these repetetive and disgusting mistruths but you know how it is in these union shops. It’s not who you know, it’s who you….

Read more: http://www.timescolonist.com/business/Greater+Victoria+real+estate+prices+sales+rise/4545029/story.html#ixzz1IKRzLzVf

#14 blase on 04.01.11 at 10:47 pm

#9 Sonya: “Here’s to Best Crabs On Earth”

Huh?

#15 45north on 04.01.11 at 10:54 pm

Priced Out in T.O. And I will not allow my family’s future to be a ruin within this bad fiction.

well put!

#16 Bill Grable on 04.01.11 at 10:58 pm

Pure poetry > the best writing, in an already superb set.
Jeez, James Harrison ain’t got a thing on you, Mr . Turner.

#17 Devore on 04.01.11 at 11:00 pm

#11 Elmer

If things were getting worse, listings would be climbing.

If things were hot, and houses flying off the shelf for top dollar, listings would not be declining. If things are slowing down and listings climbing, that means lots of people are in trouble. We are not there, yet.

#18 Hang in there man on 04.01.11 at 11:03 pm

hey there #7 Priced out of T.O.

I hear you. It just seems unreal, everyone I know who has a house has made tons on it (that is, if they actually sold and put the money in the bank) and so they don’t want to think about price stagnation let alone actual declines.

When I ask them, “okay, you stretched and paid $250K for your house and now you’re selling it for $800K, who do you think can actually afford that?” they don’t really have a response.

I refuse to pay $500K for a crappy semi on Lansdowne. That is total bs. I am renting a house now for $2,300 and waiting for sanity. It’s “worth” at least $800-$900K….why would I buy it for $5,000 per month?

It has got to correct.

It just has to.

Also take it from me, if your kids are little they won’t feel deprived at all to live in an apartment or a small house….that is not on their radar at all at that age.

Good luck…peace out.

#19 phinny on 04.01.11 at 11:05 pm

“But Grand Prairie is different…”

I heard that once. Seriously.

#20 Richie Rich on 04.01.11 at 11:06 pm

Garth, been following your blog for awhile. We put our 3000 sq ft Whitby house up for sale 4 weeks ago. 1st half of March, lots of buyers, but they all went for houses more expensive than ours. Our house is only 15 years old and the previous owners redid the entire house only 4 years ago. Seems that since we don’t have a finished basement, or granite counter tops, buyers would rather pay $50,000 for the same house down the street. Since then, the buyers have dried up, but so has the number of houses on the market. Our house is the only one left in our area, but we only get 1 or 2 parties a week coming to see our place.

Seems like your predictions are coming true so far. Will be interesting to see if the market reaches stalemate or starts to go down.

#21 a prairie dawg on 04.01.11 at 11:19 pm

@ #9 Sonja

Umm, err, sure hope you don’t have a girl…

#22 freedom 55r on 04.01.11 at 11:19 pm

Is that you, Garth?

#23 Frederic on 04.01.11 at 11:22 pm

I know that BCOE stands for Beats Cleaning Out Eavestroughs, but what does MSM stand for Garth?

Is it Macleans’ Magazine? Or a food additive? Do tell.

#24 Splain on 04.01.11 at 11:25 pm

Why do lower listings portend lower prices?

I’d have thought the opposite, and you’ve often pointed to higher listings as evidence that the bubble is popping.

#25 Paul on 04.01.11 at 11:34 pm

Oops, missed that part. Thanks.

Ok, someone is fibbing.

http://www.timescolonist.com/business/Greater+Victoria+real+estate+prices+sales+rise/4545029/story.html

Somebody doesn’t read the whole story. “A total of 622 homes and other properties sold through the Victoria Real Estate Board’s multiple listing service in March. That’s up 27 per cent from the 488 sales in February. Last month’s total sales however, lagged March 2010 when 789 properties changed hands.” — Garth

#26 Traveling renter on 04.01.11 at 11:42 pm

Listings will start to increase when people feel like spring is here. It snowed in T.O. this week and it still looks like winter out there. The over supply of listing will start to happen in the last week of April, run through May past the election, just in time for rates to rise. Fun fun…

#27 KingBubbles on 04.01.11 at 11:48 pm

As always, loved the article and the pic Garth.

The link below has an article where the author evaluates the extent of local real estate bubbles in Canada

http://financialinsights.wordpress.com/

Winnipeg’s especially bubbly results didn’t surprise me a bit given what I see here.

#28 Brandon on 04.01.11 at 11:53 pm

Best crabs on earth is reference to Tofino BC I believe. Great pic Garth! Hope I can look as good as you when I’m your age.

#29 BigAl (Original) on 04.01.11 at 11:53 pm

GTA Vs. Lower Mainland MLS Listings

GTA: 18,000 (Burlington to Newmarket to Oshawa)
Population 5 Million Plus.

Lower Mainland: >20,000 (out to Chilliwack)
Population around 2 Million

#30 BigAl (Original) on 04.02.11 at 12:07 am

“It ‘s funny how glibly the wicked think everything’s going to turn out fine.” (Victor Hugo)

“Those who lie once must often make a habit of it, because to conceal one lie it takes seven more.” (Friedrich Rückert)

I am a heavy burden on a person, I almost suffocate him and demand that he should carry me; and, without relieving him, I persuade myself and others that I am sorry and want to make it easy for him by all possible means, but not by allowing him to get rid of my weight” (Leo Tolstoy)

“There will be for a future generation a pharmacological method to make people love their status as slaves and therefore to produce dictatorships, as it were, without tears, a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies in which people will in effect be deprived of their freedom, but it will be pretty happy about it.” (Aldous Huxley)

“The fact that men do not learn much from history is the most important lesson that history teaches us.” (Aldous Huxley)

“Maybe the Earth is another planet’s hell.” (Aldous Huxley)

“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping a human face – forever.” (George Orwell)

“The three Party slogans: War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.” (George Orwell)

“Freedom is the freedom to say that two and two is four. If this freedom is granted, all other freedoms follow.” (George Orwell)

#31 nonplused on 04.02.11 at 12:20 am

You got the Harley out already? Here in Calgary, there is still 2 feet of snow surrounding the trailer where the V-Star spent the winter. Harleys are cool, but I couldn’t resist the better technology, better design, and 1/3 the price equation. Mind you I got a heck of a deal. Normally they are only 1/2 the price.

I don’t usually like to get the bike on the road until they have picked up most of the pea gravel. We are a long ways from that. Actually we are under a winter storm watch tonight, although it looks like nothing is going to happen.

#32 Cognizant on 04.02.11 at 12:27 am

Seriously, where do you find these pictures? Solid gold!! (and good post too!)

#33 torontorocks on 04.02.11 at 12:27 am

#7 Priced out in TO. I feel for you and I totally understand your frustration. I get the feeling sometimes that this thing will keep going on or, if things slow down, that there will simply be a reduction of listings, flatline in prices at some level, and away we go.

There is a house for sale on a street I once looked at in 2004…I think the house was like 400-500K . that house today is 729,000. will that house ever come back down to 400 or 500? I don’t think so.

My gut tells me this is not normal, to wait and see. then again, if I don’t see any change in prices over the next 4-5 months, then I’m going in. I’ll get some ridiculous 30 year am at a super low rate and knock myself out. this of course assumes low interest rates which will indicate where prices go. but if its ceterus paribus, I’ll knock down a price and rock and roll.

#34 Alex on 04.02.11 at 12:30 am

#13 Wetcoaster: It’s not just the Times Colonist – it’s every mainstream media outlet in the country. People talk about the CMHC being at fault (and it is) and lots of other factors, but the number one reason people are still buying at these insane prices is that they see all this glowing bullshit in the real estate-backed media. They trust that the media speaks the truth, but it simply doesn’t.

I really hope everyone that feels as incensed about this as I do takes the time to complain to the paper/TV station/radio station in question. Yapping about it on a blog is one thing, but letting them know we’re onto their crap is something altogether different.

#35 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 04.02.11 at 12:36 am


Good to see you’re wearing protective socks and boots. Shoveling shit is a messy and dangerous job!

“. . . a heady and intoxicating dose of joie de vivre, which has guys plastering on leather and Re/Max agents drooling . . .”

Juxtaposition — “a heady dose of agents drooling and an intoxicating joie de vivre plastering Re/Max guys on leather.” Sexual in ? Not sure!

“. . . already have been a corker.” — It already is a corker heading in the wrong direction, such as Wrong Way Corrigan.

“The smart money waits patiently elsewhere, making money.” — Supposedly, trillions sit on the sidelines in both countries, mostly from corporate earnings looking to reinvest — or offshore it — and a few individuals, who could easily afford to hop into whatever market they wanted, but are treading water presently to see how all these shenanigans play out.
*
#5 I. Muvrini — Agreed. Garth’s poetic writing skills are becoming far more quintessentially Shakespearean, sublime. Either he is getting older or we have moved from Grade Two English to Grade Five Hong Kong!
*
Yuan Interesting concept. Not sure if China would go along with this, and Currency Sarkozy and Geithner support IMF (NWO) currency.

Trouble If Ireland and Greece default, the Euro may end up as butterscotch pudding, plus Don’t forget, it was Sarkozy who forced Ireland to undergo a re-vote after the electorate had rejected the EU-IMF the first time.

Japan ‘Quake, tsunami, nuke blowouts and now recession. Production has dropped off, so it looks like that, and Japan Concrete pumps from the US heads there.

Zero Population Growth Not a bad idea, and Goes with the preceding.

Obama He is right on this. Incl. chart.

Timeline of fiscal fiasco, still ongoing, and Black Swans They’ve flown the coop, but Black Swans reborn with plenty more approaching.

China In a previous link, it mentioned the G20 might invite the Chinese to join, but this gives a different perspective, plus China and Pakistan China would be better off with Pakistan, Russia and Iran.

US Permanent War — Keynesianisms gone nuts, plus Russia.

If you can’t beat ’em (for now), sue ’em. Monsanto.

Cameras Why the difference in colors? Same planet. Might be black and white film.

United Germany and China call for a ceasefire in Libya.

US Military and Cyberattacks.

Link in. 3:07 clip. Japan slipping (moving) east, and 5.5 off Honshu.

#36 LS on 04.02.11 at 12:40 am

If you like to follow Victoria real estate, House Hunt Victoria’s blog hits the high points.

http://househuntvictoria.blogspot.com/

Victoria’s March 2011 Stats from his blog:

March 2011 (percent change from 2010 in brackets)
Net Unconditional Sales: 622 (-21%)
New Listings: 1,501 (-13%)
Active Listings: 4,100 (+9.5%)
Sales to new listings ratio: 41%
Sales to active listings ratio: 15% or 6.6 MOI

March 2010 totals
Net Unconditional Sales: 789
New Listings: 1,719
Active Listings: 3,712
Sales to new listings ratio: 46%
Sales to active listings ratio: 21% or 4.7 MOI

#37 Ottawa looks fine on 04.02.11 at 12:53 am

About half the signs that I saw go up in Ottawa in the past 2 weeks already say SOLD. I’m not convinced that a correction will happen here.

#38 Bobby on 04.02.11 at 1:07 am

I would take what they say at the TC with a grain of salt.

I looked at a house a few weeks back. Been on the market for over 90 days with 3 price reductions. My guess, still 75k overpriced. Will probably be on the market for awhile still. Many houses sitting on the market for a long time. New price, or price reduction are the norm.

With over 1100 realtors in Victoria, there are many struggling to pay the bills.

No it is not rosy. I’m waiting till the fall when it will be really ugly.

#39 westcanguy on 04.02.11 at 1:15 am

So Garth, when do motorcycle riders who own other brands get itching to ride? For a contrarian, you must have had a weak moment and had a sip of HD kool aid. I can’t understand people who are proud to spend good money riding 40 year old technology…but hey, I’m glad you ride.

Enjoyed the rest of your article. Wanted to mention that I spent last week out in Alberta and I’ve noticed cautious optimism. There is no doubt that the correction out there isn’t over yet but when you see oil, service and construction trucks everywhere you look in Grande Prairie and businessmen in Red Deer are telling stories about companies looking to hire but can’t find skilled tradespeople anymore because the easterners have moved away and aren’t coming back…..I’m thinking Alberta might be coming out of this sooner than other areas of the country.

#40 Utopia on 04.02.11 at 1:31 am

#12 Kilt on 04.01.11 at 10:46 pm

“Sales are down from the record levels of last spring. Listings are dropping substantially. Don’t we need a flood of listings (supply) for there to be a correction?”
———————————————————

Yes and no.

And that is the beauty of it Kilt. The reason that realtors can continue the con-game selling to inexperienced buyers is because almost nobody understands why falling sales concurrent with rising prices is actually a huge red flag, a sign of the end, not the beginning of the next leg up.

You see, in a situation where listings decline yet prices rise it usually only takes a few big deals to move the market averages. Right now, higher priced homes are moving. That class of home sales remains somewhat untouched by the broad trend yet the numbers continue to feed into the bigger statistical picture. Just for now though. That will change eventually too.

But what about mid level homes or those at the bottom end excluding condos? Take a look at the market as a whole too for the bigger picture.

