Knowledge

GRAD modified

“They’ll never get that much,” he said, kicking a few pebbles with an artful flip of his Birkenstock. “I mean, did you see what they paid for it two years ago? Looks greedy.”

We were standing on the side of a road in a town on the south shore of Nova Scotia, outside my house. Because in January I decided to turn my leg into a Home Depot project and now wear enough screws to build the average deck, it was the first time in seven months I’d made it here.

The local real estate market is slow. Halifax is slow. So is the province and everywhere east of Montreal, which is also in poor shape. In beautiful Nova Scotia, though, house prices have been kept in check not only by a sleepy economy and traditional lack of jobs, but also because of empowered consumers. With a click or two, everybody can see what a house is worth, what it sold for last time, how many price reductions it’s suffered, how many days it’s been on the market now, and how long before previous sales. In addition, there’s a history of yearly property taxes, along with the realtor’s usual glowing prose and a fistful of glossies.

Here’s an example – an historic home in iconic Mahone Bay listed for $450,000. As in Toronto, local buyers can compare that with other properties currently on the market. But they can also compare it with its own history. This house has been for sale for about four years, and started at $965,000. If you were in a vultchy mood, wouldn’t you want to know that?

LISTING modified

Well, the relevance of Nova Scotia real estate to Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver or almost anywhere else in the country is that all MLS data – even the saucy stuff realtors like to hide – is open and public (check out Viewpoint.ca). That means sellers have to be reasonable because buyers are informed. This kind of transparency in a marketplace cannot help but create fairer transactions.

But in Toronto, realtors are fighting to the legal death to prevent the wide dissemination of basic info like how long a property has been listed, previous asking prices or historic sales data. For them, an ill-informed consumer is more likely to jump into a bidding war, overpay and establish ever-higher price points.

Days ago the Toronto Real Estate Board lost a key battle, when the Supreme Court ruled against it. Now the issue of disclosure goes back to a tribunal hearing under federal competition law. The feds are (surprise!) fighting this battle on behalf of consumers, arguing that realtors have formed a cartel designed to restrict competition, curtail choice and probably elevate prices.

Said the Competition Bureau on hearing the court’s ruling: “We continue to believe that prohibiting TREB’s anti-competitive practices and allowing real estate agents to provide the services of their choice is the only way to ensure that consumers and real estate agents alike can benefit from increased competition for residential real estate brokerage services in the Greater Toronto Area. Today’s decision brings us one step closer to that goal.”

You betcha. TREB – and similar local realtor cartels across the country – routinely prohibit members from telling the public what properties sold for in the past, or how long they have been listed or relisted. You can get this data on a property-by-property basis from an agent working for you, but you can’t go online and intelligently shop any market – except maybe, poor little Nova Scotia.

So here’s a prediction for you: TREB will lose. The realtor cartel will soon be broken. Data will flood over the marketplace as new online brokerages (like Viewpoint) sprout like magic mushrooms. And prices will reflect a new empowerment. Finally.

*  *  *

Well, if you need another reason why Canadians are delusional when it comes to real estate, just look at the latest new housing stats. Sales of newly-constructed homes and unbuilt condos in the GTA, for example, have shot back to 2012 levels – which means almost a doubling since last year. But are we building our way into a morass?

Probably. While 5,992 new condos sold in Toronto in the last three months (for an average of $554 a square foot), there are now 105,027 more new units in pre-construction or being built.

In fact in all of Canada, we continue to erect this condo economy even as we shed manufacturing and retail jobs. Housing starts in June equaled 198,195 (annualized). By comparison in all of the US last month there were 406,000 new home sales (also annualized). Since they have ten times the population, our equivalent number would be 1.9 million new homes. In other words, we are building 480% more units here than are selling in a country with similar mortgage rates, more job creation and a better economy.

Yes, it’s different here.

*  *  *

And here’s more proof.

Mass builder Mattamy Homes is releasing lots this Saturday morning – 100 of them – in a new Oakville subdivision which will turn fields into a mass of towns, semis, laneway homes and detached houses. As I write this, more than 400 people are in the line, ready with their photo IDs and deposits cheques.

