Tough numbers. The price of houses fell in 70% of the cities surveyed. In the four largest, sales crashed by two-thirds last month. America? Nah, try China.

Now this might be relevant to Iris for two reasons. First, the exodus from real estate and into liquidity is a global trend. America, Britain, Spain, Ireland, Portugal, France, Australia – smart people on a few continents have figured out that in a volatile world the last two things you need are non-portable wealth, and a fat mortgage. Second, as rich people in China lose money on real estate (and only the rich own there) they’ll probably get a lot less horny about gobbling property in cold Canada.

“I have just run across your website and found it really interesting,” Iris says (better late than never). “At the age of 50, I am a recently separated and thus starting over with half of what I had.  I have $150,000 in a GIC and continue to look at homes in case I find one I would like.  Currently rent a comfortable house for $1500/month for which I have for another 16 months if I want. Currently I live cheque to cheque.  In 5 years, I will be eligible for pension ($1200) as well as will continue to work.”

Hmm. Fifty years old, $150K in a GIC, small pension, single, living hand-to-mouth, no other assets. Conclusion: screwed.

But wait. She’s also delusional: “Frankly, I am not opposed to renting, but my concern is how to retire with such a large housing overhead.  This is why I feel the necessity to buy a house to pay down so that my retirement housing cost may be less. At this late point, I believe it would be difficult to totally pay off a house by the time I am 60-65, but a small mortgage may be cheaper than rent.    The high house prices (Victoria, BC) have dipped a bit but perhaps like you predict… may slide more.  Of course, the real estate industry predicts a leveling and perhaps a 5% rise.   Our real estate prices are fueled by offshore buyers as well as retirees from back east (Ontario etc) seeking a warmer climate in the winter. What do you think?”

This is the thinking which destroys lives. Too many people around this country (especially women, I sadly say) equate owning real estate with financial stability, even when it involves being retired and indebted. It’s why four in ten people now heading into their mushy years are doing so with a mortgage. Never before have the wrinkled been so indentured. And with interest rates destined to rise over the coming years – while they remain on fixed incomes – it’s a bloodbath in the making.

If Iris takes her $150,000 a buys a cheap house in Victoria ($500,000 maybe), her $350,000 mortgage, even at just 3%, will cost the same as her rent – $1,600. But after adding property taxes, insurances and maintenance, it will be closer to $2,000. Bummer. Fifteen years later, at age 65, she’ll have spent $260,835 on mortgage payments and still owe $220,095.

That’s an investment of $410,000, with a remaining debt of $220,000, which will cost her $1,500 a month at age 65 (loan plus taxes), on a pension of $1,200, plus government assistance. But wait. Interest rates won’t stay at 3% for the next decade and a half, rising instead to normalize at a level at least twice that high. And as they jump, houses in Victoria will cheapen, as is always the case when affordability slips.

How about the horny Chinese and the warmth-seeking Boomers from Mississauga? Oh, Iris. The local real estate board’s own survey of buyers shows less than 10% coming from outside the province last year. In a monthly tabulation, 83% of buyers moved within Victoria, 9.7% came from outside BC and 1% from beyond Canada. So what do we have? A bunch of local fools watching Global TV, listening to real estate agents pontificating, and selling each other houses, while chanting “everybody wants to move here.” Actually, everybody doesn’t.

Now with China’s property boom unwinding, our economy slowing and the Canadian real estate gasbag leaking heavily, can Mississauga be far behind?

So if Iris grew a set, invested in a properly diversified and managed portfolio (ETFs, preferreds, REITs, various bonds) and achieved 7% for a decade and a half, that $150,000 dead-meat GIC would turn into about $450,000. If it continued to churn out that return (but it’ll likely be higher as rates rise and economies recover), she could expect an investment income of $31,500, or $2,600 a month. Add in the pension, and that’s $3,800 monthly income, plus the government handout. Oh yeah, and she still has $450,000 – which is handy since women live forever.

What a choice. Own a home, live on KD and Iams and pay off the debt by death, maybe. Or have a half-million invested, rent the same place and enjoy three times the income.

Iris personifies the greatest financial STD of our time. Death by house.

By the way, did you hear fewer homes just sold on Salt Spring Island than at any time in 10 years? Or that the daily paper in Fort Wayne, Indiana, just ran a piece on the Canadian housing crash-to-come? Or that Seeking Alpha did the same (again)? Or that new Toronto condos costing $950,000 to $1.5 million are 95% sold?

We’re screwed, Iris. Run.


#1 TurnerNation on 02.19.12 at 6:09 pm


#2 TurnerNation on 02.19.12 at 6:09 pm

Hopefully our forum host will hold at least a mini book tour – perhaps within the confines of the GTA (Garth Turner Area) – in support of his forthcoming tome.

I remember well GarthFest 2010! Of course, back then we did not have those annoying “First!” types trying to crash entrance.

Thousands packed the tent (hotel) in hope of catching a glimpse of our Alpha blog dog. Masterfully he worked the room, even conjuring up a real gold bar – the metalheads at once murmured an approval.

Boomer women hurled their most intimate and private of posessions onstage (their investment statements, of course), in the hopes of an adoring look or perhaps advice being thrown their way.

Looking forward with anticipation to the SABDGF (Second Annual Blog Dog GarthFest).

#3 TurnerNation on 02.19.12 at 6:19 pm

Ah, our forum host suprised us with an early post. I had in my mind a time of 5:05 EST. It was close, 5 min afterwards. Don’t ask me how I do it. This is a certified TurnerNation post LMAO.

Beats the alternative:

#4 Van guy on 02.19.12 at 6:19 pm

Biggest decline in China was a Guangdong city, Shenzhen. .6% drop. No cash yet. But the speculative mania has stopped.

#5 ts harpoon on 02.19.12 at 6:24 pm


Great post as usual. Would you care to provide any helpful advice to my fellow civil servants/homeowners up here in Ottawa? As you know we have condo-mania here as well. Thoughts?

#6 John on 02.19.12 at 6:52 pm


#7 MoneyAndWealth on 02.19.12 at 6:56 pm

Garth where do you get stats on the Chinese housing market?

Published by the Chinese government two days ago. — Garth

#8 patiently waiting on 02.19.12 at 6:58 pm

“In the four largest, sales crashed by two-thirds last month. America? Nah, try China.”
Biggest decline in China was a Guangdong city, Shenzhen. .6% drop. No cash yet. But the speculative mania has stopped.
So which is it? A decline of 2/3rd’s in China’s 4th largest or is Van Guy right and largest decline is .6%? Accuracy of information on things like this are critical in getting an understanding of potential impacts in the market – especially in Hongcouver . . . or should I sat ground zero . . .

The first statement refers to sales, the second to prices. — Garth

#9 lr on 02.19.12 at 7:00 pm

I think the tone of your post re: gender differences is quite unfortunate. Are you sure that women really equate home ownership with financial stability more than men do? I’d like to see the data. Or is that just based on the conversations you have with male clients blaming their choice on pulling out $$ from their portfolio to buy a new home on their wives because they don’t want to have tough a conversation with you?

Saying that Iris should also ‘grow a set’ is also a rather unfortunate addition. It implies that if she were more like a man, she would make a smarter choice. Honestly, disrespectful comments like this give your voice far less credibility to people like me. FTR, Yes, I am a woman. Surprise, surprise.

Now waiting for a dismissive one-liner…

My observations are based on conversations with women, not men. Am I incorrect? — Garth

#10 Snowboid on 02.19.12 at 7:18 pm

#4 Van guy on 02.19.12 at 6:19 pm…

“No cash yet” – Freudian slip?

#11 I'm stupid on 02.19.12 at 7:20 pm

She may like dog food.

#12 Snowboid on 02.19.12 at 7:26 pm

“What a choice. Own a home, live on KD and Iams and pay off the debt by death, maybe. Or have a half-million invested, rent the same place and enjoy three times the income.”

Easy decision, but many people are lulled into this false sense of ‘home-owner’ security.

Long-live rent and invest!

#13 Tim on 02.19.12 at 7:32 pm

If there is only one percent from outside Canada, then how come you bump into Chinese everywhere you turn in Vancouver?

Because they were born there, maybe. Which makes them Canadian. — Garth

#14 Devore on 02.19.12 at 7:34 pm

Victoria metro population has grown 0.7% in 2011 over 2010, vs 1.4% for greater Vancouver and 1% for BC overall.

Maybe not everyone wants to live there?

#15 GTA Girl on 02.19.12 at 7:38 pm

My jaw dropped reading the National Post link to the Toronto condo sales. The mom of three bought a 1bedroom pied de terre in Yorkville as a sometimes weekend getaway for her and hubby?

A hotel room once a month is far cheaper. This woman is insane. Why not fly to NewYork for a weekend…once a month, this would STILL be cheaper.

Honey, I grew up driving my Jeep YJ through Yorkville, and it hasn’t changed. Don’t you want better?

Who’s babysitting her kids? Since her Mom and Dad live out of town… they too bought a unit for $500k???

“Stupid” doesnt fall far from the tree….it lives in a over priced condo, right next to Grandma and Grandpa.

I’m speechless. I make good money… the hell are people affording this lifestyle???

3kids…house, condo for fun…someone’s not going to college.

#16 Rural Rick on 02.19.12 at 7:38 pm

”Why do people say ‘grow some balls?’ Balls are weak and sensitive. If you wanna get tough, grow a vagina. Those things take a pounding!” – Betty White …

#17 Preciousss on 02.19.12 at 7:40 pm

Salt Spring Island. lol

No life like it. Being stuck on an island full of nosey gossips that are brain impaired from pot smoke and delusional from the organic Kool-Aid, not to mention a preoccupation with rightsofallkinds and saving the environment.

One of the worse places in B(ig) C(rash) to own or live or visit. More culture exists in a Starbucks wi-fi lounge.

And the ferry boat ride……………………………….

#18 Temenos on 02.19.12 at 7:43 pm

Somehow I don’t think immigrants are pining to open up TFSA accounts and diversify into Fixed Income upon arrival in Canada. The first thing they will do is start saving up to buy a place. This isn’t going to change, especially if kids/wife are involved.

And the slowdown in China (New home sales in Shenzhen were down .1% month on month in January) is entirely created by new government policy that bans people from owning a 2nd home (to curb speculation).

The outcome is more wealthy Chinese will simply
purchase offshore, in places like Vancouver, where land is still cheap and they can own as many as they want.

During this slowdown, Developers in China like Van Ke are simply buying up land and sitting on it until policies changes start pushing the market up higher.

#19 GTA Girl on 02.19.12 at 7:43 pm


The woman in your linked National Post Toronto condo story is named Vicki Zemelman.

There’s a RE Agent named similarly in Toronto.n coincidence? Doubt it.

Blog Dogs here’s proof those media bastards are pulling the wool over the eyes.

“bought a condo for weekends with hubby..” that’s a big BS.

#20 Junius on 02.19.12 at 7:44 pm

I suggest that sellers in Vancouver advertise their listings as also including a pet monkey.

That said, i would not part with mine for any amount of money in the world. The winter nights can be both cold and lonely, unless you have a pet monkey.

#21 Temenos on 02.19.12 at 7:46 pm

@10 – Sorry, .6%., not .1%, according to Xinhua

#22 Devore on 02.19.12 at 7:56 pm

#9 lr

Saying that Iris should also ‘grow a set’ is also a rather unfortunate addition. It implies that if she were more like a man, she would make a smarter choice. Honestly, disrespectful comments like this give your voice far less credibility to people like me. FTR, Yes, I am a woman. Surprise, surprise.

You are too easily offended. Grow a set, or at least thicker skin.

“Grow a set” is a generic phrase used to imply the individual needs to be more courageous and less cowardly and wimpy. Do you also get your panties bunched up when someone says “hey guys” at a mixed gender group?

#23 Canadian Watchdog on 02.19.12 at 7:57 pm

#9 lr

Actually there is some data that supports Garth’s statement as the number of self-employed woman have been growing at double the rate over men. Banks aren’t stupid—they clearly lowered their mortgage standards to target self-employed and divorced woman.

This is what happens when woman watch too many episodes of Sex In The City and Desperate Housewives. This is nothing new and similar to the 1942 Rosie the Riveter campaign that empowered woman to get out of the house and work for themselves, while the truth was, woman had to go out and work because their husbands wages couldn’t support family expenses (inflation during the way), therefore woman became targeted tax slaves.


When there is lack of demand, they’ll make demand. That’s why they’re pushing immigrants to take on the next debt load—because Canada is in the importing fresh FICO scores business now.


Harper says “Thanks for riding the fast-track immigrant-to-homeowner plan guys”

Little do they know where Harper’s thumb is going next…

#24 Devore on 02.19.12 at 7:58 pm

#13 Tim

If there is only one percent from outside Canada, then how come you bump into Chinese everywhere you turn in Vancouver?

Because Victoria is not Vancouver?

#25 Sebee on 02.19.12 at 7:59 pm


You can guaratee achieving 7% return after fees?

Plus a pony. — Garth

#26 OneMoreThing on 02.19.12 at 8:09 pm

And remember, whatever the Chinese Gov publishes is only half truths!

The housing market there now is a mess! Very few can purchase property anyhow so stop looking at a billion potential buyers.

THE MONEY ALWAYS RETURNS HOME! But this time RE is lost its hedge status. Liquidity into the RMB is the safer play!

If it happens in China, HK, SING and all other Asian countries follow suite. Canadian RE is owned by various Asian investors who are already pulling out of AUS hoping to take gains last 3-5 years.

Same will happen to Canada!

Canada will go down as the last western (or possibly the world) country to watch its RE market get slammed.

The last to go to me means two things, the last to recover down the road AND holding the lease favourite place to invest given how manipulative and stupid we’ve been.

#27 Sense on 02.19.12 at 8:09 pm

Published by the Chinese government two days ago. — Garth

And those “estimate” numbers are accurate to within 5%? 10%? How trustworthy is the data showing those mild drops.

Yes, it’s all a plot. — Garth

#28 OneMoreThing on 02.19.12 at 8:10 pm

AND holding the ‘least’ favourite place to invest

#29 Junius on 02.19.12 at 8:16 pm

#20 Junius Imposter,

Shouldn’t you be at an open house today?

