All hat

Hard to say how many people emailed me the same report on Thursday, as my cowboy boots dented the concrete on 8th Avenue in Calgary. The timing was perfect. Here I was in a city where everybody thinks it’s different, as they did before the last two housing busts. And there was an unlikely, thready bank economist in Toronto chirping their cause. But failing.

These days Cowtown’s so full of itself, it’s more irritating and American than usual. “Calgary continues to buck national housing sale trends,” the local real estate cartel trumpets. “The 1,936 residential units sold in July represent a 21.3-per-cent increase over 2011. While the two largest cities (Vancouver and Toronto) have started to witness declines in home sales activity, Calgary continues to record improving sales and prices.”

It’s all about economic growth, realtors say. But dwindling supply also plays a role – with detached listings down 7.5%. It’s reminiscent of the flash Toronto went through a hundred days ago, when demand outpaced available properties and bidding wars pushed prices hard. Of course, risk rises right along with housing values, as anyone who bought a GTA condo six months ago is learning.

That the Calgary market will crack is a given. Ditto with Winnipeg and Saskatoon. There’s no immunity from new restrictions on borrowing, the costly impact of shorter amortizations, the end of 100% financing or debt fatigue. Even oil can’t do that, since for most people it means more costly gas, not a better job.

Meanwhile my old friend Benny Tal has flipped. The CIBC economist, normally an interesting dude, issued a report this week that smacked of banker desperation. No need to fear a housing downturn he said, because (take your pick of the following), (a) horny young couples in their twenties will continue to buy houses, regardless of economic conditions, (b) their ‘wealthy parents’ will simply ‘write a nice cheque’, or (c) immigrants will flood in who have a “higher propensity” to buy houses than native-born Canadians.

This is the kind of logic which causes tumours in rats, and gives Global TV a media orgasm. They loves this stuff in Calgary, along with trucks avec balls. But none of it stands up to scrutiny.

Tal can’t trot out demographics, saying the 25-to-34 crowd will create housing demand in the next decade without addressing the flip side – nine million Boomers, most house-rich and cash-poor, motivated to turn their properties into income. Astonishing numbers of these wrinkled failures simply have no choice. After spending sixty years screwing around, they have little in liquid wealth and, in large part, no pensions. Expect a steady flood of homes hitting the market.

And how about all those wealthy parents who’ll give their kids ‘nice cheques’? Benny knows better. Twenty-five years ago people saved 20% of their incomes. Today it’s less than five per cent. In fact half of Canadians have no savings while two-fifths say they can’t pay all the monthly bills. Over half of retirees are now leaving work while still having a mortgage and 80% of all the TFSA money in Canada is wilting in savings accounts. RRSP contributions have been tanking, and even public pensions are under assault.

So either Benny’s into pharmaceuticals or he hangs with bank executive types who buy their daughters Bimmers for passing through grade 11. In the real world there are simply not enough wealthy parents able to prop up a housing market under assault.

As for immigrants, no country in the world takes in more of them than the US, which is still in the throes of a housing bust big enough to gut the middle class. A torrent of new citizens did nothing to stem real estate’s inexorable slide, and certainly didn’t save cities like LA or Miami.

Meanwhile, what about student debt? It’s never been higher, nor grown more quickly. Or overbuilding, which has flooded cities with condos? Or the fact young homebuyers with virtually no equity will be the first victims of any housing correction? When the kids find out nothing goes up forever, the consequences will be intense. And debt? A report this week shows consumers are into the sauce again – non-mortgage debt has hit an eight-year high, while mortgage borrowing is off the charts.

Nobody wants a housing bust. The blood and gore will be everywhere. But by the same token, real estate in most of our cities is inflated, dangerous and vulnerable. Worse, it’s out of reach of most families, even with 3% mortgages and easy bankers. A correction would be healthy, cleansing and socially useful, reminding everybody that houses are not financial plans.

But Calgary ain’t buying it. This is the home of cowboy capitalism, not Eastern capitulation or BC depravity. It’s different here, until it isn’t. Which is soon.


#1 Lost cash on 08.24.12 at 2:04 am

Great just great…… Oh yea first

#2 Michael F on 08.24.12 at 2:13 am

Credit card debt is on the rise over here too as more and more consumers turn to debt to buy food.
Unfortunately economists think this means recovery.

#3 Derek R on 08.24.12 at 2:14 am

Some of us in Calgary are buying it.

House in Edgemont sold? Check!
Renting? Check!
Totally debt-free? Check!
Bunker in Nova Scotia? Check!
Squirrel recipes memorised? Okay I have to admit I’m still working on that one.

#4 Vancouverite on 08.24.12 at 2:18 am

Following up on previous day’s post, the former HMV store has new tenant.

Victoria’s Secret unveiled: Lingerie chain to set up in former HMV store in Vancouver

#5 RIM_LAID_OFF on 08.24.12 at 2:30 am

What the hell, why are you forcing folks to be up late at night just to read your crazy blog talk, may be we are hooked. I did not believe my wife but she might be right this time about this newly found addiction

#6 Foggy on 08.24.12 at 2:32 am

Here’s Benny’s perceptive view of the housing market in Canada. All these new immigrant families are coming in with a million or so to plunk down on those value-priced detached homes in Toronto/Van.

#7 Marco from Van on 08.24.12 at 2:34 am

Should start a program where the more intellectually gifted and productive province (Ontario) and “past peak” province (BC) host some of these Albertans.

Best usef a HELC funded airplane ticket IMHO to fly out to Tornto or Vancouver and see what will becme of Calgary/Edmonton n 6 mnths…

We can show them how all the “reasons” they believe justify why they are “different” came and went here.

They are following the exact same pattern, it is just that they started at a lower valuation point.

Some of the smart ones have read the writing on the wall and are out with a tidy profit.

I have found that truck engine size is inversely proportional to IQ and visiblity of simulated male appendages on one inversely proportional to the ability to use the real thing.

When the momentum and trend flips they will be too dumb to notice unti it is too late, and when it is, they will not knw what to do when the lights are out.

We’ll see how much Jingle mail makes a difference too – and fnally ut that argument to bed…

I’ll be watching from the side where the sun sets…

P.S. just bought a Merc 40% below book value (1 year old) off an Albertan who was way overextended… Will wait another 6 months for an even better deal on my wife’s one…

#8 Johnny D on 08.24.12 at 2:35 am

Reading Benny Tal’s forecast and trying to wrap my head around his logic gave me a headache. This is similar to the headache I got trying to understand the script and storyline of the movie “The Room.” Just watch…

#9 Saskatoon-Living on 08.24.12 at 2:38 am

Where are you speaking in Saskatoon Garth?? I gotta be there for that.

#10 Einzatgruppen kanada on 08.24.12 at 2:53 am

Alberta: famous home of the Klein double-chin & Whelan belly. New rat infestation horror.

Time to get out the Zyclon B.

#11 Tony on 08.24.12 at 3:22 am

Calgary will crash and burn as commodity prices fall to 1940 to 1950 levels with or without quantitative easing after the American election is over. Oil will break to a new low below the $34.50 U.S. a barrel mark leaving Calgary and all of Alberta reeling.

#12 Freedom First on 08.24.12 at 3:29 am

Calgary. Garth, be careful, you are in redneck country. Great post, as usual Garth.

I have lived in NS, NB, AB, and ON. Alberta, oil country. They are a different breed. I was born in the east, and Alberta has a lot going for it, but it is a boom and bust province, but Albertans, while nice enough are a funny bunch. They have no memory of previous busts, and while they have had their share, don’t try to tell them it can happen again.They just look look at you dumbfounded, and say……..we have oil. They will be whacked. Again.

#13 Freedom First on 08.24.12 at 3:31 am

I forgot to say, I also lived a year in Sask. I know, what was I thinking!

#14 Aussie Roy on 08.24.12 at 5:24 am

Aussie Headlines

TOWNSVILLE City Council is chasing owners of 45 properties for overdue rates, threatening to sell people’s houses if they don’t pay up.

With the properties owing a combined $1.3 million, the council is expected to begin sale proceedings to recover the outstanding rates and charges.