Homes with a double-car garage (and you’ll need a few cars to get anywhere) start at $765,000, and require a deposit of $70,000. But mostly, they aren’t built yet. No trees. No amenities. No idea of the community makeup. And all a fun-filled 90-minute commute to downtown Toronto on some of the most hellish highways in North America. Or, you can sardine it on the train.

“Honestly,” says a blog dog who stared at the weaving queue of desperate humanity replete with sleeping bags and pee jars, “this is obscene! What is wrong with people?”

They worship the wrong god.

161 comments ↓

#1 Monica on 07.25.14 at 6:39 pm

Hey Garth,

What would you do in my situation? I have enough cash to buy 1 to 3 condos or buy an ETF. I want to make between 10% to 16% ROI which I can get on the condos if I get decent renters. I generally do not like paper investments, but like the idea of a more liquid investment contrary to a condo. What do you think?

Thanks, Monica.

Are you tall, bald and drive a Bentley, Monica? Because you sure sound like Brad Lamb. Now tell us how you will make 10-16% annually buying a condo. — Garth

#2 Sylar on 07.25.14 at 6:42 pm

Hey who here wants to build BCViewpoint.ca with me? There is a great business opportunity here!

#3 bill on 07.25.14 at 6:50 pm

Moloch? these buyers seem to be sacrificing their children… or their future I guess.

#4 totalinvestor.com on 07.25.14 at 6:51 pm

We need Zillow and Trulia here.

http://postimg.org/image/uryjooefj/

#5 Paul on 07.25.14 at 6:59 pm

You betcha. TREB – and similar local realtor cartels across the country – routinely prohibit members from telling the public what properties sold for in the past, or how long they have been listed or relisted.
————————————————————-
Hate to break it to you, no pun intended.
I far as I know agents are not routinely prohibited or other wise from giving out this information.

That’s what I said. Agents can tell clients. But it cannot be published to inform all buyers. — Garth

#6 Sideline Sitter on 07.25.14 at 7:00 pm

A good agent should always provide this info – and consumers should demand it… if not, change agents.

also, there is guava.ca, which is a small site run by some dude, but it shows you (for houses, not condos) how long a listing has been live, and if there have been any price changes — it’s kind of awesome.

#7 expat on 07.25.14 at 7:02 pm

Garth,

I’m a native Torontonian living in NYC. I’ve been thinking about buying on Canada’s east coast. You mentioned today that prices in NS have been kept in check. As such, would it be crazy to buy a home up there at this point in time? I’m envisioning it as a second home for the next 30 years and then the place I’ll go to retire.

I chose it. What other endorsement do you need? — Garth

#8 Happy Renting on 07.25.14 at 7:05 pm

In a sane market I would just assume the drop from $965k to $695k was the correction of a typo. Wowee.

#9 Fred on 07.25.14 at 7:07 pm

How did you make enough money to buy 1-3 condos with thinking like that Monica?

#10 kilby on 07.25.14 at 7:07 pm

Good one Monica! Might be good with no taxes or condo fees… But not likely.

Amazed at some stuff that comes through here.

#11 Retired Boomer - WI on 07.25.14 at 7:13 pm

Monica,

Buy the 3 Condo’s then you will need have to worry about having all that “Spare Cash” again. You know RE never goes down, and that strata fees, and property taxes will be stable for years in the ‘no growth’ economy.
Besides, honest careful renters abound, just ask them.

Stocks, Bonds and ETF’s can lose value, just look at today’s numbers on Wall Street! Why take a chance on ‘paper assets’ when REAL bricks, and mortar can be yours for the buying. They are building condos faster that they are making new ETF’s (though not by much, I fear). With new job opportunities any time now, the demand will surely out strip the supply.
Besides, just review the assets available to most Canadians and their ability to rent that new condo, you might be getting the deal of a lifetime! Who would hesitate selecting this easy choice?

Monica, if this sounds like pure fantasy, my dear, it most certainly IS what it sounds like.

Garth, love your answer!!

#12 wallflower on 07.25.14 at 7:14 pm

no kidding, Monica Scamica

#13 mr-b on 07.25.14 at 7:14 pm

#1 – Hilarious Garth!

They serve the god of mammon. More stuff, house pron. Sad that a few years ago all the tv shows were about “fixing or buying houses”.

