Danger

Over the last two days I related two stories. Eddy and Anna. The young over-sexed engineer blurted his negative experience with the true cost of owning a condo (and hot women). The distraught millionairess mama couldn’t handle being priced out of an insane housing market.

I chose the two tales with some care. They tell us about ourselves.

Nothing affects choices like emotion. For property virgins – especially in a world now dominated by social media – the overriding influence is peer pressure. So people like Eddy get sucked in their twenties into the vortex of expense and debt, only to discover buying a condo is one hell of a lot easier (and often cheaper) than getting out. With little or nothing down, fat closing costs and monthlies higher than rent, their only hope is that prices will continue to escalate.

And people like Anna are pushed along by societal forces. You know, that non-stop condescension renters feel, and the quiet censure directed at parents who don’t own houses. Lately, with home prices pushed up by cheap rates and house lust, there’s also a panic that this is a new normal, that values will rise forever and failure to buy into a rising market will bring heartache.

Of course, all booms end. Always badly. The only thing new is that we have to learn it again, every time.

Eddy and Anna represent something darker, though. Call it collective insanity or group greed. Maybe it’s simple ignorance. Or worse, a total messing up of priorities.

As I said yesterday, seven in ten of us have houses. Four in ten have no savings. Three in ten can’t pay their monthly bills. And for the first time in the history of sexy underwear (eternal), almost half of all people retiring (voluntary or otherwise) are saddled with debt.

There’s a direct line leading from home ownership to financial failure. We’ve simply put far too much of our earnings and confidence in the wrong asset. So even at a time when mortgage rates are the lowest ever, people have the most debt. Real estate horniness has turned a giant opportunity (to pay off a mortgage when it’s cheap) into a bottomless trap (we bought big and now owe more, with rates set to rise).

This is the opposite, obviously, of what most people believe.

For them, real estate is wealth. It’s replaced both savings and investments. Worse, its influence has seeped into every corner of life. What else can you say when stunning numbers of your friends and co-workers save nothing during their working years and retire still owing money?

And speaking of retirement (according to a Royal Bank survey), guess what most cash-deprived Canadians think they’ll do to finance their KD and cable? “The most common responses to squeezed finances are to move – to either a smaller place or a rental – or to live more frugally.”

This is one major reason real estate is doomed. There are 9,000,000 Boomers who own an estimated five million pieces of real estate. Far from making them wealthy, many have their entire net worth and life savings trapped in those houses and cottages. Without pensions (70% of us are pensionless) or a big pot of money (40% of us have no savings), what else are they going to do but bail?

The real estate obsession could turn out to be the single worst decision an entire society has made. With Boomers turning 65 (starting next year), with interest rates rising, the economy more volatile, inflation once more raging, taxes swelling and record levels of debt, the bubble’s doomed. And yet people in Toronto think immigration will propel houses higher, in Edmonton it’s the myth of surging oil and in Vancouver because the world wants scenery.

The moral of Eddy and Anna is not that real estate’s bad or destructive. It’s we who embody risk.

Walk outside and look at your neighbour’s house. He’d probably die defending it.

That’s danger.

147 comments ↓

#1 Taiwan is not China on 04.21.11 at 9:45 pm

I plead plead and plead…
Finally someone has started the Canadian buyer’s strike.

http://buyersstrike.ca/why/

and

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Canada-home-buyers-boycott-now/203937936304340#!/pages/Canada-home-buyers-boycott-now/203937936304340

Spread the word.

#2 ScottyD on 04.21.11 at 9:45 pm

And there go the “Mainland Chinese” http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/property/chinese-abandon-triguboffs-meriton-apartments/story-e6frg9gx-1226042443912
POP

#3 Markus on 04.21.11 at 9:46 pm

Very insightful Garth. You really nailed it this time. You must be popping Adderalls.

#4 LJ on 04.21.11 at 9:49 pm

The thought occurred to me the other day: Why would someone in their 20’s want to take out a future payment commitment that will last longer than they have already been alive?

Youth is supposed to be carefree, not a lifelong burden.

Then again, we have been sold on the promise that old age is supposed to be carefree, although it seems that most people don’t have the intelligence or time to plan for that outcome.

#5 Mister Obvious on 04.21.11 at 9:54 pm

The real estate obsession could turn out to be the single worst decision an entire society has made.

Shades of Ireland.

#6 Bench Warmer on 04.21.11 at 10:04 pm

First!!

#7 JO on 04.21.11 at 10:05 pm

Mr Carney, if you read this blog, I hope you understand that it is time to end the Ponzi economy. Rates must rise now or eventually they will forced to rise against the will of the powers that be. It has been disheartening to watch as rates have been artificially held far below the rate of growth of debt or the money supply for so many years. The massive credit boom has imposed the most cruel, regressive tax on the majority of Canadians and in particular, the savers, pensioners and other vulnerable members of society.

The cruelty stems from the illusion that we have enjoyed a great economic boom – sadly, it has been a figment of your excessive credit expansion imagination. To the average Canadian who thinks they are wealthy and who have monetized the imaginary home “equity”, they have been led to believe they are rich. Sadly do they know they are merely paying inflated rent to the government and senior execs in the banking and RE industries.

Those who have taken part in governing the rules of the financial crack cocaine dealing should be held accountable for the challenging times ahead. We have created a society of debt slaves. It is merely months before most start to reach the point of recognition. That is, it sinks in they are in fact broke.

So do the right thing and raise rates several times – holding off will only result in a much bigger bust later. And please, never fool us with 1 % rates again.

Debt is the money of slaves.

JO

#8 zimmerp on 04.21.11 at 10:05 pm

Just reading the local edition of “Real Estate Weekly” that comes with the local rag. Coquitlam, BC area. Anyways the headline states in bold that “March sales at highest level in seven years!”

I just want to know – who comes up with this bullshit…

#9 Tremblant on 04.21.11 at 10:07 pm

Its amazing the attitudes of my retired friends. Keep your cars until they fall apart, and downsize your housing needs. Save your money for travelling etc. Material accumulation drops off significantly for the boomers

#10 Jon B on 04.21.11 at 10:11 pm

It’s like this is a very very slow train wreck.

#11 Ayn Rand on 04.21.11 at 10:21 pm

2 interesting stories from coworkers.

#1 25 year old, 4 years since graduating from 4 year business degree – bought $270K Downtown Toronto condo – 500 sq feet, last May. Prices have since gone up.

#2, (#1’s 28 year old sis), getting married in the summer, put bids on Danforth area bung, $500K (have $100K down, $400K mortgage). They lost out on the bidding war, but want to move in before the nuptuals.

$400K mortgage and they think they will be ok?? Both moved/will move from parents home to their own…. they feel paying rent is throwing money away.

Everyone wants granite and stainless steel. Few are willing to rent in ….how can you say it….apartments? to save more for the down payment?

#12 Samson on 04.21.11 at 10:22 pm

“For them, real estate is wealth.”

So true.

I’m convinced that somehow there’s gonna be some good to come out of this RE gong show.

After the crash, maybe part of that good is going to be a dialog among Canadians about wealth itself. As in, what is wealth, anyway? How is it measured?

I like Buckminster Fuller’s idea from “Operating Manual From Spaceship Earth” that wealth is measured in time, not in money:

“…we can account wealth more precisely as the number of forward days for a specific number of people we are physically prepared to sustain at a physically stated time and space liberating level of metabolic and metaphysical regeneration.”

#13 HouseBuster on 04.21.11 at 10:24 pm

” There are 9,000,000 Boomers who own an estimated five million pieces of real estate. ”
————————————-
Ouch.

#14 Roy Stacey on 04.21.11 at 10:27 pm

Yes Garth, but WHEN does the Ritz hit the fan in Canada? All signs are pointing the overburdened to the Exits “sell while you can” few have don it. Some (Eddy) are thankful to be out of RE. Others, (Anna) don’t realize how lucky ther are!! Unfortunate that Anna & Co. are buying anew. By the way, why did they HAVE to rent some 800 sq ft closet?? Hmmm me thinks with a million invested properly, one should be able to earn around 7% a year with little effort, and slight risk as well. One would think 7% off a mill even after taxes- could pay for a decent rental, even in Vancouver, no?

Well, different people think, and behave differently.
RE will slowly melt, until everybody realizes it is time to sell, then prices plummett, foreclosures abound it becomes overwhelming …see FL, AZ, CA as examples.

#15 Jim on 04.21.11 at 10:27 pm

“9,000,000 Boomers who own an estimated five million pieces of real estate. Far from making them wealthy, many have their entire net worth and life savings trapped in those houses and cottages. Without pensions (70% of us are pensionless) or a big pot of money (40% of us have no savings), what else are they going to do but bail?”

Hey!

I resemble that remark. I am 58 years old and just sold one of my houses. I am debating buying another less expensive one or moving into the one which is currently rented and banking the cash.

Garth, I already know your opinion, so save your bandwidth.

Truthfully, unfairly I made more on Westside Vancouver real estate than even I dreamed of. But, seriously when all my buddies own AT LEAST 2 homes and all are getting ready to cash out-what’s the prognosis?

Oh yeah…the Asians will set all us boomers free.

#16 Maxamillion on 04.21.11 at 10:27 pm

Ka-Boomer!

#17 T.O. Bubble Boy on 04.21.11 at 10:30 pm

Aha! It is the Boomers’ fault!

#18 T.O. Bubble Boy on 04.21.11 at 10:34 pm

Garth gets a mention in Canadian Business Online:

http://www.canadianbusiness.com/columnists/larry_macdonald/article.jsp?content=20110421_152439_8832

#19 Jsan on 04.21.11 at 10:37 pm

Not sure if this has been posted before but again it just shows how precarious the financial situation of allot of people and families in this country are.

I found it interesting that Alberta had the highest percentage of respondents at 55% who said it was a real struggle or impossible to save. I wonder if this has something to do with the fact that the Great Canadian Housing Bubble started in Alberta?

http://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/Survey-finds-nearly-one-third-capress-886125985.html?x=0

.

