Can’t cure stupid

Jonathan and his wife entertained some out-of-town friends in downtown Vancouver this past weekend. “We strolled around the False Creek and the Yaletown area before the Canucks game,” he says. “Outside one of the waterfront towers was an agent, so we chatted with him for a minute.  The unit he was showing that day had been on the market I think for over 2 years, never lived in, bought at 1.3 million, current price 1.0.  He said the owner has a 2.0 million unit in the building next door, same deal never lived in, bought on pure speculation, can’t sell it.”

Concludes Jon: “It’s amazing how many stupid people have lots and lots of money.”

Meanwhile in Toronto, some arresting news about glass spires full of boxes. In the first two months of the year condo sales plunged by 59%, even as work progressed on more than 100 new towers across the GTA. This comes on top of an overall drop in housing sales of almost 30% last month, and 24.8% for the first two months of 2012.

This is precisely the danger this tedious blog has bleated on about, month after tortuous month. House horniness has led to a surge in supply, while price escalation and debt fatigue have whacked buyers. The average SFH in 416 is now a withering $840,000. The average GTA home is $502,000. In Vancouver – where sales are also tanking – half a mill buys you a seedy garage and all the used condoms you’ll ever need. Hell, sales are falling in Calgary, where they labour under the delusion that oil prices grease real estate.

Even the rich people are zonked.

For example, here’s the Ritz Carlton, that swishy, pointy thing thrusting its way up in downtown Toronto. There’s a five-star hotel below, and luxury condos above which were supposed to break the $1,000-per-foot barrier, turning Hogtown into a veritable Paris-on-the-Don.

Well, forget that.

Since marketing started in the summer of 2011, there have been a mere seven sales. There’s now a 2.5-year supply of unsold units on MLS, amid universal suspicion the developer is holding back a bunch more. Worse, even the uber-luxe part of the market is awash in supply. Two more prestige buildings (Shangri-La and Four Seasons) will be coming on stream in a year, which means prices will be traveling south from the $750-a-foot apex they’re now at.

My, oh my. How can this be good? Sales falling off a cliff among the proletarian buildings. Rich people on strike. Tens of thousands of new units under construction, about to flood the market this year and next in Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary. At the same time, bidding wars and flash mob buying frenzy, as we grow closer to tighter mortgage regulations, chastened banks and higher mortgage rates.

Does this sound like a balanced market to you?

Only if you’re a realtor. Then the world makes astonishing sense because Canada has no bubble, never was a gasbag, and never will get property bloat. It’s different here! And to prove that point a direct mail campaign has started, leading to a fair chance you might get this in your mailbox:

The flyer should be put on trial for murdering the truth.  For example, here are three reasons given why this blog tells you nothing but lies.

(1) We have stricter lending standards than the United States.
(2) Mortgages are full recourse loans.
(3) We tend to seek conservative mortgage options.

Of course, Canadian banks have been lending up a storm lately and even handing over deposits to those unfortunate enough not to have one. The average downpayment is 7% and nine of every ten new originations are high-ratio, requiring government insurance to protect the banks. How is this not sub-prime? We have liar loans (stated income), teaser rates (2.99 Special) and 100% financing (cash-back). Besides, if the banks could actually be trusted, why did their regulator this week form new rules to beat them back?

Recourse mortgages? Another lie. Alberta doesn’t have them. Neither does Florida, where real estate values have collapsed 40%.

And as for Canadians being conservative borrowers, every day comes more evidence this is false. Our debt levels equal those when US real estate wobbled and sank. Mortgages, at $1.1 trillion, are off the chart. Half of us have no savings, no retirement investments. Four in ten have trouble paying monthly bills. A third of retirees struggle with mortgages. And yet 70% have houses – which explains where all the money went.

Yesterday I did radio interviews in Halifax, New Brunswick, Ottawa, Toronto, Windsor, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Regina and Vancouver. Every day links and comments from this pathetic blog show up in the MSM. Falling sales volumes speak volumes of where we’re headed, especially now that the message is ubiquitous.

The last ones to clue in will be those fools standing in a condo line.

At least they’ve learned bladder control. Hey, that’s something.


#1 Randy on 03.20.12 at 8:24 pm

Sold my Mom’s house last week…firm..glad to be out….

#2 TurnerNation on 03.20.12 at 8:25 pm


#3 Al on 03.20.12 at 8:29 pm

Those expensive Toronto Condos will be bought by stockbrokers once they get their fat bonuses this year.

TSX volume is down 21% and there are layoffs on Bay Street. — Garth

#4 foolish buyer on 03.20.12 at 8:31 pm


#5 not 1st on 03.20.12 at 8:32 pm

Garth, the media reports are always about Vancouver and T.O., never a thing about Calgary. Whats your sources on that market?

Is there an online link to your radio interviews?

#6 Thomas on 03.20.12 at 8:35 pm

In newfoundland, we have oil. It’s different here! Haha. Home prices are 2-3 times fair value. Incomes are slow to grow, and food and gas inflation are rampant.

#7 Onemorething on 03.20.12 at 8:42 pm

Disgraceful to say the least Garth!

Very tricky and carefully worded!

Canadians surveyed, the 84% & 73% are short of the 98% of Canadians who are lost in this type of manipulation.

They forgot to add “This advertisment paid by your friendly neighbourhood Realtors, who btw are scared Sh*tless, please keep buying so we can stock up on canned goods”.

#8 waiting on 03.20.12 at 8:42 pm

“In Vancouver – where sales are also tanking – half a mill buys you a seedy garage and all the used condoms you’ll ever need.”
I sold my east Van older home for over a million and can attest to the abundance of used condoms. No seedy garage though, street parking only.

#9 oslec on 03.20.12 at 8:42 pm

And the truth shall set you free….of life long debt servitude if you heeded it.

#10 T.O. Bubble Boy on 03.20.12 at 8:43 pm

Every day links and comments from this pathetic blog show up in the MSM.

I thought $$$BPOE$$$ sounded a lot like a Vancouver Sun writer!

#11 Expat on 03.20.12 at 8:43 pm

Good writeup.

Factual point, most Florida loans ARE NOT nonrecourse loans. Banks there are rutheless and the only way people walk from a loan in FL is with a big chunk missing from their a$$ets and litigation hanging over them, but it happened anyway.

#12 TRT on 03.20.12 at 8:44 pm

If the market crashes, we Canadians have two options:

1) Forgive a huge percentage of the mortgage principal for those owners over their heads. Maybe deduct 40% of the principal so these houses aren’t foreclosed upon and the owners can continue to live in them. This would contain the damage.

if you don’t like the above, there’s option #2

2) The second option requires ALL taxpayers bailout CMHC. Expect massive tax increases and/or decrease in services (medical etc).

Emotions aside, I think the first one would be better.

Choose one.

#13 TRT on 03.20.12 at 8:47 pm


Word is 25 year mortgage max effective June 1, 2012.

Watch people go crazy over the 2 months until after it is announced trying to beat the deadline…lol

#14 T.O. Bubble Boy on 03.20.12 at 8:48 pm

Maybe the hot money just follows the Olympics?

Prime Property in U.K.’s Capital Hits Record High

Look out Sochi — you’re next!
(buy your Russian properties now to beat the rush)

#15 Narrowgate on 03.20.12 at 8:54 pm

Housing prices double — and in many places more than triple — in ten years and there’s no bubble? It’s called Kool-Aid and the whole country’s drinking it.

#16 thinker on 03.20.12 at 8:54 pm

The fancy Four Season, Trump, Ritz, Shangra La, Yorkville expensive condo’s – does anyone know a single person who bought one? Garth?

#17 Flynn on 03.20.12 at 8:55 pm

Was in Real Estate in Vancouver in the late 80’s it was hard to sell a brand new house on the North Shore for $170,000 which now would fetch $1.3 million. High prices are only good for developers,agents, media(advertising revenue) and people moving out of the market. For the other 95% of us it is a lot easier to move up in a lower priced market. The collapse of 1980 was almost 8 lean years of very slow sales at very affordable prices .Also, with the access to computers what is the need for realtors to pull in these insane commissions.

#18 zeeman on 03.20.12 at 8:56 pm


i am not sure if we can say that things are tanking on the condo front in toronto yet. More evidence is needed to say this.
There was similiar evidence in late fall of single family homes where the average price had dropped to under 700k and then look what happened a few months later. it has reached an all time high.
i dont think we can use a couple months of stats to make such conclusions.

#19 BigA on 03.20.12 at 8:59 pm

It’s complete B.S. that Canada has strickter mortgage lending. I ‘ve been told personally by agents that it’s easy to fudge amount of income in order to qualify for a bigger mortgage. I suspect this is common practice. How else does the average”Joe” the factory worker & “Mary” the secretary get approved for a $500K mortgage ? I know lots of them…

#20 Slim Jim on 03.20.12 at 9:01 pm

Garth, what’s the word on the street for the Skatch housing market?

Think Viterra. — Garth

#21 John on 03.20.12 at 9:03 pm

The top story here in Chile is that the economy has doubled since 2006. In six years. The population is in debt like never before, and car sales have exploded. The theme is consumption and “technology” to aid the cause. The same sense of fantasy entitlement Canadians developed over 60 years can be transplanted anywhere, and in a fraction of the time.

There’s a strong chance that the big picture is well-known by the finance higher-ups, and they are using debt saturation as part of their exit strategy.

The housing angle is the best if the population grew up on the idea of an inflated importance for this “asset”.

But it applies to all debt. The idea is to saturate and keep people on a treadmill. A booming narcissistic advertising industry keeps people’s judgment at bay through constant attacks on self esteem, and fear of never measuring up.

In a way, debt works. It’s the “no-feel” strategy of the masses. Something to be victimized by, and something to be in delusion over.

I would never have believed it could happen here though. It proves that Canadian thinking really is globalized. We’re all on the same page. Pretending we’re the ones turning the page.

#22 Duckworth on 03.20.12 at 9:04 pm

What if it really is “different” here this time????

I say this not because i believe it but because 99% of people i talk to think it really is different here and the market will always be stable!

#23 Uh Oh Canada on 03.20.12 at 9:06 pm

Just realized that if the housing bubble pops, I’ll have no reason to visit this pathetic blog.

#24 mark on 03.20.12 at 9:11 pm

Seconded. Where can we listen to these radio interviews?

I was talking, not recording. Try CBC. — Garth

#25 Mister Obvious on 03.20.12 at 9:20 pm

I just got back to Vancouver after 5 days rather pleasant-weather days in Victoria.

Nice little town (but then, I already knew that). It’s definitely experiencing a nasty real estate bubble but what I want to mention here is the rental situation.

There’s lots of nice, well located places to choose from all at reasonable rents. You can get a clean, reasonably maintained two-bedroom suite in Fairfield or James Bay (a few minutes walk to downtown and adjacent to lovely Beacon Hill Park) for around $1200 to $1400.

These are quite liveable and located in good neighbourhoods. Very much unlike the crap rental stock to be found in most of Vancouver.

Victoria has a previous history of renting being the norm and that situation seems to be coming back in vogue.

Of course, in Vancouver only a fool or drug addicted loser rents. Hence, the preponderance of rundown junk.

#26 45north on 03.20.12 at 9:21 pm

This comes on top of an overall drop in housing sales of almost 30% last month, and 24.8% for the first two months of 2012.

I think we’re very close to where everyone will see the collapse of real estate. The real estate boards within certain limits will do what they can to obscure the truth. Canadian Watchdog says they are adding in pre-construction sales.

If you have to sell your house you are going to notice when you don’t.

#27 T.O. Bubble Boy on 03.20.12 at 9:23 pm

BMO joins the parade of housing doomers:

“We took a long, hard look at the Canadian housing market and concluded … there was a legitimate concern that house prices – particularly in the largest cities – had been rising at a rate that was simply unsustainable”

#28 Expat on 03.20.12 at 9:23 pm

And why would the dolts sending out the flyers think people would believe the Economist has any interest in fearmongering about the Canadian real estate market?

#29 Van guy on 03.20.12 at 9:28 pm

TSX volume is down 21% and there are layoffs on Bay Street. — Garth

So is your balanced portfolio being affected by this?

Yes. It’s doing better. — Garth

#30 johnny5z on 03.20.12 at 9:28 pm

During the last weekend, there was an article in the local newspaper on how Palestinians, living in the west bank, are buying homes. The average monthly nut on a purchased unit is twice that of a rental. Yet they are still doing it and proud. All emotion, no rational thought – that seems to be what RE is all about.

#31 Freedom first on 03.20.12 at 9:28 pm

I talked to a woman friend of mine two days ago, and she is worried, is listing her property right now, which is a mansion in a prestigious area. Also said, she likes living in her own place so is just going to buy a smaller house. This is by order of her financial adviser. I feel sick, and I avoid talking about real estate, as I have both friends and family who are maxed out. They are scared, and I take no joy in it, even though I tried to warn a few people, and I am debt free and well diversified. Sad……..I am glad Garth and others like him managed to get through to some lucky people.
Prudent financial management principle #1. Never, ever, be invested totally in only 1 asset. No exception.

#32 Stevenson on 03.20.12 at 9:33 pm

Don’t be selective and post all the info. “According to RealNet Canada Inc., BILD’s official source of new home market intelligence, February low-rise sales in the Greater Toronto Area increased by 16 per cent over its 2011 predecessor. However, these recent numbers fall very much in line with the historic trend when compared to February 2010, which saw 1,610 sales. ”

100 new towers in progress across GTA? How many are sold already? 70% occupancy at least.

Far more condos sell than low-rise. But nice try. — Garth

#33 Smoking Man on 03.20.12 at 9:33 pm

You can cure stupid.

Fire all the teachers

#34 JIM on 03.20.12 at 9:35 pm

What I would like to see is some hard meaningful numbers. Like: How many mortgages is the CMHC insuring. Of these, how many are in default (ie. are at least 1 month in arrears )? And this is most important, how many of these defaulted mortgages have gone into foreclosure?