Now it’s cooking shows. :-) I guess everyone is broke now.

#14 Retired Boomer - WI on 07.25.14 at 7:15 pm

OOPS…. first line should read “never have to worry about having all that “Spare Cash” again…..

fat finger syndrome

#15 Lilyflor on 07.25.14 at 7:23 pm

I would also like to know how to make 10-16% in the condo market! where do I sign up?

#16 Basil Fawlty on 07.25.14 at 7:23 pm

Chinese big buyers of US real estate.

http://www.moneynews.com/StreetTalk/Chinese-home-buyers-California-United-States/2014/07/25/id/584909/

#17 Drunken stupor on 07.25.14 at 7:34 pm

INHOUSANITY IN OAKVILLE?!?!?!

#18 Irene in Salmon Arm on 07.25.14 at 7:36 pm

Garth, we need your help. My husband and I are in our 50’s, no kids, no debts, earn between us 300K per year,own our home,paid off, and find ourselves in the enviable position of having abt 150k to invest. An aqauaintance suggested we put 10% into precious metal stocks but we don’t know which ones. Can you provide some guidance? Thanks..

Sure. Get a better friend. Save more. Forget gold. — Garth

#19 Chickenlittle on 07.25.14 at 7:40 pm

“This house has been for sale for about four years, and started at $965,000. If you were in a vultchy mood, wouldn’t you want to know that?”

That is SO sad for the poor people who own that house! I would hate to be in their position. Those are the kind of people I feel sorry for, not the local GTA hipster population whose demise is imminent.

I cant wait for future price drops to wipe those self satisfied smiles right off their bearded, bespectacled faces.

#20 james on 07.25.14 at 7:42 pm

#1 Monica

Exactly how does your condo work out to be cash flow positive at current carrying-costs to rental yields???

Are you putting 95% down? Or are you including capital appreciation significant enough to cover your short term losses subsidizing your renter?

#21 Irene in Salmon Arm on 07.25.14 at 7:44 pm

Garth, could you please say why we should forget gold. He said something about protection which we didn’t understand..Does he know what he’s talking about? Thanks..

Yes, gold will protect you in the event of systemic economic collapse, widespread bank failures, civil disobedience and the utter debasement of paper currency. Do you have that in Salmon Arm? — Garth

#22 Nemesis on 07.25.14 at 7:45 pm

#SillyGarth. #YouForgot. #TheOtherMonica.

http://youtu.be/1Os_yPVVsPQ

[NoteToGT: Just the between the two of us… real CigarAficionados put their stogies in a humidor not a Monica. You knew that already… right?]

#23 Josh Renning on 07.25.14 at 7:46 pm

#14 Irene in Salmon Arm

If you make $300,000 a year and don’t know where to invest your money or take care of your money prudently then good luck.

Even at 4.00% annual rates of return you will be millionaires in 10 years or less.

It is not brain surgery.

#24 Papa John on 07.25.14 at 7:47 pm

Yup…these real estate pimps in Canada should be locked up, fined, dis-membered ( in the license losing kind of way) . In the US we have Zillow. I can Zillow any house and area anywhere in the country or right next door and see exactly what the price, tax and transaction history has been…..they even provide some analytical tools where you can run a spread sheet on things like extra bathrooms, age of roof, specific streets etc etc ….

And guess what….houses are still selling…..and honest realtors can make a living. The ‘cartel thing’ in Canada has to end. The Real Estate Boards need to broken up and real estate turned back to the ownership of the people rather than the mafia like leeches who have wormed themselves into these ‘self regulating’ organizations.

#25 Sheane Wallace on 07.25.14 at 7:52 pm

#18 Irene in Salmon Arm

put 5 % in gold mining stocks or 3 % in gold mining, 2 % in silver, gold, platinum (1 ounce gold, 1 ounce platinum, maybe 25 silver maple leafs based on your budget) and forget about them.

Or buy some oil and gas ETF for the same amount.

#26 Sheane Wallace on 07.25.14 at 7:56 pm

gold mining ETFs have inverse correlation to the S&P and are way under-priced, so it could be very healthy investment if you put small part of your portfolio in it.

don’t be afraid to put few Gs in them, after all 10 k is 1 % of sh.tty bungalow in Toronto.