#20 All is knowledge. on 04.21.11 at 10:47 pm

We live in a world of danger every day. Just ask the Japanese what value they place on having a home to live in after the earthquake and tsunami. They will probably tell you they would give anything and pay any price to have a home. Life security in the knowledge that you have your own home is what is pushing “property virgins “,to buy at any price. In an un predicatable world where danger is always present the home that you own offers life security that no stock or preferred share can ever offer. That is the reality of owning a home for which is priceless.

A 22-year-old property virgin who is worried about ‘life security’ is a young life wasted. — Garth

#21 The Phantom on 04.21.11 at 10:50 pm

Back from the FTX!!! Cold weather, 36 hour days and happy to be back in the shacks living my life again almost as if I were a real person!!!

One aspect that has been notably absent during this federal election campaign is the matter of debt, interest rates and the amount of debt we carry as Canadians. As mentioned a few weeks earlier, with the record levels of debt that some families carry, the spectre of rising rates will doom many to a subsistence lifestyle or compel them to sell or to downsize at a loss and to rent instead anyway…a curious twist of irony…

the Phantom

#22 Nick on 04.21.11 at 10:52 pm

#10 Jon B

We’re heading straight into the abyss on a high-speed maglev… but hey, at least we’re going first class!

#23 Cato on 04.21.11 at 10:55 pm

The housing argument has been so one sided for so long its practically become a religion. And like most religions people get downright hostile to anyone who questions their beliefs. Pillars of this religion are home ownership is a right and renters are second class. Social stigma is a powerful motivator.

Add up taxes & fees that make up home construction costs you’ll see the incentive all levels of gov’t have to perpetuate the bubble. They are all junkies feeding off the credit cycle and they’ll fight to protect their addiction. Things will get bad, then they’ll get worse as government attempts to restart the cycle.

At some point the religion of the free market will wash away socialism. It preaches only borrow what can be repaid, and debtors who don’t honour their obligations will be treated as scum of the earth.

#24 Prof ANON on 04.21.11 at 11:05 pm

#19 JSAN

No..it’s because Alberta has the highest ratio of toys-to-oilboys.

#25 Mean Gene on 04.21.11 at 11:06 pm

By the sound of this blog, there are a lot of “Joe lunch boxes” out there who’s future is poverty.

#26 American Werewolf on 04.21.11 at 11:06 pm

“One aspect that has been notably absent during this federal election campaign….”

And why? Do the opposition leaders either agree with these Easy Credit (Easy Slaves) policies or are they walking around on eggshells trying not to piss off the plebs with skin in the game? Or is there another answer? Surely they are not ignorant of this mess.

To orchestrate a massive social and economic campaign that eventually creates a generation of indentured servants takes a bit more than a simple HGTV channel.

#27 arctodus on 04.21.11 at 11:10 pm

#142
@ #107 arcdotus
The “redicgilous” doctrine is really unnecessary here. We all bow down to the almighty God … Profit.
Please push the antiCapitalist “we all doomed” agenda somewhere else.
See you in church

anticapitalist…religious?!/!

so funny dude….

my portfolio is up 38% year over year for the past 6 years……give me a break …..

ya’ll just don’t get it……and the tide of economic history is gunna run over ya….

#28 harvard's liz warren on the disappearing middle class on 04.21.11 at 11:13 pm

here’s a lecture from harvard’s dr. elizabeth warren (circa 2007) that offers incredible insight into the disintegration of the middle class at the hands of immeasurable mortgage debt and inflation.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akVL7QY0S8A&feature=player_embedded#at=1373

we are not a society burdened by over-consumption; it is exactly the opposite.

unbelievably, we spend LESS on stuff: granite, appliances, cars, food, and clothes than 30 years ago.

we spend MORE on taxes (25% MORE!), mortgage debt (76% MORE!), and child-care (100% MORE!), health insurance (74% MORE!)

strange feeling learning you are working harder and longer than your father or grandfather…for much, much, much less.

watch this video!

she is brilliant and prophetic: just like garth.

#29 Siddelly on 04.21.11 at 11:16 pm

Why don’t you do a Peter Schiff Canadian style and get interviewed on the Sunshine network where you can tell the tory rabble rousers why Real Estate is doomed in Canada and cement your future Youtube infamy with a slogan like ” Took him a little longer than Peter, but Garth was right! “

#30 Mr. Reality on 04.21.11 at 11:17 pm

Well said Garth.

We are feeling a market top right now.

The news has turned a tad pessimistic and we haven’t even seen the US debt ceiling and the end of QE 2 yet. 70% of exports head South and they are not doing very well.

Mr. R.

#31 Debtfree on 04.21.11 at 11:27 pm

I hope when the election is over you get your sense of humor back .

#32 Prufrock on 04.21.11 at 11:30 pm

Garth,
I’d like to see you rip this guy a new one.

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/real+estate+protectionism+misguided/4652756/story.html

No pressure.

#33 WesternGrit on 04.21.11 at 11:47 pm

The problem goes beyond house lust. It’s iPad lust, Bimmer lust, Laser surgery lust, plastic surgery lust, gotta-have-a-ski-doo lust, 300-channel TV-with-NHL-Center-Ice lust, PlayStation/XBox lust… Consumerism run rampantly, lustfully, uncontrollably wild – like a priest through a church youth choir…

We are addicted to the whole “keeping up with the Joneses” bs.

Got married last year, and we are keeping our almost paid off 1000 sq ft Granville Island area (Van) condo. We’re NOT “upsizing”. We have the run of the “country house” out in the valley (extended family advantage), with a main floor master/ensuite awaiting every weekend. The country house has solar, back up cooking fuels, and a large garden – with 3 organic farms at the end of the block. Get our produce cheap – or next to nothing – and cheap meat direct from the farmer. Eggs too. Did I mention goats (love’s me some goats)?

As I watch my neighbors, mortgaged to the hilt, leasing their Lexi and Hummers, waxing their boat (or whatever they do to it), I sit back, enjoy a good book, and only buy things that: a) last for a long time, b) bought on sale, c) that I NEED. Being a port city, I have ways to find stuff “on the cheap”.

Convinced my younger brother to finally sell his house and move back into the folks paid off pad (2300 sq ft basement suite) with his wife and two kids. He’ll be investing his equity in all the great things Garth talks about. His hand-over/possession date is May 15th.

The root cause of all the stupidity is rampant consumerism run amuck. Idiots think they should have it all the day they graduate from high school. Product of our bling-bling, gangsta rapper, me-first, materialistic, consumerist culture.

Good luck to all. Many of the masses are royally screwed.

#34 tap water = stupidity= house porn on 04.21.11 at 11:55 pm

Garth writes:

“Call it collective insanity or group greed. Maybe it’s simple ignorance. Or worse, a total messing up of priorities.”

Or, it could be an intentional dumbing down of society through the forced medication of our water supply:

http://www.naturalnews.com/032129_fluoridation_intelligence.html

AND

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vMFL44zw9w&feature=related

24 international studies now confirm it, including a new CHINESE study!

Tap water lowers IQ!

“Idiocracy”…here we come.

p.s. Garth IS Canada’s Peter Schiff. Go Garth!

p.p.s. Brita filters don’t help :(

#35 Toronto McMansion on 04.21.11 at 11:56 pm

Hi Garth,

Great article as usual. I read your blog daily and appreciate the insight. One thing to my recollection you have never covered is the twisted tricks real estate agents use to get buyers to pay these insane prices.

One personal example is I have friends who submitted an offer for a house and was told there are two other offers, you need to bid higher by their agent. They decided not to and low and behold the house did not sell and the agent came back to take their offer after it expired. They ended up getting the house for slightly less.

Other typical tricks have seen include:
-scheduling potential buyers to see the place at the same time (when multiple times are available);
-displaying neighbourhood “comparables” (that are not even close to comparable);
-setting extreme deadlines;
-the tried and true “withholding” offers until a certain date;
-putting potential buyers in rooms next to each other to promote a bidding war;
-taking out 50-80% of the occupants’ belongings;
-covering up defects;
-only holding viewings during optimal times (no trains running, neighbours away, etc.);
-not disclosing that construction is scheduled nearby;
-having non-interested people view the property to convey other interest;
-playing on emotions of potential buyers;
-typical RE agent comments
-etc. etc. etc.

I am not in the business and would love to see the topic of real estate agent tricks covered at some point to help people recognize and avoid these sleazeball tactics!

#36 tiger baby on 04.22.11 at 12:17 am

> Just ask the Japanese what value they place on having a home to live in after the earthquake and tsunami. They will probably tell you they would give anything and pay any price to have a home.

what? their “life security” were totally wiped out!

#37 Dirt Dog on 04.22.11 at 12:20 am

You really have to give the Conservative Govt, Harper and his cronies some credit here. They have been able to blow and puff this whole Real Estate game along until the election. Really a masterful job when you really think about it. A nice little correction in 08 was skillfully manipulated until this day. Reality kicks in after May 02. The winner has a massive undertaking to deal with. Too bad the thought train was not to the reverse, no deficit and a lower debt. That would make the voters really happy…I think, BWTF do I know???

#38 george on 04.22.11 at 12:23 am

Wait until 2 Q economic number come out. Most people have no idea how Japans earthquake will effect many sectors of the economy. Canadian Pacific railway posted “Calgary-based CP posted a $33.7-million profit, down 67 per cent from $101-million in the same quarter last year.” Much of the blame was “weather” related since Canada had a bad winter. This is telling us the Canadian economy isn’t doing well when rails aren’t doing well. Bad numbers already and it’s not the 2Q yet. Sell in May and run away.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/cp-looks-to-rebound-after-toughest-winter/article1994141/

#39 BrianT on 04.22.11 at 12:23 am

#28Harvard-A lot of money was taken out of the USA economy by the criminal element-Max Keiser sums it up here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0z7InFcD5v0

#40 Chris on 04.22.11 at 12:33 am

It isn’t different here (in Canada). Apparently it isn’t any different in British Columbia either. Luongo and the Vancouver Canucks are still falling like a house of cards to the Chicago Blackhawks… Danger is right. The best offense and best defence in the NHL this season is about to blow itself apart. Kinda like the Vancouver housing market. Best hockey team on earth the Canucks are…

#41 nonplused on 04.22.11 at 12:56 am

There is one more factor coming down the pipe you haven’t really discussed much but I am sure you are aware of it. When these boomers all start to retire and sell their houses, there will be one other major trend in place: They will also be attempting to retire.

