“You guys kill me,” he wrote. “I am on top.” Words of denial. They were typed by a youngish accountant (married to a youngish lawyer) after he read some of the comments posted here this week. To wit, references to a Toronto Star story about ‘alarm bells’ sounding over Toronto house prices and an economist’s assertion the housing market is “overshooting” and will ‘likely stagnate.”

Cal, his friend was trying to warn him, but was rebuffed. Even though the CA and the lawyer (can you imagine the passion?) live in a mortgaged house with just one bedroom, have one kid and another in escrow, and plan to upsize. How big a market is there for one-bedroom homes on the lower west side of Toronto?

Here is the full response:

“You guys kill me. I am on top. A house I bought 3 years ago is worth between 15 and 20% more than I paid for it.  I have a new Starbucks, Tim’s and Loblaws in the hood.  If rates go up, I get more interest from first time home buyers who want into this neighbourhood and are leery of condos.  If rates stay low, someone will overpay because condo prices in the neighbourhood are too high after maintenance fees.  I on the other hand would be looking for a home in $700,000 plus range where prices are indeed falling as there are fewer buyers.  The only thing I need to do is hope rates don’t spike too sharply before we fix the rate on this thing…but thanks for thinking of me…”

Make sense? Will higher mortgage rates stimulate buyer demand while low rates make people pay too much? Do you want this guy doing your balance sheet?

Let’s noodle this for a moment.

Obviously Mr. Numbers figures he’ll score by selling his home for a fifth more than he paid, to a newbie buyer. But higher interest rates, of course, would have the greatest impact on exactly this demographic – the crowd that’s made 5% down/95% mortgages with lifetime amortizations famous. With virtually no equity, these first-timers are naked to rate fluctuations, especially since they’ve flocked to VRMs – variable rate mortgages. The day the Bank of Canada decides it needs to squish both inflation and our debt binge, they go up on the cross.

No argument there. But what if rates stay where they are? (They won’t drop.) Is it likely the little house will go in a bidding war because neighbourhood condo fees are too high? Excuse me, CA dude, but does your house not come with property taxes (usually twice those of condos, per foot), insurance costs (far higher than with a condo), a yard and drive to keep, plus heating and maintenance bills unheard of in a high-rise? I think those are called debits, but you may want to look it up.

In short, nobody worried about a monthly condo or strata fee is going to take on a house with twice the overhead.

As for prices falling in the $700,000 range, well, might happen. But not yet. The average SFH in 416 is now $754,805. Two months ago it was $681,223. Clearly, as CIBC economist Benny Tal says, the market is ‘overdone.’ In fact, that mama of a gasbag is destined to deflate. The question is only by how much, and how fast.

Starbucks-swilling, obnoxious, procreating little metrosexual professionals like these may not like to admit it, but a lot of what happens next will be determined to the south. Despite the big advance for stock markets, and the fact people with wealth are making a lot more of it, there’s every reason to believe Canadians could come nose-to-nez with deflation over the next year. As  happened in the US, this will strike housing like no other asset.

In fact, as America wallows in a zombie state between recession and recovery, it grows closer. The Canadian economy, so dependent on US imports, commodity values and consumer spending, can hardly advance in a vacuum. Were it not for a legion of horny young couples willing to swallow copious amounts of debt buying houses at bubble levels, we’d already be seeing what asset deflation does to daily life. Rest assured, you will.

And while the US will rebound after the presidential election a year from now, in the meantime things suck. Fewer Americans work today than in 2000, even though there are 31 million more of them. Unemployment is 4% higher than it was before the 2008 crisis. Factories are running at 78% capacity, below the level of the 1990 recession. Government stimulus money is gone and with the slash-and-burn Republicans circling the White House, no more’s expected. Two billion new workers in Asia have found jobs while 14 million Americans have lost them. And housing prices continue to fall, month after month.

Economists call this debt deflation. As people try to flee debt they spend less, leading to a slow economy, falling real estate prices, fewer jobs and idle factories. Everybody gets depressed. Little optimism and less confidence start the cycle again. If you want to see it at work, take a trip to Altanta, Vegas or Miami.

Where are we in Canada? Haven’t even started. We’re still madly accumulating debt, even as the economic fundamentals cave way beneath us. Like the delusional accountant, we overvalue what we own and think everybody wants it. If rates go up, surely people will hurry to borrow more and buy. If rates fall, they’ll just borrow more and overpay. Smart yuppies have it all figured out.

Cal, write back. Urge your friends to make an immediate and firm offer on an upsized McMansion. Then to list their doll house for top dollar.

I’ll get the beer and chips.


#1 HouseBuster on 12.01.11 at 9:35 pm

50% haircut is coming!

#2 Nostra Vlad de Mad on 12.01.11 at 9:35 pm

For some unfathomable reason we, as Canadians, have been brain-washed by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), the Canadian Bankers Association (CBA), and other self-interested parties into believing over-priced housing is a good thing when, in fact, it has become the largest domestic job-exporting pyramid scheme ever to be unleashed upon Canadian society.

When you leave in rates this low for this long, there is a consequential misallocation of resources. While indebtedness is being rejected by the US consumer, it is being embraced in Canada. Thus, while US consumers are actually paying down debt, Cdns are still shopping, buying cars and pumping up RE prices and incurring more debt.

How the hell did I end up on that web site? — Garth

#3 MarcFromOttawa on 12.01.11 at 9:42 pm


#4 eddyo on 12.01.11 at 9:50 pm

well said!

#5 NOBODY on 12.01.11 at 9:51 pm

Housebuster wrote:

“50% haircut is coming!”

Prove it.

Garth: why do you post imbecilities?

Because you’re cute? — Garth

#6 JSS on 12.01.11 at 9:57 pm

guy sounds like a loser

#7 Van guy smokin now on 12.01.11 at 10:13 pm

Muskoka prices????

#8 T.O. Bubble Boy on 12.01.11 at 10:30 pm

Kid in the picture looks like John Baird.

I guess the baby in the swing is Canada?

#9 First Place on 12.01.11 at 10:35 pm

Must be first Come on!

#10 Concessionman on 12.01.11 at 10:42 pm

“Starbucks-swilling, obnoxious, procreating little metrosexual professionals like these…”

lol…you rock Garth…your candour is so refreshing…

#11 Canadian Watchdog on 12.01.11 at 10:45 pm

If only they knew how many more burgers they could buy with their profits.

Canadian Big Mac Index http://i40.tinypic.com/2vdnupg.png

#12 T.O. Bubble Boy on 12.01.11 at 10:45 pm

Look what I found for $700k on the West Side of Toronto:

1) This tear-down

2) This 60’s/70’s house that hasn’t been touched since it was built

and This suspicious-looking rooming house

However, thankfully for buddy in this post, there are some wannabe McMansions left out there around $700k, like this one:

#13 DonDWest on 12.01.11 at 10:54 pm

And it’s because of accountants like him managing our money we’re all in debt. . .

Let’s be quite frank, most “professionals” in the modern era are real jokes. All they did was rote memorize a pile of crap for four years, got a degree, and bought themselves a cushy job. Not a critical thought, creative bone, or personality in their bodies.

Ultimately, it’s the “credentialization” of society that’s the cause of our problems. People are essentially buying their way to a good job (so as to avoid a low paying job) that’s causing a lot of our economic malaise. The manipulators rather than the innovators are finding their way to the top.

The only way I’ve ever got ahead was by following my own intuition. Every single time I listened to an accountant, a teacher, a professor, a politician, a social worker, a stock broker, etc. I’ve gotten poorer for it.

I’m convinced that professionals for the most part only exist to leech off the working class. I’m sick and tired of every single professional trying to con be out of every cent because they assume I’m just plain stupid.

Fortunately, high salaries are often wasted on useless people who don’t know how to use their money. I know many people who earn half of what he does and most likely live better.

My only advice to people is to put trust in their selves and not to rely on “expert testimony.” Always approach professionals with a healthy dose of scepticism, especially people in the financial service (FIRE) industries and in education.

Never are you to trust a professional in the fields of finance or education under any circumstance.

#14 Smoking Man on 12.01.11 at 11:00 pm

Listen up bubble heads, fans, criticts……………………

I have tryed for over a month not to drink, avoid pain killers, and the odd toke.

Well I’m in pain…excrusiating can’t sleep, My trades suck, my part time code smith stuff is shit. Lost the zone.

Creativity, out of the box thinging. in the toilet…..

Bring on liver problems, bring on lung cancer. I can’t function like this anymore….

The light that shines twice as bright does not last as long.

I want to be lazer beam…………………….don’t give a crap, If im goon next week…….. One more killer tarde, on amazing line of code, and on more post that shakes you schooled dumb shit zombies into the light is a fair trade….For my life

The smoking man is coming back… Doctors Teachers. and Harpo, ?

Oxicoden just kicked in sorry floyd is on my mind now

#15 OwlEyes on 12.01.11 at 11:01 pm

OK, riddle me this O wise ones: the Toronto budget came out a few days ago. Even if there had been another mayor, things would have been tough – my question is not “Ford-vs-Miller”. Rather, I want to know WHY, if the last 10 years have seen a giant boom in property values (I know that SFH assessments don’t keep up well with the going rates, but with condos they seem more-or-less right) AND a giant condo-building boom (more new units than anywhere we can name = more properties/km2 that the city can get taxes from) that there has not been a corresponding boom in property tax revenue (which is the Big Smoke’s main source of funding) EVEN WITHOUT property tax hikes (no doubt, by the way, that property tax is relatively cheap in Toronto) ???
I found some numbers from early in the year.

Anyway, help me understand. Anyone?

#16 East Van on 12.01.11 at 11:05 pm

I heard the Journalist Chris Hedges on the CBC radio program “Ideas” last night. Speaking of Canada he said that he was always amazed that Canada watched the US do things wrong, and then consistantly copied those mistakes 10 years later.

Lets see:

Piling on government and personal debt – check
Tax cuts for the wealthy – check
War on drugs – check
Privatization – check
Increasing prison population as crime falls – check
Increasing military spending – check
Electing conservative ideologues – check
Promoting gun “culture” – check
Housing bubble – coming soon?

#17 manalive on 12.01.11 at 11:05 pm

Ever seen “Mad Max”? That is what is coming…No one can make a $2000.00 monthly mortgage payment on $100,000 a year combined salary! It’s insane…Completely out to lunch.House prices will go back to 1975 levels or maybe 1965 levels and I’ll sitting in my crummy moldy apartment laughing at everyone…It’s going to be great! Ha Ha Ha……….

#18 ClaudiusEmperor on 12.01.11 at 11:07 pm

70 percents haircut is coming (in Japan it is 85 and still counting)

#19 Harvard Grad on 12.01.11 at 11:18 pm

Considering the possibility of relocating to Red Deer (career move) … any thoughts from my fellow bloggers on what I can expect in this town.

I have googled, but I am not finding alot of facts about the quality of life or what outdoor activities are available.

Any info would be appreciated… I have checked the prices of homes there – I would be more than happy to hold off for a year or two.

G, thanks for providing some excellent posts the past few weeks.

#20 Westsider on 12.01.11 at 11:21 pm

……………But it’s different here!!!!!!

#21 kevin on 12.01.11 at 11:30 pm

i have been waiting for several years for this market to drop and it never seems to end!! i’m afraid the canadian gov’t has let this debt run so high they will do anything to keep the real estate market from correcting.

#22 Wondering on 12.01.11 at 11:31 pm


If you answer me, I will purchase a few more of your books and give them out as Christmas presents.
(I have my own copies-all your books)
How long do you ballpark a 10% or so decrease in real estate in Calgary? Do you believe it could happen in only a year or do you think it would take longer?
Do you think the market could even correct by as much as 30%? Hasn’t it corrected by 10% at least already?
Your educated guess is better than nothing.
Just trying to sell my house!

I don’t accept bribes. Good luck. — Garth

#23 OttawaMike on 12.01.11 at 11:33 pm

“Two billion new workers in Asia have found jobs while 14 million Americans have lost them.”
That is a profound fact and really sums up many of the world’s problems today.