#30 Uh Oh Canada on 02.19.12 at 8:35 pm

Death by house. He, he, hee. That is so funny. All the women I know suffer from death by chocolate and death by house.

#31 Steven Rowlandson on 02.19.12 at 8:40 pm

Like I said before don’t offer more than ten cents on the dollar for real estate. Let the government, banks ,realtors and vendors twist in the wind.
I think people owe it to themselves to resist getting financially buggered for the sake of a roof over their heads..
As for GIC investors they would be better off buying gold or silver and taking delivery.

#32 Van guy on 02.19.12 at 8:41 pm

#3 TurnerNation on 02.19.12 at 6:19 pm
Ah, our forum host suprised us with an early post. I had in my mind a time of 5:05 EST. It was close, 5 min afterwards. Don’t ask me how I do it. This is a certified TurnerNation post LMAO.

Beats the alternative:

How was leafs nation feeling yesterday after the Canucks handed them their lunch? It’s pathetic being a Leafs fan. Another year without playoffs :(

#33 Leo on 02.19.12 at 8:42 pm

You make a lot of assumptions, the most dangerous assumption is that the “economies” will recover. You first need to present a viable way that is going to happen. Canada has given almost all it’s manufacturing to China, they are not coming back. Once they go they take the infrastructure with them, traffic lights, machines, sewers, even the f&*$ing staplers, everything. If you are going to be a doomer boomer you should go for it. For our economy and the real estate to recover we need real jobs, not paper service jobs, or funny facts, where is this recovery coming from, outer space? Are you saying aliens will come and put all the good Canadians to work? Or are you saying all the new massage jobs, and aromatherapy shops are going to boost the economy, or perhaps all the check cashing usury stores?? Give me one viable reason that will drive our economy, just one.

#34 eaglebay - Parksville on 02.19.12 at 8:45 pm

#9 lr on 02.19.12 at 7:00 pm

Let’s call a spade a spade.
This political correctness has gone too far.
Furthermore If you had read this blog for the past many years you would realize the truth in this matter.
My wife isn’t like this. House or no house, it doesn’t matter to her. She’s in love, I guess.

#35 Van guy on 02.19.12 at 8:49 pm

#4 Van guy

Let me fix this post because my idevice is causing me to not make sense. Because some of you can’t figure it out.

Shenzhen real estate prices were down 0.6% for January. No crash yet. But this s the beginning of the countries real estate correction. This is all due to the tightening of real estate laws. Speculation was out of control.

#36 neo on 02.19.12 at 8:52 pm

Iran didn’t invent chess for nothing…

The board doesn’t seem to be in their favour so far however…*aig0SbmWSAvR6spob85LPq9KvE8er*igIQds1*3ljxIe86u23Qg9hj1SwjGRezu7gHAxDvT1LmoK8hSKPIgSa3/IranSurroundedUSBasesFeb12.jpg

#37 eaglebay - Parksville on 02.19.12 at 8:57 pm

#26 OneMoreThing on 02.19.12 at 8:09 pm
“And remember, whatever the Chinese Gov publishes is only half truths!”
And whatever the Canadian government publishes is nothing but the truth.
Ha, you have a lot to learn.

#38 Stinky the Fish on 02.19.12 at 8:57 pm

Don’t tell Iris you wrote this. She might cry for a couple of days.

She just replied: “Thanks for your advice. Wake up call. I will be following you.” There is hope. — Garth

#39 Williston Geo on 02.19.12 at 9:01 pm

Have a kid coming in July, getting booted from the rental house in September. My better half is adamant we are not moving again after this! I have a feeling people like me who buy in 2011 will be regretting it for a long time. At least I don’t live in Vancouver or Toronto….

Plus a pony. — Garth

Perfect! At least I will not have to put a Welsh on the HELOC.

#40 eaglebay - Parksville on 02.19.12 at 9:01 pm

#33 Leo on 02.19.12 at 8:42 pm
“Give me one viable reason that will drive our economy, just one.”

Natural resources, dumbo.
Need more? Ask.

#41 Deb on 02.19.12 at 9:09 pm

I sense that Iris is but one of many who have allowed themselves to actually believe the misinformation pumped out on a regular basis by the unholy alliance of the real estate industry, the banks and the MSM. The best possible thing for Iris to do at this point is nothing, except to seek professional, objective advice regarding her personal situation.

One other matter, Garth, deserves clarification. Regarding one of your posts from last year, we in Saskatchewan do not, as a matter of course, wear socks while having sex. Toques perhaps, socks no. I don’t know, and I don’t want to know, how you got this idea into your head.

I’d applaud, but I’m wearing only mittens. — Garth

#42 mac on 02.19.12 at 9:09 pm

If those are the stats from the Chinese Gov’t, imagine what’s really happening.

#43 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 02.19.12 at 9:17 pm

“The price of houses fell in 70% of the cities surveyed. In the four largest, sales crashed by two-thirds last month.” — A fair assessment of Canada in the short term.

“. . . a lot less horny . . .” — A bucket of ice cold water over one’s naughty parts is a sure-fire way to end horny!

“. . . (especially women, I sadly say) . . .” — Agreed, all due to the nesting instinct, instead of investing and enjoying life. There are way better things to do than tie one’s self down to bricks and mortar, and become a debt slave to banks.

“Death by house.” — Can be translated as Death by debt, Death by stupidity (which is Death by unknown causes), or Death by repeating the RE drivel — RE always goes up, then frothing at the mouth and falling over backwards.

#12 Snowboid — “Long-live rent and invest!’ — Spot on! Or use TFSAs instead.
Soros See headline then know why he backs Obomba, and the end result is this; 3:09 clip “We are seeing these stories of trillions in US Treasury bonds floating around Europe. We are being told they are fake. I don’t think so. Because Wall Street banks sold 98% of the Credit Default Swaps on Europe’s debt, Wall Street cannot survive a collapse of the European debt. So what it looks like to me is that the US Government is issuing treasuries and simply giving them to Europe’s banks to improve their cash positions without increasing the debt. Of course, this is not a solution. This world-destroying scam is being perpetrated for no more reason than an attempt to hold off the final crash until after the November Elections. ”; Spanish cuts Happened in Iceland, Ireland, Greece. Only difference was the Vikings had enough guts to stand up for themselves, and tell banxters to go f#*k themselves; Where’s The Money Guido? Missing US$15 tri.; 1:13 clip Congressoffspring says End the Fed; 4:40 clip Don’t Pay spreading across EZone; Greece is taking the same approach as Iceland.
WW3 on the way? March 8 is when the ‘net shuts down (FF) to start a possible war with Iran, because March 20 is when the Iranian oil bourse starts trading oil in other currencies apart from the US$ (recall Iraq), heralding the arrival of a new oil marker to be denominated in euro, yen, yuan, rupee or a basket of currencies, and 11:50 clip For those don’t know, Iranians are angry at the US and a few others; GMO Foods Much worse than anticipated — maybe KD is better; 2:14 clip Brit. scientists experimenting babies asked to leave Argentina; 6:37 clip ‘Net surveillance worse than SOPA; The New Blacklist “Media Matters parroted the party line: He has blasphemed!”; Six min. clip Ron Paul takes Romney to the cleaners and Combat Vets will march for Ron Paul; Arsenic and Baby Formula from brown rice syrup; Toll Roads and Highways in all states, handed over to outside interests.

#44 mid-Ontario on 02.19.12 at 9:20 pm

#4 Van guy

Let me fix this post because my device is causing me to not make sense. Because some of you can’t figure it out.

Shenzhen real estate prices were down 0.6% for January. No crash yet. But this s the beginning of the countries real estate correction. This is all due to the tightening of real estate laws. Speculation was out of control.
Wow, a 0.6% drop in RE in a Chinese city as stated by the Chinese government and it’s even worth a comment??
I don’t follow at all.

Similarly, a 7% return for young Miss Iris over the next 15 years is a fairy tale in my opinion.

Hate to harp, but Greece is going down and out of ECU this year along with the unraveling of the ODC’s which, in turn will unravel all those expected juicy gains in any “safe” market. Unless you are a crook or insider, good luck making any money for a while in the rigged market we wallow in now.

As for RE dropping off a cliff, talk to me after Greece leaves the ECU followed shortly by Portugal and Spain.

The banksters in charge of Greece now (appointed by the ECU) will be ridden out of the country on a rail.
The world will watch in wonder.

I just wish the people in charge of Ireland, Greece, Portugal and Spain would stand up to the banksters the way the people of Iceland did (not their crooked reps but the people!)

In case you didn’t realize, a .6% drop in a month is an annualized decline of over 7%, which is meaningful. Speaking of a 7% investment return, once you stop listening to [email protected], you will realize this is a reasonable multi-year goal for a balanced portfolio. And, BTW, Greece is absolutely irrelevant. — Garth

#45 Blasé on 02.19.12 at 9:21 pm

My wife has a friend living in shanghai, bought at 400,000 and now “worth” 1.4 mil. Only problem is, can’t sell since no buyers! It’s funny that the sheeple don’t realize, the herd will follow just as quickly off the bandwagon as they jumped on, especially when new rules won’t allow them to stay on. Bring on the lamb BBQ!

#46 this is wonderland on 02.19.12 at 9:22 pm

My observations are based on conversations with women, not men. Am I incorrect? — Garth

God Forbid!

I’ll take that as a ‘never.’ — Garth

#47 Daisy Mae on 02.19.12 at 9:26 pm


You can guarantee achieving 7% return after fees?

Plus a pony. — Garth


A PONY?! Where in the heck am I going to tether a PONY?

#48 Daisy Mae on 02.19.12 at 9:32 pm

#30 UH OH CANADA: ‘Death by chocolate’


What a dessert — ‘Death by Chocolate’. I believe it cost about $15…but it was impressive! For my 25th wedding anniversary. Will never forget it!

#49 Loon on 02.19.12 at 9:37 pm

Garth, I don’t think this is the case across the board. Many current retirees purchased property in their younger days at relatively low prices, paid them off early and then started socking money away in RRSPs. These are the majority, they have no urgency to sell.

RRSPs can be tax bombs. Beware. — Garth

#50 Van guy on 02.19.12 at 9:41 pm

This will affect Van and TO

#51 City Slicker on 02.19.12 at 9:54 pm

Garth, looks like an oil boom in Lethrbidge Alberta:

Do you think this will jack up RE in the area, or is this RE propaganda spawned by the cartel?

Oil doesn’t influence real estate. Buyers do. Does everyone want to move to Lethbridge? — Garth

#52 Salama6898 on 02.19.12 at 9:54 pm

Chinese housing maket slowed down by gov policy.
Why Canadian Gov is not doing anything, they can not see what you see , Garth?

#53 Timbo on 02.19.12 at 9:54 pm

Greece is but the first act in the play unfolding. Spain is behind the curtain warming up the vocal cords for our entertainment.
Japan posted its biggest ever trade deficit in January, topping the previous record seen during the financial crisis in 2009,

enjoy the party because hangovers are painful

A Greek default will be a massive non-event. — Garth

#54 T.O. Bubble Boy on 02.19.12 at 9:58 pm

Even if the month-over-month drop was small, the Chinese property bubble relies on ever-increasing prices, so I’m sure that many are already worried that their gamble might not pay off this time.

Vancouver should be worried too – with no actual economy besides selling dumpy houses to Mainland Chinese, what happens when the money machine stops?

#55 dd on 02.19.12 at 9:59 pm

#25 Sebee,

Rememeber inflation is running at 3% (if you actually believe the gov numbers). So the real rate of return is 4%. And probably breaking even if you take into account “” numbers.

#56 waiting on 02.19.12 at 10:10 pm

I have lived in Vancouver for over 30 years having come from southern Ontario where my four siblings still live. Three are retired – none of them would consider selling their paid for homes to retire on the west coast. They all have grandchildren, friends and ties to their communities and can head south to Florida cheaply for a break from the cold. I on the other hand have found myself wondering if I might have to move there when I retire …

#57 Mr Buyer on 02.19.12 at 10:10 pm

#16Rural Rick on 02.19.12 at 7:38 pm
NEVER in the entire history of the written or spoken word have truer words EVER been written or spoken. I had no idea of the depth and laser like percetion possesed by Betty White. I will be reviewing her entire body of work as a result in reading that single statement for the first time in my entire life (I lack the courage to write it here even as a quote even though I could not stop laughing for the better part of 5 minutes and the statement is true on many levels). Having said all this I myself wish the the whole grow a pair statement would go the way of the dodo having been kicked in the nads more than once in my life I do not see them as a great asset in any combative sense but thier utility in the propagation of the species is self evident to me with the kids forever under foot. I would like to see a more biochemically based saying come to the fore that is suggestive of undergoing testosterone therapy to increase aggression and decisive action but it is challenging to coin a catchy phrase that captures all those elements. I am not entirely confident that testostrone has the best impact upon higher mental functions required in effective assessments of risk and the like. The following is by no means a remotely scientific assertion. I have 3 kids, 1 girl and two boys. When my daughter climbed up on the couch she would turn around and climb back down, when both of my sons climbed up on the couch they promtly turned around and stepped of of the couch to get back down (like the floor was going to magically come up and meet their feet) well you can imagine the the monsterous face plants both these guys experienced. Now if that wasn’t enough both of resorted to climbing off the couch but from time to time they will re-implement to stepping directly off the couch protocol and meet with similar epic face plants. In their defense I will say that the oldest mastered the stepping of the couch technique by age three with little permanent facial trauma while the two year old is presently working on finer aspects of the technique. While a case can be made for the benefits derived from such daring said benefits come at very high costs that sometimes leave me wondering about the evolutionary benefits. I suspect self directed raising of one’s Testosterone levels may well lead to highly deleterious unintended behaviour to put it mildly.

Step outside and say that. — Garth

#58 Rafinator on 02.19.12 at 10:11 pm

I think the best thing Canadians can do is not get into ANY debt: consumer or mortgage debt; if you have any, get out of it.

And this time don’t delete my link, jerk.

Oops. Sorry. You mean you wanted me to promote your web site on my jerk blog? Rotate. — Garth

#59 Timing is Everything on 02.19.12 at 10:13 pm

Oil doesn’t influence real estate. Buyers do. — Garth

Especially, buyers with jobs.