Barrick has lost 60% of its share value in two years. You can can pick ’em. — Garth

#27 Rogie on 07.25.14 at 7:57 pm

If a hipster buys a house he loves and grows a family in it and has 25 years of wonderful memories to look back on do you think he cares what any of you think?
He may even sell 25 year from now and make a nice profit. All of you wishing bad things for people who just want to get on with their lives. I don’t think they are on a homeowners blog making fun of renters. They are too busy living.

#28 Randy Macho Man Savage on 07.25.14 at 7:59 pm

Just out of curiosity, does anyone know the lot depth for the new Mattamy homes in the Oakville “Preserve”? I noticed many of their recent builds in other locations always seem to be 85 feet deep…

#29 Irene in Salmon Arm on 07.25.14 at 7:59 pm

You sound like you’re getting mad at us just for asking.

You want free advice, or a friend? — Garth

#30 Happy Renting on 07.25.14 at 8:00 pm

#19 Chickenlittle on 07.25.14 at 7:40 pm
“This house has been for sale for about four years, and started at $965,000. If you were in a vultchy mood, wouldn’t you want to know that?”

That is SO sad for the poor people who own that house! I would hate to be in their position. Those are the kind of people I feel sorry for, not the local GTA hipster population whose demise is imminent.

I cant wait for future price drops to wipe those self satisfied smiles right off their bearded, bespectacled faces.

Don’t you think the people who own the formerly $965k house may be the same as the house-horny GTA hipsters, just about 4-6 years further down the line?

#31 Sheane Wallace on 07.25.14 at 8:07 pm

#24 Papa John

honest realtor is oxymoron. like honest used car salesmen (actually I know one relatively honest!).

They will lie until the bitter end and then will ask us to pick up the tab.

If there was honesty people would not be living in basements, drinking water with fluoride delivered with lead pipes, eating GMO crap in this huge, rich, abundant with resources country.

I could go on here for a while: most indebted per household, most expensive insurance, most expensive banking, bigger deviation between rents and prices,
second in property taxes (for now) and so on.

#32 saskatoon on 07.25.14 at 8:11 pm

garth,

you own a house on the south shore?

i didn’t know this.

thought you had a house north of the big stink.

When you least expect it, I will move in next door. — Garth

#33 Sheane Wallace on 07.25.14 at 8:12 pm

Barrick has lost 60% of its share value in two years. You can can pick ‘em. — Garth
…………………………
That’s why I follow your advice and buy an ETF, not individual stocks. Buy when there is blood on the street.
Being contrarian in moderations could pay out well if you have the stomach for it.

But not gold. Dead money. — Garth

#34 natalya on 07.25.14 at 8:13 pm

“Are you tall, bald and drive a Bentley, Monica? Because you sure sound like Brad Lamb.”… — Garth

Brilliant!
Garth, guess, we’ll never hear from Monica/B.Lamb again…

#35 Nemesis on 07.25.14 at 8:15 pm

#Garth’sNeverBeenToSalmonArm.

http://globalnews.ca/news/1290641/evacuation-order-in-effect-near-salmon-arm-after-debris-slide/

Have so. — Garth

#36 Terrier on 07.25.14 at 8:15 pm

Same story with Esta Gardens. They’re building a new “community” in Richmond Hill (Bayview and 16th Avenue). I drove by the other day and saw signs advertising townhomes from $750K and up. Semis will be flying like hotcakes for 900K and up. I bet ya mob will gather to suckup entire inventory in one weekend …

#37 Smoking Man on 07.25.14 at 8:18 pm

Funny, the protesters at Ford Fest are largely from the Gay And Lesvos community.

Aggressive, Nasty…

They are Fatsofobs..

#38 Sheane Wallace on 07.25.14 at 8:21 pm

But not gold. Dead money. — Garth
…………………………..
It beats the crap out of me why everyone hates gold so much, specially mainstream media.

It makes me sooooooooooo tempted to pull the trigger and increase from 5 to 10, 15,…%
It requires huge effort to restrain that urge.
So I settle on buying energy ETFs instead.

Nobody hates it. Just no reason to own it. — Garth

#39 Dean on 07.25.14 at 8:22 pm

Do you think this will ever happen here ?

