What problem?

As fatuous and self-obsessed as BC has become, this pathetic blog reluctantly devotes another post (Part Deux) to the west coast real estate implosion. Why does this matter in Halifax, Montreal or the flat part? Because the housing excess of the Lower Mainland, if it blows the wrong way, might cover much of the nation in spray. You can bet, for example, that widespread losses for newbie investors in Vancouver will impact Toronto within weeks, and ripple out from there.

After all, this is a $20 billion annual real estate market in a city a third the size of the GTA. Housing represented $51 billion in economic activity last year in this region alone and employed more than 8,000 people. Like California before the property bubble burst, the province has allowed a shocking proportion of its GDP to be concentrated in one sector, which relies so heavily on horniness, greed, envy and delusion.

In case you missed it, the country’s about to flip into austerity mode. Ontario drops its budget on March 27th, which will raise fees (also called taxes) and slash spending on useless stuff like bridges and teachers. Two days later F does the same at the federal level, setting the scene for reduced public pensions and a helluva lot fewer civil servants (hope you didn’t just buy in Ottawa).

In fact, almost every government in Canada is in hock. Unemployment is inching ahead. The economy is crawling. And yet personal borrowing continues to rise, because people are not paying attention or have been drugged by pixies. Immigrant pixies. So against this backdrop, an implosion in housing values in the very place where real estate is worshiped as a deity, and carries such economic weight, will be felt everywhere.

So it’s with heavy heart that I report it’s started. Vancouver may not be screwed yet, but there’s a whole lot of hot foreplay going on.

Indications are the sales collapse we told you about two weeks ago continues. March is rapidly turning into one of the worst months in recent memory. The comparison with last March (which was the peak of the 2011 market) will be shocking. Detached sales will likely tumble by over40%, with condo deals off by a third. Many areas which were HAM heaven a year ago are being set up for a 50% rout in sales.

How bad will this be? Well, think 2008. And as you know, sales crumble first, prices later.

“I went to a party tonight,” says a well-connected realtor, “and you can tell most people don’t believe that it can ever fall here.  They sure don’t get out much.”

But maybe they should. The rest of BC’s already entering into real estate rage. Listings have exploded and prices started to collapse through the Okanagan valley, with places like Kelowna in a funk. “No jobs in this town anymore, and now I can’t sell my damn house,” one blog dogette reports. “I live on one of the so-called prestige streets up in the hills. I have never, ever seen so many For Sale signs. And not one says SOLD.”

And if you’re looking for a beautiful, new, rambling granite-and-stainless clad Boomer McMansion overlooking the ocean or sidling up to a golf course full of hideous wrinkly people, then come to Vancouver Island for a boffo choice. In fact, in the small communities of Qualicum and Parksville there are about 120 of them for sale between $600,000 and a million. But don’t hurry. Almost nothing is selling. In Victoria, you can pick trough 123 properties listed for around a million. Listed, but lifeless.

And in the Kootenays, crickets. Prices have dropped 5% while sales have plunged 27% in the first two months of the year. Compare that with Vancouver, where sales are off about 16% for the same period. According to new numbers from the BC realtors’ cartel, sales have faded by 7.6% so far in 2012.

This should surprise nobody. But it will stun everyone. Because the average price in Vancouver actually increased last month, there’s a false perception declines are impossible. Every day that thought is held, the danger to homeowners there, and across the land, augments.

And we haven’t ever heard what F has in store for us yet…

Finally, I’d like to share with you one of the reasons people are so thick. We’re herd animals. We like clotting into groups because the company gives us confidence and reinforces our actions. When everybody’s doing the same thing, how can it be wrong?

Bob Rennie knows this. He’s a marketing guru and condo-flogger supreme, who’s gambling that this Saturday morning he will pull off a sales spectacular as ‘Marine Gateway’ goes on sale, just a 9 minute trip from the jet fumes of Vancouver airport. To help keep the herd from stampeding and liquefying its weaker members, the ‘Rules of the Game’ below have just been sent to the 11,000 people who pre-registered to get their hands on one of the 418 condo units.

It’s been designed to encourage a riot. A fitting end.


#1 TurnerNation on 03.15.12 at 8:42 pm

A weird Toronto house, for 2.7 mil. For this money, I’d want large manicured lawns. An estate.


And an old, pokey, Toronto semi for over 1 mil. The reno looks like it covers up a multitude of sins

One word: HAM (Hot Anglo Money). HAM2 love anything that’s vaguely British in its affect.


#2 House Poor on 03.15.12 at 8:50 pm

Good to see this finally correcting

#3 TurnerNation on 03.15.12 at 8:54 pm

At least there’s no ‘First’ idiots today.

Yesterday was Zombie girl; today is Zombie dog.

Still think our forum host’s upcoming book should be titled as: “Making out like a Bandit – what my dog taught me about Life, Love, and Finance”.

#4 T.O. Bubble Boy on 03.15.12 at 8:54 pm

The first rule of HAM club: DON’T talk about HAM club.

#5 Yonne on 03.15.12 at 8:54 pm

Garth, is it okay to invest a detached house at Central Park, Ottawa?

What street? — Garth

#6 Xerglacia on 03.15.12 at 8:55 pm

Couldn’t have happened to a nicer group of people.

#7 Nick on 03.15.12 at 8:56 pm

Where the money will come from in Vancouver if China is not present next years???

End of the Real Estate bubble in Vancouver???

“China hard landing already here: JPMorgan analyst”


#8 Midas on 03.15.12 at 8:59 pm

Apologies: this post is two days late. And it’s long.

Garth says there will never be a gold standard, and I hope he’s right. Why? because a gold standard implies the existence of central banks and paper money. Central banks are partly responsible for the fiscal mess we’re in, now.

In a free market, the market determines what is money. Historically, that was gold, silver and copper. Governments started printing money with a promise they would redeem the paper for a specified amount of gold or silver. During war, governments suspended their promise. Eventually, they broke it entirely.

The reason gold is not money among the proles, today, is not because the market turned away from gold. The reason is that governments seized power for themselves, and the proles were either too stupid or too timid to rise up.

A central bank inflates the money supply to reward its friends, relatives, former colleagues, future colleagues and the like. It’s cronyism. When the insiders receive the new money, the effects of inflation are as yet unfelt. By the time the new money reaches the hands of the proles, the effects are felt. Their old money now buys less than what it would have purchased, had there not been an inflation of the money supply.

In a society where gold is money, the role of central bankers is taken by the miners. When they find gold, they inflate the money supply. But the miners take risks to find the gold, and develop expertise in finding it. Also, the rate at which the gold supply typically increases is only 2%. The big exceptions occurred with the discovery of gold in the New World by the Spaniards, and the 1849 gold rush. The point is, there is a natural barrier to a proliferation of gold. A central bank can and has doubled the supply of paper or digital money in under a year.

Central banks set the base interest rate. Lunacy. In a free market, the market determines the lending rate for the most reliable hands. Allowing central banks to set the base rate, led to the real estate debacle in the USA.

Central banks are the engines of war. In their absence, WW I would have ended quickly. It’s no fluke why many at the time believed the war would be over in months. There simply wasn’t the money to sustain it. Governments prolonged the war by inflating the money supply and by suspending redemption. Governments robbed savers, as central banks do now.

The other institution that needs to be abolished is fractional reserve banking. A much more secure system of banking would allow banks to lend the money of their shareholders, only. Depositors would open bailment accounts where the depositor, not the bank, owns the money. Depositors would pay a monthly fee to cover the storage and insurance costs.

If a bank does well in its lending, the shareholders receive a dividend. If a bank goes under, the shareholders lose their shirts, but the depositors are safe in the absence of criminal activity, since the bank by law cannot lend money it does not own.

In a world where precious metals are money, must we carry coins with us to pay our bills? Not necessarily. We could use our credit and debit cards, which would be denominated in gold. We could offer bank notes that promise redemption in gold or silver. It’s up to the merchant whether he trusts that particular bank.

How will the supply of gold keep up to an expanding economy? Savers hope the supply does not keep up. That is, that gold will buy more in a decade than it does now. Likely, that will be the case. Thus, when savers store their gold at a bank for a fee, the overall purchasing power of the gold may rise, even though the bank is taking a tiny % in fees.

The bottom line is: central control is inefficient and dangerous. We know that socialism doesn’t work, and that a free market leads to prosperity. For some reason, most economists have a blind spot when it comes to central banks. The market should be free, they say, in everything but the two most important factors of an economy: money and interest rates. Madness.

Well that was a waste of 1500 words. — Garth

#9 Smartalox on 03.15.12 at 9:01 pm

Marine Gateway: with a view of the local waste transfer station! That’s going to make summertime entertaining FUN!
(trust me, it stinks!)

#10 $$$BPOE$$$ on 03.15.12 at 9:03 pm

Rules of the Game – Lovin it!!!
11000 pre registered vs 418 units – Still lovin it
Vancouver. The City that transcended the ordinary man to become a SUPERSTAR of the WORLD – LOVEIT!!!

#11 Kip on 03.15.12 at 9:04 pm

“So it’s with heavy heart that I report it’s started.”

I don’t believe it. I think you’ve been itching for it to start for a long time.

#12 Deano on 03.15.12 at 9:04 pm

In honour of my recent visit to “Falling Water” in PA, let’s look at a few architectural masterpieces that will sell for less than some crappy bungalows in North York.


I don’t want to repost a blog that has been linked to before, but you HAVE to see the last 2 posts.

In other news, an acquaintance told me about her 23 year old dental assistant sister and her salesman boyfriend (and by salesman I mean he’s the guy that carts the confectionary into stores and makes it look nice). They sounded like nice kids…till she told me they just bought a 400k broom closet in T.O.
My acquaintance lives at home and saves her money. Smart girl.

#13 Adviser on 03.15.12 at 9:08 pm

Something light for blog dogs,


South Park’s TSA episode

#14 Smoking Man on 03.15.12 at 9:13 pm

The New Chic

Two weeks ago was given the ultimatum we need more than 20 hours a week from you.
I said no darn way. Cost me too much when I’m here

Well then we need to replace you, I said sure, I will help you hire my replacement. Good then. I only do the gig to get out of the house and tour Toronto’s finest shiatsu massage establishments. Plus keep the coconut active.

We sort listed candidates First Guy, Math honors from Waterloo, resume was impressive.
I asked him when he studies does he use one of those yellow highlighters, Yes!! He said with great enthusiasm, ok my alarm bells went off. I start asking him if he knew how to price out swaps, and swaptions, Yes he said but had no idea, then I asked him technical questions, he sounded good but his methods sucked, I knew If I put him on the trade floor the traders would eat him alive. I was tempted to do it for sport , but my name would be attached to the hire, No


Candidate number two hot cute Hungarian chic, no school listed on resume self taught, so I asked her the questions, and she nails them, I asked what she studied school, she said humanities. (That’s why she did not list it) Nice I said, so what got you into coding for trade floors. She said it’s a hobby. I really love it. I said you ever use a yellow highlighter. She said no, I have a photo graphic memory with things I’m interested in.
I said would you remember me If I meet you 2 years from now, she said absolutely with a devious smile. She knows how to play……

Winner winner chicken dinner. She is a girl version of me. Wow thought they broke the mould

Now this is how I roll kids, the trader she is going to be supporting is an arrogant little shit, smart as hell, been out of school for about 5 years. About the same age as my candidate, But he has a weakness, woman, he’s scared of them. Real classic nerd.

Does not matter who helps this dude he’s always complaining, I just hired blue eyes, I just neutralized the biggest prick in our firm.

Fk I’m good.

Plus I will be sticking around, they settled for my 15 hours. A ha. Can’t wait to have pints with THE SHE VERSION OF SMOKING MAN pick her brain.

#15 truth hammer on 03.15.12 at 9:13 pm

The problem is that the Cons are still in election mode and pandering to a generation that was brainwashed by the Liberal propaganda. If they could find the time to start peeling back the liberal mess we might not have this type of ‘justice’ system in Canada.


Wew onder why the crooked HAM is pouring into the country with their ill gotten gains. Its amazing that so many here can deny that HAM is coming to Canada with the billions the Chinese government says they’ve stolen.

deny deny deny…..like the fiddler and the burning city…..must be nice to be so rich that the problems of ordinary people don’t get a second thought eh?

This is the problem..decades of liberal Canada bashing…while HAM gets a free ride….and justice means only being differant from the Americans.

#16 MarcFromOttawa on 03.15.12 at 9:13 pm

Who is scarier vampire dog vs drooling baby?

#17 mark on 03.15.12 at 9:20 pm

Any thoughts on Prince George, Garth? In for a hiding, or not much difference?

Not good. — Garth

#18 East Van on 03.15.12 at 9:23 pm


#19 Fifty Percent Correction Predictor on 03.15.12 at 9:23 pm

So it’s with heavy heart that I report it’s started. – Garth

Ye Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

#20 John on 03.15.12 at 9:23 pm

You know, this is happening in many parts of the world. Houses are considerably more expensive here now, and it could be a bubble, but nothing like Canada. People here have gone debt crazy. There are 60% more cars here than 10 years ago, and ever since retail stores could become banks, it’s raining plastic.

But no worries. Copper is near 4 dollars, whatever those are. I recently started to listen to the radio again after a few years. Now stuck in traffic with thousands of new consumer loans. It’s one big story. The way people talk, think and decide. I remember years ago when it was quaint to see some forward thinking gringo open a few greenish “Starlight” coffee places. Nobody stopped them. Now the real thing, along with zillions of i-phones and pads are being stared at …and long lines for 5 dollar coffees and five dollar sandwiches. In Chile.

And the people are UPPITY. That’s the hard part. Many aren’t…lots of great Chileans…but wow. The banking cartels have sold hard. Our newspaper, “El Mercurio” has quite a “business” section. Why it’s practically New York. There are cranes everywhere. Dotting the lndscape.

The tallest building in South America is due to be done in 2013. With the mall and hotel and road infrastructure, this could hit close to one billion dollars.