#60 Mr Buyer on 02.19.12 at 10:23 pm

#40eaglebay – Parksville …
Natural resources
Did you get your “Here is your share of the sale of Canada’s Natural Resourses cheque” already? I am still waiting for mine. We have natural resourses for sure but bussiness is currently reaching around over and under the Canadian populus to reach them and sell them to the world. These same resourses will be worth much much more if sold at a much later date when supply is greatly limited around the world (this situation is coming much sooner than later, read 2050 or so).

#61 Tax Farm Slave (with great job and benefits) on 02.19.12 at 10:27 pm

#9 lr on 02.19.12 at 7:00 pm
I’d have to agree with Garth on this one. My wife was fine renting until she got pregnant. Then it was home ownership all the way. Although ‘anecdotal’, it’s possible women have more of a ‘nesting’ instinct and do equate owning with stability. (I’d like to hear from others’ stories on this)

And on a lighter note, ‘growing a set’ while alluding to masculinity, is actually slang for ‘stepping up’ or ‘taking a risk’. And Garth uses this slang in almost a sarcastic way and instead could have said something along the lines of “don’t be an effing idiot, make the obvious choice and you will be better off”.

#62 truth hammer on 02.19.12 at 10:27 pm

It’s a common misconception of people who only know Asian economics, demographics, lifestyle and culture from what they glean from CBC documentaries that ‘only the rich own homes’. It behooves the CBC to show every other country in some third world representation of poverty and squallor, but this is simply not true. It makes a clear justification for the nonsensical statements about Canada being ‘the best place in the world’. Yes, there are plenty of people who are poor, but the Asian middle class has exploded in number over the past two decades. More people have been lifted out of poverty than the population of a thousand comfortably smug Canada’s.

Employment and incomes have skyrocketed by comparison. Canada’s wages and opportunities have flatlined over the past two decades whereas Asian incomes have created a new middle class with unprecedented spending power. The only growth in Canada has been government and the benefits that government workers recieve, which as you know is no benefit to the economy whatsoever. Did I mention flat taxes and no sales taxes? No…….makes me ill to think of what Canada sucks out of my pocket for no other reason than to support a top heavy civil service that continues to drag down the standard of living for the majority.

The fact is that the middle class Chinese have become rabid consumers of debt. Hundreds of thousands of new subdivisions surround major cities that 99% of Canadians have never heard of let alone be able to find on a map. These are ‘small centers’ of ten million people or more. There are thousands of such cities that dwarf Toronto in China. CBC focus is on Beijing and Shanghai…….and they love to find beggars wherever they go….and diving ducks that harvest fish…in just about every doc they produce….laughable ignorance.

Bank loans are part of every day culture here. Everyone has a mortgage…ten credit cards…car loans …leased washing machines……brand name appliances…marble counter tops…track lights…..three cars………………it is not your granfathers Asia. So don’t come here dressed in a safari suit sporting your CBC hat from the 1950’s Howdy Doody culture……you might wet yourself.

The traffic you’ll experiance is people commuting to their suburban homes…..going shopping at the thousands of mega malls……and the malls are full…..with people dressed to the nines….spending money on credit with abandon…..traveling for leisure….going camping is big. Youth culture is full blown. Canada won’t see these fashions for three to four years from now. In fact compared to Asia…Canada is a bit dated…..and falling behind faster than ever as Asian economies continue to explode.

There are as many major banks here as we have politicians in Canada and they all have huge retail operations competing with one another. Mortgages are now 3.25 % for a 5 year…25 yr am…..same as anywhere in the west.

So…don’t get too prissy when comparing China to Oshawa…….you don’t know the half of it. What is interesting is that economic culture is relatively new to a majority of Chinese and they are beginning to experiance economic cycles for the first time…..Canadians have three hundred years of experiance…..and we’re still as dumb as a sack of hammers.

What is the national home ownership rate in China? I hear 6 per cent. — Garth

#63 Mr Buyer on 02.19.12 at 10:31 pm

I just read my last post. Aw come on man. Resouses, how can I possibly mispell resourses for the one hundred millionth time. WTF. Crayons, I should be writing in Crayon font.
resource…I have looked this word up many many many times along with a host of other I simply refurse to spell properly. I am a clown.

#64 Mr Buyer on 02.19.12 at 10:33 pm

refuse. Close the door please.

#65 Tax Farm Slave (with great job and benefits) on 02.19.12 at 10:35 pm

#15 GTA Girl on 02.19.12 at 7:38 pm
Along the same lines, came back from a viewing today. The older Boomer couple has their family home up for sale, listed ~$500,000. Agent starts telling me about the condo they also own, and the cottage etc.

I start thinking to myself, how will we ever accumulate those types of assets, taking on a jumbo mortgage that we would be lucky to pay off in 30 years? Why should we be the lightning rod for their bank account?

They’ve obviously benefited from years of growth and inflation. I’m not going to be their bag holder in the forth coming period of stag/deflation.

I wonder how many others are starting to think like me?

#66 TaxHaven on 02.19.12 at 10:36 pm

The linked article never once mentions what this “Vickie Zemelman” does for a living, how much she earns, or how secure is this source of income.

Yet she bought (rented?!) a $500,000 concrete box in a tower.

#67 Nemesis on 02.19.12 at 10:41 pm

@RealJunius… Re: #29…

Normally, the impostor would be presiding over an open house but clearly… he’s been pre-occupied lately… ‘spanking his monkey’.

#68 Rafinator on 02.19.12 at 10:41 pm

Well can’t you help a brother out?

That’s it Garth, I am un-friending you off Facebook and un-following you on Twitter.

I thought we were friends man!

Unfriended! OMG! It’s over… — Garth

#69 Tax Farm Slave (with great job and benefits) on 02.19.12 at 10:48 pm

#22 Devore on 02.19.12 at 7:56 pm
LOL. I thought the same thing about ‘hey guys’. I once saw an email from a woman to a group of women (she forwarded it to me), the address of that email was:

‘Hey Guys,’

And interestingly, my buddy was once in a seminar where the instructor addressed a smaller group as ‘hey guys’, and one of the women turned around and said “why don’t you stop calling me a guy and I won’t call you a pansy”


#70 Timing is Everything on 02.19.12 at 10:48 pm

#14 Devore – Maybe not everyone wants to live there [Victoria]?

Thank God.

#71 noob on 02.19.12 at 10:49 pm

Long Time reader of the site, never commented before. Going to throw it out there: I earn 103k, looking to buy a 2 bed house in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba for 120k.

Rent would be 800 a month for a similar place. Am I correct to buy this place? I will be living there for only 3 years, after which time I’ll sell it, or use it for an RRSP mortgage and rent it.

I’m from Ireland originally and I’ve seen the devastation that the bubble wrath there. Just don’t want to see it happen to me in Canada, after avoiding the bullet so well.

Just want to get some feedback. Most other sites just pump real estate. Thanks

#72 Tax Farm Slave (with great job and benefits) on 02.19.12 at 10:52 pm

#19 GTA Girl on 02.19.12 at 7:43 pm
LOL crazy. My SIL tells me the market for SFHs in TO is DEAD.


And she exemplifies those heavily influenced by the MSM.

#73 truth hammer on 02.19.12 at 10:53 pm

BTW…add this to your ‘laugh a minute’ file. Your fearless leaders insist that inflation is sub 2%…Bwahahahahahahahahahahaa !!!!

OK Marc C……..we’ll substitute…..instead of meat and gasoline we can ‘substitute’ meat for ‘meat-like’ products and hot air……Will that help you rationalize your impossible stand on low inflation?

#74 DM in C on 02.19.12 at 10:54 pm

HAHAHAH Rafinator you must be new.

Rotate. Indeed.

#75 AprilNewwest on 02.19.12 at 10:59 pm

#9 Ir-
Yes, Garth is right. It’s mostly women who want the nice new home to show off to their friends among other reasons as Garth stated. I’m a woman and I’d like a nice new home too but not badly enough to go into debt and especially when everything is so overpriced and it appears in decline. My daughters tell me how their friends talk their husbands into buying homes they can’t afford and some are living pay chq to pay chq.

#76 TurnerNation on 02.19.12 at 11:00 pm

#32Van guy on 02.19.12 at 8:41 pm

I’m not really a hockey fan. But at least our entire city doesn’t riot after a loss!!!!!!!!!!!

#77 eaglebay - Parksville on 02.19.12 at 11:10 pm

#60 Mr Buyer on 02.19.12 at 10:23 pm

“Did you get your “Here is your share of the sale of Canada’s Natural Resourses cheque” already? I am still waiting for mine. We have natural resourses for sure but bussiness is currently reaching around over and under the Canadian populus to reach them and sell them to the world.”
The cheque is in the form of economic activities.
Japan is one of our biggest customer. They have no choice as their little island doen’t have much to work with.
As for your working 70 hours a week, you do have a problem beside running away from Canada.
Try skills, common sense and knowhow and you probably could make a decent living on normal or 30 hours a week.
Hope you stay in Japan as they obviously don’t care about paragraphs. Brag, brag, brag.

#78 AprilNewwest on 02.19.12 at 11:12 pm

#29 Junius. I just knew #20 didn’t sound like you. Your comments are interesting and intelligent .

#79 new-era on 02.19.12 at 11:24 pm


#80 OwlEyes on 02.19.12 at 11:25 pm

I just had to share this. Now I know this is no suprise to anyone, except maybe those who think professional wrestling is real, but…
“She won’t be taking possession for at least two years, but Vickie Zemelman is already excited about her new pied-à-terre.

The North York mother of three school-aged children has just bought a one-bedroom, $500,000 condominium at the New Residences of Yorkville Plaza, Camrost Felcorp’s 32-storey, 500-unit tower on the site of Toronto’s renowned Four Seasons Hotel. ”

Now I read that and spewed the mouthful of water I was drinking. Three school age children?! OK. She or hubby must be CEOs of some profitable enterprise. That’s the only explanation. Right?


#81 DonDWest on 02.19.12 at 11:25 pm

“Own a home, live on KD. . .”

What’s wrong with Kraft Dinner?

It makes people whiny, anti-social and insufferable. — Garth

#82 Calculon the Mighty on 02.19.12 at 11:28 pm

$150,000*(1.07^15) = $413,854.73.

#83 The Thing in the Basement on 02.19.12 at 11:36 pm

76 Turner Nation – Hey that was a “world class” sports riot buddy!

#84 Clockbike on 02.19.12 at 11:38 pm

“What’s wrong with Kraft Dinner?”

“It makes people whiny, anti-social and insufferable. — Garth”

You’ve gone too far. You can insult the Canadian Household all you want, but no one talks bad about the cheesy goodness of my Kraft Dinner.

#85 City Slicker on 02.19.12 at 11:39 pm

Oil doesn’t influence real estate. Buyers do. Does everyone want to move to Lethbridge? — Garth
People would migrate for jobs, that would have influence, no? The question is would the migration be large enough to cause waves.

#86 Yaro on 02.19.12 at 11:40 pm

Hi Garth.

I’m curious about the other side of the divide. The people who already have retired, have paid off their mortgages, and are wondering where to invest.

Case in point: my mother. She is 78.

She owns a house free and clear. She pays the property taxes for it, but it’s not an amount she can’t handle. She also pays the utilities, and has enough left for food and digital tv, as well as other expenses.

She collects CPP and OAS. She also receives a benefit as a widow.

In terms of money for investing, she has about $8000 that is sitting idle in a TFSA. She also has other money, but she doesn’t want to invest it. It’s a buffer for daily living.

So if you were 78, and had $8000 that was doing nothing, how would you invest it?

#87 45north on 02.19.12 at 11:40 pm

noob: talking about Portage La Prairie: I will be living there for only 3 years, after which time I’ll sell it

or nothing

I don’t know anything about Portage La Prairie. Let’s say that you will be moving 1000 km away. Now imagine that your landlord lives that far away – how do you think that would work? Answer is not very well even if he was your brother.

#88 Mr Buyer on 02.19.12 at 11:43 pm

#76TurnerNation on 02.19.12 at 11:00 pm…
I’m not really a hockey fan
I have suspected for some time that you were not Canadian and now I have the evidence. If truth be told though, I lived and died with each carry of the puck from defensive to offensive zone through my childhood, never mind if a goal was scored. The trauma of watching my beloved Canadians even in their heydays was so great I had to give up watching the game and do so now only for exceptional games such as Stanley Cup championships and the like (sorry there are no other games like Stanley Cup Championships). I tell my Japanese friends of Paul Kariya(his father is Japanese aparently) and how he was devastated by a mid ice body check, knocked unconscious, and he returned scant moments later to score a descisive goal against arguably the greatest money goal tender in the history of the sport. EPIC (I still cry over it). He was also reported to have replied to a silly question, “how could you do that,” with the following… “I get X millions of dollars a year, it is my duty to do that.” This is a true artisan, a hockey player, not a cheque casher. Heros, sports heros, a lower form of hero for sure, but heros all the same.

#89 The BioTech Guy on 02.19.12 at 11:43 pm

#60 truth hammer

Great post.

Not sure about ‘the best place in the world’ but we have hundreds of thousands of new immigrants from mainline China and had them for some time.

Many are well educated. Could do well anywhere why move here, then ? Do they watch CBC documentaries about China too ?

Is there a similar number of Canadians moving en masse to China ? Given the number of people with Chinese heritage it should be easy to do.

Ultimately the migration patterns around the world tell you were people like it better and the fact is Canada is one of the best places on Earth to live amigo. Another shopping mall or a traffic jam in Shanghai will impress anyone.

The scale and rate of changes in China are well known.
Many industralized economies may feel dated in comparison. This is inevitable. The difference between the developing and the developed.

#90 Tax Farm Slave (with great job and benefits) on 02.19.12 at 11:53 pm

#71 noob on 02.19.12 at 10:49 pm
Someone that makes 103k/yr surely knows that over three years they would pay $28,800 to rent that place, but to buy it (and sell it later) you’re likely going to pay more given all the associated fees. AND, by buying you’re taking risk that you won’t be able to sell, that you’ll have to sell for a loss, or that you won’t be able to find decent tenants?