Timothy Geithner Extended Interview
http://thedailyshow.cc.com/extended-interviews/z9b8f1/timothy-geithner-extended-interview

#40 missing the point. on 07.25.14 at 8:27 pm

Some Facts:

Montreal East –> no immigration.

Toronto west –> immigration.

Even though same CMHC and Interest rates in both places.

Vancouver–> the most luxury cars per capita in North America! Highest resale value for used Cara in North America. That should tell you something.

It certainly does. — Garth

#41 baddog on 07.25.14 at 8:39 pm

A quick Google search told me that there were 893 000 housing starts in June in the US not 406 000. How did you get that number?

Sales, not starts. Source: Census Bureau. — Garth

#42 LifeXpert on 07.25.14 at 8:53 pm

I know someone that stood in a similar lineup 2 yrs ago, when Remington first opened their sales office, he has already flipped it, netting just over 200K, not bad for a 2 year period.

I was actually considering checking out the sales office myself later on this week, no longer a viable option with a 4 to 1 ratio.

#43 Happy Renting on 07.25.14 at 8:57 pm

#18 Irene in Salmon Arm on 07.25.14 at 7:36 pm

You didn’t mention any pensions. If you don’t have handsome ones lined up for retirement, you REALLY can’t afford to mishandle your family’s finances this close to retirement. You need to become significantly more financially educated or hire an advisor who will go through your particular situation in great detail and recommend a tailored strategy (or, both.) Tips from friends are food for thought, but you need to be getting advice from someone with accountability for the soundness of their recommendations.

Welcome to the blog, though (if you are new). $300k annual family income? You fit right in.

#44 Nemesis on 07.25.14 at 9:02 pm

#NemesisHatesBeingWrong.

“Have so.” — Garth

http://youtu.be/FTPCKZQi3UQ

[NoteToSaltierDogz: He’s such an insufferable SmartyPants sometimes.]

#45 Linda Mulligan on 07.25.14 at 9:09 pm

Just checking – over 105,000 new condos ‘in the works’ in the Toronto area? Not a misprint? At over $500 per square foot, who the heck is going to buy these puppies? Mind, if prices do plummet, I suppose they’d be of use for housing the homeless or the elderly who need to downsize…..

#46 Sheane Wallace on 07.25.14 at 9:09 pm

Nobody hates it. Just no reason to own it. — Garth
……………………..
But one can argue that there is no reason to own currencies with strongly negative real interest rate either.

at least one ounce of let’s say platinum is one ounce of platinum, it won’t be 1/2 in 10 years.
Who has one ounce of platinum? I can bet no one on this blog. It costs 1700 dollars. High end engagement rings will always be made of platinum, just check the prices on ebay.

I am not talking about the monetary aspect at all and I don’t intend to start.

#47 Lucky Sometimes on 07.25.14 at 9:11 pm

Just went thru the listing and selling process here in Calgary. For the listing price our agent cherry picked lower listed prices so that the recommended selling price was very attractive to potential buyers. Since I had no access to sold prices and DOM, I went over the for sale prices available which were higher than the “reommended price”
RE agent said that sold prices were a more reliable indicator for pricing. I held my ground and listed $20,000
above their price and sold rather quickly for $10,000 above their price.
Oh yeah, found a gorgeous rental overlooking the Bow River and after investing the sale $$$ with my for fee financial guy, I could potentially rake in $18,000/yr (based on 6% return and dividends) above the yearly rent. Thanks Garth!

#48 Freedom First on 07.25.14 at 9:12 pm

#1 Monica

Monica, do you know Bill Clinton?

#49 West Coast on 07.25.14 at 9:19 pm

http://univs.ca/
This site gives some info regarding reductions etc across Canada

http://vancouverpricedrop.wordpress.com/
This is a Vancouver site which shows some cherry picked and entertaining reductions often with comments!

#50 Sheane Wallace on 07.25.14 at 9:23 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tctS_vAxNOg

how many billions in mortgage backed securities per year?

#51 Jay Currie on 07.25.14 at 9:37 pm

I cover a lot of junior market stocks. Buying gold or Senior gold miners exposes you to all sorts of economic and geo-political risk.