This was the derivatives fraud money spread to “emerging markets”, now in a mall opening to folks maxed out and unaware of the volatility in commodities…is copper going to stay at 4 bucks? How.

It’s all connected. Those fancy terms for “global economy” are plugged into real places with real fantasies. And without those fantasies, Canadian banks couldn’t float speculation via real eatate bubbles.

Turn down the sound ( Spanish) and catch the whiff of this elephant now towering over the frenzy. It’s amazing.

This is one of our “booming” emerging markets in Canadian financial fantasy.

Boy did they pump this one up but good baby.


#21 peter on 03.15.12 at 9:24 pm

On march 31 st, arista homes phase III in woodbridge. I think will be packed! Bubble? In your dreams. People are getting priced out!

#22 carol on 03.15.12 at 9:26 pm

Speaking of realestate, 3 blogs ago NOT 1st says he owns land in Sask around where a consortium is snatching up land..I own mineral rights BUT NOT the land on my grandfathers old homestead in the SE region of the BAKKEN. I think around the yellowgrass area. So my question is How does it work if I own the mineral rights but somebody else owns the land. Years ago some oil co approched me , but nothing came of it. All i own is 300 acrs of the mineral rights. Goverment owns the rest. Dogs out there ,do you know anything about what i ask?

#23 Peter Pan on 03.15.12 at 9:28 pm

Bob Rennie’s latest condo flog reminds me of the grocery flyers I get from Save-On Foods (equivalent to Loblaws, for your Ontarians)…

“Only 1 case of Campbell’s Soup… No Rainchecks!”

Creating demand by giving the perception of scarcity.

#24 Van guy on 03.15.12 at 9:29 pm

Marne Gateway will bring shopping and a theatre. Great location except for the waste Station 2 blocks away. Condo owners will need to purchase a high power air purifier.

#25 Peter Pan on 03.15.12 at 9:31 pm

Smoking Man (Comment #14)

Dude! You’re a Legend in your own Mind!

#26 Bill Gable on 03.15.12 at 9:36 pm

Marine Gateway, as pointed out by an earlier poster,is near a dump…oh boy…seagull for lunch, again.

Re Rennie – he did such a great job on the Olympic Village.

One anecdote – re Ottawa. Being a Navy Brat, lived there for a few years, three times. ( Pop was a Senior officer in the RCN.) The house we bought new, in Alta Vista, in 1959, for $9,990 bucks – sold yesterday sold for $439,000. The kicker? The same watertank is still in use. It is an okay house, but man, when F drops the bomb, somebody, no doubt a Civil Servant, will have a heart attack.

Even my siblings have been drinking the Kool Aid. Buying in Victoria, before selling the joint they live in!

That plus a place in California. Herds running off the cliff?

#27 mid-Ontario on 03.15.12 at 9:42 pm

RE up in February (CREA) across the land.
Anticipate huge interest in condos per tonight’s article in a City where some think RE is flailing.
Absolutely, no reason to expect budget by Feds or ON governments to do anything more than hold government growth down to just twice GDP growth.
Conclusion – RE remains as it has been for the past 2 years across the land; >solid throught 2012.

#28 geogar on 03.15.12 at 9:44 pm

Wonder if there’ll be buttless chaps lined up … or… chapped butts and Leprechauns. At ‘Marine Gateway’

#29 Smoking Man on 03.15.12 at 9:45 pm

25 Peter Pan on 03.15.12 at 9:31 pm

You fly around like a fairy

#30 Willy H on 03.15.12 at 9:51 pm

The prospect of being enslaved to a mortgage in Vancouver (or the GTA for that matter) is beyond my comprehension. If I am going to shackled to monthly mortgage payments let it be in Paris, Rome, London or Munich where I might get some cultural bang for my buck!

#31 Smoking Man on 03.15.12 at 9:51 pm

#25 Peter Pan on 03.15.12 at 9:31 pm

I accedentaly hit the submit button beofe I was finsished yes been boozing.

Lets look at your comment
You’re a Legend in your own Mind

So much creativity in that, now you know why they say canadians lack inovation.

Perhaps next time you could go with something like this :

Glibness and Superficial Charm

Manipulative and Conning
He never recognize the rights of others and see him self-serving behaviors as permissible. They appear to be charming, yet are covertly hostile and domineering, seeing their victim as merely an instrument to be used. They may dominate and humiliate their victims.

Grandiose Sense of Self
Feels entitled to certain things as “their right.”

Pathological Lying
Has no problem lying coolly and easily and it is almost impossible for them to be truthful on a consistent basis. Can create, and get caught up in, a complex belief about their own powers and abilities. Extremely convincing and even able to pass lie detector tests.

Lack of Remorse, Shame or Guilt
A deep seated rage, which is split off and repressed, is at their core. Does not see others around them as people, but only as targets and opportunities. Instead of friends, they have victims and accomplices who end up as victims. The end always justifies the means and they let nothing stand in their way.

Shallow Emotions
When they show what seems to be warmth, joy, love and compassion it is more feigned than experienced and serves an ulterior motive. Outraged by insignificant matters, yet remaining unmoved and cold by what would upset a normal person. Since they are not genuine, neither are their promises.

Incapacity for Love

Need for Stimulation
Living on the edge. Verbal outbursts and physical punishments are normal. Promiscuity and gambling are common.

Callousness/Lack of Empathy
Unable to empathize with the pain of their victims, having only contempt for others’ feelings of distress and readily taking advantage of them.

Poor Behavioral Controls/Impulsive Nature
Rage and abuse, alternating with small expressions of love and approval produce an addictive cycle for abuser and abused, as well as creating hopelessness in the victim. Believe they are all-powerful, all-knowing, entitled to every wish, no sense of personal boundaries, no concern for their impact on others.

Early Behavior Problems/Juvenile Delinquency
Usually has a history of behavioral and academic difficulties, yet “gets by” by conning others. Problems in making and keeping friends; aberrant behaviors such as cruelty to people or animals, stealing, etc.

Not concerned about wrecking others’ lives and dreams. Oblivious or indifferent to the devastation they cause. Does not accept blame themselves, but blames others, even for acts they obviously committed.

Promiscuous Sexual Behavior/Infidelity
Promiscuity, child sexual abuse, rape and sexual acting out of all sorts.

Lack of Realistic Life Plan/Parasitic Lifestyle
Tends to move around a lot or makes all encompassing promises for the future, poor work ethic but exploits others effectively.

Criminal or Entrepreneurial Versatility
Changes their image as needed to avoid prosecution. Changes life story readily.

#32 i.am.first on 03.15.12 at 9:52 pm


#33 Shameless on 03.15.12 at 10:04 pm


I am a real estate agent in Toronto and Mississauga, I just do not see any evidence of what you are saying. This biggest problem any of us have right now is inventory, the number of home could double on the market and DOM would not increase. There is so much demand it is insane. I went door knocking for two clients this past week begging for any interest in selling in Bloor West. People are afraid of the stock market because they don’t care anymore what Greece, Spain or Italy are doing. They can control their home investment. You may be right about Vancouver and god bless they have been in a frenzy for years. Toronto just does not support your thoughts.

#34 Keeping the Faith on 03.15.12 at 10:06 pm

Hey Stevenson, riddle me this …

How do you say “It’s starting” in the language you speak, in the strange world you live in?

Come back monthly Stevenson, this will be “The Best Show On Earth” The Vancouver/BC housing crash … bring your popcorn.

#35 Chaddywack on 03.15.12 at 10:11 pm

But you know how the local RE Board will spin it Garth……”Sales are down, but that was a record year, so the comparison does not matter blah blah”

I still haven’t seen a retraction on that Vancouver Province newspaper story about the flood of Chinese sales that was supposed to happen in Jan and Feb this year…….maybe I should ask the editor :)

#36 Harlee on 03.15.12 at 10:12 pm

#16 Marcfrom Ottawa
Who is scarier,vampire dog or drooling baby ?
But a lady version of Smoking Man…whoa!..Now, THAT is scary…..

#37 Junius on 03.15.12 at 10:15 pm

#15 truth hammer,

I don’t see anyone denying that lots of HAM that has come to this country is dirty money getting out of China. The questions is how much and for how long. There is a growing sense among people I know who know about it that the Chinese gov’t is shutting the loopholes more and more each day. They believe 2012 will see far less than 2011 did.

#38 Junius on 03.15.12 at 10:16 pm


Good post. Vancouver is cooked. Rennie’s marketing strategy is simply proof that he knows it as well. And he should. He had to sell that bloddy Oly Village and it still keeps him up at night.

#39 Junius on 03.15.12 at 10:19 pm

RE: Black Swans and Bubbles

I mentioned Australian Economics Professor Steve Keen in a post yesterday as someone who predicted the financial crisis in 2008. Aussie Roy mentions him a lot as well.

Keen has become a bit of a celebrity now as one of the few academic economists to get it right. Here is a piece he put together for the London School of Economics that is a good summary of his ideas about the role of debt in causing the financial crisis. Pretty sensible and compelling stuff for anyone wanting to understand the causes of the financial crisis.

Here is the link:


#40 bubbles on 03.15.12 at 10:21 pm

Marine Gateway also provides foul odours from nearby forestry industries, collision repair shops, and dense fog in the winter coming off the Pacific ocean, Fraser River, not to mention the noise from the Canada Line

#41 Snowboid on 03.15.12 at 10:21 pm

Marine Gateway?

Wow, a lot of timeshare sales-people will be able to flaunt their skills for the big St Paddies’ day event!

I really love the Jr 2-bedroom that’s about the size of our two-car garage!

But better still, is the Kelowna Sopa Square project that is stalled because the construction cranes are sinking!

But $ 862,000 for this 7th floor pre-build sounds irresistable – http://thelister.ca/sopa-square-tfg.html

Of course at completion it may be a 5th floor suite!

#42 Brendan Caron on 03.15.12 at 10:22 pm

There is a large vocal amount of people in Mount Pleasant who are against this real estate cartel. They are fending off a concerted effort by developers and city politicians trying to saddle the community with high rises and condos. This is a family community and the land is, according to the developer, cheap. Their intention is to insert their megalith followed by the resulting property value hikes that will drive the community out of their rapidly becoming un-affordable neighbourhood. We want to welcome more people but by building for the rich that will never be attainable. City Hall was innundated with hundreds of speakers against this proposal and it will resume on the 27th of March at speaker 104. To see what we are up to go to rampvancouver.com
We want to live and stay in Vancouver because it is a great city that has a lot of potential for the people that work and live here. We don’t want to be moved because a developer has the ear of city hall and their backroom deals will sell our community out from beneath us.

#43 Narrowgate on 03.15.12 at 10:23 pm

First prize is a Cadillac Eldorado. Anybody wanna hear what second prize is? Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is you’re fired. It takes brass balls to sell real estate. Coffee’s for closers.

#44 TO Virgin Couple on 03.15.12 at 10:26 pm

Our agent just told us the shortage of listings this past month in Toronto has only pushed prices higher. Multiple offers only. No one stands an effing chance. Eff them.

#45 phil on 03.15.12 at 10:28 pm

Vancouver stats today: Listings 208 sales 180. No collapse yet. Maybe next year.

#46 eagle eyes on 03.15.12 at 10:36 pm

with 11,000 registered buyers, Rennie will sell out within the first hour. Just for fun I might drive by the site to stare at the losers lining up and take some pictures. I wonder if the lineup will start tonight, or will they take their chances and camp out on Friday. Rennie is one busy little boy, cause he’s got another project rolling out on Saturday for previews, called the Mandarin Residences, first stop on the Canada Line in Richmond. It offers 348 homes, 2 towers.

I hope both these sell out, and the market tumbles. Do I sound bitter? You betcha.

#47 ShipsNGiggles on 03.15.12 at 10:40 pm

@ 45 Go Phil your boots, how about the other 75 days of 2012 which are an accurate snapshot of whats really goin down.

#48 Smoking Man on 03.15.12 at 10:41 pm

Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad

Your take, UK and USA open oil reserves, Uss Enterprise heading to the starits of hermozzzzzzz

F Flag , Perhaps a long postion on oil?

Go Vlad, you nearly killed me with your last joke

#49 Charles Ponzi on 03.15.12 at 10:46 pm

We would have fewer problems with land bubbles if we had a land value tax system.

#50 Genxer on 03.15.12 at 10:47 pm

Can anybody tell me how the heck the debt to gdp ratio improved in Q4?

Debt is up on all fronts and 50,000 or so jobs were lost in q4 – so what the heck drove they income miracle?

Garth – did you give the amazons a Christmas bonus?

#51 Genxer on 03.15.12 at 10:52 pm

Apologies – debt to income ratio. What is going on? Absolutely no analysis from statscan or the MSM.

#52 not 1st on 03.15.12 at 10:52 pm

#22 carol

Carol, the subsurface and surface rights are seperately titled. So you can sell one without the other. Sell your surface, keep your mineral rights or vice versa. Also, mineral rights can be divided into 20 equal shares and sold off separately.

I have some mineral rights near a new potash play by Regina and can’t wait to unload these to some crazy offshore specuvestor. Asians from abroad are interested in investing in assets and resources. They have no interest in holding worthless U.S. treasuries and do not put their money in stock market craziness and scumbag advisors. Don’t believe me? then go look for photos of the safes on the streets after the Japan tsunami. They were holding most of their cash reserves at home. Asians may want our lifestyle, but their thought process is way different than ours here. They are looking 100 years out, not next week like we do.

#53 Fort Mac Flatlander on 03.15.12 at 10:55 pm

#20 Read “Confessions of an Economic Hitman” to find your answer about the infrastucture funding of “emerging markets.”

#54 The Thing in the Basement on 03.15.12 at 10:55 pm

22 Carol – you can check here:


Also just google around “Sask mineral tenure” or “Sask surface rights” you may find something a little more direct.

#55 Jay_Huhman on 03.15.12 at 10:57 pm

Deano at #12

Oak Park, Illinois is not all that fancy as we live about a mile south of the Thomas Gale house in an area of 1920s brick or stucco houses or small apartment/condo buildings. Houses (3-4 bed, 2 bath) in my area of Oak Park run 350-500K while 2-3 bed condos are about 175-250K. Local property taxes will be about 3% of the purchase price; the schools are better than average.