#91 Mr Buyer on 02.20.12 at 12:01 am

#77eaglebay – Parksville…sorry what was your point? Japan needs resources, they get some from Canada and you got your “Your share of Canada’s Natural Resources cheque” when? Last week or last month?
As for skills, well I have prescious few of those so I will continue to rely on throwing huge numbers of hours at a problem thank you very much. Or maybe I should buy a house and sell it to you 5 years later for double the price. Now that is good idea isn’t it? I will pass on your ability to accomplish in 30 hours what takes the laggards of Japan and myself to accomplish in 70. The Japanese are big copycats though so do not be surprised if you find a team of Japanese researchers following you around at work to learn the secrets of your ability to do more than double the work their salary men can do. Please forgive any gaffs in prose or spelling, I suspect I am suffering for untreated head injuries due to the adverse impact testosterone has upon proper risk assesment and the silly acts it led me to indulge in as a child such a rock fights, jumping off buildings with a blanket as a parachute and the like.

#92 Job Losses in the GTA on 02.20.12 at 12:17 am

GTA girl #19

That article screams realtor/developer propaganda of lies. No one buys a 500k condo for the weekend. word is that condo development is having trouble moving product thus the article in the mafia media. Re sales in the GTA have stalled as the RE market is heading down.

#93 Bobby on 02.20.12 at 12:23 am

For those who want ease in investing here is one for you. I have invested monies on my kids behalf in the RBC Monthly Income Fund. It is always highly rated by a number of rating agencies. Cumulative annual gain over last 10 years is 7.4%. It is interesting to note, that the average conservative pension plan looks to a cumulative gain of 6% a year. I know, because I used to oversee one.

#94 Mr Buyer on 02.20.12 at 12:32 am

I would like to add that while my cadre of friends as a child was composed of roughly 40 or 50% girls (girls that could take a round out of you if you acted too goofy I might add) and roughly 20% or so of the boys tried the blanket as parachute while jumping off a building manuver (some even after seeing their friends injured) not a single girl gave it a try (although they did look on and really talked up my best friend later after he did it twice without serious injury).

#95 Maya on 02.20.12 at 12:36 am

#52 Salama6898 on 02.19.12 at 9:54 pm
Chinese housing maket slowed down by gov policy.
Why Canadian Gov is not doing anything, they can not see what you see , Garth?
Don’t forget, Canada is a free market country, “supply and demand”. Plus, high property value helps government generate more property tax dollars each year. It is ironic to see that Vancouver appointed the affordable housing committe, all they want is to put mid-class people into some pigeon airboxes and pay $1,000 per sf to solve the issue of housing affordability.

#96 Mark on 02.20.12 at 12:38 am

Garth stop saying its so easy to make 7% with preferred, REITS, and bonds. Doing so without capital risk is fairly difficult, especially for the common man. 4% is more likely …

Bank preferreds alone pay 5%. Are you that shut off? — Garth

#97 Mr Buyer on 02.20.12 at 12:52 am

I really have to do some work even though it is my day off and the kids are at school so here is the last post for the day. I just remembered a real gem. We used to hang around a section of the river in my home town that was our exclusive territiory granted through treaties worked out with variuos other warring tribes of area children. Well it was a train trussel, elevated some 4 or 5 meters above the river which was about chest deep below and flowed immediately into a 2 or 3 meter waterfall with turbulent rapids stretching for kilometers (miles for pre 1972 types like myself) downstream. Well it wasn’t enough that we all swam in the rapids and bubbles as we called them (the word bubble had a deep meaning to me even before our present debacle) but a few of my friends took to diving of the train trussel into the rock bottomed chest deep calm pool immediately above a waterfall with an ensuing X kilometer stretch of rapids. Needless to say it was a boys doing it (aparently the key skill was the capacity to execute a shallow dive) but for want of a better term I did not have the stones to do it. There was one of the tougher tomboy type girls that jumped off once feet first but she injured herself. Testosterone.
PS. There was no purposeful attempt to exaggerate but I am working from childhood memories so the trussel may not seem so high if I saw it now and the river may not seem so trecherous, but people did drown there every couple of years or so back then.

#98 Devore on 02.20.12 at 12:55 am

#60 Mr Buyer

Did you get your “Here is your share of the sale of Canada’s Natural Resourses cheque” already? I am still waiting for mine.

I did! (says he as he looks over his quarterly dividend investment accounts statements)

We have natural resourses for sure but bussiness is currently reaching around over and under the Canadian populus to reach them and sell them to the world.

Businesses are doing what business do. And Canadians are doing what Canadians do: pouring all their income into overpriced real estate, instead of buying Canada’s wealth. No worries, foreigners are doing it for them.

#99 Van guy on 02.20.12 at 12:59 am

#76 TurnerNation on 02.19.12 at 11:00 pm
#32Van guy on 02.19.12 at 8:41 pm

I’m not really a hockey fan. But at least our entire city doesn’t riot after a loss!!!!!!!!!!!

It wasnt just a loss. If you even know what a Stanley cup means to a Canadian city, you’ll understand. Toronto would riot too. We Canadians all think alike when it comes to hockey. All those cups won by the Leafs are now irrelevant. Why? Because when a league has 6 teams, what’s the odds of winning a cup? Didn’t you guys riot a couple years ago? Didn’t Montreal riot after a cup win in 93′? And why the he’ll would anyone want to spend $400 average for a ticket to watch the Leafs lose over and over again?

#100 not 1st on 02.20.12 at 1:26 am

Iris, take the $150G and buy an RV and hit the road. Its going to be the cheapest way for you to live and with lots of freedom too. Stock the back with KD and coke let er rip. Its too late for you to get into the real estate game and its too late for you to expect any retirement funds other than the gov’t. You will work forever paying off a beast of a mortgage in silly Victoria. RE is for horny youngsters with a lot time to pay off massive debts, not for people past 50.

#101 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 02.20.12 at 1:35 am

Garth — One of the Amazons escaped. Don’t worry, she’ll be back!
“A Greek default will be a massive non-event. — Garth” — True, but combined (in short order) with Portugal, Spain, Italy, possibly the UK and France, Bulgaria, oddballs here and there, add in China, Russia, Iran and other Arab countries having fisticuffs, the continuing violence caused by NATO – UN – US and someone else, we could be heading into unchartered territory. such as here. A lot of people — including NAmericans — won’t get to see 2015 (unless they rebirth toute suite).

Wait a minute. Isn’t that when a lot of boomers start collecting CPP – OAS – GIS and SS down south? Out of chaos, order. Hey babes, see y’all on the other side, and enjoy the trip!

“It makes people whiny, anti-social and insufferable. — Garth” — Not with mounds of crispy bacon, browned sausages and ketchup on!

#71 noob — “Rent would be 800 a month for a similar place. Am I correct to buy this place? I will be living there for only 3 years . . .” — Renting is way cheaper, plus you can move when the lease is up. Forget buying for the next decade or two.
SArabia Reopening old wells in case of war (no peak oil); Taxpayers’ Decade UK taxpayers only have a decade or so before they get their bailout money back; Hire Brits. WW3 is ready to go! Pocketing Money MPs and airlines; Countries GDP in a pretty chart; Ten Resignations in 14 Days Do they know something? Currency Wars China cuts requirements; Good Question What if we all become Greeks? Well, we’re on the right track.

Kannaduhh Warmongering insanity; Greel CDS A whole buncha shit is happening in March — add this to it; Robert Reich He is right on mfg.; China The mother of all bubbles; Blankfein Doing dOg’s work with Bill Clinton; Ten Countries with most debt; Sharing Ten things; Dracula The scariest housing chart yet; Mentally Ill Victims of the downturn; Phoenix Rising? Not for a while.
2:19 clip Volcanic eruption in Japan; Soros and Obomba’s Libya Things are looking good (not); Russia and Iran Setting themselves up; 7:14 clip George Galloway on war with Iran; Vic Toews — This is your moment in the spotlight, and here; Grown Up Children are supposed to leave the nest and make their own way in life, not become life dependents; GC So we can say Merry Xmas in June? Test Tube Burger Novelty item; Diet Sodas More aspartame garbage; Local Grown Foods amount to 2%; Iran vs. US The fix is in (banxters eyeing profits).

#102 Jimmy on 02.20.12 at 1:44 am

Hey Garth, Oil just hit $105 and could easily hit $110 in a week or two. Gas is almost 1.30 in the GTA. Do you see Carney raising the prime rate soon with these and other living costs going up quick ?

#103 Paul on 02.20.12 at 2:02 am

Click on “Housing HST” video. Builders say it’s already started in BC.

#104 Timmins Boy on 02.20.12 at 2:02 am

Timmins, Ontario

#105 Jane on 02.20.12 at 2:39 am

@ #39 Williston Geo on 02.19.12 at 9:01 pm
Your kid won’t care where you live as long as they have you. If your wife wants to buy, get her to check out school catchments, preschools, neighborhood houses, friends on the block just to name a few things that will change but be critical over the next five years. Much easier to move into a diffent school district while renting.

#106 truth hammer on 02.20.12 at 2:44 am

#89…BT guy, sorry I missed your post first time around. There are a few fairly standard reasons for PRC nationals to come to Canada. One is religious freedom. You might not know it but China is not a tolerant vountry for every type of religion. There are many millions of Evangelical and Catholic Chinese. Canadian churches are very active recruiting new immigrant applicants from the congregations in China. It strengthens the obligation for the new member to tithe when settled here….ergo builds a stronger political base for the local organization…I know…… Machiavellian …but true. Remeber who came out by the bus load when ‘the two dads book’ controversy came to the fore. Hint…it wasn’t the Cloverdale book club. Its an ugly thought to think that Canadian politicians and special interest groups will use immigrants as political weapons but……its not the first time…but Garth doesn’t like any fingers pointed at his dead heroes….so we’ll move on.

Second is family finances. Canada offers full family immigration based on one applicant. Free seniors care, free medical and free education for the adult non English speakers and children. Its free….wouldn’t you take it if it was offered?

Three…Canada is an easy country to apply to…documentation checks are widely known as soft on fact checking. A clerk who also breaks wooden packing crates is a qualified finished carpenter for the purposes of the immigration application. These stories have been well publized by local media and you don’t need to hear it from me.

Four…It is widely known that integration is not demanded as a criteria for employment. Social services organizations are sponsoring non English speaking applicants for government posts as part of a quota program.

Five…Canada is cheap compared to most other cities when it comes to being already rich and having no plans to work……check out the public pools and serices generally. There are ‘meals on wheels’ programs active for Chinese seniors whereas the program for resident seniors have been closed down for lack of funding for some time now.

Let the howling begin

#107 Calgary's OK on 02.20.12 at 2:58 am

“First, the exodus from real estate and into liquidity is a global trend.”

And where exactly this magical place called liquidity? Any particular directions how to get there?

#108 Leonard on 02.20.12 at 3:00 am

The doomer boomer strikes again. You know prices are off the chart when people are paying a million dollars for a 4 bedroom rambler in Vic, no view no pool. While I understand BC is the California of Canada, that doesn’t mean it should have the prices to match. This is no San Fran folks. It rains constantly, sometimes even in the summer. Canknucklehead Real Estate is in for a massive correction, how it has hung on so long is a mystery, perhaps like the doomer boomer says it is the passion, perhaps it is the Chinese, perhaps it is all the cheap money, or all these things, but nothing lasts forever and this run is way past it’s best before date.

#109 John on 02.20.12 at 3:01 am

“These are ‘small centers’ of ten million people or more. There are thousands of such cities that dwarf Toronto in China”
Lets do some basic math . 1000 cities of 10 million people is 10 Billion, yet the pop. of china is 1.5 Billion, and you say there are ‘thousands’ of these cities. yet you sound so sure of yourself, i will have to take the rest of your rant with a grain of salt,

#110 DT on 02.20.12 at 3:02 am

#62 Truth hammer,

You must not have learned about China’s empty city…

and its largest-in-the-world empty mall…

and I won’t bother correcting your other non-senses.

#111 First to last on 02.20.12 at 3:05 am

#13 Tim every read Canadian history about building the railway? Here’s a kids site that explains it for you:

#112 First to last on 02.20.12 at 3:08 am

ever I meant

#113 eagle eyes on 02.20.12 at 3:28 am

#68 Rafinator.

My vote – you are off the island. No one speaks to our fearless leader with such disrespect.

#114 Aussie Roy on 02.20.12 at 3:38 am

Aussie Update

ANZ BANK recruiting in Philippines as local jobs axed

AS ANZ announced massive job cuts in Australia it was hosting open days in Manila to attract cut-price workers to take over many of the positions.

The five-day recruitment open house, in addition to more than 70 mid-level banking jobs advertised on its Philippines website, reveals that ANZ is heavily engaged in moving Australian jobs overseas to take advantage of much cheaper labour costs.

The jobs range from analysts and ”collections associates” (debt collectors) to a health and wellbeing consultant. Their pay rates will be as little as one-10th of equivalent roles in Australia.

It’s BOOM time ?

Over the December quarter, the median house price in Brisbane recorded a slight fall of 0.2 per cent to $499,000 – the city’s lowest drop since September 2010.

HEAVILY mortgaged home owners have lost more than $64 million in the past five years selling Hunter properties for less than what they paid for them.
An investigation by the Newcastle Herald found 2659 vendors lost an average of $24,000 on investments gone wrong in the five years to December last year.

Holiday destinations including Nelson Bay, Salamander Bay and Forster were some of the hardest hit areas following the economic downturn.

SATIRE – A BULLS eye view of Aussie housing

Mortgage your kids future ?.

Should your children own property? It’s not always child’s play, but can be done

Cost of funds continues to move against the RBA wish to lower rates.


China home prices fall for 4th month.

#115 My Name on 02.20.12 at 4:12 am

Hi Garth, long time lurker, very rare I post.

$150,000 at 7% over 15 periods calculates to $413,854.7311 according to my trusty HP 12C if annual interest, $427,316.52 if 0.5833 interest monthly, 180 periods. That’s nowhere near $450,000!

If cash liquidity is of utmost importance today, why should Iris tie up $150,000 for 15 years?

You have said interest rates and taxes have only one way to go right now. To me, it looks like Iris is screwed no matter what she does. If she leaves the money to sit and invest for 15 years at 7%, subtracting inflation from it and taxes on what is accumulated, it is not so great. If she leaves it where it is, it’s even worse.

Maybe the best thing for working class people to do isn’t to invest at all, but to enjoy the money they have while it’s still worth something.