Victoria has seen a huge decline in the number of sales between 2009 and 2010 for example. How big? Try a 20% decline on for size and then you will get a better picture of what is taking place. The market has been a disaster for quite some time already and yet average prices still rose more than 8% in the same time period.

Well that’s weird isn’t it?

This is where charts and graphs help to bring the big picture into focus. I do not have one handy that I can post here easily, but have faith. The Victoria market is already ahead of the curve and the downturn is in progress now.

I would call it a disaster actually. Lets keep in mind too that there are nearly 1200 Realtors in that region. They did not even earn one sale apiece on average for the last period. Bad news for them. They are not just struggling anymore. Many of them are going broke trying to make sales, stay solvent and keep their jobs.

Life for most Victoria Realtors is very bitter indeed.

In the meantime, the basic law of supply and demand that you allude to is still on the books and still very valid. It comes later though and that is when the biggest declines in prices will be seen.

For now, rising prices in a period of declining listings is the clear signal of a bubble top and Victoria is a market you might want to stay the hell away from.

If and when the economy turns South, vast numbers of jobs are lost and listings actually flood the market as desperation takes hold and bankruptcies swell you will then see the conditions emerge that are required for a crash versus a price melt to occur.

Many of us on this site subscribe to the “melt versus crash” scenario because this country has a strong commodity sector. The world needs what we have and during a major commodity cycle as is now in progress we will likely remain relatively aloof from the worst outcomes of a real estate correction despite the many negative reasons a price plunge should take hold.

If the world re-enters a period of recession and lower growth though then all bets are off. A crash would be the outcome. For now, we sit on a knifes edge just praying nothing will go wrong anywhere else.

Wonder what the odds of that happening are..?

#41 Thetruth on 04.02.11 at 2:07 am

#9 Sonya

You won’t get it back at a discount. The US had overbuilding where they did not have enough people moving in to fill the homes being built. Hence the vacant homes now for sale or foreclosed. Toronto and Vancouver’s population growth is explosive and there won’t be any vacant homes anytime. For your interest, there are over 100,000 basement suites in Vancouver alone that are packed with people… all eventually wanting to buy.

#12 Kilt

What most people on this blog don’t get is that it is demand driving sales. 559,000 last year. Home price vs income does not apply to million dollar homes. That is common sense. PLus income is vastly understated these days by way of deductions. Doctors, dentists, chirpractors, small businesses, truckers, etc.,etc, are all business who declare the least amount of income. I’m sure everyone heard of smeone who’s business earned about 100,000 per month yet he paid himself around 18,000 a year… and lived in a 14,000 square foot $2 million plus dollar house. What a wacked out income to house price ratio, hey guys?!

And Australia’s had interest rates 2-3 times higher than us for a year…and no crash.

You do the Math!

#42 Mr. Reality on 04.02.11 at 2:11 am

Once the numbers come out watch the downside momentum speed up. The Pendulum is starting to swing the other way.

Mr. R.

#43 Tim on 04.02.11 at 2:26 am

Wow, in Vancouver prices fell by one percent! only 80 percent more to go…

And by the way, oil was headed for $100 before the unrest in the Middle East.

#44 Irrational Exuberance on 04.02.11 at 2:30 am

Naked hillbillies! That’s what I’m talking about!

#45 Kurt on 04.02.11 at 2:33 am

#14 Blase – have a look at the postings yesterday by the PBOE parody – best not be drinking anything you don’t want sprayed on the keyboard though…

#46 Adventures in Sea-Tac with Moneta on 04.02.11 at 2:54 am

This doesnt look so bad:

http://www.vireb.com/assets/images/pdf/03-mar_11_sales_summary.pdf

#47 Crazy on 04.02.11 at 4:30 am

Priced out of T.O. :

I just looked at a couple of houses this evening here in Toronto… …I want to give in and just buy. Sign a cheque and look away. But something in me refuses. This is a market based on a false premise. And I will not allow my family’s future to be a ruin within this bad fiction. That said…it’s getting really, really frustrating.

Do not be frustrated. You can just try an find a larger unit/home to RENT. Sure you will pay more… but HEY, following the gospel according to Garth is worth it.

Don’t you think?

.

#48 Crazy on 04.02.11 at 4:33 am

#8 Paul: Ok, someone is fibbing.

http://www.timescolonist.com/business/Greater+Victoria+real+estate+prices+sales+rise/4545029/story.html

Garth wrote:

Somebody doesn’t read the whole story. “A total of 622 homes and other properties sold through the Victoria Real Estate Board’s multiple listing service in March. That’s up 27 per cent from the 488 sales in February. Last month’s total sales however, lagged March 2010 when 789 properties changed hands.” — Garth

————–

You say tomatoe, I say tomahto. Who cares??? Sales up this month, lower last… Down this year, higher last… Surely sales this year are still higher than 5 years ago, or ten years ago? What difference does it make?

You cannot have constant positive increase in sales ALL the time Garth. Gimme a break.

#49 Crazy on 04.02.11 at 4:35 am

#9 Sonja:

Garth,
hubby and I sold our place after months following this blog. If we ever get a chance to buy back at a considerable discount i will name my first born after you.

————–

Forget it Sonja. Just name your child Conan.

#50 Crazy on 04.02.11 at 4:36 am

#10 centrist:

I think that Canada should follow the Aussie example highlighted in Garth’s previous post, but we don’t have to call it a house strike. How about a 24 month cooling off period. First time home owners can catch their breath, make an informed buying decision and save a larger down payment.

———

Good idea… The landlords will love it. Anything to keep you from buying, and renting instead.
.

#51 Nemesis on 04.02.11 at 6:22 am

“Finally, amid thunderous reverberations and eager accelerations, it moved.” – Hon. GT

Sì, Garto. E questa Domenica – Griso, la bestia cremisi si muoverà dal suo sonno …

I wonder, will he spin on the first Coffman cartridge?

http://tinyurl.com/yf2jvbo

#52 ChuckD on 04.02.11 at 6:28 am

Great hat Garth.
Though this site is becoming less safe for me to look at while at my desk at work. There is no good explanation for me looking at a photo of a naked guy using a snow blower)

#53 Daisy Mae on 04.02.11 at 7:00 am

Difficult to understand….why a homeowner would buy a larger house up the street from where they presently live in a gated community where age/conditions are the same. Altho’ moving costs will be minimal it’ll cost them a real estate fee, land transfer tax, higher utilities. What’s the point?

And now their present home is on the market, just as that market dries up….

#54 David B on 04.02.11 at 7:20 am

Dat you Garth ….. snow in the Spring in Upper Canada does bring the best out of y’all eh.

#55 Moneta on 04.02.11 at 7:33 am

That said…it’s getting really, really frustrating.
———-
Frustration is good. It will make the prize all that more satisfying. One of the biggest problems in the Western world psyche is that of avoiding all pain at any cost.

#56 Moneta on 04.02.11 at 7:40 am

I think that Canada should follow the Aussie example highlighted in Garth’s previous post, but we don’t have to call it a house strike.
——–
Just like the chain letter that tries to get everyone to avoid filling up at one specific gas chain but fails miserably because of prevalent market forces, something tells me the movement started BECAUSE the young ones weren’t able to buy anymore, not because they are so disciplined!

#57 bigrider on 04.02.11 at 7:47 am

As for the Harleys and those who have bikes be very careful. Roads are full of sand still and as an experienced rider knows, first few rides of the season are always most dangerous statistically.

#58 R on 04.02.11 at 8:17 am

Is the guy in the picture from Victoria? My guess is he was once a realitor and is now doing snow removal. Yes it does snow there.

#59 cendrine on 04.02.11 at 8:33 am

Re: today’s photo

I cannot convey the exquisite appeal of doing just that during a hot flash….

Great post. My observation, just driving around the county, is that for sale signs just don’t seem very numerous this time of year and seem far less than last year.

#60 Markey on 04.02.11 at 8:34 am

#14-Blase and #28-Brandon – I guess you missed #40-BPOE’s post yesterday: “Fiddlesticks, these crabs are makin’ me itch and squirm”. Too bad, it was very funny.

#61 charles on 04.02.11 at 8:55 am

Did you have your silver tipped spurs on Garth?

#62 realist on 04.02.11 at 8:59 am

While it is useful to keep track of home prices and which direction they might be heading, one’s focus should not be too concentrated on price alone. Monthly carrying costs are vital and perhaps the definitive factor in home buying.

There is a good chance that interest rates will eventually rise here in Canada. As a result home prices could decline as well. However, monthly carrying costs may not change much, in fact they could go up.

Many economists believe that interest rates will rise as much as 200 basis points in the next two years. If they do, monthly mortgage carrying costs will be severely impacted.

For example: $300,000 mortgage @ 3% = $1,420 / month.

$250,000 mortgage @ 5% = $1,454 / month

In conclusion, it must be remembered that market timing is difficult, whether it be the stock market or the real estate market. Keeping you powder dry and waiting for the perfect time to strike can be very elusive.

#63 Markey on 04.02.11 at 9:17 am

And speaking of yesterday’s post, I found it very interesting in the Australian video about the buyers’ strike, that the interviewer kept warning David Collyer (spokesperson for the buyers) that the strikers’ actions could somehow cause a US-style housing crash. Here was an opportunity to shine the spotlight on housing speculation that drove prices to unsustainable highs. Yet the “strikers”, whose message is “stop this insanity” are somehow responsible when the crash comes.

#64 David B on 04.02.11 at 9:18 am

From what I have seen here in the Halifax area listing are up but many are not quality listings …. lots of those I like to call are transient listings …. new homes are sprouting up to joint the list of years gone by that did not move last year and even some from 2 years ago.

#65 allister on 04.02.11 at 9:25 am

#1 Big Al – its not just the dollar thats the problem.

When the government grabs 50% of your pay through income taxes, property taxes, fuel taxes, various users fees like driver license renewals, sales taxes etc.

Then the people mortgage themselves for another 35 years at 35% of their income. Add in other loans like car loans.

Thats leaves them with very little to live on.

Then gasoline becomes $5.50 per gallon to commute from the burbs to work, and groceries rise 25% in two years, it’s the nail in the whole works.

If the dollar went back down $.60 we would be paying $1.80/L for fuel which would surely kill the economy and drive up everything from groceries to heating fuel .

It’s the high taxes, over-regulation and the high debt combination.

Ministry of the Environment and Ministry of Labour rules are significant reason for making Ontario a high cost province to operate in.

#66 Herb on 04.02.11 at 9:43 am

C’mon, people. It can’t be Garth – that’s a snowblower the man’s driving, not a Harley. And he is not wearing a yellow tie!

#67 Ex-Cowtown on 04.02.11 at 10:13 am

A Harley Garth?

Sorry, but I picked up a Road Star. 1/3 the price, bigger engine than the Harley, pulls like a freight train on steroids, runs through the Mojave desert where H-D’s fear to tread, insurance at under $400/yr and it doesn’t piss oil all over my garage floor like an incontinent chihuahua.

Downside is that I only get invited to Harley outings when they need someone to ride with them and pick up the H-D dudes whose bikes have broken down. They have to ride bitch.

But I’m OK with that (sniff…)

#68 Utopia on 04.02.11 at 10:29 am

That is quite the picture you posted today Garth.

I don’t think I know the model year of the Harley in the photo though. That must be one of the Asian knock-off counterfit models but I don’t think they got it quite right!!

#69 Mike Rotch on 04.02.11 at 10:33 am

18 Hang in there man:

I know exactly where you are coming from, and I’ve run the same calculations.

You are correct – If you can rent for half of the mortgage payment, buying is idiocy.

What amazes me is how hard it is to get this point across to many!

I’m in a different situation where I did buy back in late 2007.

Fortunately, Though I bought before I had discovered the theories of Garth-o-nomics, I came to the correct conclusion – It is a place to live, not a liquid asset.

I bought without listenting to the pimps that work at the bank or mortgage brokerage (the fools were prepared to let me borrow more than six times my income. )

At this time, it’s tempting to consider listing and trying take gain (recent listings on my street for crappier houses are 20% above what I paid),

That said, there’s the other side of it – I’d just end up renting in the same area.

Well, a quick search of Craigslist tells me that right now, with a sane 5 year fixed rate of 4.6%, my mortgage + taxes + utilities is only a hair higher than would be rent + utilities.

At my terms I am arguably “winning”. Even if I include the income potential from investing my downpayment, I work out a a premium of a couple hundred dollars per month to buy vs rent, and I am acquiring stake in an asset for those dollars.

If you buy at 20 to 30% higher than I did, well, I don’t think you can justify buying vs. renting……you’re now talking much bigger premium to own, and you’re buying at what has to be close to the top.

I’m trading flexibility…..it’s a helluva lot harder to pack up and move if you own.

That said, it keeps the wife happy to own, and Iwe’re not up to our neck in it. Maybe this will turn out OK!

#70 Live Within Your Means on 04.02.11 at 10:41 am

#31 nonplused on 04.02.11 at 12:20 am
You got the Harley out already? Here in Calgary, there is still 2 feet of snow surrounding the trailer where the V-Star spent the winter. Harleys are cool, but I couldn’t resist the better technology, better design, and 1/3 the price equation.
……………………………………………….

Hubby took out his ’85 beemer for a ride after work yesterday. He also has an ’86 beemer, different model tho. He and his friends love the older ones.