The Wright historic district homes will save on taxes but local lore says that making any updates or changes is difficult and expensive.

#56 Don P on 03.15.12 at 10:59 pm

@#26: Just FYI. If back in 1959 ya took $9,990 and invested it at 7.5% per year, you would have $429,344, almost as much as yer house is now worth. 7.5% per year is a great rate of return but not mindboggling.

What about inflation? There was a lot of that between 1959 and now. According to Bank of Canada stats, prices are 7.8889 times higher now.

Adjusted for inflation, the price of yer house increased on average about 3.4% per year in real terms.

$9,990 to $439,000 sounds like a lot … it is but over 52 years not as much as you might think.

#57 Van guy on 03.15.12 at 11:02 pm

#45 phil on 03.15.12 at 10:28 pm
Vancouver stats today: Listings 208 sales 180. No collapse yet. Maybe next year.
Transition stage. Next year you’ll be crying. Did you see yesterday’s stats?

#58 Terra No-more on 03.15.12 at 11:12 pm

Mutton dressed as lamb..

Should be able to open your windows in the spring & fall and hear the crack wenches prying their trade..


#59 pathcontrolmonk on 03.15.12 at 11:14 pm

On the news tonight that sales are down in Richmond by 53%, and there are over 800 condos on the market.

#60 Junius on 03.15.12 at 11:26 pm

#45 Phil,

You said, “Vancouver stats today: Listings 208 sales 180. No collapse yet. Maybe next year.”

Are you from CREA? Way to cherry pick the stats. This is the first day of March the numbers were even close. Should we spell the word “OUTliar”?

Vancouver March to date:

New Listings 2,968
Sales 1,438

That would be slightly more than 2:1. Can you say “THIS YEAR?” Probably not in your vocabulary.

#61 geneticistx on 03.15.12 at 11:27 pm

People taking on $400k/$500k mortgages are people like my hair stylist, teachers, people with combined incomes of $120k-$150k.
$400k mortgage ~$1900 per month
Property tax ~$300 per month
Insurance ~$100 per month
Food ~$500 per month
Day Care (2 kids) ~$2000 per month
Gas (2 tanks per month) ~$130 per month
Other stuff: clothes, car maintenance, new roof, new dishwasher, lawn care, car insurance, internet, phone, iphone, tv(s), rover and kitty cat, etc.

C’mon people, there won’t be anything left to save for little johnny and susie’s education, go out for dinner, etc. let alone retirement.

The question really is, do all these people really have no other debt than their mortgage? Does every house in 416 have a combined income of $250K+?

Lawyer friend (making north of $200k+) needs a home for his wife, kid and bun in the oven. He’s 10 years on bay street, hasn’t been able to save up $300k in 10 years to buy a house, and now it seems the condo he bought near bloor and dundas in Tdot won’t even sell for what he bought it for 5 years ago. This is real.

Look, i wish everyone would smarten up out there, a mortgage is just one aspect of owning a house. Things break, need upkeep, change, wearout, and this increases in cost every year.

This bubble is the biggest case of satisfying one’s id, and there is no superego at work at all. No long term perspective.

I suggest those with a backyard buy a few seeds and start a couple plants in the spring and harvest in the fall, at least you’ll have a good buzz through winter, cuz there won’t be any cash to go on vacations.

#62 not 1st on 03.15.12 at 11:28 pm

Does anybody watch CNBC and actually wish you could punch right through the screen into their studio. I am so sick of them trotting out talking heads pumping up garbage like facebook and U.S. banks. Vicious scumbag pumpers.

Out of every 100 guests they have on, only maybe 1 or 2 who tell the truth. Meridith Whitney and Matt Taibbi are 2 that were on the other day.


#63 phil on 03.15.12 at 11:28 pm

@57 Bad sales day always followed by good sales day. It’s a repeating trend that you continue to fall for. Maybe next year.

#64 Furst on 03.15.12 at 11:30 pm

FURST!!!!! Love being FERST!

#65 phil on 03.15.12 at 11:34 pm

@57, I have heard AND believed that exact same comment since 2007, 5 years! Time to admit we were wrong.

#66 ozy - Bonds surprise (mortgage rate increase sooner) HAS A-R-R-I-V-E-D on 03.15.12 at 11:34 pm

First of all # 8 Midas on 03.15.12 at 8:59 pm – you have a lot of valuable ideas, but the populus likes inflation, because they are ideal consumer, and they are the 90% of votes. Case closed, you can’t wake up the masses until their soul progresses (few more lives, or few more Bernie Maddoffs, Bushes, Obamas, or Herpers).
Now, I told you months ago to sell bonds supporting CMHC, as they are for a flat ride in first 6 months or so from 2012. All of such govornment bonds (us, kanatian, etc) sucked biiiig in last 2 days (0.5% drop then 0.25% drop, anualize that for A-rated bonds if you dare) . Even high-yield (B, BB, BBB rated), also corporate and emerging market bonds started dropping.
Be carefull fellas, this is not a very good buy&hold time if you want to maximize the profiterrols. Ask your advisor and fire him if they say can’t time the market, when this was on the wall since Jan 1st… That’s why you hire them, to read the market responses TIMELY.

Check YTD year to date, most of them are NEGATIVE, regardless Canada Hsg Trust or US Tresuries are involved. As a result the yields spiked, so don’t be suprised if 5-year mortgages rise 0.5% or 1% by April 1st.







#67 Bobby on 03.15.12 at 11:37 pm

I’m looking to buy in Ottawa. Certainly lots for sale, but intend to wait until both Federal and Provincial governments lay out their budget plans.
The Feds want to revamp the civil service to put a greater emphasis on merit rather than seniority. That will undoubtedly shake up Ottawa.
There should be lots of great buys moving forward!!!!

#68 Van guy on 03.15.12 at 11:39 pm

Buy a condo with $2000 down. Yes, $2000!!

Any fools wanting to get in before they get priced out should come here.


#69 Can'tbelieveit on 03.15.12 at 11:41 pm

#45 Phil on 03.15.12 at 10:28 pm

Vancouver stats today: Listings 208 sales 180. No collapse yet.
Maybe next year.
Highest inventory in 5 years for this time in March. Have a look at the latest graph. See that purple line stretching into a new stratosphere? That’s unwanted inventory. Nice try Phil.


#70 45north on 03.15.12 at 11:43 pm

Detached sales will likely tumble by 40%

Abbotsford, Vancouver, Victoria and Kelowna are “severely unaffordable”. So the tsunami sweeps across them, Fort St Johns is not a barrier. the GTA and Montreal are also “severely unaffordable”.


they can all suffer a 50% drop in sales


there is no barrier

#71 Van guy on 03.16.12 at 12:01 am

#63 phil on 03.15.12 at 11:28 pm
@57 Bad sales day always followed by good sales day. It’s a repeating trend that you continue to fall for. Maybe next year.


Kool Aid on sale at Safeway. Hope you drink more. Get out more, you’ll see what’s really going on.

#72 John G. Young on 03.16.12 at 12:02 am

#31 Smoking Man

I believe that list you posted is a description of the characteristics of a sociopath/psychopath.

In my (admittedly limited) experience, I’ve yet to meet an addict who is a sociopath — I think that unlike sociopaths, addicts have a conscience, which is at least part of why they become addicts.

Nice try though.

#73 City Slicker on 03.16.12 at 12:08 am

Garth are you saying an implosion in Vancouver would cause a systemic risk across Canada?
Can you give us a sneak peak at what F will be doing in the coming budget? I think axing 30 amorts is a certainty.

#74 Dan in Victoria on 03.16.12 at 12:12 am

We Sold last spring.
Comparable house 50K less on MLS
Right around where we lived.

#75 Victor on 03.16.12 at 12:15 am

Ottawa urged to take concrete steps to limit growing consumer debt

Published Friday, Mar. 16, 2012 12:01AM EDT

In a report he will release Friday, Mr. Alexander recommends four possible measures:

First, he says, the maximum amortization period for government-insured mortgages should be cut to 25 years (as it was before the Harper government increased it to 40 years in 2006) from the current 30, a move Ed Clark, TD’s chief executive officer, has endorsed.

Second, anyone applying for a mortgage should be required to show they could still afford it if the rate rose to 5.5 per cent. (Currently, most banks assess whether a borrower applying for a mortgage shorter than five years, whether variable or fixed-rate, could afford a five-year fixed mortgage. But fierce competition has led to five-year fixed rates as low as 2.99 per cent.)

Third, he says, lenders should assess the ability of anyone applying for a home-equity line of credit to pay it off within 20 years. The Bank of Canada says such loans, known as HELOCs, made up almost 50 per cent of all consumer credit last year, compared with 11 per cent in 1995. The new standard would reduce the maximum size of HELOCs, which have exploded as home prices rose.

Finally, the minimum down payment for a government-insured mortgage should be raised to 7 per cent from the current 5 per cent, Mr. Alexander said.


#76 Bill Gable on 03.16.12 at 12:17 am

Don – taxes, new roof, upkeep, and you get steady 7.5% since 1959? Yeah, sure, as if.
The word is s u c k e r. The place is 53 years old, and is still using the same water tank, that gave us problems, even back then.

Dumbos, will be upset when the Silly service gets the chop.

#77 Alberta Ed on 03.16.12 at 12:21 am

Ah, ‘Marine Gateway.’ Cool name for ‘Earthquake Central.’ Or ‘Liquefaction.’

#78 NoName on 03.16.12 at 12:26 am

#230 Junius on 03.15.12 at 7:09 pm

What am i missing???

Based on the author’s (Nassim Nicholas Taleb ) criteria:
The event is a surprise (to the observer /homeowner/).
The event has a major impact.
After its first recording, the event is rationalized by hindsight, as if it could have been expected (e.g., the relevant data were available but not accounted for).

Financial crises of 2008, was a BLACK SWAN of financial industry in us, and what is about to happened in Vancouver it will be black swan of Canadian RE, after collapse it will be so obvious why it happened. More we learn from what happened down south, it seem to cloud our judgment more and more, somehow we can understand why it happened in states 5yrs back but somehow we can’t understand that will, and is happening here.

#79 ANONYMOUS on 03.16.12 at 12:32 am

Garth; some of the people posting on this blog are REALLY WEIRD ! Guys like ‘Smoking Man’, what the heck is he talking about ???

#80 Mr Buyer on 03.16.12 at 12:36 am

#14Smoking Man on 03.15.12 at 9:13 pm…
now mathemeticians are idiots. Smoking man I do not know how to break this to you but I think you need to get an education. I think a few higher math classes would change your tune a bit. BTW there are no task masters driving you to be sheep just a mathematician driving you to be a mathematician.

#81 NorthOf49 on 03.16.12 at 12:37 am

Dropped in at an open house around the corner on Sunday. Typical two storey, 4 bdrm, 20-30 yrs old. They’re a dime a dozen on Hamilton Mountain except they want $519K for this one. First thing the impatient realtor lady says is: Do you have an agent? My wife replies “No, we’re waiting things out for now, to see where this market goes.” Realtor lady snaps, “Well you’re TOO LATE, all the good houses are already gone!” I roll my eyes at her and we politely leave as I know that a quick search of MLS for West Hamilton, Ancaster, Dundas lists 367 4-bdrm houses for sale. Too late??..crap, we’re just gettin’ started!

#82 terces on 03.16.12 at 12:38 am

#18 link to a Gwyn Dyer article – that is so bizzare and so ironic. Gwyn was the head of Encana, now Cenovas previous Alberta Energy etc, and he is the reason that the “Bow” monstrous office tower is being built in Calgary. I wonder how close to home his observations will hit of the building of sky scrapers in Bejing and the Empire State Buildings etc to massive changes in economic forturn will hit to home. I wonder if he has thought about it. Gwyn was also an outspoken critic of the global warming science. A fox in the hen house you might say.

#83 VancouverJoe on 03.16.12 at 12:40 am

“RULES OF THE GAME” – How to line up

I don’t believe, is it real?

The style of the rules reveals that:

– the targeted audience is sheeple.
– those, who line up are not Canadians, I mean, culturally

#84 Lost the taste for RE on 03.16.12 at 12:43 am

You’re right, Garth, it HAS started. The first waves of the tsunami are breaking across B.C. Of course most don’t know it.

But I’ve got a good view of the unfolding disaster. In the past two months I’ve seen developers in receivership, foreclosures, restructurings and bankruptcies at an ever increasing rate.

Kelowna has a 5 year inventory and no one’s building ANYTHING. Those buying there — who’s signing your contracts? It’s not the original developer, is it? And the development you bought into, the remaining stages aren’t going to be completed now, are they?
Another big development to the north is being sold to offshore interests. I remember receiving their glossy brochures a few years ago. It was the last word in pretension. Bankrupt now.

This is not ending well.

Greed, envy and delusion fueled by cheap money — easy debt. What a shame self discipline is such an uncommon trait.

#85 Van guy on 03.16.12 at 12:48 am

#59 pathcontrolmonk on 03.15.12 at 11:14 pm
On the news tonight that sales are down in Richmond by 53%, and there are over 800 condos on the market.

It was over 1100 last time I checked. And they keep building away. All sorts of projects including several major projects to be completed this year or early next year. Developers are giving discounts now. Concord Pacific just set up a presentation center on Capstan Way @ No 3 rd. they are selling a project named, “Monet”. They also have future plans of a monster project called “Pinnacle Park” which includes 16 towers with over 2100 units. Oh man the overbuilding in Richmond will cause this area to be the hardest hit when this correction is in full swing. BPOE my ass.

#86 phil on 03.16.12 at 12:48 am

@Junius, what have you done for me lately? I prefer the most up to date stats. Regardless, how does the current sales to list ratio compare to the average of prior years for March?

#87 earlymidlifecrisis on 03.16.12 at 12:48 am

The cbc series is looking at the other side of fence now.


BTW- exactly how racist does one have to be on this blog before they are deleted? There’s one or two around here that must be close.