I know people overseas who saved wisely their entire lives so they could retire, and help their kids get established in life as adults. They were frugal to the point of using their dirty dish water to flush their toilet, and putting the pilot light on a timer. Their kids grew up not watching movies and listening to 8 track cassettes longer than anyone. When the time came to use their savings for intended purpose, it had devalued so severely from economic turmoil they only had enough to buy a new washer and dryer. They are still working past retirement today because of this hard lesson. If instead of saving for the future they had taken their kids on nicer holidays to other countries, eaten better and enjoyed some luxury they would have grown up together with a lot happier life experiences, minus a washer and dryer at retirement.

Isn’t thinking Canada or any western country is immune from this kind of thing happening the same kind of folly in thinking it is different here for real estate? What reason is there to think we have a monopoly on economic stability?

#116 Mel on 02.20.12 at 6:30 am

Well of course. Women are to be blamed for this housing mess and debt. Who else?

Men have no part in this fiasco. Oh no! They always make intelligent decisions. If they were to rule this economy according to their rules, we would never have any financial crisis.

#117 Betamax on 02.20.12 at 6:54 am

My wife just talked with her uncle in China and he says prices in several cities have fallen 25 percent already. But he and his relatives are just owners and landlords of multiple properties in different cities, not members of the ruling kleptocracy, so what do they know? I’m sure the official version isn’t some blatant lie told to placate the increasingly anxious masses.

#118 Bigrider on 02.20.12 at 8:00 am

Women do equate home ownership with financial stability.

They have a strong nesting instinct. Biological.

Home is the nest. Birds pad there nest. Ever see women in a home sense store or worse, baby store ?

Good God like clucking chickens

#119 MC on 02.20.12 at 8:26 am


I’ve recently sold about 45% of my stock portfolio as it was becoming un-diversified and was up substantially. I already do hold some preferreds and REITs but I want to stock up more on my preferred exposure.

What are your thoughts on the various different types out there (rate reset, perpetual etc.)?


#120 Tax Farm Slave (with great job and benefits) on 02.20.12 at 8:37 am

#115 Mel on 02.20.12 at 6:30 am
When did finger pointing start? Who ever said women were to blame?

#121 Gypsy Kid on 02.20.12 at 8:38 am

We bought our first house in the summer of 1996. The lowest price after the crash.
I insisted because we had our first child, and I wanted another.
My husband didnt want to because we were renting from our friends for a good price.
I insisted and insisted…lol.
Two upgrades later, he grudgingly concedes I was right on all three buys and sells. We now have a beautiful house in a desirable neighborhood all paid for.
Mind, we were extremely lucky in terms of timing, and this was back in the day when young couples actually bought “starter” houses.

If we were newly weds NOW and just starting out in life, I dont know that I would insist and insist on buying a house. I’d rent and travel…maybe.

Iris if I were you, I would absolutely NOT buy a house/condo now, or ever. Enjoy your life. You dont have to worry about roofs, windows, garage doors, or crazy condo people. Travel when you can and dine out at good restaurants once in awhile…

#122 House on 02.20.12 at 8:41 am

But wait Stevie and Jim have a solution she can wait two years before she retires as they know that she really wants to work.
In a local newspaper piece about the 1970’s, the cost of an airline ticket for a trip was stated to be $101 and it would now cost $800 (the opposite of the future value of money) forty years later. Instaed of OAS perhaps Stevie and Jim should attack airline fares.

#123 househornyhousewife on 02.20.12 at 8:51 am


Poor you ! Getting attacked for telling a woman to grow a set. All you said was to “grow a set” and this could easily mean a set of ovaries (ie. the female equivalent of male testicles) so I have nothing against this statement.

I think you are absolutely right. If I was a fifty year old divorcee, the LAST thing I would be looking to do is to buy a house .. especially with so little put away. I mean, who the heck knows what will happen over the next few years. This woman may meet another person and fall in love .. or she may decide to move somewhere else. In short, she is beginning another new chapter in her life so tying herself down with a house is not the right move.

I would definitely keep renting, invest what I can wisely, and then, if in 15 years I still want to buy a house, I can buy one wherever I want to (I am not tied down with having to buy in one of the most expensive places on earth just because I work there) .. that is, IF I want to at that time.

You are quite right about women living longer than men (although, unfortunately, you guys are catching up to us, thanks to us “intelligent” women imitating your horrible lifestyle because we want to prove we can do it too .. well duh, of COURSE we can but do we really want to ? .. but I digress ..).

Whilst looking for a new home in the small village where we want to put down roots, I was flabbergasted by the huge number of old uncared for homes that were on the market because the little old widows living there could no longer afford the property taxes and maintenance. You can bet that we are planning our finances such that this situation will not happen to us (although we will be buying a place). If we want a property to retire in then we also have to think about being able to foot the bill for it too .. even when there is no income coming in and this is in addition to taking care of other things properly (vacations, a comfortable lifestyle, any extraneous medical care that we may need etc..).

Iris, for heaven’s sake don’t just think about the mortgage and rising future interest rates and the downpayment (which are already a stretch since you would use your life savings to put a downpayment on this place). Think also about how your life will be with a house. Think about that leaky roof that will need replacing, the plumbing that may need upgrading, the people you will need to hire in order to cut your lawn and pick up the leaves, having your gutters cleaned out, and any other “special issues” that your house will have (every house has at least a few). And of course the property and school taxes. These will suck more money out of your pocket because at the moment they are being covered by your landlord and you don’t see them in your rental payment.

All the best in your new life Iris, enjoy your newfound freedom !


#124 Stevenson on 02.20.12 at 8:57 am

I don’t think some of you understand how rich the chinese are in China. They don’t find places to invest because they have money, but it is more of they need places to hide their money.

Unlike the US or other developed countries where there income is tracked and recorded China is very different. Canada is also a safe place to put it because of easy immigration laws and the safe haven status. A lot of chinese who buy in Vancouver usually stay there for the summer only anyways. It’s chump change… not a mortgage or debt payment.

Also yes, if it signals a slower appreciation in Vancouver RE the demand may slow down, but there will be no reason for them to sell. At least this applies to these foreign investors we all seem so PISSY about. Suck it up.

Hell they may think maybe Toronto is a second option now if Van gets too expensive.

#125 Matty on 02.20.12 at 9:16 am

Hi Garth,

making the assumption interest rates will go up is a pretty massive leap of faith in this economy. Take a look at interest rates in Japan, I don’t think they have risen for 20 years.

So? — Garth

#126 mid-Ontario on 02.20.12 at 9:19 am

BTW, Greece is absolutely irrelevant. — Garth
Economists, banking experts and of course, the banksters are very worried about Greece defaulting. They put it in the category of Lehman times 100. I await to see what plays out. I can only hope that Garth’s dismissive thought is right for the sake of all of us.

Greece times 100. You made that up, right? Greece is toast and the consequences will be very digestible. — Garth

#127 Matty on 02.20.12 at 9:23 am

The Japanese Interest Rate has been around 0% for 14 years!

#128 Matty on 02.20.12 at 9:29 am


Do you consider or evaluate that the government is way too big with too many employees? That is sucking wealth away from the productive people in society. It’s a shame H increased government by 20% while reducing GST by 2%. Now he is merely attempting to reverse the economic carnage he himself created over 6 years. A lot of people are idiots; a lot of highly trained economists like H are complete idiots, adept at destroying economies.

Ever think that our political and electoral system has started to destroy this country?

#129 AM on 02.20.12 at 9:39 am

@92 Job Losses in the GTA

Check out the links from post #80.

#130 AG Sage on 02.20.12 at 10:10 am

#8, you also have to look careful at whether the stats are new vs. existing housing. New is more commonly cited in China vs. existing elsewhere. Because it impacts developer stocks, for one thing, which then impacts the local government’s books . . .

>During this slowdown, Developers in China like Van Ke are simply buying up land and sitting on it until policies changes start pushing the market up higher.

Buy and hold by developers is illegal. They forfeit the property if they sit on it more than a year or two. And without cash flow from sales on completing units they can’t buy the next property. They are banned from borrowing money from state banks. And restrictions on second purchases have been in place for nearly a year, couples got divorced to get around the limit, among other tricks. What’s really running out now is new money into the private lending system that provided downpayments for speculators so they could get the balance from the bank.
Chinese Unofficial Lending falters, sparks protests

Greece is absolutely irrelevant. — Garth
Since Germany bought themselves two years to prepare, I certainly hope so.

Here is the latest. Now let’s talk about things that actually impact our lives. — Garth

#131 READ MY COMMENT and then mention it in your comment! on 02.20.12 at 10:14 am;cbsCarousel

Talk about insecurity, Did you see this on 60 Minutes last night about long-term unemployment? Do you see their faces when they talk about their feelings while being unemployed? That’s what’s going to happen here soon. Especially if you’re in the real estate business. Isn’t that right, Mr Garth “Hide your wives and daughters” Turner?

#132 live within your means on 02.20.12 at 10:16 am

Uploaded by ChrisMartensondotcom on Feb 25, 2009
Chapter 16 (Fuzzy Numbers): Dr. Martenson explores how inflation and GDP are measured, how their measurement has changed over years, and what that means concerning the integrity of these government statistics. Substitution, Weighting, Imputations, and Hedonics and their effects on calculating inflation and GDP are each examined. Dr. Martenson traces the social impact of these shady statistics, and finishes by showing how a dishonest determination of inflation further deforms an already flawed GDP calculation.

#133 Nostradamus jr. on 02.20.12 at 10:17 am


#134 Guy on 02.20.12 at 10:19 am

Garth, with regards to the perceived “Asian invasion”, there are a few major issues that the average lemming (and single digit realtors), fail to understand. I own a factory in China and can tell you (without regard for being politically correct) that the vast majority of the Chinese investors who are happily paying ridiculous (and getting into bidding wars) prices for Funcouver realestate are either corrupt government officials or borderline criminals, looking for an escape route when the s#@t hits the fan back in China. They leave their families here to establish roots, in order to make it easier for themselves to immigrate after they’ve finished financially raping their own country. No legitimate Asian business person would blindly pay the hyper inflated prices presently demended for “fairyland real estate, however, those who didn’t actually earn their wealth via intelligence, hard work and sweat (much like our bankers)….don’t care how much corrupt or illgotten money it takes to finance their eventual escape. You may be too politically correct to publish this, or assume that I am hateful or with agenda, but after 20 years of doing business in China, I and most honest Chinese are very aware of this exodus to Canada.

#135 Incubus on 02.20.12 at 10:22 am

What a choice.

A) Own a home, live on KD and Iams and pay off the debt by death, maybe.

B) Or have a half-million invested, rent the same place and enjoy three times the income.

She will choose A

#136 Young Old Fart on 02.20.12 at 10:29 am

#6 John on 02.19.12 at 6:52 pm


Really Dude? Almost 20 minutes later???? LMAO!

#137 DonDWest on 02.20.12 at 10:30 am

#124 Stevenson

As far as I’m concerned, a home shouldn’t be used for “foreign investment,” but as a means to shelter Canadians. I don’t care if this makes me sound like a pinko commie, guilty as charged. If I were in charge people who use/enable a human right such as a house for “foreign investment” would be hung in the town square as traitors.

#138 DonDWest on 02.20.12 at 10:33 am

#134 Guy

100% true, the grand majority of them are nothing but pathetic money launderers who have never earned an honest dime. Criminals who hide their money in overpriced shacks.

#139 Maya on 02.20.12 at 10:40 am

Asian shares mostly rose earlier on Monday, also driven by a Chinese move at the weekend to loosen monetary policy.
China’s central bank said on Saturday it would cut commercial banks’ reserve requirement ratio by 0.50 percentage points from February 24 to ease restrictions on lending and boost slowing economic growth.

Does this mean that China cannot afford the housing price falling apart. Just be aware of the cheap money is coming…

#140 };-) on 02.20.12 at 10:44 am

Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand.

#141 Gypsy Kid on 02.20.12 at 10:44 am

Response to “GUY”:

Well, the Canadian government is allowing this exodus of criminals into this country (if indeed this is happening), probably fully aware of what they’re doing. And we’re too complacent to do anything about it as usual.

Why wouldnt the Chinese, or the Russians or the Columbians plan an exit strategy if we allow it to happen??? The blame lies on the Canadian government first…this may sound simplistic, but we are too permissive.

#142 Al on 02.20.12 at 11:06 am

On the front page of the Toronto Star today; “Boomers to inherit $1 Trillion in next 20 years” – solves the debt problems. I’m one of the Boomers who will not be benefitting from this. Sigh :-(

#143 Junius on 02.20.12 at 11:15 am

#124 Stevenson,

You said, “I don’t think some of you understand how rich the chinese are in China.”

You do? You understand China do you? Your position as a local realtor in Eastern Canada gives you a greater perspective on this than those of us who have been to China and worked with the Chinese. Right.

The Chinese in China are relatively poor. The average person makes less than $4,000 per year.

No one knows how many rich Chinese are looking to move their money out of China to places like Vancouver or Toronto including you. There are clearly a few and we all know some of this money is pretty dirty and it is looking for a jurisdiction that accepts it with no questions asked. That would be Canada.

We heard in January about all these Chinese buyers that were coming soon to Vancouver but none of them materialized. It appears the numbers may be very small and dwindling fast. With the economy in China slowing and their Real Estate prices tumbling the numbers could become insignificant.

#144 neo on 02.20.12 at 11:27 am


I think you need to fully understand a concept called repatriation as things continue to deteriorate in China.

#145 Spiltbongwater on 02.20.12 at 11:29 am

#99Van guy on 02.20.12 at 12:59 am

Van Guy, Montreal fans had a riot after winning a first round series. Toronto fans have had nothing to celebrate, but will likely riot if they make the playoffs this year. My prediction is Toronto finishes 9th, and misses by 1 point. They can all rejoice in their blown 4-1 third period lead vs Pittsburgh as the game that cost them the coveted 8th seed.

#146 AprilNewwest on 02.20.12 at 11:48 am

#103 Paul – Yes the CBC had a story this morning on the Early Edition – headline – some realtors as saying theres a surge in interest and something about the HST. I turned off the radio as I don’t want to listen to their spin. What else can one expect from the RE industry but pump, pump, pump. Typical salespeople.