All interesting but irrelevant information. The danger is falling prices leading to negative equity, leading to more sales declines and economic inactivity. We will not have people being evicted on to lawns, but consequences nonetheless. — Garth

#35 Jimmy on 03.20.12 at 9:38 pm

Hey Garth,

I’m a regular reader of your blog but rarely post here. I appreciate the work you are doing and would like to add to your findings a very curious bit of data that I came across . Maybe it will give us something to talk about when debating with people who say real estate is never bought in Vancouver for speculation, instead for one’s own family.

Here’s a report from a journalist who is trying to get to the roots of this issue along with CBC.

In this piece, on second page there’s a paragraph that goes like this and is based on an actual research-

“The big number for us that we thought was really surprising was that 50 to 60 per cent of these condos are non-owner-occupied. And I think that is by far the most interesting question. All these condos that we’ve created in downtown Vancouver, people are finding them better investment vehicles than places to live,” he says.

50-60% condos not owned by people living in it? And thats on top of 5.5-8.5% condos sitting empty (as per BC Hydro’s data on their electricity usage). Thats a range of 55.5%-68.5% speculative investments in condos.

That sure is amusing if not scary?

#36 Suede on 03.20.12 at 9:39 pm

BMO brings back 2.99% mortgages and then their CEO has this to say today:

Figure it out, William Downe and stick to one game plan. Your bank is responsible for starting Rate Wars 2012.

Or is it a little bit of “Do as I say, not as I do”

#37 MD on 03.20.12 at 9:41 pm

Garth i really appreciate your patience day by day to write about real estate going bust and house prices insane, but the fact is that most of the houses insured by CMHC are townhouses and semi detached ones. The million dollar ones are purchased with CASH. Believe me if housing crashes its the ones without a job who will be on the hook and not the ones who buy million dollar homes as they are smart people who know how to hold on to property for years till they get returns on their investments or else the world would be doomed by now. One smart thing about you is that since last five years you have been predicting that housing is crashing and one fine day i know it will and that day you will talk with a high head and have good sleep but believe me govt will act its course as they dont want 2 million canadian begging on the street.

That was useless. — Garth

#38 Steven Rowlandson on 03.20.12 at 9:41 pm

The arrogance and greed of realtors and real estate fanatics knows no limits. They dare not confess that they went too far for too long. When their fall comes I will smile and know that justice is being done.

#39 Smoking Man on 03.20.12 at 9:45 pm

Garth they are lying off on bay street. What you don’t know is bay steet is rasing the bar and bringing in NY pros. At Ny rates and they aint going to be living in tents

#40 Rob on 03.20.12 at 9:48 pm

That flyer is just so very, very, very pathetic. And guess where it’s from? I had to look at it real close but it says on the side “Buffini and Company”. A realtor? No. A much smarter man. This is a man who says pans and promises to the gold panners. He’s a real estate coach who sells services and fist-pumping excitement to the realtors who need it most and have the least amount to spend on it. And doing a bit more of a search we find others “real estate experts” repeating his mantra as they try to pass themselves off as trustworthy. Here are just a few:

gah! There are so many!

Nope… can’t cure stupid.

Or plagiarism. — Garth

#41 Tony on 03.20.12 at 9:48 pm

Now that’s funny. One of the footnotes in the flyer quotes CTV, which repeats verbatim the info from realtors!

#42 $$$BPOE$$$ on 03.20.12 at 9:55 pm

Of course their not occupied who wants the headaches of dealing with renters. Step 1 buy with cash. Step 2 hold Step 3 Sell for profit. Housing in BPOE is the World’s Greatest Sport. It’s no different than buying a Blue Chip Stock with the difference being the payouts are HUGE! This is not speculation in the traditional sense it is about buying a quality product which increases in value

#43 blase on 03.20.12 at 9:58 pm

Smoking Man,

Sorry that you were a dummy and did poorly in school. Luckily for you, many did well and became doctors, engineers, scientists. You would have all the teachers fired? Great, sounds like a plan. I think the Taliban is following your advice. You are truly a loser, and why people look forward to your idiotic, illiterate blather may explain why Rick Santorum could possibly be the next president of the united states.

#44 Devore on 03.20.12 at 10:01 pm

#11 Mister Obvious

These are quite liveable and located in good neighbourhoods. Very much unlike the crap rental stock to be found in most of Vancouver.

Vancouver is a speculative town, much more so than Victoria (a stable government town, also compare Calgary to Edmonton).

Most real estate “investors” in Vancouver are here for short term speculative capital gains; some will rent them out while “holding”. Everyone’s “holding” here. This means investors are not concerned with the quality of the property, or the tenant for that matter, don’t care to maintain it or do anything to assure they are able to obtain the best and most stable long term tenant. Only important thing is selling to someone else for way more money than you bought.

This means the rental stock here is mostly in poor shape. You’ll wear out lots of shoeleather looking for a nice place. For single people it is easier, you just find yourself one of the hundreds of empty condo suites, many never before occupied. They’re great, but 99% of them are studios and 1 bedrooms (that’s all our speculators can afford to put on their credit cards at a presale).

I imagine similar situation exists in Toronto, where the vast majority of new condo construction is one bedrooms, for a nice transient community of students and “young professionals”, which is why CityPlace will become a ghetto once the buildings get less shiny.

#45 John G. Young on 03.20.12 at 10:04 pm

#41 $$$BPOE$$$

“It’s no different than buying a Blue Chip Stock …”

You’re right, it’s exactly the same, except that with stocks you don’t have to pay monthly maintenance fees, property taxes, special assessments, etc.

Your posts are an insult to the intelligence of everyone on this blog.

#46 Devore on 03.20.12 at 10:06 pm

#15 Van guy

TSX volume is down 21% and there are layoffs on Bay Street. — Garth

So is your balanced portfolio being affected by this?

Lower volume means fewer transactions, thus less commissions to brokers and investment houses, therefore lower Bay Street bonuses. Try to keep up.

I quickly scanned my investments summary screens; they’re doing fine.

#47 Keeping the Faith on 03.20.12 at 10:09 pm

#32 Stevenson … ha hahahahahaha LOL … wait a minute #32 Stevenson hahahahahahaha … STBY

… you are actually showing your moniker around here!!!

Keep coming back, this will get even more fun … soon it will be “Aliens are creating these numbers” LOSWER!!!! you’re not even worthy of LOSER!

#48 Mikey the Realtor on 03.20.12 at 10:11 pm

Another fluff + propaganda piece, not the flyer but YOUR rhetoric. Are you not paying attention to the bidding wars? or are you too busy spewing your own garbage? Get with reality and get out of your delusional state, not only are you harming your on psyche but you have hurt many peoples bank accounts in the last four years, truly a shame

#49 Paully on 03.20.12 at 10:14 pm

Can someone help me out here: The TREB release says that GTA sales volume and prices were up in the first half of March. All of the TREB releases from 2012 seem to say the same thing. Garth, you say the opposite is true. Where is the data to back up your claim? It is clearly not in a TREB news release.

It’s not a claim, but a fact. Go look at the data, not the spin. — Garth

#50 John G. Young on 03.20.12 at 10:15 pm

#41 $$$BPOE$$$

…also closing costs, commission, land transfer taxes…

#51 Smoking Man on 03.20.12 at 10:18 pm

#43 blase on 03.20.12 at 9:58 pm

Person;y im going for ron paul.

But glad I outed you teavher.. how could you fall for it, your soo-post to be smart,

lmafo see I even speel LMFAO wrong……….

Teacher are so dumb that they don’t know they are dumb.

Why to go fanshaw, marginalized my the Western campus eilites,

ba hahahahhahhahah

I am trully mad but I never need to worry about eating ever.

#52 Losing faith on 03.20.12 at 10:18 pm

With respect to teachers, clearly weakness in math skills and logic is something that the education system could improve on. Second it would be great I’d teachers had to get some real life experience before teaching. Might help :) society is opposed to change. We like things to stay consistent or just keep getting better… The reality is what goes up must come down… That includes house prices, stocks etc. look at the ride apple stock is on. I hear two separate people tell me they invested 6 figures into apple stock recently. There will always be change and some will ride the market at the right times, risk takers win or lose… Luck and smarts work hand in hand. At the end of the day, be logical, diversify and stay within our financial limits. Plan for the worse case scenario and everything will work out.

#53 Losing faith on 03.20.12 at 10:20 pm

Sorry about the spelling… Flipping iPhone

#54 45north on 03.20.12 at 10:20 pm

JIM: How many mortgages is CMHC insuring?

nine of every ten new originations are high-ratio, requiring government insurance to protect the banks.

“government insurance” is functionally equivalent to CMHC. There are two other companies Genworth and Canada Guaranty who insure mortgages. Anybody want to contest this?

Of these, how many are in default (ie. are at least 1 month in arrears? And this is most important, how many of these defaulted mortgages have gone into foreclosure?

in Canada default rate is 0.5% whereas in the US it is 10% “at least 1 month in arrears” – are you kidding me? in the US, the borrower is not even counted as delinquent unless he is 3 months behind.

so you could say that we’re in great shape, but that’s what they said in the US in 2006

#55 Harlee on 03.20.12 at 10:22 pm

#33 Smoking Man
Yes, fire all the teachers.
Then have your children home-schooled by Smoking!Man!
That’ll do it…

#56 Devore on 03.20.12 at 10:23 pm

#49 Paully

By “sales are up” you mean like this?

#57 Losing faith on 03.20.12 at 10:27 pm

My investment portfolio is doing well too. Rrsp, resp, tfsa, and other investments are 8% average per year… Not bad considering when we started the market tanked and we lost half… Apparently we were too safe, banks which tanked at the time. The best advice we ever got. Live within your means, pay off the house. Max the savings and gamble only what you can afford to gamble. We have another 30 years before retirement, but the future looks bright :)

#58 Smoking Man on 03.20.12 at 10:34 pm

#43 blase on 03.20.12 at 9:58 pm

Why don’t you rebel, don’t follow the curriculum, teach the kids to be employers rather than employee tax farm slave dogs, who buy over priced condos.

Problem is, you’re not smart enough to know that is exactly what your doing.

I suggest a conference with Denis Rancourt

#59 Van guy on 03.20.12 at 10:34 pm

#46 Devore on 03.20.12 at 10:06 pm

Thanks. You should give me your phone number so I can call you for advice.

#60 Smoking Man on 03.20.12 at 10:40 pm

#55 Harlee on 03.20.12 at 10:22 pm

Your kids would be so lucky

#61 Paully on 03.20.12 at 10:40 pm

Garth, I was not questioning your accuracy, but rather asking where I can actually find the raw data that you are quoting?

#62 Devore on 03.20.12 at 10:43 pm

“Scotia’s 2.99% mortgage special ended today,” via Twitter.

#63 T.O. Bubble Boy on 03.20.12 at 10:45 pm

Realtor’s are playing games with Listing prices — check out the pricing increases (and several decreases) today:

What is the justification for re-listing the same property 1 week later at $50k-$100k more?

#64 Canadian Watchdog on 03.20.12 at 10:45 pm

Just to clarify: the chart posted is in aggregate (points) and is not the debt-to-disposable income ratio. Actual debt-to-disposable income ratio declined from 154.24% to 152.86% (not seasonally adjusted) as reported by StatsCan last week.

You may have read MSM reports citing disposal incomes “increased” more then debt. This is not the case. Consumer debt declined decreasing the ratio which made disposal incomes appear to have increased more then debt.

Consumers paying down their debt is a major threat to economic growth, especially when GDP is dependent on more debt consumption. We’ve got problems ahead and I believe F’s upcoming budget will set the tone for Canadians to brace for austerity.

#65 BC Bring Cash on 03.20.12 at 10:46 pm

#37 MD
The Government don’t want 2 million Canadians begging on the street. Yea right! The Govt. is really good at creating these financial crisis but very lousy at fixing them. The Govts. of course are puppets of the financial elites who create these bubbles for their own benefit. The Govt. cannot help us out of this coming mess.They always spend more than they bring in revenue. Always have and always will.

#66 Skatch on 03.20.12 at 10:46 pm

It is sad here in the Skatch………if you make any mention of the housing bubble and inevitable market correction people glare at you as if you were spewing some type of anti-Semitic Nazi propaganda to the world.

Talk of the bubble here is on par with discussing religion, political views, and what you like in the bedroom.

Its taboo……people don’t want to hear it.

This to me is a sign of how bad the situation really is.

#67 Realistic on 03.20.12 at 10:48 pm

Anybody knows when the CMHC Quarterly Financial Report ended December 31, 2011 will be available??

Is the $600 billion CMHC’s total insurance-in-force reached??

#68 John G. Young on 03.20.12 at 10:55 pm

#46 Devore

“Try to keep up.”

Reason for the snotty remark?

I don’t expect Garth to personally address all the obnoxious comments — not even sure that would be possible — but the vibe here is sure toxic.

Why don’t you go find yourself a mosh pit or something?

#69 TurnerNation on 03.20.12 at 11:01 pm

#3Al on 03.20.12 at 8:29 pm

This leading nonbank firm, also a TSX block trading leader, is suffering badly:

(Don’t think they ever recovered from Wek’s leaving).

The huge slump in deal and trading activity on Bay Street is hitting everything from banker pay to charity fundraising.

GMP Capital, one of the two big independent Canadian brokerage firms, laid out its fourth-quarter earnings Wednesday and it was a picture of a firm in cost control mode in an attempt to eke out a profit.

GMP’s hunkering down, which reflects what many firms are going through, signals tougher times for those who benefit from a robust deal economy — from the airlines that fly bankers, to the restaurants that host closing dinners to the charities that depend on the largesse of firms like GMP.

But in its hunt for expenses to trim, GMP went further. The company said the drop in SG&A for capital markets also reflected “lower levels of charitable giving.”