Where I work, we are in a bit of a pickle (costs rising, final sales price is not), so we’ve commissioned some work on “long range prognostication”. A trend we see (and not just us, but other researchers and those we hired) is that over the next 10 years, in many job fields, the need to replace retiring workers will outpace regular job growth. Unfortunately, on the other side of it, we don’t see the youth educating themselves for those roles. The youth are studying computer programming, graphic design, environmental sciences, and biotech, as well as a fair amount of basket weaving. This is all fine as I am sure that there are growth opportunities for all of them except for the basket weavers. But the rate at which the professions (doctors, lawyers, and engineers, and maybe if you stretch the definition accountants) are set to retire implies big shortages, and very few immigrants are properly trained to replace them.

The upcoming shortages for skilled labour are not limited to the professions. We see several other areas already having problems even with the high unemployment rate. Unfortunately, a 50 year old unemployed public relations manager doesn’t want to work up north on the rigs or in a mine and we are desperately short of rednecks who will. Who would have ever thought that the world would experience a shortage of rednecks? Well guess what? It’s here, and it’s going to get worse.

This means wage inflation of course, which always means higher prices.

#42 nonplused on 04.22.11 at 12:57 am

Ack! I cropped myself! The first line was supposed to be:

Nice eloquent post today Garth.

#43 poco on 04.22.11 at 12:58 am

#8–zimmerp on 04.21.11 at 10:05 pm
Just reading the local edition of “Real Estate Weekly” that comes with the local rag. Coquitlam, BC area. Anyways the headline states in bold that “March sales at highest level in seven years!”

I just want to know – who comes up with this bullshit…
______________________________________________
sorry don’t really follow total sales and total listings for the tri cities anymore–too much work —

what i do follow more closely are the price changes –new listings and sold properties that come within about 15k of what the seller paid –many of these sellers have little or no equity in their properties after several years of ownership and many will be bringing a substantial cheque with them on closing date.

in this past week i have found 32 properties in the tri cities that fit the above criteria
for the previous week there were 44 properties that fit the same criteria
the majority of these listings are condos of course, with many townhouses now losing equity and falling into the above also
here are a few of those sales the Real Estate Weekly so proudly squaks about
v867054-#409-2488 Kelly -bought may09-399k–sold415k
v864298-#309-1185 High St-bought-jun09-369.9k–sold–289k
v868806-#305-2342 Welcher-bought oct08-223.5–sold-215k
v875355-#1005-555 Delestre-bought mar08-319.9k-sold311k
v867650-2807 Nootka-bought sept09-429.9k–sold-393k

heres a couple of townhomes
v880153-#88-1055 Riverwood-bought-june 08-427.5–now listed at 429.9k
v880002-#35-102 Fraser St–bought-feb08-489.9k-now listed474.9k
v871151-#45-1238 Eastern-bought-mar08-419.5-sold416.5

or how about a couple with price drops of over 100k-(pre sale flippers)
v874853-#2105-2978 Glen-bought-july09-544.9k–now sits at439k-(i think i posted this one before–for those who missed it)
v873989-#1801-555 Delestre-bought-june09-518.8k–now at 410k—forclosure i think
these are not “cherry picking”–most can be confirmed with your friendly realtor (if you find one you trust)-

as i posted before–i randomly checked 20 mls #s in the westend of Van before Xmas and posted my results-many price drops there also-sitting since last spring–2 were underwater
and i recently posted the 10 mls #s i checked in west point grey area of van — 2 new listings –the other 8 had price drops
look at the dates these owners bought –most are 3 years ago–equity up –equity gone—i wonder how many took out a HELOC to buy all the nice things they needed for their 1st dream home???

i’m with zimmerp–where do they get their bullshit???????

#44 NorthYork on 04.22.11 at 1:14 am

Garth, I work in a company where approximate earnings are between 120k-140k+ /year. I always thought these people earning this much money were “rich” or really really well off. Only to learn talking to them everyday and being one of them now, that all they talk about is being in debt and trying to work as much overtime as possible to get out of the hole. All it takes is 1 divorce, overpriced property, luxury car or big truck, cottage that is empty, and most of all the “thinking” that they make a lot of money and are entitled to spend it carelessly. So there you have it, if my co-workers are in huge debt and complain about financial issues, then I can’t imagine how the average folks are making it. Just to add a last note. 140k approx after deductions is about 85k left after taxes, CPP, EI, and pension deductions are gone. Don’t forget most of them have stay at home wifes blowing money away like it’s running out of style. Just my 2 cents. I agree 100% with everything Garth is saying, and I look forward to implementing his advice to the T. Cheers.

#45 Caron on 04.22.11 at 1:16 am

I travel though the central prairies on occasion. Stopped in Sylvan Lake Ab the other day. It being the home of waterfront real estate that rivals the Mediterranean in expense per foot. At least if you believe the asking prices and don’t mind an oil polluted lake that is frozen 7 or so months a year.

40% of the store fronts on main street are vacant. The former office of a mortgage broker, across the street from the CIBC bank, is now the home of a “psychic reader.”

According to the local paper, 5 residential building permits were issued last year. But the one real estate firm that can still afford full page ads advises that the good news for Alberta just keeps coming in and it will soon be a seller’s market again. Perhaps the psychic told them so.

#46 Janie on 04.22.11 at 1:25 am

http://www.kurtismycfo.com/eNewsletter/Canadian%2030%20Year%20Olds%20Are%20Screwed.pdf

“30 year olds are screwed”

This is just a great read!
Sounds like Garth!

#47 Jody on 04.22.11 at 1:27 am

Hey, are they offering a car with the purchase of a condo in Ontario? They are here in Alberta, buy a condo and get a free car, yea, things are different here allright, oh the blood is going to flow.

http://discoverthevillage.com/

#48 tiedattutu on 04.22.11 at 1:28 am

Mr. Reality,

Be careful predicting the US economy. I went from my small Alabama town to Houston TX a few weeks ago, and all along the way I saw signs of a booming economy. Trucks were all over the road, and I saw truck stops jammed with thousands of rigs. Despite high gas prices, passenger cars were streaming down the highway. Ol’ Man river was clogged with barges, and the oil refineries and chemical plants were belching and churning. Mexicans were moving up and down the road towing cars, bags of who knows what, and vans full of workers. And this is supposed to be a part of the country that lags the rest of the nation in almost every category. I’ll say one thing: Texas is totally on fire economically. When I arrived at my uncles place I asked to use his computer, and plowed what money I had not invested yet into equities. The market boom over the last few weeks may be perplexing for some, but is no surprise to me. As to what effect it will have on Canadian housing, I will leave that to Garth and the rest of you guys.

#49 Robert Dudek on 04.22.11 at 1:31 am

Cato…

Under socialism, the government owned ALL the housing. Red herring, but try again.

#50 nonplused on 04.22.11 at 1:32 am

Since I made a poke at accountants, and I am bored, I will explain why some professions really are “Professional” and some are not, because it’s widely misunderstood.

Engineering is the original profession, the word taken and being used the same as “professor” in an educational setting, at least at that time. The organisation was “self policing” – an important concept. A body of “reasonably competent professionals” was to judge the qualifications of members, and police malpractice. Why? You are dealing here with an area where no government bureaucrat could do it, let alone a member of parliament. Could you imagine Jack Layton proposing legislation on how to build bridges??? There is no way he could successfully legislate the design of one, let alone all of them which are always a little bit different. And then you have buildings, sewer systems, motors, airplanes, on and on, only the competent are required at the table to judge the designs. All a politician can do is make a rule that airplanes “should” be safe. He can’t design a safe plane or judge whether or not it is. You need a professional.

Doctors, for the most part, fall under the same sort of jurisdiction at least prior to the buyout of medicine by big pharma – which is not a profession for god reason, but they have a lot of money and are doing a lot of damage with that money. There was a day when a peer reviewed doctor was a real asset and they mostly still are, when they aren’t selling drugs for pharma.

Holistic doctors = shysters, which is why they don’t pass peer review, and also don’t have to study under real doctors. Blame pharma for the rise of holistic medicine in an age where we should know better.

Lawyers, well, you need a lawyer to fight a lawyer or the judge who used to be a lawyer will automatically find in favour of the lawyer, so they get to be self policing (even though they don’t) just because who is going to argue with them???

So now let’s look at some other so called “professions”.

Accountants: They would sometimes like to police themselves, but any time they try the government overrules their initiatives to appease the bankers. Fact is they have to follow dictated laws even when they know it doesn’t appropriately describe the situation. Plus they fight amongst themselves to get contracts. At worst, when a company goes bankrupt, the financials were subject to “interpretation”. Nobody dies. When a doctor or an engineer screws up, it’s a little more obvious.

Teachers: Teacher’s associations are almost always unions and the last thing they want is peer review. No underperformance is ever challenged as long as you show up for the strike. You can’t get sanctioned as a teacher unless you commit a felony against a minor, or don’t pay your union dues. No professionalism here, despite that many teachers act very professional without having a professional organization to belong to.

Engineering Technologists: Yes, you might be very good at what you do. But you don’t know why what you’ve always done won’t work this time. Put in the time, get the degree. You will always be supervised, and for good reason. You are lazy and uninterested in educating yourself in your chosen profession.

Alternative Medicine of all types, Chiropractic care and all the others: You have got to be kidding! We know more about it now. 15th century mythology might sell well, but don’t try and pass it off as knowledge. We know what you are doing; exploiting the ignorant.

Computer Programmers: Could qualify for professional designation one day but mostly it’s still all trial and error as is seen by the weekly updates you get to windows a year after it was released.

Masseuse: In the same way as the original profession.

Message therapist: Masseuse for Catholics.

#51 pen pal on 04.22.11 at 1:52 am

# 20 ALL is Knowledge

If you truly believe in what you have posted you have my deepest sympathies for your lack of life experiences and the wisdom gained from them.

Go back and read your posting again, could you be this pathetic or are you just putting us on.

Anybody that finds security in an overly leveraged pile of bricks has serious issues.