#147 T.C. on 02.20.12 at 11:51 am

So how does one short a real estate market?

Rent. — Garth

#148 City Slicker on 02.20.12 at 11:51 am

“First, the exodus from real estate and into liquidity is a global trend.”

And where exactly this magical place called liquidity? Any particular directions how to get there?
The greatest wealth transfer of all time is upon us. It was real estate last ten years, and now it will be flocking to precious metals. Get your positions before it’s too late, before the elite get in and take it for a ride.

There will be no flocking. — Garth

#149 this is wonderland on 02.20.12 at 11:53 am

Looks like we are all going to be saved after all check out the article in the Toronto star today.–baby-boomers-set-to-inherit-1-trillion

Deputy Chief Economist of CIBC World Markets Benjamin Tal says that our parent’s 1 trillion dollars of savings will dig us out of this silly dept crisis that everyone is talking about.
Quote “People talk about how much debt there is without looking at the size of the potential assets to come,” Tal said. “Debt is relative to your income today, but your wealth tomorrow will improve when an inheritance comes.

Phew!! See Garth nothing to worry about.

Here’s Benji’s bio found on the CIBC web page (one of Canada’s leading experts on the real estate market by the International Monetary Fund.) Mr. Tal is a regular commentator on financial and economic trends in the Canadian and American print and electronic media and leads investment seminars on behalf of the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and leading institutional investors in major European cities as well as a board member of the Toronto Association for Business and Economics (TABE).

Tal is usually a smart guy. Except when he isn’t. — Garth

#150 Uh Oh Canada on 02.20.12 at 12:02 pm

Garth, I don’t know how you moderate the comments in your blog on a daily basis without coughing up a lung. We see some hateful, politically correct and even downright crazy stuff and yet you keep working. You have my respect.

By the way, I enjoy how you keep the contrarian posts on. This is true free media without propaganda, where both sides can express an opinion.

#151 DM in C on 02.20.12 at 12:10 pm

So DA is now posting (again) under an alias — not hard to figure that out, with the trite and condescending quotes.

};-) on 02.20.12 at 10:44 am

Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand.

#152 SP on 02.20.12 at 12:26 pm


If there is only one percent from outside Canada, then how come you bump into Chinese everywhere you turn in Vancouver?

Because they were born there, maybe. Which makes them Canadian. — Garth

Too many comments left in this blog have confirmed most “Canadians” are ignorant racist…not that I care how or why they think that way by the way. They think that Canadians must be White. And that another other races must be from elsewhere. We are all in one way or the other from elsewhere unless you or your ancestry are aboriginal. At least US has advanced to a black president, and a Jeremy Lin. So you still think Canada has the moral authority to lecture the world about human rights and social justice? Think again. I am too a Canadian by the way.

#153 Guy on 02.20.12 at 12:30 pm

regarding Mr. Tal and his opinion…CIBC and TABE…not exactly unbiased or without agenda….Furthermore, with a Trillion dollars worth of inherited wealth about to be tranfered to another generation, do you really think that the parasites in Ottawa will allow themselves to miss out on THAT UNEARNED winfall…get ready for them to reintroduce inheritance taxes.

#154 realtors in a panic on 02.20.12 at 12:37 pm

Open houses with no one showing up. No wonder realtors have time to post on garths blog. Five open houses two weeks in a row and so far nothing in my area. The house across the street had one showing and that was the couple who lived down the street lol. The housing market in the GTA is crashing and burning. Alot of product is hitting the market with no buyers. Looks like a crashing spring. The bubble is over. Look out below realtors….time for a real job.

#155 Oil Amen on 02.20.12 at 12:53 pm

There is another oil boom just around the corner with thousands of new workers coming to Alberta. The smartest investment a person can make right now is real estate in Edmonton. Million $$$ plus single family homes will be the norm within 5 years.

#156 Mr. 1% Realtor on 02.20.12 at 12:55 pm

You blog dogs and desperate realtors are a joke. Yes RE sales are slowing down and yes prices are falling but sales for the top realtors will remain. Up or down prices means nothing for those of us who sell. BTW all you realtors here need to shut up with the mindless stupidity and lies which are to obvious and transparent . This housing correct will wipe many of you useless eater away.

#157 Timbo on 02.20.12 at 12:59 pm

This new data suggests that while consumers may have gone out and shopped in November and December, it appears they curtailed their credit card purchases sharply in January.

if oil keeps climbing watch prices spike up and consumers pull back even farther. Buy now before everyone is broke.

#158 Thomas on 02.20.12 at 1:02 pm

How exactly do people see a house as an asset? You take on MASSIVE debt (i.e. liability) to get into one, and it is a money pit with constant costs and maintenance. A stock is an investment. Once you buy it, it doesn’t cost you a penny until you sell. People would not think of using margin to leverage their stock portfolios 30 to 1. However, they blindly do this in the case of real estate. Who is brainwashing these people?

#159 Kilby on 02.20.12 at 1:13 pm

Red Deer. 324 active listings.
Last 7 days, 26 sales.

City of Vernon. 140 listings.
Last 7 days, 1 sale.
$182,500, 495 days on market.

Kelowna, North and South. 372 listings.
Last 7 days, 2 new sales.

Penticton, 641 listings.
Last 7 days, 5 new sales.

Summerland, 263 active listings.
Last 7 days, 5 new sales.

Parksville, 294 active listings.
Last 7 days, 4 new sales.

Qualicum North, 107 active listings.
Last 7 days, 0 sales.

All are “completed” sales, easy to see how the Okanagan is doing, used to get a lot of buyers from Alberta.

#160 I'm stupid on 02.20.12 at 1:18 pm

Hoop dreams.–things-to-consider-if-you-want-to-retire-at-just-42

This guy is obviously delusional. Here is the math.

1.1 million net worth
750k cash 350k home At retirement in 10 years
Current net worth 490k including home
350k home 140k cash-investments

Inflation is going to rape this poor bastard. Not to mention his home will lose 20% value while his money will be debased 2-3% a year. Kick in education for the kids and he will be lucky to retire at 55. I guess anything is news today, including stories from fairy tales. What’s next financial advise from the big bad wolf?

#161 TurnerNation on 02.20.12 at 1:28 pm

All this talk about “true Canadians” or not.

Let’s face it – only Bob and Doug McKenzie are true Canadians:

#162 TurnerNation on 02.20.12 at 1:30 pm

#88 Mr Buyer on 02.19.12 at 11:43 pm

Ok, it’s official. Those particles have noodled your brain.

#163 Dale in TO on 02.20.12 at 1:33 pm

Why all this talk of a Bubble? Why fight over when it will happen and why? Here’s an idea …. drive along the Gardiner Expressway sometime, the way I do every morning. Look to your right and look to your left, then shake your head violently and ask youself if what your looking at is total [email protected]#$ing insanity. If the answer is YES, then all your doing is using common sense … whether you believe in a bubble or not. If your answer is NO, then sit down, grab yourself around your neck and pull your head out of your ASS.

#164 blase on 02.20.12 at 1:34 pm

#152 SP

I live abroad, in Korea, and can comment about what you are saying as an “outsider” for 8 years. It’s reasonable for Canadians to assume that most Chinese in Vancouver are immigrants; the bulk of them came in when Hong Kong switched back to Chinese control. Before that, Vancouver was visibly a “White” city. You’ll find Asians bashing Vancouver becoming so Asian! Believe me, Asians appreciate Canadian culture in many ways, and diversity is something that Asians sorely need to learn from Canada. It is extremely xenophobic in Korea, Japan and China. They look down on S.E. Asians (too dark skin!) and hate each neighboring country for long-ago transgressions. Asians love to hold a grudge against each other’s countries. Anyway, don’t be so hard on Canada. It’s truly a wonderful place with the best of intentions, and most Canadians have their hearts in the right place.

#165 Dad on 02.20.12 at 1:39 pm

Re: Lethbridge “boom”. Those of use who were born and bred here in the forgotten realms will greet whatever talk there is of a boom with skepticism. After all this is part of next year country. Lethbridge has experienced a single boom in my lifetime, from 2001-2006 and housing has been slumping for a half decade now.

Though Lethbridge might be one of the youngest cities in the country, and the sunniest, few people would think our darling little Whitopia is ‘cosmopolitan’ enough to put roots down. The transients who attend the college and university are much like the transients who would do the oil work. They would arrive, spend, then leave.

Gods, Guns, and (college) Girls, that’s what Lethbridge is about. Well, maybe grains too. We are not Red Deer. And we have more in common with Montana then we do with the delusional people to the north of us.

#166 };-) on 02.20.12 at 2:04 pm

#151DM in C on 02.20.12 at 12:10 pm
So DA is now posting (again) under an alias — not hard to figure that out, with the trite and condescending quotes.

};-) on 02.20.12 at 10:44 am

Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand.

I’m not trying to sneak about. “};-)” is my online signature so to speak.

Nothing condescending in that quote. You should give it some hard thought.

“Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand.” Stop worrying about the future. Do something about it today instead. What you do today is the foundation of your future. A foundation is best built upon known firm ground not supposition.

Besides, despite your overwhelming votes to have me banned Garth has yet to acquiesce.

#167 Mountain Girl on 02.20.12 at 2:04 pm

Garth, I think this post is relevant to both men and women in Iris’ demographic. I think it’s a very commonly shared misconception that real estate equals retirement security – this is most definitely not stronger in one sex or another.
I am in my mid-30s with two small children and have been happily renting the same house for almost 10 years now. I usually deal with the finances in our household, but my husband and I discuss them regularly and make sure we are on the same page about them. Most couples of our acquaintance do the same thing. And those that bought houses did so out of mutual agreement, not because the female partner was some hormone-crazed, HGTV maniac who had to scratch her nesting itch.
If this is the reality of the posters on this blog (the maniacal nesting female stereotype), I guess you have my pity. It can’t be fun to be dealing with a partner when there is such a disconnect in financial understanding. And I imagine such experience would shape your perspective of men and women. I just don’t get going from, “oh, my wife and her friends are like this”, to “therefore, all women are like this”. In all honesty, you just sound kind of bitter and miserable, and it makes me dismiss your post. Because it’s not like you are complimenting women here. And to suggest to me or any other woman that I make decisions for my future and that of my kids with my estrogen levels? I’ll give you that one as soon as we all agree that any man driving anything other than a sensible family vehicle is just looking for an automotive way to extend his dick. It’s an insulting thing to say. Not a friendly, helpful or constructive one. You can have this discussion respectfully.
What I can say, Garth, in regards to the criticism from lr, is that sweeping generalizations based on sex or race aren’t particularly helpful. Go ahead and discuss trends, but use numbers to back these up (as you usually do very well). Writing as though there is some essential female drive to ignore all advice and just nest is silly and inaccurate. It makes me respect your advice a lot less and eventually, I will just stop reading.
I don’t want to do that, though. I think your advice is great and your writing is witty. I’ve learned a lot from you. I’d like to continue doing so.
So, there’s my long winded answer to the question that you posed to lr. Your advice to Iris was valuable to both sexes, and there are some financial challenges that are statistically more relevant to women, but real estate lust is not one of them. That’s a problem that both sexes share.

In general, (a) women are more conservative and (b) they live longer. Society currently views real estate as riskless, and I have no doubt more women than men will regret this. — Garth

#168 pop goes the bubble on 02.20.12 at 2:19 pm

its over .
A friend of mine bought a condo (GTA) a year ago for 271 put it on the market last month for 296, no offers , reduced it to 285, no offers, pulled it off the market. GTA has a number for homes that were built recently sitting empty and some condos by the Rogers Centre have 10 to 20 units for sale.
Last month’s new listing count was the highest January total in Greater Vancouver since 1995.

Time for realtors to get to work. Anyone can sell a house when the going is good, lets see you guys sell in a down market. Now its time to prove your worth.

#169 Lorne on 02.20.12 at 2:23 pm

#102 Paul.
Talk about MSM free advertising…this same realtor (no thingy) phoned up Bill Good this morning spouting the same thing!

#170 Silver on 02.20.12 at 2:35 pm

Property assessment increase’s are weighted in favor of the banks, municipalities, and real estate boards.
Your assessment increase can be driven by as little as one sale …in a year and ignores the thousands of properties that have not sold… as establishing or having any influence on a base line value. again by law….
… if one property in your neighborhood sells or is flipped 20 times it will drive up your tax assessment with each sale. each flip is a new sale…
the assessment board only looks at sale in the top end … by law. so they told me….
So the Appeal board told me…
… properties that did not sell regardless of how many… are excluded from the formula used to increase the assessment by law.
One “comparable sale” a year drove my assessment from $315,000 to $734,000, now back to $512,000 after locking at the actual comparable properties used
to establish the value.
They admit I am right but I still owe the Tax’s on the previous years errors and can not get them reversed.
that’s over $15,000+ dollars worth of admitted error over 3 years in assessment value they say i am still obligated to pay. legislated fraud as far as i’m concerned. Yes bc assessment and we are wrong but we still keep your money…City hall’s answer
property tax’s are now compounding at 11.5% yearly
( before the appeal it was going to 27% compounded)$6,000 to $14,000 a year or $500 ish to $1200+ ish a month property tax increase in 3 years. more than the mortgage of $1100 doubled up. retire on that…. and a limited income….
while these legislated pigs at the trough swindle you…

check out the “actual Assessment formula” and rules and laws…

Loving vancouver….

#171 eagle eyes on 02.20.12 at 2:46 pm

#134 Guy – Does that mean that the caliber of Chinese immigrants are not the type of people we should accept into our country? I mean, if the chinese with money who can afford our crazy prices are the same people with no morals who have pillaged their own country with disregard for fellow man, why would we want them here? Can you imagine what they teach their children?