QUEENSLAND has retained its dubious title of being the worst-performing state in terms of mortgage delinquencies.

A major new study by Fitch Ratings, the credit ratings agency, found Queensland remained the worst-performing state as it recovers from last year’s floods, while sea-change areas and first-home buyer belts in New South Wales are also at worryingly high levels.

RBA – Aussie central bank finally understands what drives house prices

INTEREST-ONLY housing loans, and loans for 100 per cent of the property’s valuation, could be scrapped in future after the Reserve Bank’s annual conference heard that they inflate property booms and busts.

Three papers from key economic institutions found that requiring borrowers to finance part of the purchase themselves would help to moderate future booms – and reduce the scale of the subsequent bust.

Senior officials of the Reserve Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the Bank of International Settlements separately reported that setting maximum loan-to-valuation ratios could help reduce the damage housing cycles cause to the economy.

House prices are falling because of TV show – lol.

When Network Ten announced their new semi-reality TV series The Shire earlier this year, residents of Sydney’s Sutherland Shire were concerned of the reputation it would bring to their local area. Even the Mayor of Sutherland, Carol Provan, stated that she would put “a boomgate across the Tom Ugly bridge” to ensure the production crew could not get in and negatively portray the area. With house prices in Cronulla starting to decrease heavily, was she right to be so worried?

According to, the average house price in the Cronulla area so far this year is under $1,280,000 – which, compared to the average price of over $1,655,000 in 2011, means a dramatic 16.5% growth slump. Property sales for April 2012 were also half what they were this time last year

#15 Aussie Roy on 08.24.12 at 5:53 am

Aussie Headlines

More on the growing Aussie sub-prime mortgages

Low Doc Loans

The Model: The victims may be your own parents who suffer in silence. They may be your grown-up children on a low income. These products are currently being promoted and marketed by fifteen big name lenders including the majors and are designed to deceive low income families and pensioners both here and in New Zealand.

As a united team with members in New Zealand, and each state in Australia, our research has led to the discovery of alarming evidence of bankers engaging in and profiting from imprudent lending practices. Sadly, these activities are not isolated and indeed, hide a sinister pattern of systemic issues running for almost a decade.

We have uncovered vital documents which clearly show that these banks and non-banks are the creators of the worst cases of abuse involving banking products in the history of Australia. These deceptive Low Doc banking products appear to be normal financial products. However, these loans can leave the innocent customer homeless in a very short period of time.

A Royal Commission into the Banking Sector is long overdue. The previous one was the Wallis Inquiry in 1996

This is the Australian SUB PRIME LENDING problem deserving of a whole of Government approach.

Average losses per person: $200,000 – $400,000 likely to be higher.

Numbers of People caught: Initial estimates being researched. More details shortly.

Marketing Methods: Use of advertisements, shopping centres, letterbox drops or centres of influence such as Church Groups, charity workers and social networks: ie “word of mouth”

Target Groups: Pensioners and Low income families who own their own home or have a small mortgage. This group is known in the banking and finance industry as Asset Rich and Income Poor (“ARIP”)

Target Areas: Every state in Australia

#16 fred baxter on 08.24.12 at 6:06 am

Revenge of the First time Buyers

#17 mid-Ontario on 08.24.12 at 6:16 am

If that photo was taken in Alberta, things sure are different there.

Here in mid-Ontario, the only pics like that are taken on Lake Huron where a 5 foot elevation drop in water has left many a dock high and dry. Suzuki’s groupies blame global warming but we all know the real reason.

RE remains frozen while the signs flood the neighborhoods. Not a good sign on the economy as we just finish up the PRE-back-to-school RE buying season.

Good luck Alberta! Stay strong and prosper.
We need those transfer payments big time what with the excuse we have for leadership in Ontario.

#18 Weedeater on 08.24.12 at 7:00 am

It’s not different anywhere; humans are the same no matter where we go, regardless of culture, language, or whatever. In fact, we’re no different from our genetic brethren the capuchin monkey. There’s a reason for the Seven Deadly Sins and even Calgary will succumb. I like what Tim Murray observed, ‘Optimism is just another word for delusional hubris.’ You go Calgary … it’s all entertaining from the sidelines.

#19 kenken on 08.24.12 at 7:34 am

What i read from the CIBC economist article is …. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT….
previously it was denial, saying downturn will not happen
Now, it is acknowledgement… but claiming it will not be deep….
what next?

#20 X on 08.24.12 at 7:41 am

If these debt levels don’t come down in the next 6 months, C and F may have to do more to discourage an indebted generation.

#21 TurnerNation on 08.24.12 at 7:42 am

The stage is set, battle lines drawn. Private sector unions vs. the Corporatist Harper Government.

Whenever you hear any politician claim she/he’s helping “ordinary working families” run and take the opposite meaning. I’m not a union fan – less so of public – vs. private – but in times like these we must be united against those who hate our economic freedoms.
(Public sector jobs, with their job-for-life, sunshine lists, and nepotism are needless of a union).

“The Financial Post reports in its Tuesday, Aug. 21, edition that a merger of two of Canada’s largest private-sector unions is needed to help combat the federal Conservative government’s attack on the labour movement, the head of the Canadian Auto Workers union said Monday. A Canadian Press dispatch to the Post reports that Ken Lewenza said, “The attack on workers is heating up.” Mr. Lewenza made the comment at a CAW convention. He was referring to the proposed merger with the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada. Mr. Lewenza said: “Again collective bargaining is being strangled and unions are being targeted. The downward pressure on wages and other forms of compensation is staggering.” Mr. Lewenza said federal intervention in negotiations involving Canadian Pacific Railway, Canada Post and Air Canada workers had been an attack on workers’ rights. Meanwhile, the government’s move to change rules around employment insurance is an attempt to “bully and punish” workers who have lost their jobs, the CAW president said. His remarks came as the CAW kicked off its constitutional and collective bargaining convention in Toronto with songs and a procession of more than 400 retired autoworkers.
© 2012 Canjex Publishing Ltd”

#22 Joke Anagan on 08.24.12 at 7:55 am

When we were first married in the mid nineties it was Calgary that had all the cheap housing compared to bc. We would have moved there but we couldn’t stand the weather or the culture. Everyone needs a bitch slap, the sooner the better!

#23 T.O. Bubble Boy on 08.24.12 at 8:06 am

When King Harper declares Calgary the best city in Canada, lemmings believe it.

Truck ‘n Balls-based economies are the most sustainable… everybody knows that!

#24 TurnerNation on 08.24.12 at 8:07 am

I’m wondering which is the most dim-witted city:

– Vancouver: home of million-dollar crack shacks, low salaries, kids which trash their own city (BPOE!) during hockey riots, and the Cheech and Chong/zombie followers.

– Calgary/Alberta: elects a drunken reporter-turned mayor-turned premier several times because he mailed free beer money cheques to each citizen periodically. As if anyone would have saved their prosperity cheques.
Where the best selling product is the bumper sticker: “Please god let us have another oil boom and this time we won’t piss it away”, eclipsing even the ‘I Luv Alberta Cattle’ one.

#25 Jim Lahey, Sunnyvale Trailer Park Supervisor on 08.24.12 at 8:31 am

First, a call to Furrrst to serenade us with one of his topical poems. Second, all ye gold lovers, start salivating. The Republicans want to look into returning to the gold standard. As all of you who attended the FASTGFBDCParty can attest, our fearless bearded mystic leader, financial prognosticator without equal, thoroughly trounced Ron Paul in their fiat money/gold standard debate.

#26 FTP - First Time Poster on 08.24.12 at 8:35 am

Interesting article:

Here’s the one quote that caught my eye:

“More than $500B of Canada’s estimated $1.1T housing market are considered to be high-risk mortgages”

I smell blood in the water.

#27 John on 08.24.12 at 8:35 am

Weedeater wrote:

“It’s not different anywhere; humans are the same no matter where we go, regardless of culture, language, or whatever. In fact, we’re no different from our genetic brethren the capuchin monkey. There’s a reason for the Seven Deadly Sins and even Calgary will succumb. I like what Tim Murray observed, ‘Optimism is just another word for delusional hubris.’ You go Calgary … it’s all entertaining from the sidelines.”
What “sidelines”? Do you get the big picture?