#52 nonplused on 04.22.11 at 1:57 am

I forgot economists. There is no such thing as a professional economist, because, of course, if you have 3 economists in a room discussing but 1 thing you have at least 6 opinions, of which none can be verified. Economits can only predict the past, and even that they do badly.

#53 nonplused on 04.22.11 at 1:59 am

As they say of economists, they predicted 4 of the last 3 recessions. But I would join that they also predicted 20 of the last 2 recoveries.

#54 realpaul on 04.22.11 at 2:05 am

Deja Boooooo hooooooo hoooooooo…..what happened to the fan fever that was yelling ‘go Canucks go’ just a couple of days ago? The Canucks choke every year…why is this news to anyone. It reminds of real estate….every couple of years a new crop of suckers gets taken in by the media hype and advertising by the pimps to get suckered all over again…….. Who said that perpetual motion was impossible?

#55 pen pal on 04.22.11 at 2:06 am

Real estate buying in this country has become a national obsession, nay a cult, built on greed, egos and big time insecurities. In other words, it reflects our shortcomings and is a manifestation of our fears. Check posting #20 for evidence. I thought Canadians were better than this, obviously not.

#56 Devore on 04.22.11 at 2:38 am

#28 harvard’s liz warren on the disappearing middle class

That the standard of living (as measured by purchasing power and real incomes) has been declining for about 35 years (since THAT event) is probably not a huge surprise to some people here. But as long as the cage is feathered and gilded, no one will care.

#57 Wise Guy on 04.22.11 at 2:56 am

It will happen here, the housing correction, but for some reason, I think that there will have to be some sort of major event that will trigger it once and for all.

Not just the rise in interest rates, something else. I don’t know what, but something and that something will come…very very soon!

#58 Thetruth on 04.22.11 at 3:17 am

Want to see Real Danger:

http://www.statcan.gc.ca/ads-annonces/91-520-x/pyra-eng.htm

The real health care crisis will hit in 10 years as the boomers start turning 75 years of age! Huge hospital expenses! Then or now, choices wil have to be made, and these choices will have a lot of boomer votes behind them.

Boomers will want free medicare and will vote in governments that provide it. HOWEVER, who will pay? There might not be enough young people to pay for this. There might not be enough revenues. If taxes are raised, people may simply avoid paying taxes.

If you think this RE thing will end badly, then you aint seen nothing yet!

#59 Thetruth on 04.22.11 at 3:20 am

My prediction (not that i condone it) is that we will first see a two-tier public-private system by 2017. Then a bare bones public system (hospitals only) by 2027.

Thoughts?

#60 phusis on 04.22.11 at 4:06 am

This may be only tangentially related to real estate, but during these election days memories of Garth’s former political blog come to mind.

Last evening I  attended a Saanich-Gulf Islands all-candidates debate in Sidney. What I witnessed may explain why so many Conservative candidates across the country are afraid to even show up at such debates. The Conservative incumbent, Minister of State (Sport) Gary Lunn, got crushed in front of a crowd of a couple thousand people.

The woman running for the Liberals is a scientist who spoke very well. The woman running for the NDP is a native, which makes her interesting. The Green Party candidate, Elizabeth May, shone, and the crowd loved her. Gary Lunn had to be defensive all night because people kept hitting him with tough questions about contempt of Parliament, lies, his firing of Linda Kean, the climate of fear in government institutions, and on and on.

Elizabeth May got thunderous applause every time she spoke, and the other two women candidates got polite applause. When Lunn spoke he would get a smattering of isolated hand clapping.

At one point Lunn was trying to defend the Harper government’s support for democracy, when people started laughing out loud. Another time Lunn trotted out some coalition fear-mongering rhetoric  about the Bloc, when people started  jeering him with “oooo…scary” catcalls. Elizabeth May scored major points when she followed up on a question that had been addressed to Lunn. The question was about Harper government cuts in federal funding to a specific women’s program. Lunn admitted to not knowing anything about the program, so he dished out some bafflegab instead. When May got a chance to respond to the question, her detailed condemnation of the Harper government for their poor record got loud, extended applause, and all Lunn could do was look uncomfortable.

When the candidates made their closing remarks they each got some polite applause, except for Elizabeth May, who got a sustained standing ovation. With a bit of luck (and strategic voting), Elizabeth May will defeat a Conservative Minister!

#61 An "Ah-ha" moment on 04.22.11 at 5:22 am

Gold and Silver “investing”

It’s not a contrarian play anymore, in fact it hasn’t been for months now. A true contraian play now is the US Dollar, not gold and silver. With gold and silver being at their highest ever and everyone from CNBC, CNN, Globe and the taxi guy saying to buy it, you know it’s a massive bubble about to burst.

If you are a true contrarian (and I think we mostly are here) then think about that. We all believe RE is in a bubble when it is at it’s peek, any asset (inc gold/silver) is the same.

#62 Blart on 04.22.11 at 6:20 am

All my friends are in their mid-30s with families, children, and massive mortgages. The thing that shocks me the most is not necessarily that they all have $500 000 mortages, indebted up to their eyeballs, but that they simply refuse to accept that interests rates will rise. According to them the government will never raise rates as higher rates will destroy the economy. Not only do they hold these views but they are almost militant about it. Discussions turn into shouting matches, usually me on one side, and everyone else on the other.

My main argument is always that same. As I am not an economist and know little about business my perspective is mostly historically based. Throughout history when any asset rises to such high levels as the real estate market now, eventually prices go back down. The same is true for the economy, it is cyclical. We are now facing a recession, a pretty bad one, but everntually it will end and the economy will bounce back even stronger than ever. Then at some point we will have another recession and the cycle will continue.

But apparantly things are different now.

If that is the case then we will have to reconsider what it means to own real estate, and our economy will have to comfort to this new reality. For instance, prices will never go down, but continuously rise for the rest of eternity. To accomodate such continual rise in prices, the government will have to change the mortgage rules to allow for multi-generation loans. That is the parents buy a house, and their children or grandchildren pay it off, in 50 or 60 years. A regular single family home will be in the millions and people will work simply to pay their monthly mortgage bills.

Is this really what people want? Because if nothing changes this will become the reality. Imgaine the society we will have should this happen. And yet, if the real estate mafia has its way, that is where we will be heading.

There will be a correction as Mr. Garth has been speaking of for a few years now, it is just a matter of time. I fully agree that we will not have a US style melt down, but rather a slow and steady decline that will see prices back to their pre-insanity levels. When this will start, I do not know, but when eventually prices hit their bottom, they will come back again to even higher insane levels, and they cycle will repeat itself.

I fail to see why things are different now, aliens have not arrived to show us a different economic model, and it is not likely that we will have a Marxist revolution any time soon that will see the abolishment of private property. So that just leaves simple old economic models that clearly speak of the cyclical nature of our current system.

#63 Brian1 on 04.22.11 at 7:33 am

Well, I have finally joined the stock market. I don’t know if I am a trader,investor, or investor trader yet, but it does seem to be an art. I imagine that I will soon be making millions soon _ _ _ _ of pennies. Yes, I liken my method of investing to that of collecting coupons, a penny here a penny there; it adds up.
Another method is to pretend I am a general with my army of Japanese candlesticks marching ever upward the mountain and hopefully not downward. I have special forces candlesticks trained to attack different sectors of the economy. They are highly disciplined in diversification, I hope.
My candlesticks have personality. With a wink and a knowing smile they strive to please me, marching ever upwards. ‘Whats that soldier? Is that a third wick, or do you just like me?’

#64 detalumis on 04.22.11 at 7:59 am

A 22-year-old property virgin who is worried about ‘life security’ is a young life wasted. — Garth

You forget that most boomers including myself were completely over their youth at 22. Mine was fini at 19 the day I graduated from college. Never even went to a club, bar, house party after that day, nada. I lived exactly like a 45 year old would today, just work, work, and more work.

I also worried about money from the time I was a kid, being the child of immigrants and all that good stuff. So yes i guess i wasted my youth but I also have security, not sure which is more important.

#65 SMOKING MAN on 04.22.11 at 8:15 am

Sorry to pour cold water on your bubble head campfire dance.

What happened to all the dire predictions that in the spring there was going to be a glut of for sale signs, and real estate Armageddon. Oh we aint talking about that no more are we.

Now the laughable one the big buyers strike, yeah that really got traction.

Kids you are all waiting for interest rates to normalize so you can pounce on a few fools, all bubble heads seen dancing around the camp fire with the big inflation report this week, yes Watson rates will now go through the roof. Wrong.

BOC will only attack wage inflation with rate hikes. They don’t give a flying hoot about price inflation. Got bad news for you, until the good old USA bounces back, which is not very likely in the near term, rates should be considered the norm. Do you guys honestly think Carney is going to spike rates with no major job creation?

hahahahahah

#66 bigrider on 04.22.11 at 9:03 am

Best one in a long time Garth. Succinct and to the point.

I forwarded the link to many.

Excellent !

#67 Love this Blog on 04.22.11 at 9:06 am

#2 Scotty D, good link.

Coming soon to Canada. Are you listening Mr. Plow??

#68 bigrider on 04.22.11 at 9:12 am

#18 T.O Bubble Boy article link.

I actually thought that was a fairly written article. Objectivity present. I especially liked the point of using RE as a hedge against rampant inflation and the 1970’s example.

It is a possibilty I suppose.

#69 tomohawk on 04.22.11 at 9:15 am

@61 An “aha” moment.

Okay, it’s only anecdotal but …

I have a lot of friends buying/upgrading their real estate. I don’t know anyone who buys bullion or companies in the mining/exploration sectors. I do agree that when the shoeshine boy (i.e. cabbie) starts giving stock tips about gold or oil it’s time to bail.

Disclosure: We have about 10% of our net worth in mining and oil stocks, purchased roughly 3 years ago. I have taken some profits off the table over the last year in order to diversify our holdings.

#70 BrianT on 04.22.11 at 9:29 am

#62Blart-Re your belief that the economy always “bounces back stronger than ever” after recessions-you should be examining that fallacy. The entire period of economic data referred to by studies was an extraordinary period of cheap energy, which has ended. MSM economists either do not understand this or try to mislead on this point (usually the first). An economy which can only grow through massive debt accumulation is not a strong economy.