#88 wollyone on 03.16.12 at 12:52 am


#89 Stuck on the Island on 03.16.12 at 12:53 am

It’s interesting to note that I have been ranting about the collapse of the housing market for months and people still look at me like I have two heads. Of course, there are the same people who wonder why I haven’t moved yet… “oh, I thought you were moving.”

My house is a renovated starter home, detached, nicely done up and priced below everything else equivilent in town… not a single offer in 5 months. I don’t think we have even had 10 scheduled showings in that time period either.

I live the downturn every single day. We are actually starting to plan out a long term strategy here, because it does not look like we will be leaving for a long time.

#90 Mr Buyer on 03.16.12 at 1:00 am

Smoking Man go get a BSc and come back slamming education. It will be a whole lot more convincing. As for codesmithing well I am less than amature but I know enough to say that todays codesmiths can cover the same ground in a week that codesmiths of the 70s covered in a month or a year. There is no more getting by simply by squeezing every little drop from each preciuos cpu cycle (except in a limited degree in the mobile coding world but not to the same extent as the punch card days). Massive libraries to become familiarized with and huge complex ides. These kids are standing on the shoulders of giants but they are no slouches. I can not tell you how many really bad job interviewers I met in my life and you sound like one of them, I mean a highlighter, thats your critical bit of information. I do not even know if I can trust even a third of the stuff you post. I used to deliver home electronics a hundred years ago and I would hook it up and tell the customer how to use it. As can be easily imagined they were absolutely lost so I always ended the skit with “here is the on/off button, here is the volume and here is the channel changing button.” They were immediately relieved but never ever used the higher functions of their device but they didn’t need a highlighter either.

#91 TRT on 03.16.12 at 1:01 am


Overseas buyers do not bring money here to buy RE. So stats or amounts allowed don’t mean anything. Let me tell you how its been done in the last decade with regards to India and China.

From what I know, transactions to purchase RE here involves a simultaneous RE/Money transaction overseas. It happened 10 years ago and is happening today. So no money is ‘brought over’ from China.

If a recent immigrant from India wants to buy a house for cash, many builders will accept payment/land exchange in India for payment. Recent immigrant gets house for a ‘cash transaction’. This house can then be sold and another purchased for 5% down.

Dig deeper! stats don’t mean sh^%

#92 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 03.16.12 at 1:03 am

“. . . much of the nation in spray relies so heavily on horniness, greed, envy and delusion.” — Meaning we can now dump on TROC?

“. . . the country’s about to flip into austerity mode.” — Greece is doing extremely well, with an increase in HIV and other illnesses (depop.), now TPTB have put them into permanent austerity. Obomba has his picture in place of the stars on the flag, and Harper probably has some lipstick left over for has tiny role.

“. . . but there’s a whole lot of hot foreplay going on.” — Megaquake time? ‘Coz then the Okanagan will be beachfront property!

“. . . the reasons people are so thick. We’re herd animals.” — Aha! Not all of us, least us blogdogs. Pretty much all of us have our heads screwed on straight.

“. . . just a 9 minute trip from the jet fumes of Vancouver airport.” — Add a dump right next to it and Holy Sheepshit Batman! This is THE Best Sewer On Earth!
#36 Harlee — “But a lady version of Smoking Man…whoa!..Now, THAT is scary…..” — Speaking of SM, here he is!

#48 Smoking Man — “Your take, UK and USA open oil reserves, Uss Enterprise heading to the starits of hermozzzzzzz. F Flag , Perhaps a long postion on oil?”

Aahhh yes, the good ol’ FF. Comes in real handy at just the right moment, when sheeple are asleep at the wheel. This is the last voyage for the Enterprise, so maybe a good time to sink it?

Depending on outcomes of a couple of things (the ‘konomee / election being one, this as well plus 3:50 clip), chances are good that most of the world will have gone through a nasty razor-shave before this year is out. But whadda I know?
Pensions It’s not just ordinary pensions govts. are wiping out, and here (forced austerity); Don’t lie now! This is a nice pay cheque for a year at work; Good Work Lady receives a nice financial reward after digging up some dirt; AAA Club Uncle Sam, France and now the US?

GS heir speaks; Chart Apple shareholders — take your profits and run! Did We Notice? Migration between Asia and NAmerica; Young Americans Young Cdns., too; Ireland’s Oil Good on the Irish, and just in time — Spare Crude Fading; Warren Buffett Looking good; A Town Without Women Don’t laugh, it exists; 2012 4Closures They’re about to start; Go Big on Treasuries; Thunderclap being Greece. The rest of the storm is yet to come; Another Tidal Wave of muni-bond defaults coming; Volcker + Doomsday = inflation; S&P Edging higher; US – Korea Free trade pact starts; Taxifornia is going under, and not because of ‘quake.
Rolling Stones are set to roll once more. Garth, there’s a good color pic of Keith further down. Looks as if a jackhammer has been thru it, but he’s always said he would drop dead on stage! Rising Gun Sales Guess the citizens are pretty riled up; UK Shit in, shit out; Build A Home In The Woods and no eviction. Smart people; Red Race, combined with the Yellow Race is the forthcoming cycle change; 15 Facts about US citizens; Cool Killing Machines; American ISPs starting a crackdown in July; Tide Detergent Black market time.

#93 H.A.M. Fallout on 03.16.12 at 1:06 am

Factor in the radioactive fallout from the Japanese nuclear disaster, which continues today…and B.C. becomes even less attractive.

Simon Fraser University researchers are attributing increased levels of the radioisotope iodine-131 in B.C. seaweed and rainwater samples to the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear reactor situation in Japan.

Here’s a video from 2011:


This won’t end well.

#94 YVROptimist on 03.16.12 at 1:07 am

So you’ve called it then, Garth? Marine Gateway will be the turning point? Just checking, ’cause although I have no idea what will happen next I have been waiting quite a while for the correction in the housing market in this country to actually come to pass. This would be the correction that you have been calling for. I don’t doubt for a second that it’s coming, I just like the idea of having a line finally drawn in the sand.

Also, I bet when the budget comes down (Federal, not provincial) Flaherty (I’m not afraid to utter the name of Lord Voldemort, with all due respect to the Dark Lord) won’t have to make many changes with regards to mortgage rules. The market is heading in the right direction – he won’t have to make unpopular changes because the slowdown will allow him to sidestep all of that messiness.

#95 Mike on 03.16.12 at 1:11 am

Guys, stop quoting the MLS unless you can see the Realtor’s side of the equation for comps which sold. People can *ask* anything for a house. It doesn’t mean they’re getting it, or even that they think they’ll get it. It’s a “make me move” price.

#96 John Prine on 03.16.12 at 1:16 am

#8. Midas

That post was even a long one to skip……………..

#97 Jon B on 03.16.12 at 1:23 am

Bob’s “Rules of the Game” poster has a serious error. This is a building in Richmond BC. Where’s the Chinese language translation? Few of the investors will probably know the rules of the game as a result. I mean come on, when the developer has to put a limit on how many can be sold to a single person, it’s pretty clear the predicted target audience is Chinese investors. Oh and this is not a racist comment, so don’t bother.

#98 John Prine on 03.16.12 at 1:37 am

#45 phil on 03.15.12 at 10:28 pm
Vancouver stats today: Listings 208 sales 180. No collapse yet. Maybe next year.
These stats are hard to understand, what do you call Vancouver? Include Richmond and Surrey?
Today in Vancouver, East and West there are 4,181 active listings. There was 52 new listings and 65 new sales

#99 Mr Buyer on 03.16.12 at 1:38 am


#100 TRT on 03.16.12 at 1:47 am

Someone tell me how this won’t push up prices in Richmond and Vancouver.

The quotes below are from an article in the Ottawa citizen.

“Meanwhile, figures obtained by Vancouver immigration lawyer Richard Kurland indicate that between October 2010 and September 2011, Canada approved nearly 3,000 cases and issued a total of 10,246 visas to applicants and their families. The vast majority of approved cases came from Hong Kong”


“As of last September, the backlog in immigrant investor applications stood at 88,555 .”

This amounts to 302,000 SUPER-RICH INVESTOR CLASS people wanting to settle primarily in Vancouver and Toronto. And they will easily buy million dollar homes.

Someone explain??????????????????


#101 Rhino on 03.16.12 at 1:49 am

“And yet personal borrowing continues to rise, because people are not paying attention or have been drugged by pixies”

stupid old facts but your wrong, household debt actually it went down in the last quarter:


Smoking Man, enough with the fake drunk talk. We all know your a sober, pimply faced loser in your moms basement. Nothing wrong with it just admit it.

#102 hosencal on 03.16.12 at 2:07 am

#22 Carol.

First go watch There will be blood.

Then memorize this. I Drink your milkshake! It’s called drainage. Drainage!

#103 uk lad on 03.16.12 at 2:33 am

Vancouver is probably the most over hyped city in the world. Great natural setting, but ever so boring, and trying so hard to be uber cool but can’t quite pull it off.
It’s not London or New York, it’s not even Toronto.

Toronto, more action. Some interesting areas downtown, Beach out in the east end quaint. Other than that, it’s a sprawling mass of soulless sub divisions,stationary traffic, fake english and irish pubs and enough pizza take aways to feed china.

The bit in between, where it takes a week to drive to the store for milk just isn’t on the radar for most of the world.

The east coast where normal folk live , carries on as usual, like a long lost relative, out of sight out of mind.

Quebec? Montreal, Quebec City, probably the most stylish, sophisticated parts of Canada, but for obvious reasons never gets recognised as such.

Newfoundland, good for a drink and a laugh.

With all due respect Canada is still regarded by the rest of the world as a sleepy provincial back water, covered in snow 10 months of the year but has two months of summer to let the rest of the world come visit relatives.

We watch the real estate market with complete fasination, $1,000,000 to live in Vancouver?

More expensive than Dublin, Rome, Lisbon , Barcelona, Prague. wow !

It’going to be a horrible slow death.

#104 $$$BPOE$$$ on 03.16.12 at 2:48 am

So you want real estate to come back down to earth eh? There is a way. It’s called heavy taxation of foreign ownership. Yes, this would bring the party to an end abruptly. But no Government in Canada will ever do this and Garth has never suggested a Government will do this either. The Conservatives love foreign ownership and I realized a long time ago they were going to let everything in Canada be up for sale! Canadians are dumb. Vancouver reminds me of Hawaii when there was the japanese buying up everything is site leaving the locals kicked to the curb. This is what has happened in Vancouver. No Government will ever stop this flowering of Vancouver. Therefore we continue to march upwards

#105 martin9999 on 03.16.12 at 3:22 am

you are way negatively corelated to real estate

because real estate now days doesnt work in 101 fandamentals

peace dude

#106 martin9999 on 03.16.12 at 3:25 am

you only have to kind of species in this blogg:

1. doomers, comedians, basement dewellers etc
2. people that alway bet with america

#107 martin9999 on 03.16.12 at 3:27 am

one day you are gonna have a petition with all this fans around

#108 Ship on 03.16.12 at 3:48 am

Havper,s war on good middle class union civil servant jobs is almost done.

#109 Citythatsmellslikeitsounds on 03.16.12 at 3:57 am

Hi Garth,

What are your thoughts on the prices in Regina and where they may be headed over the next two to three years? I know its been asked before but haven’t seen any responses.


#110 Guy1 on 03.16.12 at 5:16 am

Garth, I have a small request… a thoroughly unusual request which I’m sure will invite some colourful remarks… but there is something spectacularly human in a certain series you may be familiar with from your youth. I would invite you to watch its episodes… it shows, in such subtle ways, the extent to which we have become less human… however ridiculous as it may sound (and get ready to laugh), I am encouraging you to purchase and watch Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone: The Complete Definitive Collection: http://www.amazon.ca/The-Twilight-Zone-Definitive-Collection/dp/B000H5U5EE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1331886999&sr=8-1 You may laugh, but the series has some surprisingly appetising retro-conceptual tidbits… As a contrast to our present-day mythologies and assumptions, it offers some very striking philosophical and cinematic insight in how we have moved from a culture of socioeconomic propriety to one that is now premised on an almost anything goes hyper-modernity (and all the problematic issues that stem from this paradigm including those you’ve covered sincerely and openly in your blog).

#111 Ottawa Bus Driver Man on 03.16.12 at 5:18 am

#5 Yonne,
Run! Get out now. Bearbrook where? Hasn’t been a bear near the neighbourhood in 30 years. Yogi might steal your picnic basket !?!

#112 Aussie Roy on 03.16.12 at 5:19 am

Aussie Update

Like California before the property bubble burst, the province has allowed a shocking proportion of its GDP to be concentrated in one sector, which relies so heavily on horniness, greed, envy and delusion.

Excellent observation Garth. When any segment of the economy gets out of whack this segments turnover skyrockets. I would also guess that if one where to look at your banks profits as expressed as a % of GDP over the past 20 years it would currently (or has just been) at historic highs. Here in Australia our banks profits are at record levels as a percentage of GDP. To most this just gives them more convidence in the sector but to us old dogs it screams “this level of lending (profits) is unsustainable”.

Since house prices peaked in the June quarter of 2010, Victorian economic growth, as measured by state final demand, has severely underperformed the national average, growing by only 1.8% in real terms since June 2010 – less than population growth


If you thought selling your ordinary home in an average suburb last year was hard, spare a thought (or not) for your wealthy neighbour.

Economic woes in 2011 hammered million-dollar-plus suburbs across Australia, cutting the number of suburbs in that top-tier price range by about one in seven, or 14 per cent.


The HAM capital of Australia – Melbourne Victoria

VICTORIA suffered huge job losses in the past year as the mining boom states of Western Australia and Queensland posted big gains, new figures confirm.


Can’t happen here are the words from just 3 months ago, now?.

HOME OR BUST: Default fears as Australian banks return to high-risk loans


I noticed a comment above re land tax this supports this view. Its a 30 min video

REAL ESTATE 4 RAN$OM outlines a genuine alternative to the global property speculation that forced so many into debt.