If you think you’re watching Calgary from the sidelines, your “delusional hubris” far outstrips Albertans drunk on international cartel “money” and commodities manipulation.

Those drunkards are just full on dupes without any connection to cause and effect. You seem to share their vibe.

I’d like to hear about the “sideline”. Are you in “Canada”? Is that “sovereign government” standing up to and filtering bank cartel glucose..protecting it’s citizens? Is the glucose just saturating one part of the body?

Spell out your “sideline” you’re being entertained from.

Are you thinking that glucose from the sugar factory that drove up activity in the ants nest can be “moved around” and “protected”……by investing in sugar factories?

Who’s got your back in THAT plan…you’re local MP?

It’s unclear where you’re getting your information from and how you have arrived at your conclusions. You seem to have outdone the “all hats” squad by a country mile.

Imagine the hangover from finding out the “sidelines” were just a defence…denial. Ouch.

Kick it up a notch and talk big picture. We’re going to have to anyway.

Or is it “different” on your sideline.

#28 Toronto_CA on 08.24.12 at 8:39 am

If anyone is interested, Don Draper’s pad is for sale at Yonge and St Clair:

Only $1.3mil with $1500(!) a month in condo fees gets you this dated looking cold war era relic. $1500/mo + $500/mo property tax + $x/month maintenance and utilities …and another $5k a month in opportunity cost of capital for that $1.3mil if you got 5% on it. Insanity.

Honestly, for $1.3mil you can go live in one of the ultra lux brand new condos. I’d be ashamed to live in this concrete eyesore.

This is the kind of listing / advertisement I might show to my American friends to elicit groans of pity.

#29 Centre-ville on 08.24.12 at 8:47 am

“Nobody wants a housing bust.”

Actually, I do. First-time potential buyer here, 39, debt-free, patient and waiting.

Loving this blog, btw.

#30 Ret on 08.24.12 at 9:00 am

Hey Dude, F.Y.I. it is “walk on water,” not, “stand on water.”

Also, I have sent the fashion police to have you investigated. Is that a bowling shirt and are those four year old Walmart golf shorts? Unless it is laundry day, you are going to the funny farm.

Trust me on this one, you’ll be much happier once you are committed.

#31 Prof ANON on 08.24.12 at 9:04 am

It’s been awhile since I’ve commented, but Calgary is NOT American-like. It is more of a parody of Texas.

#32 JimH on 08.24.12 at 9:23 am

“These days Cowtown’s so full of itself, it’s more irritating and American than usual.”
“Everyone needs a bitch slap, the sooner the better!”

Having just returned home to the US after a trip through the BC and the Canadian Rockies, we were left with the impression that much (not all) of URBAN western Canada seemed “full of itself” and in dire need of a “bitch slap”! (The worst offenders are those asshats with BC license plates bearing the motto “Greatest Place on Earth”; even those bombastic, pain-in-the-ass Texans wouldn’t dare pull a stunt like that!)

The RURAL west on the other hand, restored our belief that there still are Canadians who can smile, extend the hand of friendship, and recognize that the USA is not the cause of every Canadian problem, and that the truth usually is indeed rather inconvenient.

There is an old, old saying amongst us active traders in the markets… “Better be humble, or the Markets will do it for you!”

Anyway, IMHO, Real Estate melt-downs are as survivable as they are repeatable. Expect to not see the bottom for 4-6 years, so get out if you can, lick your financial wounds, keep your powder dry and be on the lookout for future opportunities.

Great advice here, Garth! Good luck, Canada! (still love y’all!)

#33 eaglebay - Parksville on 08.24.12 at 9:23 am

#11 Tony on 08.24.12 at 3:22 am
“Calgary will crash and burn as commodity prices fall to 1940 to 1950 levels with or without quantitative easing after the American election is over. Oil will break to a new low below the $34.50 U.S. a barrel mark leaving Calgary and all of Alberta reeling.”

In your dreams. This is not Italy.

#34 Francis on 08.24.12 at 9:29 am

Why not sell your daily “column”, sorry, daily “pathetic column”, to the National Post for $2M. It’s the most entertaining thing I read all day and usually before I read the Post et al.

#35 maxx on 08.24.12 at 9:30 am

“Twenty-five years ago people saved 20% of their incomes. ”

Not so very long ago….when we were married around that time, 20% savings seemed pretty normal as others we know were in that ballpark. So that’s how we started our program to buy ourselves out of the rat race. As time passed, we found that we could squeeze even more savings out of our income without even noticing.
A couple of years later, our goal morphed into saving as much as we were paying to government, sales taxes included. Freedom 55 was too long a wait. We are lucky, because we are both on the same page and always have been.

Except for our first house, we just don’t do debt, ever. Banks don’t like people like us very much. One bank calls on a regular basis to try to entice us into a “reward” credit card. We don’t want a new toaster, they can be bought in a charity shop, off of the tax “grid”, for a couple of bucks. You can save an absolute fortune in these places. So, bankster, keep your useless, puny points, plug in the toaster and shove it.

It IS possible to buy time- not more time, but YOUR time.

#36 NewWorldPartyDotOrg on 08.24.12 at 9:34 am

Many Canadians believe that when this housing bubble bursts, they will have a soft landing, unlike the American’s. They say that the outcome for Canada will be different because of this and that.

True, Canada is different, but so is Spain, Ireland or Japan. Nevertheless, Spain and Ireland are now worse off than the U.S. Here is a comparison:

Remember, this bubble was created by the government through manipulation. They are running out of ammo that they’ve been stealing from taxpayers, non-homeowners and children:

Housing is the most manipulated market in the world
(Canada’s manipulation is explained in bottom half)

#37 Chris on 08.24.12 at 9:35 am

Its different in Markham….. Markham home goes $75,100 over asking.

#38 eaglebay - Parksville on 08.24.12 at 9:35 am

#19 Weedeater on 08.24.12 at 7:00 am
“It’s not different anywhere; humans are the same no matter where we go, regardless of culture, language, or whatever. In fact, we’re no different from our genetic brethren the capuchin monkey. There’s a reason for the Seven Deadly Sins and even Calgary will succumb. I like what Tim Murray observed, ‘Optimism is just another word for delusional hubris.’ You go Calgary … it’s all entertaining from the sidelines.”

The seven deadly sins aren’t so bad after all.
More brainwashing.

#39 Fisc on 08.24.12 at 9:42 am

Sorry Mr. Carney, you can’t print more money with CMHC and Corporate Canada doesn’t want to help you:

The end of artificial Canadian economy based on over-indebtedness households and overpriced housing market…

#40 NewWorldPartyDotOrg on 08.24.12 at 9:45 am

If you are a first-time buyer or part of the younger generation who got screwed from this bubble (and you did), you should complain to every politician who you can contact. You can easily find their e-mail addresses or phone numbers on the web, such as:

Contact info for Members of Parliament of Canada

Find your Member of Parliament using your Postal Code

Similar websites can be found for your Member of Provincial Parliament

If you don’t speak out, you will continue to get screwed.

#41 maxx on 08.24.12 at 9:53 am

#20 kenken on 08.24.12 at 7:34 am

Great point…..can’t wait to hear the pallaver come the end of the year!

#42 Cory on 08.24.12 at 9:55 am

“These days Cowtown’s so full of itself, it’s more irritating and American than usual”

hahahaha…’s true…but I am not sure where this redneck view comes from anymore.??! there are more latte sucking yuppies here than anywhere else in the country now.

#43 City Slicker on 08.24.12 at 9:58 am

Garth when I was talking to a long time Calgarian he said the housing bust happend in the 90’s because the oil company’s left for some reason, I don’t recall the reason.
And now that I think about it further, that doesn’t really make sense. Did you have any insight to this, I was still in diapers then.

#44 45north on 08.24.12 at 9:59 am

bank executive types who buy their daughters Bimmers for passing through grade 11

so when I’m at their grade 11 graduating parties, I’ll ask the bank executives what will they do when the number of 60-day-lates grows?

here’s Mark Hanson talking about shadow inventory in the US:

he says that shadow inventory is rolling – as houses are sold it decreases but as 60-day-lates pop up it increases. Mark says that net shadow inventory is still going up.