There’s just no money to go around. Revenue in the firm’s capital markets business, the heart of GMP Capital GMP-T, plunged 49 per cent. Trading commissions were down 51 per cent as the number of trades the firm handled plunged by almost two thirds. Investment-banking revenue slid 37 per cent.

#70 earlymidlifecrisis on 03.20.12 at 11:02 pm

Ive been off line for a few days, sorry if this was mentioned already….
Is that true- ‘court ordered sale’? Is it b/c of foreclosure? Curious. It is a nice spot, especially since the pulp mill closed.

#71 45north on 03.20.12 at 11:03 pm

Step 1 buy with cash
Step 2 hold
Step 3 Sell for profit.

John G. Young: Your posts are an insult to the intelligence of everyone on this blog.

Step 1 sign mortgage, line-of-credit, buy property
Step 2 hold, then list, then find a tenant, repeat Step 2
Step 3 borrow from family
Step 4 wife moves out
Step 5 move into brother’s basement

we’re not there yet

#72 blase on 03.20.12 at 11:05 pm

Losing Faith,

Teachers do have real life experience. You can’t get a teaching degree in Canada without a minimum of 5 years post-secondary, and in some places 6 years. Then, you can look forward to getting part-time contract work or sub teaching for a few years. So, you get to work as a waiter/pizza delivery guy/tutor until the school board will hire you on at a living wage.

Teachers have it no different than any other segment of society. That’s why I flew the coop and left Canada to teach abroad, where I have been able to save money and have a life.

Smoking Man, I have no idea what your first rebuttal post said. All I can tell you is, respond to what I said, at least it was legible. What is your answer if there are no teachers? Everyone like you? Great, sounds like a plan.

#73 Canadian Watchdog on 03.20.12 at 11:06 pm

#54 45north

Canadian foreclosures are being hidden in bankruptcy proposals that do not show up in CBA’s mortgage in arrears stats. The reason is, a borrower in default on their mortgage can file for a proposal to settle with their creditors. The creditor (banks) then file a claim to the credit bureau as a ‘debt’ payment and not a foreclosure. Ask any bankruptcy lawyer.

95% are consumer proposals in this chart.

#74 Paully on 03.20.12 at 11:07 pm

#56 Devore

Thanks. It seems that Garth was referring to “new” sales as reported below, not MLS resales from TREB. I appreciate you helping to clear that up for me!

#75 terces on 03.20.12 at 11:09 pm

Garth – or anyone else in the know about Alberta non-recourse mortgages, I am guessing that the high ration loans actually are recourse because CMHC, by virtue of being a federal government agency, will be able to go after the borrower. Am I guessing correctly on this one??

#76 Gord In Vancouver on 03.20.12 at 11:09 pm

The last ones to clue in will be those fools standing in a condo line.

At least they’ve learned bladder control. Hey, that’s something.

Garth – you rock!! Great post!

#77 ANONYMOUS on 03.20.12 at 11:12 pm

My lady friend who bought that $315,000 condo:

She earns $56,000 per year and she was pre-approved for a mortgage of $485,000 !

That is a ratio of almost 9:1 !

#78 jocelan on 03.20.12 at 11:14 pm

I keep hearing how the real estate is tanking here in the fair village of Vancouver but I have not seen it in any way shape or form. Every one of my friends who have put their places on the market have sold quickly and for more money then they asked; one last week was listed for $699,000 and they got $815,000 three days later and it was nothing special. I keep saying to people that real estate is falling and the bad times are coming and they’ve just smiled and proved me wrong. Every time.

#79 TurnerNation on 03.20.12 at 11:15 pm

#24mark on 03.20.12 at 9:11 pm


(This is why Herr Harper wishes to crush the CBC?)

#80 Junius on 03.20.12 at 11:20 pm

Smoking Man:

I sense in you the kind of angst I once had.

Now I have a pet monkey (so soft and cuddly – especially after dark), and I’m always in a great mood – fully sated, so to say.

Now, Smoking Man, I suggest you stop paying for pleasure and instead go work on a farm for a summer (perhaps a sheep farm), it will give you a whole new perspective on life. Remember, we are all animals, one big happy family.

Now, listen Smoking Man, firing the teachers is an absurd idea. You should be slapped by a drunken sailor for suggesting such a thing. You need help, please seek professional counselling.

Toronto condo sales down sixty percent, the sky is falling!


#81 Mr Buyer on 03.20.12 at 11:29 pm

#48 Mikey the Realtor on 03.20.12 at 10:11 pm
Are you not paying attention to the bidding wars?
Mikey you will have enough time on your hands for the next decade or two or three or four to review or maybe learn for the first time what an outlier is. The bidding wars are also falling in number along with sales all across Canada. BUYER BEWARE. NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO BUY A HOUSE AND MIKEY THE REALTOR KNOWS IT. SALES ARE FALLING ACROSS CANADA. DO NOT GET STUCK HOLDING THE BAG. BUYER BEWARE.

#82 Frank on 03.20.12 at 11:30 pm

Van guy – You just don’t get it.

Hahaha! – Enjoy the plunge in value on your east van 725 sq ft condo!

#83 TurnerNation on 03.20.12 at 11:31 pm

#44Devore on 03.20.12 at 10:01 pm

I know of several people renting in Cityplace. The horror stories are true. After St. Paddy’s day, hallways & elevators littered by beer bottles and pizza boxes were in force. Dog dung coats the outside walkways.

The Cityplace ghetto guy took down his blog but scroll down on the archives page for pictures:

#84 mark on 03.20.12 at 11:34 pm

Thanks Turnernation #79, was just coming to post it myself. Trawled through all CBC radio, only one I got.

#85 45north on 03.20.12 at 11:35 pm

Canadian Watchdog: Canadian foreclosures are being hidden in bankruptcy proposals that do not show up in CBA’s mortgage in arrears stats.

thanks for that, the number of insolvencies seems to be steadily increasing

#86 meslippery on 03.20.12 at 11:38 pm

#43 Blase
Rick Santorum could possibly be the next president of the united states.

Really you mean Paris Hilton is not running this term?
She wants to rule. And looks Hot in a bikini.

#87 Nubian Goat on 03.20.12 at 11:38 pm

HEY BPOE. We should give you some extra letters and call you BOPEEP .Who lost her marbles.

#88 Canadian Watchdog on 03.20.12 at 11:43 pm

BILD high rise stats can be volatile on a y/y by month comparison. A better measure is a total sales for the last three months, which is down 40% for Toronto (excluding outer GTA).

Dec-Jan-Feb Sales 2011 2793
Dec-Jan-Feb Sales 2012 1663

#89 Devore on 03.20.12 at 11:45 pm

Hmm, agents as real estate professionals? According to this report, over 70% of agents in Toronto did not do enough deals last year to go full time and devote their full attention to the profession (which you would expect from a professional).

Something to think about next time you pick an agent at random from the phone book or bus stop bench ads, or ask that friend of the guy at work who has her real estate license to sell your house for you. And they all charge 5%. As usual, buyer beware.

#90 Mr Buyer on 03.20.12 at 11:47 pm

#63 T.O. Bubble Boy on 03.20.12 at 10:45 pm
What is the justification for re-listing the same property 1 week later at $50k-$100k more?
The MSM has recently been conditioning the horde to expect 10 to 15% declines in house prices so the astute Realtors are adding 10 to 15% to the prices. This is part of the reason I do not see anything resembling a 10 or 15% percent CRASH in prices. Whatever ultimately transpires it will not be what was predicted and no where near as orderly as expected. It will only be in the long range historical perspective that any kind of graph will depict a smooth transition but it will still be steep all the same. Again , I am talking out my butt because how the heck do I know, but I have a strong suspicion. Do not game the bubble is the phase we are in and have been for like 2 years now (really much longer if the decade old norm was the point of reference as it was for me as I left Canada at that time). BUYER BEWARE. HOUSE SALES ARE FALLING ACROSS CANADA. NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO BUY A HOUSE (even if you will never qualify for a mortgage under stricter guidelines).

#91 Terra No-more on 03.20.12 at 11:51 pm

Ritz Carlton residences are actually quite a bit west of Bay. Situated on the south side of Wellington street between Simcoe & John. Basically a sprout-up from the old railway lands. Enjoying the likes of the CBC and Workers Comp buildings for neighbours. There’s nowhere to stop nearby on Wellington and the residences spindly parking garage entrance shares the busy hotel courtyard. The residences ascend the westward flank of the hotel. The elevators split about half-way up with only one elevator to the higher floors.

Better to rent a hotel room. Oh and you’ll need the chauffeur or butler to get the essentials. Not much shopping in the immediate area.

TSX volume is down 21% and there are layoffs on Bay Street. — Garth

One major courier company serving the Bay Street financial’s has seen its nightly package volumes tank 60% over the last 10 years. Some of it may be attributed to technology and loss to competition but there’s something else going on as well. Globally the company is doing well as a whole – but not in downtown Toronto.

#92 Blacksheep on 03.20.12 at 11:55 pm

Smokin dude,

Your anger is misplaced. Surprised you don’t realize teachers and professors are merely repeaters of the systemic doctrine. Do I get pissed at a cop for ticketing me? Of coarse not. He’s doing exactly as he was trained, use to keep the peace, now he generates revenue.
It’s the system that’s rotten, not the people. Those inside
will blindly defend it because they don’t know any better.

Devore = Devils advocate?

take care

#93 Calgary's OK on 03.21.12 at 12:00 am

“Hell, sales are falling in Calgary, where they labour under the delusion that oil prices grease real estate.”

According to Mike Fotiou website;
“sales are tracking close to last years level but with fewer homes available. As of yesterday, SFH inventory was down -14% from last year while condo inventory was down nearly -10% and has been trending lower for consecutive years.”

According to other sources, “Sales for the first 10 days of March are up 18% compared to the 3-year average, while new listings are down 7%”. There are reports that many properties being sold over asking price. What “falling sales” are you referring to? Are we talking about the same Calgary here?

#94 Mr Buyer on 03.21.12 at 12:05 am

There is a sector of the population pursuing mortgages now as they will likely not ever qualify for mortgages under even slightly stricter guidelines. This is the sector being targeted by the “buy now before your priced out forever” slogan. The thinking is likely along the lines of “the house price is ridiculous but I will never get a loan, given my financial status, under tighter conditions that will accompany drops in house prices. Even if it is crazy to buy I likely will not be able to buy later. If I do buy and can hold on long enough I can cash out at the top of another cycle.” Of course a bubble is not part of a cycle, and many people do not do the math as far as total amount of cash it costs to service a mortgage and thus the reasoning stands. So there we have it, threats of impending mortgage approval changes may actually be working to prolong the bubble. Along with that the social inoculant of minimization is and always has been and always will be very very potent. It won’t be so bad, it won’t be as bad as x and they are recovering now are very potent inducers of mortgagecide for those that will likely not qualify for adequate mortgages further along the backside of this bubble.

#95 Kaganovich on 03.21.12 at 12:08 am


Here is an article that you may find interesting:

As opposed to all the sinophiles who frequent this blog, not too mention the countless pro-housing arguments grounded by the seemingly unquestionable ‘we have oil and potash’ mainstays, this article speaks otherwise. Misallocations are easier to identify after demand destruction takes place. People in Saskatchewan are going to become familiar with this sooner than later.

#96 Cathy on 03.21.12 at 12:18 am

#70 — Yes, it was a court ordered sale because of a foreclosure. That said and given the current atmosphere, I am at a loss to see how they can do much with it at the moment. They may actually be saved by the fact that it should that a few years to sort themselves out before the machines head in.
Worth noting, it’s on Howe Sound, one of the most stunning of all drives.

#97 Cato on 03.21.12 at 12:25 am

A fool and his money are soon parted. Not all money is earned equally. I have more respect for someone who made their millions winning the lottery then I do specuvestors.

The trouble with most speculators is very few have any real acumen or skill. Its why most are rarely diversified and keep placing their bets on the same tired horse over and over again. Most are simply beneficiaries of being at the right place at the right time. They won’t see it that way, they usually feel they have some sort of innate instinct & skill that makes them better than the rest of us. This is because speculators aren’t investors, they are gamblers. You’ll meet the same type in Vegas with the exact same attitudes.

At some point the house always wins and everybody cries. Most will eventually hit the brick wall when the market turns against them, markets always return to the mean. I’ve met enough trust fund babies to realize you can be rich by simply being stupid. The evil capitalist in me is filled with warm and fuzzies just thinking about the feasting soon to come.

#98 Debtfree on 03.21.12 at 12:30 am

At least they’ve learned bladder control. Hey, that’s something.
Well that depends .

#99 Mike in Saskatoon on 03.21.12 at 12:31 am

I can’t wait for the CBC to be privatized.

#100 Doug in Victoria on 03.21.12 at 12:32 am

Smoking Man isn’t crazy, maybe just out of context (and a little too relaxed!). I quit school in grade eleven (previously top student) out of shear bordom, make six figures, and haven’t worked more than 20 hrs a week on average for years. They don’t teach that in grade twelve.

#101 Debtfree on 03.21.12 at 12:34 am

Makes me wonder where Tsur lives . Point gray ?

#102 Mackie on 03.21.12 at 12:36 am

Blase: Give us a break. Teachers are a bunch of pampered, overpaid, underworked complainers. I say get the few good ones out there; Tape their lectures etc. Fire the rest and use the taped lectures with lower-paid tutors to teach the kids. That’s how private industry would do it. Use the best teachers to teach and give the rest a swift kick in the ass.