Our over stretched infrastructure, peak oil and other resource depletion, species extinction, food inflation,massive urbanization, the shortage of meaningful work besides churning money a la FIRE industries can all be traced back to the fact that there are just too many of us pesky humans on this planet.

#24 Boomer on 12.01.11 at 11:38 pm

#14 Smoking Man
Good grief man get some help! Maybe AA or your local Commity Mental Health Care facility? Get a grip for heaven sake, the sun will rise tomorrow. Honestly.

#25 OttawaMike on 12.01.11 at 11:39 pm

More talk in the US today about releasing foreclosures into the rental market instead of the resale market to try to bring some stability to housing prices.

Obama spoke about this back in August but it did not appear to go anywhere then in spite of getting short intense media coverage.

#26 OttawaMike on 12.01.11 at 11:43 pm

For the gamblers out there I for one believe there is still some room in the Canadian real estate balloon in select markets for another 12-18 months of upside.

Four words : Historically Low Lending Rates

#27 Nick_76 on 12.01.11 at 11:44 pm

It’s one of the worst time ever for buying Real Estate in Canada:


The best choice, by far, is renting / saving for next 3-4 years:


#28 renters rule on 12.01.11 at 11:51 pm

nice post DonDWest.

Agree agree agree

“Let’s be quite frank, most “professionals” in the modern era are real jokes. All they did was rote memorize a pile of crap for four years, got a degree, and bought themselves a cushy job. Not a critical thought, creative bone, or personality in their bodies.”

You have described 99% of the accountants I work with, sadly now also including the CAs (they used to actually be talented, not so any more…)

#29 NotAGreaterFool on 12.01.11 at 11:55 pm

Can Canada go the way of Greece?

Canada thus far has been lucky to avoid the crises faced by other Western countries. It has been lucky because (a) the housing sector has not tanked due to significant inflow of foreign money in the sector, and (b) the commodity cycle has been on the upswing the last 10 years due to the increased demands on commodities by China and India. Both of these positive forces can change at any time. The over-investment in the housing sector in Canada — and in many sectors, including housing — in China is not good news for Canada. What will happen to the Canadian economy if these two vital sectors turn negative?


#30 Poor student on 12.01.11 at 11:55 pm

Where do you find these pictures?

#31 EJ on 12.02.11 at 12:01 am

This is the typical attitude these days and is what you saw in the USA before their market started returning to sanity. Everybody thinks they’re a genius because they got lucky and bought before prices shot up due to cheap credit crack.

This guy may know his numbers, but the true state of the nation needs to be analyzed at the psychological level. Herd mentality rules when it comes to markets. When sentiment changes, it’s all done. Low rates (I think they’ll get even lower, due to the monetarist, bailout-driven simpletons running the central banks these days) won’t matter.

The World economy is in an absolute shambles. The governments, banks, and mainstream media are all lying about the true situation and how bad it really is. Markets rally on fraud and the raping of the taxpayers. Banks are allowed to continue lying about the value of their assets so that they don’t have to face the truth, which is bankruptcy. Destitute governments are given loan after loan after loan, with no credible plans to solve the underlying problem. Trillions of dollars are pissed down the toilet.

I hate to sound like a downer, but you’d better enjoy what you have now, because it won’t last. Forget about insignificant bullshit like high house prices, granite counter-tops, stainless steel, and Hummers. Focus on the important things in life like health, family, and friendship. Things they can’t take away from you.

Harleys. Bunkers. Amazons. — Garth

#32 Tom from Mississauga on 12.02.11 at 12:08 am

I am an accountant, so is my BF. Sorry, but that is just the what happened. Both of us are excellent with a companies financials and awful with our own. Had to get study Money Road and read this blog regularly to discover that I was a delusional wreck, like this guy. I mean, there is coffee places and groceries nearby. Everybody wants to enslave themselves forever with debt for that! Its refreshing to see a newcomer to the blog where I was 3 years ago.

#33 Mr Buyer on 12.02.11 at 12:11 am

#18…I would support a max of 50% reductions in many places based upon Japan’s experience but I have found only a few examples of 70% reductions in the hinterlands of Japan. Maybe the great metropolises are different. I can not say with any real confidence. I can say that it has been a long and drawn out grind downwards after a rather quick and large initial drop in asset values that continues to this day, although largely stabilized presently, again in the hinterlands.

#34 Kaganovich on 12.02.11 at 12:14 am

I have been reading the comments for the past few days and now feel compelled to work out my own issues and predictions on this crazy blog. From what I have read/seen there is not much good happening out there nowadays. Most of the liquidity being pumped into the system in last ditch efforts to stave off debt restructuring has done nothing to prop up aggregate demand. It is simply used to speculate some more rather than being used to invest in more worthwhile things IMO. This makes sense as wealth has concentrated into fewer hands and those who actually do the majority of consuming have less, therefore the climate for pursuing worthwhile investment in the non-virtual economy is unwelcoming. In other words, the deleveraging going on all around us is turning all this liquidity towards riskier and less helpful uses. Or the liquidity is simply being gobbled up as money equivalents contract in value (http://www.cnbc.com//id/45476620). The CDS system of insurance is nothing more than an accounting ruse used by banks to take on more risky, highly leveraged bets. Like many perceptive commentators have voiced recently, a practically instant Mexican standoff will come about if any credit event occurs and any counterparty insuring Euro bonds is asked to make those bondholders whole. It will only be through populist political pressure that debt restructuring will happen (the OWSers will probably be unveiling their form of that pressure this spring). It seems incredible to me that many could envision a strong USA with a good 15% to 20% of their workforce turned into a standing reserve army of labour. I mean, perhaps their GDP numbers may look good eventually, but if that is what it takes to do it, then the country’s economic system is a failure regardless. Same goes for Canada. The most embarrassing thing is that we Canucks had a front row seat to the USA’s reckoning with debt and an unproductive buildup in housing stock (malinvestment), and we put our heads down and ran headlong down that same path even harder. Stupid we are as a whole even if some of us as individuals had enough sense to withdraw from the stampede. Precariousness is the best word to describe these days.

#35 BPOE on 12.02.11 at 12:20 am

Benny Tal was a major real estate pumper and he’s being quoted twice this week. Hmmmmmmmmm

#36 Waterloo Resident on 12.02.11 at 12:21 am

Want to read something that will BLOW YOUR SOCKS OFF?

Here it is:



(“Unpaved: Out-Of-Cash America Undoing Its Infrastructure”):

Basically the local governments in the U.S.A. have run out of money, they are letting go of their police, letting go of their teachers, shutting down schools, shutting down fire stations, removing street lighting, and ripping up the pavement and replacing it with gravel, all in a desperate bid to try to save money that they don’t have. America is slowly turning into a 3rd-world nation.

Just wait, this same type of thing is soon coming here to a town near you here in Canada once America’s woes filter over the border into Canada.

#37 Marc L on 12.02.11 at 12:30 am

#8 T.O. Bubble Boy on 12.01.11 at 10:30 pm

Kid in the picture looks like John Baird.

I guess the baby in the swing is Canada?

I agree with the boy looking like Baird.
The baby looks like Nycole Turmel.


ET Phone Home.

#38 americanadian on 12.02.11 at 12:34 am

The other government-financed U.S. bubble that nobody talks about…the shoe will soon drop

U.S. Tuition bubble


#39 Jsan on 12.02.11 at 12:34 am

#26 OttawaMike on 12.01.11 at 11:43 pm

For the gamblers out there I for one believe there is still some room in the Canadian real estate balloon in select markets for another 12-18 months of upside.

Four words : Historically Low Lending Rates

No offense but you sound like the idiots that were telling the public that Nortel stock at its peak was still a good investment only to see it a year later crash to penny stock range.

Do you realize how absolutely foolish it would be for anyone to buy a very illiquid item such as a house trying to time the top. I mean seriously, good luck trying to dump your “investment” when the market turns. It will be next to impossible. Gambling in a very inflated housing market hoping that there still is a little bit of room to go before the peak? If your statement was serious and you’re not joking, this shows just how reckless and foolish this housing market has become.



#40 Jsan on 12.02.11 at 12:40 am

To add to my above post, Garth you should use the quote from OttawaMike as a quote on your Blog. It really does point out the absurdity and low level that housing has reached here in Canada. It has gone from a sound and sane market where people were just interested in having the opportunity to own an affordable home to nothing more than a huge tax payer (CMHC) backed casino hurting families and individuals from coast to coast who only ask for and want affordable housing.

What a mess.

#41 Axehead on 12.02.11 at 12:41 am

#19 Harvard Grad

#42 BC Bring Cash on 12.02.11 at 12:51 am

Here’s a comment about affordability of housing. When your take home pay cheque gets smaller and smaller can that be good news for increasing housing prices continuing. I doubt it. In my pay advise envelope I received a Memo regarding changes to CPP. Here it is. Effective your first pay in 2012 (employees age 60-65 who currently receive CPP retirement pension) of 2012 the Payroll Department must start deducting CPP contributions from your pensionable wages again. Currently these payments were exempt. Its just another tax by the Harper Govt. You will now have to repay part of the the pension you receive. Harper has said that there is no such thing as good tax! A tax slayer he is not. There are numerous examples of increased taxes under his regime. For example the CPP has recently increased contributions, reduced benefits for early retirement, EI has increased deductions , introducing the HST to BC and Ontario, ETC…
So how a smaller and smaller pay cheque equal higher and higher housing prices. It can’t in the long run.

#43 Ex-Cowtown on 12.02.11 at 12:51 am

Biggest problem I see with all the $$$ rushing into bail out Europe is that it is going…. into the banks. And from there, nowhere. They are sitting on it to clean up their balance sheets.

So the velocity of the money has dropped to zero and with it the money supply.

It’s like a big black hole; $$$ go in, nothing comes out. So what really happened on Wednesday? Nothing really, except the flaming out of a big chunk of reserve capital.

Yeah, I know; I’m just a geologist, not a CA. If I was a CA I’d think that the value of my house just went up because they built a Timmy’s across the street from me.

#44 renters rule on 12.02.11 at 12:51 am

I have heard from the 1% accountant who actually has some talent/creativity/personality…. good t osee you are staying SHARP over there!

#45 Axehead on 12.02.11 at 12:59 am

#19 Harvard Grad

The Good. You are smack in the middle of Edmonton and Calgary and so you can cheer for either the Oilers or Flames and either Eskimos or Stampeders…and if you like the outdoors – great place, 60 min west is some of the best fishing, hunting, recreation anywhere. Rush hours last 10 minutes.

The Bad. There are no good restaurants here. If you want to see a play or concert you need to go to either of the aforementioned cities. If you like the amenities of big city life, you have to travel 90 min north or south. If you are a professional, you need to work in Calgary. Don’t buy a house here…totally overpriced. Property taxes are horribly high. Worst drivers in the world. They don’t plow the roads in the winters – just throw sand around.

The Ugly. They put a methodone clinic here about 7 years ago and it attacted all the heroin addicts from Calgary and Edmonton and the resultant crime.

That said, it’s still better than Edmonton…but I don’t think that’s saying much.

#46 Crash Callaway on 12.02.11 at 12:59 am

Crisis What Crisis?
Can’t be!
They are still expanding Starbucks…
Yup that’s the star to steer your ship by.
Poor lost metro.

#47 Me - LOST the J-O-B on 12.02.11 at 1:02 am

Outsourced to Asia, effective soon, found days ago. Was paying 85000, expect low service folks, when good hard-working experienced fellas are not valued to their value – will not offer service for less, expect a lack of specialists folks, if you understand the difference.
Kanata is coming down fast.
G.T. speaks the truth, lamb flock. Use your brains.

#48 Patz on 12.02.11 at 1:05 am

Haven’t been here for a while–Gawd! I’ve missed you Garth. This comment may be wildly tangential–what else would be new from me?–but it concerns HAM in Vancouver. I previously thought the Asian money effect in ‘couver was highly exaggerated but less so now.

One reason is a nifty little government endorsed scam available to “high net worth individuals” (a wordy way of saying rich guys). A five–year effing tax holiday! to fast–track immigrants. What the hell are we, Panama?

Typically, in Vancouver a rich immigrant comes over with not only the advantage of having a lot of dough, our generous ‘conservative’ government gives them the opportunity to spend even more on housing out competing the poor schlubs from here who actually pay taxes.