#172 vyw on 02.20.12 at 2:52 pm

re: retiring @ age 42. $750 annuity over 43 years @ 7% pays our $55K a year and the house is paid off. Also this doesn’t include OAS/GIS/CPP for husband and wife. So yes, this is quite doable.

re: boomers to inherit $1 billion – this blog hasn’t given enough weight (IMHO) to the inter-generational transfer of wealth and specifically housing. Will boomers sell their parents’ West Van, Kerrisdale, Yorkville, GTA homes? I don’t think they will but that’s just my opinion.

re: Chinese investment. There’s alot of ignorance and racism in the blog comments today – no surprise here. But be aware that the Hong Kong real estate market is in a bubble and it will collapse. China proper is a harder read because the Govt can step in to buy up all the excess and convert it to housing for the masses and move people into new housing. And if they do that, well, they’re smart to let the speculators eat some losses first.

re: Vancouver as an Asian city – it’s had 25-30% Chinese population for the longest time (going back to the 70’s) and during this period has had at least 4 housing corrections: early 80’s, late 80’s, mid 90’s, and 2008-09. It will correct again but I think that there is still one more speculative price-run up in 2012 and perhaps through 2013 due to the low interest rates.

#173 Beach Girl on 02.20.12 at 2:55 pm


Went to the outskirts of Pickering for a dinner party last night. The small house was purchased for 330,000 three weeks ago. The owner who is 58 told me he only owed 180,000 on it. Now, how can this be logical. Single to boot. Talking minor square footage.

Maybe I am a retard. This man is retiring in 4 years from the city. No RRSPs just a pension. I am sure that is not large bucks.

Everyone was commenting on the nice layout.

Happy to be home.

#174 Timing is Everything on 02.20.12 at 2:58 pm

Off Topic…100% ???

“In the beginning it will taste bland. I think we will need to work on the flavour…”

#175 Calgary's OK on 02.20.12 at 3:18 pm

#148 City Slicker on 02.20.12 at 11:51 am
“First, the exodus from real estate and into liquidity is a global trend.”

And where exactly this magical place called liquidity? Any particular directions how to get there?
The greatest wealth transfer of all time is upon us. It was real estate last ten years, and now it will be flocking to precious metals. Get your positions before it’s too late, before the elite get in and take it for a ride.

There will be no flocking. — Garth
I really don’t want to get into a religious battle with metalheads and such, but I don’t see how precious metals, or any other kind of investment for that matter, are more or less liquid than real estate. Everything is liquid, provided you put right price on whatever you sell. If I really want to sell my house, I can always price it 20 or 30 grand below market value and it is going to be gone in no time. At the same time if I purchase gold or any other kind financial investment it is really a gamble – it can go up in price, but it may also be worth considerably less when I need my money back. Cash is not a solutions either, it’s value is being corroded by inflation and the banks do often go belly up when the times are tough. So I am asking my question again, how to achieve so-called “liquidity” without being forced to buy into another gold rush or “balanced portfolio” just to be told again that neither performed very well, and if I want to liquidate them now, I would get considerably less then I paid for them originally…. At least I can continue to live in my house, even if it’s value is decreased, but can I and my family live in the de-valued gold bullion or “balanced portfolio”?

You have obviously never tried selling a home during a real estate downturn. — Garth

#176 DonDWest on 02.20.12 at 3:22 pm

#163 Dad

“Gods, Guns, and (college) Girls, that’s what Lethbridge is about. Well, maybe grains too.”

Is this Lethbridge we’re talking about or Halifax?

#177 Preciousss on 02.20.12 at 3:31 pm

#123 househornyhorseswife

“Whilst looking for a new home in the small village where we want to put down roots, I was flabbergasted by the huge number of old uncared for homes that were on the market because the little old widows living there could no longer afford the property taxes and maintenance”.

One of the poorest decisions made in life are by widows and old people NOT selling their houses and moving into a rental apartment/townhouse/seniors complex.

It defies all logic, sensibilty, and intelligence.

Old timers: Sell, sell, sell and cut the price if you have to. Get out of that trap. I dont care if it is paid for, it is still a trap.

#178 Westerman on 02.20.12 at 3:39 pm

ts harpoon @ # 5,
Yeah, I have some advice for you and your fellow ” Civil Servants ” … quit and get a real job … stop leaching off the taxpayers and actually produce something of value for a change.

#179 Devore on 02.20.12 at 3:48 pm

#165 Mountain Girl

And those that bought houses did so out of mutual agreement, not because the female partner was some hormone-crazed, HGTV maniac who had to scratch her nesting itch.
If this is the reality of the posters on this blog (the maniacal nesting female stereotype), I guess you have my pity.

I have no doubt it was a “Mutual Decision”(tm). But there’s always an instigator.


#180 GTA Girl on 02.20.12 at 3:50 pm

This article may have been posted–baby-boomers-set-to-inherit-1-trillion

I take exception with it. The circumstances would have to be ideal for their to be a benefit. Boomer’s parents would have to drop dead, at approximately 85, in good health, no previous health issues, with full pensions, life insurance, paid home and no debt.

The boomer kids inheriting it all would have to NOT be the Eff-ups I see commonly. Living w/high mortgages, credit card bills, multiple credit lines, leased Mercedes and timeshares in Mazatlan.

This article explains the perfect world. Boomers are far from that.

I come from boomers….I’m screwed.

#181 Junius on 02.20.12 at 3:50 pm

Does anyone understand why Canada is looking to set up more military bases in Germany? Who is Harper planning to invade?

See below:

#182 Sicko on 02.20.12 at 3:53 pm

#177 Westerman on 02.20.12 at 3:39 pm
You must be a disturbed individual. I guess you would rather have food on the shelves that make you sick, toys that poison your children, water that poisons you, pharmaceuticals that kill, no justice (I guess the Shafia’s should be free to roam the streets right?), no democracy (yes, the MPs rely on the hard work of civil servants), no statistics, no environmental protection, no sustainable use of our natural resources…etc., etc.

#183 TurnerNation on 02.20.12 at 4:10 pm

★ ★ ★
Someting for the Bears to chew upon. One thing I’ve learned is that fundementals always trump technicals, though.

Chart In Focus
Eurodollar COT Indication Calls For Big Stock Market Top Now

#184 Westerman on 02.20.12 at 4:12 pm

Van Guy @ # 99,
Well, there you go folks… see? It’s perfectly fine to go on a rampage and destroy public and private property if your bozo sports team looses a game.
This post by this guy is a perfect example of what is wrong with society – enabling and justification of abhorant behavoir because of some ridiculous sports bums…

#185 Mountain Girl on 02.20.12 at 4:13 pm

Garth, I completely agree with your answer to my previous post. I do think that women need to be far more financially savvy due simply to the statistical fact that the longer lifespan means the money must stretch farther. But are you suggesting that more women than men are making the real estate mistake? I don’t know. I think women can be more risk-adverse, but I think my experience is that a lot of men I know seem to think that real estate is the answer, too, so not sure I agree with you on that one. Which is fine. It’s an interesting discussion. What prompted me to respond more tersely before is more the blog dog response that gender posts seem to always set off.
And I think I should apologize as I read my post back and think that some poor choices of possessive pronouns made it sound like I was saying that you were being disrespectful of women. This is not the case. I think that many posters on here like to indulge in cave man talk, but you are pretty careful about that (the Amazon influence, perhaps? :)). I get frustrated when what is an important topic of financial survival gets turned into a whole lot of scornful and dismissive comments about nesting and shopping.
I guess I just wanted lr to know that she isn’t alone in feeling the way she does. It gets boring when the usual good discussion and debate degenerates into stupid stereotypes being slung around.

#186 Form Man on 02.20.12 at 4:29 pm

#165 Devil’s Advocate

};-) ?

#187 Habbit on 02.20.12 at 4:47 pm

#176 Preciouss I understand what you are saying regarding old folk that can no longer afford the taxes and maintenance. However not everyone’s situation is the same. Many old folk do not want to move out of their home for many reasons. The trigger is usually health issues. If all they have is a paid for house and CPP,OAS and GIS for income then it probably makes sense. For those that planned and are healthy not so much. It just may be the best trap at the time. Thanks for putting it out there.

#188 BPOE on 02.20.12 at 4:47 pm

It’s pretty much confirmed that Vancouver and Richmond are solid investments. The economists and CMHC have no concerns. Even Tal likes it now with the TRILLION dollar inheiritance coming down. Remember in 2005 when you didn’t buy. This is another 2005 moment in Vancouver. The brief pause that refreshes before the price trajectory goes vertical. I’m thinking average home price in Vancouver of 2 million a question of not if but when!

#189 detalumis on 02.20.12 at 5:21 pm

#123 don’t assume the little old widows you see with the run-down houses can’t afford to maintain the place. I live in grey-collar country and what happens to a whole lot of people that end up living in a house that falls down around them is they buy in to the same thing that Garth feeds you – at 50 your life is over, don’t buy a house you are no longer young, better save up for a nicer LTC bed instead. So what if you live another 40 years, just live the rest of it like an old lady pinching your pennies in some apartment that lets you keep a cat.

I know seniors with 100K incomes sitting on huge investments but their houses have warped roof shingles, peeling paint, cracked concrete proches and steps and the kitchens and baths that are over 50 years old and look it. They also wear the same clothes that were in style in say 1975 – all good enough you know.

You just won Stupid Comment of the Day! And against stiff competition, I might add. — Garth

#190 lookoutbelow on 02.20.12 at 5:27 pm

#134 GUY

Your comments, if true, would certainly explain the stupid transactions that have taken place in Lotusland. The focus in BUY at whatever the asking price is NOT the replacement cost:

Land Cost $1 Million
Construction Costs $600,000
Sale Price $2.5 Million

And maybe HST at 12% on top, since they like to buy new. This is not the upscale Canadian upgrading.

In a relatively small market it doesn’t take many sales to drive prices up and up. I can’t think of another group who could be “responsible” for the parabolic rise in prices here. But sales are cooling off now…

Detached SFH Sales numbers for a favourite Asian destination in BC:

January 2011 162
January 2012 89

I guess there is no Chinese invasion this year. Such a lucky year too being the Year of the Dragon!

#191 Calgary's OK on 02.20.12 at 5:31 pm

You have obviously never tried selling a home during a real estate downturn. — Garth
Actually, I have tried and after 6 months took it off the market due to lack of interest… Too bad for me, I’ll just continue to enjoy my house in beautiful SW Calgary – city with lowest property taxes in the entire Canada (correct me if I am wrong), in the no PST province of Alberta, with one of the lowest unemployment rate and highest family incomes (again, correct me if I am wrong). On the other hand, my BoA and C stocks are in the hole, not sure if they are going to recover to the purchase value within a decade, bought them when they were AAA rated on the advice of the “financial adviser”… Talking about liquidity here, hah.

Not much of an advisor, and I guess living in paradise is a bitch when nobody wants your house. Hah. — Garth

#192 live within your means on 02.20.12 at 5:53 pm

The Globe and Mail has revealed that Statistics Canada has been quietly planning changes to the way it calculates its Consumer Price Index measure of inflation: something I warned about a year ago.

The technical details of these changes may only seem of interest to the pocket protector and calculator crowd, but the reality is they will affect all Canadians: from pensioners and hardhats to those wearing pinstripes.

#193 Keith in Calgary on 02.20.12 at 5:59 pm


Alberta may have no PST, but everything here that you need to buy on a regular basis costs way more than 7-8% when compared any other province. In fact, we are one of the most expensive places to live in Canada……so those high incomes you speak of and lack of PST really don’t mean a damn thing……heh.

#194 };-) on 02.20.12 at 6:01 pm

#185Form Man on 02.20.12 at 4:29 pm
#165 Devil’s Advocate

};-) ?

Turn it clockwise 90 degrees (Devil’s horns on a winking face).

#195 John on 02.20.12 at 6:14 pm

There’s a problem with the blog, and it’s big. First of all, the information regarding real estate in Canada is top, and the writing is clever and entertaining. The understanding of what’s going in the local housing markets is really good…with some great links in the comments.

But now I find that the housing delusion has been replaced with another:

“When interest rates rise…”

“As economies recover…”

Huh? There is no recovery. Housing is part of a ponzi scheme, long in the making. Someone on here mentioned the Titanic, sunk exactly 100 years ago. The idea of “renting”, and then putting anything in paper of any kind ( no matter what it is…bonds were mentioned?) as leading to “fnancial stability” is at the very least misguided, and at most, as delusional as a Vancouver “house hunter”.

Good stuff on breaking down the house business. Fail on the other stuff. If people are getting the house reality, the rest of reality has to come with it.

“As economies recover…”

Could anyone spell out how that would happen?

It’s the opposite of “as economies fail…” which is not happening in 90% of the world. — Garth

#196 Van guy on 02.20.12 at 6:23 pm

#183 Westerman on 02.20.12 at 4:12 pm
Van Guy @ # 99,

Well, there you go folks… see? It’s perfectly fine to go on a rampage and destroy public and private property if your bozo sports team looses a game.
This post by this guy is a perfect example of what is wrong with society – enabling and justification of abhorant behavoir because of some ridiculous sports bums…

And where did I say it’s ok to riot? I said TO would do the same. But they never will see the Playoffs so they won’t riot yet. Canadians all think alike when it comes to hockey and Real estate. Buddy, I was up at 4am cleaning up downtown for $0.

#197 rosie on 02.20.12 at 6:28 pm

180 Junius

Beware Canadians building bases in Germany. Did you check out the nude sledge racing. That’s where I’d put the base.

#198 Form Man on 02.20.12 at 6:40 pm

#193 DA

I like it.

#199 lr on 02.20.12 at 6:41 pm

#22 Devore – LMAO. There is power in language. I come here to educate myself on the views of others re: the real estate market, not to read misogynistic comments (mainly from PPs rather than the OP) based on assumptions rather than data. I do not need thicker skin, I was merely pointing out to Garth the effect that his usage of words has on his credibility. A blanket statement about misguided beliefs from 50% of the population without any back-up is simply rhetoric in my mind. The follow up with ‘grow a pair’ was just plain rude.

#23 Canadian Watchdog – not sure what conclusion you were trying to reach pointing out that more women are self-employed than men. Your logic = more women are self-employed, self-employed people don’t make much money/less stable, banks like to prey on the weak, therefore, women must think housing is the way to financial stability…???

That is a stretch. Are you, perhaps, a writer for the Province?

#34 eaglebay – Parksville – call a spade a spade, if you can back it up Jack. That’s all I ask.