#103 Mr Buyer on 03.21.12 at 12:43 am

When I think of it. Over the course of maybe 80% of my adult life I never actually saved more than $1000 at any one time from my daily earnings. I had many thousands of dollars from time to time but that was due to lump sum payments of one origin or another. I very easily disposed of my daily earnings daily. It is only the last decade that I have been able to pocket anything at all of my daily earnings and that is due to working all the time and not having adequate command of the native language to find opportunities to drop all the cash I can in the few hours of free time I do have each month. The endless cycle of work and spend over the course of my life presented no escape except for that found by those around me that sold their houses for more than they bought them. There was a nice lump sum that could often get completely salted away or serve as primer for another iteration of the same buy, hold, sell protocol. The old saying, “you have to spend money to make money” along with “do not use your money to get rich, use other people’s money” also supported the notion of entering into a mortgage to develop that chance at acquiring a lump sum in the future. This cycle has proven itself to be by and large very effective at getting sum sort of lump sum payment but not to the degree most expect. An acquaintance stated that his house has appreciated over 120k in the past few years but later added there was an outstanding home equity loan of 40k to contend with along with 25k in renovations required to fully realize the 120k estimated appreciation in price. But these are all heady numbers for a guy like me that for most of my adult life rarely scratched together $1000 in savings at any given moment from my daily earnings. Things have changed a great deal this past decade for myself but unfortunately at the same time this horrendous bubble has formed possibly cancelling out the impressive gains made in business and savings, but only if I make the wrong decisions. Money no longer burns a hole in my pocket as it once did. I will find a way forward and prevail. Having just turned 50 I have been struck for the first time in my life with the notion of how wonderful it would be to have even one additional decade under my belt the same as this past decade. No, lump sums from Real Estate, just work and save. I am not interested in spending a single penny unless to immediately earn it and more back. No magic bullet, just one foot in front of the other, face down rivals and constant iterations of reflection and improvement with complacency being a great evil that is unfortunately sometimes required to allow the batteries to recharge. Sort of like catching your breath in the clinches. Anyways, work and save is indeed a viable option no matter how mundane it appears. The looming specter of health is a grey cloud forming over my shoulder. While I was able to hoist huge stone blocks onto my shoulder this past weekend while helping out in the rice fields I could only do it three or for times and I felt tired, I could have done that all day for years in my 20s and not even notice being tired. By the way often it is not the first block the destroys your back but the first one after you have become sufficiently tired. I am not as driven to prove myself as I once was so I started using the much slower cart to complete the task and woke up with a healthy back the next day. Just because you can do something does not automatically mean you should. An extra hour of work is a small price for and extra couple of decades of having a healthy back.

#104 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 03.21.12 at 12:49 am

“It’s amazing how many stupid people have lots and lots of money.” — Fair assessment. Look at corrupt govts., Congress, lobbyists. They wouldn’t have a clue when it comes to running a profitable Timmie’s.

“Even the rich people are zonked. Rich people on strike. This is precisely the danger this tedious blog has bleated on about, half a mill buys you a seedy garage and all the used condoms you’ll ever need.” — Keep the condoms, but what are the seeds growing? Fried eggnog mushrooms?

“That was useless. — Garth” — Much like — “In sum, the Canadian housing market is healthy and flourishing.” — Indeed, it’s just the economy which has flatlined. Check with the unemployed how much they’re enjoying life.
Cameron and Obomba R.I.P. healthcare in both countries. Birds of a feather, and Pensioners being squeezed plus Two Cuddling Men; Africa Rich in resources; China Increased military / defense spending; IMF sees US$160 / brl. of oil; Banxters + Politicos = Warlords “Today, the only central banks not under control of the BOE/BIS are Iran, North Korea, and Cuba.”; Manipulation or fudging the unemployment #’s; Black Markets exceed US$1 tri.; The Big Lie of peak oil now confirmed; Fake Bonds US$100 mln. Now where have I heard that one before? Billy Bob’s US$160 bln. cloud nightmare; Sovereign Defaults If it happens is the big question; The Vatican Losing more than its reputation; Titanic Myths and the end of consumer capitalism.

Chinese Pensions Keeping their stocks hovering?
IMF and ECB bailouts lead to further haircuts; Massacre Soldier was fraud stock trader; Free Lunches pushing US to insolvency; Buffett His buy low, sell high strategy works fine; Rising Bond Yields push inflation; Walmart Customers are so fickle; China Shockwaves; BDI Where’s it gone? Cashless Society? Not in the US (for now); Gold StandardOne does exist, and Life Under a gold standard.
Stupid DIY See the pic and check the headline; 2:37 clip “The Gemasolar solar power plant in Spain built by Terresol Energy has proven itself of being the first solar plant that runs 24 hours a day with the unique ability to keep producing electricity through the entire night.”; Dances With Sharks Gimme a high five! Sportsmanship, although rare, does still exist; Radioactive Metals around the world; How To Divorce Google in seven days or less (there are plenty of search engines); Diamonds Are Forever New galaxy discovered; Shake, Rattle and Roll Link Mon. night said there all kinds of sounds over Vancouver Island, then the ‘quake in Mexico today. Now the sounds are over Wis., and here. “New Madrid Seismic Zone, Puerto Rico, South California, Central California, off the coast of Oregon, north to Vancouver Island BC… be prepared just in case!”

#105 rp1 on 03.21.12 at 12:50 am

Could 4% of homeowners sink the US market?

It would appear so.

#106 This is Wonderland on 03.21.12 at 12:53 am

Where can we listen to these radio interviews?

Try this.

#107 This is Wonderland on 03.21.12 at 1:04 am

WOW Garth is that a Commodore 64 on your desk.

#108 cageyF on 03.21.12 at 1:17 am

I didn’t hear anyone else mention this, so I’ll add my $0.02.. The last paragraph of the ‘don’t be afraid’ selling piece should make everyone, even those oblivious to the canadian bubble bubble shake their heads. “Interest rates wont go up until 2013”. Ok, so what then? IT’S 9 MONTHS AWAY. And only 73% FEEL they are in a good position to survive the housing drop?? What about the other 27%? It’s those people sending jingle mail that’ll bring the bottom out. At least a little. :) Great blog Garth.

#109 cageyF on 03.21.12 at 1:20 am

>Interest rates going next year a reason NOT to worry?

You get more time from the Brick’s don’t pay a cent event than that. I hope people can read between the lines. :)

#110 JB on 03.21.12 at 1:28 am

Garth, what’s the word on the street for the Skatch housing market?

Think Viterra. — Garth

Splain Lucy…

#111 Bill Gable on 03.21.12 at 1:30 am

The Shangri-la in Vancouver stiffed. People that bought into hotel/condo combos are loaing their pants.

The for sale signs are mushrooming on the west side.

Two went up across the street from our Condo, here in the West End today.

I am getting flyers from all kids of agents.

There is a smell of desperation in the air.

Now – when the HELOC door is slammed, as per today’s post, just watch what happens.

I have a lot of friends that I suspect have been living on the LOC’s and they are in for a rude surprise.

Great post today. Learned a bunch. Thanks.

#112 TaxHaven on 03.21.12 at 1:41 am

It’s bigger than just the housing market.

An acute but continuing unemployment crisis is just around the corner, too. You can add that to the long-running underemployment and structural unemployment problems Canada has faced for years and years…

Get ready, too, for deteriorating business conditions, featuring cashflow problems and near-zero profit margins – for those companies remaining in business. (See Sears Ottawa, Calgary and Vancouver stores.)

(Not to name any names, but how do such dowdy, floy-blown 1970s uncompetitive old dowagers as Shoppers Drug Mart, Londdon Drugs and Zellers stay in business?)

When incomes dry up, discretionary spending will too. This whole Canadian economy – not just housing – is an enormous gasbag of debt just looking for a match.

#113 AACI home dog on 03.21.12 at 1:48 am

Smoking man represents the 1 percent, or less, that thinks outside the box. He, and we, need teachers to continue teaching the”follow the herd” mentality….if we were all the herd…the 1 percent would not thrive, or survive.

#114 frozen trumpet on 03.21.12 at 2:38 am

Brilliant post John. I had to read it over numerous times to fully comprehend. “No Feel” Strategy of the masses. Yep.

#115 eagle eyes on 03.21.12 at 2:51 am

#37 MD The government will not look after the 2m people so they wouldn’t be begging on the street. If they could, don’t you think they would be helping the AVEOS workers on the news? If you thought calling in the riot police was helping the people, well maybe. Taking away future OAS benefits? Giving themselves big raises, while legislating baggage handlers and teachers back to work, for the good of all? When the s**t hits the fan, they will be running in all different directions. Are you that stupid to think they will be helping the families they put into poverty? Give your head a shake.

#116 Alan on 03.21.12 at 2:51 am

Junius, Goku

The city mentioned in the area south of Vancouver was Point Roberts. The poster tried to rationalize why prices just across the border in Washington state would be so much less than what Vancouver real estate was selling for.

This is where your own lack of knowledge is evident.
As a rule, if you don’t have an industry driving jobs and salaries, you don’t have a robust real estate market. Examples of this are all over Canada. Ft. Mac vs Windsor perfect example. End of lesson.

#117 Dave on 03.21.12 at 3:19 am

That flyer reeks of realtor panic. Desperation is a stinky perfume.

#118 Smoking Man's Fan Club on 03.21.12 at 4:22 am

*burp* Well, well, well. It looks like Garth “Wallflower” Turner is no longer the homely kid waiting to get asked to dance. When I was in skool, *hiccup* I’d have have girrrls at dances circle me, chanting “Go Smokey! Go Smokey Go!” Even teachers, *burp* would tell me how great I was but I knew they didn’t know why. And it’s the same today. People love me for my wisdom and how I always win. For instance, I was at the casino when I spilled my Gin and Tonic on this retired teacher playing the nickel slots. She was about to call security but I told her how smart I was and how much money I have. She stared at me for a few moments, nodded her head and walked away. Then I puked on myself, called my sons to say they’re losers and took a cab home so I could make sweat passionate love to Smoking Woman. See people, Smoking Man is the best and you’re all zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Whoa! I blacked out there for a minute. Anyway, *hiccup* follow me on Twitter and I will tell you how this damn real estate scenario will play out.

(Awww man! I forgot to put on a pair of Depends and dropped a baked potato in my Fruit of the Looms. I’m going to have to make my way to the taxi stand walking like a penguin, an Emperor penguin at least.)

#119 Taipan on 03.21.12 at 5:12 am

Garth I come over here every day and sit down to think about where we are up to.

Its like we meet at a coffee shop. You sit on one side of the table with a coffee and i sit on the opposite side.

So Garth, whats happening. I then read your blog. Unfortunately for you, you usually dont get my side of the story. But after listening to you, i go elsewhere and find plenty of evidence of what im seeing.

And we agree. We shake hands and walk away to return the next day.

More normal hunting grounds are over at Realestatetalks BC forum. A wonderful opium den of delusion.

As the last major remaining alpha bear i can assure your that it remains a general bastion of stupidity, delusion and with a total lack of understanding of credit and property bubbles.

Ive even had a number of threats against my personal and my families personal safety. How bad is that!

And why because day after day I keep saying what you say. The market is a bubble.

Many over there think it is micro issues causing prices to increase. A review of the terant shows it to be a Canada wide issue.

So Garth. Keep talking. Keep telling it like it is. If you save 1 or 10 or 100 people from this bubble then that is a good thing. Ill do my bit.

When the pain comes it will be brutally cruel, and people will take their own lives. They have no concept how shattering the deleveraging is.

#120 ANONYMOUS on 03.21.12 at 5:16 am

It used to be said that when the USA sneezes, Canada catches a cold. Well, with more and more of our resources being sent to Asia and less and less of our economy being connected to America’s economy, what ever happens to China directly affects us, AND our real estate market too.

So read this and you can get an idea that China is dramatically slowing down:

Here are the key words to this article:

(“China, an automaker’s paradise of eager buyers only a couple of years ago, is getting a lot tougher for those who want to sell to those who drive the very best. Besides Mercedes, BMW and Audi are having to offer discounts of 20% on their flagships. Saying Bloomberg: “Waiting lists have vanished and salesmen are dangling perks ranging from free iPhones to Hermes-bag coupons.” Yikes. It wasn’t supposed to be this way.”)

Does this sort of sound like what real estate is like in Canada right now, of how there are waiting lists of people trying to buy condos and homes?

What happens if what is going on in China is a sign of things to come in Canada, that would mean that waiting lists will disappear and builders will start having to dangle perks, such as discounts of 20% on their flagships ???

Of course, I might be all wrong?

#121 Deb on 03.21.12 at 5:56 am

Ever notice that you can never find a person who will admit to buying Nortel at its peak of $124.50? I guess that’s why most of those folks who stand in the condo lines don’t seem to talk much.
We haven’t yet heard a peep from F on the further tightening of mortgage rules. It now appears that he will actually include it in the federal budget next Thursday afternoon, meaning that the usual Canadian spring for plump real estate sales will be cancelled. Show me a bubble, and I’ll show you a prick.

#122 Stevenson on 03.21.12 at 6:37 am

#47 Keeping the Faith

Wow did you just hit puberty?

Hey at least I am not the one that has been left behind or worst off sold at the wrong time.

In simple terms if you understand anything at all. You may have sold before rally and helped pay someones mortgage while “their” property appreciated. Thanks.

#123 Aussie Roy on 03.21.12 at 7:01 am

Aussie Update

THE number of houses worth less than their purchase price has soared almost by 20,000 across Victoria in just three months.
In some areas as many as one in 10 properties are in the red with the state’s northwest and northeast hardest hit.

RP Data research shows the number of houses to have their value fall below what owners paid rose to 3.8 per cent from 2.4 per cent in the December quarter.

There are now 50,705 properties with so-called negative ”baseline” equity.

Construction carnage: More than 80 firms collapse in a month as building industries suffer through 2012

Bursting housing bubbles cause unemployment, NOT you need high unemployment to burst a bubble.

The building and construction industries have had a poor start to the year, with more than 80 firms entering administration, liquidation or being hit by a winding up notice over the past month on the east coast alone.

A SmartCompany review of insolvency appointments shows that companies in earthmoving, project development, kitchens, fencing, civil engineering, plumbing, electricians and plasters have recently collapsed.