In addition there was a study at UBC that indicates it is typical for Chinese businessmen/immigrants to bring their families over, settle them in and then return to China.

But everyone in RE in Vancouver says our high house prices are because everybody wants to live here–especially high net worth individuals.

#49 Renters Revenge on 12.02.11 at 1:05 am

#34 kagonovich “Precariousness is the best word to describe these days.”
Great comment!

#50 Me - Accountants & bean counters on 12.02.11 at 1:08 am

G.T – aren’t accountants are bean counters, not economists, so why the expectations?

#51 FTP - First Time Poster on 12.02.11 at 1:09 am

#19 – Harvard Grad

I lived in Red Deer 10yrs ago for 11yrs. Its a beautiful city, easy to commute and lots of open space, parks and good quality of life.

My suggestion would be to look around RD – Sylvan Lake, Penhold, Lacombe – all nice bedroom communities with short commutes. I had a family member who had a choice between Edmonton and the RD area – they ultimately chose Sylvan Lake and havent regretted it. Mind you, they got in before housing took off.

Best of luck

#52 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 12.02.11 at 1:16 am

“You guys kill me,” he wrote. “I am on top.” — Nothing like indulging in a barrel of self-confidence. Of course, he could be right or wrong. Mother Time calls the shots here. “The day the Bank of Canada decides it needs to squish both inflation and our debt binge, they go up on the cross.” — On cue, Mother Time appears.

Blog dog MC reads this, so why not jack the rates to 6%, just for the helluvit? I pulled 6% from the air, but feel free to reach into a rabbit’s hat and pull any figure out. Your call!

“Two billion new workers in Asia have found jobs while 14 million Americans have lost them.” — For most NAmericans, these jobs were well-paid, solid jobs. What does one do when a trade learned is gone in a flash? Where are the replacement jobs?

Production is not coming back, because it is far more profitable for management to set up factories in third-world countries, and use their untapped labor.

“Smart yuppies have it all figured out. I’ll get the beer and chips.” — Let them build up all the debt they want. If they were too smart too listen at the outset, they sure as hell won’t admit the obvious when it happens.
#14 Smoking Man — Good to see you, SM. What universe are you currently in?!
Heat or Eat? The GW cultists tell everyone the planet is heating up, here; Gas Prices Not cheap in Alaska; EUSSR Unify or else! Accelerating India pulls ahead of China; Transition Phase “Bank Lending Is Fraudulent.” Don’t ask me, I’m not that smart.

Chinese Stock Markets, Chinese Manufacturing, Crude Futures Rise, EU Writedowns, Le Swiss Plan, Liquid Eurozone, Bite Me Massachusetts, Central Banks Where are they, and what are they doing?
China If this is true, with Russia’s arsenal, they would at least match US – Israel’s combined total, and Chemical Weapons The US has plenty stockpiled; Birth Of A Politico This what sheeple have to deal with — creepy-crawlies; Bum Rap The dog had nothing to do with it; Politico’s doublespeak; 2:28 clip Gingrich sneaky, but apparently TPTB want Romney in.

Fukushima The m$m printed something true, and Fukushima updated; New Human Species So far, there’s male / female / Homer Simpson. What’s next? Xmas Lights CME arriving Sunday or Monday.

#53 Jon B on 12.02.11 at 1:20 am

GT another great post. Will this pathetic blog evolve into a less pathetic and more entertaining video blog anytime soon? Peter Schiff has a format that seems to work well. Just think, you could get your message to the illiterate; a demographic that are also buying houses in Vancouver with no money down.

#54 Gretzky4Life on 12.02.11 at 1:24 am

Yay!! Smoking Man is back, baby. Looking forward to your open third-eyed musings.

#55 InvestorsFriend (Shawn Allen) on 12.02.11 at 1:39 am


JSS at 6 says: guy sounds like a loser

Don D West at 13 has similar sentiments and mocks his credentials.

Hmmm Young guy is a Chartered Accountant, has a young lady lawyer wife, a kid and one on the way. He sounds like all that Darwin and God intended. Made himself an attractive provider, married attractive spouse and went foth and mulitplied. This is what being successful looks like. Great success can be achieved in trades and business too of course. But this guy is undeniably a winner.

Okay, he may have false optimism about the value of his condo.

But he is no loser. He is most definitly on a winning path in this life.

(But I am not sure why he tells us he is on top, that is a little personal).

Even a big swoon in house prices will not put much of a dent in the trajectory of success here. In fact if house prices fall by half and he loses his equity, what harm really given he buys the bigger place for half price and ends up with a much smaller mortgage. Equity is not the only thing that matters. Low debt is good too, even if at a lower net worth.

#56 800 RMK on 12.02.11 at 1:46 am

I am also a designated accountant and have lots of friends who are accountants. It’s amazing the amount of accountants I know who think its different here in Saskatoon and Calgary.

The average family income in Saskatoon in the $70,000’s and the average family house is selling in the low $300,000’s. This isn’t sustainable. There are many contributing factors to this madness, many of which have been mentioned on this blog. Here is my own list of things our “CONSERVATIVE” governments have done that have intervened in the housing market and helped to prop up housing prices.

-Federal & SK government numerous different housing related tax credits.
-CMHC for 0% Down 30 Year Mortgages, 35 Year Interest Only Payments, 40 Year Amortizations
-The Current 30 Year Amortization with 5% down payment doesn’t cut the mustard.
– I personally know someone who routinely HAD to approve mortgages for 45 + year olds, some 60 years and older who had ZERO down (no assets to speak of) and 35 to 40 year amortization periods. In a world where CMHC did not exist, what bank would actually take on the risk of leading enormous sums of money to people like this under these circumstances?
-The City of Saskatoon, these clowns have allocated $3 to $5 million for people who make under $70,000 to somehow use for their down payments.

What do all the above points have in common? They are all instances of Government intervention in the housing market, in our “free Market” economy. These policy points have all helped to prop up housing prices, while at the same time they have been done in the name of “housing affordability”. These policies have all helped people get into housing that shouldn’t have otherwise been able to afford in a free market.

Are people like myself and those who frequent this blog to believe that the people running this country are this stupid? Or has the original intent of all these ludicrous policies been to prop up housing and keep this debt binge going as long as possible?

#57 OwlEyes on 12.02.11 at 1:48 am

Come on, surely someone has an idea about the property tax thing? Why are not all major municipalities (but especially TO with the condo boom) not rolling in property tax revenue cash?

And what happens when property value assesments get adjusted down, say, in VCR or TO?

#58 Rob on 12.02.11 at 1:51 am

Hey Harvard,
Looking for advice on Red Deer…where shall I start?
I have had two sets of friends relocate there for work over the last few years. One set has has returned to Edmonton and the other is close to leaving RD for interior BC.
To put it politely Red Deer has a large population of Red Necks. Just about makes Calgary and Edmonton look like Paris. Both sets of friends really disliked living there and not just for the lack of culture and excellent chance of a high performance sled ripping up and down your street on a quiet winter evening.
Loads of young people making fairly decent cash call Red Deer home and the men leave for long periods work all over the province in camps and rigs. Nothing wrong with that till you live near it say my friends formerly of RD…watch out on off week!
Trucks, sleds, atv’s, drinking and getin’er done are Red Deer in a nutshell.
Some of the best parts of the Alberta Rockies are straight west though. No tourisits and just as nice as the parks for getin’er done!

#59 Rob on 12.02.11 at 1:58 am

I meant to sAy amazing outdoor stuff is plentiful and close to Red Deer. This has to rank as it’s #1 draw. Nordegg and area is trmendous and not overrun like Banff and the other parks.
90 mins north or south to Edmonton or Calgary as well.

#60 HouseBuster on 12.02.11 at 1:58 am

@#5 NOBODY on 12.01.11 at 9:51 pm
Housebuster wrote:

“50% haircut is coming!”

Prove it.

Prove it? Prove it?

How much proof do you need? Just look around the world at what happened to every single housing bubble that ever existed.

Only this time it is much worse in Canada.

#61 800 RMK on 12.02.11 at 2:04 am

To #13 DonDWest

I’m a “Professional” Chartered Accountant. I sure as hell didn’t “Buy” my credentials, nor were they given to me. Nor are they given out to anyone who wants them. The Chartered Accountant Unifrom Evaluation is regarded as one of the best standardized tests in North American accross all professions.

While not everyone who is a “Professional” is worth their salt, nor is every government worker, service worker, food worker, labourer or tradesmen. There are alot of useless people in our society getting paid all sorts of money who aren’t worth a fraction of it.

Not sure what you do but I could probably say the same BS sort of things about people who do your job. IE) all mechancis screw you with the right opprotunity, realtors are all realturds, all union people are lazy socialists and FTD all day.

#62 FlyKev on 12.02.11 at 2:51 am

“Starbucks-swilling, obnoxious, procreating little metrosexual professionals like these may not like to admit it…”

LOL – I just found a new descriptor for my friends.

– 28 yr old “Gen Y’er”

#63 northerner on 12.02.11 at 2:52 am

On Steve Keen’s website he says that aggregate demand is the sum of GDP plus the change in debt (as a percentage of GDP) If we take this to be accurate I wonder if Canada (and Australia) have been in recession for many years with only a few quarters of +ve growth in the last 20 years

#64 noodles 79 on 12.02.11 at 3:01 am

Great blog! Yuppy moguls talking million dollar houses, who are probably still paying off student loans.Its amazing how ten years of low interest rates can change some people’s perception of a million bucks.It makes people lose sight of some real issues.OwlEyes #15 has brought up a real issue.How can T.O. go through ten years of increadable growth and still be in debt?It’s a question everyone should ponder.Tax upon tax upon tax, imagine all the money exchanged relating to real estate, and all of it being taxed.Wow! And T.O. is in debt? The government seems to be talking from both sides of their mouth again, as usual.It seems like a major contradiction to say our economy is doing great when our biggest city is in debt.The only explanation I could think of is, the more they take in.,the more they sguander. When you can get people fantasizing about taking on five and six hundred thousand dollar mortgages, you can get them to ignor the obviuos. Like ‘Where’s the money if we’re doing so good? People should be getting tax breaks, if we’re doing so good! Double talk bs, thats all it is, and they get away with it because the minny realestate moguls dont care about anything but their road to realestate riches.I just stopped for a minute, closed my eyes, and thought of all that money and all the taxes again, wow! Somebody’s laughing at us, all the way to the bank, and the minny moguls don’t even notice because their staring at their reflection in the granite counter top.Distraction is how a magician tricks people,there are some good magicians getting people to beleive a six hundred thousand dollar mortgage is affordable on an average salary.The trick gets old when the actual numbers start dawnining on people. Mabey then will people start asking ‘wheres the money?’

#65 MB on 12.02.11 at 3:19 am

Reason #101 why you should never have an accountant in charge of your business.

#66 The RealTruth on 12.02.11 at 3:59 am

Anyone have that feeling that Vancouver and Toronto housing demand is prime for a leg up in the spring?

The new Supervisa for immigration is announced today. Up to 165,000 parents can come to Canada next year. And no Immigration Laywer Junius, these numbers ARE NOT added to offical immigration stats because these visas are valid for 10 years only. Those numbers are 280,000 last year plus temp workers and temp students.


This will push demand higher in the two cities. If you are renting, get an agreement as your rents will probably be going up as families look for more space.

Emotions aside, you know this to be true. No correction next year (but maybe later in the decade)and this influx will result in a lot of illegal labor. Expect wages to stagnate or fall.

#67 Betty Danin on 12.02.11 at 4:16 am

Accountants and lawyers have no experience and knowledge about economic history.They can count and follow laws. The number of their degrees give them no advantage on economic matters. They do not understand that the more debt one has it can only restrict your life. Financial literacy was not part of Accountant 101, Lawyer 101. The central banks of the world cut interest rates not for you but for the banks, real estate agents, lawyers,builders, mortgage brokers etc. All the degrees in the world can’t give you common sense. What goes up must come down. I guess that is why they call economics the dismal science.