Take a look at new producers, gold or silver, or near production companies. They have been slammed and you can buy production ounces for pennies on the dollar.

Will they go up? Probably, but for three years they have done nothing so don’t bet the farm. There are huge bargains simply because the sector has fallen off the cliff. The question is when it will climb back up.

#52 Entitled Conservative Senator on 07.25.14 at 9:44 pm

Gotta love the east coast, Garth!

#53 takla on 07.25.14 at 9:46 pm

Garth”Barrick has lost 60% of its share value in 2 yrs!

Exactly…time to accumulate when under valued,buy low sell high,this goes for the junior miners as well as physical if you have the means to secure it.As garth says gold shines during times of turmoil,civil unrest,bank failures,have you read the papers lately or kept up on world events?
BRIC nations are challenging the U>S dollar world currency monopoly backed by gold at this time,Why do you think the Chinese have been accumulation gold at a robust pace .Faith in the U.s dollar /Can. dollar over time will erode,thats when inflation in N.A will take of,some gold insurance is prudent…
Anchor 1000 oz of silver/40 oz of gold for security and don’t be afraid to take profits on the rises,reinvest for free oz’s on the drops..

#54 Macrath on 07.25.14 at 9:49 pm

#28 Irene in Salmon Arm
Good friends don`t recommend mining stocks.

And it’s gone
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=-DT7bX-B1Mg

#55 Sheane Wallace on 07.25.14 at 9:55 pm

I did not realize it was so bad.

https://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/hoficlincl/mobase/upload/R303a_eng.pdf

#56 Entitled Conservative Senator on 07.25.14 at 9:58 pm

Only problem with down east is the weak economy, Garth.

People getting more and more desperate, lots even turning to trying to sell real estate, go figure.

Look who’s selling this property way south of Halifax:

http://beta.realtor.ca/propertyDetails.aspx?PropertyId=14290255

Guess it’s not just Doug Ford who’s not buying her books!

#57 Uh Oh Canada on 07.25.14 at 10:09 pm

#28 Irene in Salmon Arm

Garth just saved you a lot of money if you listen to him. I should know, I have a few ounces of gold depreciating as we speak. However, I have been happy with my ETF investments faithfully paying dividends every month.

#58 joblo on 07.25.14 at 10:20 pm

#44 Linda Mulligan

“At over $500 per square foot, who the heck is going to buy these puppies?”

said it before multigenerational households buy the mcmansions and millennials micro boxes …the demographics say it’s so.

#59 Waterloo Resident on 07.25.14 at 10:40 pm

Wow, thanks for that link !!!
Can’t wait until we get a similar link to home sales in the GTA (Toronto).
Have a nice day!

#60 Effluence greasy on 07.25.14 at 10:42 pm

#52 takla — “[…] gold shines during times of turmoil,civil unrest,bank failures,have you read the papers lately or kept up on world events?”

I don’t need to. I just check the five year gold chart once in a while, and it’s been telling me that all is right with the world. If that changes, I’ll check the papers.

#61 Bob Rice on 07.25.14 at 11:16 pm

Wanna talk about the scam that the RE industry is? I’ll tell you what just happened to my folks. They listed with Comfree (worked really well for me when I sold so I convinced them to avoid an agent). They got a very good conditional offer with great closing date. Well, they brought an agent who brought his brokerage’s inspector. This charlatan looked for anything to discourage these buyers. My parent’s home is immaculate. They are very picky people. Nothing wrong with the house. But, this guy somehow found moisture in the basement that was above acceptable levels indicating a leak at some point – bullshit. Their house has never had a issue. So I told the old man to get his own inspection. Guess what? Nothing detected! My folks called the buyers back (unbeknownst to the agent) – they had their number as they originally contacted my folks before going in with an agent. They then found a third inspector and he also found nothing wrong.

Here’s my theory as to what happened behind the scene. The brokerage wanted this deal to fail because their agent made an arrangement to take a very small commission from my folks (.5%) b/c he figured he was selling the buyer’s home and my folks insisted on a bottom line price. The brokerage sent their crooked inspector b/c they wanted to scare off the buyers (which they did) so they could make offers on two comparable homes in the neighbourhood that were for sale with conventional brokerages. Well, the folks called the buyers and showed them their passing report and offered to have the buyers bring in a third independent inspector. The deal will get done now and conditions will be met by Monday. Thank God.