A BIG housing bull has now even turned bearish – about time.

I came across an interesting article yesterday by The Cupboard’s Economics Editor, David Uren, entitled: Australian housing market just a jobs crisis away from collapse. It is one of the more bearish pieces we’ve seen in the increasingly circumspect MSM recently. Let’s take a look.

Could you sell your house if you wanted to?

It is interesting to read the comments section of this article, a good snap shot of what is happening on the ground.

#124 Aussie Roy on 03.21.12 at 7:25 am

ANONYMOUS on 03.21.12 at 5:16 am

builders will start having to dangle perks, such as discounts of 20% on their flagships ???

Agreed but with a twist. The Aussie experience is this and here are the reasons why.

Should a developer offer “land/Building discounts” he can put himself in a very awkward position. Because when he discounts his “stock” his lender can then demand a revaluation of all his unsold stock he is holding, causing the developer to stump up more cash to hold his stock.

Our tricky developers know this and get around it by offering the discount as a voucher to be spent at one of the national furniture retailers or at a car dealership. He does this so he can write it off as advertising/promotion and not a discount on stock being sold which in turns affect the rest of his unsold stock holdings.

IF this experience is repeated in Canada I would expect the first signs of crumbling prices to be met with promotions such as buy a house and get a free car or a voucher for $20-30k to be spent on furnishings.

Like many of the delusional the last thing they will do is actually discount prices as this admits “real estate doesn’t ever just go up”. Much better to just say things are a little slow so we need to promote new house sales.

#125 househornyhousewife on 03.21.12 at 7:34 am


I am not sure that the ad was necessarily lying so much as playing around with the actual facts. The way I read this was that even though prices may fall and interest rates may rise (a likely scenario that even the writer(s) of this ad cannot deny), there will be no US style housing market crash. I would tend to agree with this .. it will be a Canadian style housing market crash .. you know, like when you trip but instead of falling right on your face, you still have enough balance to go down slowly and avoid having to go to the emergency room afterwards.

I think you have to read between the lines here. Note that they say, “even if prices fall” and “84% of Canadians report they can handle a mortgage rate increase”. This is where you have to look. So in translating “real-estate-ese” you will get something like:

Even though things may look bad and everyone is overextended these days but in sheer denial, we choose to believe that the glass is half full and not half empty. Sure the price of real estate may decrease, sure sales may slow down, and sure mortgage interest rates may go up, but we’re different from our US brethren because we have more rules to follow and are therefore protected. Canadians tell us that everything is OK in their household financially and we choose to believe everything they say because, let’s face it, if we don’t, we’re screwed right ?

That’s the way I read this ad. For one, the very fact that the ad exists speaks volumes, and for another, the facts are in there somewhere but they are being made light of. What I would be saying if I were in their place is that due to a slowing market, there may be wonderful opportunities in store and that if you are in a good financial position to buy property, you may want to start looking around for them. That’s the way I would spin it.

One would like to believe that most Canadians are not stupid enough to believe word for word what is in this ad but heck, we all know that some people will definitely get hooked and fall into the false sense of security that the ad is aiming to achieve.


#126 debtified on 03.21.12 at 7:37 am

Garth and blog dawgs: Let’s suppose debt becomes normal and the power-that-be is on the side of the debtor (hypothetical but it does seem to be happening already). By normal, I mean there’s no deleveraging expected (let’s face it, can it still be done considering the amount of debt already accumulated by persons, corporate and government?).

My question is: What’s in it for the savers?

#127 Kevin on 03.21.12 at 7:56 am


“If the market crashes, we Canadians have two options:

1) Forgive a huge percentage of the mortgage principal for those owners over their heads.

2) ALL taxpayers bailout CMHC.”

Option 1 is textbook Moral Hazard. It rewards those who made risky gambles and lost, and punishes those who took a more cautious, conservative approach.

It also is not without consequence. Banks cannot simply “forgive” billions of dollars in loans without it dramatically impacting profitability, which means dividends get cut, stock prices plummet, pension funds collapse, RRSPs freefall, and ultimately, retirees experience a painful decrease in income. The only way to prevent it is for the taxpayers to step in and eat the difference (thus socializing losses, which is exactly what the US did). You’re spreading the losses over EVERYBODY, including those who made the smart decisions, instead of just those who caused the problem.

Either way, somebody pays. There’s no easy way out of this.

#128 tony w on 03.21.12 at 8:07 am


3 points this morning:

1. Alberta is non recourse on conventional (i.e. not high ratio) mortgages only.
2. Four Seasons and Shangri-La are over $1,500 per square foot on average for remaining inventory – i.e. twice what you think.
3. NEW condo sales down 59% in February because there have been hardly any new openings. These numbers will change in March and April. There are always a large number of sales in the first month after an opening – look at the line-ups and brokers’ frenzy at those times.
By contrast, RESALE condo sales were up 4 to 5% in the GTA in February.

#129 TurnerNation on 03.21.12 at 8:15 am

London has “HAM”?

“Luxury-home prices in central London rose the most in 10 months as overseas buyers seeking the safety of one of the world’s most resilient property markets propelled demand, Knight Frank LLP said in a report today.

Values of houses and apartments costing an average of 3.7 million pounds ($5.9 million) gained 1.1 percent in March from a month earlier, the London-based broker said. Prices have been rising for three years and are 10.1 percent above the previous peak in March 2008, before the global financial crisis, said Liam Bailey, Knight Frank’s head of residential research. “

#130 guy from toronto on 03.21.12 at 8:18 am

to #118 Smoking Man’s Fan Club, thank you for your post…..please keep them coming…..”baked potato in my Fruit of the Looms”??? priceless.

#131 GregW, Oakville on 03.21.12 at 8:23 am

Hi #210 Nastra, re: your link to BeesWax. and facebook
We humans are so smart, not.

Nero-toxin with ‘lower toxicity’ for other animals, does not mean No Toxicity, and we are eating this stuff!!!
FYI if you don’t recall, We Humans beings are animals!

“Already being ravaged by pesticides that are ignored by the USDA, a new study confirms that the bee population decline is also linked to corn insecticides that are among the most widely used in the world. The study sheds more light on the rampant downfall of the bee population through mass die-offs, also known as colony collapse disorder.

Used to coat corn seeds, the chemicals — known as neonicotinoid insecticides – are used to kill the insects by paralyzing their nerves. The makers claim that it has ‘lower toxicity’ for other animals.”

I wonder if MP’s even care about there own families?

Re” facebook emplyer on MSN news toady.
At an employer train session I attended they told us they looked at our facebook and there IT guy knows how to get past the privacy pass word issue to see everything! Persons with drunken pics for example were not hired. If you have kids you need to site then down and tell them so they don’t miss out on a good job due to a pic on social media, even in the so-called private area. It’s not worth it. A posted bad picture might be just as bad as having a criminal record, as far as landing that good job.

#132 TurnerNation on 03.21.12 at 8:29 am

#107This is Wonderland on 03.21.12 at 1:04 am

Amazing find! They had streaming internet – back then – as evidenced by this clip ;-)

This is rare footage of a young, wild-haired Garth. What a play-by-play: avoid speculation, manhandle goverment debt (likely it paid out 8-10% back then?).

#133 Smoking Man's Fan Club on 03.21.12 at 8:53 am

Guy in Toronto 130,

I’ve got a million of them.

Q. What’s the difference between Smoking Man and Charlie Sheen?

A. Charlie Sheen has 4 more teeth.

Q. Why did Smoking Man cross the road?

A. He thought someone was paying attention to him.

Ok, one more….

Smoking Man, John G Young and a Chinese Guy walk into a gay bar on Fetish Fridays. The bartender asks “What’ll it be, boys?”
John G Young says, “I’m here for the sex.”
Smoking Man says, “I’ll have a bottle of your finest Merlot so I can wash down these Viagra pills. After that, who knows.”
The bartender turns to the Chinese guy to ask what he wants, and he’s laughing. Smoking Man and John G Young look at the Chinese guy and say, “Well? What do you want?”
Chinese guy replies, “The rent.”

#134 fancy_pants on 03.21.12 at 9:11 am

#126 debtified on 03.21.12 at 7:37 am
-valid position worth a closer look; sure there will be debt-ridden carcasses of greater fools strew about but a very real scenario is the savers as a whole will bear the burden of the fallout.

ps. oil going to at least $150 per barrel by the summer… itchy foot and ear twitches.

#135 The American on 03.21.12 at 9:15 am

Some facts to consider here:

1. Average down payment for Canadians is now only 7%, while Canadian household debt:income ratio sits at 153% and rising. At the peak of the American housing bubble, the average down payment was actually 11%, and American debt:income ratio peaked at 149%. Today in the U.S., the AVERAGE down payment is 27% and the debt:income ratio is at 138% and dropping. I’d say Canada has some serious soul searching to do right about now, and it is time to look the situation in the eye and confront it.
2. Canadian banks have been anything but “conservative.” In fact, just the opposite is true. Canadian banks have been the biggest offenders of subprime lending in the entire G20. They were only late to the game, and they’ve done a great job of snowing the Canadian masses by making the false claim they aren’t subprime lenders. Truth is, IMF and most other global institutions and analysts now recognize this for what it is. Lending on 3%-5% down on rates that reset every 5 years to anyone who wants the money (and I do mean ANYONE, including cab drivers in Vancouver who have bought TWO $500,000 condos) is the very definition of “subprime” whether you want to call it that or not. The only difference, is this is how the Canadian banks have lent to over 80% of the Canadian population over the past five years. Subprime lending was for about 30% of the aggregated loans made in the U.S. You say tomato, I say piss off and get informed.
3. This constant position, stating that Canada has full recourse loans is the most ridiculous *logic* (or lack thereof). Canada also has areas where there are not full recourse loans as well. Here is the fact of the matter… In the U.S. there are only 12 states that are non-recourse (Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Idaho, Minnesota, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington State). 38 states, 1 district (D.C.), and 1 territory (Puerto Rico) are FULL RECOURSE. Some of the hardest-hit real estate in the U.S. were in RECOURSE states, including Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Michigan (eh hem, Detroit), Virginia, Washington D.C., Maryland, and New York. So, please stop using this pathetic recourse vs. non-recourse argument as if it is going to save real estate from the inevitable. If you do not know what you’re talking about, then try not to speak so authoritatively about it.
4. The reasons in the propaganda piece stating “We [Canadians] tend to seek more conservative lending options” is the most laughable line of all. Conservative lending options do not include over 95% of a population on mortgages that reset every 5 years with an average of only 7% down, such as is the case in Canada. Again, its subprime, subprime, subprime. If you prefer we call it “fun-time-happy-sunshine-rainbows-and-lolipops lending,” we can call it that too. It won’t, however, change the end results. It is so over and there will be no soft landing.

#136 Dean on 03.21.12 at 9:34 am

The color scheme of that flyer is eerily similar to the government’s “Economic Action Plan”. Coincidence?

#137 Smoking Man on 03.21.12 at 9:36 am

#118 Smoking Man’s Fan Club

Just let me know where to send the autographed book

#138 stevo on 03.21.12 at 9:41 am

I was driving home from work yesterday and listening to CBC Radio 99.1 in T.O. The person being interviewed was going on about the current housing bubble and “real estate orgies”.

I though to myself – my god, is there another sane voice on RE in Canada? Then the radio host said “That’s Garth Turner”.

I guess it’s only you Garth.

#139 Al Bundy on 03.21.12 at 9:55 am

16thinker —

I know a person who bought one at the Ritz Carelton as an investment and having troubles selling it. He paid around 1.7 mill for around 2800 sq.

#140 The American on 03.21.12 at 10:01 am

Other points of consideration. Four Season Seattle sat at nearly $2,400/square foot at the peak of market. Today, it is sitting at only $1,200/square foot on remaining unsold inventory. Point? 50% reductions in new condo prices often happen, even in thriving areas with diversified economic engines. Mind you, Seattle did not have a glut of overbuilding like Toronto, yet Seattle has still experienced a pricing correction.

#141 maxx on 03.21.12 at 10:22 am

The level of arrogant house horniness in Canada proves that many canuckleheads think with their gonads rather than with their crania- they will likely never understand how to build wealth. We live in a speculative, crapshoot world, where many are convinced that they can roll the dice to wealth due to MSM making frequent daily plays for their reproductive juices. The sun has largely set on RE as the golden road to riches.
Once brainwashed, it takes a wee while before reality sets in. But it will.
Fundamentals are lousy, the job market sucks mainly with McJobs and whip-crackers and the wizard of Oz is doing everything under the sun to pump what life it can into this faltering Spring market. The last of the fools are going through the turnstile and yes there are many, many stupid people out there with lots of cash.
part of the problem is that many have lost trust in banks and government and have no idea where to park their money.
Two days ago I was in to see TNMATB and on my side of the desk, turned towards me was an in-house magazine replete with how-to suggestions for increasing sales on their financial “products”, complete with a mini “how-to” guide for countering objections (to investment risk). The modus operandum will never change. But you can.

#142 Bigrider on 03.21.12 at 10:23 am

Toronto IS special and different !

It is chock full of Asians, Italians and Russians who love to rub bricks and lay on interlock all day long.

House prices to the moon !!

#143 eddy on 03.21.12 at 10:26 am

“Canada has no bubble”

Sounds line a Haarper quote from the last time he was in China, visiting our jobs.
If he doesn’t see a problem how can he fix it?

#144 Canadian Watchdog on 03.21.12 at 10:26 am

And the 2011 best performing taxpayer of the year goes to….wait for it….The Government Of Canada!

#145 Bigrider on 03.21.12 at 10:30 am

Garth, ever see the National bank advertising piece in there branches which show a picture of a house in the center ,followed by a host of other pictures such as investments at the top androtating clockwise, cars, vacations, etc.

The caption, use your “home as centre of financial planning”.