Doubling the pressure, the tax game has become just that, with tax havens a favoured option for the wealthy.

The result – we are taxing the wrong things, causing more problems whilst bankrupting once proud economies. A systemic change is essential if we are to avoid these damaging boom-bust-bailouts.

REAL ESTATE 4 RAN$OM http://vimeo.com/38500767

#113 Guy1 on 03.16.12 at 5:46 am

Here’s an example… if memory/history could be reality…


…and for the political junkies and those who responded to my previous comments a number of weeks back…


#114 Guy1 on 03.16.12 at 5:57 am

Someone very badly ‘edited’ the last link/clip I mentioned in my previous comment… Please ignore it, and see the following untouched original version instead…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vow6I1fV4q4&feature=related (part 1)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEWXVx1kfiI&feature=related (part 2)

#115 Aussie Roy on 03.16.12 at 6:03 am


Yes I know some are not interested in the Aussie articles.

Do yourself a favour spend 30mins watching this video, yes it’s listed above but deserves its own entry. It’s such a great piece that about RE speculation that even the delusional should understand it – well they should?..

REAL ESTATE 4 RAN$OM http://vimeo.com/38500767

#116 Kip on 03.16.12 at 6:08 am

This just in from Detroit.

Nine month-old Delric Miller IV was killed this morning as a result of a drive-by shooting on the 8000 block of Greenview street on Detroit’s west side. It happened around 4:00 a.m. on Monday.

We’re just two months into the new year, and the murder rate is already soaring.

Love to live there!

A few days ago, a 52-year-old ticket collector at the Dupont subway station in Toronto was shot in the chest and neck at point blank range as he sat in his booth. People are people. — Garth

#117 JW on 03.16.12 at 6:09 am

Garth, I have an idea for a TV show….

Don’t you think Bob Rennie would make the perfect Simpsons character? The episode would star a slick Rennie as the guy who sells Mr Burns new luxury condo development “Springfield Gateway” next to the nuclear power plant.

Poor Homer falls for it hard. He goes all-in on second property, buying a 2 bed plus den with the free granite upgrade for 0% down. Rennie is later killed off by an angry mob of HAM students that were sold on the development from Rennie’s dubious internet sales video that showed nothing but lush and greenery.

#118 Deb on 03.16.12 at 6:46 am

So it has come to this. The other day, Garth found it necessary to remind us that this is his blog, and we are his guests. I do hope that this message serves its intended purpose. It reminds me of something Alan Fotheringham said some time ago when he suggested that there are three things which require improvement in the Canadian discourse: manners, humour, and common sense.

#119 Kip on 03.16.12 at 7:27 am

“A few days ago, a 52-year-old ticket collector at the Dupont subway station in Toronto was shot in the chest and neck at point blank range as he sat in his booth. People are people. — Garth”

Do you really want to compare crime rates in Toronto to Detroit, the most murderous city in America? Toronto is not even close.

I’m sure the ticket collector thought so, too. — Garth

#120 Steve on 03.16.12 at 7:41 am

“Vancouver may not be screwed yet, but there’s a whole lot of hot foreplay going on.”

Garth, I am in awe of your communication skills. How long does it take to dream up sentences like that?

#121 Charles Ponzi on 03.16.12 at 7:43 am

We would have fewer problems with land bubbles if only we had land value tax.


#122 WHY ME on 03.16.12 at 7:55 am

Please stop scaring me Garth. Since early 2009 I am now a nervous wreck, no thanks to you.
I libe in fear of a housing bubble because you said so. What do you sell for me to stop fearing?

#123 Onion on 03.16.12 at 8:02 am

I think the Onion says it best:

#124 househornyhousewife on 03.16.12 at 8:03 am


I just saw the story on the news about that student (well most likely it was his parents) who bought that little bungalow in north Toronto for 1.1 million, along with the story that in Vancouver the prices have gone up by 2% etc. etc.

Why are people getting so pissed off about this ? If I lived around there and it took me a million dollars in order to find a shitty bungalow, I would be running towards the border (provincial, of course). Anyone willing to get themselves into that kind of debt trouble for a crappy piece of real estate is just plain stupid and deserves the consequences. I don’t understand why people who want to raise a family and pay a decent price for a place don’t simply rent while they look for jobs elsewhere and then move out of the city that threatens to enslave them. This is what I did and I have NEVER regretted it (on the contrary, I am grateful I was smart enough in my youth to make this wise decision).

As for the herd effect, this has indeed always amazed me. Your blog today on the condo thing, which is the most assinine thing I have ever seen … lining up like this was some sort of boxing day sale or something, as opposed to a transaction worth lots of money which should be entered into only after actually looking at what you’re getting. But this is the way kids are raised these days .. I mean, look at the equally stupid line up this morning or yesterday just to buy an i-phone or the latest stupid gadget toy that costs hundreds sometimes thousands of dollars that these kids cannot afford (hopefully these are not the same kids that are demanding we pay all of their tuition fees with our taxes).

I personally have nothing against those wrinkly boomers. They earned their money and bought homes when they were cheaper. Now they are looking to cash in. So what ? If these self-entitled 30 somethings were hanging onto those McMansions, as you call them, don’t you think they would be doing the same thing ? You bet they would and perhaps demanding even more.

It’s a dog eat dog world out there and you simply have to survive in it any way that you can. Nobody owes you anything. You can be bitter and jealous all you want. It still doesn’t change the situation so get over it !


We carried that story last week. Pray for CTV. — Garth

#125 TurnerNation on 03.16.12 at 8:14 am

Norway is moving closer to a housing bubble as the central bank’s strategy of cutting interest rates to weaken the krone spurs credit growth and bloats property values.

A day after Norway’s financial regulator said the biggest domestic threat to the economy comes from an overheated property market as borrowers bet rates will stay low, Norges Bank Governor Oeystein Olsen on March 14 demonstrated he won’t allow further krone gains by cutting the bank’s main interest rate a quarter of a percentage point to 1.5 percent.


#126 Realtors in a panic on 03.16.12 at 8:22 am

Why else do worried out of work realtors come here on garths blog if Sales and the RE market was doing well? I Continue driving in the annex, forest hill and all the way up to young and Sheppard and all you see is unsold houses with the odd sold sign from two months ago. These were once hot areas now sit frozen and this with the best winter. Realtors are in a panic as well as maxed out sellers who face going bankrupt unless they find a sucker/greater fool.

#127 TurnerNation on 03.16.12 at 8:35 am

Toronto: condo projects named ‘This is London’ and ‘Malibu’.

Really? In California do they name their projects Toronto?

In London UK is there a ‘This is Toronto’?

Hardly. Toronto is a wannabe “World Class City”.

#128 Halifornia on 03.16.12 at 8:36 am

Halifax is different! Ships start here.

#129 Nate on 03.16.12 at 8:39 am

Some say he speaks his mind and tries to put some sense in peoples heads about real estate, all we know he is called Garth.

Garth you are like the Jeremy Clarkson of real estate. You say it like it is. There should be more people like you. Good Job.

#130 Junius on 03.16.12 at 9:01 am

#89 Phil,

The chart at #69 pretty much says it all. Looks like we are headed towards record levels at the current rate.

And you don’t prefer any numbers that disturb your denial.

#131 Steven Rowlandson on 03.16.12 at 9:20 am

And if you’re looking for a beautiful, new, rambling granite-and-stainless clad Boomer McMansion overlooking the ocean or sidling up to a golf course full of hideous wrinkly people, then come to Vancouver Island for a boffo choice. In fact, in the small communities of Qualicum and Parksville there are about 120 of them for sale between $600,000 and a million. But don’t hurry. Almost nothing is selling. In Victoria, you can pick trough 123 properties listed for around a million. Listed, but lifeless.

I expect those properties will be a hard sell.
The whole theory behind trade in real estate in such areas is that there are retirees that will sell high some where else and move to places like parksville or comox and buy a retirement home. That really only works if there are enough highly paid people willing and able to buy out the retirees who want to move to places like parksville. At some point the supply of greater fools and rich people must dry up and trigger a reality check.

#132 Q on 03.16.12 at 9:30 am

knowing BR and his marketing tactics…I do have to aplaud him on this latest bit of BS hype. Who else would be brazen enough to employ rules at a riot they are attempting to create? Have to say that it would be amusing if after all the hype and BS, people suddenly awoke from their self delusional trance and neglected to show up…imagine poor old BR and his crew of ex Howe street humpers, standing in front of the BCTV cameras looking desperately for customers……now that would be news worthy….and quite funny.

#133 Peter on 03.16.12 at 10:02 am


Much of what you say is true, but it is too late to return to a gold standard. That would require confiscation of gold as Roosevelt did and that ain’t gonna happen in todays world. There are other options that would work better but would require a mass awakening by the people and to be honest with you, in our society of “herd thinkers”, what are the chances of that happening?

#134 Daisy Mae on 03.16.12 at 10:21 am

“We’re herd animals. We like clotting into groups because the company gives us confidence and reinforces our actions…”


The ‘herd mentality’ is even evident on our highways. Ever notice how motorists travel in clumps — driving at breakneck speed to catch up to each other? Then, they all hit a red light…..

Quite amusing.

#135 not 1st on 03.16.12 at 10:47 am

#82 terces

You are thinking of Gwyn Morgan who was a former head of Encana. Gwyn Dyer is a long time reporter/columnist for papers the Toronto Star etc.

#136 C on 03.16.12 at 10:54 am

The biggest argument people make about why Carney should not raise interest rates is because it will hurt Canadian manufacturers.

On the flip side by keeping the BOC rate at 1%, there are three major cons to the Canadian economy:

1) a weaker dollar than would be otherwise resulting in higher costs for energy/food/necessities. Also a lower Loonie makes luxuries more expensive than they would be such as cars, trips, Ipods, on and on.
2) clearly the second big negative about lower rates than what should be is the worlds biggest housing bubble. We all know the negatives associated with that.

3) you are killing savings with a paltry low rate. This affects conservative investors (seniors) and also destroys potential savings which is healthy for long term economic prosperity. You are following Greenspans mantra that low rates will force people to either raise their risk or take on more debt. More debt is the clear winner in Canada. Nice job Carney.

So carnival Carney you are doing your part helping Canadian manufacturers with a lower loonie. But you are whacking Canadians with an overall lower standard of living with skyrocketing costs of living for gasoline, food, day to day necessities, and potentially luxury goods. You are crimping Canadian’s standard of living by fuelling a massive housing bubble, and you are crushing those who have saved or are trying to save and stick with a lower risk profile.

You are a smart guy Carney so you know what’s going on. The fact you have kept rates at 1% is a complete joke! WE have a friggin massive housing bubble!!! Wake up?!? We are not in March 2009, there is no justification to keep rates this low.

It boils down to the fact that you are a former Goldman Sachs dude and are clipped from the same cloth as all central bankers. Your goals do not align with the common good of Canadians.

Do the right thing Carney. It’s already too late but better late than never right???

When this sucker pops and it looks like it could be close, you will be looked upon as a failure, much like bubbles Greenspan is. You can warn all you want but the bottom line is you are Canada’s bartender. Keep the good times rolling!

What are you going to do if we get into another deep recession? YOu have nowhere to cut to? 0%? You should be raising rates now at least to 1.5% to 2.5%.

#137 45north on 03.16.12 at 10:56 am

JW: Bob Rennie would make the perfect Simpsons character? The episode would star a slick Rennie as the guy who sells Mr Burns new luxury condo development “Springfield Gateway” next to the nuclear power plant.

love it

#138 Van guy on 03.16.12 at 11:00 am


Go to,


Inventory is at a 11 year high for this time of year. And sales are at a pace that will be 25% less than last year. So inventories will pile up and it wI’ll make summer-winter an interesting story.

#139 John Prine on 03.16.12 at 11:01 am

#131 Steven I expect those properties will be a hard sell.
The whole theory behind trade in real estate in such areas is that there are retirees that will sell high some where else and move to places like parksville or comox and buy a retirement home. That really only works if there are enough highly paid people willing and able to buy out the retirees who want to move to places like parksville. At some point the supply of greater fools and rich people must dry up and trigger a reality check.
We have been looking in the Qualicum/Parksville area for over a year. Been receiving real estate notices for houses between $400 to $600K as they come on the market. We added houses between $350 to $400K last year and only received a few a week, they are now as frequent as the more expensive listings. Most new on the market are recognizable as they were listed all last year.

Having second thoughts about Qualicum after a visit several months ago, the median age there may be 61 but it sure feels like 81, it seems like there must have been a big influx there 20 years ago but not any younger replacing them as they move on. We want to be in a “mixed age” neighbourhood so are looking at other locations as well. The taxes there are, like Courtenay’s, much higher than the surrounding municipalities.

#140 truth hammer on 03.16.12 at 11:02 am

#104 UK lad…agree totally..Vandump way over hyped. I am reminded of a scene from a movie calle Midnight Exprees where a bunch of crazy convicts were made to walk around a stone pillar in a dark dungeon whenevr I see the bored and desperate walking numbly around the sea wall for inspiration.

Hey …just like the main character in that movie who breaks free from the mind numbing conditioning of the prison a few of us have turned around and fled.

Vanpooper has no cafr culture, no theater, no cool places to hang out, no social scene. no vibe, no museums , no galleries, no cool music venues, no artist quarter, no architecture of note, no indie scene , no street scene, no cool walks, no nice sea front cafe’s or restaurants, no shopping, no decent transpo………it’s a laundry mat for escapee’s and losers.

The fact that tourism BC, the hotel groups, real estate boards can pay any outside magazine to print ‘we’re number 1’….and best place in the world’….is all just nonsense advertising that has the braindead locals desperatley trying to hold on to beacause of the big hole in their real lives.

You want to know whats really on the minds of the locals? Watch the hockey riots….thats a social movement zeitgeist in full manifesation. Vancrapper is a bunghole ready to explode and thats why the ‘rat on the rioters’ campaign was so neccessary for the shitty hall dweebs to contain…..damage control of the huge fallacy of a happy population of disenfranchised slaves. Instead…do what Stalin did….arrest them all.