#57 bigrider on 04.02.11 at 7:47 am
As for the Harleys and those who have bikes be very careful. Roads are full of sand still and as an experienced rider knows, first few rides of the season are always most dangerous statistically.

……………………………….

Hubby’s been riding for over 40 yrs. on all kinds of bikes & yep he’s cautious.

#71 Vic_guy on 04.02.11 at 11:34 am

@ 48 Crazy :
>Surely sales this year are still higher than 5 years ago, or ten years ago? What difference does it make?

Actually, no, only two years; 2001 and 2009, had lower March Victoria sales in the last ten years. Anything significant about those two years ? Maybe that they followed the worst two market (stock) drops (2000 and 2008) in recent years ? So, this March really is pretty crappy. Victoria had from WAY fewer to fewer residents in 2002,2003,2004,2005,2006,2007, 2008,2010 yet all those years had better March sales than 2011.

#72 Grampa Hindsight on 04.02.11 at 11:38 am

# 65 allister
Your right about the Ministry of the environment
I closed up my recycling business, laid every off, and left the province because of them

#73 cynic with a long view on 04.02.11 at 11:40 am

“Freedom is the freedom to say that two and two is four. If this freedom is granted, all other freedoms follow.” (George Orwell)

But the freedom is granted only by the threat of cold steel.
How many Canadians do you think are willing to pick up a .50 caliber or a gladius?

#74 Alin on 04.02.11 at 11:41 am

I have been reading your blog for a while and last week I decided to buy your book “Money Road”. But it has been my worst online shopping experience since I didn’t get my book. So enjoy my 20 bucks.

You ordered the book at 5:30 pm on Sunday, March 27th. I signed it for you on the 29th. It shipped on March 31st at 9:53 am. You were sent an email confirming the order and another confirming the shipping. If it is not there on Monday, call me at (416) 346-0086. — Garth

#75 Mikey the Realtor on 04.02.11 at 11:44 am

There will be no correction folks, the rates are too low for that to happen. The peeps of today’s world only care about monthly carrying costs and not the price of anything. Until C puts a sleeper hold on rates forget about housing coming down in value, even sales % are decreasing, soon it will be in the positives again.

China has an abundance of units, some of the pups and poodles should make their way over, the dream team is waiting and we got a lot of stuff with granite and hardwood, just like our fellow Canadians love.

PS. don’t mind the Chinese drywall; we give away free masks to all our buyers.

#76 The InvestorsFriend (Shawn Allen) on 04.02.11 at 11:51 am

MEANWHILE IN FLORIDA…

Was at universal studios yesterday. Jam packed. The new Harry Potter attraction was at capacity all day. Had to book a time to return later in the day.

About $260 for the four of us (without express passes and food is extra) and the place was jam packed!

Malls are busy.

In Dick’s Sporting Goods there were a few things on sale in the Golf section but nothing on huge markdown.

Like I said earlier in the week; the subdivisions look prosperous where I am (Riverview, just south of Tampa, Summerfield subdivision).

Restaurants are busy… Highways are busy…

In short, rumors of the demise of Florida are greatly exaggerated.

Retirees who wish to spend months in Florida in winter: Florida is calling your name. Opportunity knocks. Who will listen? Some will, some will cower in fear, and most are too broke to consider it.

Life’s not fair that way… get used to it.

To the bold will go the spoils.

#77 Montrealer on 04.02.11 at 11:54 am

Currently looking for a rental and noticing many, many rentals of new properties or properties for sale with “90 days notice to leave” for the rents.
It seems a lot of people are noticing that the prices are not going up and trying to rent thinking it will go up in a year or a few…
Meanwhile, I have more properties to choose from.

#78 Daisy Mae on 04.02.11 at 11:56 am

“The black beast throbbed and shook, as if awakened in anger. Finally the liquid in its arteries turned from cold sludge to hot surge. Shafts of outside light reigned down on its curves for the first time in long months, revealing a coat of residue it yearned to have blown off. Finally, amid thunderous reverberations and eager accelerations, it moved. Inches first, then yards, then a ravenous, reckless devouring of the ground beneath. Cowling warm now from the sun, even as it weaved and dodged through the last tenacious ice. Finally, wide open. Into the embrace of spring.”

What a writer….very impressive! Sent this excerpt to two of my kids as they and their spouses have motorcycles.

#79 TEN MONTHS IN A ROW OF FALLING SALES on 04.02.11 at 12:02 pm

Nothing is selling around the GTA and one needs to drive around and see. People here who claim houses are selling like crazy are either realtors or liars. Drive around the city and you see nothing is selling. Sales have been falling for the last ten months in a row. Don’t believe realtor propaganda on this blog. If the market was doing so well they won’t be posting here.

#80 mad vancouver on 04.02.11 at 12:04 pm

It is now official, written in the “news”: in Vancouver, a taxi driver can afford a 1 million dollar condo!

March 2011 issue, page 7
http://www.myuna.ca/about-us/publications/

#81 j in Calgary on 04.02.11 at 12:18 pm

TO ‘Priced out in To”

Hang in there and trust that waiting is your only option. Keep saving, keep taking it on the chin from all your rich friends with granite. I sold my home that was nearly paid for, put the money to work and now rent again. Cash is King and the price of granite is going way down. Now sit back and watch the train wreck and make sure you are not the last fool in….it has started already. SERIOUSLY….WAIT MAN.

#82 BPOE on 04.02.11 at 12:39 pm

Sooooo interest rates AREN’T going up now. The day of rates increasing keeps being pushed back further and further because of elections. Another FACT posted. Interest rates are going nowhere folks but Vancouver is going sky high. Open houses again this weekend. On you mark, Get set, Bid, Buy and GET RICH. Another day in paradise folks.

#83 Chaddywack on 04.02.11 at 12:44 pm

Vancouver prices dropped? You’d never know it with what the media is pumping….

http://www.ctvbc.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20110401/bc_vancouver_west_real_estate_110401/20110401?hub=BritishColumbiaHome

#84 Simon on 04.02.11 at 12:55 pm

So, you are a happy motor cyclist;-)

#85 race against time on 04.02.11 at 1:12 pm

Good post Garth.

Question: My inlaws, who have been vacillating about selling their townhouse in Richmond, were told by their realtor to wait. “Prices will only go up, and they will spend more on rent while they look to buy their retirement home than they will on their mortgage.”

Now why would a realtor, who makes money on sales, tell a client to wait? It doesn’t make sense. It almost certainly isn’t out of some kind of altruism.

My guess is, they are trying to keep houses off the market to help maintain the price of those that are already listed.

Any Thoughts?

#86 Cellar Dwellar on 04.02.11 at 1:24 pm

@ #34 Alex.
yup, totally agree.
The Main Stream Media are a bunch of hacks. Their allegiance to their readers and viewers has been usurped by the all mighty advertising dollar.
When they refuse to show/print the truth OR have their “news” stories vetted/ edited by the advertisers. Thats when their audience/subscribers start leaving.

So when I hear of cutbacks at TV stations or newspapers folding I smile and think. They sold their souls to the almight dollar and it bit them right in the ass…..
Long live the internet……..

#87 Doncallmeshirley on 04.02.11 at 1:35 pm

Which is more distasteful, paying a landlord’s rent through rent, or gifting a capital gain to a homeowner through buying?

#88 kim on 04.02.11 at 1:48 pm

Are people still able to buy with nothing down? My girlfriend got approved for a $270,000 mortgage and she only has $250 in the bank. Not sure if parents helping out. Funny how she shouldn’t be renting let alone buying. How do people with no money qualify? I can only imagine the tens of billions lent out to those without money. Canada housing must be a house of cards. People renting money.

#89 Devore on 04.02.11 at 1:48 pm

#24 Splain

Why do lower listings portend lower prices?

You have the causality backwards.

Nobody WANTS to sell into a crappy market. So listings hold back. But so will buyers eventually, if they continue to see bad selection and steady or falling prices. They will just wait. Nobody HAS to buy.

Once you see a dropping bubble market, and lots of listings, you know more and more people are in trouble financially, or HAVE to sell for other reasons, piling on. If buyers still stay away, you’ve got yourself a full blown bust.

#90 Devore on 04.02.11 at 1:53 pm

#23 Frederic

I know that BCOE stands for Beats Cleaning Out Eavestroughs, but what does MSM stand for Garth?

MSM = Main Stream Media. TV networks, radio, print. As opposed to small independents and Internet-based sources.

#91 many worried realtors on 04.02.11 at 2:01 pm

Anyone find it odd We have realtors posting on garths blog? Falling sales and realtors posting correlates to a down turn. I to have joined the buyers strike.

#92 Devore on 04.02.11 at 2:02 pm

#40 Utopia

You see, in a situation where listings decline yet prices rise it usually only takes a few big deals to move the market averages. Right now, higher priced homes are moving.

It’s what happened in Vancouver earlier in the year, when the average show up by nearly $100k. The volume was so thin, that an abnormally large amount of high end sales jacked the average. Lower priced homes weren’t selling, the good stuff didn’t come on until spring.

So it made the metrics go haywire, but it sure got lots of attention. RE whored out the numbers happily, and MSM ate it up. Even my parents called me from Calgary to tell me about it (I sold my condo May last year, which will probably turn out to be pretty close to the top of the CONDO market here).

Everyone forgets real estate market is highly local. Depending on what type of property you have, how it is build and finished, its condition, its location, even down to the cross-street, you’ll be seeing vastly different markets. Right now Richmond shacks are selling in certain locations. Everything else, not so much.

#93 Devore on 04.02.11 at 2:13 pm

#41 Thetruth

For your interest, there are over 100,000 basement suites in Vancouver alone that are packed with people… all eventually wanting to buy.

This is good for landlords who depend on suites to make ends meet, and the prices of their real estate, ya?

For your interest, landlords across Canada have had a heck of a time filling their suites with decent tenants, because everyone with a pulse was buying.

#94 BPOE on 04.02.11 at 2:20 pm

More great news folks this time from Walmart. Inflation IS happening. This bodes extremely well for Gold and Vancouver. Fill your boots

http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/retail/2011-03-30-wal-mart-ceo-expects-inflation_N.htm

#95 S.B. on 04.02.11 at 2:33 pm

For April Fools’ day it would have been funny if Garth had written as if he were BPOE!

(BP0E = Big Properties, 0 equity)

#96 jess on 04.02.11 at 2:44 pm

supplant

A fungus is killing off bats who eat large quanties of insects. “Bats save farmers at least $3 billion a year by eating up insects that otherwise would have to be controlled with chemicals.”

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the University of Pretoria, University of Tennessee and Boston University

#97 jess on 04.02.11 at 3:03 pm

lawyer hide and seek

New dictators’ assets law
The need for a change in Swiss law became evident in connection with Swiss accounts held by the former president of Zaire, Mobutu Sese Seko, and the Duvalier family of Haiti.

The law, which came into force on February 1, allows the Federal Administrative Court to confiscate frozen assets that have been illicitly acquired if the home country fails to institute proceedings. These assets would then be used to finance programmes to benefit the population there.

Under the new law, the onus is on the depositor to prove the legal origin of the funds rather than on the plaintiff to prove the funds were stolen

by Andrea Clementi, swissinfo.ch

Marcos, Philippines (1986 – 2003): $684 million returned to country

Abacha, Nigeria (1999-2005): $700 million returned to country

Montesinos, Peru (2002-2006): $92 million returned to country

Salinas, Mexico (1996-2008): $74 million returned to country

Mobutu, Congo (1997-2009): $6.7 million returned to Mobutu’s heirs.

Gbagbo, Ivory Coast: (2011-): n/a

Ben Ali, Tunisia (2011-) : tens of millions of dollars

Duvalier, Haiti (1986-2011): $5.7 million still frozen

#98 Patz on 04.02.11 at 3:05 pm

The beauty of a blog is that you can say anything you want but if you don’t back it up with data and source you’re just spitting into the wind.

@ 12 Kilt
Until interest rates rise, prices won’t decline. In the meantime, wages are playing catch up to house prices.

So that means in Vancouver we’ll be waiting on the average family income to hit 400 large/annum. Uh–huh.

Re: the hordes of Chinese millionaires descending on our shores cash in hand buying up Rich–man and Van$couver. Think it through. Suppose it’s true, what then? Well sellers will be drooling but what will they do with their money? If they buy more property they’ll net even at best. They could get outta Dodge, but what? leave the BPOE?

What I’m getting at, seriously, is sustainability. How long do you think it will last when the majority of working people simply cannot afford to live here? Who’ll be left to cater to the rich Chinese? If it was true, it would not be long before our social and economic system was so out of whack–wait a minute; it already is.

#99 DMZ on 04.02.11 at 3:26 pm

As if there weren’t enough sense of entitlement for today’s young adults, it doesn’t seem to be enough for them to be satisfied owning justany house, but now the pressure is on that they should be able to have a brand new house as soon as they get married. A homebuilder in Saskatoon (and this is probably happening in other cities as well) is offering a Bridal Registry requesting cash gifts to go towards the purchase of a new home. Of course, if the couple does not end up buying a home from the builder, the builder ‘only’ keeps $1500 administration fee.

http://www.montanahomes.ca/TheMontanaHomesAdvantageBridalRegistry.pdf

Screw that, they’ll get a toaster.