#71 Belfountain on 04.22.11 at 9:48 am

Another data point to support the contention that Vancouver has gone full retard ..

Kitsilano house goes for $655,000 over asking

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/home-and-garden/real-estate/done-deals/kitsilano-house-goes-for-655000-over-asking/article1995007/?utm_medium=Feeds:%20RSS/Atom&utm_source=Real%20Estate&utm_content=1995007&utm_source=CanadaRealEstate&utm_medium=twitter#

#72 Mel on 04.22.11 at 9:51 am

#63 Brian1

Loved the comments (still laughing)

#73 Min in Mission on 04.22.11 at 10:18 am

A 22-year-old property virgin who is worried about ‘life security’ is a young life wasted. — Garth

Once again, something that I have to agree with.

#74 pen pal on 04.22.11 at 10:26 am

#62 Blart

No offense meant, but no kidding you are no economist, but the good news is that with this discussion you don’t need to be – it’s truths are self evident unless you are talking your book.

It is very different this time, in myriad ways, as Garth must be tired of pointing out, not the least of which is demographics. The ‘housing cycle’ has been arrested in that the demand part of the equation is about to diminish substantially, unlikely to return in force for at least a generation. And yes, this includes Canada as it is not different here.

Just for interest, why would you get in a shouting match with someone after you have been unable to convince them about a ‘common sense’ issue at more subdued audio levels?

Regardless of the decibel count, you can’t fix stupid.

#75 pen pal on 04.22.11 at 10:33 am

#64 detalumis

What are you talking about?
Most boomers aren’t “over their youth” even as their vanguard turn 65 this year. Take a look around you, it’s the reason most are in the predicament they are – the childish immaturity and lack of self discipline.

As to your comment “Mine was fini at 19”, I really hope for your sake that this was not the case – that is just plain sad if it is true.

#76 Devore on 04.22.11 at 10:52 am

#41 nonplused

Fewer consumers means a smaller economy, and fewer jobs.

#77 Abitibidoug on 04.22.11 at 10:55 am

In response to #62 by Blart: So discussions turn to shouting matches when you say what’s most likely to happen, based on common sense? I bet you’ll enjoy saying “I told you so” a year or two from now. I most certainly would.

#78 Ex-Cowtown on 04.22.11 at 11:30 am

The thing I notice is that it doesn’t matter who you talk to, RE is always “different” or “special” where they live, so a downturn will not affect them.

When everyone is special, no one is special.

#79 Dark Sad Monster Bunny on 04.22.11 at 11:37 am

51 Pen pal – what are your living accomodations? Don’t you find some feelng of safety or protection there?

http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/an-englishmans-home-is-his-castle.html

33 western G – see harvard link at 28. Some surprising figures.

#80 Tana on 04.22.11 at 11:51 am

I can’t help but wonder if the character Hartman was modeled after you.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGk5ioEXlIM

#81 Live Under Your Means on 04.22.11 at 12:15 pm

#60 phusis on 04.22.11 at 4:06 am

I’m not a green fan, but would love EM to win the seat. In so many ridings around the country the con member won’t even show up for all party debates. If they do, they regurgitate the scripted talking points from the PMO. Too bad the $50 million, which was supposed to go to border security, was diverted to Tony’s riding for gazeboses, outlandishly expensive toilets, etc. ,

#82 haha on 04.22.11 at 12:21 pm

the only thing that i would consider ‘dangerous’ is the following: this country has so many new home owners, if the economy should suffer some kind of bad economic hit, these owners will expect (and beg) the canadian government for some kind of home owners relief. and unfortunately, it will be ALL canadian taxpayers, home owners or renters, who will be bailing these a-holes out of their mortgage woes. it is not that far fetched an idea. and i would not put it past them to expect this mortgage relief, considering that their perception is rather more delusional than rational.

#83 maxx on 04.22.11 at 12:25 pm

#7 JO- completely agree. Many K and counting lost on my savings since this interest rate lunacy began. The only way to begin healing our (note: not “the”economy, “our”) economy is by building strength through interest rate rises. This will spread money more evenly between the money economy and the real economy, as people with actual cash will begin to spend again. Raising rates methodically will not hurt business. Big business and finance game in their favor through veiled and overt threats to government. It is high time government hiked up its boots and made use of what spine it has left. Then we’ll see some real and durable “green shoots”.

#84 Islandguy on 04.22.11 at 12:39 pm

Re #41

“The upcoming shortages for skilled labor are not limited to the professions. We see several other areas already having problems even with the high unemployment rate.”

This has started within the public service, my wife is a HR manager with the BC Gov’t and deals with this on a daily basis. All the talk I hear about a bloated public service does nothing to deal with the real problem of how to deal with the brain drain.
I’m sure most will say this is a good thing and it can be if dealt with a long term goal of a smaller and smarter Gov’t. What I think will happen is the public servants with the right skill sets well retire and contract back. Like it or not I think 10 years down the road the public serves will cost more with fewer employees.

http://www.timescolonist.com/news/Government+contracts+employee/4653661/story.html

#85 Cellar Dwellar on 04.22.11 at 12:39 pm

@ #52 realpaul
re Economists
George Bernard Shaw once said,” You could take all the Economist in the world and line them up end to end and they still wouldnt reach a conclusion.”

#86 Cellar Dwellar on 04.22.11 at 12:46 pm

@#60 Phusis
Good Luck with Elizabeth May as your MP.
She will achieve NOTHING.
But her cliche riddled rhetoric around the Starbucks coffee shop table during the Feburary Monsoons next year will be fun eh?
Careful what you wish for.

#87 Cellar Dwellar on 04.22.11 at 12:49 pm

@#59 The Truth
Well we could always put our parents on ice flows and set them adrift like the Eskimos did…..
Oh wait! Global warming ! No more ice…….

#88 Get Real on 04.22.11 at 1:02 pm

# 57 Wise Guy
Not just the rise in interest rates, something else. I don’t know what, but something and that something will come…very very soon!
———————————————————— It will be Vancouver choking and losing to Chicago in the games! I have lived in many cities across north America and Vancouver is the the most overrated and delusional.

No industry, no infrastructure, no art, high taxes and poor jobs. Yeah..go ahead buy a 1.5 million Vancouver special and then choke on the scenery.

Anyway, I think that there certainly will a “tipping point”. Does not have to be a big event. It could be something ordinary.

#89 Cellar Dwellar on 04.22.11 at 1:02 pm

@ #27 Arc-dolt-us
your statement yesterday
“… When are you (and this means Garth as well) going to really get how bad this situation is??

The developed world is in the throes of fiat currency death driven by industrial civilization hitting the absolute unbreakable wall of energy restriction.

I saw this clearly back in 2006 when we hit peak oil worldwide. We will now see hyperinflation rage across multiple nation states in a never before seen frenzy of paper dollar death.

Canada is in some ways worse off than others…..a northern climate will drive scenes that are out of “Gulag Archipelago” in the near future.

Just see how useful your “protected assets” in your RRSPs and your TFSA are in a world of rapacious
governments and paper currency death are.

The blinders that 99.999% of you have on are shocking to the few that understand history and get what Peak Oil really means……..

A World Made by Hand is coming fast now…….”

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Sounded pretty “apocolyptic” to me and the 99.999%
of us “dudes” that read it.
What did you invest in that earned you 38% every year for 6 years, Smith &Wesson stock?
Or Bibles that can be reused as toilet paper?

#90 Cellar Dwellar on 04.22.11 at 1:09 pm

@#84 Islandguy
Interesting article, I totally agree.
TaxPayers REVOLT(ed) !

#91 Live Under Your Means on 04.22.11 at 1:21 pm

Beautiful day here. All kinds of spring flowers, bulbs starting to sprout. Hubby and a couple of buddies went out for a ride on their bikes and he’ll do so tomorrow with other bikers. Meanwhile, I did laundry, hung it on the line, dusted and cleaned the house, etc. as we’re having friends in for a prime rib roast tomorrow eve. I wish I were a man :-)

#92 Double Down on 04.22.11 at 1:29 pm

Just a reflection to G-Man’s comment, we could have easily switched Eddie’s story about buy a condo to buying a car. Yes, eddy could walk into a showroom – shiny red sports cars, every gadget available – no money down – no interest for 60 months and with a stroke of a pen – its all yours!!

And when his first monthly car payment comes + the ever increasing car insurance premiums + skyrocketing gas costs + the regular maintanence charges … but “Eddie”says no one warned him of all these costs – he’s the victim …..LOLLLOLOL

This shortsighted fool probably spends more time at McDonalds figuring out what he wants for lunch then he does budgeting…. as i said yesterday – Eddie is a new class of youngsters who have been breast fed up until college – if he cried hard and long enough – his parents caved in. And now that he’s on his own – waaaaaaaaaa – garth, look how bad everyone treated me….[barfing in bag]….

I just want to make just one more observation, in my old hood – most of my friends parents still live – most in mid 70’s haven’t changed their lifestyle – in the same house for over 40 years, house has been paid off years ago – living comfortable on the pension and savings – why is it that once boomers reach 65 the drop everything and live in the woods ?

If anything – most will work past 65 – (denying those out of school of gainful employment) – and work till they can’t physically do it anymore –

Lets not kid ourselves, those who are truly screwed are most likely young professionals and will hunker down – and try to outlast the storm – there’s too much on the table to drop everything just because house prices dropped 20% – the next couple of years will be stagnet growth – and everyone fearful of spending money while they try to slay the debt dragon —

#93 maxx on 04.22.11 at 1:30 pm

#84 Cellar Dwellar- economists are evidently deaf as well because they cannot hear a ticking clock.
Perhaps the essence of economists is to be found in the term “dismal science”, coined as though covering their proverbial butts in advance and therefore not science at all. More like pontificating with crystal balls. The mind-blowing arrogance of these legions of crashing bores defies imagination.

#94 Roial1 on 04.22.11 at 1:31 pm

Just a little anecdote.
I think the sh*t is already tipped and headed for the fan.
I was in the local TD yesterday to talk to a manager.
On her desk was a print out of suggestions on how to economise.
They included things like”brown bagging” your lunch, Taking the bus, cut back on coffees at Starbucks, cut back on dinning out, etc.
If the bankers are saying that, you can bet that it will not be long before T-S-H-T-F.