Now that the Libs have floated the BC Gulag Archipeligo concept of shipping all the undesirables out of sight into BC’s Siberia ( thats right next to Prince George) …we are seeing a glimpse into what the leadership really thinks about the effect of the ‘we’re # 1 campaign.

There is nothing for the people of BC to stand up for…with that ..the population control is gone. Some countries do it through tribal affiliation or flag waving what has BC got……not hockey fans thats for sure……they’ll either be in jail or sent off to the Gulag.

Now how are the Vandump police going to contain all these angry locals and keep them away from the wealthy speculators who have stolen their future? What of the political fallout against the government that engineered the rape of the Canadian dream?

#141 Canadian Watchdog on 03.16.12 at 11:17 am

Scuttlebutt is, F’s upcoming budget will stop Canadian banks from posting mortgages insured by CMHC as collateral and create legislation giving covered bond holders senior creditor status in the event of any bankruptcy. (Why would bondholders be concerned about safe Canadian banks going bankrupt? That’s interesting…)

Today’s Canadian securities net flow figures confirms again that foreign direct investment is leaving Canada. http://i43.tinypic.com/11ay35y.png

This is a major problem.

#142 carol on 03.16.12 at 11:20 am

Thanks 1st and Thing and Hosencal , i know that horizonal drilling can suck the oil miles away.Is that what you mean by drainage?
Learn something new from this blog everyday

#143 eaglebay - Parksville on 03.16.12 at 11:21 am

#75 Victor on 03.16.12 at 12:15 am
“Ottawa urged to take concrete steps to limit growing consumer debt.”
Who’s this Mr Alexander?
He would make a good bureaucrat.
Instead of complicated bureaucratic measures all that needs to be done is to remove CMHC from the housing business.
Let free enterprise take over, problem solved.

#144 Van guy on 03.16.12 at 11:26 am

This is a conversation from a realtor on his blog. Like I have posted before, there are several hot spots in Van. White people are buying, not so much HAM.

March 15th, 2012 at 10:30 pm


don’t have the numbers at hand but I am hearing about multiples. I’m also hearing about a lot of listings with empty open houses. It is very spotty. Some neighbourhoods seem to be on fire and others are dead.

#145 eaglebay - Parksville on 03.16.12 at 11:33 am

#87 earlymidlifecrisis on 03.16.12 at 12:48 am
“BTW- exactly how racist does one have to be on this blog before they are deleted? There’s one or two around here that must be close.”
What’s your definition of a racist?
Are you confusing facts with racism perhaps?

#146 Hicksville Alberta on 03.16.12 at 11:40 am

A quite simple solution to dampening speculation in residential type real estate could easily be a surcharge capital tax on second homes purchased and/or the financing of same with the proceeds to be paid into the Federal and respective Provincial coffers.

That way the H, F, C crowd could keep interest rates at zirp and continue to cream the savers as they are wont to do and still allow interest rates to be otherwisw managed to their whim.

Targeted taxation on other than incomes (for a change) may be somewhat more digestible to the remaining tax factory slaves.

Might be an interesting and rewarding experiment that knocks enough off the froth off unrealisitc prices and enable real people to have a chance over time to actually purchase a home and have some kind of future.

#147 Harlee on 03.16.12 at 11:55 am

#111 Guy1
I felt like I was in the “Twilight Zone” when I visited Vancouver in early Feburary. My friends out there aren’t quite as optimistic about the economy as they were a year ago. Flying out of B.C. always feels like one is emerging from another dimension. It’s a nice enough big city,but weird. Maybe they are finally going to have to deal with reality now. I’m hoping that they’re realizing that fundamentals have to be dealt with.
I too enjoy Rod Serling’s “Twilight Zone” series. The early TV series generally had a little more depth in theme and story-telling than what is dished out now.You realize,of course, that I’m only praising your post because… I don’t want to be wished out to the cornfield.:-)

#148 Jimmy on 03.16.12 at 12:14 pm

#127 ….absolutely right….I always wonder what these moron developers are thinking naming condos after cities or places that have nothing to do with Toronto… to sell these garbage units to some sucker or young fool is alot easier if you can make them think their condo is right in the middle of London or Malibu (minus the ocean and beach!) …LOL …..Toronto is so freakin LAME

#149 yound & foolish on 03.16.12 at 12:19 pm

Austerity measures will probably be followed by lay-offs, deleveraging, and lower spending on all sorts of things. Including those things or services your company is selling. It may even cost you your bonus, if not your job.

It’s hard to be optimistic about the coming change of direction.

#150 Pr on 03.16.12 at 12:31 pm

…And we haven’t ever heard what F has in store for us yet… This man most start to feel the heat!

#151 OkanaganInvestor on 03.16.12 at 12:41 pm

#87 earlymidlifecrisis on 03.16.12 at 12:48 am
The cbc series is looking at the other side of fence now.


That’s a good article. I thought the poster’s comment below was especially relevant to what some have been asking on this site:

Doctor R
at 9:07 PM ET

“As lawyers often ask “Qui Bono?”- who benefits?

One poster asked why foreign buyers are able to come here and inflate the prices of condos and houses while Canadians are priced out of the market.

So who is making money?

If you are a realestate developer, you benefit from having money flooding into the market- whom you sell to is inconsequential, provided you are making a profit.

And why do governments not pass legislation to prevent this from happening, so that the interests of Canadians are protected?

Who gives large donations to political parties?

Here in B.C. it’s developers.

Why do you think B.C. got the Olympics?

Who made money from that? The people who built the facilities did- at taxpayers’ expense.

Why are your schools and hospitals overcrowded? Why are the courts so backed up? What have paramedical services been cut back?

Why can’t the government manage to run these public services properly?

Overpriced houses and poorly run social services are part of the same pattern of behaviour by a government that’s more concerned with selling off B.C.- and selling out its citizens- than raising corporate tax rates or preventing offshore buying of property.

And still people will vote them back in, while blaming teachers and nurses for government shortfalls…”

#152 maxx on 03.16.12 at 12:48 pm

#20 John on 03.15.12 at 9:23 pm

Yikes!!…..this man does write well. What a pleasure to read. Your observations and commentary are very au fait. Keep ’em coming.

#153 maxx on 03.16.12 at 12:53 pm

#27 mid-Ontario on 03.15.12 at 9:42 pm

Wait for it.
RE is morphing from speculator sport to spectator sport.

#154 VICTORIA TEA PARTY on 03.16.12 at 12:54 pm


The guts of the US economic system, as repesented by the US 10-year bond yield, finds itself at an interesting intersection of sorts on Friday.

In the past week or two yields have rocketed up by about 14 per cent to the low 2.20s from the high 1.90s.

Translated into Plain English, foreign investors, and some domestics, are bailing from the US treasury markets and parking their dough in US dollar cash, and raw resources…for now.

The reason? They don’t trust the Obamaites, Wall Street, the Fed and the rest of those inglorious swines who brought us 2008 and are busy bringing us 2000 and you fill in the rest of our financial date with destiny.

The bond market is tanking.

When will it untank?

Who knows?

But one knows this is serious because of the body language displayed by the knaves hosting various CNBC shows this date. They look entirely uncomfortable talking about the 10 year going to 2.5 and beyond. But they stop short of predicting out loud whether more money printing by the US, QE3, will need to occur to “stabilize” a system so wracked with debt and incompetent leadership that it should scare the whatever out of the rest of us!

Interest rates are, therefore, starting to climb.

Even the Canadian bond market is getting the backwash from what’s shakin’ south of the line.


It means higher mortgage rates, REAL SOON, because they are driven by the long end of the market, to wit, the 10 year bond and beyond.

Mr. Flaherty’s budget minions and pencil sharpeners will be working a long weekend making some juggles here and there,I’m sure.

A collapsing bond market, a market that is magnitudes larger than all stock markets everywhere combined, is a REAL PROBLEM.

This should be interesting.

#155 Makaya on 03.16.12 at 1:06 pm

Garth is one of the people that deny the destabilizing effect of Chinese immigration on the Real Estate market in Vancouver, and now in Toronto.

Since it’s impossible to discuss about this issue without being called a racist, let a Chinese newspaper explains us how it works and what the scale/impact is…

China ‘wealth exodus’ underestimated

I think the article says it all…

Actually the article says: “Last month, Legal Evening News, a Beijing metropolis daily, said 10 billion yuan ($1.57 billion) has found its way abroad annually since 2009. The figure was based on the investor emigration requirement and the number of investor emigrants publicized by the governments of the United States, Canada and Australia.” Wow, $1.5 billion in the last 4 years divided between three countries of which we are one. The Van real estate market alone has $20 billion per year in sales. I rest my case. You are prejudiced. — Garth

#156 maxx on 03.16.12 at 1:06 pm

#33 Shameless on 03.15.12 at 10:04 pm

MSM and RE cartel spin cause far more instability to your buck’s investment than well chosen equities. “Controlling” your home investment is a myth and frankly, the notion is very disingenuous- what of interest rate increases, municipal tax increases, condo fee and special assessment increases, insurance and maintenance increases?…against the backdrop of declining values. Wait until the budgets come out and the boomers de-fog and realize that cost of living will take a huge bite out of their diminishing “nest eggs”.

#157 Daisy Mae on 03.16.12 at 1:21 pm

#73 CITY SLICKER: “…think axing 30 amorts is a certainty.”


Wonder how the ‘cons’ are going to explain the decision to put the amortization rate back to what it always was — working beautifully for many, many years until the ‘the economist’ and F tampered with it? Will be very, very interesting….

#158 Ralph Cramdown on 03.16.12 at 1:33 pm

I always wonder what these moron developers are thinking naming condos after cities or places that have nothing to do with Toronto

Hey, “European style” sells shampoo, cars, coffee, chocolate, salons, spas, vodka et cetera. Why should condos be any different? Just another aspirational consumer good.

#159 eagle eyes on 03.16.12 at 1:46 pm

The five stages of grief:
1. Denial
2. Anger
3. Bargaining
4. Depression
5. Acceptance

Greedy sellers in the Lower Mainland is going through the first 2 stages:
1. Denial – No house prices are not going down. Activity is balanced. 1m HAM have been issued visas and will want to buy. Spring market is around the corner.
2. Anger – Doomers are just jealous. They are renters who are losers cause they didn’t buy.

#160 Wage Slave on 03.16.12 at 1:47 pm

62 not 1st on 03.15.12 at 11:28 pm:

Great link, thanks for posting.

#161 mad vancouver on 03.16.12 at 1:55 pm

Garth, what do you think of this?


#162 Westernman on 03.16.12 at 2:02 pm

Ship @ # 109,
Let’s hope he’s just starting… I wish him the best of luck at trimming the dead and decaying entrails of the Canadian ” Civil Service ” as they like to disengeniously refer to themselves…

#163 Lorne on 03.16.12 at 2:21 pm

Finally, a TD economist speaks out…a bit!


#164 Losing faith on 03.16.12 at 2:41 pm

So… I have always thought long before this blog that things are unsustainable, but as house after house sells for ridiculous amounts in Toronto… I can’t help but lose faith that all will be ok with the world. Speculators are nervous and yet they sell way above asking. Why do people even bother using agents now when obviously there are some bidding wars and you could save yourself 6%! I just don’t get it. Others are buying and not moving in for months and not worried about selling their existing homes… Just crazy. I equate it to apple. I was an early adopter of apple products… But now I’m over it. I also wouldn’t wait in line to buy a product. There are many disadvantages that people don’t see unless you are a heavy user like me. I don’t want to change my phone as often… But some people change homes as often as they change socks. Yes, home ownership is creating huge amounts of stress for some people who have taken on more then they can afford… But for others, who couldn’t hold down any other type of work.. Flipping homes has proven hugely profitable. My concern is not that the flippers make $$$ but rather people who
Bought their homes 30 years ago won’t be able to stay in them after this years mpac assessment. It’s like a car, maybe you can afford to but a Ferrari, but can you afford the upkeep? Brakes, insurance, gas, repairs…. How many people can keep up the lifestyle that these house prices command? Even when the house is paid off… At the rate of price increases…. The upkeep costs are just too high. I will not line up for a house or a phone… Or a shoe sale for that matter. I figured out my wants versus needs.. And time is money… And not moving all the time might actually save money when you calculate the true costs of what people are doing… People are of a herd mentality and I personally might invest in the low when I know the herd will foll

#165 Losing faith on 03.16.12 at 2:43 pm

Sorry… Long post… I’ll sit on the sidelines and watch… Should be amusing in the future.. Eventually

#166 Losing faith on 03.16.12 at 2:49 pm

#149… I remember when a condo went up on Dixie in Mississauga, and they advertised it as I believe “the Capri” with a view of the ocean… Lol! It’s Mississauga with no view… GTA buyers will fall for anything. Someone I know dipped a condo there for profit and I still giggle when I drive by.

#167 Junius on 03.16.12 at 2:51 pm


It turns out that immigrants are fleeing our cities. I would say you should re-think your theory but we both know you won’t do that.


#168 TRT on 03.16.12 at 2:52 pm

Get ready to pay more for Telecom-Cable-Internet!!

The Conservatives hands are tied as are any other political parties. Bell is buying Astral Media. We will have the highest Media concentration in the western world!!! The phone companies will own most of the radio and tv stations as well as newspapers, magazines etc. Good luck getting anything but propaganda.

Any gov that wants to come to power in the future will need to:

1) cater policies to Bell, Rogers, Telus. Otherwise, you are gonna get unfavorable press coverage and the uneducated sheep will buy it. The recent telecom decision indicates this. You can’t piss off the Big 3 if you want to stay in politics

2) cater to large corps.

3) give companies more access to the police in order to protect against ‘defamation’. Maybe bashing companies will be punishable by fines/jail time in the near future.

Resist or join them?? Can’t seem to get rid of that altruistic gene…lol

#169 Losing faith on 03.16.12 at 2:53 pm

#150 the banks have taken away bonuses to their employees for the second year in a row and one of the banks in finally laying off people after trying hard to keep the faith that the economy will turn around. More work, less money, less spending

#170 Losing faith on 03.16.12 at 2:54 pm

Excuse the spelling in my iPhone :(

#171 Blacksheep on 03.16.12 at 2:58 pm

Midas #8,

Garth’s past comments on a gold standard, are correct.