#100 wetcoaster on 04.02.11 at 3:58 pm

Alex,

I’ve wasted too much time telling the MSM they are a failing entity, but Twitter is an amazing tool if you can catch them red handed and direct it at that particular journalist. All the TC’s hide where at least the Vancouver staff have balls.

I know for a fact the advertisers shmooze with the staff in off hour activities, it’s just more blatant than ever. The journalism is now mainly trashy cut and paste articles with no real investigative journalism, especially the Victoria rag where it’s rampant other than flower bloom counts, bicycle lanes on main drags and planting veggie gardens on boulevards.

#101 S.B. on 04.02.11 at 4:19 pm

Hopefully Garth will launch another cross country tour after his next book is written. Or at least a mini-tour tour of the GTA (now known as the “Garth Turner Area”) and all points near Bunkerland.

You know, one of those “money grabs” where absolutely nothing was offered for sale – nothing.

It’s true I had hoped to bring home at least one momento from when Garth-mania swept through my city, like a novelty yellow tie, or lock of hair, or a signed book. :p

Hopefully MissyBunny and crew will host any future events?

I’ll look for the Craigslist ad: Wanted – people to stand in line and attend a free event. Must trash-talk real estate while waiting in line. You will exhibit a bearish view during the presentation, such a booing when a picture of H, C, or F appears on the screen.
– ;)

———–

A very good point was made today: you can either “throw away your money to a landlord”, or hand a whopping big capital gain over to a stranger.
Even a few years ago in Toronto, pre-construction condos were around $300-350/sq foot.
Today the good high end downtown pre-construction projects are 600-700/sq foot, with high end resale at 600+, and the low end resale at 500-550/sq.
Add on at least .60/sq foot of monthly condo fees, the going rate.

#102 betamax on 04.02.11 at 4:31 pm

#57 bigrider: “first few rides of the season are always most dangerous statistically”

Very true. Rusty skills and cold tires don’t help either.

#103 Kuwaiti on 04.02.11 at 4:32 pm

Just curious, don’t take any offence to this my canuck friends, but if housing is so expensive here, have any of considered living abroad?

All my Canadian friends in Europe and the Middle East get a nice pay and a good life, sure it’s not home, but good money and the good life, debt free for 10 or 20 years is not a bad thing, plus you don’t have to put up with all the political correctness (atleast that’s what I see) Canada forces on you.

(I got corrected for saying Merry Christmas to a co worker over here lol) Thoughts anyone?

#104 Dawn in Calgary on 04.02.11 at 4:43 pm

#76 MEANWHILE IN FLORIDA…

Was at universal studios yesterday. Jam packed. The new Harry Potter attraction was at capacity all day. Had to book a time to return later in the day.

****

Of course it’s busy – it’s March Break. That’s why you and thousands of others are there.

We go in November, before US Thanksgiving — no lines, ride once, get off and ride again.

Your observations, as they are based on the busiest time of year (outside of Christmas) are outliers.

Florida is crazy cheap — four ppl, 3bdrm condo, car and airfare from Calgary was $3k for us last time. And will be cheaper this year, as there are tons of excellent, empty places to rent.

#105 buyers strike in toronto on 04.02.11 at 4:55 pm

The buyers strike continues in Toronto as sales are lower yet again . This makes it 9 or 10 months of straight declines in sales.

#106 macduff on 04.02.11 at 4:57 pm

Buying a house in GTA……$750000
Buying a house in Vancouver…$1,155,000
Taking my 10 year old BMW (paid off) out of storage and starting it……priceless

#107 Rent in the Annex on 04.02.11 at 5:22 pm

Toronto is grossly overvalued and no reason to buy an overvalued home where rents are almost half the cost of owning. Here in the Annex you have homes on the market for lowest $800K plus(Dump) and I rent my 3 bedroom for $2400 plus Ult. I feel like I live for free by renting in the Annex and the home below need all kinds of work and my rental is all done up. Renting now is smart since every idiot has bought or going to buy. BTW I sold a few months ago and will not buy back until a 40-50% correction happens. Smart money is renting and saving. Spin that realtors. LOL

Here is an example
http://www.realtor.ca/propertyDetails.aspx?propertyId=9900297&PidKey=585600907

#108 Paully on 04.02.11 at 5:29 pm

Hey, Priced out of T.O., we have two kids and a big dog and live very nicely in a big three-bedroom condo, with two full bathrooms, that is somewhere between 1200 and 1300 square feet. The condo corporation has a very healthy reserve fund. There is another unit upstairs from us that just went up for sale at $375k. Location is pretty central, near Bayview & Sheppard. How does that sound for you?

#109 Al on 04.02.11 at 5:33 pm

I’ve figured it out. All the money printed by the Federal Reserve in QE 1 & 2 ended up in China and is coming back to create a monster bubble in real estate here.

#110 GregW, Oakville on 04.02.11 at 5:38 pm

Hi Garth, This 2.5min video is fun ‘Canadian, Please’
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWQf13B8epw

#111 vtj on 04.02.11 at 5:53 pm

Garth,

What are you thinking posting a photo like that? Personally, the photo has zero impact on me and won’t keep me from coming back every now and then to read your interesting commentary, but what do think many of those you might be able to help and educate will think when they see something like that? Do you think it helps your credibility? Totally takes away from the otherwise useful and well-written commentary. Sheesh …

#112 specuskeptic on 04.02.11 at 6:08 pm

Hey BPOE
In one post (#82) you say “interest rates are going nowhere” and then in another (#94) you post “More great news folks this time from Walmart. Inflation IS happening”. Do you even understand the relationship between interest rates and inflation?

I dub thee UTP – Useless Troll Pumper.

#113 Timing is Everything on 04.02.11 at 6:22 pm

#20 Richie Rich

Must…Have…Granite…Feel…ing…weak…

#114 Devore on 04.02.11 at 6:43 pm

Someone who said Victoria numbers are fine…because 2010 was such a banner year. First, 2010 was not that great, second, March 2011 barely beat out the mostly disastrous 2009 for 3rd lowest this decade, only one lower being 2001, and not by much. Surely, population has grown a tad since that year, which also had the misfortune to follow the great NASDAQ crash?

http://househuntvictoria.blogspot.com/2011/04/sales-fall-21-yoy-inventory-up.html

#115 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 04.02.11 at 7:08 pm


A nice, sunny and cool day here, courtesy GW.
*
A fifty-ish woman was at home happily jumping on her bed and squealing with delight.

Her husband watches her for a while and asks,

“Do you have any idea how ridiculous you look, what’s the matter with you?”

The woman continues to bounce on the bed and says,

“I don’t care, I just came from having a mammogram and the doctor says I have the breasts of an 18 year-old”.

The husband said, “What did he say about your 56 year old ass?”

“Your name never came up,” she replied.
*
m$m contributor speaks of a one world govt. on FOX. 2:31 clip.

Silly One and Silly Two. Wot a pair of silly-billies!

Fukushima ‘Immediate” isn’t the problem. It’s the cancers and birth defects that show up in the months to come that has everyone worried.” wrh.com, plus Severe damage.

2:50 clip Last wills and testaments. Don’t forget to sign them, as Big Brother is waiting to take homes.

Obama “So, only last November, Obama is in India, getting ready to sell them US-supplied nuclear power stations and the deal hangs on a provision that would limit the liability of the US supplier in the event a reactor goes “Boom” … as happened with those General Electric designed reactors at Fukushima.

“So, what did the President know about those reactors and when did he know it?” wrh.com.

10:10 clip Evidently Yemen is a lot more dangerous than Libya.

Funney Munny Easy to borrow and pass expenses over to taxpayers. Lloyd Branchfiend’s (?) pay packet was US$14.1 mln. last year.

Ireland Not surprising why Irish voters rejected the EU-IMF first, then had it rammed down their throats. Now this.

#116 Joe on 04.02.11 at 7:13 pm

#82 BPOE: “Interest rates are going nowhere folks but Vancouver is going sky high. Open houses again this weekend. On you mark, Get set, Bid, Buy and GET RICH. Another day in paradise folks.”

You know who you are, dude, you’re the guy at the fair with the really weird prizes at his game stall and everyone avoids making eye contact with you and finds something really interesting to look at to their left as they walk past you. They applaud your enthusiasm and your perseverance, but you’re a weirdo so they avoid you.

#117 Timing is Everything on 04.02.11 at 7:26 pm

#58 R

Yup, I wouldn’t live in Victoria either…It snows there.

Ha!

#118 VICTORIA TEA PARTY on 04.02.11 at 7:32 pm

#13 westcoaster

There was a time when Victoria’s private sector economy depended on more than just real estate whores and sidewalk cafes.

There was a paint-making company, a fish processing plant or two, big sawmills, and other industrial-strength activities centred in and around Victoria’s outer, inner and upper harbours region. The odor emanating was the smell of money! Lots of it.

Those were the good old days, too, when the CPR sailed its mini-oceanliners in from Vancouver and then on to Seattle. Those ships provided tiny perfect overnight cabins, genuine silver tea service and starched white linen table cloths. THAT was living for the locals who could afford the fairly reasonable ferry fares back then. That was a damn good mini-holiday.

Today things are not quite the same.

Aside from some killer big recent ferry fare hikes, on CPR’s replacement BC Ferries, featuring its ubiquitous cardboard coffee cups (no linen and silver there!), we ALSO have the latest in cultural entertainment once you get here.

That would be the tin-eared meanderings of semi-literate evictees from journalism school “reporting” on our city’s amazing real estate sector: its prices never go down, and its buyers and sellers are astute and otherwise perfect in every way, replete in their tilly hats and swashbuckling arrogance as they book the next airline cheap-seats to machine-gun alley in downtown Mexico for a few days because that’s all they can afford!

Yep. We got it right, so the rest of you just screw off. We’ve pulled up the drawbridge to our fair city where we’ll live forever in our nice wet real estate fumey dreams and fairy tales whilst parking our scrawny yuppie butts outside our two million sidewalk cafes.

#119 Edmontonian on 04.02.11 at 7:35 pm

In edmonton here, condo prices went down $200 from Feb to March. Last year in 2010 Prices had gone up $19,000 for the same month to month, then plunged early last fall.

It’s scary to see prices softening in a month that saw oil surge, the 35 year mortgage at it’s last chance, and unemployment the few months before had come down somewhat.

I guess here in Edmonton with all the overbuilding, lack of demand and fallen standard of living since 2006 it’s hard to compete with other cities real estate wise. I believe we have the highest Electrical rates, highest grocery prices and more families living in poverty than anywhere else in North America!

Also of course, we have the highest foreclosure rates in the Country in ALberta too. We’ve passed historical foreclosures of the 70’s & 80’s when interest rates were over 20% on mortgages! Mortgages foreclosures have gone up consistantly almost every single month since 2007 and have risen 600% since then.

#120 X on 04.02.11 at 7:40 pm

I don’t think most of the public will be clued in to the RE market until about this time next year…

#121 S.B. on 04.02.11 at 7:56 pm

GregW, Oakville: some weekend reading

http://www.amazon.com/Secret-History-War-Cancer/dp/0465015689/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

This is why I do not give to most charities, they are psuedo-industry research centres not Cure centers.
Modern medicine has not cured a disease for decades now. There’s no money in cures.

#122 Jack Russell on 04.02.11 at 7:57 pm

Florida is a funny place. In the winter, the climate is nice for snowbirds who want a bit of a break, but in the summer you are playing roulette with the hurricanes every year.

In the old days, people would build inexpensive beach shacks as a place to go to get away – if it got washed away in a storm it wasn’t a big deal. But now they want a full-sized house with the granite and stainless and furnishings to match, and if that type of house gets washed away you lose a bundle.

Don’t forget taxes and condo fees. And consider that if the condo development has only 30% of the people current on their condo dues that you might have to pay quite a bit more than you might expect.

We rented a beachfront condo in the mid-Atlantic last Sept – the place was nice enough, but the condo fees were close to 1000$/mo, and the sales listings are still over 600K$. The building is 30 years old, and they spend a ton on maintenance (roof, elevators, pool, etc). But we could rent the place for about 900$/wk, and at the end of the week we walk away with no further obligations to the place. We will undoubtedly go back – at those prices renting makes far more sense than buying.

#123 phil on 04.02.11 at 7:58 pm

#41 The Truth

“Vancouver’s population growth is explosive and there won’t be any vacant homes anytime”

Past tense dude. If you can’t see the writing on the wall ..chart below, you never will.

https://sites.google.com/site/bchousingmarketshift/

Notice how the blue line (2006) didn’t grow at all from the red line (2001). Just like it hasn’t grown at all recently.. 0.0%

http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/110324/t110324b2-eng.htm

The couple thousand BC gained would be births over deaths, soon to flip as boomers begin retiring.

#124 The InvestorsFriend (Shawn Allen) on 04.02.11 at 7:58 pm

DAWN in Calgary responds to me that:

We go (to Florida theme parks) in November, before US Thanksgiving — no lines, ride once, get off and ride again.

and

Florida is crazy cheap — four ppl, 3bdrm condo, car and airfare from Calgary was $3k for us last time. And will be cheaper this year, as there are tons of excellent, empty places to rent.