#68 Foggy on 12.02.11 at 4:39 am

Well this guy can rationalize his house purchase all he wants, but he has a major problem. In real estate there are certain homes you avoid, because they are problematic to sell, later. The most common are:

Bad location (crime, busy street, no parking etc)
Water leakage in basement
Too narrow a lot
Less than 3 bedrooms in home

Even if that house had 2 bedrooms, it would be a long and tough sell to move that place. And it has only one? What possessed him to buy it in the first place? Probably a compromised price – which he will discover will be his situation when he lists.
There’s a reason why you don’t see many 1 and 2 bedroom houses around.

#69 Nickolaos Vlittas on 12.02.11 at 5:34 am

Alrighty now! Enough! I want everyone to stop their yapping about some kind of crash of the housing market. Just mind your business. Or else…..


#70 Mr. Lahey on 12.02.11 at 7:14 am

It’s December folks and you all know what that means. Yep, the Sunnyvale Trailer Park Christmas party. Smoking Man and Disciple have stated they are coming. Smoking Man and Disciple have generously offered to present a joint lecture on how to avoid being a slave in both mind and body. Westernman and Form Man have decided to enter the ring to settle their differences mano a mano (you may recall this ring from the episode where Bubbles dressed up as the Green Bastard wrestler). Other bloggers have yet to respond to please advise whether you will be coming. Our fearless and intrepid leader Garth says he will come if enough blog dogs respond. The right honourable Jim Flaherty has been sent an invitation and it is our hope he will say yes so we can set up a debate with the bearded one on the housing bubble. Speaking of bubbles, Bubbles is working very hard on his Christmas carol repertoire and will not disappoint. A guest appearance by Rita MacNeil is also in the works. Ricky, Randy, Julian and the rest of the Sunnyvale Gang await your responses.

#71 Hicksville Alberta on 12.02.11 at 7:24 am

#13 DonDWest

I think your post is the best post i have read yet on Garth’s Blog as it starts to go to the heart of the matter in this and all other so called “Developed” countries.

You have left off the “Educator” (so called professionals); the “Bureaucracy” (so called professionals); and the “Health Care (so called professionals) from your list as well as they in aggregate are equally incompetent and worthless for the money, energy, initiative, and lifeblood they suck and drain from society.

They all have become such Vested Interests and Self Serving Swine at the trough in society that there needs to be a total reorganization of all of this before the whole craphouse tilts over.

I’d much rather live in Hicksville as far away from all this shite and try to maintain some sort of perceived independence than be drug around through the inertia and lifedraining existence in the cities.

Good on Ya!

#72 Beach Girl on 12.02.11 at 7:25 am

#14 Smoking Man

Whatever you do, drink, smoke, just do not do the Oxys.


On a lighter note, my two idiots were complaining they didn’t have enough money. I told them to give themselves a raise. Stop spending money. Simple.

And Westernman (debatable, the manliness), I am on no meds. at all. Am a bit of a health freak.

Always enjoy my time here.

#73 Stupesing in Cabbagetown on 12.02.11 at 7:57 am

If that’s Yuppienomics, then I guess I’m a Yuffie -F for failure, with lifestyle and values very different from these people. Downtown debt-free renter who can walk to work if I have to.

#74 Cow Man on 12.02.11 at 8:11 am

# 57 Owleye

Municipal taxes are used for people services. One needs to take the total assessments, from all classes, business, industrial, and residential and divide it by the population number, to factor the total assessment per capita.

Different classes of assessment have different mulitples to factor the mill rate. With loss of industial assessment which is the second highest factor after Distilleries, the total assessment per capita is dropping.

Condo’s make the problem worse. Assessment per capita are lower. That is why Toronto is in big trouble. Too many people. Too little assessment.

#75 Junius on 12.02.11 at 8:12 am

#34 Kaganovich,

Excellent post. I agree.

We continue injecting funds to prop up a financial system that is so heavily extended we will all be debt slaves to keep it going. How long this continues is anyones guess.

Eventually debts that cannot be paid won’t.

#76 Junius on 12.02.11 at 8:21 am

#66 therealtruth,

So gramma is going to come to Canada from India, Italy or Jamaica and that is going to push real estate prices up? This is a reach, even for you.

How does this work? Gramma moves into the mortgage helper suite in the basement and kicks out the current tenants who then lesve and buy a house? Sure.

Do we have to repeat all the reasons again that immigration will not save real estate prices because they were caused by excessive debt and not by demand?

I also note that you added “real” now to your name. Does this mean your posts before were a different type of “thetruth”. Just curious.

#77 Aussie Roy on 12.02.11 at 8:28 am

Aussie Update

Oops, there goes the Aussie banks credit ratings.

Australia’s big four banks had their credit ratings cut by Standard & Poor’s as a result of major changes in the criteria it uses to assess risk.


Big four banks’ credit downgrade threatens December rate cut


Searching for house price clues

The search phrase “real estate agents” broke out of its four-year decline beginning at the start of 2008, temporarily rising to 33 in February 2010 as home prices in the Australian market peaked.

Capital city home prices peaked in the June quarter of 2010, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The phrase “real estate agents” then resumed its decline.


The Real Estate Institute of Australia has slammed the Labor government’s proposal to cap rents in Australia

REIA president Pamela Bennett said capping rents would be “disastrous” for rental affordability and the property market.


#78 Junius on 12.02.11 at 8:29 am

#13 Dondwest,

Talk about stereotypes. There are good and bad in any profession. The notion thst this leads to rejecting all of them is just wrong.

I think the key to this couple is their youngish age. They are probably in their 30s which means they have never seen anything but rising house prices in their adult lives. Later stGe Gen X and Gen Y are the most likely to hold firmly to the belief that Re never goes down.

The blame should be placed in the psycological phenomenon known as “The Recency Effect” which makes us believe that the future is most likely predicted by recent events and experience. A young professional may be more prone to this belief because they understznd recent events very well but lack the long term experience from which to judge matters.

#79 Junius on 12.02.11 at 8:35 am

#63 Northerner,

I don’t think we can say we were in a recession but we can certainly say that we were deluded into thinking we were more prosperous than we were by access to cheap credit. This has led to a widespread misallocation of our resources. Now we need to pay the piper, namely our financial services industry. Or not.

#80 househornyhousewife on 12.02.11 at 8:41 am


What the heck are you doing ?!

It is exactly those Starbucks swilling, obnoxious, procreating little metrosexual professionals that I want to see buried in the dust.

I have had to put up with their overconfident, “know it all”, ignorant little attitude for years now (it’s like living amongst a bunch of teenagers .. you know, with the “magical thinking” idea that bad things can never happen to THEM). The sheer thought that in order to pay for their laziness, stupidity and greed, they will have to enslave themselves well into their nineties serving people like me just fills me with vengeful joy.

Don’t rock the boat and ruin the previous generation’s plan. Shhh ! Keep your advice to yourself please.

Hey Mr. Accountant, go for that gorgeous $700,000.00 home and bid higher if you have to. Sure it looks just like the one next door and the one next to that one but you will make it yours by choosing a different colour of granite countertop and a different texture of rug. These homes will never decrease in value, not even as time ravages their precious PVC windows and the cheap shingle roof begins to leak into the walls. You will always cherish being like everyone else and fitting in .. How hot is that ? … a trendy professional with 2.5 kids who has to commute through heavy traffic in your BMW every single day. Your everlastingly attractive and sexy spouse will always look with loving eyes at you across the breakfast table and your children will grow to cherish everything you have done for them … they will even take care of you in your old age so money has no boundaries when it comes to their happiness and gratitude.

Garth, come on, help me out a little here.


#81 Pr on 12.02.11 at 8:43 am

The Canadian economy, so dependent on US imports, commodity values and consumer spending…So dependent of US, that Canada and USA is getting one country together : Action Plan Allows U.S. Cops to Operate in Canada !!


#82 T.O. Bubble Boy on 12.02.11 at 9:14 am

@ #56 800 RMK

I am also a designated accountant and have lots of friends who are accountants. It’s amazing the amount of accountants I know who think its different here in Saskatoon and Calgary.

The average family income in Saskatoon in the $70,000′s and the average family house is selling in the low $300,000′s. This isn’t sustainable.

$70k income and $300k house prices?

That sounds like a nice, cute, teeny weeny little bubble compared to Vancouver and Toronto, with price/income ratios double or triple that.

#83 SLN on 12.02.11 at 9:29 am

This might be a stupid question, but..

I got nervous when I saw an ad the other night for the CDIC (Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation) so I went to the web site today and looked up the list of who is a member.

Scotiabank and my credit union are not on the list. ??? i asked both places if they were insured, and they said yes. here’s the list, tell me if i’m missing something wrt Scotiabank in particular:


#84 Herb on 12.02.11 at 9:35 am

Warning: Political Content!


#85 SLN on 12.02.11 at 9:36 am

nevermind.. I see Scotia listed in the old name “The Bank of Nova Scotia” and my credit union is insured by Ontario Deposit Insurance Corp. he he.. I should have done better homework before posting. apologies.

still.. the bank of nova scotia thing bothers me. that’s not what’s written on the letterhead, website etc. can I be sure they are the same thing?

#86 detalumis on 12.02.11 at 9:49 am

Accountants and lawyers are actually next on the list for outsourcing to India, almost all routine legal and accountant work can be offshored. #45 methadone clinics do not attract heroin addicts. We have one in Oakville, nobody raised a fuss after it opened and the last time I looked it didn’t affect property prices. Methadone is also used to wean people off of prescription meds not just heroin.

#87 Ralph Cramdown on 12.02.11 at 9:58 am

Why are not all major municipalities (but especially TO with the condo boom) not rolling in property tax revenue cash?

The city sets a mil rate based on the budget and the total assessed real estate value. Mil rate x your assessed value = your taxes. There really are cities in the ‘states with no mil rate — tax revenues go up and down with assessed values. In boom times, they piss away all kinds of money, and when the bust came, they laid off 40% of their police and firefighters. Not smart. Then there’s California, with its wonky Proposition 13 and Mello-Roos.

I think it might be harder to competently run a big city than a national government. The easy thing in a city is to hold the line on taxes, spend on visible things, and let the sewer and water pipes rot in the ground and the bridges rust. Ten years later, a cold winter hits and the new administration has pipes bursting everywhere. Who do you think the citizens blame for raising taxes, reduced services and traffic jams?

#88 Nick in Calgary on 12.02.11 at 10:05 am

@ Harvard Grad:

Maybe the reason you why can’t find any facts on the quality of life or things to do in Red Deer is because there aren’t any. Just sayin’…

Oh, but if you drive an hour west or an hour east or an hour north or an hour south, there’s something to do? Sounds perfect!

#89 Nemesis on 12.02.11 at 10:06 am

“Starbucks-swilling, obnoxious, procreating little metrosexual professionals “…

You had me at “swilling”.


#90 tonyw on 12.02.11 at 10:14 am

Property taxes in Ontario are currently based on market value assessment – SF or condo – so size/square footage has little to do with the amount.

There are 2 types of insurance on condos – common element/building insurance included in your maintenance fees and contents insurance paid for by the owner. Add these 2 together to compare with SF/freehold insurance amounts.

#91 AM on 12.02.11 at 10:16 am

#57 OwlEyes on 12.02.11 at 1:48 am
Come on, surely someone has an idea about the property tax thing? Why are not all major municipalities (but especially TO with the condo boom) not rolling in property tax revenue cash?

And what happens when property value assesments get adjusted down, say, in VCR or TO?

OK, I’ll bite since you’re just too lazy to do some homework.

Cities/municipalities tax property owners based on the proportionate value of their property within the municpality. It appears that you think that doubling property values = double taxes; not so. When property values fall, don’t expect taxes to fall; you are still responsible for your proportionate cut of the tax pie. It doesn’t get less expensive to run a municipality with falling property values. It actually gets worse on tax payers if the municipal tax base doesn’t grow from new development.

You want to know where all that “tax revenue cash” went from the recent boom. How about the new municipal infrastructure like water, sewer and major roadways required to service the increased population.

#92 jess on 12.02.11 at 10:22 am

reputational risk restorer?