A real, gold standard [fiat backed by gold] will never happen again. Period. The ability to print has allowed
the US to live way beyond it’s means for, 40 years.

Greece is a currency user, while the US, is a currency issuer, night and day difference. Greece is forced to
handle finances like a private house hold. The US being a sovereign in control, can print as much as required to operate, as we have just seen them do.

It’s called MMT and it’s how our monetary system


Is this an unfair, inflationary tax on the citizens?
Of coarse, but no one should expect life to be fair.
Is gold, money ? Of coarse. What other “commodity”
is held by multiple Central Banks, globally? What’s is
being guarded in Fort Knox Depository and Federal Reserve Bank of New York? Oil, potash, or uranium? Please. Foreign currencies are just more fiat.


The reason the “system” opposes one holding PM bullion, is there is nothing in it for them. No control. No taxes applied. No bank fees. No paper trail, at lesser amounts. No management fees. No illegal actions to pursue. Most importantly, no single, counterparty risk.

I no longer waste energy, debating gold’s value or role.
Just my opinion, and yes, I know what they say about opinions.

Oh…Congrats on nailing the RE thing Garth. It’s early still, so lets hope no one changes the frig’in rules again, like in 2008.

take care,

#172 Ronaldo on 03.16.12 at 2:59 pm

#132 Steven – agree. 20 yrs ago there was quite an influx of retirees from Alberta and other points east that relocated to the Okanagan. These people are now in their 80’s and are looking at unloading their McMansions which are priced at more than twice what they paid for back then.

It’s these same people wanting to dump their properties that will assist in the decline of prices since for them to drop the price down 50 big ones if desperate to sell in a bad market as in 2008, will not be a big deal.

IMO, I don’t see the Boomers being a big influence on prices for several years yet. Most, as I and many in my age group, plan to live in their homes for several more years yet. The problems of condo living, in particular, apartment and townhouse condos, are well known amongst this group and not many are in any rush to jump into these. Townhome condominiums, a different story. In Vernon, on a particular street that was one of the most desirable for retirees relocating there, I counted 13 for sale signs in a two block distance. “Signs” of things to come. Definately on the downward slide.

After the top in 94, the market died there for 10 years after dropping by over 20%. Many projects were left uncompleted due to overbuilding, half sold and boarded up. Took in excess of 4 years to sell them off and greatly discounted prices. Developers actually continued to build and sold units off at cost just to get rid of the land they were sitting and paying taxes on.

This helped to drive the prices down as well. We will see the same happen in other areas of the country. Having lived in Vancouver in the early 70’s I remember well how quickly the real estate market can dry up. We thought it would go up forever back then too. Same in the 80’s. The cycle repeats. Just takes a bit longer sometimes. Just be patient. No rush to buy yet.

#173 Devore on 03.16.12 at 3:04 pm

#86 phil

Some stats here http://vancouvercondo.info/2012/03/big-mortgage-blow-out-sale.html#comment-148218

Lots of different stats coming in daily and monthly at VCI and their related sites.

#174 wendy on 03.16.12 at 3:12 pm

Housing bubble a danger to economy, TD says.
Heres a link to that article!

#175 Van guy on 03.16.12 at 3:25 pm


“Oh…Congrats on nailing the RE thing Garth. It’s early still, so lets hope no one changes the frig’in rules again, like in 2008.”

They’re trying. At least in BC. $10,000 credit for a first time home buyer on a new home.

#176 VICTORIA TEA PARTY on 03.16.12 at 3:26 pm

#159 eagle eyes

Your comment is subject to interpretation, nay criticism:

“…Anger – Doomers are just jealous. They are renters who are losers cause they didn’t buy.”

As home prices rise, and pay doesn’t keep pace, something’s got to break at some point in any local market.

These so-called “doomers” may not be able to afford stupendous housing prices, for whatever reason.

Therefore they must hang on for the real estate ride of the century that many of us believe is in the throes of occurring.

I say to renters, wait; you could well be the “seeds” of renewed housing markets once the old ones have crumbled in on themselves buried by piles of debt and hubris, a toxic mix if ever.

While all that is ongoing, also keep a weather eye out for international interest rates (rising), Europe (in recession/depression — it’s the largest single trading bloc and harbours possible horrible economic ramifications for all), CNBC’s back ‘n’ fill market apologists, and the next federal budget (Canada).

At some point something must break in our towns.

It’s the catalyst for which I anxiously await.

Lots of ’em, but just one may do the trick and shove the whole real estate deal off a cliff near you.

#177 I'm stupid on 03.16.12 at 3:28 pm

Well that was a waste of 1500 words. — Garth

Too funny.

#178 maxx on 03.16.12 at 3:29 pm

#43 Narrowgate on 03.15.12 at 10:23 pm

Tony Roma had it in one: …and I say “bet the other way”.

#179 I'm stupid on 03.16.12 at 3:32 pm

#117 Kip

As long as you don’t go to bad neighborhoods your fine. If you sell drugs, gang bang or pimp you might get yourself killed. Random acts of violence can happen anywhere at anytime. It is no different in Canada or the USA.

#180 MikeB on 03.16.12 at 3:42 pm

So far I see zero signs of RE implosion in Toronto or GTA.
Rather than speculate just look at the graphs on guava.ca.
Days on the market are near record lows of 22 days.
Months of inventory a smidge above 2 months compared to 2009 at 5.5 months and 2011 at 2.3 months. GTA sales up by over 10% from 2011 but only slightly lower than the record of 2010. In January inventory was the lowest reported by guava…about 11000 compared to over 20,000 in 2009. But the most telling stats are average price and median price, both well above record highs of 2011. Average price is a bit over 10% from 2011. Median price is around 10.5% higher than 2011. Unless someone pulls the plug on low mortgage rates by a sizeable amount then I see no relief in sight for GTA house prices. But not everything is selling.. Overpriced or very poorly maintained houses always sit while lower than market priced homes sell for multiple offers over asking … essentially above market value.

Higher prices mean higher risk. They do not mean more higher prices. How is this difficult to comprehend? — Garth

#181 Debtfree on 03.16.12 at 3:54 pm

@134 Peter. the confiscation of gold by the US gov. never happened . It’s a goldbug myth . You should start a new myth .. lets see . The US gov is going to confiscate all gold and silver filled teeth . That should keep you guys with some to keep your mouth shut. There by not driving garth and real investors crazy trying to explain it over and over and over .

#182 maxx on 03.16.12 at 3:55 pm

#81 NorthOf49 on 03.16.12 at 12:37 am

“TOO LATE all the good houses are already gone.”
That is the most blatant line of realtard intimidation BS ever. The one thing I can swear to from experience is: each and every season over the past 30 years, excellent properties have kept coming onto the market. The one you may be looking at today is most definitely NOT the last one. It is not “TOO LATE” and the good houses are not “already gone”, just getting more negotiable. You, dear blog dawgs, collided with a very bitter realtard, most likely watching her income drop daily. Stand firm. As for the realtard and others like it, suck it up, your real training is just beginning and you’d better make nice with buyers!

#183 Junius on 03.16.12 at 3:58 pm

#169 TRT,

Good comment on Bell buying Astral. Another sad day in Canada as the media further consolidates. More coming soon. Another big one will be announced soon.

The regulators at the CRTC and the Anti-Competition bureau now have to deal with companies who are too big to control. So short sighted.

#184 Debtfree on 03.16.12 at 4:03 pm

and peter when the myth got started they were still on the gold standard . Did you know that gold is not the most precious of the PMs ? Please give Garth a break . Can you gold bugs not see by the lack of responses from him today that he is out of crayons.

#185 Canadian Watchdog on 03.16.12 at 4:10 pm

#156 Makaya

I believe there are more reasons why Asians are primarily targeted as primary buyers. One reason could be due to domestic sales declining leaving what appears to be more Asian buyers.

#186 Bigrider on 03.16.12 at 4:20 pm

7 billion people on the face of the earth right now. 2 Billion of them are asians and they all want to make love to real estate.

Think about that one for a moment.

#187 Ralph Cramdown on 03.16.12 at 4:23 pm

Late afternoon on Friday the 16th, and still no mid-month figures from TREB? But they’re usually so prompt!

#188 Blacksheep on 03.16.12 at 4:50 pm

Links broken in last post.


Video # 1&2

take care

#189 JC on 03.16.12 at 5:10 pm

Marine Gateway (Rules of the Game)… the game being “Forward to Termination”.

#190 myjunkisonfire on 03.16.12 at 5:34 pm

#82 terces – Wrong Gwynne Dyer, fella.

#191 Devore on 03.16.12 at 5:37 pm

#169 TRT

Get ready to pay more for Telecom-Cable-Internet!!

The Conservatives hands are tied as are any other political parties. Bell is buying Astral Media. We will have the highest Media concentration in the western world!!! The phone companies will own most of the radio and tv stations as well as newspapers, magazines etc. Good luck getting anything but propaganda.

TELUS owns none (TV, radio, papers, mags), to my knowledge.

But, do prepare to pay more for phone/internet/tv. Also prepare to pay more for taxes, insurance, gas, energy, heating, groceries, transportation, food, and so much more stuff you need every day. In fact, the slice left over after paying mortgage and necessities is looking more like crumbs, than something you can bite into.

#192 Smoking Man on 03.16.12 at 5:48 pm

#72 John G. Young on 03.16.12 at 12:02 am

Very Good,
Was a Copy and paste from google search “sociopath”

#193 Smoking Man on 03.16.12 at 5:50 pm

#90 Mr Buyer on 03.16.12 at 1:00 am
Obiously you own several yellow highlitters.

Challange you to a Code Off and day…….100011010001101

#194 Devore on 03.16.12 at 6:17 pm

#187 Bigrider

7 billion people on the face of the earth right now. 2 Billion of them are asians and they all want to make love to real estate.

Think about that one for a moment.

And 1.99 billion of them make less than a couple thousand a year. They are no more able to buy in Beijing than Toronto.

I am neither going to think about that one, nor am I losing any sleep over it.

#195 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 03.16.12 at 6:43 pm

At last! A direct, scientific correlation has been made between Little Johnny, b-b-q’d spam and Cleopatra (time travel required) . . .
10 Husbands, Still a Virgin

A lawyer married a woman who had previously divorced ten husbands. On their wedding night, she told her new husband,

“Please be gentle, I’m still a virgin.”

“What?” said the puzzled groom. “How can that be if you’ve been married ten times?”

“Well, #1 was a sales representative: he kept telling me how great it was going to be.

“#2 was in software services: he was never really sure how it was supposed to function, but he said he’d look into it and get back to me.

“#3 was from field services: he said everything checked out diagnostically but he just couldn’t get the system up.

“#4 was in telemarketing: even though he knew he had the order, he didn’t know when he would be able to deliver.

“#5 was an engineer: he understood the basic process but wanted three years to research, implement, and design a new state-of-the-art method.

“#6 was from finance and administration: he thought he knew how, but he wasn’t sure whether it was his job or not.

“#7 was in marketing: although he had a nice product, he was never sure how to position it.

“#8 was a psychologist: all he ever did was talk about it.

“#9 was a gynecologist: all he did was look at it.

“#10 was a stamp collector: all he ever did was . . God! I miss him! But now that I’ve married you, I’m really excited!”

“Good,” said the new husband, “but, why?”

“You’re a lawyer. This time I know I’m gonna get screwed!”
#187 Bigrider — “2 Billion of them are asians and they all want to make love to real estate.” — Scary thought! 2 bln. people in Vancouver . . . that’s worse than being in a sardine can!

#196 GregW, Oakville on 03.16.12 at 7:14 pm

Hi Garth, FYI, Some may be interested, tonight at 8pm and Sat/Sun at 5pm on TVO.
John Duffy on the emerging politics of technology
“-Some of you might be intrigued by these developments, while some of you dread a world in which these kinds of technologies will become part and parcel of our daily reality.
-Might these kinds of differences in response to new technologies alter our political culture?
-Our speaker this weekend is John Duffy, a liberal strategist and a principal with Strategy Corp. (It was delivered as part of the Gardiner Museum series which is co-produced by TVO and the Literary Review of Canada).
-Speed of change and the accumulating impact of new technologies have made all knowledge unstable and therefore politically contestable. It is that which leads John Duffy to paint a picture of Western political cultures in which increasingly differing perception of technology will replace the more traditional disagreements about how to manage the economy. The future of politics will become technopolitics and all the stories about new technologies in Ray Kurzweil’s newsletter will become the stuff of future political debates.
-If this subject interest you, you will be well served by tuning in to The Agenda with Steve Paikin tonight at 8:00pm or 11pm to watch John Duffy discuss his thesis with Elizabeth May, the leader of the Green Party of Canada, Darin Barney, Canada Research Chair in Technology & Citizenship, McGill University and Marc Saner, Director, Institute for Science, Society, and Policy, Faculty of Arts, University of Ottawa.”

#197 Blacksheep on 03.16.12 at 7:30 pm

I think Van RE is going down first, GTA will lag, then follow.

take care,

#198 TRT on 03.16.12 at 7:31 pm

#192 devour

Telus isn’t buying media because it is letting Bell do it.

After the spectrum auction next year (which they will get 50%), they will merge. 100% sure of that.

Further, MTS is going to be bought out by ATT or Verizon with or without a partnership with Shaw. Goodbye Mobilicity and Windmobile. 90% sure of this.

I’m loading up on Bce, telus, or Rogers on the next dip. Might as well join them.

#199 Uh Oh Canada on 03.16.12 at 7:31 pm

“Household debt growth over the past decade has been fuelled not as much by credit card borrowing, he said, but largely by loans secured by real estate, in particular home equity lines of credit.

The ratio of debt-to-personal disposable income, which is now above 150 per cent, Alexander predicted, is likely to reach by late next year the 160 per cent peak experienced in the U.S. and the U.K. before their real estate corrections occurred.”