Dawn, I think it is even cheaper in July… but who cares? I don’t need a break from Winter in July or even in November.

You say Florida is crazy cheap but you don’t respond to my point that for retirees wanting to buy a house in Florida, opportunity knocks. You do know this is a real estate and investment site, right? not a guide to when to visit theme parks.

My observations are based on Spring break yes, but are also informed by my sister who has lived here for years and the knowledgeable people I am visiting here.

Reports of Florida’s demise are greatly exaggerated.

Some can see the opportunity. Some can’t.

My sister rents out a small house out here by the week or month and recently received $3000 per month from someone who stayed five months and left yesterday. New tenants arrive tomorrow.

Check out the house here…

http://www.vrbo.com/182199

Smart is, as smart does.

#125 punnoval on 04.02.11 at 8:05 pm

Anyone considering buying real estate in the USA might take a look at this thing:

http://housingstory.net/2011/03/30/spring-2011-guide-of-30-key-charts-to-see-before-you-buy-or-sell-your-home/

Who knows, it may soon be applicable to Canada too.

#126 phillip on 04.02.11 at 8:09 pm

#41 The Truth

“Vancouver’s population growth is explosive and there won’t be any vacant homes anytime”

Past tense dude. If you can’t see the writing on the wall..chart below, you never will.

https://sites.google.com/site/bchousingmarketshift

Notice how the blue line (2006) didn’t grow at all from the red line (2001). Just like it hasn’t grown at all recently.. 0.0%

http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/110324/t110324b2-eng.htm

The couple thousand BC gained would be births over deaths, soon to flip as boomers begin retiring.

And by the way, Australia’s demographics are much younger than Canada’s.. even you should be able to figure out the difference that would make.

#127 BPOE on 04.02.11 at 8:20 pm

Last night i had something of a pain in my gulliver – so i crouched on my porcelain throne and guess what came out? Gold coins.

#128 Daisy Mae on 04.02.11 at 8:44 pm

“And the bugs await my teeth.”

Ya gotta keep your mouth shut…. LOL

#129 Boombust on 04.02.11 at 8:52 pm

“What are you thinking posting a photo like that?”

What’s wrong with Noodism?

#130 palebird on 04.02.11 at 9:20 pm

Two things.. watched Charlie Rose last night talking to former PM of Singapore and it is really different to listen to somebody who is intelligent, knows what is happening and tells it like it is in so many words. And as far as he is concerned the US will pay in inflation period..nothing can be done. Second a friend of mine just conceded that they bought again in the lower mainland, his wife was house horny but he could not believe the bs being pushed by the realtors. It is careening out of control and the lower mainland will suffer the worst. When it all comes home it will not be pretty..

#131 Tim on 04.02.11 at 9:43 pm

> On Friday, March 25, 2011, the minority Stephen Harper government fell on a confidence motion by a 156-145 vote. Speaking to the motion, Opposition Leader Michael Ignatieff attacked the Harper government for disrespecting Canadian democracy and treating parliament with contempt.
> The myth of Canada being dull is captured in the apocryphal story that in an international competition for the most boring news headline of the year, the winning entry was “Yet another worthy Canadian initiative”.
> Edmund Burke noted that all that was necessary for evil to triumph was for good men to do nothing. Canadians are certainly good and worthy folks, but they suffer an excess of civil obedience, politeness and lack of civic rage. These forms of complacency needs change that could be harnessed to combat political atrophy and erosion of their democracy.
> The centralisation of power in the hands of the prime minister and political staffers – with the resulting diminution of the role and status of cabinet, parliaments and parliamentarians – is common to Anglo-Saxon democracies in Australia, Britain, Canada and the US, but the extent to which constitutional conventions, parliamentary etiquette and civil institutions of good governance have been worn away in Canada is cause for concern.
> A minister told parliament she did not know who had altered a document that cut funding to a foreign aid group. Later, she admitted to ordering the changes, but did not know who had carried out the order. Lying to parliament, a cardinal sin of Westminster-style democracy, has now become a political tactic.
> Following rulings by Speaker Peter Milliken, for the first time in Canadian history, the government and a minister have been found to be in contempt of parliament for withholding information and misleading the house.
> The Harper-appointed Integrity Commissioner was so inept that she failed to uphold a single one of more than 200 whistle-blowing complaints. Forced out of office by the ensuing public outcry, she was awarded a $C500,000 severance package on condition that neither she nor the government talk about it. That is, a public servant paid by the taxpayer was financially gagged by yet more taxpayer money to stop taxpayers finding out what was going on.
> When a foreign service officer blew the whistle on the Canadian military handing over detainees to Afghan security forces, in likely violation of international humanitarian law, the government tried to destroy him and refused to give documents to a parliamentary inquiry. The Speaker reminded Harper that the parliament controlled cabinet, not the other way round.
> After the last elections, when the opposition parties were close to agreement on a coalition majority government, rather than face the house in a vote of confidence, Harper talked the governor-general into shuttering parliament for a month until he shored up his own support.
> When the time came to choose a new governor-general, Harper opted for someone who had carefully drawn up terms of an inquiry commission to exclude the potentially most damaging aspects of a scandal involving former conservative prime minister, Brian Mulroney.
> Four conservatives have been charged with exceeding campaign spending limits in the 2006 election that put Harper into power. A minister used public office and material to pursue party-political goals of courting ethnic vote banks for the conservatives.
> Having come into office on campaign promises of greater transparency and accountability, Harper has silenced civil servants and diplomats, cynically published guidelines on how to disrupt hostile parliamentary committees, and suppressed research that contradicts conservative ideologically-driven policy, for example data that show crime rates to be falling.
> Judges who rule against the pet causes of the government’s ideological base are not immune to attacks from cabinet ministers.
> Civil society groups that criticise any government policy or ideology risk loss of funding and hostile takeovers by boards stacked with pro-government ciphers.
> Little wonder Globe and Mail columnist Lawrence Martin describes the government’s “arc of duplicity” as “remarkable to behold”. What remains unclear is whether this adds up to an indictment of Canadians’ indifference to democratic rights being curtailed or of the opposition parties, which have failed to harness the silent majority’s outrage.
> As Canadians head for the polls in early May, it remains to be seen whether Liberal Party charges of the Harper government being obsessed with secrecy, control, spin and attack ads will resonate with voters…
> Until then, Oh Canada, we pray with a cry from our hearts for thee.
>
>

#132 mid-Ontario on 04.02.11 at 9:56 pm

The reason for slow sales here in central Ontario is a slow start to Spring. The weather has been below seasonal and well below the last 10 years.

RE is certain to pick up once the warmer weather hits according to all RE people interviewed.

Cottage country is dead but that is probably due to election uncertainties,cool weather,higher gas prices and concern over Libya.

Our RE is lower than the larger areas but generally matches the income/price ratio of most mid sized areas.

We will all know in 2 months if Garth is right this time.

#133 gmc on 04.02.11 at 10:11 pm

To figure out where we are and where we are heading, this book is a must to read,first written in 1841 but is true of today.

A great read for everyone is Charles Mackay’s

“Extraordinary Popular Delusions and The madness of Crowds”

History repeating itself, this isn’t the first time this has happened and Canada is not special, and the IT’S DIFFERENT HERE MENTALITY.
The book was written a longtime ago but is relevant to today real-estate market and the book covers many events that made people crazy with lust is true of today, it is about MANIAs, here is a quote from the Book forward notes.
Chain letters; If everyone participated, everyone would be rich. Where was all this free money to come from? And yet against all logic, the “Circle of gold Memorandum,” as it was called, went whipping through the media/arts community/Los Angeles/New york/Toronto, and points beyond. Virtually everyone lost his money. It had to be so; it will always be so. And if it is not one madness , it will be another.
Canada’s real estate market, 70% ownership!!!!!!! sounds like a tulipomania.
Sounds like we will adding another chapter to this book.
Chapter #1 The mississippi scheme
#2 The south sea bubble
#3 The tulipomania
etc…..
Chapter #18 THE CANADIAN HOUSING BUBBLE

Quote: Andrew Tobias says: “As with any true classic, once it is read it is hard to image not having know of it- and there is the compulsion to recommend it to others.
This isn’t the first time this has occurred, everyone is to busy with work/pay off bills/tv/computer games etc… too see the big picture.
read this book, and you will see that Garth is the man.
cheers gmc

#134 Utopia on 04.02.11 at 10:59 pm

#41 Thetruth responding to #9 Sonya said….

“The US had overbuilding where they did not have enough people moving in to fill the homes being built. Hence the vacant homes now for sale or foreclosed. Toronto and Vancouver’s population growth is explosive and there won’t be any vacant homes anytime”.
——————————————————–

You call yourself the truth but apparently you know nothing about Vancouver’s history during the Great Depression nor the facts about the large numbers of vacancies in the United States.

First the vacancies. Yes there was overbuilding but that is hardly the sole cause of the high vacancy rate. You seem to have neglected that millions of homes were foreclosed upon and sit idle and empty on the books of financial institutions who are unwilling to let them out.

You did not mention that due to the very high unemployment rate that more people now occupy less space just to survive financially. You forgot to mention how millions of young adults have returned home to live with parents instead of striking out on their own.

You don’t get that elderly parents moved in with their children in a time of need to care for offspring and help carry the financial burden of the family.

You don’t realize that every homeowner and his dog who cannot afford to make regular mortgage payments has taken in borders, students and any number of the miscellaneous lost souls who have run out of other options and cannot make ends meet any other way.

You ignored the fact that market based rentals exceeded the ability of the unemployed and newly disenfranchised to maintain a private residence with only a cat instead of a live-in partner who might help share the bills.

What you don’t seem to get is that there is a huge amount of available space when people start to share again for economic reasons and that Canada is no different from the US in that regard.

Even in Vancouver which I know very well, there is plenty of room to consolidate living quarters and that is exactly what will happen if a sharp recession were to occur.

On the issue of the depression I will remind you that some of the hardest hit areas were those in the costliest parts of town. Shaughnessy was devastated. Most of the mansions built there prior to the Depression ended up empty and in the hands of the banks. The whole neighborhood was turned into rooming houses and squats for awhile.

Granted, there were dozens of large camps of the wayward and the lost who migrated to Vancouver to live outside in tents and survive the winters. That did nothing for the rental scene though.

Those were the dirt-poor escaping the ravages of the prairie drought and were much hated because they competed so aggressively for local work. The city began to house them in property they acquired through title lost to taxes. The city in fact became the largest landlord in the province at that time.

Please do not tell me that there is not enough space.

There is always space. It just gets utilized differently in times of real economic crisis and need and that time may well return if Canada has even a whiff of America’s implosion in housing prices at a time when energy costs are spiralling higher.

When it comes down to staying warm and sheltered, space is never the object anymore, but survival is.

#135 Hoof-Hearted on 04.02.11 at 11:07 pm

#116 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad

Good scoop/s

Ireland story is interesting.

Ireland , IMHO, was set up to be a celtic tiger, given it was effectively an economic backwater.

This lured investment, and fooled Paddy in buying RE at inflated prices that a few vested interests benefitted from.

When RE tanked….the Irish economy tanked.
The EU steps in, with bailout ….with conditions that property taxes be increased.

If Paddy can’t pay mortgage…how can Paddy pay taxes?

ahh..I get it the bloodless coup.
Taxes not paid, the house is taken over by Local Gov’t, as the banksters don’t want them…thus sold at auction for back taxes.

This creates another quantum leap of vultures.

This will further lever gov’ts in order to stop civil unrest, maybe create more fiat money.

Stir, and repeat in so-called sovereign countries elsewhere. The master plan no army could dream of achieving.

F*ck politicians and bureaucrats….the darkest smelliest spot in hell is reserved for thee.

#136 Devore on 04.02.11 at 11:12 pm

#134 mid-Ontario

RE is certain to pick up once the warmer weather hits according to all RE people interviewed.

When the weather warms up, people will be busy with yardwork.

Isn’t it interesting how economic cheerleaders and pumpers in US and Canada have taken to blaming the weather for poor performance.

#137 Anon on 04.02.11 at 11:15 pm

buyers strike in Toronto,

Why does my friend keep bragging that her house in Leaside is worth 2 million???? Is this ever going to end?

#138 Sam on 04.02.11 at 11:24 pm

what a disgusting picture.

#139 smart renter on 04.02.11 at 11:41 pm

Rent in the annex #108 agree 100% that the time is to rent is now and save a ton of money. People Think they own a home but really they own a huge debt at a time of low Interest rates . When you get to live for half price why pay more?

#140 Cato on 04.02.11 at 11:50 pm

We’ll limp along, bubble can defy economic gravity for as long as political enablers keep it from deflating. Gov’t will double down and buy a few more years of kicking the can down the road.

The RE industry and media aren’t at fault – unethical as the relationship is. Does the media have a duty to the public good or does its loyalty extend to its advertising clients (RE industry) and shareholders (investors & gov’t). Ethics & loyalty are tied to money and little else. Banks are just doing what they are mandated to do, I’d be pissed as a shareholder if they didn’t take advantage of free ride on the back of the taxpayer. Don’t put wolves in the sheep pen if you don’t want a blood bath.