Are Canadian banks just going to eat it?

#45 Sebee on 08.24.12 at 10:08 am

#31 Ret

Go easy on the guy, he’s obvuiosly a Charlie Harper wannabe. He wishes he lived in Malibu, but he’s Canadian so it’s Caliboo for him. …Or was it Calib Coulee? Can’t remember.

#46 Dr.NickRiviera on 08.24.12 at 10:13 am

Calgary is doomed. But not us hard working F-150 driving blue collar rig workers up in Deadmonton. We have …. errr…

Wait, never mind. We’re doomed as well. Carry on.

#47 Form Man on 08.24.12 at 10:18 am

#136 DA yesterday

” any realtor who says the market is dead isn’t working hard enough”

so when the market is vastly over-supplied, all that is needed is a “hard working realtor “. In addition to selling real estate, apparently realtors can also make excess inventory vanish, and singlehandedly create new buyers from thin air………they truly are god like….

great to have you back DA. Please tell us why you and your ilk have not fixed the Kelowna market yet. What are you waiting for ? I guess all you realtors just aren’t working hard enough yet…….better get cracking !

hard to believe, but your comments are even more asinine than before you were exiled………

#48 Jim on 08.24.12 at 10:19 am

“Nobody wants a housing bust”

Patently false. I do. I want a housing bust that knocks values down into the gutter.


Not because I am waiting on the sidelines to buy. I want to roam the world and see other countries.

Instead, I want a bust because it will put an end to the massive malinvestment of capital that is crippling the country. People are going into debt for homes. At a macro level, we are pouring billions into assets that generate no further wealth, apart from enabling homeowners to use HELOCs to satisfy their urge to splurge.

Societies become wealthy through innovation and production, not consumption.

#49 Cowboy on 08.24.12 at 10:44 am

I live in Calgary.
Been waiting for 6 years for housing to correct.
Been reading this blog for the same amount of time.
Saw houses go down a bit from the peak.
Constantly see so-so houses selling.
(especially this summer)
I have finally come to the conclusion that worst case scenario is -15% correction here.
I give up, this place is hardcore on real estate.

I can handle that.

#50 earlybird on 08.24.12 at 10:53 am

Totally agree Jim…its not so much a housing bubble as a credit bubble, flowing into malinvestment(housing). The longer the rates stay low, the more the malinvestment distortion. Central banks keep trying to goose the economy, which is trying to deleverage. They will run out of options, and the healthy delevering will take place, and take housing with it, no matter the location. The Baby Boomer demographic in Canada is a few years younger than Japan, US, Europe…see a pattern?…we are next! Goldbugs beware, deleveraging is deflationary…..

#51 Rig Dog on 08.24.12 at 11:26 am

Meanwhile at the cutting edge of the oilpatch:

Rumor has one of the largest oil companies (rhymes with Benn Pest) has stopped drilling for oil in Manitoba and is slashing drilling operations in other parts of Western Canada.

The reason? Even with mythical $100 oil they can’t generate enough cashflow to stay ahead of the drilling costs. And BTW, the $100/bbl price is New York. At Edmonton, the producers are getting about $20 less.

And let’s not even talk about natural gas which collapsed several years ago and still is not close to being able to fog a mirror.

People that are in the oilpatch get it and understand. It’s the onlookers that think that everything is OK because they don’t even know enough to be scared.

#52 young & foolish on 08.24.12 at 11:27 am

Give the “middle-class” enough rope (debt, entitlements), and for sure they will hang themselves.

#53 FTP - First Time Poster on 08.24.12 at 11:42 am

Bought HIU (S&P 500 Inverse ETF) and HUV (S&P 500 VIX ETF) this morning. Betting that the markets are going to get a beating within the next 30 days. Good offset to my gold & oil stocks.

#54 Old Man on 08.24.12 at 11:44 am

Canada will need a new chain of restaurants for the debt slaves in the coming years with donations accepted at the door for cheap meals; even a debt slave needs to take the wife out once a week for a bowl of soup, and a sandwich on the cheap. Yes, there will be live entertainment playing for their dinner too, and reservations will be a must. Now, any suggestions what this new restaurant chain should be called?

#55 Derek R on 08.24.12 at 11:47 am

#137 jess on 08.23.12 at 8:26 pm explained why the tax bills of honest taxpayers are so high.

Jess, just wanted to register my appreciation of your regular postings on corruption and shady dealings. The above posting on how the “contract manufacturing” tax avoidance scheme works particularly interested me. I was aware of the “paying rent for premises owned by an offshore division” method but this was new to me.

Anyone looking for reasons why sales and income tax is so high on ordinary people need look no further than this type of scheme which ensures that taxes which should be paid by corporations end up being shifted on to us.

#56 Hicksville Alberta on 08.24.12 at 11:49 am

Garth, your last paragraph should be corrected to delete “cowboy capitalism” and replace it with something like “soul sucking bloated micromismanaged cowboy bureaucracy” and then for the most part everywhere you go you likely will find the same common theme to one of the main components of why this country is so effed up.

There ain’t no cowboys in Calgary to speak of and there is little if any real cowboy capitalism left at least in a free market sense.

The old saying “if you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change” has never been more necessary and profound as it is now.

A great read if you want one while flying around on your mission is a book called “The Fourth Turning” by Strauss and Howe (1997) – Amazon for about $16 or so.

It may be of use to you and others as it has helped me to change the way i used to look at some things.

In the meantime all i can say is WOW and i continue to amazed at your unfailing energy, courage of conviction, unselfishness and generosity you have shown to so many.

Take care and be free.

#57 sciencemonkey on 08.24.12 at 11:55 am

In yesterday’s comments, someone made the point that this blog is psychologically attractive to those who cannot afford real estate, because they hope that it will crash and thus be affordable in the future. I am one of those people, and I fully admit the attraction of that thought. Of course, those who bought high will hope just as strongly to never see a crash.

I find the whole situation rather depressing because studying hard, getting a decent 50-70k job, and working and saving is not sufficient to responsibly buy a SFH in Toronto. By responsibly, I mean plan for the possibility of 8% rates and one spouse being out of work, and still being able to meet payments and expenses. Of course this type of cautious nature is punished when those willing (or not thinking about) taking on huge risk drive up prices. Fault lies with both poor government regulation and irresponsible individuals; at least the individuals will suffer if/when a correction occurs.

#58 Buy? Curious? on 08.24.12 at 11:57 am

Hey Old People! I don’t want to scare you because you my soil your khakis that you have pulled up to your nipples, but all that talk about your homes going down in value just as you’re planning to retire, well it’s happening! Bahahaha! I can’t wait to pick up a family cottage at a desperation price then turn it into a swingers’ pad. As Garth mentioned, the time of reckoning is right around the corner. And just so you don’t think I’m a jerk for legally taking advantage of old people and their demographics, everyone on this blog is invited!

B.Y.O.L (bring your own lube)

#59 Alberta Ed on 08.24.12 at 12:23 pm

“But Calgary ain’t buying it. This is the home of cowboy capitalism.” No,it ain’t, altho’ the locals like to believe it. And it hasn’t been since the early days of Ralph, who transmogrified into a big spending Liberal soon after stealing their ideas and getting` elected. Now there’s Nanny Redford…

#60 Old Man on 08.24.12 at 12:27 pm

I notice Garth wears cowboy boots, and there is a Western Store in Alliston, Ontario that has been there for decades with all the latest fashions; great boots and a full range of attire. A great way to go cowboy, as have been there, and they have a website too. I dress my finest whenever I hookup with a cowgirl to go riding. Yee Haw!

#61 Alberta Rocks on 08.24.12 at 12:52 pm

It’s tough listening to these criticisms of and bad wishes to Alberta when we contribute so much to the national economy by way of jobs and transfer payments.

As much as we welcome economic migrants, I just hope the influx of job immigrants from other parts of Canada doesn’t dilute Alberta’s can-do, welcoming, entrepreneurial spirit. We can learn from you too.

BTW, Alberta’s Ag sector is the economic backbone of the province and it’s doing just fine.