I can already hear the, “Why didn’t you tell us this could happen”, in a small whinny voice.

#95 BrianT on 04.22.11 at 1:31 pm

Jamie Dimon of JPM as Hitler is losing sleep over silver http://www.zerohedge.com/article/hitler-and-comex

#96 Roial1 on 04.22.11 at 1:34 pm

#85 Cellar Dwellar on 04.22.11 at 12:39 pm

@ #52 realpaul
re Economists
George Bernard Shaw once said,” You could take all the Economist in the world and line them up end to end and they still wouldnt reach a conclusion.”

Hey! be carefull how you knock economists.
The liar Harpo is one.

#97 phusis on 04.22.11 at 1:56 pm

@#86 Cellar Dweller “Careful what you wish for.”

I’m hoping my strategic vote for Elizabeth May results in a highly capable person defeating a Con Minister. There is plenty of evidence that people across the country are consulting web sites such as Project Democracy to find out which candidate in their riding is the best strategic non-Con choice. My wish is that this results in a coalition in which Elizabeth May has significant influence.

http://www.projectdemocracy.ca/

#98 debtified on 04.22.11 at 1:57 pm

#62 Blart on 04.22.11 at 6:20 am

***********************************************

For a minute there I thought I was reading my own comment.

I used to actively engage my friends and family about this topic. Now, I am intentionally avoiding it because it is causing strain to our relationship It’s a futile exercise to make them see what I see. I sometimes wish I am wrong for their own sake.

#99 realpaul on 04.22.11 at 2:18 pm

Well said JO !……btw I’m not #52….. The rape of the savers by the government with the ZIRP to promote an artificial economy has proven to have created more poverty than it ever hoped to employ.

#100 Mr. Plow on 04.22.11 at 2:37 pm

#217 Alex from Yesterday

Seems like a pretty good idea to me, in fact you would think most newspapers would want to have a differing opinion from those like Cam Good’s.

I hope it works out for you, please post a link to your piece if it goes to press.

PS

If they said it was an opinion piece, it should have been under a blog section not the news section. FYI for your discussions with the Sun. I am friends with the editor of a paper that is in both Edm and Cal, they put their opinion pieces in the blog section of their website.

#101 Patz on 04.22.11 at 2:44 pm

#35 Toronto McMansion

Good post on RE agent tricks. Like the financial world one of the keys is adequate regulation and buyer protection. I was an agent in LA briefly in the 80s. Even then California had much better regulation of the RE industry. For instance, defects and situations such as imminent construction nearby *must* be disclosed to potential buyers. And ignorance is no excuse. So if an agent claims not to have known something the court will apply the test of “should she/he have known.”

The precedent setting case for this was one in which a year or two after their purchase a piece of the house broke away and slid down the hill. There was apparently a crack in the floor running through the kitchen and that is where the house split. The court ruled that the agent should have done due diligence and had an engineer check it out or included that as a caveat in the sale. They gave a substantial settlement to the buyer including punitive damages against the agent and his brokerage.

#102 earlymidlifecrisis on 04.22.11 at 3:26 pm

I was taking a break from packing to mindlessly surf, and found this: http://failblog.org/2010/04/26/epic-fail-photos-realtor-name-fail/?from=recMap3
I had to share. Garth, is this where you get your photos from?

#103 maxx on 04.22.11 at 3:27 pm

#20-All is knowledge- oh yeah, it’s security all right. Security for banks, tax collectors….and an avalanche of fees, charges and still more taxes if you need to move. So don’t dare let life get in the way of a 30 year stint at one location by way of job changes, children, illness, divorce…

#104 Manufacturing Jobs moving to the USA on 04.22.11 at 3:31 pm

Ben Bernanke of the USA Federal Reserve will debut an unprecedented series of news conferences following the central bank’s policy-making meeting on Wednesday. Interest rates in the USA should raise, but by nature of his unprecedented news conference, he is probably going against the grain and keeping them where they are. interest rates rising in Canada will feel like a tickle compared to the punch of jobs leaving the country. If you lose your job how will you pay your mortgage even at these low rates?

#105 Alex on 04.22.11 at 3:34 pm

Mr Plow: Thanks for the words and the reply. One of the suggestions I had for my Sun contact yesterday was to merely insert “Opinion:” before the online headline. Seems logical enough to me.

#106 I BETTER BE ANONYMOUS FOR THIS ONE... on 04.22.11 at 4:04 pm

WE BELIEVE THE IMPOSSIBLE

As a culture, we promote the belief of things that are impossible all the time.

We start by telling children about Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. How cute those lies are.

And most believe that there is some benevolent God who personally watches over all 8 billion or so of us. Has anything ever caused so may wars as the belief in God? With no proof of her existence required. A psychologist confirmed to me that in the absense of it being culturally taught, the belief in God would be considered proof of delusion.

As adults most believe there is such a thing as “free” healthcare. They forget it just means someone else pays for it.

People ask for big government with free healthcare and social programs galore and regulations up the ying yang and then also ask for low taxes, as if the the two are compatible.

We believe we can win (nay WILL win) the lottery, 14 million to one odds notwithstanding.

So, why be surprised at a belief that house prices can rise forever.

Almost all of us believe at least six impossible things before breakfast everyday.

#107 I BETTER BE ANONYMOUS FOR THIS ONE... on 04.22.11 at 4:09 pm

It’s Good Friday on the Christian calandar.

Where’s that kid who pointed out that the emporor had no cloths when we need him?

Enough of this nonsense, 90% of us know in outr hearts that religion is based on fabrications.

You know it, I know and (ahem) God knows it.

#108 Victor from Vancouver on 04.22.11 at 4:14 pm

Some notes from my out-of-Canada experience:
First, some people in Canada believe that if real estate is bought with cash or with small leverage, RE market can not crash. I witnessed at least two real estate crashes – one in 1998 and another one in 2008 in former USSR in a market where most buyers paid cash only and never used credit. Asset bubble evolves according to the same rules whether people pay cash or use credit. Credit makes the bubble bigger and increases risks but the rules are still the same.
Second, I think that immigrants bring their economical beliefs with them from their old country (I am an immigrant myself). Thus you can expect a totally different approach to Canadian real estate from people coming to Canada in 2011 from China and from people coming in the same year for example from the USA. What it means is that if prices in China will keep rising they will likely follow the same trend in Vancouver as Chinese buyers dominate Vancouver market now. Same will be true if prices in China will start falling. And that can be a huge and really bad surprise for Vancouver RE owners and speculators. If we believe that it is Chinese influence that pushes prices in Vancouver up now, then we have to admit that the same Chinese influence can crash Vancouver prices. Canadian government will not be able to do anything if Chinese real estate market will start crashing and dragging Vancouver down with it. This roller coaster is now being driven by Chinese RE bubble and those who enjoy their ride up should be ready for a drop down. Believing that Chinese RE bubble is forever goes against common sense and any historical evidence- in fact I believe that Chinese government itself will engineer some way to deflate their bubble.
And a little historical piece of information regarding government’s ability to control real estate market: it is not true that in socialism government owns all real estate. In fact, the Soviet government owned all apartment buildings, but single family houses were private property and were bought and sold just like everywhere else. Among numerous other unreal things such as zero inflation etc Soviet government declared that everybody is entitled for free housing. In order to provide it government nationalized all rental apartment buildings back in 1917 and built huge number of new apartment buildings over the period from 1917 to 1991. Despite all these efforts housing remained one of the biggest problems in the USSR. Single family houses though always were private property, they were built, bought and sold by people. Unfortunately single family houses were almost non-existent in big cities like Moscow or Kiev or St.Petersburg thus people not familiar with Soviet history may think that ALL real estate in socialism was owned by the government.

#109 S.B. on 04.22.11 at 4:28 pm

For those who think gold will save the day when the grid is taken down or the banks take a holiday…
I saw these facebook status updates today.
How quickly people decend into mob rule/anarchy (this is taking place in Toronto):

Fascinating psychology: The GO train I’m on has been stuck for 45 mins outside Union due to signal failure. Already 3 people have broke a window and jumped out – security were called and people are smoking on board. Unbelievable.

Oooh! Just announced – we’re at the 1 hour mark of being stuck. Many irritated and arguing people. The peeps that broke out took a hammer to the disability window.

It’s amusing watching everyone’s reactions – now a bunch of guys are skate boarding on the upper level. Don’t worry Tammy, we’ll make the film. BTW: It’s an emergency window, not the disability window – improper reference.

Warning to all train passengers: stop trying to pull a part the doors. Three more cops have entered…

It’s outside of Union on a busy track

#110 CTO on 04.22.11 at 4:33 pm

Garth….

One question….

where are the sellers!!!!!!!? Toronto canada

#111 Increasing that 1% on 04.22.11 at 4:36 pm

“Walk outside and look at your neighbour’s house. He’d probably die defending it.

That’s danger.”- Garth

Or, the Fire fighters will. And,..danger-

a sight last night on Queen St. in TO…and, just as MTV taping next segment, getting ‘crowd’ cheering-aww, one siren- firetruck- quiet-next siren-police-quiet–one after another sirens- ambulance- police-5 more firetrucks-

lattes finished- mmm–back out to continue walk to destination– thinking maybe they could use some help too, as it was on the way–road’s blocked, smoke billowing, smell in air, eerily quiet beyond the police- telling us ‘why are you coming this way’ –ahh, well you see – not a question–go around- flames coming out of top apt of a three story-learned after there’s a bar on ground floor-tv and light still on in apt below one on fire

-Some of TO’s finest in action, getting it under control
-horrible for owners/ renters-hope all had insurance-something that gets put to the backburner as costs tighten
Funny to see how many had cameras, and first reaction -to get the shot
Other person tripped over fire hose-rolling on to pavement- stating they were ok, then after brushing self off, starting to walk, with a smile holds up intact cup proudly, saying “saved my coffee”

#112 Yivo on 04.22.11 at 4:42 pm

We are renters. After years of defending our housing choice, and listening to my coworkers rattle off tale after tale of home-owning woes (taxes, reno costs, furnaces blowing up and basements flooding) I finally got their attention when I said we’ll never buy, and use the money we save on those aforementioned things to go on vacation every year!