The real failure is one of ideology. The socialist ideal that buying a house is somehow a human right. Instead of allowing the lender to determine risk, society decided it knew better and setup entities to backstop any losses so mortgages could be handed out to just about anyone. This is the very definition of moral hazard – banks would never have allowed this bubble to develop had they been properly exposed to lending risk. This social experiment is about to come crashing down hard, and perhaps take other worthwhile experiments like medicare down with it. If the media won’t raise the alarm due to its close association with RE industry it probably falls on private citizens to start throwing stones at the CMHC, hopefully it will be the anchor that drowns the political rats who are at the root cause of this.

#141 AG Sage on 04.02.11 at 11:55 pm

>#74 Alin on 04.02.11 at 11:41 am

Garth’s teleporter is broken again?

#142 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 04.03.11 at 12:16 am


EU – IMF love this. More countries in chaos, more money they lend, more interest repayments come flowing back and the NWO has sheeples in the palms of their grubby little hands.

Poland + Japan Remember when the (then) Polish govt. declared that they were debt-free and had no further need of help from the IMF? Strange plane crash happened in Russia, killing all. Seems Japan was on to the same thing, plus 9:30 clip Scroll down a little.

Fannie and Freddie — lotsa money to make, all at others’ expense!

Canada One and Canada Two. Which do we believe?

8:11 clip The NAU in 2011 explained. From Yaya Canada: “Ed Note: The comments show that the Americans are more upset about the NAU than Canadians are. Watch CTV’s Bobby Fife, squirming in his seat, eager to recite his lines, in his little dark, grown-up suit with the red and white striped tie, looking for all the world like a real live politician, lower lip slack as Nixon’s when he said “I am not a crook”.

“Words are so interesting. Fife says Canada is the “overall beneficiary” of NAFTA. Others tell it a bit more like it is, that Mexico and the US have suffered from it, and Canada has suffered less.

“Or you can take Larry Cannon’s advice and let yourself be distracted by the Economy.”

First sentence is excellent, as is the entire article.

Monsanto One and Monsanto Two. 85% of GMOs now in processed foods.

Outsourcing and Men vs. Women — The Eternal Battle.

Libya The US planned some time ago to nuke Libya, but Fukushima may have delayed it.

Gibberish Psy-ops using mind-control techniques? Interpretation below. This is not the first reporter. Clip is about ten secs plus Gibberish cont’d.

Gold and Radiation “And the warning is this: We saw how supply dried up and premiums skyrocketed during the market meltdown of 2008. Europe saw the same result when Greece imploded. We’re now seeing it happen in Asia due to Japan’s woes. We keep seeing this picture repeat. While no one wants to bet on calamity, is the U.S. really immune from trouble?”

AIDS was a man-made disease, but a new variation on it has appeared.

44:06 clip Chaos — Does Nibiru equate to Noah? There are two dates in this year — Nov. and Dec. 2011 — for the passing of the Mayan Calendar, with the Incas and Aztecs to follow in this decade.

#143 Whistle punk on 04.03.11 at 12:53 am

The picture suits Ontario where you guys have snow 8 months of the year.

It was a nice 14 celcius sunny weather out here on the West Coast of BC today.

All I can say is let the fools be fools, you have to fend for yourself. When things take the turn for the worst and people start loosing everything they own “YOU” will be standing there watching. “YOU” made the right choices that hasn’t put yourself into financial ruin.

I give up on explaining things to people not my problem it is yours.

#144 OttawaMike on 04.03.11 at 12:55 am

Ride Safely and remember to wear your gear everybody.
There are still some sandy corners left over from winter.

#145 BC Bring Cash on 04.03.11 at 12:58 am

#136 Utopia
Couldn’t agree with you more. I see my neighbours around me taking into their households their middle aged children and grand children because they have been wiped out . No jobs, no income. No where else to go. You can move an awful lot of people under one roof if it is a last resort. Therefore here in Kelowna BC, by the way (the best place on earth) according to A Holes running the Province. RE is tanking because incomes are not rising. I see big Condo developments going into receivership. I drove by the Copper Ridge development today and did not see any residents living there. Completed units with developer provided barbecues on the decks and no people. Looks like people are living there but not so. Reminds me of the vacant cities in China.

#146 OttawaMike on 04.03.11 at 12:59 am

#57 Bigrider
Sorry, I repeated your post. should read first then post.

#147 nonplused on 04.03.11 at 1:32 am

Ack! More news out of Fukushima! Folks, we have a black swan in the making. A real black swan this time, not the “known unknowns”. A real unknown, not a known unknown.

#148 BullDurham on 04.03.11 at 1:40 am

You hear about listing be down this year but east of Toronto in Whitby listings are a dime a dozen. Many homes have had multiple price drops this year, have not sold after being on the market for many months, were pulled off MLS, or could not sell and were taken off the market. These are all signs of a transitional market where buyers and sellers can’t agree over what housing is worth. As a mortgage free buyer I want an executive home with all the bells and whistles at last year’s prices less 10%. I can see why sales are down as many homes are asking 10% more than similar houses got last year. What really makes me laugh are the so called executive homes where someone has finished a tiny basement with two bedrooms and now has an executive 2+2 or 3+2 home. People are delusional to think a tiny 3 bedroom home with 2 extra bedrooms crammed in the basement (3+2) is even remotely like a traditional 5 bedroom home yet more often than not they try and price them the same way. Tiny basements can be finished for 20K so why are they asking 200K more for this crap? The prize in Whitby goes to a run of the mill (3+2) 2500sq foot house listed as a rare executive model for $600,000. Sadly overzealous sellers are not rare they are the norm. Wake me up when September ends.

#149 dd on 04.03.11 at 1:41 am

Confirmed. The Fed wants to trash the dollar. Running inflation at greater than 2%.

http://standstrongresearch.com/more-inflation/

#150 Jay Van on 04.03.11 at 2:01 am

If nothing else, what certainly will bring reality to Vancouver market is inevitable Tsunami or China government satisfied with the adequate network of spies and informers and restriting money outflow. Anyway, communist system would not give money away free.
And I often wonder why Canadian authorities do not investigate source of Chinese millions …

#151 Timing is Everything on 04.03.11 at 3:19 am

#119 VICTORIA TEA PARTY

Holy crap! How old are you?

#152 Totalchaos on 04.03.11 at 3:34 am

#41 Thetruth responding to #9 Sonya said….

“The US had overbuilding where they did not have enough people moving in to fill the homes being built. Hence the vacant homes now for sale or foreclosed. Toronto and Vancouver’s population growth is explosive and there won’t be any vacant homes anytime”.

I am a landlord in the lower mainland, and I can tell you first hand that people are already consolidating households. Listings are way up and prices are edging down. I am finding it much more difficult to find decent tenants. Some recent examples are for a 1200 sq ft three bedroom I had a guy and his pregnant girlfriend who were wanting to consolidate with her sister and the sisters 5 year old. Or the married couple and dog who were looking at the 320 sq ft bachelor suite. The one bed and den to be shared by a couple and his best friend, as all three had been made redundant and the youngest was late 50s. Two years ago when I posted an add for a suite, within an hour I had a dozen responses. Now I’m lucky if I get half that in a week. I have been lucky enough to date to not have a vacancy for more than 6 weeks, but I’m not sure how much longer I will be able to say that.

#153 not asian on 04.03.11 at 4:03 am

Utopia – you are right on the mark.
I remember those Shaughnessy rooming houses.

#154 Oasis on 04.03.11 at 8:17 am

#151 dd on 04.03.11 at 1:41 am

Confirmed. The Fed wants to trash the dollar. Running inflation at greater than 2%.

http://standstrongresearch.com/more-inflation/
________________________________________________________

oh no dd, haven’t you heard, the dollar is on the way up. lol any day now.

#155 GregW, Oakville on 04.03.11 at 8:28 am

Hi Garth, The Liberals are doing a Online Plateform launch at 11am today. In your old hoods job site.
I will be asking a question!
I have this book to give to him too.

“The Case Against Fluoride.
How Hazardous Waste
Ended Up in Our Drinking Water
and the Bad Science and
Powerful Politics
That Keep It There.”

It’s free to read at Google books.
http://books.google.com/books?id=DEqDaoNTo2IC&printsec=frontcover&dq=the+case+against+fluoride&hl=en&ei=_WOYTcOyHY6itgeir9n8Cw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CDAQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false

And of course I’ll give him that exellent web site full of information. Fluoride Action Network
http://www.FluorideAlert.org/

Did I mention I hate public speaking!!!!

#156 iwannagetitnow on 04.03.11 at 8:41 am

You ordered the book at 5:30 pm on Sunday, March 27th. I signed it for you on the 29th. It shipped on March 31st at 9:53 am. You were sent an email confirming the order and another confirming the shipping. If it is not there on Monday, call me at (416) 346-0086. — Garth

Can’t stop laughing at the cry baby who spent $20 on your book and expects it to come express mail. (signed and delivered same day). Reminds me of the wacos on auction web sites with the same mentality.

Come to think of it property virgins who need immidiate gratification are very similar.

#157 BrianT on 04.03.11 at 9:00 am

#145Whistle-Not accurate-from basically today right thru till early Nov the weather is nicer in TO and southern Ontario than in most of BC (especially Vancouver).

#158 iwannagetitnow on 04.03.11 at 9:13 am

I wanna have my comment on now. (wwwwwhinnnning wahhhawahh lol). Send me a free book via express mail for the delay.

#159 malbadon on 04.03.11 at 9:30 am

Its all okay, they have solved the Vancouver housing problem! The rich can keep trading their million dollar roach-boxes, the rest of us will live in shipping containers!
http://tinyurl.com/3eday2n
:)

#160 Moneta on 04.03.11 at 9:35 am

“Tulips bloom in April and May for only about a week, and the secondary buds appear shortly thereafter. Bulbs can be uprooted and moved about from June to September. During the rest of the year, traders signed contracts before a notary to purchase tulips at the end of the season (effectively futures contracts).

Thus the Dutch, who developed many of the techniques of modern finance, created a market for durable tulip bulbs. Short selling was banned by an edict of 1610, which was reiterated or strengthened in 1621 and 1630, and again in 1636. Short sellers were not prosecuted under these edicts, but their contracts were deemed unenforceable.

As the flowers grew in popularity, professional growers paid higher and higher prices for bulbs with the virus. By 1634, in part as a result of demand from the French, speculators began to enter the market. In 1636, the Dutch created a type of formal futures markets where contracts to buy bulbs at the end of the season were bought and sold. Traders met in “colleges” at taverns and buyers were required to pay a 2.5% “wine money” fee, up to a maximum of three florins, per trade. Neither party paid an initial margin nor a mark-to-market margin, and all contracts were with the individual counter-parties rather than with the exchange. No deliveries were ever made to fulfill these contracts because of the market collapse in February 1637.”

When such energy is centered on something as non-essential as tulips, you’ve got to scratch your head.

But this tulip mania evolved over more than 50 years. Life expectancy was shorter than today so 50 years probably covered 3 generations. Enough time to make people think that a tulip centric economy was normal.

Let’s look at today… do we really need more than 1200 square feet of living space? Housing has done well for such a long time that it does not occur to most that we are being a little excessive. That home could become simple shelter again… just like in the 1600s, people could not imagine a tulip just being a boring bulb.

#161 Nemesis on 04.03.11 at 10:17 am

Hmmm… ‘InvestorsFriend’? Ah yes, a dim recollection – was that what my first Captain was talking about when he said, ‘Beware of Greek sailors bearing gifts.’…

Accordingly, here are two modest ‘public service announcements’ to counterbalance the vainglorious/incautious Florida ‘sell-side promoters’…

[NewYorker] – The Ponzi State/Florida’s foreclosure disaster

http://tinyurl.com/cvjh3z

And of more recent interest… [scroll through anything on the following site]…

Florida Oil Spill Law – Documenting the BP/Deepwater Horizon Oil, Gas, & Dispersant Disaster

http://www.floridaoilspilllaw.com/

#162 sk on 04.03.11 at 11:07 am

I see everyone here is still basking in each other’s misery. Good to see. Carry on, losers.

#163 Aussie Roy on 04.03.11 at 11:11 am

Garth this is from a subsciption site.

It fine if you decide NOT to include it in the comments as its a long article. So for you information mainly.

Gillard should keep an eye on Canada – Christopher Mason, Toronto

Published 0:07 AM, 2 Apr 2011 Last update 0:07 AM, 2 Apr 2011

——————————————————————————–

A nation grapples with a contentious takeover bid of its stock exchange, dividing its financial sector, rattling a shaky minority government and reigniting a heated debate about foreign investment.

Sound familiar?

It should, especially when this same nation also faces the threat of a housing bubble and an economy that, although escaping the worst of the global recession, is hardly surging.

While these issues are keeping minds busy in Australia, they are currently consuming Canada, which may serve as a warning beacon for political and business leaders.

Canada is approaching its fourth election in seven years on the back of these concerns, which came to a head after the conservative government fell last week on a decisive non-confidence vote. It didn’t help Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was held in contempt of parliament for failing to fully disclose financial details about critical legislation.