So what what was committed in my opinion is a crime. The brokerage did their best to scuttle the deal, I have no doubt about that. This is not the first time I’ve dealt with dishonest RE brokerages.

This is why I refuse to use agents. Btw, my parents saved $40,000 (4% v .5%) – I’d love to see this industry go the way of the blacksmith and dodo bird. You need a a half-decent lawyer to close these deals. That’s it. No one knows a house better than its owner.

By the way, they went with a conventional agent but fired him after a month b/c he was too busy have sex with his wife on open house days… the industry is full of losers.

#62 Mr. Frugal on 07.25.14 at 11:19 pm

The whole real estate business is a scam. Just imagine if they didn’t publish the prices of stocks or if companies didn’t have to report financial results.

#63 Smoking Man on 07.25.14 at 11:20 pm

If the low life scum bags left in long branch knew how many Mickys of JD I have hidden at the Smoking Man compound, my place would be ransacked.

Why God, why did you let me Marry a woman that loves the shit out of me. Caps me to two glasses of wine a nigh.

But being the bad ass I am… Always chasing the perfect buz. She can’t stop my cunning, devious mind.

Why do you torcher me you bastard. See you on the lake the next thunder storm….

#64 From Mississauga with Love on 07.25.14 at 11:20 pm

Garth, I am getting ready to buy a REIT for my RRSP portfolio. Any suggestions?

#65 JimH on 07.25.14 at 11:20 pm

Yes, gold will protect you in the event of systemic economic collapse, widespread bank failures, civil disobedience and the utter debasement of paper currency. Do you have that in Salmon Arm? — Garth
…………………………………………………………..
Actually, I have to respectfully disagree with you, Garth!

In the event of “systemic collapse”, pandemic “bank failures”, widespread “civil disobedience”, the global debasement of “paper currency”, culminating in the complete destruction of the social, political, judicial and technical infrastructure, just what would be the market value of the yellow stuff??? In what “currency” would it be traded???

Under the conditions summarized above, no one could buy a banana sandwich or a class of smelly water in any of the major cities after 48 hours for any amount of the yellow stuff. As a store of value, it has value only as long as it is “valuable”, and there has to be at least a local consensus as to that value.

I have in the past jokingly referred to dried pinto beans and beef jerky (and their equivalents) as the penultimate and final store of value and barter currency in a post-apocalyptic world. This also assumes that the owner(s) have the will and the means to protect said store of value. (Canadians may have the will, but have largely surrendered the means, if I’m not mistaken.) There is a ton of 5.56mm and .45ACP ammo being sold down here… what’s in your gun cabinet???

Anyway, this has been fun, and pressing the buttons of the ‘gold bugs’ always results in good entertainment.

In the meantime, the slow and steady recovery in the USA economy and the widening of the social safety net has resulted in a better investment climate for US equities. I missed Q1 of 2009 through fear, but quickly got over it.

The final judgement to the usefulness of any argument about investing strategies is simply this: Price is the only thing that pays. It just doesn’t matter how good your spreadsheets, your paper ‘net worth’ is, or how logical and sound your academic arguments might be. Price is the only thing that pays!

GDX, the popular (and highly liquid) gold miners ETF peaked in Q3 2011 at $66. It dropped to $39 in Q2 2012 before doing a “dead cat bounce” up to $55 in Q3 2012. It then mimicked Shaun White in the big tube all the way down to $20 in Q4 2013. It then proceeded valiantly to rally up to a high of $28 this past March before retreating back to a ‘higher low’ of $22 at the end of May. It rallied again back up to just under $28 earlier this month, but has so far failed to make the ‘higher high’ that a real good, sustainable rally in gold stocks needs (desperately).

Would you be happy if your daughter was dating a guy with his wagon hitched to this star? When he says, “Well, actually… its only 10-15%” make you feel a whole lot better?

If the spot price of gold drops significantly lower, then the party for the junior gold miners is over… kaput. If gold slides all the way to $700, you will see a ton of mine closures and the M&A action will be like an February auction in a Saskatchewan thunderstorm.

There may come a time when the precious metals will once again become a reasonable investment. The time ain’t now. Be patient.