#113 Hoof - Hearted on 04.22.11 at 4:48 pm

I hope the Somali pirates continue their attack on Vancouver Island.

That any group would seriously consider electing whackos like May is grounds for selling off the Ferries too.

#114 Lexie on 04.22.11 at 4:49 pm

# 50 – Nonplused wrote:

“Engineering Technologists: Yes, you might be very good at what you do. But you don’t know why what you’ve always done won’t work this time. Put in the time, get the degree. You will always be supervised, and for good reason. You are lazy and uninterested in educating yourself in your chosen profession.”

Maybe you should educate yourself:

“P.Tech.(Eng.) is a new ASET designation. Members who earn this designation will have the right to practice engineering independently, within existing codes and standards. With this right, a member will be able to sign off and stamp their own work. Alberta is the first association in Canada to implement this designation.”

http://www.aset.ab.ca/pages/Employers/FAQs.aspx?id=294

#115 Utopia on 04.22.11 at 4:57 pm

“I’ve said we’re going to present a Liberal budget and Liberal platform, but there’s some water that can be put in the wine here … provided that it doesn’t damage the fiscal framework. That kind of give and take and compromise is what I’m talking about, and I think that contributes to stability” ~~Michael Ignatieff
___________________________________________

The Gospel of John relates how Jesus turned water into wine at a wedding in Cana (not a short form for Canada in case any of you are confused). It was a good thing. Most consider it one of the miracles.

Jump forward 2000 years plus or minus and we have discovered a new miracle. Well, sort of…. maybe Ignatieff is not turning water into wine but he has found a sure-fire way to stretch out the red stuff.

Just add water! It’s an old fashioned idea really. I think Betty Crocker might already hold the rights to the idea though with her quick mix cake recipes.

Last time I checked though, when a Bartender added water to your wine it meant he was stealing from you. That was a method to earn more dollars from the same volume of liquid. Not so much a miracle anymore. Just theft. This is Michaels offer.

For a Harvard Professor he seems awfully mixed up. Symbolically speaking, when you add water to wine all you achieve is a dilution of the original products integrity. It just becomes less valuable.

The kids running the Liberal campaign do not seem to have noticed this major oversight in the speech writing process. They have used it three days running now.

Turning water into wine is in fact just code for ripping people off, not offering a real give and take as Mr Ignatieff suggested. In fact, it is all take and no give.

The man has no idea what compromise really means if his best idea is to dilute the spirits of everyone at the party.

I won’t drink with him.

#116 Cowboy on 04.22.11 at 4:59 pm

YOU KNOW ALL YOU NEED TO DO TO KEEP OUT OF LONG TERM FINANCIAL DEBT IS BUILD YOUR OWN HOUSE!!
BUY THE LOT AND ORGANIZE ALL THE PROFESSIONALS YOU NEED TO COMPLETE YOUR HOUSE FOR YOU.
THIS WOULD SERIOUSLY MAKE IT EASIER FOR HARD WORKING FAMILIES TO PAY OFF THEIR MORTGAGE SO THAT THEY ONLY HAVE TO SPEND $300-400,000 INSTEAD OF THE 500-600,000 FOR A NICE HOME.

OH SORRY, I FORGOT, THE BASTARDS INTENTIONALLY MAKE IT HARD FOR YOU BY:

1) NOT SELLING LOTS IN THE CITY TO YOU PRIVATELY
(MONOPOLY BY DEVELOPERS AND DIRTY POLITICS)

2) MAKING IT IMPOSSIBLE TO BORROW THE MONEY FOR IT FROM THE BANKS AS THEY SAY IT IS ‘TOO RISKY’ FOR THEM TO LEND YOU THE MONEY

HOW CAN THEY GET AWAY WITH THIS?!
BACK IN MY PARENTS DAY, ANYONE COULD BUILD THEIR OWN HOUSE FOR HALF THE COST!!
DID HOUSES FALL DOWN?
HELL NO THEY DID NOT!
DID THE BANK GO BANKRUPT IF PEOPLE BUILDING DEFAULTED? HELL NO, THEY GET TO KEEP THEIR HOUSE AND ANYTHING ELSE THEY GIVE AS EQUITY

HERE IS AN EXAMPLE FOR YOU:
I FINALLY FIND A PLACE THAT ALLOWS ME TO BUILD MY OWN HOUSE.
I HAVE $300,000 IN THE BANK (LAND CAN BE BOUGHT OUTRIGHT IN A GREAT NEIGHBOURHOOD-NOT IN THE MIDDLE OF NO WHERE)
I HAVE A PAID OFF HOUSE THAT I WAS WILLING TO PUT UP AS COLLATERAL

ATB (WHO IS SUPPOSED TO BE THE BEST IN THIS SITUATION) TURNS ME DOWN AND SAYS THAT THEY ARE NOT INTERESTED!!

ARE THEY STUPID OR IS IT THE PEOPLE AT THE TOP THAT HAVE BEEN DIRECTED TO DO THIS SO THAT ONLY THE RICH CAN GET RICHER AND THE REST OF US THAT HAVE NOT BEEN GIVEN AN UNDESERVED INHERITANCE, CAN STAY ENSLAVED IN DEBT?!

MAN, AM I PISSED,
THIS IS A JOKE AS THE BANK, FOR GIVING ME $300,OOO FOR BUILDING SUPPLIES, WOULD HAVE 4 TIMES THAT TO TAKE AWAY FROM ME IN THE CASE THAT I CANNOT PAY MY BILLS! (HIGH END HOUSE IN AN EXPENSIVE NEIGHBOURHOOD-ABLE TO SELL FOR A MIL PLUS MY OTHER HOUSE)
I WOULD LEND SOMEONE MONEY FOR THAT AND HOPE THEY GO UNDER! THAT IS A CRAZY RETURN FOR MONEY!

IF I WERE RICH, I WOULD LEND CREDIT WORTHY LENDERS MONEY FOR SUCH A PROJECT AND BE HAPPY TO HELP OUT THE COMMON SCMUCK!

ANYONE EXPERIENCE THIS?
THOUGHTS?!!!!!!!!!!!!!
IDEAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!???????????????????
FURTHER RANTS???

#117 CalgaryRocks on 04.22.11 at 5:06 pm

#111 Yivo on 04.22.11 at 4:42 pm
We are renters. After years of defending our housing choice, and listening to my coworkers rattle off tale after tale of home-owning woes (taxes, reno costs, furnaces blowing up and basements flooding) I finally got their attention when I said we’ll never buy, and use the money we save on those aforementioned things to go on vacation every year

I guess, it all depends on your financial situation.

When we bought we decided to be very conservative, so the house was just a tad 1x our family income at the time.

We have owned a SFH in Calgary since 2005 and our mortgage+Taxes is lower than most people’s rent. In fact, it’s so small that with the extra payments we’ve been making, the house will be paid off in 2 years (and 1 month, but who’s counting). And then, no mtg for the rest of our life. I’m not even 40 yet.

I’m OK with that. Although I wish I had bought something in Vancouver instead and flipped for 300K. LOL

#118 Utopia on 04.22.11 at 5:06 pm

“Turning water into wine is in fact just code for ripping people off, not offering a real give and take as Mr Ignatieff suggested”
__________________________________________

The preceding sentence should have said “Adding water into wine….” and not “Turning Water into wine…”

Bad editing. Sorry for the confusion.

#119 Live Under Your Means on 04.22.11 at 5:27 pm

#106 I BETTER BE ANONYMOUS FOR THIS ONE… on 04.22.11 at 4:04 pm
WE BELIEVE THE IMPOSSIBLE

As a culture, we promote the belief of things that are impossible all the time.

We start by telling children about Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. How cute those lies are.

And most believe that there is some benevolent God who personally watches over all 8 billion or so of us. Has anything ever caused so may wars as the belief in God? With no proof of her existence required. A psychologist confirmed to me that in the absense of it being culturally taught, the belief in God would be considered proof of delusion.

As adults most believe there is such a thing as “free” healthcare. They forget it just means someone else pays for it.

People ask for big government with free healthcare and social programs galore and regulations up the ying yang and then also ask for low taxes, as if the the two are compatible.

We believe we can win (nay WILL win) the lottery, 14 million to one odds notwithstanding.

So, why be surprised at a belief that house prices can rise forever.

Almost all of us believe at least six impossible things before breakfast everyday.

……………

I’m an agnostic .. leaning to atheist. Was forced to receive first communion at 10 or 11 with a white specially made dress. Swore on the church steps as I was totally against it. We lived in a small Quebec town at the time where everyone judged women’s hats and attire at church. When we moved into the ‘big city’ :) Mtl. my mom stopped going to church and we never had to go again. Dad, a Lutheran, never went to church – hated the hypocracy of it all. First time I went to France with my DH, we drove with his parents to visit family in the south. As we passed by Lyon we thought it would be nice to visit. MIL immediately said we should visit the Basilica. Rest of us looked at each other and said drive on. …..Sure she’ll be at Church today and Sunday.

#120 debtified on 04.22.11 at 5:29 pm

#105 Chia Pet on 04.22.11 at 3:53 pm
#98 debtified

Maybe you’re the one who is blind and they can’t make you see.

Just a thought.
***********************************************

Maybe. Time will tell. Eventually.

One thing to note is that, being the renter, I am usually the one having to explain why I have not bought a house yet. I have no problems with people owning houses. I have a problem with people who tells me renting is a waste of money. Explaining myself is a futile exercise. Some take it personally, often times mistakenly taking my reasons of not buying as a criticism for them owning.

However, lately, I have not been having to explain my
position as much. Very few now ask “why?”every time they find out I am “just” renting.

#121 Live Under Your Means on 04.22.11 at 5:37 pm

#115 Utopia on 04.22.11 at 4:57 pm

I and others won’t drink the koolaid that Harpie spews either. He won’t get his majority.