But it was only a matter of time before Canada was thrown into its latest election campaign. All three opposition parties had already pledged to vote against Harper’s budget, which included $11 billion in unspecified spending cuts.

Foreign investment fallout

The election, on May 2, comes at a delicate time, not least because of unresolved questions about Canada’s foreign investment laws stemming from the government’s November rejection of BHP Billiton’s $38.6 billion bid for Canada’s Potash Corp.

Harper’s industry minister promised to clarify foreign investment laws to avoid an investment chill. But months later the review has yet to surface, further muddying Canada’s investment landscape.

In the midst of this, the federal government and four provincial governments are reviewing a proposed merger of the TMX Group, operators of the Toronto Stock Exchange, with the London Stock Exchange. The proposal is getting a rough ride from several corners of Canada’s business community and especially the provincial Ontario government, which fears the deal will sap talent and value from its financial capital, Toronto.

Earlier this month some of Canada’s largest institutions, including TD Bank, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and National Bank of Canada, signed a petition against the merger. TD Bank chief executive Edmund Clark came out today saying TMX “can do better”.

Though pegged as a merger, the deal’s critics frame it as a takeover. LSE shareholders would hold 55 per cent of the newly-formed exchange and LSE chief executive Xavier Rolet would retain the top job.

The deal – which would create the world’s largest bourse and home to the vast majority of the world’s listed energy and resources companies – could also have implications for ASX Ltd’s proposed merger with the Singapore exchange. If the local deal isn’t allowed to proceed, the resource-heavy ASX could be drowned out by this much larger mining powerhouse – although it’s not clear whether Australian regulators are paying attention.

Threats of a housing bubble

Even through Canada escaped a US-style default crisis, several reports have warned that Canada’s housing market could be headed for trouble. Currently, national housing prices sit at about 10 per cent above pre-recession levels, which were already at all-time highs. In March, a Bank of Montreal report warned that housing prices were rising faster than personal incomes and were beginning to form a worrisome, destabilising trend.

A recent report by Capital Economics, picked up by the Unconventional Economist (Is Canadian housing the next domino?, March 2), also warned prices would fall between 25-35 per cent in the next three years as interest rates return to pre-recession levels.

These bubble warnings persist despite the Canadian government taking steps to reduce the risks – the mortgage eligibility criteria were toughened and tighter restrictions were placed on the amount Canadians could borrow against the value of their homes. These concerns, along with rising national debt levels and other economic worries, loom large on the campaign horizon.

Economic irks

Just like Australian government MPs, Harper has been trumpeting his nation’s performance in escaping the global recession relatively unscathed. But cracks are emerging here, too. Just one week prior to the non-confidence vote, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation released a report showing that Canada’s national debt had hit a new record high of $562 billion.

Michael Ignatieff, the leader of Canada’s Liberal Party – the only group with a chance of unseating Harper’s Conservatives – is trying to paint Harper as a poor steward of the economy. But Mr Harper has largely drowned-out the criticism with his accusation that Ignatieff wants to form a coalition with his fellow opposition parties, making the term “coalition” a dirty word in Canada despite being a widespread political reality throughout much of the rest of the world.

Australia’s own minority government, facing many of the same political and economic pressures, would be wise to keep an eye on its friends across the Pacific.

http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/property-bubble-sgx-asx-tmx-group-bhp-billiton-pd20110401-FH5MJ?OpenDocument&src=kgb

#164 Aussie Roy on 04.03.11 at 11:16 am

Aussie Update

Gillard should keep an eye on Canada

Free registration required to read this article.

http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/property-bubble-sgx-asx-tmx-group-bhp-billiton-pd20110401-FH5MJ?OpenDocument&src=kgb

http://www.independentaustralia.net/2011/business/the-government-run-australian-property-market-ponzi-scheme/

http://www.businessinsider.com/steve-keen-australian-housing-bubble-1-2011-4

http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/bleak-houses-debt-welfare-crisis-in-the-suburbs-20110402-1csmn.html

Comments on “GetUp”’s site, at Prosper Australia , and on Facebook shows Gen Y has the ability to navigate itself safely through all the hype, dross and lies fed to them about the residential property market by mainstream media. Taking on incredibly excessive debt for 30 years doesn’t appeal to them.

http://thedepression.org.au/?p=5795

http://news.domain.com.au/domain/real-estate-news/explaining-the-jargon-20110402-1cs6r.html

We are near the house price TOP.

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/more-news/supersonic-property-boom/story-fn7x8me2-1226032368670

#165 Timing is Everything on 04.03.11 at 11:50 am

#159 BrianT

If you’ve got the doe-ray-me and have skills beyond assembly line work, you can live in Victoria. The weather sucks here though. It snows all the time. Well some of the time. Well, at least 2 weeks. Well sometimes not all, but some years 2 weeks. I moved here from Regina. What a mistake! And can you believe it!? Motorcyclists ride year ’round here. WTF? Garth might like it. Most hate it. I don’t know about Vancouver or T.O….? I hear they suck more than Vic. Don’t get me wrong though, Victoria sucks big time.

Oh, I bought acreage in Victoria decades ago. What a mistake! I wish I’d have stayed in Regina. Like, Weyburn in only an hour away. Damn.

I gotta take my ‘64.5 ‘collector plated show room condition’ Mustang out for a cruise today (insurance for it is like $150). I wish I never bought the thing. What a friggin’drag.

So all I’m sayin’ is…Don’t move to Victoria. It sucks!

Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sno-cones.

#166 S.B. on 04.03.11 at 11:58 am

Here’s a local Toronto anecdote from a realtor:

http://leslieviller.com/forum/topics/loftcondo-pricing

“Those Leslieville Lofthouses on the South West corner of Colgate and Carlaw and Verral all completely sold out in just 30mins at the developer’s laywer’s office on December 4th. UNREAL! I wish I bought one! ”

http://www.leslievillelofthouses.com/

#167 VICTORIA TEA PARTY on 04.03.11 at 12:25 pm

#136 Utopia

Your post should be clipped and placed on fridge doors everywhere.

Vancouver was indeed the town of last resort for thousands of unemployed men, mainly, because it was men who bore the brunt of the joblessness, according to my parents who lived in Vancouver during the Great Depression.

My mother often told me that jobless men would spend hours in large department stores “occupying” escalators and elevators just to make the point that they were hungry and needed jobs.

At one point the mayor of Vancouver read the Riot Act to clear the hungry from the downtown main post office they occupied.

And there was the 1935 “Battle of Ballantine Pier” in which striking dock workers were charged by police on horseback.

Vancouver was a cruel place back then if you had no job and, therefore, couldn’t keep body and soul together.

But if you had a job that paid $40.00 a month you could get by, according to my dad. He did.

Today it’s the price of housing and the living costs that keep Vancouver cruel for many of the current generation. Keeping body and soul together is ever more problematic for so many.

The other cruelty is, of course, self-delusion. Too many recent purchasers of Vancouver real estate believe their bacon will be saved by Triple 7s full of Mainland Chinese real estate wizards winging their way to Vancouver to buy up chunks of dirt because the place is just so “special”, thereby causing price inflation due to rising demand and decreasing supply.

Those same wizards are also VERY concerned about local taxation, something forgotten in this real estate insanity.

Raise taxes under a future BC NDP government, as an example, and the joint will be emptied overnight. Careful what you wish for, politically, in BC!

#153 Timing is Everything

Not as old as you may think. But old enough to have travelled on those CPR steamers as a young kid and in more recent decades on the cavernous BC Ferries ships with their Starbucks and at times, mainly in the past, embittered unionized employees (spoiled brats, actually).

The ship-comparisons defy description, because we live in Modern Times!

#168 Nemesis on 04.03.11 at 12:28 pm

It only took one [Coffman Cartridge]… :) !

“Hasta la victoria siempre!”

Let the world change you… and you can change the world.

http://tinyurl.com/yqs2ul

#169 Jeff on 04.03.11 at 12:32 pm

Richie Rich, the buyers left looking for a house are those that have waited for the HST, interest rate, debt, amortization, and real estate bubble shoe to drop. The buyers left have waited and are expecting a price drop and that is why you are finding it a tougher sale. Also harder to sell the further south you are especially if you live south of Rossland. Whitby is significantly overpriced relative to what you get and that is also why no offers. The people forced to sell are dropping their house price by $15k ever two weeks and even than it takes multiple price drops to sell. Really the problem lies with the Real Estate agents who are simply pricing too high in the first place thanks to Treb.

#170 Cellar Dwellar on 04.03.11 at 12:51 pm

@ #164 sk
If you dont like this blog….stay away.
No one will notice or care :)

#171 BrianT on 04.03.11 at 1:23 pm

#167Timing-I guess your point is that Victoria BC has good weather by CANADIAN standards, which is basically like being a very tall dwarf. IMHO the place really doesn’t make a lot of sense for Southern Ontario retirees, as the 3-4 months where Victoria weather is superior are the same 3-4 months where Victoria weather sucks big time compared to e.g. Miami (let’s not even discuss Waikiki).

#172 Thetruth on 04.03.11 at 1:44 pm

#136 Utopia

No great depression here happening anytime soon, ask Garth!

#173 Joe Realtor on 04.03.11 at 1:47 pm

(many worried realtors on 04.02.11 at 2:01 pm
Anyone find it odd We have realtors posting on garths blog? Falling sales and realtors posting correlates to a down turn. I to have joined the buyers strike.)

Why should Realtors not post here? Perhaps to give some balance to those that are saying “nothing is selling in Toronto”. Stuff is selling… heck 2 of my neighbors just sold. One two weeks ago, and the other last week. Got 98% of asking. Enough to make me seriously think about selling and renting. Pricing is key, but a lot of sellers (and posters here) don’t want to hear that.

#174 Timing is Everything on 04.03.11 at 1:54 pm

Vancouver was a cruel place back then if you had no job and, therefore, couldn’t keep body and soul together.
————————————————————-
Well, Try and keep ‘body and soul’ together in Regina or Edmonton or Thunder Bay or St. John’s with no job. I’d imagine Vancouver looked pretty friggin’ good…as in anything over freezing is Heaven. Oh forgot Weyburn, but it’s in The ‘Sun Belt’ right. It’s all a matter of perspective, I guess. It was especially hard on the prairies, from what I hear.

http://scaa.usask.ca/gallery/regina/central/riot.html

#175 Vic_guy on 04.03.11 at 1:55 pm

[email protected]#167
You are hilarious, did you go out yesterday ? It was bucketing down ALL day. Today is grey, cool 5-7C, with rain forcast (40% chance of rain this afternoon, increasing to 80% for the next couple of days, try the weather network). I live in Victoria and have for 30+ years. I’ve also lived in Australia, Vancouver, the interior of BC, etc. The weather here is nothing special and there is more rain and less sunshine than many places.

Enjoy your ride, don’t forget a scarf and rain gear :-)

#176 Timing is Everything on 04.03.11 at 1:57 pm

#173 BrianT

A tall dwarf…or a short giant. Take your pick.

#177 Timing is Everything on 04.03.11 at 1:59 pm

#175 Timing is Everything

wrt weather… e.g. Miami

#178 Timing is Everything on 04.03.11 at 2:24 pm

#177 Vic_guy

Hmmm, That’s my point. It sucks in Victoria! Why do you still live here if it such a terrible place? Weyburn awaits. Or Miami, Or Edmonton. Or Phoenix. Or Australia. Ya see, I can go ‘rent’ a warm climate (or cold for that matter) anytime I want. Victoria is home-base.
Some folks just need to complain, I guess.

I moved from Regina. Been in Victoria since ’89. I’m content. More than content.

Look out your window. Now! No rain, no snow, +8C.
Looks good…from my perspective…VICTORIA_guy. ;)

#179 Cellar Dwellar on 04.03.11 at 3:20 pm

@ #177 Vic Guy
It was raining all day in Victoria?
Hell, I played 18 holes at Hazelmere in South Surrey/White Rock yesterday afternoon. Bit of drizzel on the first 2 holes then sunny and 14 deg. for the rest of the day. Had a great game ! Shot a 91. Try that in Cowtown or the maritimes right now. They got 20 -30cms yesterday :)

#180 Macrath on 04.03.11 at 3:25 pm

Watch “Inside Job” – The Wall Street Horror Movie, For Free

http://www.zerohedge.com/

#181 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 04.03.11 at 3:28 pm


#137 Hoof-Hearted — “F*ck politicians and bureaucrats….the darkest smelliest spot in hell is reserved for thee.”

About right — they will get their just desserts soon enough!

#174 Thetruth — Maybe, maybe not. No one can predict the future with 100% certainty / accuracy. See #137 Hoof-Hearted’s post — there is a lot more to what is happening than is told by the controlled and paid-for m$m.
*
Good on the judges. They see what is happening and throw 4closures out of court.

As the US winds down, NATO takes control. NATO – IMF – WHO — they’re all one and the same.