With ads like this, no wonder people are home obsessed and mis guided.

#146 eddy on 03.21.12 at 10:32 am

‘the government’s “Economic Action Plan”‘

If memory serves, that included- death, debt, prisons and tax deductable music lessons

#147 The Thing in the Basement on 03.21.12 at 10:41 am

135 American

“Conservative lending options do not include over 95%
of a population on mortgages that reset every 5 years
with an average of only 7% down, such as is the case in Canada.”

Not sure if you’ve misunderstood or just poorly worded. The 95% and 7% are supposedly on new originations
only, not renewals.

#148 Junius on 03.21.12 at 10:42 am

#116 Alan,

No. My reference was to Vancouver. What jobs and industries in Vancouver justify the current prices? Based on your comment that prices are supported by fundamentals please explain why prices in Vancouver would be higher than Toronto or Calgary and address the Seattle comparison.

Or are you just wrong as we assert? There are no fundamentals supporting the market here which is why the market is in trouble.

#149 Joe_Blown_Away_By_High_Housing_Costs on 03.21.12 at 10:46 am

Green slime, rust, and cracked walls at Vancouver’s “luxury” Olympic Village condos

#150 Junius on 03.21.12 at 10:47 am

#135 the American,

Great post. These facts can’t be repeated enough.

#151 John G. Young on 03.21.12 at 10:55 am

#135 The American

Great post, thank you.

Except for this part: “If you do not know what you’re talking about, then try not to speak so authoritatively about it.”

Seriously, if people here — or I daresay on any blog –took that advice there wouldn’t be many posts… :)

#152 maxx on 03.21.12 at 11:01 am

#12 TRT on 03.20.12 at 8:44 pm

There are more choices than the two you propose as being the only two options: letting pure market force take hold would be a third.
There is no requirement to do any bailing out of anything or anyone that does not deserve it. This would damage Canada far more than it already has been.

#153 Van guy on 03.21.12 at 11:03 am

#82 Frank on 03.20.12 at 11:30 pm
Van guy – You just don’t get it.

Hahaha! – Enjoy the plunge in value on your east van 725 sq ft condo!

I don’t have a condo moron. The only thing I get is, winning in poker. I made $60k last year tax free. My next goal is to invest. I admit, I’m new to this.

Johnny Young,

Thanks for backing me up. Devore is a moron too.

#154 John G. Young on 03.21.12 at 11:03 am

#133 Smoking Man’s Fan Club

“Smoking Man, John G Young and a Chinese Guy walk into a gay bar on Fetish Fridays…”

Are you stalking me?

Thanks for the laugh.

#155 Aussie Roy on 03.21.12 at 11:10 am

#135The American on 03.21.12 at 9:15 am
Some facts to consider here:

Well done on exposing that peoples beliefs are quite different to the logical facts. May I add that many who so strongly hold onto theses beliefs are suffering from “confirmation bias”.

I’m sure that it is for you, like it is for me, when watching other countries bubbles burst. It appears that many of the same “it’s different here”, because reasons so believed are the same ones used over and over again. These are all proven wrong as the reality of logic sets in. I’d say that these excuses are very much the same but just have a local flavour to suit that country.

There are still any number of these mis-conceptions still peddled as logic, even though clearly the bubble here has started to deflate. The delusional currently still out number the sane.

Of course just ask the majority of Australias, they are still convinced, never was, never will be a land price bubble here. It’s just soooooo different – LOL

My guess based on Australia being about a year ahead of Canada, poor Garth will still be dealing with the delusional for some time yet. The good news of course is that some, a minority will see the logic and benefit from it.

So thanks for your response filled with logic showing how much of what is currently believed is seriously flawed. While many would take the excuses why it’s different here (there – everywhere) as gospel, no questions asked.

#156 Coraline on 03.21.12 at 11:18 am

Is anyone else revolted by Junius’s constant references to monkey sex? Seriously, it’s just too creepy.

#157 les on 03.21.12 at 11:23 am

These Canadian Bankers are a hoot!

Extend too much credit and then jump on the ‘doom and gloom’ bandwagon.

Don’t know whether to laugh or cry

#158 Burnaby Aquarium in the Sky on 03.21.12 at 11:30 am

Long time reader that rarely posts. 32, IT Project Manager, married to lawyer wife, 29. $200k/year income, paid for home in North Vancouver (mine, I bought with an inheritance a long time ago), $250k in a liquid portfolio, and a rental condo, currently for sale, in Burnaby (hers). Condo assessed at $526k, listed at $535k, just over $300k remaining on the mortgage, very very little action in the four months its been up for sale. Action picked up this week significantly with a number of showings and a verbal offer yesterday for $505k. Do I suck it up and sell under assessed or try and hang on for a greater fool to lock in at 2.99 and 30years before F takes it away?

#159 Van guy on 03.21.12 at 11:31 am

#119 Taipan on 03.21.12 at 5:12 am

You’re a funny guy over at RE talks. I’m not even allowed to post there. I’ve posted in the thread “Vancouver individual sales” with distressed sales or sales with big discounts, but it never gets posted. ETB is a realtor. I know people in the RE biz and I know who she is. That forum is run by a crook named “Ozzie Jurock”. He’s a clown and nobody should do business with him. He’s being sued right now for his bunk investment scams. Damn those Aussies eh? Lol Cheers!

#160 Jimmy on 03.21.12 at 11:32 am

If an agent has to come out with a flyer …..the bubble is about to explode !!

#161 jess on 03.21.12 at 11:38 am

RIF list
low bonus are underperformers / costly employees, who are placed on what’s known as a “RIF,” or reduction-in-force, list.

.. wall street be any street providing the “tax” incentives,cheap educated labour /living costs
e.g. Salt Lake

traders who can be replaced with new technology, or back-office, technology and operations staff who can be replaced with less expensive employees .

#162 throwstone on 03.21.12 at 11:40 am

Blase #72.

Hey its great your teaching abroad!…I thought about going that way myself?

Just wondering how competitive it is to find a placement?…

#163 throwstone on 03.21.12 at 11:50 am

Hey Garth!

So how much income was required to carry your old Leaside house; with a 25% down payment?

Three bills. — Garth

#164 mpl on 03.21.12 at 11:52 am

Reader from India here. The bubble you guys have is but a tiny blip compared to whats happened here in India.
Almost a 300% real increase in home prices over just 10 years !! See

Prior to that RE prices mostly tracked inflation (~7%) for decades.

#165 John G. Young on 03.21.12 at 11:55 am

#153 Van guy

“Johnny Young,

Thanks for backing me up.”

U R most welcome. Maybe someday you can teach me how to win at poker!

And yes, I’ve been getting that vibe from Devore’s posts.

#166 John G. Young on 03.21.12 at 11:58 am

#156 Coraline

It’s actually Junius’ imposter (a troll), and yes, it creeps me out too.

#167 ptsakani on 03.21.12 at 12:22 pm

Good read.

#168 AG Sage on 03.21.12 at 12:28 pm

>#162 throwstone on 03.21.12 at 11:40 am
I’m curious, was your grandfather’s name George?

#169 Poorgoisie on 03.21.12 at 12:29 pm

US population 318m
Canada 34m

And according to the article we also have one tenth the payment delinquencies. Please say it isn’t that simple, that the level is per 1000 homes or something because I use the same spin to say Canada has one tenth the amount of arseholes

#170 jess on 03.21.12 at 12:31 pm

11 Expat smoking man stumbles drunk into some one’s backyard …could be a would be attacker .bang your dead or worse you survived and have a huge hospital bill lose mobility/speech.
Florida law where stand your ground law or shoot first
Approximately 15 states have now adopted “Shoot First” laws

Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.
John F. Kennedy

#171 Kaka Balli on 03.21.12 at 12:49 pm

, those with high-ratio mortgages would be most at risk of negative equity should prices decline since they have so little equity… but because they would be CMHC insured, they are subject to recourse rules, so borrowers cannot just walk away. Beyond that, even those of us who are bearish on the current market are really only pegging prices to drop 25-30% to return to historic means long term, for those in the non-recourse category they would have at least 20% equity, and likely would have accumulated even more equity since taking on the loan… thus the risk of hitting negative equity is small, and even for the few that could, it’s hardly worth turning one’s life on it’s ear and screwing up your credit rating on account of being underwater a couple percent.

So, long story short, while in theory Alberta mortgages are non-recourse… de facto they are recourse in nature.

#172 NorthOf49 on 03.21.12 at 12:56 pm

#158 Burnaby Aquarium in the Sky

Seriously?? You’re contemplating throwing that fish back? Up his offer another $5-10K if you want but don’t lose him outright. Say he holds firm at $505K and you say no. In six months time when you’ve lowered your asking to $505K, would you be able to handle the seller’s remorse, knowing you had a buyer in the palm or your hand and you let him get away. Your call but I know what I would do.

#173 stealth on 03.21.12 at 1:04 pm


Have you seen this story quoting you?

Quote “Long branded as a fearmonger, especially by people whose livelihoods require that home prices keep rising”

I stopped reading about myself in 1996. — Garth

#174 EB on 03.21.12 at 1:07 pm

#127 Kevin – “Either way, somebody pays. There’s no easy way out of this.”

A sizable minority of Canadians must live with negative equity for a long, long time. That’s the only acceptable solution – make a bad bet, pay the house. Any other way out is unacceptable.

Which means they’ll try to find some other way out, of course.

#175 Oceanside on 03.21.12 at 1:13 pm

#99 Mike in Saskatoon on 03.21.12 at 12:31 am
I can’t wait for the CBC to be privatized.
The only MSM that has (seemingly) non biased reporting and you want it gone? All that would be left for us is Global/ReMax media. CBC is the glue that holds Canadians together. Besides, I hate advertising and loud hosts.

#176 Mister Obvious on 03.21.12 at 1:14 pm

#149 Joe_Blown_Away_By_High_Housing_Costs

“Green slime, rust, and cracked walls at Vancouver’s “luxury” Olympic Village condos”

I’m not here to defend the “Village up the Creek” which I agree is a dump. But, as a life-long Vancouver resident, I can attest that everything here eventually gets covered in green slime. It is after all, a west coast rainforest.

If it’s your priority to keep ahead of the slime you must drag out a power washer from time to time.

Evidently, cleaning mold from unsold million dollar glass-fronted boxes is not a priority of Vancouver City Councillors who are the default custodians.

#177 Devore on 03.21.12 at 1:18 pm

Whew, tough crowd today.

#68 John G. Young

Ok, so I got a little bit snippy with a poster who continually posts weird logic and non-sequiturs, like #29. It happens. I shall refrain in the future!

#74 Paully

It doesn’t “seem” like he was talking strictly new sales, just condos in general, ie “In the first two months of the year condo sales plunged by 59%, even as work progressed on more than 100 new towers”. To which I posted a recent link about condo sales being off 59%. I try not to read too much into Garth’s and other people’s comments. Misunderstandings happen on the intarwebz enough as it is. As we all (should) know by now, you can show anything with judicious use of statistics and metrics.

Oh hey, how about those OSFI recommendations on mortgage practices? I think those suits are even less happy with the banks than Carney.

#178 AprilNewwest on 03.21.12 at 1:20 pm

Deb #121 – You say change in mortgage rules will be announced in the coming budget “cancelling” the usual spring run up in sales/prices but what usually seems to happen is they make the announcement but then don’t actually make the changes for months down the road allowing more people to take on debt. The changes needs to be now not later but hopefully your right.

#179 Van guy on 03.21.12 at 1:23 pm


Take a look at this. Bidding wars galore for Van east in the last month.

#180 Smoking Man on 03.21.12 at 1:26 pm

Blase #72.

One thing you should know after 5pm to whenever I pass out the creativity of my posts goes up, but the legibility goes down. It’s a compromise.
Everyone around you is a teacher, public education is a relatively new thing, but its sole purpose is to produce an obedient workers that follow rules.
I don’t like teachers because they don’t see it, yet they are supposed to be smart
You ever heard of Google? Google Vid’s of School sucks and educate yourself.
I would have no problem with school and Teachers if they took away “Measure”
Measurement is all about control.
What Would happen then is, kids would gravitate to areas of interest, focused and absorbing all, rather than the focus set what small bits to memorize to get a good grade.

#181 Kris on 03.21.12 at 1:27 pm

#135 American.
Good post. One of my friends is a Sr Accnt Mgr at a large Cdn bank. He echoed your sentiments about Cdn lending being effectively sub-prime, whether or not they’re called “sub-prime”. He said this 12-18 months ago – Since then our banks actually loosened their purse-strings, and debt-to-income has gotten worse too.

#182 Smoking Man on 03.21.12 at 1:28 pm

Blase #72

And if you and your kind did a good job, you would not have kids buying 600K condos.

#183 Daniel on 03.21.12 at 1:29 pm

Interesting how the market in Canada is similar to Penang, Malaysia, for condo’s anyway.

Most of the new condo’s are selling for 900 – 1000RM/sqft (300CAD/sqft). Most are completely unoccupied. New condo beside mine going for around 1 million Canadian a unit (3500sqft) – 120 units, maybe 5 are occupied.

Wonder who’s buying all these units around the world?

We bought a smaller unit for 100k CAD 3 years ago and now ‘worth’ 200k. Definitely not counting the money just yet – but, like living here so no rush to sell. Interesting how the world housing prices are similar in different parts of the world due to one common factor … can you guess what that factor is?

#184 Aussie Roy on 03.21.12 at 1:31 pm

Coraline on 03.21.12 at 11:18 am

Is anyone else revolted by Junius’s constant references to monkey sex? Seriously, it’s just too creepy.

It’s never the REAL Junius but the imposter, it’s an easy way to tell whether the comment is worth reading or not.

These tactics are only ever used by those gripped by fear, without the intelligence to mount a credible logical challenge. It usually shows the person who is being targetted has a well thought out, considered position or opinion. When you can’t fight logic with logic, some people will resort to all kinds of nonsense.