There are 65,000 Americans living in Calgary and we’re grateful that they are here. And when it comes to elections, at least Americans can discuss the tough issues (debating the defenseless unborn and questioning the gay agenda) without horrified CBC metro-sexuals getting their panties in a bunch.

Alberta is a good place. Wish us well because when Alberta is doing well, a lot of non-Albertans (including Quebec) are doing well too.

Canada rocks, let’s not screw it up by developing petty faults such as limiting free speech, hating on Americans and by going regional.

#62 Glen on 08.24.12 at 1:02 pm

Ben Tal’s take is quite puzzling. There might be a handful of these benevolent boomers he speaks of, but they are a drop in the bucket. Most boomers I know have more than enough of their own problems to deal with.

The dramatic increase in housing prices was fueled in large part by cheap financing. Many people cannot help themselves and borrow to the limits. The move to limit amortization periods and the OFSI changes will have an effect on the housing market – the only question is how much.

#63 Form Man on 08.24.12 at 1:09 pm

#50 Jim

good post

#64 Edward on 08.24.12 at 1:40 pm

I couldn’t believe that Ben Tal on CBC last night said that rich Boomers would be buying houses for their kids. What?! All Boomers rich now? The clincher was that it immediately followed a story about how the average Canadian was mired in $26k of consumer debt.

#65 VT on 08.24.12 at 1:46 pm

Funny Q&A forum where REALTORS® defend use of BRA’s.

(Note: As Garth has advised, NEVER NEVER sign a BRA agreement!!)

#66 Sollbruchstelle on 08.24.12 at 1:50 pm

#18 mid-Ontario
You said: “Suzuki’s groupies blame global warming but we all know the real reason.”
What’s with the despise for people that are trying to protect this very land you live on – and off, for you and your descendants? Besides, what you call groupies others call the “International Panel of Climate Change”. Afaik almost everyone agrees that Lake Huron’s lower water levels have likely multiple reasons, i.e. the dredging/mining of the St. Clair without the (promised) structures that would have slowed down the water flow in exchange, among others.
Of course you are free to disagree with the efforts of David Suzuki and his collaborators, but bringing them up in this context comes across as pavlovian.

#67 patiently waiting on 08.24.12 at 1:58 pm

#33 Market Bull on 08.24.12 at 9:08 am
. . . Increasing debt levels are a good thing.
It’s a sign of confidence in the economy; . . .
Equally encouraging is the latest news that default rates on all forms of credit from mortgages to credit cards, are steadily declining.
Mrket Bull you are an id_t. Increasing debt levels are the biggest threat to the Canadain economy! In Vancouver it now takes over 90% of income to pay for housing costs, . . . so what’s left to buy food?

The reason why default rates are declining is that people are using their HELOC’s to pay their bills on the hopes of ever increasing home values. I personally know many couples who adhere to this philosohy. It is a philosphy that works until home prices turn the other direction which is now occuring. Unfortunately, the pain felt bt those that have headed the call of cheap money will be deep in the next few years. You and your ilk are partially to blame as you continually try to dupe the economically illiterate into continuing to borrow and live beyond their means . . . shame on you.

#68 joe on 08.24.12 at 2:07 pm

Calgary’s housing market is driven by debt just like every other Canadian market, not oil. I’m not sure why oil comes up everytime you mention a housing correction in Calgary. What does oil have to do with my receptionist buying a pre build condo at the Gateway for $300000 on a 16/hr wage? Or my friend that bought a $650000 condo dt, owns a framing company and couldnt come up with $10000 cash if his life depended on it? I am considered the weirdo for being liquid with no debt and lots of cash in the bank, “but he rents” is what they say.

#69 joe on 08.24.12 at 2:11 pm

to #51 Cowboy- the correction in 2007 was 18% which is $90000 off before the government stepped in and started whoring money. The next correction will go much deeper then that my friend, hang in there. The government has no more options to keep the real estate party going. And do not look at the CREB numbers they are a scam. I see price reduced listings coming into my inbox everyday, keep the faith, patience is a virtue.

#70 joe on 08.24.12 at 2:23 pm

to #59 Sciencemonkey- Im not sure about others on this blog and being able to afford real estate, but I can assure you I can, and refuse to buy. I can buy a average condo in Calgary cash, or put a major dp on a house. Because I actually understand the value of the money I have, and what it took to put it together, I refuse to spend it all on a marginal box in the sky or a wooden box with a sand box as a lot. Booms come and go like busts and smart money buys strategically, not emotionally. This blog helps the sheep stay out of the slaghter house, although the sheep will 99% of the time still follow the other sheep into the slaughter house. Are you a sheep?

#71 joe on 08.24.12 at 2:28 pm

#63 Alberta Rocks- Why is more affordable real estate equated with bad wishes? Are you a realtor? Market cycles are a reality of life.

#72 Whiny on 08.24.12 at 2:33 pm

#50 Jim…. Nailed it

You’ve got the big idea

#73 Canadian Watchdog on 08.24.12 at 2:38 pm

New glass window upgrades for Toronto’s condos.

#74 FTP - First Time Poster on 08.24.12 at 2:44 pm

Which is the least ugly girl at the ball?

IMHO they’re all ugly!

#75 jim on 08.24.12 at 2:46 pm

Outstanding post Garth!

“These days Cowtown’s so full of itself, it’s more irritating and American than usual.”

hahahah so very very true. Burgers, Bibles and Bullets!

“This is the kind of logic which causes tumours in rats, and gives Global TV a media orgasm.”

lol! Thanks for making my entrance into the weekend a pleasurable one.

#76 Old Man on 08.24.12 at 2:56 pm

I met a billionaire once in my life who lived in Toronto, as called him in my youth, and he took my call, as he loved the youth burning with fire, and gave me an audience in his ivory tower, as wanted private money to place in mortgages, and he said ok lets talk about it all; yes made a deal for very specific projects.

I learned a lesson that day, as no matter how big they are some will remember their past from rags to riches, and the door will always be open for the youth if they have the courage to call for an appointment. I asked him one question as to his success, and he laughed as said never follow the crowd, but go the other way, as the crowd will be wrong 90% of the time.

#77 DM in C on 08.24.12 at 3:05 pm


You had me until ” questioning the gay agenda”

There is no agenda to question — people just want to live their lives without being discriminated against for something that is none of anyone else’s business. And I don’t watch/read the CBC – – I just have friends and relatives.

Want to try a stereotype? You sound like a typical Alberta conservative (probably Wildrose) small minded, truck driving, lowly educated redneck.

#78 Darlene on 08.24.12 at 3:06 pm

Westernman does a turtle on a post have any meaning for you?

#79 Bri on 08.24.12 at 3:18 pm

So will we see owners likely to be offering rent to own options soon? I recall this option from the 80’s when our landlord offered to report to the bank that he accepted the last 5 years of rent we had paid as a down payment for us to buy the house. Rates were around 20% with the banks and he wanted out ASAP.

#80 Brad in Calgary on 08.24.12 at 3:20 pm

If you bought a SFH in Calgary:

in August 2006, you’re up about 10% today…
in August 2007, you’re down about 3% today…
in August 2008, you’re up about 7% today…
in August 2009, you’re up about 4% today…
in August 2010, you’re up about 6% today…
in August 2011, you’re up about 4% today…

Keep waiting for that crash people.

I’m sure it must be just around the corner, even though Calgary’s affordability is among the most attractive in the nation.

#81 palebird on 08.24.12 at 3:26 pm

Freedom First:

NB, NS, ON : what were you thinking?

#82 tkid on 08.24.12 at 3:39 pm

Hey Garth,

any thoughts on the Republican Party’s thoughts on bringing back the gold standard, from a financial standpoint and a political standpoint?


#83 Victor on 08.24.12 at 3:41 pm

#33 Market Bull on 08.24.12 at 9:08 am

Take a chill-pill already folks. Increasing debt levels are a good thing.

It’s a sign of confidence in the economy; especially given that the majority of the latest debt increase is for new car loans.

Equally encouraging is the latest news that default rates on all forms of credit from mortgages to credit cards, are steadily declining.

In the current interest rate environment, I’d be far more concerned about the economy if people weren’t borrowing.