#182 pablo on 04.03.11 at 3:32 pm

Spring time in Ontario is not quite here yet, still grey dreary and damp, but enough about my situation, the weather is still crappy as well. I’ve noticed a few more listings in my neighborhood and throughout the whole subdivision, some selling very quickly, others not so much, must be pricing that’s the determining factor. Haven’t seen any evidence of yellow peril here in durham region, I wonder if they can be rented like those plastic flamingo’s? But there’s lots of realtor junk left at the front door seeking listings and extolling the virtues of this area that a slew of buyers seem to be seeking, ya right. So all in all it would appear that the status quo is still in effect here. I did notice one thing recently; right after Stevie lost the vote of confidence the local conservative machine already had their candidates signs out on lawns in the area. That same evening in fact. Can’t tell me they weren’t ready, and willing to have this happen, they’re looking at getting out of dodge before tshtf later this year.

#183 realpaul on 04.03.11 at 3:52 pm

Our ‘economy’ is a flim flam scam and ponzi scheme rolled into one. Since we have the refusal of the government and agencies to relinquish their hold on public information we have to go the experts for comparative data. We have already seen the the Freedom of Information Act in Canada produces nothing but redacted pulp.

http://www.pimco.com/Documents/IO%20April%202011%20FINAL.pdf

Bottom line…the Feds need to keep juicing revenues by artificially inflated taxable lines…such as real estate holdings while at the same time raping the seniors for their savings. Its all going to go ‘Bang’ at some point…….the experts are in agreement at that point. This is why Buffet, Gross and Soro’s have all pulled out of the bond market.

#184 GregW, Oakville on 04.03.11 at 4:34 pm

Hi Garth, re: #157
I was mistaken as to were the Leader would be today. I believe I will have a chance if he stops by your old hood on another day?

#185 Timing is Everything on 04.03.11 at 4:35 pm

#181 Cellar Dwellar

Nice…VicTORIA_guy is full of it…He luvs it here, but implies he does not. Yet he has lived here 30+ years. Weird… Ha! +10C now. No rain today.

BTW, the cruise was quite enjoyable…as usual.

#186 BPOe on 04.03.11 at 4:59 pm

#181 Cellar Dwellar

Good for you…did you get any shots through the m0ving wind mill ?

#187 poco on 04.03.11 at 5:12 pm

#101 Montena

About half a dozen homes went up for sale in my area at the end of Feb. and have sold.
Notice how the bears are still talking sales and listings instead of price.

ya funny isn’t it –these homes went up for sale recently in my area (tri-cities) and sold also –are you seeing the same thing in you’re area??????—price does make all the difference for all of us sitting on the sidelines watching and waiting
v874137 bought Aug 09–649.9–sold 585k
v851524 bought Nov 09–140k–sold 125k
v868806 bought Oct 08–223.5–sold215k
v871173 bought May 09-537.9k–sold 480k
remember–location — location — location—some have it, others don’t
#175 Joe the Realtor
stuff is selling….heck my two neighbors just sold–98% of asking—pricing is key……….
just wondering what they originally paid for their properties

#188 Many Worried Realtors on 04.03.11 at 5:26 pm

Realtors are in panic mode as house/condos sit longer and longer on the market. Very little is selling and this fits into the fact that housing sales have fallen ten months in a row. Many sellers are close to going bankrupt as many have over extended thenselves which would explain the increase in power of sales. Make no mistake about it realtors are worried their cash cow is going bye bye. Many Canadian realtors will go bankrupt just like their American realtor buddies. These realtors have no education and know nothing of economics. It’s would be funny to watch garth and a round table of house pumpers debate. The house pumpers are totally stupid and viod of economic education and it shows. Garth is the next Peter Schiff . Watch how the expert house pumpers were wrong

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2I0QN-FYkpw

Watch and laugh you head off. house pumpers ar WRONG! starts at 2:30 > this is Canada WATCH!!!

#189 Live Within Your Means on 04.03.11 at 5:26 pm

#162 Moneta on 04.03.11 at 9:35 am

Agree – most of us don’t need the sq. footage we live in today. It just promotes consumerism – gotta fill it up with stuff we seldom use. I know, we’re guilty too. Actually, my hubby is more so than I. Re rationalizes it by saying that he got such a good deal. Yes, it paid for in cash but still.

Re tulips – spoke to my PILs yesterday in N.E. France. It was 25C yesterday. All of their spring flowers are finished, including tulips that are on their last legs. Damn, only my crocus and some snow-in-summer are blooming. Well, at least I have something to look forward to.

#190 realpaul on 04.03.11 at 5:27 pm

I’ve often commented that one of the many reasons that Canadians have been sucked into the real estate ‘ownership’ scam is because most live lives bereft of any other psychological outlet. Because the country is generally a vacuum of culture we tend to replace fill the void with ‘shoppo-tainment’ and pretend that our ‘stuff is an excuse for no cultural or spiritual outlets.

Now that you’re spitting mad at Realpaul again…let me point out the fact that in the election campaigns all parties are pandering to the ‘need for childcare’…….now why is that? Is it because people have made themselves poor with mortgages and credit debt that they can no longer afford to feed, cloth and house their own children due to their own insipid greed? Now the population wants to be ‘saved’ from childcare expenses that the government promises will be loaded onto the backs of the general population so that greedy hordes of house horny cretins can pay even more for house they already can’t afford?

Do’s anyone think the industry won’t notice that ‘Lou and Janey’ have an extra few hundred a month freed up and they can now plough that money into inflated house prices? This ‘free money’ can only cause house inflation the same way that ultra low rates did. Because we know it’s not about prices at all….it’s only about the monthly payment.

Think only Canadians are the dupes of this malaise? Think again. Unacknowledged as key causes of most developed countries’ growing and unsustainable debt is their citizens’ lack of happiness and well being. This induces people to seek immediate comfort in material goods, drugs, and activities and lifestyles that eventually cause them, and their societies, great harm, ill health, and massive debt!

After decades of study, Robert E. Lane, the Eugene Meyer Professor Emeritus of Political Science, at Yale University in the US, found that it is a lack of happiness and well being that is eating away the moral fibre of the populations in advanced market democracies. In Professor Lane’s seminal book, Loss of Happiness in Market Democracies, he writes, “amidst the satisfaction people feel with their material progress, there is a spirit of unhappiness and depression haunting advanced market democracies throughout the world, a spirit that mocks the idea that markets maximise well-being and the eighteenth-century promise of a right to the pursuit of happiness under benign governments of peoples choosing.”

Continuing, “the haunting spirit is manifold: a postwar decline in the United States in people who report themselves happy, a rising tide in all advanced societies of clinical depression and dysphoria [anxiety, malaise], especially among the young; increasing distrust of each other and of political and other institutions, declining belief that the lot of the average man is getting better, a tragic erosion of family solidarity and community integration together with an apparent decline in warm, intimate relations among friends.”

It is these conditions which Professor Lane observes that give rise to individuals seeking immediate comfort any way they can. Hence, most developed countries’ populations gravitate to instant solutions that might ameliorate their lack of happiness and anxieties. This, no matter the long term monetary, psychological, or physical consequences and costs to themselves or society. Professor Lane believes it is imperative for western democracies to give the highest priority to improving the happiness and well being of its individuals. And this means their focus should be on human psychological health and relationships – not about income levels.

Shopping is not going to create greater happiness in other words…in fact just the opposite. As homeownership rates have gone up so has the misery of citizens who find themselves bereft of any kind of lifestyle. And now the horror is settled in that you can’t even afford your own children……Who is waiting to assuage your fears and guilt…why your local politician and the union leadership of course……with more debt to follow with long term pain from a very short term gain.

#191 Live Within Your Means on 04.03.11 at 5:28 pm

Oops to my previous post. Not snow-in-summer (tho I have them) should be snow drops, IIRC.

#192 BPOe on 04.03.11 at 5:29 pm

#183 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad

It’s not that hard to connect the dots….

IMHO…..western economies have imploded ….a look at Detroit as a case study. Industrialized, high paying jobs since Henry Ford’s “$5 Day” edict….it lasted through the war, then the decline’s genesis was noted in the 1950’s.

The boomer’s started coming through the economy’s suasage machine in the 1970’s and 1980’s juicing inflation.

Then the Global pumping in the Stock Market dot.com bomb more fiat $$$ chasing worthless stocks.

The last resort was RE….the global backrooms figured the system….as long as people can make the payments, it was better than a gold rush ……fiat money chasing a motherhood asset.

These backroom types realize a cow can only give so much milk. The next step is to kill the cow and plunder its parts. aka the lawyers etc and other fiat money vampires dive in. Isn’t this how old Joe Kennedy got rich?

The bobbleheads in power are basically naked at low tide, and even more ripe for manipulation when the SHTF.

Given Trudeau effectively made elections useless and the judiciary the real gov’t….Canada is ripe for its own mass strike. The interesting thing about Canada is the niche markets…spread out all over…I say areas like Kelowna and Victoria could be hotbeds for revolt

#193 Many Worried Realtors on 04.03.11 at 5:33 pm

Garth the next Peter Schiff . Watch peter make the house pumpers look beyond stupid. REALTOR ARE LIARS and have a VESTED INTEREST. As the Canadian market CRASH becomes more obvious people will see what realtor are…..SCUM
What a LAUGH….It’s Canada look and laugh

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HFNJw7xGSA&feature=related

#194 Many Worried Realtors on 04.03.11 at 5:43 pm

Hey garth can you get Peter Schiff thoughts on Canada’s housing market? You would really get the house pumpers worried even more.

#195 Hoof Hearted on 04.03.11 at 5:43 pm

There is a Monty Python routine whereby a person is at the undertaker with the deceased in a bag.

They discuss what to do, and their is a discussion about eating them.
Then one hears boos from the audience, and later charging the stage. I am sure this was all part of the routine

IMHO, what you see on TV is likley approved by the powers that be as a mass hypnosis. I think it’s already been discussed as renos do NOT pay back in the long run.

Where I live in BC…I do not see people running out to Rona or Home Depot….it fantasy.

Back to my opening point, if cannibalism was offered on some food network, then the NDP and Green party would promote it as green.

Never ever underestimate how stupid the public is.

#196 45north on 04.03.11 at 5:46 pm

Joe Realtor: talking about Toronto: stuff is selling

thanks for the post Joe.

#197 Hoof Hearted on 04.03.11 at 5:48 pm

‘Shocking and unconscionable’: Lawyers and accountants to pocket $1 BILLION in Madoff clean up fees

http://www.squattable.com/news/040211/shocking-and-unconscionable-lawyers-and-accountants-pocket-1-billion-madoff-clean-fees

#198 Hoof Hearted on 04.03.11 at 5:59 pm

realpaul ..

I suppose one thing that strikes me is the “curbside freebie”.

This is the more recent phenomenon of items left on the curb for free. Couches, TV , appliances etc.

The other day, a friend we visited opened up the back of his mini-van, and inside was a large screen TV, on casters, still working, but going to the recyclers. The previous owner bought a flat screen.

This is the other dark side….marketing a new technlogy when the old one worked fine…how does define waste anymore ?

#199 CalgaryRocks on 04.03.11 at 6:28 pm

#76 The InvestorsFriend (Shawn Allen) on 04.02.11 at 11:51 am
MEANWHILE IN FLORIDA…

Retirees who wish to spend months in Florida in winter: Florida is calling your name. Opportunity knocks. Who will listen? Some will, some will cower in fear, and most are too broke to consider it.

Life’s not fair that way… get used to it.

To the bold will go the spoils.

While we’re not retirees we have decided to move back to Florida within the year.

There is simply, too much opportunity to ignore.

Quick question; What does an older baby boomer population prefer doing in the winter?
->A. Play slip and slide on TO sidewalks after a hip-replacement surgery.
->B. Enjoy a margarita in a beach view condo?

We’re betting on -B-

The plan is to head down there when it is quiet in June, do some hands-on research, and move for real in September and start executing the plan.

Just in time to avoid next winter too. (BONUS)

#200 Live Within Your Means on 04.03.11 at 6:55 pm

#181 Cellar Dwellar on 04.03.11 at 3:20 pm
@ #177 Vic Guy
It was raining all day in Victoria?
Hell, I played 18 holes at Hazelmere in South Surrey/White Rock yesterday afternoon. Bit of drizzel on the first 2 holes then sunny and 14 deg. for the rest of the day. Had a great game ! Shot a 91. Try that in Cowtown or the maritimes right now. They got 20 -30cms yesterday.

……………….

Don’t lump all the maritimes together – some parts of NB got 20 cms. Newfoundland much more. We had 11c the other day. Hubby took his bike out for a ride. It was 5.5 today and mostly sunny. He thought about riding but was busy with other things. He has cold weather/summer riding gear. We have actually had a great winter in Hfx. Think hubby used the snow blower 2/3 times. Don’t believe the Weather Network.

#201 Grace Hauer on 04.03.11 at 8:41 pm

Just got the SOLD sign on the house in Edmonton this week- thank you Garth – every time we had to drop the price I just read your blog for a reality check. Yes, we paid a Realtor, and yes, we staged it to the nines. No, we have not lost money. Only just. And yes, we are going to rent for the foreseeable. Thanks. Much appreciated.

#202 Alpha Bravo on 04.03.11 at 9:00 pm

“You ordered the book at 5:30 pm on Sunday, March 27th. I signed it for you on the 29th. It shipped on March 31st at 9:53 am. You were sent an email confirming the order and another confirming the shipping. If it is not there on Monday, call me at (416) 346-0086.” — Garth

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Customer service par excellence…