Thank goodness most here can sort the sh$t from the clay, the real from the fake.

Yes, I to would not miss the sick monkey stuff if we never saw another post on the subject.

#185 KingBubbles on 03.21.12 at 1:33 pm

Any thoughts about Bank of Nova Scotia preferreds?

Tasty. — Garth

#186 Arshes on 03.21.12 at 1:34 pm

#158 Burnaby Aquarium in the Sky

Just sell, when the market turns, you may have 10+ years before you can sell again at that price.

#187 DM in C on 03.21.12 at 1:43 pm

The considerate people at Calgary’s RE board have now issued a warning to renters — because of the tightening of the rental market (so they say), more people are getting scammed by the Fake Owner fraud.

Transparent ploy. Oh oh, the rental market is scary, maybe you should BUY RIGHT NOW.

#188 Losing faith on 03.21.12 at 2:04 pm

Just as the Teachers Associations takes fees from 30,000 “teachers” a year who are not employed as teachers, so too the Real Estate boards have to create a false sense of hope for the thousands of realtors who pay their dues and have no work. Hence the flyer. Our government tells the unemployed that being a real estate agent is a career in short supply… Laughable really when I heard that from someone who got laid off. It’s a free market, but someone should be held accountable fOr the poor people who are told these are good careers and then graduate wih debt and discover the truth… As evidenced by blasés comment.

#189 Investx on 03.21.12 at 2:13 pm

“Recourse mortgages? Another lie. Alberta doesn’t have them. Neither does Florida, where real estate values have collapsed 40%.”

Where’s the lie? There’s a difference between whether recourse mortgages exist in Canada and whether they have an affect on market stability.

#190 tkid on 03.21.12 at 2:14 pm

Burnaby Aquarium in the Sky – take the hit and accept the offer as-is. Then pray the offer’s conditions are met and the place gets cash-and-keys-exchanged sold. Otherwise you will be selling $450,000

#191 Van guy on 03.21.12 at 2:17 pm

#165 John G. Young on 03.21.12 at 11:55 am

Learn poker by experience. Start playing small online on pokerstars. Play multiple tables and collect points and freebie tickets for tourneys. Remember player names that are loose, then victimize them. Be patient, don’t get bored. At the casino it’s a different game. Play the player and be aggressive against certain donators. I play at the River rock and this 73 year old man from the island, donates like $1000 a day. You need to come over from the island to play here. More donators.

Good luck

#192 fancy_pants on 03.21.12 at 2:25 pm

#158 Burnaby Aquarium in the Sky on 03.21.12 at 11:30 am

IMO you don’t have an offer yet. Make them present their verbal offer as an actual written one. then you have an offer. Come back and present your question again at that time. Until then you have nothing.

you wife is a lawyer? hope you didn’t ask her first

#193 Coraline on 03.21.12 at 2:33 pm

Apologies to the original Junius for linking him with the monkeys. I have trouble remembering who is the original and who is the fake among the various people trolling this blog. The fake Junius goes beyond the usual troll creepiness though. Seriously pal, should we send 911 around to see if you have any bodies in the freezer?

#194 John G. Young on 03.21.12 at 2:45 pm

#176 Devore on 03.21.12 at 1:18 pm

“Ok, so I got a little bit snippy with a poster who continually posts weird logic and non-sequiturs, like #29. It happens. I shall refrain in the future!”

Thank you. I find that I get snippy too — too easy to post a comment without reflecting on it, and I can be affected by the hostility of some of the posts. I am trying to curb this unhealthy tendency, and thank you for doing the same.

#195 Van guy on 03.21.12 at 2:48 pm


Look, i ask stupid questions regarding the stock market and investing because I know shit all about it. I’m like the Smoking Man. Not educated but I have $. I make a good chunk of income tax free while you donate your money to the government. Now when I learn to invest, I will be rollin’. People like you help build casinos so I can make tax free $. U need to pull in a salary of over 100k to match what I make at the casino. If you were so smart, you would of bought RE and flipped. But you didn’t. Good for you that you know how to invest. But you don’t know how to not donate your money to the government. Think before you insult.

#196 Canadian Watchdog on 03.21.12 at 2:53 pm

Canada releases its “Little Black Book of Scams”


#197 John G. Young on 03.21.12 at 2:55 pm

#179 Smoking Man

“I would have no problem with school and Teachers if they took away “Measure”
Measurement is all about control.”

Agreed. I would add that labels are too.

“What Would happen then is, kids would gravitate to areas of interest, focused and absorbing all, rather than the focus set what small bits to memorize to get a good grade.”

Agree again — but in order for this change to happen, wouldn’t there have to be a fundamental change in the way society operates?

PS If you choose to post a response please do so before 5 — I’d like to be able to understand it ;)

PPS If you wrote all the chapters of your book before 5 I would be interested in getting a copy

#198 Alan on 03.21.12 at 2:56 pm

148 Junius,

Maybe you’re having a problem reading my posts. For the record I never mentioned Seattle, -it was Pt Roberts, south of Vancouver.

With regards to trying to justify Vancouver as a job-creating environment to justify real estate prices, you are suggesting that there are little or few high paying jobs to support real estate prices. My response is simply, you are using an old way of thinking to understand a the modern day environment. Quite simply the continued path of globalization and the internet has made it much easier to do business worldwide. You have people who work in industries that may have business branches spread all over the world, yet may have employees stationed in Vancouver. Microsoft is an example of a company that has a few “microsoft partners” in Vancouver and one of those businesses employs 35 high paying consulting positions. There are real brick and mortar companies that have branch offices spread through out the Province and most importantly, there are people who are choosing to move to Vancouver to buy and own. Clearly this is something you cannot disagree with anymore. You called me to task when I suggested that the Asian buyers were buying in Vancouver and you asked me for proof. Do you still feel the same after what you have seen, read and heard over the last year?

#199 debtified on 03.21.12 at 3:11 pm

Further to my comment on #126 about what’s in it for the saver in a world where debt is king; and to reply to the following:

#134 fancy_pants on 03.21.12 at 9:11 am

-valid position worth a closer look; sure there will be debt-ridden carcasses of greater fools strew about but a very real scenario is the savers as a whole will bear the burden of the fallout.

Wouldn’t you know it, an article related to it published in G&M a few minutes ago:

I am just starting to have this nagging feeling that maybe it’s a futile exercise to deny a world where debt is indeed king. Maybe a better strategy is based on a world where debt flourishes – no deleveraging to be expected.

Hey Garth, if you consider for a minute that debt is here to stay and it wouldn’t be much of an issue as we think of it now, what would be a prudent financial strategy? Seems to me that saving isn’t one of them.

Savers fail. Investors win. Horny hurts. — Garth

#200 disciple on 03.21.12 at 3:17 pm

#120 Anonymous… you are wrong. You can’t make a grand assessment on the Chinese economy from sales of high-end luxury items. That’s stupid. China will continue to grow. Just not in the way that the multinationals would like them to. That’s why you need to view articles like this as propaganda and complaints by Big Monopoly, while in reality, China, India and the rest of the developing world, will do just that…continue developing… and growing. It’s where a good chunk of your money should be long-term.

TRT – False dichotomy. You left out the third option…Let the scumbag, blood-sucking vampire banks fail. You must work for one?

Van Guy/Young Johnny – Devore is not a moron or snotty. Yes, he does often appear grumpy and is not sufficiently open to new ideas for my taste, but his comments are well-written and level-headed nonetheless, a microcosm of the prevailing characteristic of posters here. You would aspire to emulate. But then go to my blog and get the real scoop on things…

You still here? Did the resurrection thing not work out? — Garth

#201 Oceanside on 03.21.12 at 3:18 pm

#158 Burnaby Aquarium in the Sky on 03.21.12 at 11:30 am
Long time reader that rarely posts. 32, IT Project Manager, married to lawyer wife, 29. $200k/year income, paid for home in North Vancouver (mine, I bought with an inheritance a long time ago), $250k in a liquid portfolio, and a rental condo, currently for sale, in Burnaby (hers). Condo assessed at $526k, listed at $535k, just over $300k remaining on the mortgage, very very little action in the four months its been up for sale. Action picked up this week significantly with a number of showings and a verbal offer yesterday for $505k. Do I suck it up and sell under assessed or try and hang on for a greater fool to lock in at 2.99 and 30years before F takes it away?
$505,000 offer on $535,000 asking? In this market…SELL, may not be another offe rin the 5’s.

#202 Jason in BC on 03.21.12 at 3:21 pm

I agree with calling BPOE BOPEEP. I have seen his posts and I can’t decide whether he is insane or has never traveled outside of BC before.

#203 maxx on 03.21.12 at 3:29 pm

#27 T.O. Bubble Boy on 03.20.12 at 9:23 pm

Thanks for sharing that- every time I read one like it, I hear Homer Simpson shout “Doh!”.

#204 Timing is Everything on 03.21.12 at 3:50 pm

#175 Mister Obvious

Agreed. TSP, water and a small splash of bleach. Done. Or if you want to get fancy (and pay a bunch more)…Shell Busey’s Home Cleaning Formula. ;-)
But THE GREEN SLIME sounds so…much…more…. GHASTLY…Don’t look!…

#205 mississauga on 03.21.12 at 3:52 pm


I have a question:
what means ‘MSM’- I’ve tried but nothing found (but I know what means …HAM..)

MSM = mainstream media. == Garth

#206 John G. Young on 03.21.12 at 3:55 pm

#199 disciple

“Devore is not a moron or snotty”

I didn’t say he was snotty, just that his one comment was. He agreed.

“…his comments are well-written and level-headed nonetheless, a microcosm of the prevailing characteristic of posters here…

I agree — I have limited experience reading comments on other blogs, but many of the comments here are indeed well-written and thought-provoking.
It’s the other comments that cause problems.

#207 Timing is Everything on 03.21.12 at 3:56 pm

Just 4 fun…Green Slime…

#208 disciple on 03.21.12 at 4:05 pm

You still here? Did the resurrection thing not work out? — Garth

That’s what she said (but not in the form of a question).

#202 maxx… that article is classic mind control. The bank is only interested in the borrower making the payment.

#209 Ozy - I hope the flier indicate the organization and individuals buyers can SUE on 03.21.12 at 4:21 pm

If we share POSTERS at subways, like the shiity blue one above, people will realize they are grosly manipulated and will wake up immediatelly.

Garth, let the agents send that blue flyier to everyone, it is clearly a shameful attempt to full few more suckers into buying condo or houses at the peak of the peak.

I hope the flier indicate the organization and individuals buyers can SUE two months later when the crash reveals plentifully.

#210 Sebee on 03.21.12 at 4:29 pm

People are looking for a bubble catalist. I always had condo slide as one. Condo’s are like Honda Civics of cars, if they are too cheap, they would put downward pressure on all the models above them – except perhaps luxury models. You can have a 7-10K difference between a Civic and an Accord, but you can’t price the Accord at twice the price of the Civic. No one will buy it.

Speaking of cars Garth, have you seen that commercial? Every time I see that guy excited about his future Hummer, I think of you. :-)

I think it’s over for you and your Hummer Garth, time to jump to an Escalade – bit more Garth-ish by today’s standards.

#211 NoName on 03.21.12 at 4:37 pm

I cant believe how many similarities is in between todays condo developments around Canada of old soviet “microdistricts” greatly embraced by eastern europe.
Whole concept of erecting buildings was based on standardised unit construction. I guess all that ultimately reduced cost, but quality suffer the most.

I spend some time today just browsing new condo development, i think now days that builders and RE propaganda puts Stalin propaganda to shame…

#212 Victor on 03.21.12 at 4:59 pm

500 jobs being cut at HSBC Canada

#213 jess on 03.21.12 at 5:20 pm
Herminia Vergara Dominguez



Northland Properties Corporation doing business as
Denny’s Restaurants, and Dencan Restaurants Inc.


Before: The Honourable Madam Justice Fitzpatrick

Denny’s foreign workers win class action certification
By Tom Sandborn March 20, 2012 05:10 pm 3

..”Over 70 foreign workers who say they were cheated by their employer after they were brought to Canada to work at local Denny’s restaurants have won a significant legal victory. On March 5, Madam Justice Shelley Fitzpatrick of the B.C. Supreme Court ruled that the workers can proceed with a class action against Northland Properties Corporation — doing business as Denny’s Restaurants — and Dencan Restaurants Inc., the companies that run Denny’s Restaurants in British Columbia. If successful, the class action certified by the court could cost Denny’s upwards of ten million dollars….

Former college employee linked to foreign worker scam
By Murray Crawford
Posted 8 months ago
Police said instead of attending college, the foreign workers were contracted out by Kihew to several northern Alberta businesses, which were charged a much higher hourly rate for the services of each foreign worker than Kihew paid to the workers.

It is also alleged Kihew profited over $1 million from April 2006 to September 2006 by sub-contracting the foreign workers to various companies.

According to police, the foreign workers were told by Kihew they could legally work in Canada and after six months would be able to bring their families to reside with them in Canada. They had to sign a contract to work in Canada, which if breached, would result in a fine of $25,000 and/or deportation from the country.

The foreign nationals were provided with accommodations, according to investigators, where up to nine workers had to share three-bedroom apartments. They were also instructed not to discuss their wages or the arrangements of how they came to be in Canada. …

#214 Arse on 03.21.12 at 5:28 pm

#198debtified on 03.21.12 at 3:11 pm

Hey Garth, if you consider for a minute that debt is here to stay and it wouldn’t be much of an issue as we think of it now, what would be a prudent financial strategy? Seems to me that saving isn’t one of them.

Savers fail. Investors win. Horny hurts. — Garth


Based on current economic realities of the world, I have to agree with Garth.