…..”Yesterday, a Deutsche Bank branch in Atlanta had requested the eviction of Vita Lee, a 103-year-old Atlanta woman, and her 83-year-old daughter. Both were terrified of being removed from their home of 53 years and had no idea where they’d go next…”


#93 Ammo & Viagra on 12.02.11 at 10:32 am

I can’t believe I will give Smoking Man some advice.
SM, you probably won’t take it anyway, but just in case…
deep down I think you’re a good guy, who has lost all faith in you human kind.
this week, go immediately to a local Chiropractor and Registered Massage therapist. Get a full assessment by both. If you a have a naturopath close by also book an appt. Do not wait. Give yourself an early christmas gift.
The reason is that due to your past indulgences and the effects of stress, your body’s systems, muscular and skeletal, glandular are severely out of balance. This leads to pain and dysfunction, that over time spirals out of control. all you can do is take chemicals to try to feel better. This will not end well.
These therapies adjust your body and mind, within a week or two , you will feel the difference. You will feel more energy and your symptoms will subside. Stick with the treatment protocol that they give you..go at least 2-3 X per week..after a couple of months , that will reduce to 1x every week or two,because you’ll feel so much better.
Also, you might want to search for a Shiatsu practitioner in your area. I have experienced this many times over the years. The deep pressure points (they use elbows and thumbs) to press deep into your tissues and joints..awesome, will take away Smoking man’s stress// You will be a new man in the new year..you just probably never heard how amazing these therapies are..
Big Pharma doesn’t want this to be too popular!!

#94 T.O. Bubble Boy on 12.02.11 at 10:45 am

CIBC to focus on “quality” over “quantity” with its mortgage business:

Does this mean the end of the 7% Cashback mortgage that puts the 5% down crowd immediately into negative equity?

#95 disciple on 12.02.11 at 10:47 am

#70 Mr. Lahey… are the sheethawks coming too? If so, I’ll send my replacement poster instead… he’s a mind-controlled clone of Russian invention, so nobody would know the difference anyway…

#96 Work & Tumbel on 12.02.11 at 10:50 am


How do I know? I am a Sales Rep (started as Tradesmen) I travel all over southwestern Ontario, I have been 100% commission payed for over 16 years. It was a hard start but after a few years at making calls I started to see Success! for the last 14 years I have made a very good income after expenses. I sell to industry, put more miles on than ever and I know I will make half the income of past years. (I have not become fat and lazy) Indusdustry is gone! with the good jobs. I have seen a lot of companys moving equipment out of Ontario and now in there place we have a warehouse with a office in Toronto.
YES there is no economy to jump start just a lot of warehouse staff making 15bucks an hour.

#97 brainsail on 12.02.11 at 10:51 am

The latest unemployment numbers…

“The Canadian the jobless rate edged up a percentage point to 7.4 per cent while the U.S. jobless rate improved by falling to 8.6 per cent from nine per cent.

The Canadian numbers were far short of expectations. Economists had estimated the economy would add about 17,000 jobs, rather than lose them..

The U.S. non-farm payrolls report was in line with expectations. The Labour department also revised the last two months higher by 72,000 jobs.”


#98 disciple on 12.02.11 at 11:00 am

Thought for the day: This will not end well… does it ever end well? Does it ever really end? We can make up the rules as we go and change them at any time. I think that there is no end, and instead merely an infinite number of beginnings; therefore, there is ever-present pregnant hope and no reason whatsoever for despair. Ever. Which sums up my economics. The kingdom of God is within you.

#99 Van guy smokin now on 12.02.11 at 11:04 am

How the hell did I end up on that web site? — Garth

You’re not exposed enough Garth. Anyways, Vancouver unemployment rate edged down. Van west median and avg prices edged up. Wtf???

#100 disciple on 12.02.11 at 11:19 am

Here’s the thing: it doesn’t matter what you believe in. You could be Mother Teresa or Smoking Man. If you believe, that at some point in time or space one will pay for deeds or misdeeds (karma, judgement day or whatever) OR if you believe in nihilistic, random, frigid, meaninglessness nothingness, the same illogical conclusion arises: we perform good deeds with pure of heart intentions simply for the sake of doing so. The meaning is self-contained, and requires no explanation, it requires no REASON. It requires only a choice between two equally illogical paths, one of which is less insane than the other. The less insane, less destructive path is the path of the creative function, the path of life, and of Mother Teresa. Sorry, Smoking Man…

#101 I'm in Mr. Lahey!!! on 12.02.11 at 11:21 am

Sorry, that should have been “I’m in, Mr. Lahey!!!” :)

Westernman vs Form Man, sounds like a blast.

when is the party, sir? and is it at Sunnyvale?


#102 sam.i.am on 12.02.11 at 11:25 am

#96… any idea where the equipment has gone?

#103 Bottoms_Up on 12.02.11 at 11:27 am

The dogs will like this one, Ottawa area principal cancels Christmas!


#104 Bottoms_Up on 12.02.11 at 11:32 am

#83 SLN on 12.02.11 at 9:29 am
You’re the bank of Nova Scotia

#105 T.O. Bubble Boy on 12.02.11 at 11:35 am

whoa – and speaking of CIBC’s mortgages, guess who has been the most addicted to the CMHC free money crack?


(look at the insured mortgage percentages)

#106 KingBubbles on 12.02.11 at 11:39 am


#107 jess on 12.02.11 at 11:44 am

“quality” over “quantity
incentives – commissions


#108 doctore on 12.02.11 at 11:48 am

It is beyond me how or why there is still such housing development here in London. The jobs results just released show the unemployment rate now at near 10% the highest in Canada almost! And yet we have all these new housing subdivisions being developed and popping up. My questions are: 1)where is the demand for housing coming from, 2)who has the money to afford these new places??? With unemployment that high and no real industries growing here, there is not alot of influx of new people coming. And with people out of work, where would the money needed to carry these mortgages come from?


#109 jess on 12.02.11 at 11:58 am

“The kingdom of God is within you.”
gnostic thomas and those men claimed they knew

“Didrons iconography you see jc is portrayed as a female with the beard of a male, and is called jesus christ as saint sophia (ie. the widsom or the spirit of both sexes.

#110 OwlEyes on 12.02.11 at 12:00 pm

#91 AM on 12.02.11 at 10:16 am “When property values fall, don’t expect taxes to fall; you are still responsible for your proportionate cut of the tax pie.”
– Then clearly the city council will have to approve a new, higher rate!
“You want to know where all that “tax revenue cash” went from the recent boom. How about the new municipal infrastructure like water, sewer and major roadways required to service the increased population.”
– Really?
#74 Cow Man on 12.02.11 at 8:11 am
Thanks, more helpful, look at what has happened. A lot of industry has been lost (and the rate of property tax of course is much higher for industry) but on the other hand, huge 30-story condo towers have been springing up everywhere like aliens out of John Hurt’s chest. Each unit is taxed at a lower rate, but there are lots of units! Lots of people too, but are these people schoolkids? How many new schools have been built in Toronto in the last few years? How many new roads? New sewers?
Are you really saying that this adds up?
Forgive me, wise ones.

#111 Regan on 12.02.11 at 12:05 pm

Dear Mr. On Top,
Congrats on your good luck. Yes a house price is more durable than a condo’s. And yes, I’m sure it’s gone up like crazy recently. However, be careful not to lock in that mortgage or else you’ll have to pay an A$$-reaming fee to break it when you try to time the market to sell. Also, here’s hoping that the other transaction costs don’t wipe out the 20% in equity you currently have, which hopefully won’t get damaged in any future market fluctuations. After owning through many theoretical market values in 20 years, I try to remember that a balance sheet asset is not cash in hand, and an asset is not worth ANY definite cash value until you actually convert it to cash. Unless you are spending less money on your home than you would if you rented, you’ll have to wait until you’ve cashed out successfully before you count your blessings. Best of luck.

#112 Mr. Lahey on 12.02.11 at 12:05 pm

#99 Disciple

I can assure you that the shithawks will be kept at bay. Your joint presentation with Smoking Man should be a real mind expander. Form Man and Westernman in the ring will be great as well. The bearded one has yet to respond but I suspect he will pounce once he hears Flaherty is ready to debate him on the housing bubble. The trailer park is buzzing with excitement.

#113 bridgepigeon on 12.02.11 at 12:06 pm

70 Mr. Lahey, Put me down for attending the joint lecture.

#114 John saccy on 12.02.11 at 12:07 pm

Garth, Is it John Baird’s kid doing the kicking? Surely looks like a smaller version of him.

I would not be surprised if it was.

#115 Mister Sanity on 12.02.11 at 12:08 pm

#36 Waterloo Resident

The unpaving-of-America stories are overused and overblown; that’s what you get when you listen to the MSM. The unwashed masses however love this stuff, which is why it keeps getting used. I can think of plenty of roads even here just outside Toronto that I question why they’re paved. A 10km stretch with 20 farms, intersected by paved arteries every 2km, does not need to be paved – the taxpayer burden is tough to justify, and I don’t blame some areas for taking a second look. Politically it’s not a big deal – you might upset a few farmers, who mostly drive pickups and will likely get a better road surface with annual grading than they’re currently getting filling potholes on pavement. Those roads getting ripped up in the USA are in these categories – it’s not like the interstates are being ripped up here, and most of China’s rural infrastructure is a minute fraction of what the US has.


#116 Form Man on 12.02.11 at 12:09 pm

#157 westernman yesterday

counciling ? not only can you not spell, that isn’t even a word. I give up. you are most definitely beyond rescue. you have no education, no money, no mate, no friends, no clue.
what you do have in spades is :
you are correct on one thing :
I do not have time for failures such as yourself.

au revoir westernman

#117 Mr. Lahey on 12.02.11 at 12:10 pm

#101 I’m in Mr. Lahey!!!

The final date has not been set but Barb thinks we can do it about a week before Christmas. Bubbles is reinforcing the ring for the battle between Westernman and Form Man and yes it should be a total blast watching these two arch enemies fighting it out mano a mano. Everyone in the park is cleaning up their act for this first annual Greater Fool blog dog Christmas party. Ricky and Cyrus have laid down their guns and are working furiously behind the scenes to make this the best Christmas party ever. Of course it will be in Sunnyvale!

#118 arctodus on 12.02.11 at 12:19 pm

Garth you are wrong about the USA.

It will not recover and neither will the rest of the world economically speaking. Permanent high energy prices have killed the entire global economy. Money printing will proceed enmasse as it has for years now…it will not matter…..the economies worldwide are contracting hard…but of course such things cannot be advertised..bad for biz and all that.

If you want a taste of what the world is heading for (indeed is already well into….read the “American Apocalypse” series…fiction yes,…realistic yes,….Mel Gibson is no where to be seen.

We are in the middle of the most obvious and advertised civilizational collapse in world history and people still just do not get it.

Funny little monkeys…

#119 disciple on 12.02.11 at 12:26 pm

“Why I am striking”: (profanity alert)


#120 Beach Girl on 12.02.11 at 12:29 pm

#80 househornyhousewife

Made my morning, good on you. Entertaining, I agree with you.

#121 kilby on 12.02.11 at 12:53 pm

#13 DonDWest.

I didn’t think I would ever agree with you but your #13 post is very much in line with what I have found in the last 20 years….Well said!
I have two friends, a couple whose “financial advisor” convinced them to borrow $100,000 to invest so they could claim the interest costs on their income taxes. At last count the investment is now worth $90,000 and this is all since August this year. One of my “financial advisors” has invested all her (and her families) money in Newfoundland residential real estate because “with the oil, prices will only go up there” I manage my own stocks, funds and cash and have done very well with a modest family income

#122 Kip on 12.02.11 at 12:57 pm

Don’t bet against America Garth!

It doesn’t matter which clown they put in there, they are broke and in big trouble no matter what!


#123 kilby on 12.02.11 at 1:02 pm

#61 800RMK

You don’t write like a professional…………

#124 VICTORIA TEA PARTY on 12.02.11 at 1:04 pm

#42 Bring BC Cash

Exactly right.

What’s happening is the labour force is contracting and getting paid less while demands on government programs are expanding. That’s thanks to demographics.

So, the concept of wage-earners, in their 60s, paying into CPP all the while collecting the benefit is the “newest thing.” Same will apply to OAS recipients who’ll be taxed just a little bit more, year by year.