Hey, people are borrowing and diligently making their payments – next question.


Debt = Wealth

This will end badly…

#84 palebird on 08.24.12 at 3:44 pm

#45: The only reason oil companies leave is because they cannot make enough money, be it the environmentalists who lay too many landmines, the world oil price being too low which is more or less based on demand or governments demanding too many royalties. Pick one. If we did not have environmentalists we would live in a moonscape sooner or later. If the price of oil is too low to bother digging it out of the ground because the pace of development in the rest of the world has slowed maybe we should have alternate revenue generators. And if the government is getting greedy maybe they need a kick in the ass lest they forget where all the candy comes from. #53 is right. The oil companies are not dumb and will cut back operations as soon as they sniff lower oil prices which cannot possibly cover their costs. And these guys must look ahead and read the crystal ball. It is the nature of their business. Company I am with is heavily involved in all this oil nonsense and it is going to break over pretty soon. Just riding the wave for now.

#85 cramar on 08.24.12 at 3:54 pm

#67 VT on 08.24.12 at 1:46 pm

(Note: As Garth has advised, NEVER NEVER sign a BRA agreement!!)


I feel sorry for the family that bought our house listed on Comfree. They found the house without any agent help by looking at the FSBO websites. Unfortunately, they had previously signed a BRA with a realtor. The realtor called me and asked about me paying commission to her. I told her bluntly that I have no arrangement whatsoever with her so am not paying her anything. The buyers had to pay her 2% on top of the full asking price they gave me.

Knowing how the system works now if I was in buyer’s shoes, I would take the BRA agreement to my lawyer and have him draft a revised one that stated in the event that I find a FSBO house to buy and deal with the owner directly this commission agreement is not valid. If the realtor would not agree to it, I’d find another one.

#86 island girl on 08.24.12 at 4:11 pm

Garth, I couldn’t have been happier last night to read the report from CIBC! as I am a mere 2 weeks of ‘paint and polish’ away from putting my house on the market. Gonna invest the equity, head back to rentsville for a few years (yep, I’ve been listening) Desperate bankers, keep it up! spew your spin to keep the market buoyant until someone signs on my dotted line…….

#87 live within your means on 08.24.12 at 4:11 pm

Just got back from Mtl. yesterday. Met up with 3 old g’friends, 2 twins I had not seen for 40 years. Wow. What a time we had reminiscing about old times. We had lunch at Tati’s condo on Cherrier St. in the Plateau west of Paapineau. She bought it new 17+ yrs ago. It’s been on the market for 6 months, now reduced to $465K but she is willing to lower her price again, if necessary. It’s a beautiful 3 bed spacious condo with a large balcony. She she realizes it doesn’t have all the old architectural features, nor 9-10 ft. ceilings as the other condos around her. She has another showing tomorrow.

Saw my niece & her fiance’s condo, also in the Plateau, built in the 1920’s. They are on the ground floor & have a small outdoor backyard. Lots of charm, but small. Her Mom, my SIL in Mtl, I & older sis from Hfx hosted a surprise baby shower at their place on Sat. Niece cried her eyes out when she saw us, the decorations & all of her g’friends and their companions. She sure has some ‘interesting’ & wonderful friends. Her Fiance, my SIL & some of her friends are from France so I got to practice my French. :-) ‘Tho my DH is also from France, we speak English at home – my bad.

#88 sciencemonkey on 08.24.12 at 4:27 pm

@ #72 joe: It’s an excellent point worth repeating, that humans only value things they had to work hard to obtain.

Easy loans = no sense of hard work = reckless spending

My Chinese friend and colleague tells me about mortgage rules in China. Namely that you need a 50% down payment on a principal residence, and any additional properties need to be bought in cash. He says that the market is high-priced even with these rules. Nevertheless, imagine what these rules would do for Canadian real estate! Prices would drop like a rock. People would think critically and carefully before dropping hundreds of thousands of dollars they had painstakingly saved up over the years.

This wouldn’t affect people from money, of course, but that’s a different discussion. I would support 95% inheritance taxes, and letting people obtain wealth on their own merit.

#89 Buy? Curious? on 08.24.12 at 4:27 pm

Garth, are you being more selective on the posts you publish or have you hooked up with Ms Bunny/pre-condo sales woman and are replicating a Prince Harry pool party? Where’s my invite? I’m sexy and I know it!

#90 TakingResponsibility on 08.24.12 at 4:39 pm

Must defend the original ‘real’ Albertans – whom are most definitely not pro-american republican ideology.

It is the more recent american immigrants such as Tommy Flanagan, Freddy Morton, et al. who have the shills bleating talking points and hanging balls from useless overpriced pickups. Yeah, and we all know that those who have hanging balls really have a thing for balls!! Ha!

Cowtown. Meh. So delusional they have a ‘cottage club’ with all these ‘cottages’ just out of town where all the ‘cottages’ are so close together it resembles a trailer park. Hilarious!

Well, actually, I, too, am now generalizing – really, there are a ton of folk whom happen to live in Calgary who are quite capable of rational critical thought.

#91 jess on 08.24.12 at 4:46 pm

57 Derek R

…i hope you read the whole paper
and tis idea is crazy Territorial Tax System

“Justice Carolyn Simpson told the court Agius had been involved in the promotion and implementation of a major tax fraud scheme based in Vanuatu.
. It resulted in eight Australian companies transferring money into overseas accounts under the guise of insurance payments and consultancy fees.
The money was then often repaid into the personal bank accounts of the same company directors, “masquerading as loans”, in a bid to avoid paying company tax

A punch for honest taxpayers?
A tax agreement between Switzerland and Germany is in trouble
Aug 25th 2012 | BERLIN | from the print edition

#92 Devore on 08.24.12 at 5:42 pm

#49 Form Man

” any realtor who says the market is dead isn’t working hard enough”

so when the market is vastly over-supplied, all that is needed is a “hard working realtor “. In addition to selling real estate, apparently realtors can also make excess inventory vanish, and singlehandedly create new buyers from thin air………they truly are god like….

What he means is “any realtor who says the market is dead isn’t working his client hard enough” for a price cut.

As if realtors actually sell houses. Prices do.

#93 Old Man on 08.24.12 at 5:52 pm

One can never own a home in China as all is leasehold held by the State with longterm leases ranging with terms for about 40 years, more or less. What a ripoff, so now you know why the Chinese money came to buy in Canada, and elsewhere for a title.

#94 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 08.24.12 at 6:14 pm

#85 Victor — “Debt = Wealth”. — Yep. Our debt = Their (TPTB) wealth. Obviously the elite are profiting handsomely from this.

#90 sciencemonkey and #72 joe — “It’s an excellent point worth repeating, that humans only value things they had to work hard to obtain. Easy loans = no sense of hard work = reckless spending”

So true. I can’t vouch for the present generation, although it seems to have become a more-or-less throw-away, disposable society than the one I grew up in.

In the old days, people used to take way more care of the things they did have, were manufactured and built better so made them last longer plus respected others, but not so nowadays.
“Meanwhile my old friend Benny Tal has flipped.” — Hmmm. People don’t ‘flip’ for no reason. This is similar to H and F saying publicly (on Utube) that “. . . the CPC will never tax Income Trusts”, and doing the exact opposite a month or so later.

The fix was already in, they knew what was coming and were prepared to live with the fallout. Look where it got them — a 38% majority, because there’s no one else worth voting for (as if voting counted anyway).

Methinx one of Benny’s superiors was given a right dressing down from TPTB, told to put Benny in his place and then Benny would go public with the aboutface, and voila — here we are.

This would be the softening-up of sheeple before a major takedown.

#95 Roial1 on 08.24.12 at 6:17 pm

78Old Man on 08.24.12 at 2:56 pm

I met a billionaire once in my life who lived in Toronto’

Had to be E.P.Taylor. Right?

#96 Spiltbongwater on 08.24.12 at 6:29 pm

Victoria’s Secret is moving into the old HMV store. Just FYI trying to keep you abreast on the negativity you painted Robson st. with the other day.