#215 Steven Rowlandson on 03.21.12 at 5:30 pm

That’s right real estate is a religion to a lot of canadians.
When you speak out against it you commit blaspemy and heresy. Real estate value worshippers don’t like to hear that sort of thing. They expect the utmost amount of sacrifice by first time home buyers so that senior home owners can cash out and retire with style or at least a hefty tax free capital gain. They don’t care if every cent the government doesn’t get goes to mortgage payments as long as house prices go to the moon and never become affordable. They want it all and don’t give a damned if first time home buyers remain starving childless nobodies till the day they die.
I’d say that makes real estate as we know it a satanic religion that mascarades as an investment.
Just wait till mortgage rates have to rise then the mayhem will begin.

#216 NoName on 03.21.12 at 5:30 pm

suburbs vs. city

“…the 2006 census showed that more people are moving out of Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal to the surrounding suburbs than the other direction. Most of the people moving are new parents aged 30 to 34…”

#217 betamax on 03.21.12 at 5:46 pm

#103 Mr Buyer — if you actually want people to read your postings, learn to use paragraphs.

#218 Fabrega on 03.21.12 at 6:01 pm

John G. Young

If you are so smart why don,t you write something useful? See? There is a mistake there for you.

#219 Junius on 03.21.12 at 6:05 pm

#197 Alan,

You said, “My response is simply, you are using an old way of thinking to understand a the modern day environment. Quite simply the continued path of globalization and the internet has made it much easier to do business worldwide.”

This is crap. The guy who runs “Plenty of Fish” does so out of his apartment in the Westend. He makes plenty of money but he employs about 2 people.

Google has no employees in Vancouver. They are Toronto and Montreal. Apple is in Toronto. So is Netflix. Even so these are small offices.

You still need a nexus of industry that employs and pays people a good wage.

The reality is Alan the salaries do not support the prices. Your analysis is flawed. It cannot last.

#220 Junius on 03.21.12 at 6:07 pm

Caroline, John G. Young and Aussie Roy,

Yes, the monkey loving Junius is an imposter. One of many trolls on this Board.

When you see “monkey” think imposter.

Thanks for noticing.

#221 Uh Oh Canada on 03.21.12 at 6:14 pm

Yikes! Air Canada just laid off 1800 people. A previous big wig, also an acquaintance, was one of them. He just bought a condo in Florida. Ouch!

#222 The American on 03.21.12 at 6:24 pm

That Thing in the Basement, I did not misunderstand. Re-read my post. It is written accurately. New originations is what I am talking about here. I could care less about renewals. New originations will eventually reset at higher rates anyway. What’s your point?

#223 Uh Oh Canada on 03.21.12 at 6:24 pm

Oops on my previous post. I meant Aveos. The company completely shut down. Over 2000 folks across Canada now out of work.

#224 Arshes on 03.21.12 at 6:26 pm

#212 jess

OMG at the second story, the guy running the scam was a Priest!!!

#225 Westernman on 03.21.12 at 6:27 pm

[email protected]#174, The CBC is the glue that holds Canadians together ???
Congratulations – you are the winner of March’s idiot statement of the month…just when you think you have heard the stupidest statement ever along comes people like Oceanside…

#226 Nate on 03.21.12 at 6:35 pm

“There are Layoffs on Bay Street” – Garth …. That is completely and utterly false. The TSX is a world class market and employment growth in the finance industry in GTA is actually fairly strong right now

World class has nothing to do with trading volumes. — Garth

#227 Kevin on 03.21.12 at 6:40 pm

Charts of interest.

Not only does Canada invest more now into housing than the Americans at the peak,

Canada’s GDP is more reliant on housing related industries than the US at their peak.

Canadian Watchdog, love the charts, keep em coming.

#228 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 03.21.12 at 6:47 pm


While she was ‘flying’ down the road, a woman passed over a bridge only to find a cop with a radar gun on the other side lying in wait.

The cop pulled her over, walked up to the car, with that classic patronizing smirk we all know and love, asked,

‘What’s your hurry?’

‘I’m late for work.’

‘Oh yeah,’ said the cop, ‘what do you do?’

I’m a rectum stretcher’.

The cop stammered, ‘A what? A rectum stretcher? And just what does a rectum stretcher do?’

‘Well, I start by inserting one finger, then work my way up to two fingers, then three, then four, then with my whole hand in. I work from side to side until I can get both hands in, and then I slowly but surely stretch it, until it’s about 6 feet wide.’

‘And just what the hell do you do with a 6 foot asshole? ‘ he asked.

‘You give him a radar gun and park him behind a bridge…’

Traffic Ticket – $95.00
Court Costs – $45.00
Look on the Cop’s Face……………PRICELESS

#229 John G. Young on 03.21.12 at 6:58 pm

#216 Fabrega on 03.21.12 at 6:01 pm

Have a nice day. :)

#230 John Prine on 03.21.12 at 7:07 pm

Was across the street from our leased North Vancouver condo at a medical clinic and when filling out the forms I mentioned that I lived in the “Atrium” The practitioner replied “Are you in the tower thats sinking” I know that the workmanship is bad here and we are on land reclaimed from the ocean but apparently I missed this neighbourhood gossip.

Makes me wonder about all these hastily built condos and their engineering. I wouldn’t want to be an owner in these buildings as they age even if they weren’t sinking…..our condo is owned by people who live in China and 16 months ago paid $540,000 for this 563 sq. ft. unit.

#231 Expat on 03.21.12 at 7:20 pm

#169 Jess

You have a point, didn’t consider SM’s safety.

Of course, his liver may give out before the angry neighbor gets him.

#232 Arpy on 03.21.12 at 7:23 pm

Yes, chump-is-me
Condo owner in downtown Vancouver, being surrounded by new buildings, looking to SELL NOW but because of realtor fees, cost of moving, annoyance, I’m starting to get worried

What do you expect the market to adjust to in the next 5 years?
a) 5% decline
b) 10% decline
c) 15% decline
d) 20% decline

… anything more than 10% and I have to get out NOW NOW NOW

#233 DonDWest on 03.21.12 at 7:34 pm

Watching the news today. . .

March 21st, 2012 should be remembered as the day jobs were massacred throughout Canada. Goodness, the real estate bulls HAVE to be getting a little nervous now.

#234 Blasé on 03.21.12 at 7:37 pm

Teaching jobs aplenty all over Asia, and great university jobs if you have a masters in anything. I have six months off paid a year, 12 hours a week work, net 3 grand a month and live rent free. Easy to save 30-40 grand a year if you want to teach private lessons. I did for many years but now just doing uni and 6 hours a week private lessons, plus a month of camps a year.

Over here teachers don’t have to deal with the pc bullshit and the focus is on grades. Smoking man would go postal. Free thinking is looked down on, but people are more realistic about what you need to do to be successful. They bust their asses from kindergarten on, and grades get you to the best jobs. I think teachers back home have too many things to focus on, and you knockers of teachers have no idea of the crap that they have to muck through every day. The pay is a living wage, not riches. Go pat a teacher on the back, most deserve it.

#235 Sense on 03.21.12 at 7:43 pm

That’s a lot of jobs lately. Did I read on some blog a little something about a made in Canada recession?

#236 Pr on 03.21.12 at 7:53 pm

“If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.”
― Malcolm X

#237 Sticky on 03.21.12 at 7:54 pm

#212 jess

“Over 70 foreign workers who say they were cheated by their employer after they were brought to Canada to work at local Denny’s restaurants…”

>>Wait, we allow foreign workers into the country to work at Denny’s. WTF!?!

#238 TurnerNation on 03.21.12 at 8:10 pm

Real or not, I’ve always imagined Junius’s pet monkey is named Junius Sneezer.

I bet he’ll be pre-approved for a hefty mortgage any day now.

#239 John G. Young on 03.21.12 at 8:11 pm

#190 Van guy on 03.21.12 at 2:17 pm

Hey thanks for the tips, but I’m terrible at cards. I was once in Las Vegas at a blackjack table with my dad (who’s good at cards) and one of the other guys at the table got so frustrated with me that he offered me money to leave the table. I was so offended that it wasn’t until after I’d left that I realized I should have taken him up on his offer.

I think I’ll just stick to medicine — probably not as profitable (the way I practice it anyway), but at least I can buy insurance against my mistakes.

Good luck to you!

#240 John G. Young on 03.21.12 at 8:26 pm

#232 Blasé on 03.21.12 at 7:37 pm

“…you knockers of teachers have no idea of the crap that they have to muck through every day…”

My ex was an elementary teacher in an inner-city type school in Rexdale. One day his class had a “career day” and he invited me to talk to his students about being a doctor. I was there for fifteen minutes and I wanted to get a machine gun a mow all the little brats down.
You couldn’t pay me enough to be a teacher. People who think it’s a cushy job have obviously never set foot in a classroom as an adult.

A pat on the back is the least that teachers deserve.

I can’t wait to see the blowback to this post…

#241 mel in victoria on 03.21.12 at 8:37 pm

Seems it was about 6-7 years ago, Mr Wiffell Ball, ie Bill Good of CKNW, a morning show host of a backwater radio station in Vancouver was lamenting the fact RE prices were so high his kids couldn’t get into that market. Fast forward to the present, Mr Wiffle Ball now opposes any restrictions on ownership particularly directed towards Asians despite the fact RE doubled and even tripled since then..seems he even supports higher RE prices…Interesting

Maybe he just opposes racism. — Garth

#242 Willy H on 03.21.12 at 8:56 pm

Meanwhile in Toronto, some arresting news about glass spires full of boxes. In the first two months of the year condo sales plunged by 59%, even as work progressed on more than 100 new towers across the GTA
___ ___ ___ ___ ___

I can remember a time when there wasn’t a single construction crane visible across the entire GTA! It was only a few decades ago.

#243 Nate on 03.21.12 at 9:01 pm

Garth your response about lower trading volumes is a deflection on your comment “There are layoffs on Bay Street”. That statement is false.

The big banks are targeting ‘lower expense Growth in 2012.” They are NOT forecasting a reduction in expenses.

#244 mel in victoria on 03.21.12 at 9:15 pm

Don’t we all??

#245 disciple on 03.21.12 at 9:19 pm

#226 Nosty… You’re the best…. Had me laughing all day today…. thanks…

#246 John G. Young on 03.21.12 at 9:24 pm

Just realized that my post #238 might be seen as insensitive, especially in light of recent events in France.
My apologies. I just meant it as an expression of my frustration with poorly behaved kids.
Probably not the wisest thing to post on a public blog — next thing I know the RCMP (or CPSO) may be knocking at my door.

#247 The Thing in the Basement on 03.21.12 at 9:37 pm

Good evening 220 American. My point is to have “facts” presented accurately so that they are not misunderstood.
You did not state that it was new mortgage originations.

“Conservative lending options do not include over 95%
of a population on mortgages…..” is therefore not
correct, though most understood what you meant.

Better phrasing might be “95% of new mortgage
originations (in Canada) are with no more than a 7%
downpayment and will have to be renewed within a 5
year time frame.

#248 Mr Buyer on 03.21.12 at 10:46 pm

#215betamax on 03.21.12 at 5:46 pm…#103 Mr Buyer — if you actually want people to read your postings, learn to use paragraphs.
Message recieved and understood. I will try my best to format my posts accordingly.
I am still contending with my grade 4 spelling abilities and thank god in heaven the spoken word does not reveal the depth of my ineptitude in reguards to spelling.
With the considerable challenge spelling presents along with the substitution of like sounding words, such as your for you’re (they are actually like sounding only when speaking at 500kph), the cognitive load is broaching that of work or other more formal endevours.
This is of course simple laziness in many cases but sometimes, and more so of late, there is a time constraint that inhibits proper editing. I find it is best to form a peice of writing and then scan it at a later time from different perspectives.
First and formost is brevity and by the shear lengths of some of my posts you can clearly see that absolutely no formal editing is taking place whatsoever.
If wordsmithing is king then grammar and formatting are at the very least queen. After forming the message (optimally in a word processing program rather than in the comment box) a spelling check should be carried out.
Once the initial spelling check has been completed an inspection for like sounding words should then be conducted as well as unintended properly spelled words. This process should be carried out multiple times prior to copying and pasting the passage into the comment box.
I find that the combination of wordsmithing, spell checking, word by word inspection is most effective if a certain amount of time passes between each phase as well as each itteration of each phase.
Having done this I usually am left with only four or five glaring mistakes in each post which are decloaked by the decloaking/submit button.
I should say that the likelyhood of completing the post before the article is archived is extremely small.

#249 Alan on 03.22.12 at 1:18 am


Most importantly, you have events today that you cannot rationalize. Change your measuring stick and you will come up with the correct answer.

#250 Kosta72 on 03.22.12 at 9:51 am

I’m a long time renter (if that’s even a term). What do you think this will do to the renting market?

If a lot of people bought on speculation, perhaps the price for rentals will plummet as well?

#251 Pete Smith on 03.22.12 at 1:35 pm

When the Toronto market tanks, wait for the Muskoka cottage market to follow shortly after.

#252 TRT on 03.22.12 at 5:24 pm

To all the bewildered posters:

… if you want prices to crash, the only hope you have is that this bubble gets bigger and bigger. You should be cheerleading loose policies etc. etc. etc.

The higher the prices go, the greater the damage when they crash. Just make sure you minimize tax paid and are not a retiree (Medicare cuts) when all this unravels.

Let the bubble get bigger..

#253 Tony on 03.22.12 at 5:28 pm

As interest rates fall in Canada and China falls apart the last part of the puzzle is America finally telling the truth about profits, employment and GDP. It looks like interest rate worldwide will trend downward in the coming years not upward.

#254 TRT on 03.22.12 at 5:36 pm

#218 Junius

Why so uptight regarding the monkey posts? Have a laugh along with the rest of us. Junius Sneezer … too funny!

Maybe that uptightness and thinking like you’re still righting the Law School Admission Test is what got you targeted?? Just saying.

Just respect everyone’s viewpoints without sounding like you knowitall and no one would make fun of your screen name.