Therefore, membership in this society will soon have more obligations than privileges!

It’s just the way things are heading, and you can’t do a damn thing about it.

Your long-range plans are now very simple: enjoy the ride and get out of debt. Deflation loves people with spare change; loathes ’em who have too much debt, and eventually slays ’em.

Meanwhile keep a close eye on the Eurozone this weekend. Next week’s early stock market action should be a hoot. I predict mayhem because the Eurocrats will never get their acts together. Not in their DNA.

#125 Mr. Lahey on 12.02.11 at 1:06 pm

#100 Disciple

Some sagacious thoughts Disciple. I like your eclectic source of inspiration. You sound like a highly evolved soul. This is why I am really fired up about you speaking to Sunnyvale’s inhabitants at the Christmas party (and the blog dogs who attend). Ricky, Julian, Cyrus, et al, need to hear your words of wisdom.

#126 Devore on 12.02.11 at 1:11 pm

#36 Waterloo Resident

Basically the local governments in the U.S.A. have run out of money, they are letting go of their police, letting go of their teachers, shutting down schools, shutting down fire stations, removing street lighting, and ripping up the pavement and replacing it with gravel, all in a desperate bid to try to save money that they don’t have.

They forgot to fire the guys who license your dog and approve the deck in your backyard. Apparently more important than police and putting out fires.

All unadulterated BS. — Garth

#127 Devore on 12.02.11 at 1:22 pm

#57 OwlEyes

And what happens when property value assesments get adjusted down, say, in VCR or TO?

Nothing. Well, tax rates (mill rate) go up. Cities have a budget, and they must raise the money from property taxes to meet it, so they set the rate every year based on assessments. If property prices are going higher, that just makes it easier to hide property tax increases, because the tax rate can be going down, even as the actual dollar amount goes up.

#128 Mr. Lahey on 12.02.11 at 1:31 pm

#116 Form Man

“I do not have time for failures such as yourself.
au revoir westernman.”

Whoa, not so friggin fast Form Man. You are going to be duking it out with Westernman in the Sunnyvale wrestling ring at the annual Christmas party. You have obviously skipped over my previous posts today. This will be the time to settle your differences mano a mano and then afterwards we can all have a nice shot of scotch to celebrate the battle. The Sunnyvale gang is counting on you as well as several of the blog dogs who have responded to my invitation. Please reconsider because the last thing you want is for Westernman to think you are a coward!

#129 Peakoilist on 12.02.11 at 1:49 pm

Mr.Lahey, I was totally in when I thought you said Disciple and Smoking Man were bringing joints…but that’s not what you meant..I’ll check my itinerary again
Do you have an airport nearby?
Should I bring anything?

#130 yoing & foolish on 12.02.11 at 1:57 pm

Wow … do companies pay people like this (and like the ones Garth mentioned yesterday who come to his office with no savings and huge debts) 6 figure salaries ?

#131 Disciple's Replacement on 12.02.11 at 2:01 pm

I am not Russian and Nova Scotia is too far..sounds like a good partaay though…

#132 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 12.02.11 at 2:03 pm

And now, the winner of this year’s Darwin Award; as always, awarded posthumously.

These individuals have to be applauded, not only for removing themselves from humanity’s gene pool, but for reminding us to avoid being completely clueless in all areas of life.

Arizona Highway Patrol came upon a pile of smoldering metal embedded in the side of a cliff rising above the road at the apex of a curve.

The wreckage resembled the site of an airplane crash, but it was a car. The type of car was unidentifiable at the scene.

Police investigators finally pieced together the mystery. An amateur rocket scientist had somehow gotten hold of a JATO unit (Jet Assisted Take Off . . . actually a solid-fuel rocket) that is used to give heavy military transport planes an extra ‘push’ for taking off from short airfields.

He had driven his Chevy Impala out into the desert and found a long, straight stretch of road. He attached the JATO unit to the car, jumped in, got up some speed and fired off the JATO!

The facts as best could be determined are that the operator of the 1967 Impala hit the JATO ignition at a distance of approximately 3.0 miles from the crash site. This was established by the scorched and melted asphalt at that location.

The JATO, if operating properly, would have reached maximum thrust within 5 seconds, causing the Chevy to reach speeds well in excess of 350 mph and continuing at full power for an additional 20 -25 seconds.

The driver, and soon-to-be pilot, would have experienced G-forces usually reserved for dog fighting F-14 jocks under full afterburners, causing him to become irrelevant for the remainder of the event.

However, the automobile remained on the straight highway for about 2.5 miles (15-20 seconds) before the driver applied and completely melted the brakes, blowing the tires and leaving thick rubber marks on the road surface, then becoming airborne for an additional 1.4 miles and impacting the cliff face at a height of 125 feet, leaving a blackened crater 3 feet deep in the rock.

Most of the driver’s remains were not recoverable.

Epilogue: It has been calculated that this moron attained a ground speed of approximately 420-mph, though much of his voyage was not actually on the ground.

Really . . . we couldn’t make this stuff up. People like these are all around us. They have kids and they vote!
Further research material — Penguin Whisky, Pissing Contest, Memories of Santa and Privatization.

#133 yoing & foolish on 12.02.11 at 2:19 pm

All you guys calling for 50% haircuts in RE ….
Have you stopped to consider what the impact would be on the general economy and on your ability to earn a living? Wow … dummies!

Garth is right about RE, it’s more often than not an emotional asset and could turn negative on a dime!

And RE is not an “investment” unless it pays you to own it.

#134 Ronaldo on 12.02.11 at 2:30 pm



#135 OwlEyes on 12.02.11 at 2:33 pm

#114 John saccy on 12.02.11 at 12:07 pm

JB’s kid? LOL. Good one.

#136 hehe good urban myth on 12.02.11 at 2:44 pm

hey Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad, that JATO/Impala story has been making the rounds since the 90’s. Total B. $. as far as I know.

but yes, entertaining for sure!

#137 eaglebay - Parksville on 12.02.11 at 2:49 pm

#118 arctodus on 12.02.11 at 12:19 pm

Mr Apocalypse, you have a problem. Guess what it is?

Your doomer fantasy will be over in a few months.
The US is turning around. Increase in manufacturing, increase in employment, increase in both consumer and business spending.
As for the price of oil, it’s great. Due to high shipping cost it encourages manufacturing in North America. It makes us much more competitive vis-a-vis the low cost labour of countries like China, India and so on.
The employment rates in North America are about 92%.
So, stop crying, roll up your sleeves and get to work. We all have to do our share.

#138 Van guy smokin now on 12.02.11 at 2:49 pm

Still horny out here Garth,

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales of detached, attached and apartment properties on the region’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) reached 2,360 in November. This represents a 5.9 per cent decline compared to the 2,509 sales in November 2010 and a 1.9 per cent increase compared to the 2,317 sales recorded in October 2011.

The MLSLink® Housing Price Index (HPI) benchmark price for all residential properties in Greater Vancouver over the last 12 months has increased 7.2 per cent to $622,087 in November 2011 from $580,080 in November 2010.

Since reaching a peak in June of $630,921, the benchmark price for all residential properties in the region has declined 1.4 per cent.

#139 Snowboid on 12.02.11 at 2:51 pm

#115 Mister Sanity on 12.02.11 at 12:08 pm in response to #36 Waterloo Resident on 12.02.11 at 12:21 am…

I agree there is just a ‘tad’ bit of sensationalism in these reports. From the trenches here in the Valley of the Sun:

Only news story about police lately is Youngtown (big city of 6000 people) voting last night on whether to keep their 7 person police force or contract with the MCSO (Sheriff Joe) for policing – they decided on MCSO. Funny, Esquimalt is considering the same, moving from Victoria policing to RCMP to save dollars.

Teachers and shutting down schools? Been there, done that – look at the news stories about BC last few years.

Fire stations? Nope, nothing around here – although word is their pension contributions will be going up and benefits reduced. Same as BC.

Street lights? None going off around here.

Ripping up pavement? Hardly – we used a newly minted section of Loop 303 here just the other day. There is tons of road work going on in our local government area – however, they are paving, not the reverse!

It is, however, friggin’ cold here today: 15C. Had to turn the heat on this am!!!

#140 hehe good urban myth on 12.02.11 at 2:52 pm

found the link


oh yeah and the vending machine never fell over either :)

#141 eaglebay - Parksville on 12.02.11 at 2:55 pm

#124 VICTORIA TEA PARTY on 12.02.11 at 1:04 pm

Doomer, you don’t understand the “Eurozone” situation.
Watch and learn. See you next week.

#142 Ex-Cowtown on 12.02.11 at 2:57 pm

Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad:

The JATO story is an Urban Myth. Never happened.

It rates up there with any posting ever made by BPOE.

#143 Van guy smokin now on 12.02.11 at 3:07 pm

The burbs are cooked – Garth


For example, townhome sales in central Surrey increased by 20 per cent in one month and in Langley by 43 per cent.” Sidhu adds, “Fraser Valley offers buyers the key value of affordability. Currently, over half of our townhomes and condos are listed for $289,000 or less.” 

#144 GTA Girl on 12.02.11 at 3:10 pm

Real estate sections keep touting the Build Toronto alliance with Tridel for the triangle shaped lot at foot of York street.

Condo tower to be 75 stories. Views right on to the Gardiner Expressway…and the lake of course. All glass (again).

I’m skeptical. And am waging a bet that this thing never gets built.

#145 Westernman on 12.02.11 at 3:10 pm

Because of accountants like him we’re all in debt – speak for yourself.
I own everything I have – house, trucks, trailers, tractors etc., etc., etc outright – course I’m one of those boomers you were whining about the other day so I guess I had it all given to me, right?

#146 poco on 12.02.11 at 3:10 pm

36 Waterloo Resident on 12.02.11 at 12:21 am
Want to read something that will BLOW YOUR SOCKS OFF?
Here it is:

what’s this?– a history lesson–very old news—jump in your time machine and join us in 2012

Mr. Lahey—i hope westernman can put up a better show in the ring because Form Man has been wiping the mat with him so far on this blog!!!

#147 Mr. Lahey on 12.02.11 at 3:13 pm

#129 Peakoilist

Yes you misread the post. It will be a joint lecture by Disciple and Smoking Man. Check your itinerary again. You will have to fly into Halifax. I will send Randy out in his elf outfit to pick you up. Just bring your good holiday cheer. The Sunnyvale gang is cooking up a storm for the occasion. “Barb, another blog dog has accepted our invitation”.

#148 Westernman on 12.02.11 at 3:14 pm

Too many of us pesky humans on the planet, huh?
Why don’t you set an example for the rest of us and start rectifying the situation… start with yourself.

#149 GTA Girl on 12.02.11 at 3:15 pm

My favorite honest Toronto Realty blog posted this about the integrity of building a huge condo on a postage sized lot.

David makes a point. Who is monitoring these new condo construction? With all these fly by night developers, people have to be concerned 5 to 10 years down the road.

#150 Snowboid on 12.02.11 at 3:17 pm

#132 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 12.02.11 at 2:03 pm…

Darwin must be slow in announcing awards, I recall the same story in a cafe tabloid while I was working in Tucson in 1972!!

A great story, nonetheless, we seem to love it when rockets are combined with cars.

BTW, I have pics of the JATOs in action from the Sask Gov Air Ambulance service in the 1940s.

#151 Westernman on 12.02.11 at 3:27 pm

Beach Girl,
Health freak, huh? I think you got the freak part right but I doubt the health part.

#152 Westernman on 12.02.11 at 3:33 pm

Form Man,
You’ll be back for more abuse…your kind always does.

#153 poco on 12.02.11 at 3:34 pm

#42 BC Bring Cash
Effective your first pay in 2012 (employees age 60-65 who currently receive CPP retirement pension) of 2012 the Payroll Department must start deducting CPP contributions from your pensionable wages again. Currently these payments were exempt.
Go to Service Canada–

this is the second change to the CPP that comes into effect in 2012
many are under the belief that your contributions after age 60 and still working while collecting CPP will add to future payments—it doesn’t appear they do—the way i read it is if you contribute the max(2010-was $2163) you will receive a lump some payment at the end of the year (about 15% of what you contribute)–your actual CPP monthly income does not increase
just my take on it !