#97 Canadian Watchdog on 08.24.12 at 6:55 pm

#96 Market Bull

“The facts and stats prove that HELOC drawdowns are down. Credit card defaults are down. Mortgage defaults are down.”

All that money you pay for dogmatic animal feed like data and you still can’t figure it out. Boy, did they ever make a muppet out of you.

Consumer Defaults BC
Consumer Defaults Canada

Ontario is next.

#98 Old Man on 08.24.12 at 6:55 pm

Roial1 # 98 sorry not him.

#99 TurnerNation on 08.24.12 at 7:07 pm

No bidding wars today.

Compare original price vs. sold price.

766 Richmond St W Sold: $510,000
Toronto, Ontario M6J1C5 Toronto C01 Niagara List: $549,900
Orig Price: $549,900 Taxes: $2,833/2011 93 % List

46 Robinson St Sold: $680,000
Toronto, Ontario M6J1L2 Toronto C01 Trinity-Bellwoods List: $689,000
Orig Price: $719,000 Taxes: $3,493.53/2012 99 % List
SPIS: N Trinity-Bellwoods 120-17-S DOM: 51 Contract: 7/3/2012 Sold: 8/23/2012

59 Palmerston Ave Sold: $675,000
Toronto, Ontario M6J2J2 Toronto C01 Trinity-Bellwoods List: $699,000
Orig Price: $729,000 Taxes: $3,300/2012 97 % List
SPIS: N Trinity-Bellwoods 120-17-S DOM: 68 Contract: 6/16/2012 Sold: 8/23/2012

#100 TurnerNation on 08.24.12 at 7:12 pm

Another one.
55k under *original* price. Realtors try to trick, using the new list price.

198 Carlton St Sold: $630,000
Toronto, Ontario M5A2K8 Toronto C08 Cabbagetown-South St. James Town List: $649,000
Orig Price: $695,000 Taxes: $4,392.79/2011 97 % List
SPIS: N Cabbagetown-South St. James Town 120-20-R DOM: 48 Contract: 7/6/2012 Sold: 8/23/2012

#101 house burden on 08.24.12 at 7:12 pm

Ya know it bothers me.Us Canadiens talk about a soft land and we’ll never fall like the US. But if you look at the charts, the US declined

2008 +3 % to -12%
2009 +2 % to – 14 %
2010 +10 % to -6%
2011 +6% to -10%
2012 +7% to -9%

Are we different eh!

Look at okanagan, veron richmond west van. -12% so far, with the cold winter months ahead. Humm, I guess you can consider the USA a soft landing over 5 years decline (with no bottom in site) it becomes a collapse!!

#102 TurnerNation on 08.24.12 at 7:26 pm

More on the corporatist Harper Government’s war on jobs:

“OTTAWA — With winter just around the corner and news this week that 50 Air Transat pilots are facing layoffs, aviators are again raising concerns about charters that hire foreign workers to swoop in for the busy sun destination season at the expense of unemployed Canadian pilots.

While Citizenship and Immigration Canada quietly altered the guidelines for officers vetting visa requests in June, pilots say the changes fall short of addressing all the issues. The guidelines are meant to help visa officers assess whether foreign worker exchanges are being done fairly.”

#103 Victoria Tea Party on 08.24.12 at 7:30 pm


Only in certain areas of the public sector, Zombie Central (where the masticating ruminants do little, bitch a lot, and collect employer-contributed pensions “at the end of it all”) comes a REAL opportunity for job security. In the private sector!

But first the “declarations”:

#1–it happens only in Victoria;

#2–you have to be on OAS/CPP at a minimum;

#3–and, be able to fog a mirror.


…should young people keep evacuating the “premises” making our trusty capital Canada’s largest former place of work.

So, having successfully completed the above “declarations” you will be able to have your run of whatever jobs are out there: everything from shilling in car dealerships (if there are still any left!), to fleecing tourists (oops, we already do that!); OK, so how about being an undertaker. Sure, why not?

Regardless of the “job”, so-called, there is a “condition” contained within the “declarations” stated above.

Check out #3: fogging a mirror, It DOESN’T mean you ACTUALLY HAVE to show up for work! Oh, no. Quelle horreur!


It means, that you get paid for BEING ALIVE, thus you become a kind of private sector zombie, joining your public sector crazies at future “jobs” fairs, or whatever.

What your new boss really hopes is that you’ll actually show up at the work site, at the end of the day, but preferably at the START of the day, Silly.

So, strap on a new set of diapers (watch those safety pins–ouch!) and get your wrinkled frame out of that condo and down to the job.

There you’ll find free food and a bed to nap on, for as long as you like!

Remember, old feller, all the young’uns have split meaning that you can still complete some unfinished business until the Big Guy splits YOU outta here!

What a concept. You are welcome!

The wrinkles make us strong!

#104 Joe on 08.24.12 at 7:53 pm

“…saying the 25-to-34 crowd will create housing demand in the next decade”

Told this to my Gen-Y buddies and they all had a good laugh! :)

#105 EIT on 08.24.12 at 8:00 pm

To all:

read the book: The Law by Frederic Bastiat.

Garth, have you read it?

#106 Devore on 08.24.12 at 8:17 pm

#102 Market Bull

#94 Devore: House sell themselves. Really? As if you know anything about sales.

Realtors are middlemen. There already is a marketplace where buyers and sellers meet: MLS, or any number of FSBO sites. As such, realtors have plenty of ways to screw up a deal, but at the end of the day it always comes down to price.

#107 Kaganovich on 08.24.12 at 8:20 pm

#53 Rig Dog

Quite true, friend. That same company has shelved alot of their drilling plans out here (SK) as well. I now have men in their mid thirties asking for construction work. These same fellows don’t have any financial cushion and are quite worried. With that being said, most the people I speak with in my neck of the woods are unabashed China bulls. So, as near as I can figure, they have to adopt this stance to help them sleep at night given the precariousness of the general economic situation, not to mention their own personal economic disasters. The near blind belief that China will continue to buy our resources forever acts as a sedative for most these guys. They must ‘think positively’ like this or else succumb to dealing with the meaning of some pretty clear facts at this point. Here are some thoughts on what is happening over in China:

There are few good economic reasons why China would continue to build vacant cities, airports, train systems etc. There are very real political reasons why they would continue to invest in these redundancies though. As Kunstler makes clear on this point, almost all societies around the world will have to start dealing with economic contraction with their eyes open and hopefully in an enlightened way rather than with their eyes closed.

Here is a start as to why commodity prices seem to be ‘holding’ despite what you’ve read in the above links. Has little to do with naive notions of free market and supply and demand.

#108 Kaganovich on 08.24.12 at 8:21 pm

Oops, here is the last link I forgot to post:

#109 Nostradamus Le Mad Vlad on 08.24.12 at 8:24 pm

Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top has confessed to The Spanish Inquisition — right here.
Oblastit “IF the Euro unravels before the election, with Greece having no other way out, the credit default swaps will kick in, bringing down the US economy in a heartbeat.”;; US$6 Quadrillion is what TPTB have scammed so far on this GW scam; The US Fed Has it stolen Germany’s gold reserves? Decline in US capital goods; Food Crisis and how GS helped create it, which is why 20% (or more) of Americans go hungry every day; Debt (Citizens) = Wealth (TPTB) Apt description; 48:59 documentary Supermarket secrets; 11:09 clip Hypocrisy alert! Banxter speaking; PMs I’ve got enough lead in my head! Plus PMs with charts; RBS Money’s cheap; AIG Bailed out by taxpayers, perks for most employees.
Teenagers A lot of them are smarter than adults (cancer test); Nepal The Four ‘Quakes of the Apocalypse; US Carrier turnaround Syria and Iran haven’t invaded anyone for donkey’s years. America and Israel do on a regular basis, and Tehran Can anyone attend? Pentagon After China and Russia; Oblastit Fake Tweets? No! 44:39 documentary JFK — The Lost Bullet; ‘Net Censorship Another good reason to avoid Google and use others; Arafat — Poisoned?Hubble Gorgeous pix and colors.

#110 Kaganovich on 08.24.12 at 8:27 pm


#94 Devore: House sell themselves. Really? As if you know anything about sales.

Ever wonder why almost all products being sold have a sales staff selling them?