#61 Tax Farm Slave (with great job and benefits) – fair point, it is possible women have more of a nesting instinct, though nesting instincts don’t equate with believing that house ownership is the pathway to financial stability. If the nesting assumption is correct, it may simply be a recognition that one wants to pay a premium for family stability by buying a home (in a market that is slightly or more overpriced). I’m not sure where you live, but where I am it is difficult to find SFHs that don’t smell like cat piss for less than $3000 a month. Add that to the possibility of being kicked out at any point by your landlord, and needing to find a new place in your school district if you have kids… well, shit, wanting to own isn’t stupidity in that case, it is good parenting *IF* you recognize te factors in the market and the trade-offs involved in buying vs renting. Of course, even with those factors, I am not sure I would waat to pay this markets premium.

What I was trying to get across, but didn’t do as eloquently as mountain girl:

What I can say, Garth, in regards to the criticism from lr, is that sweeping generalizations based on sex or race aren’t particularly helpful. Go ahead and discuss trends, but use numbers to back these up (as you usually do very well). Writing as though there is some essential female drive to ignore all advice and just nest is silly and inaccurate. It makes me respect your advice a lot less and eventually, I will just stop reading.

^^ Thank you for stating this so much better than I did. That really was exactly my point.

#200 Dad on 02.20.12 at 6:49 pm

I would ahve thought a seasoned political vet like yourself would have known better than to stir the hornets nest that is saying anything not completely pro-female in every way, shape, and form.

Really Garth you should be ashamed of yourself.


#201 Kilby on 02.20.12 at 6:54 pm

Just ran into an employee of “Pinnacle” developments in the elevator of the building in which we lease a condo. Our building has been for sale for over 2 years and is 40% occupied and the building next door has been on the market for over a year and has only 17 of 86 units occupied. They are planning on starting a third tower here this year, I asked why would you start construction considering all the unsold units in their other buildings and with the way the condo market is looking.

His reply was “The market is turning around in Vancouver, sales will be going up”

Just talking to him it was obvious that he pays no attention to anything except what his employers tell him, seemed so unaware about anything going on, even with all their empty, unsold units……

#202 Westerman on 02.20.12 at 7:06 pm

Sicko @ # 181,
Your post was one of the most hilarious ones I’ve ever read here – you are convinced civilization will come to a grinding halt if we get rid of useless Gov’t employee’s – you are something else boy… what are you? Like a little baby that needs care from nanny to get through the day?
Try to be a man… get a pair …

#203 Ogopogo on 02.20.12 at 7:10 pm

Garth, you’re on a bull run of a roll! I’m getting the wife to read the blog now too, especially posts like today’s featuring house-horny Iris.

On a side note, is anyone else patiently waiting for an entry point on REITs? I want to jump in, but at near 52-week highs it seems foolhardy at this stage. Or is it?

#204 GregW, Oakville on 02.20.12 at 7:11 pm

Hi #101 Nastra, Thanks for the link to 7min ‘George Galloway on war with Iran’! If the west drops bombs on Iran we are all going to be in the cross hairs!
The Iran planed change March 20(?) from using USD for their world oil trade to other currencies has started wars before! I am not optimistic that ww3 will not start.
If you haven’t seen ‘Robert Newman’s history of oil’ it interesting ~45min., can be found on YouTube.

#205 Ogopogo on 02.20.12 at 7:11 pm

And it just dawned on me that I’m REIT horny!

#206 Junius on 02.20.12 at 7:14 pm

#187 BPOE,

You said, “It’s pretty much confirmed that Vancouver and Richmond are solid investments.”

Huh? By you maybe but watch and learn over the next few years.

#207 Junius on 02.20.12 at 7:32 pm

#196 Rosie,

I am in. However that is a different type of base.

#208 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 02.20.12 at 7:33 pm

The Nude in the History of Bum CallGirlTartODearWotAGiveaway

My nipples explode with delight
Medical Distinction Between Guts and Balls

There is a medical distinction between Guts and Balls. We’ve all heard about people having Guts or Balls. But do you really know the difference between them?

In an effort to keep you informed, here are the definitions:

GUTS — Is arriving home late after a night out with the boys, being met by your wife with a broom, and having the Guts to ask:

“Are you still cleaning, or are you flying somewhere?”

BALLS — Is coming home late after a night out with the boys, smelling of perfume and beer, lipstick on your collar, slapping your wife on the ass and having the Balls to say:

“You’re next, Chubby.”

I hope this clears up any confusion on the definitions. Medically speaking, there is no difference in the outcome.

Both result in spontaneous combustion, exploding craniums and death.

Don’t take life too seriously. No one makes it out alive anyway.
Stunning day 2day. Is that why my brain is set to permanent stun? Now, just imagine if those fake US bonds had flooded the market (US$6 tri. worth). That would be a neat way of stunning the economy up!
Greek Conspiracy Theory “Germans, for instance, as well as the French, English and Americans, earned billions of Euros from annual sales of war material, to the detriment of our national wealth.”; Iceland “Unemployment will fall from 7pc last year to 6.1pc this year and then 5.3pc in 2013.”; 14:44 clip All war is based on deception, and Greece is a major deception; Codswallop Senior has a go at health minister at #10; Inflation everywhere but the m$m; Tesco A crisis a day helps you work, rest and play! Greek Default “Keep in mind that a large part of the Greek debt was created fraudulently, both from Wall Street’s mortgage-backed securities fraud and with Goldman Sach’s conspiracy with Papandreou to conceal the true scale of Greek’s debt while actually making it worse.”; Evacuate the Brits. They can’t handle Greece; Complicated economic headwinds; Sudden deterioration in job market.
Human Caused GW “On the road to solving human caused global warming there arose a world government. How did it happen, step by step? First let’s look at the current state of our world government, brought to you by the United Nations.”; US Military Intelligence Iran won’t start the war; 3:44 clip “The US and Britain are warning Israel not to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities… saying new sanctions need time to work.”; Next FF FBI DNS virus, ‘net shutdown March 8 etc.; Snow is Toast Thank goodness for St. Gal or the Oracle. Pix to prove it; Syria and The Toilet Why are two members of congress calling for funding to The Toilet? Unschooling and five misconceptions; Canadian Empire First time I’ve ever heard of it; Stench of War is on the horizon; Obomba’s drone war on everyone has killed as many as 9-11; Destroying Business What have the Amish ever done to deserve this from their own govt.?

#209 Utopia on 02.20.12 at 7:34 pm

#73 truth hammer

“BTW…add this to your ‘laugh a minute’ file. Your fearless leaders insist that inflation is sub 2%…Bwahahahahahahahahahahaa !!!!”

You better be happy inflation is low. Who even cares if they lie. The minute inflation is acknowledged as running above the norm that is monitored by the Bank of Canada then interest rates will rise.

Then the country really will be screwed.

#210 jess on 02.20.12 at 7:47 pm

BILL MOYERS: I don’t have the tape of this, but let me read you what Rick Santorum said in my home state of Texas the other day. Quote, “When you marginalize faith in America, when you remove the pillar of God-given rights, then what’s left is the French Revolution. What’s left is a government that gives you rights. What’s left in the unalienable rights, what’s left is a government that will tell you who you are, what you’ll do and when you’ll do it.”

“What’s left in France became the guillotine. Ladies and gentlemen, we’re a long way from that, but if we follow the path that President Obama and his overt hostility to faith in America, then we are heading down that road.” You can’t say it, but I can as a journalist. That has all the refrain of a hallucination.

KATHLEEN HALL JAMIESON: That is an example of the extremist language in which campaigning now takes place. The… on the site we have a whole block of attacks that we call Way Out of Whack Attacks, WOW Attacks, statements that don’t bear any relationship to their literal referent. This is just one set of examples. At the point at which you’re analogizing something to the French Revolution, in once case a Republican candidate analogized EPA regulations to a reign of terror.

If you’re calling the opposing individuals barbarians at the gates or a mob (alternative sides of the political aisle by the way use that language), if you’re on the floor of the House during the health care reform debate saying the other sides wants seniors to die (both Republicans and Democrats said that on the floor of the House), you now are existing in a world in which language is decoupled from anything that is reasonably a referent.

And as a result you not only are not describing what is out there, but you’re exhausting the capacity of the language to express outrage. It is if we are campaigning at a level, a decibel level that only dogs are able to hear at some level and everyone has their ears perked up and they’re fleeing, but nobody understands why it is that that’s happening.”

#211 rana on 02.20.12 at 8:25 pm

Thats bull- when I suggested that women tend to persuade their husbands to buying real estate they can’t afford and going into huge amounts of debt- this site called me mysogynistic- along with some other names….but when Garth says it all of a sudden its pure truth and fact.
And irrelevant is the fact that I am a female- dont you think I know what and how women think- its mostly emotional and heartfelt- never rational and logical- thats why there are few accountants and financial experts that are female- those positions tend to make you think critically and you can’t be misguided if you are on the rag.

Garth did not say that. — Garth

#212 Junius on 02.20.12 at 8:34 pm

#209 jess,

Rick Santorum is a total Whack job. The fact that he is even still in the Republican race says alot about Republicans, the other candidates and the US. All so sad.

#213 Van guy on 02.20.12 at 8:56 pm

#200 Kilby on 02.20.12 at 6:54 pm

Which part of Van are you talking about? Sounds like DT eh?

#214 Daisy Mae on 02.20.12 at 9:35 pm

#152 SP: “At least US has advanced to a black president….”


President Obama is ‘mulatto’ — as white as he is black.

#215 45north on 02.20.12 at 10:00 pm

Utopia: The minute inflation is acknowledged as running above the norm then interest rates will rise.

there is a scene from “who framed roger rabbit” where a magical force sweeps through the world. Two women are playing at the slots and they are transformed into cartoon characters much to their chagrin.

interest rising will sweep through malls and subdivisions like a magical force. Let’s see who we will be.

#216 The BioTech Guy on 02.20.12 at 11:06 pm

RE: #106 truth hammer on 02.20.12 at 2:44 am

Yours is a very compelling argument and I admit I am partially convinced. However free health care, religious tolerance. openness and general affordability are all part and parcel of a pretty good place to live isn’t it ? You make it sound like a cheap way to lure people here.

I travel a lot. Pretty girls want me to marry them when they hear I am from Canada, and I am not that hot.. (true and repeated story)

#217 betamax on 02.21.12 at 12:52 am

#124 Stevenson: “They don’t find places to invest because they have money, blah blah blah”

Then it’s odd that the Chinese govt. is trying to crank up lending to engineer a soft landing. Maybe you should send them an email telling them how mega-rich everyone is.

#218 Island renters on 02.21.12 at 1:14 am

Mountain girl said it more eloquently, but this was a tough post to read. The majority of my friends (early 30s) are in relationships where the woman is the higher wage earner and financial decisions are equitably split between partners. I hear just as many ‘house horny’ men as women. This blog has been a huge eye opener for me and my partner- thank you Garth. But this is the first post that has made me feel like the little woman whose only power in the relationship is to manipulate my husband into rash and emotional decisions.

#219 R C on 02.21.12 at 2:01 am

#65 – I totally agree. First timers like us are propping up people who have way more than we likely will. I think we all have to wait it out. Since 2011 prices have soared about $100k for a dinky fixer upper in the gta, pure artificial value based on hype. To the buyers it’s a nice boost to their savings or reno the cottage. For us it’s 10 more years of mortgage payments. Hold off everyone, make em sweat and sell at a fair price.

#220 truth hammer on 02.21.12 at 7:38 am

OK ..people don’t want to here that Canada is a backwater compared to the much larger and more dynamic economy of China. Theres got to be a reason why people …certain people ..want to live in denial. And ‘don’t raise rates or the country is screwed?” You gotta be kidding..this country needs higher rates right now to stop the collapse of what we know as a consumer class.

#221 disciple on 02.21.12 at 12:34 pm

Is multiculturalism really about alienation and indifference rather than co-operation and solidarity? Yes, it is. I don’t think that spelling it out for you is the best option to get you to understand, so I ask you to put your thinking cap on and use your brains. If you don’t, they will fizzle, fade and die. Or am I too late?

My father used to say that multiculturalism was the worst idea since the Ford Pinto. I didn’t understand, until one day, the guy I used to hang out with didn’t want to anymore because of you-know-what. Then it hit me. Yes, governments lie. It’s their job. They do it for the bankers. If you don’t yet know who is directly “affecting your life”, then you are ignorant. Allow disciple to help with that…

#222 disciple on 02.21.12 at 12:43 pm

It’s not only the financial parasites, but also the Cancer Industry that targets women.

Little known to many, for instance, is the fact that the original breast cancer ribbon was created by a woman named Charlotte Haley, now 68 years old, as an awareness tool to expose the fact that the National Cancer Institute (NCI) spent virtually none of its budget on cancer prevention. Today, that ribbon, which was originally a salmon color, has been hijacked by corporations and turned pink for the purpose of raising gobs of money in the name of “finding a cure.”

From The National Film Board of Canada:

#223 disciple on 02.21.12 at 1:05 pm

Insecurity. Lady Gaga had it!

During the 2011 Grammy Awards, Gaga stated about her song “Born This Way”:

“I need to thank Whitney Houston. I wanted to thank Whitney, because when I wrote ‘Born this Way,’ I imagined she was singing it – because I wasn’t secure enough in myself to imagine I was a superstar. So, Whitney, I imagined you were singing ‘Born This Way’ when I wrote it.”

“Born This Way” was released on February 11th, 2011. Exactly one year later, Whitney Houston dies on February 11th, 2012. Did Gaga (or her handlers) know something that the rest of us didn’t? Her outfit on that night evidently showed that death was on her mind.

#224 Mae Smythe on 02.21.12 at 1:22 pm

Garth sounds like a guy who has never rented.

Why do people want to buy? Maybe because they don’t like being evicted in the middle of winter on the whims of their landlords (I want to condoize! Good bye. Sorry about ruining Christmas).

Maybe because they like having the power to have heat without going to court for it.

Maybe because they are tired of living in houses with dangerous elements of disrepair and want to have the power to change that.

Actually I’ve rented extensively. Never encountered anything remotely similar. Do you rent in downtown Detroit? — Garth

#225 jess on 02.21.12 at 9:29 pm

game on!

A leading defender of climate change admitted tricking the libertarian Heartland Institute into turning over confidential documents detailing its plans to discredit the teaching of science to school children in last week’s sensational expose.

…using a false name to obtain materials from Heartland, a Chicago-based think tank with a core mission of dismissing climate change.


If the Truth Hurts, Don’t Exaggerate It