#154 Boris on 12.02.11 at 3:42 pm

Hi do you think RIM is a buy now? I am looking to buy a few stocks just for a laugh. Just to play the market a bit and see how I do and outside of my boring index funds.


#155 Axehead on 12.02.11 at 3:47 pm

#86, Tell that to the cops. Ask them if methedone clinics don’t attract Heroin addicts. If they are honest cops, they will tell you the truth. I’ve seen first hand what these clinics bring to a city/town. All the bikers, pushers (same thing by the way) just waiting for them to fall off the wagon and ready to sell smack, crack, or whatever. They can’t work, so guess what they do for money – 1st to your garage, then 2nd to the pawn shop. It’s all over the place in Red Deer, but it wasn’t always like that.

#156 Form Man on 12.02.11 at 4:11 pm

#128 Mr. Lahey

I can assure I will be there with a throng of my devoted followers.
I am worried westernman will be a no-show. You see, he has a few handicaps:

he does not realize Canada has an east
he is frightened of women
he has a long history of dodging and reneging on commitments
he secretly is a frail coward, fearful of the public, hiding behind his fake online redneck persona

in any case I am looking forward to rejoicing in the thrill of victory, and toasting yourself and all of Sunnyvale with a shot of scotch (after thoroughly thumping the pathetic little twerp).

#157 Mr. Lahey on 12.02.11 at 4:13 pm

#146 Poco

Well the ring is almost finished. Bubbles has taken great pride in building it. Ricky has graciously offered to referee the match. We will be using MMA rules that stipulate that once the fighter can no longer intelligently defend himself, the fight is stopped. Looking forward to having you join us Poco. Flaherty has said he will see if his schedule allows for a stop over in Sunnyvale. The bearded one is still waiting to see if Flaherty bites before committing himself.

#158 Mr. Lahey on 12.02.11 at 4:20 pm

#113 Bridgepigeon

“Mr. Lahey, Put me down for attending the joint lecture.”

I glossed over your response earlier. My bad Bridgepigeon. We will be delighted to have you out. Yes the joint lecture of Smoking Man and Disciple should be one for the ages. If only Flaherty would get his act together and respond in the affirmative, the sage who hosts this blog might schedule Sunnyvale Trailer Park into his Christmas itinerary.

#159 arctodus on 12.02.11 at 4:41 pm

#137#118 arctodus on 12.02.11 at 12:19 pm

Mr Apocalypse, you have a problem. Guess what it is?

Your doomer fantasy will be over in a few months.
The US is turning around. Increase in manufacturing, increase in employment, increase in both consumer and business spending.
As for the price of oil, it’s great. Due to high shipping cost it encourages manufacturing in North America. It makes us much more competitive vis-a-vis the low cost labour of countries like China, India and so on.
The employment rates in North America are about 92%.
So, stop crying, roll up your sleeves and get to work. We all have to do our share.

I wish you were correct…..the longer things hold together the better for me and my profession (and yes I am actually a professional that earns his money…no lawyers or bankers here).

But you are not. You live in a dream world if you believe information off of MSN or CNN. Employment rates stateside are now at great depression levels and getting worse.

It is simple and I think that is what scares the crap out of anyone who can understand arithmetic….

A few months eh?…try never…..

#160 Homer on 12.02.11 at 4:53 pm

#23 Ottawa Mike

I don’t like a lot of things the Chinese government has done, but the one child policy was pretty gutsy.

Not sure what happens with all the extra males due to selective abortion though.

#161 HC on 12.02.11 at 4:55 pm

Serious Garth, I have been following your BS since I read a round table discussion in Toronto Life and I have to say your ‘The Sky is Falling’ antics have worn thin.

Have you ever written a positive post about the state of Canadian Real Estate? Isn’t only arguing one side like watching a Michael Moore documentary and thinking you are well educated on the subject? Maybe its sour grapes for not investing in the Toronto real estate gold rush of the past decade?

You said “…low rates make people pay too much?”
The answer to at one is an emphatic YES. But you mocked the CA that he was wrong on that one.

Then you say that “…does your house not come with property taxes (usually twice those of condos, per foot)”. I am going to call a big fat BS on this one. Show your work please, you are plain wrong on this one. (my condo in the Bloor area was $0.50 a sq/ft per month, my 1,600 sq/ft house in the GTA is $5,200 a year…or $0.27 a sq/ft) So, by twice as much, you meant half?

Its all smoke and mirrors folks, haters going to hate.

You confused condo maintenance fees with property tax. Come back when you figure things out. — Garth

#162 james on 12.02.11 at 5:03 pm

You can ignore reality, but you can’t ignore the consequences of ignoring reality – Ayn Rand

#163 zeeman1 on 12.02.11 at 5:13 pm

“Starbucks-swilling, obnoxious, procreating little metrosexual professionals”

Garth, that was awesome! Quotes like this are why you have Amazons and the less witty have mere wives.

#164 Brad in Calgary on 12.02.11 at 5:27 pm

Garth, I challenge you to watch those Chris Martensen videos online and offer a reasonable explanation why his prediction (the next 20 years will be completely unlike the last 20) is incorrect…

I know you won’t do it and just come back with a smartass response instead. But at least you can’t say people didn’t warn you.

Enjoy being scared. I’m not. — Garth

#165 Westernman on 12.02.11 at 5:35 pm

Form Man,
Your throng of devoted followers? I guess this fits well with your far-flung empire of concrete… I suspect the only physical activity you engage in is operating the remote contol for the T.V. and twisting beer bottle caps off.
See? I told you you would be back for more abuse…you just can’t help yourself can you?

#166 kilby on 12.02.11 at 5:36 pm

Parksville, Qualicum, Nanoose, French Creek and surrounding areas. 1040 Listings. Last 7 days have seen 12 completed sales.

#167 poco on 12.02.11 at 6:19 pm

#157Mr Lahey

Count me in for sure !!!—anything i can bring to the match?–i mean party—i know –if big F is going to show i’ll bring a list of the latest homeowners in the tri cities area who are now “underwater” and selling their properties for less than they paid just a few short years ago
why don’t you invite those two pumpers Soper and Klump–i could send out notices to the above homeowners—oh wait a minute—-will you have time to build a couple of more rings—-this could turn into a Battle Royal —Mr Lahey, you’ve come up with a great idea, but it’s your party–you invite who you want

#168 Abitibi Doug on 12.02.11 at 6:23 pm

As I’ve said before if my memory serves me right, it does make you wonder how 2 highly educated professionals could not see housing is overpriced. To become a CA or lawyer, aren’t there some courses in economics that are part of the university cirriculum?

#169 The Original Dave on 12.02.11 at 6:25 pm

nevermind.. I see Scotia listed in the old name “The Bank of Nova Scotia” and my credit union is insured by Ontario Deposit Insurance Corp. he he.. I should have done better homework before posting. apologies.

still.. the bank of nova scotia thing bothers me. that’s not what’s written on the letterhead, website etc. can I be sure they are the same thing?


and…………………………you get the paranoia post of the day! Congratulations! Your gift will be mailed to your nearest mental institution.

#170 Mr. Lahey on 12.02.11 at 6:36 pm

#156 Form Man

Thanks for bravely taking the challenge to step into the ring with Westernman. We at Sunnyvale anxiously await you and the other blog dogs who have responded to our invitations. Julian has actually gotten his hands on an old bus and we will be making the run to Halifax as often as possible to ensure all the blog dogs get picked up and brought to Sunnyvale. That includes you Westernman. It is all coming together quite nicely. The capper will be when our illustrious host throws in the towel and announces he will join us all. I think he is being coy and waiting to see how many blog dogs respond before he accepts the invite. Bubbles, Randy, Ricky and the rest of the Sunnyvale crowd are looking forward to your arrival Form Man. Wrestling gear will be provided at no charge.

#171 Devore on 12.02.11 at 6:42 pm

All unadulterated BS. — Garth

I agree, total BS! If there is to be austerity, it should be applied more intelligently.

#172 Canadian Watchdog on 12.02.11 at 6:45 pm

Despite today’s unemployment rise, the greater issue is Canadian born jobs are falling while immigrant jobs are rising. We’re in the importing new FICO score business now.


#173 The Original Dave on 12.02.11 at 6:46 pm

Serious Garth, I have been following your BS since I read a round table discussion in Toronto Life and I have to say your ‘The Sky is Falling’ antics have worn thin.

Have you ever written a positive post about the state of Canadian Real Estate? Isn’t only arguing one side like watching a Michael Moore documentary and thinking you are well educated on the subject? Maybe its sour grapes for not investing in the Toronto real estate gold rush of the past decade?

You said “…low rates make people pay too much?”
The answer to at one is an emphatic YES. But you mocked the CA that he was wrong on that one.

Then you say that “…does your house not come with property taxes (usually twice those of condos, per foot)”. I am going to call a big fat BS on this one. Show your work please, you are plain wrong on this one. (my condo in the Bloor area was $0.50 a sq/ft per month, my 1,600 sq/ft house in the GTA is $5,200 a year…or $0.27 a sq/ft) So, by twice as much, you meant half?

Its all smoke and mirrors folks, haters going to hate.

You confused condo maintenance fees with property tax. Come back when you figure things out. — Garth

oh yeah, Garth is just disappointed he “couldn’t get in” on the party. Some people have such a tough time understanding value. From a value and cost point of view, real estate, in Canada, on average, is over – priced. Yay.

Look at some ratios like: rent to own ratio, housing cost vs. household income. Look at the percent of the population that already owns a house (70%). Look at the amount of consumer debt Canadians hold (150%). Consider that avg home price to avg household income was smaller in the states when the bubble burst compared to here. Look at the average downpayment for a property here in Canada (less than 10%) compared to decades past. From a technical analysis point of view, look at the skyrocketing price of real estate in the past 10 years and compare it to the price action of the past 100 years. Sit down and assess the actual costs of owning vs renting. The cost of owning is: interest paid on your mortgage, property taxes, insurance, maintenance, all utilities, plus the opportunity cost of putting money into your home rather than having it invested earning you 6,7, or 8%.

When these metrics aren’t as lopsided, you’ll likely hear G scream a different tune. Just like everyone proclaiming the U.S is in the gutter and will remain there, the most prudent tend to see opportunity and lesser risk.

Haters gonna hate! ha! It’s like you’re mocking your colleague. You need to brush up on who G is. He’s not some dude that wasn’t able to get into the real estate market that is now bitter.

Seeing as you think Turner’s opinion has “worn thin”, then buy up – buy more properties (in Canada please).

You’re clearly not understanding fundamentals. Even if house prices rise 85% this year, and 250% next year, the fundamentals don’t change. The fundamentals have been off for a few years now. They’re still off. There’s no new paradigm. Housing costs, on average, cannot exceed a certain amount or it damages other parts of the economy – which then results in job loss and difficulty paying for things like housing – amazing how that works.

Sharp market rises and falls is just market noise. Yes, you can make a fortune playing those rises and falls, but fundamental value always returns. An 80% rise in prices in 2012 doesn’t make Canadian real estate prices in 2011 sensible. People REALLY have a tough time understanding fundamentals and what metrics to pay attention to when they’re talking financial assets (real estate included).


#174 VICTORIA TEA PARTY on 12.02.11 at 6:51 pm

#141 eagle bay — Parksville

As you run roughshod over the egos of various doomer-posters this day, keep in mind to never say never.

All is not sunshine and roses in the great American Empire. It’s just that Europe has been attracting our attention for the past few months as we watch this danse macabre aimed solely at bailing out Europe’s incompetently-run banks.

The decision this week by six major central banks to ease various of their currency flows is more to eventually provide a bailout “solution” of those French banks, especially, because of their heavy ownership of worthless Italian bonds. The other Euro banks will also benefit collaterally.

I’m sure, at day’s end, the Yanks will do what they did during WW1 and 2, namely bailout out the Eurozoners with loot instead of bodies.

After all, it is in the Empire’s interest that its trading partners remain economically viable, something none are right now.

But some market mayhem is also in the cards. Everyone else calls it “volatility.”

Most important, the international monetary Ponzi scheme persists even though it shouldn’t.