#122 Utopia on 04.22.11 at 6:02 pm

#108 Victor from Vancouver

“Despite all these efforts housing remained one of the biggest problems in the USSR. Single family houses though always were private property, they were built, bought and sold by people”
____________________________________________

Many Thanks Victor,

Your perspective is appreciated and I hope you stay on the site as a regular contributor to continue adding anecdotes and personal experiences from your time in the Soviet Union.

The nationalization of social housing has become one of my pet interests lately. We all have good reasons to wonder what lies ahead in a future where a major housing crash and debt lead to a failed economy.

As an example, consider that the current costs in the United States of paying for Medicare, Medicaid, Social Services, Social Security, Unemployment benefits, the Bureaucracy and pensions etcetera is now consuming most Federal Government revenues.

Some claim these existing programs are already utilizing ALL tax revenues and there is already nothing leftover for all other programming.

Payments to the people and entitlements in one form or another eat up all the surplus that would otherwise be generated by the productive economy. The US military itself is therefore (and by default as incredible as that may seem) funded by the sales of bonds and Treasuries from overseas.

America needs to seriously consider the implications of having no financial resources to pay any social benefits in the future. At least not at current levels.

So what can we learn from the Soviet experience of past decades if the gravy train ends in North America? We know there is already a massive housing bust. It is worsening despite some early contrary indicators and some suggest a full out collapse is the only outcome.

It is clear to me that in that scenario the US Government itself would default into the role of “Landlord of last resort” and that, in short, means that the Socialization of America would be inevitable.

All common housing would then become state owned.

[PS: To all, if the preceding comments do not tell you that it is in your best interests to hold quality farmland, private assets overseas, precious metals, resource claims or a solid interest in a productive manufacturer in order to protect your future then nothing will ever get through to you.]

#123 Makes Cents on 04.22.11 at 6:04 pm

#33 Very well said. You are so right. All I hear from friends is the next “best thing” that I need. Can’t tell you how many people have tried to convince me that I need an Iphone. My goal is an easy and stress free life. That is what I have (and my cell phone bill is $34 a month). I work very little and have everything I NEED.

#124 Utopia on 04.22.11 at 6:13 pm

Why are we attacking the NDP? They are our best friends right now.

#125 ABC on 04.22.11 at 6:16 pm

Here’s a tongue-in-cheek video about “Retiring BC Boomers”. It was posted on VREAA’s site.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEQMtryk5Do

#126 ballingsford on 04.22.11 at 6:42 pm

I am totally dumbfounded as to why the Cons have the highest voter percentage points at the moment. I am really puzzled! In fact, my brain is working overtime trying to figure it out. I think I’ll just give up thinking about it until someone a lot smarter than me comes up with the answer. I wasn’t always the sharpest tool in the shed.

With all the stuff that has been going on with the Cons, does everyone just dismiss it? Why????

Garth, any chance of you leading the Libs soon? I wish you were running in this election.

#127 Hoof - Hearted on 04.22.11 at 7:04 pm

NDP ?

If they had their way, they’d confiscate your house like all other communists

#128 Utopia on 04.22.11 at 7:11 pm

#121 Live Under Your Means to #115 Utopia

“I and others won’t drink the koolaid that Harpie spews either. He won’t get his majority”.
_______________________________________________

OH CRAP! The tough guys from the Liberals just showed up. Where is my helmet? Oh wait,……this paper plate should do the trick.

Yup that feels good.

#129 randman on 04.22.11 at 7:12 pm

“Ack! I cropped myself! The first line was supposed to be:”

Did you mean cropped or crapped?

#130 randman on 04.22.11 at 7:25 pm

Mr Ah ha moment

” Gold and Silver “investing”

It’s not a contrarian play anymore, in fact it hasn’t been for months now. A true contraian play now is the US Dollar, not gold and silver. With gold and silver being at their highest ever and everyone from CNBC, CNN, Globe and the taxi guy saying to buy it, you know it’s a massive bubble about to burst.

If you are a true contrarian (and I think we mostly are here) then think about that. We all believe RE is in a bubble when it is at it’s peek, any asset (inc gold/silver) is the same.”

Less than 1% of all investment dollars in the world is in PM’s

You have no concept of what a bubble is

I suggest you google and read some experts in the business like James Turk , Sprott or Embry
Butler,Morgan and Richard Russell

Before you spout more nonsense……

#131 Live Under Your Means on 04.22.11 at 7:30 pm

#126 ballingsford on 04.22.11 at 6:42 pm
I am totally dumbfounded as to why the Cons have the highest voter percentage points at the moment. I am really puzzled! In fact, my brain is working overtime trying to figure it out. I think I’ll just give up thinking about it until someone a lot smarter than me comes up with the answer. I wasn’t always the sharpest tool in the shed.

With all the stuff that has been going on with the Cons, does everyone just dismiss it? Why????

………………….

The hard core cons do. If stevie robbed a bank and was caught on camera, his con followers would say the cameras weren’t working correctly. I’ve a BIL who supports this current lying govt. He was a Red Tory. He’s in the hospital now and we’ll visit him Sunday only because of my sis. He’s a total hyprocrite – wants all his perks but bitches about taxes.

#132 Guy_in_Regina on 04.22.11 at 7:31 pm

#50 nonplused,

Actually (public) administration is the original profession. Someone had to first direct that the pyramids be built.

#133 Guy_in_Regina on 04.22.11 at 7:38 pm

#113 Hoof,

I bet dollars to doughnuts you haven’t even read their platform. Their last leader was a staunch fiscal conservative. Just more of the same from you (assumption and ignorance).

#134 patiently waiting on 04.22.11 at 7:50 pm

Just a question for Garth (or anyone who may have the answer): if Canada does experience a fairly significant housing correction, will the Canadian government ever use Quantitative Easing as a way to keep our own interest rates low (as the US has done) to help keep the housing market/economy alive?

#135 Hoof Hearted on 04.22.11 at 8:17 pm

#133 Guy_in_Regina

I know a local Green Party candidate….nice person…..too idealistic….and very naive

http://greenparty.ca/files/attachments/green-book-2011-en.pdf

The Greens platform is same old hippy idealism masking itself as a valid choice.

May is running in a constituency I wish the Somali pirates would take over. Saanich is full of flakes and May and Saanich are a perfect match.

Now go back to the outhouse with your Playboy, hopefully the pages won’t stick together

#136 buy real estate in US on 04.22.11 at 8:39 pm

instead of buyin real estate in Canada i am planning to buy US real estate but not physical. i’d rather buy an ETF. does anyone know of a residential US housing ETF? preferrably residential housing not builders .

#137 BrianT on 04.22.11 at 8:45 pm

#134Patiently-QE in the USA has nothing to do with keeping the overall economy or housing market afloat-the major banks are still very weak and the money is being infused to keep them afloat (theoretically-a lot of the money is going out just as fast as the taxpayer pumps it in). Yes the Cdn taxpayer will always bail out the major Cdn banks if tney need it but circumstances are quite different in the two countries.

#138 Gary in Alberta on 04.22.11 at 9:23 pm

# 130 – Randman – Totally Agree

And i have put most of my money in precious metals starting about 2001 and will continue to do so.

Those that fail to learn from History are condemned to repeat it.

#139 The American on 04.22.11 at 9:28 pm

#137: BrianT, most of the major banks in the U.S. are reporting record-breaking profits now. Far from being “weak.” And, they did it all at the expense of the American tax-payer bailout. The circumstances are identical in both countries. Who are you trying to kid? Take JP Morgan Chase for example.

#140 Victoria on 04.22.11 at 9:49 pm

I also still can’t figure out – If there is this Asian Invasion then why is RE starting to tank in Victoria. I thought that Victoria was considered the most desirable place in the whole world.

Seriously though, wouldn’t you think there would be some sort of buying frenzy here?

#141 BrianT on 04.22.11 at 10:12 pm

#140American-Your knowledge base is pretty shallow. JPM’s revenue declined 8% YOY. IMO you can’t logically put a lot of stock into their other numbers-the revenue number is the most difficult one to monkey with. Try accounting 101 for a refresher on this one.

#142 LB on 04.23.11 at 12:33 am

#50,52,53 Nonplused

Hilarious!

Hope you continue with your sardonic wit to make us lighten up and laugh at ourselves(“professional” or otherwise), whenever you feel bored!

#143 Cellar Dwellar on 04.23.11 at 1:31 pm

@ #117 Cowboy
CHECK YOUR “Caps Lock” key on your keyboard.
WHEN YOU WRITE IN ALL UPPER CASE FONT IT LOOKS LIKE YOUR YELLING!
Understand? :)

#144 The American on 04.23.11 at 3:52 pm

At #142: BrianT, check YOUR facts. You like to spew a lot of crap data, don’t you.

http://articles.boston.com/2011-04-14/business/29418242_1_jpmorgan-chase-provisions-for-credit-losses-credit-card

http://www.vrl-financial-news.com/retail-banking/retail-banker-intl/issues/rbi-2011/rbi-649-650/record-q1-profit-for-jpmorgan.aspx

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/17/business/global/17bank.html

#145 George on 04.23.11 at 5:36 pm

The other day you told us that” for the first time in the history of sexy underwear (eternal), almost half of all people retiring (voluntary or otherwise) are saddled with debt.” Do you know how many of these people have debts that can be easily liquidated from their much larger assets.

How is that relevant? — Garth

#146 no guts on 04.23.11 at 6:52 pm

#141 Victoria on 04.22.11 at 9:49 pm
I also still can’t figure out – If there is this Asian Invasion then why is RE starting to tank in Victoria. I thought that Victoria was considered the most desirable place in the whole world.

Seriously though, wouldn’t you think there would be some sort of buying frenzy here?
========================

If you have ever lived in another country, but travelled a lot, you would soon understand that the view means little but the international airport is critical. If you look at Richmond and Vancouver West side, they have their own international airport. Non-stop to Beijing daily. 12 hours.

It’s even called YVR, Your Vacation in Richmond.

#147 Cowboy on 04.23.11 at 7:15 pm

CELLAR DWELLER RE #144,

I AM YELLING!
I AM MAD ABOUT THE ISSUE AND TRYING TO CATCH PEOPLES’ EYES TO GET SOME ANSWERS!!

i don’t know why it even bugs you, big deal man!