Oh yeah, I almost forgot, thousands of company owners and executives are complete idiots who employ millions of salespeople world-wide because they are incompetent boobs who simply don’t realize that products “sell themselves.”


This must be what he is talking about:

#111 gladiator on 08.24.12 at 8:58 pm

this is why you shouldn’t buy a KIA:

#112 Gunboat Denier on 08.24.12 at 9:01 pm

Aussie Roy – from your link at 16

“Within days the funds are passed on to the developer
and the funds are lost”

Lost? Huh? You mean stolen? This is not sub-prime
lending, this is just plain ordinary fraud – ie a crime. I havent heard of this in Canada, though there have been cases of fraudsters posing as owners to obtain
funds. I’ve always had lawyers I know handle my

#113 Herb on 08.24.12 at 9:18 pm

#89 live within your means,

posted on wrong blog. Try Facebook or Myspace.

#114 blase on 08.24.12 at 9:38 pm

#82 Brad in Calgary,

You said, “Affordability is one of the best in Canada”

Let’s put it this way Brad in Calgary.

A house built for $200,000 in 2002 is now going for mid-$400,000s.

Has pay gone up 125% in that time?

So, what’s changed in that time?

Well, Natural Gas, which in 2002 was the lifeblood of Alberta, is practically free now.

Anyone who lived in Alberta ten years ago knows exactly what caused the housing bubble: free money from the lenders.

I know a guy who pooled his money with a group of investors and bought several pre-built homes in SW Calgary in 2002/03. At that time, there was some excitement in the air, but the thought was, make $50 grand a house and you walk with half a million profit. Well, the profit was far more than that.

I still remember my parents phoning my grandparents to ask for a downpayment on a townhouse in Calgary in the early 80s. Then less than 5 years later, they were mailing in the keys when you couldn’t give real estate away in Calgary.

Housing prices crashed in Calgary from Oct 08 until Spring 09, when the feds stepped in to stimulate. Oil wasn’t any part of that either.

And Calgary is cold. -40 days are something anyone who has lived in Calgary a while, especially if you don’t have a car or a garage, can attest to. Yet, there are whole subdivisions of $350,000 houses in Calgary that have no garage. Doesn’t sound very affordable to me.

You watch. If there is any kind of oil correction, that province will very quickly be in crisis mode.

And when rates double, there will be a race to the exits.

It’s curious why people who have 30-40 year mortgages measure the success of their housing “investment” in terms of what has happened since
06. Those were years where every star aligned to allow anyone with a pulse to get a mortgage, to drive up demand, and to create a bubble. How these people can think the party can continue when all the perks are taken away, is a mystery to me.

The party’s over, but there are always a few drunks who overstay the party.

#115 torontorocks on 08.24.12 at 9:50 pm

Hey TurnerNation – great posts. Cdn Watchdog, awesome stuff. I notice that those houses are selling at lower prices b/c those areas are packed with douchebags who usually have some jive-ass income, no common sense, eat at Parts and Labour served by standard douchebag wearing black V-neck, skinny jeans and beard, with hornrimmed glasses. buying t-shirts on credit at those “boo-teaks” on king and queen. facking wankers.

#116 Country Girl on 08.24.12 at 9:54 pm

#36 Francis
Why not sell your daily “column”, sorry, daily “pathetic column”, to the National Post for $2M. It’s the most entertaining thing I read all day and usually before I read the Post et al.

I’ll second that.

#117 hey torontorocks on 08.24.12 at 10:12 pm

awesome post. love your description of hipsters.

#118 Randman on 08.24.12 at 10:26 pm

Old Man #95

“One can never own a home in China as all is leasehold held by the State with longterm leases ranging with terms for about 40 years, more or less. What a ripoff, so now you know why the Chinese money came to buy in Canada, and elsewhere for a title.”

What’s your point?

The crown owns all land here in Canada….

#119 Shane on 08.24.12 at 11:17 pm

#35 re the Markham home selling for 75K over asking….
Read the comments of that article, seems to me that 43 out of the 44 people that gave their 5 cents on that piece are the same people that post here. I love the fact most finally see the truth!

#120 Party On Garth on 08.24.12 at 11:53 pm

The arrogance in this province (Ontario) amazes me. Every muppet of middling intelligence seems to see himself as an intellect.

Bashing those: stupid Americans, those ignorant hicks outside the city, those entitled Quebecers, those redneck Albertans… is a socially acceptable pastime here among some.

We don’t produce anything. We aren’t competitive without an artificially weakened dollar. Our finances are a mess. And we keep electing bozos who squander our tax money. Yet we somehow think we are more evolved by virtue of our region.

We are pious and self righteous in our ‘inclusive’ acceptance of foreigners, yet we are obnoxious towards our own countrymen.

I’ve lived in the west, the north, and now in Ontario. There are truths to the stereotypes of each region, but let’s grow up. No place is absolutely superior to the other.

#121 torontorocks on 08.25.12 at 1:04 am

#121 – thanks. I’d forgotten the standard sleeve tattoos with the requisite carp/koi/goldfish, hawaiian girl from the 50’s in a grass skirt and of course, the Nato star on the elbow and the Love/Hate Ed Hardy font across the knuckles.

lets not forget the “stronger because” tatoos on the outside/inside of the douchette’s feet.

#122 house burden on 08.25.12 at 2:34 am

#69 patiently waiting on 08.24.12 at 1:58 pm

Yep that is exactly what is happening. Just like our good friend Bernie Maddolf. It great as long as money comes in to support the ongoing ponzi scheme.

But once people want to pull their money out, the panic starts.

Have you notice the vancouver rental market lately. Its september and so choice units are not rented. Wonder why?

Usually August rental market is nuts. You basically have to claim the unit on the spot, but I noticed several units and basement suites which has been dropping their already cheap prices lower. If they miss the september back to school rent, the landlord will face the dead rental months and probably have to lower their prices once again.

I figure the back to college frenzy slowdown might be the result of kids staying at home or going to other universities and colleges because the cost of living + education is way too high in vancouver.

#123 cynically on 08.25.12 at 2:59 am

#50 Jim – Good posting but Canadians are definitely not innovators, are small scale producers but can consume with the best of them out there so what to do.

#124 TurnerNation on 08.25.12 at 10:21 am

torontorocks – I’m at King West. Only sometimes do I venture up to Queen. I guess, today’s hipsters are like yester-year’s Hippies/”communists”?

Queen W is being ravaged by condo developers. 500sq feet going for well over $300,000.

#125 Josh on 08.25.12 at 12:41 pm

I always find it hilarious when people from around the country slag Calgary with all sorts of ignorant stereo types. In reality Calgary is more of a collection of people from across the country than anything else. Or perhaps it’s just your own negativity that’s to blame for your perception?

#126 Cowtown Cowboy on 08.25.12 at 1:01 pm

#82 Brad in Calgary on 08.24.12 at 3:20 pm

Not sure where you get your #’s from….Current house we bought in 2006, paid 390k in a desirable suburban hood, now worth about 600-650k.

#127 Old Man on 08.25.12 at 2:10 pm

#122 Randman – thanks for the info, and guess am just stupid. Thank you so much for educating me, and never knew the Queen owned all, so do I sell out?

#128 CM on 08.27.12 at 1:53 pm

“These days Cowtown’s so full of itself, it’s more irritating and American than usual.” Like Dallas in the days of J.R.? Depressing.

It’s like watching a slow-motion train wreck. Uncertain, underpaid jobs, prices of everything rising from food to fuel, young people in debt with distant hopes of climbing out of it. The Calgary real estate market reminds me of Harper and Co. several years ago – the housing crash in the U.S. couldn’t happen here (we were different!), cheap money to buy houses and the stuff that goes in them would boost the economy, the economy was as solid as the Canadian Shield (thanks, Jim! – but you were wrong).

Then there was the photo-op at the electronics store after the GST cut. Lower taxes will allow you to buy more junk, most of it not made in this country. Like auto-cannibalism, it didn’t end well.

If you saved money, didn’t take six foreign vacations a year and had fewer than three cars, or at least one per driving person in the household plus a spare, you were considered weird.

How is the all going to end?