This is habit-formingly bad for future adults as they’ll learn that it’s OK to go into deep hock then tell their lenders to get stuffed.

Moral degradation, or something like that.

#175 DonDWest on 12.02.11 at 6:54 pm

#168 Abitibi Doug:

“As I’ve said before if my memory serves me right, it does make you wonder how 2 highly educated professionals could not see housing is overpriced.”

I don’t have to wonder at all; it’s called being uneducated and having tons of credentials. How do you “earn” a credential? When your master tells you to roll; you roll. When your master tells you to jump; you ask how high.

#176 Stevenson on 12.02.11 at 7:08 pm

Remember how fear sparks people to sell quickly? Well how do you explain the stock market rallying the a week and a half of loses in two days? RE prices are going to be very sticky and don’t expect much of a correction if that ever happens. Those of you who followed the fool and didn’t buy multiple properties in 2008 you missed the boat big time. Don’t believe in everything you read. Buy RE and prosper.

#177 jess on 12.02.11 at 7:18 pm

i guess it depends on Who is in the room doing the talking


#178 Smoking Man on 12.02.11 at 7:25 pm

#93 Ammo & Viagra on 12.02.11 at 10:32 am
Good advice but its not going to work

Bad case of Ankylosing spondylitis no cure….Vioxx worked but will kill a smoker…………Plus I bough the last bottle on ebay paid 2000 for about 50 of the last pills on planet.

Celebrex does not work

So back to drugs, bozze and great posts……

#179 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 12.02.11 at 7:26 pm

#136 hehe good urban myth, #142 Ex-Cowtown and #150 Snowboid — Taking it a step further (I am including Mr. Lahey’s upcoming party here), if I apply the same principles to a 1963 Ford Pinto, strap myself in just prior to pressing the lift-off button on the TransCanada Hwy., use the ejaculator seat somewhere over Manitoba, I should gate-crash Garth’s Blog Dogs Xmas party!

Then I can hitch a ride back to K-town!
10K march for jobs in NY, Unemployment Part II and and Jobs Mirage; Exporting What economy is there to be exported? Build-A-Burger Released from hospital, ready to rule the world; 5:59 clip EED — Euro Economic Dictatorship; 1:43 clip Satan’s banxters killed Gadaafi (he was running Libya quite well, with no need for the IMF).
S.1867 The US is a complete war zone; 4:39 clip That’s what puppets are for — to be installed by TPTB and continue wars via convenient excuses; Can DC be trusted? Of course not. Moscow is doing itself a favor by taking steps for itself; Syria Just as Libya had the ‘free Libya’ NATO-sponsored rebels, it seems the same thing is being done with Syria; Third Amendment “No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.”; Co0Ordinated Mess Big pharma, Monsanto — quite creepy; Legalizing Pot Copenhagen moving closer, joining Portugal and Holland; GW Fizzles Out Just as everything else runs its course.

#180 Smoking Man on 12.02.11 at 7:27 pm

#173 The Original Dave on 12.02.11 at 6:46 pm

Are you not the same dave that was busting my coconutts on the globe and mail last year

#181 Form Man on 12.02.11 at 7:39 pm

#170 Mr. Lahey

thank you for your gracious acknowledgement of my bravery ( of course one need not be brave when confronting the coward who hides behind the moniker ‘westernman’). The crowd will cheer and salute my wisdom and prowess, as I quickly dispatch the western farm rodent.
I hope there are cases of scotch.

#182 SLN on 12.02.11 at 8:07 pm

The Original Dave..
yeah.. really original.

#183 Kaganovich on 12.02.11 at 8:15 pm


Here is a quick deconstruction of the falling rate of unemployment in the USA:

Not as good as you think.

#184 OwlEyes on 12.02.11 at 8:49 pm

#132 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 12.02.11 at 2:03 pm

The JATO Impala story is a myth. But it’s a good myth. Here is a re-creation. Enjoy


#185 "credentialization" on 12.02.11 at 9:07 pm

Response to #13

Go DonDWest Go!

Good analysis.

#186 Mr. Lahey on 12.02.11 at 9:10 pm

#167 Poco

Thanks for the suggestions but we don’t want the rings to get out of hand. Remember this is the yuletide season and if Ricky and Cyrus have agreed to put down their weapons the last thing we want is the blog dogs wreaking havoc. Smoking Man has informed me that he will be there for his joint speech with Disciple. The only holdout other than the bearded one is Westernman but I suspect he is just building up the drama before he announces his triumphant entry into the battle with Form Man. Cory and Trevor have been busy cleaning up the trailer park and several trailers will be made available for all blog dogs who don’t want to book a hotel. I expect Flaherty will respond some time this weekend. Rita MacNeil as noted earlier will kick it all off with her Christmas selections accompanied by Bubbles on the guitar.

#187 Bobby on 12.02.11 at 9:11 pm

You can tell the market is changing here in Victoria. On my way to Costco this afternoon, passed a new condo development where if you buy a condo they will throw in a new Kia Soul.
These units have been on the market for awhile. At one point the next five sales would include the display furniture.
Maybe they should throw in a free dinner with Devils Advocate!

#188 steve french on 12.02.11 at 9:15 pm

lahey count me in. grrrr.

#189 Westernman on 12.02.11 at 9:16 pm

Form man,
Cases of Scotch??? So you are a drunk…explains a lot of your posts and your grand delusions of being a concrete mogul and now a prize fighter… let me guess – you are on about your 6th or 7th double tonight…

#190 Snowboid on 12.02.11 at 9:22 pm

#179 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 12.02.11 at 7:26 pm…

You are sly, testing us all the time – there was no 1963 Ford Pinto, don’t believe they started exploding into the market until the early 1970s!!!

I would love to attend the party – but now have an aversion to snow… maybe we can have the party in Phoenix next year?

Randy, what do you say? There are many, many, many wonderful parks here – even have swimming pools for Bubbles.

#191 Snowboid on 12.02.11 at 9:32 pm

#189 Westernman on 12.02.11 at 9:16 pm…

I suspect (hope) you have a bit more intelligence than you are showing in your posts.

However, your anger at being stuck as a Con in Reform land, when you discovered Harpers’ really a ‘corporate’ socialist, has muddied your thinking.

Either that or you are the ‘redneck’ BPOE!!

#192 OnlyTheBankersLaugh on 12.02.11 at 9:43 pm

Early odds are on Form Man at 5:2 with Westernman having odds at 11:1 with odds of whining and whimpering much higher. Winner never quit and quitters neber win. We know where Teetollers stand! Smokin Man in a cage match against Beach Girl but, wait, there may be romance brewing.

Email me your bets at [email protected].

Incidently, Garth, get this blog under control. This is the kind of thing Flaherty is looking for to take this place down.

#193 The thing in the basement on 12.02.11 at 9:56 pm

55 Shawn/61 800RMK – here is what we know about blogger DonDWest

– he is 29
– he was kicked out of the house at 18 (never finished HS)
– his family was “upper middle class”
– he hates boomers
– he hates professionals

Connect the dots…….

#194 Toon Town Boomer on 12.02.11 at 9:58 pm

#14 Smoking Man
Don’t sell yourself short, if you really want to quit all that crap then start believing you can. Sometimes we can be our own worst enemy. Good Luck Dude.

#195 WI BOOMER on 12.02.11 at 10:10 pm

No pity for the poor accountant… HE claims to be the professional, let him act like one. If he wishes to buy the 700K home in 416 be my guest, you’re the debt slave.

I have been interviewing several of these “so called” retirement account managers, as I am retiring soon, wanted to see what types of portfolios they might come up with to manage my retirement savings. and their costs.

Well, not very impressed. Their model portfolios varied by less than 3%….by asset allocation, and in my opinion were too badly tilted toward that thing known as RISK!!! I am not about to go out and re-earn that dough!

I’m a guy who is leaving the work life. I don’t need to assume much risk. Some sure, we will have inflation, and I need a yearly raise as well. Gotta believe they are just taking an asset allocation model from a book, with very little forethought. There costs were identical at 1.5 % of account value per year. That’s quite a chunk on a portfolio my size, and it doesn’t vary based on performance -good or, less than good.

Thus far, very non plussed by what I have seen…

Think I’ll do my own allocations & investments, been handling them for 25+ years already, and so far I’m satisfied…maybe that’s because I have a fool for a client??

Smoking Man-

Do what makes you FEEL the best, and makes you the most creative. Advice from most “professionals” these days does not appear to be worth a shit. If a little booze helps, or the pharma, or an occasional doobie, go for it. Just remember who is in control. Don’t forget to go fishing once in a while, fits well with both bottle bass, and a lil’smoke. Don’t forget the tunes!!

Brother, enjoy life, treasure each day, but have FUN, enjoy yourself each day, as they ARE numbered.
-not medical advice, but serves me pretty well-!!!

#196 sue on 12.02.11 at 10:18 pm

Smoking Man
AS has a lot of inflammation which is why you like Vioxx. Mixing a tablespoon of Turmeric powder (from grocery store) with Olive oil to help it absorb works just as well. (hundreds of research studies there). Plug your nose bc it tastes like a bi*ch and chase it with a splash of OJ. Do this 3X a day every day and you will find a huge improvement. Turmeric affects the Cox2 enzymes just like Vioxx without taking you out with a stroke. If Big Pharma could patent this stuff, they’d be all over it. It doesn’t absorb well without the Olive oil so learn to love it.

#197 Mr. Lahey on 12.02.11 at 10:22 pm

#181 Form Man

Thanks goes to you Form Man for immediately stepping up to the challenge. However, Westernman has yet to accept so if he does not you will still be a welcome guest but we will have to have the scotch while listening to Disciple and Smoking Man giving their joint presentations.

#198 Mr. Lahey on 12.02.11 at 10:31 pm

#188 Steve French

Counted in and noted you cougar you. Steve French eventually returned to the park and has been with Bubbles ever since. Sunnyvale awaits your arrival. The bearded one says that the response of all the blog dogs has made him consider coming…

#199 DonDWest on 12.03.11 at 1:25 am

#193 Thing in the basement:

– he is 29
– he was kicked out of the house at 18 (never finished HS)
– his family was “upper middle class”
– he hates boomers
– he hates professionals

Wrong. I did manage to finish High School in spite of being kicked out of home at age 18. If I had to do it over again though; I would have droped out in a heart beat and would have simply collected a GED.

#200 Betty Danin on 12.03.11 at 4:57 am

#83,#85 SLN The Scotiabank.com website has for all deposits under four separate companies Bank of Nova Scotia,National Trust, Montreal Trust, Scotia Mortgage Corportaion. The CDIC $100,000 coverage is for each one separately.Read things more carefully with patience.

#201 The thing in the basement on 12.03.11 at 12:26 pm

199 Don – basically irrelevant as you finish HS at 18 anyways. What might surprise you is that this was a common situation for boomers. If you continued with Post-sec-ed most parents let you stay at home (if that was possible) but if you chose to work out you went. My oldest sibling was out at 18, both myself and my other sib took the post-sec route. Believe it or not, when I
returned to school at 25, that was still the deal. I’ve never regretted returning to school, but I honestly dont
know if I’m better off financially for it. I have obtained
two professional accreditations.

#202 bill on 12.03.11 at 3:25 pm

dont be to hard on the accountant ….he just wanted to be a lion tamer….
any way if our young beancounter thinks starbucks makes good coffee then it is no surprise that he thinks he is a real estate genius .
oh well…he will find out soon enough.
and now for something completely different:


#203 bill on 12.03.11 at 3:34 pm

”APPALLINGLY dull fellows, unimaginative, timid, lacking in initiative, spineless, easily dominated, NO sense of humor, TEDIOUS company, and irrepressibly drab and awful.”

one of my favourite skits by the pythons.couldnt resist.

#204 TurnerNation on 12.03.11 at 4:42 pm

Home staging fails:

1. Bare mattress in bedroom (Don Jail theme):


(link credit: T.O. Bubble boy)

2. Nice artistic pictures! Too bad they’re not hanging on the walls (condo is suited for dwarfs and leprechans):


#205 TurnerNation on 12.03.11 at 4:44 pm

#188steve french on 12.02.11 at 9:15 pm

Are you the steve french from 1puglife?