Ah, perhaps the bubble will pop next year?

#200 Makaya on 03.16.12 at 7:51 pm

Actually the article says: “Last month, Legal Evening News, a Beijing metropolis daily, said 10 billion yuan ($1.57 billion) has found its way abroad annually since 2009. The figure was based on the investor emigration requirement and the number of investor emigrants publicized by the governments of the United States, Canada and Australia.” Wow, $1.5 billion in the last 4 years divided between three countries of which we are one. The Van real estate market alone has $20 billion per year in sales. I rest my case. You are prejudiced. — Garth

You conveniently forget other parts of the article…

“Strong demand from Chinese buyers has already pushed up real estate price worldwide. Investors from the Chinese mainland account for between 20 and 40 percent of foreign property investors in Vancouver, Toronto, London and Singapore, according to a report from the real-estate consultancy Colliers International on Feb 28. In Vancouver, the property price has been pushed 9 percent higher in the last year, because of Chinese investors.

Actually, I don’t quite believe the numbers provided in this article (for example: “A detached house usually costs from C$500,000 to CS$600,000 in Vancouver”).

What this article shows though is the high interest Chinese investors had in the Canadian Real Estate. I just simply can’t understand why you and others keep denying the destabilizing effect that foreign money has had on the Vancouver Real Estate market…

#201 Joe_Blown_Away_By_High_Housing_Costs on 03.16.12 at 7:53 pm

4 Must-read Vancouver Sun articles:

1. “$10k home-buyer bonus sure to spur first-timers: mortgage expert”


“The new $10,000 bonus for first-time buyers of new homes will likely help a lot of potential buyers make the leap into the real estate market, a mortgage expert says…I think it will definitely make it easier for people to get into the real estate market and if they’re thinking about it, that might be the deciding factor…A lot of people are surprised at how much they can afford when they actually sit down with someone…McKinley said Vancity also has a “mixer mortgage” where roommates can go together to buy a home they wouldn’t be able to buy otherwise.”

Gee roommates sharing a mortgage…that sounds like it will go well. I used to fight with my roommate over who would wash the dishes.

2. “Spending on homes has been a prudent investment”


“One of the dirty little secrets of financial analysis is that you can “prove” that the very same asset is either expensive or cheap, simply by choosing different yardsticks to measure it. In the debate over Canada’s supposed housing bubble, you can make housing look expensive by looking at how home prices compare with annual incomes or with rents. In both cases, these ratios are now above their long-term aver-ages, suggesting housing is expensive. But you can also make home prices look cheap by comparing today’s aver-age mortgage payment with those of past years. In this case, homes look cheaper than in the past…Matthieu Arseneau, a senior economist with the National Bank, likes mortgage payments as the best yardstick. That’s because the evidence tells him that the rise of interest rates from today’s bargain-basement levels will be moderate. Based on this, he thinks it’s silly to foresee a housing crash, since monthly payments won’t get into distress territory even by the time rates peak in about three years…Most important, interest rates in Canada have stayed exceptionally low for a country that suffered a short, mild recession. But even so, Arseneau doesn’t believe this caused Canadians to borrow imprudently. Indeed, after measuring the extra borrowing capacity the low rates opened up, he notes that Canadians “are playing it safe” by leaving a lot of this potential untapped.”

3. “B.C. housing sales slow for second month”


“Looking ahead, activity will rise marginally in 2012. Recreational markets will receive a boost from the new transitional HST rebate which will pare down standing inventory, while competition between lenders for market share and associated declines in mortgage rates will attract some buyers into the market. The province’s recently announced first-time buyer tax credit of $10,000 should as well.”

4. “Canada housing 10-15 pct over-valued, Vancouver at risk if lending not constrained”


#202 comfortably numb on 03.16.12 at 7:53 pm

#173 Ronaldo – I’m very familiar with Vernon. Lived there, owned businesses there and bought and sold real estate there. Been watching a house in Coldstream (semi waterfront) for over 1.5 years now. Was originally listed for over 1 million, now at 699K. Local realtor Lisa Salt stated on her blog that last year was her worst in 19 years. Love the town but lucky we got out when we did.

#203 eddy on 03.16.12 at 8:01 pm

“almost every government in Canada is in hock”

we don’t have any governments, we have bank employees

#204 GregW, Oakville on 03.16.12 at 8:03 pm

Hi Nastra, I just saw this 10min youtube and thought you might be interested.

“Government Explained”
An inquisitive alien visits the planet to check on our progress as a species, and gets into a conversation with the first person he meets. The alien discovers that we live under the rule of a thing called “government”, and wants to understand more about what “government” is, what it does, and why it exists.
(I believe Garth would have actully do good if he was able to be reelected, I’m sure. Thanks G for trying!)

#205 neo on 03.16.12 at 8:04 pm

The Israeli cabinet today approved an attack on Iran by a vote 8 to 6.

When? Perhaps weeks, perhaps months, but before the November elections is a certainty.

There are over sixty Navy ships en route to Straits of Hormuz.

Enjoy this rally while it lasts.

That said, this isn’t actually the correction that I think will bring the market down for an extented period of time. That one “no one could have seen coming” is still on its way…

Tempus Fugit…


Might as well. The last eight your forecast didn’t arrive. — Garth

#206 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 03.16.12 at 8:05 pm

6:19 clip Top five places not to be in a dollar collapse; Banxters Why are so many jumping ship? Cashless and Euro-free society in Greece (bartering, no tax); 3:24 clip EU committing suicide in banning Iran oil imports; Gay Paree US$10 / gal. gas; 16 SHTF Items to stockpile; Steve Keen on a London credit crisis; Soros “Old MacDonald had a farm. Until the Marxists stepped in, that is.”; 80% not better off under Obomba; Chuck E. Cheese “Why are wild brawls breaking out at Chuck E. Cheese restaurants all over the United States?”; Wall St. Higher oil prices? One Half of Italy’s new sales tax receipts go to Morgan Stanley in New York, and Ugandan Oil; US Fed Is the fed. selling countries’ gold reserves? Mitt Romney is GS.
Smoking Man Here it is; Computer Paranoia Five companies to avoid; NATO provoking Russia; Kandahar “The Pentagon organises the killings of innocent civilians.”; Former dubya official warns against attack, and 7:53 clip; The Chicken or The Egg Which came first? 2:45 clip Mystery meat and poisonous gas, and New logo for USDA; US War Crimes No doubt; NSA and the new spy centre; Guns ‘n’ Dead Roses “More than enough to shoot every living American!” wrh.com. One can understand why gun and ammo sales have rocketed.

#207 Daisy Mae on 03.16.12 at 8:08 pm

In Kelownas’ Real Estate Review I see an ad today: “Ugly houses! Trade Secrets. Top 10 Flip Homes, Profit/expense analysis, tips and coaching FREE!” And it includes an ‘800’ number for info, extension FLIP.

This real estate agency also advertises info re pre-forclosure homes. Same ‘800’ number.


#208 Devore on 03.16.12 at 8:08 pm

#200 Joe_Blown_Away_By_High_Housing_Costs

But you can also make home prices look cheap by comparing today’s aver-age mortgage payment with those of past years. In this case, homes look cheaper than in the past…Matthieu Arseneau, a senior economist with the National Bank, likes mortgage payments as the best yardstick. That’s because the evidence tells him that the rise of interest rates from today’s bargain-basement levels will be moderate.

In times past, no one was paying off their mortgage for 30 years. If you took more than 10, that was considered loserdom. That’s because then your house costs 2 times income, you tighten the belt for a few years and pay that sucker off, no matter what the rates are. Oh, they also put 20%+ down. Anyone maxing themselves out on a 5% down 30 year mortgage today is going to find very little room to make extra payments (and popularity of “skip a payment” mortgage options says a lot), and even if they do, it will make discouragingly little impact.

Monthly payment: the carrot the salesman is waving in front of you. Price is what you pay, value is what you get, and the monthly payment is the difference between the two.

#209 GregW, Oakville on 03.16.12 at 8:09 pm

Hi Nastra, I wonder if the MP’s care about there own families health and will force this to be on the food lables in Canada??? So you can still have a choice!

#210 jess on 03.16.12 at 8:10 pm

and these banks want to be in charge of your money cause they are supposed to be good with money and the paperwork…

… the report concludes that managers were aware of the problems and did nothing to correct them.



Lan T. Pham, Ph.D., Told the CBO the Truth About Mortgage “Securities” and Was Fired for It

…”Letter to Senator Grassley (Feb. 23, 2011) regarding circumstances that led to my firing after 2.5 months by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), particularly my writing about mortgage fraud and its roots in mortgage securitization that CBO sought to deny was a problem.


#211 eaglebay - Parksville on 03.16.12 at 8:22 pm

Smoking Man

100011010001101 is:

#212 Daisy Mae on 03.16.12 at 8:24 pm

#51 PR

“…And we haven’t ever heard what F has in store for us yet… This man must start to feel the heat!”


Actually, he’s working for us. I think we tend to forget that.

#213 The Thing in the Basement on 03.16.12 at 8:34 pm

182 Debtfree – did you find out anything more about the woodlots?

#214 Bend over on 03.16.12 at 8:50 pm

In July, RBC will start charging a $2 fee for personal cheques to clear. Soon, they will impose a ‘walk thru the branch door’ fee. Banks are worse than airlines. Sh!theads.

#215 Daisy Mae on 03.16.12 at 8:53 pm

178 I’m stupid on 03.16.12 at 3:28 pm
“Well that was a waste of 1500 words. — Garth”

Too funny.


LOL Garth is soooo patient with us sometimes!

#216 TurnerNation on 03.16.12 at 8:54 pm

116Aussie Roy on 03.16.12 at 6:03 am

I watched the video. As a fellow British colononist, I know we’ll receive the same treatment. We are both serfs living on Crown land. The Crown wants our money. Little is changed from the dark ages.

#217 Losing faith on 03.16.12 at 9:04 pm

#196… Best joke :)

#218 X on 03.16.12 at 9:06 pm

This low rate environment reminds me of another country a few years ago. Here’s hoping that F is smarter than Greenspan.

#219 John G. Young on 03.16.12 at 10:47 pm

#193 Smoking Man on 03.16.12 at 5:48 pm

“Very Good,
Was a Copy and paste from google search “sociopath””

Hey SM,

Hope this finds you well.
Aw shucks ’tweren’t nothin’ — it’s (part) of what I do for a living.
Everybody has characteristics of various personality disorders — we’re all socipathic/narcissistic/histrionic to some extent. You need to have all, or most of, the characteristics in order to have a diagnosis. And diagnosing yourself is frowned upon (otherwise how would be doctors get paid? ;)
BTW sociopaths/psychopaths usually stabilize/’burn out’ in their forties if they manage to live that long, and I would think it would be very rare for them to ever announce their sociopathy, as it would lessen their perceived advantage. Also, reading your posts, you’ve just never come across as a socipath. My money is still on substance dependence.



#220 Bill Gable on 03.17.12 at 12:58 pm

As expected, last night (Fri) the CTV news outlet had a story on the Bob Rennie dump by the. Breathless with excitement, the airhead covering the story spoke over the ENG, about the hundreds lining up to buy the development.
I wasn’t surprised, because, as usual, if you don’t “get in now” – “you never will”.
Honestly, the lineup had all the appearance of people, huddling to find shelter, from the set of a movie like “Blade Runner”.
These people are straight out, delusional.

I got a call from a friend of my wife, who was nearly beside herself. She is a bright, seemingly worldly Brit., who bought an “investment” in Yaletown, with teaser rate paper, a few years ago. Now, with an unexpected fkat lining if her executive recruitment Business, she is desperate to sell. She has had her Yaletown “investment” staged, and had three Open Houses, and nothing.
I tried my best to calm the poor woman down, as she started to get weepy – “I am beside myself” – what should I do.
I reminded her that I can suggest a few thubgs. Drop the price. Even if your agent fights it, do it.
Then I pointed her here, and told her to connect the dots, leading to a certain bearded Financial guru, and maybe he can give you some help.
I am nothing but a lowly renter, and not qualified to gie anything but my best wishes, in hopes she gets unstuck.

How many other people are in this jackpot?

This is really a scary time to be gambling your fiscal life on a pile of hastily slapped together cage, in Yaketown, or in many other parts of the Dominion.

Wait until interest rates go up, and people actually read their penurious mortgage paper.

I will say it again mort gage – en francias, is “Death Contract”.

Oy vey.

#221 Bill Gable on 03.17.12 at 1:03 pm

Typing on Iphone, apologies…on the fat fingered mistakes on #220 – but you get the idea. Happy St. Patrick’s Day.
It isn’t in Ireland – that is another RE disaster to talk about some other day.

#222 Debt Free and Liquid on 03.17.12 at 2:26 pm

Please advise what “BPOE” is? Thanks. (I am usually pretty good at acronyms but this one escapes me).

#223 bill on 03.17.12 at 5:16 pm

#222 Debt Free and Liquid on 03.17.12 at 2:26 pm

Big Pile Of Excrement

is a common interpretation around here….
I get a great deal of amusement from reading what junius
and others write as they rip him a new one.
you cannot get better entertainment at any price. really a bargain.

#224 John G. Young on 03.17.12 at 6:18 pm

#222 Debt Free and Liquid

“Please advise what “BPOE” is? Thanks. (I am usually pretty good at acronyms but this one escapes me).”

BPOE stands for “Best Place on Earth”.
It’s a reference to Vancouver — which is probably why you couldn’t figure it out.
Vancouver is BPOE?!? LFMAO.

#225 John G. Young on 03.17.12 at 6:18 pm

Oops I meant LMFAO.

#226 Greg Wentzell on 03.17.12 at 6:53 pm

If the US and the world for that matter, comes out of the funk, I don’t think you will see a drastic decrease in Canadian house prices. As you suggest 10 to 15 percent. Then, in my opinion, a rebound to bring us back to square one. Not a great investment as in years gone by but not the end of the world for the purchaser. Besides, renting sucks.