Didn’t mean to hijack the thread. Sorry, Garth!

#66 PeterfromCalgary on 07.25.14 at 11:23 pm

I wonder which will last longer these property virgins mortgages or their marriages.

#67 Smoking Man on 07.25.14 at 11:43 pm

God, you think you got the upper hand.

Limiting me. I got news for you, you suck.

Look how you screwed up the middle east, but no, your the village authority figure, the perfect teacher.

I’m talking over in about 8 years. When I get up there, I know what your going to do. You will refuse to talk to me.

You will but on that British accent, hoping that I mistaken that for intelagents..

I’m the smoking man… Little man, the day I die is the today you exit and find an other universe. I’m kicking your
ass.

Unlike you. I played Canadian style hockey.

Where real men rule….

#68 Basil Fawlty on 07.25.14 at 11:46 pm

“Barrick has lost 60% of its share value in two years. You can can pick ‘em. — Garth”

Still not a buy at 60% down, Garth?

#69 Eric on 07.25.14 at 11:55 pm

Garth,

Check out this link from the government of Miami Date county:
http://www.miamidade.gov/propertysearch

The real estate data is totally public there. You can search any property and see how many times it has been sold and for how much. You are going to love it.
In fact, I think you should call your next post “Transparency VS CREA”

Regards,
Eric

#70 Eric on 07.26.14 at 12:01 am

My previous post should say “Miami Dade” instead of “Miami Date”, sorry…

#71 souvereigninternational on 07.26.14 at 12:15 am

after recent trip to Pittsburgh, PA for a shopping trip (no tax on clothing, 6 on everything) I checked out the prices in Shadyside: Forest Hill for the price of above mentioned Oakville subdivision.

http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/1455-Inverness-Ave-Pittsburgh-PA-15217/11630591_zpid/

http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/5512-Northumberland-St-Pittsburgh-PA-15217/11630927_zpid/

http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/1270-Bellerock-St-Pittsburgh-PA-15217/11630555_zpid/

http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/5633-Northumberland-St-Pittsburgh-PA-15217/11630626_zpid/

Garth you tempted me with commuting my pension, but may do it Sheane Wallace style at least 15%-25%.You can’t lose what you don’t put in the middle. But you can’t win much either. Junior PM mining when carefully chosen and with some patience will deliver good returns from current prices for my Gen-X retired butt.

#72 kg on 07.26.14 at 12:15 am

In bed, attached bathroom.

#73 souvereigninternational on 07.26.14 at 12:29 am

#50 Jay Currie on 07.25.14 at 9:37 pm wrote

“I cover a lot of junior market stocks. Buying gold or Senior gold miners exposes you to all sorts of economic and geo-political risk.

Take a look at new producers, gold or silver, or near production companies. They have been slammed and you can buy production ounces for pennies on the dollar.

Will they go up? Probably, but for three years they have done nothing so don’t bet the farm. There are huge bargains simply because the sector has fallen off the cliff. The question is when it will climb back up.”
———————-
The Answer is: January 15 2017.

and Big DOW dive we are all waiting for i.e. 23.5% correction in 4 days : October 3 2015

you are welcome,
Nostradamus

#74 Shawn on 07.26.14 at 12:35 am

So who holds currency?

Sheane said:

But one can argue that there is no reason to own currencies with strongly negative real interest rate either.

at least one ounce of let’s say platinum is one ounce of platinum, it won’t be 1/2 in 10 years.

*****************************************
If you own cash, that is of course owning currency. Generally it is not held for anything like 10 years (10 minutes is closer to the average). But is we have an average allocation of cash of say 10% in our portfolios then that may be held indefinitely although the amount should fluctuate as it is may be held to scoop occasional bargains.

If you hold bonds that is holding currency.

If you hold a house that is NOT holding currency. It is measured in cash but is not cash.

If you hold stocks in businesses, that is NOT holding currency or cash. These are measured in cash. They make earnings and dividends in cash which tend to rise long term to (much) more than offset inflation in the long term. They can also go to zero but with diversification and good stock selection that is rare.

So I agree with Sheane, don’t hold long term bonds at rates that may not compensate for inflation.

As for me and Grandpa Buffett “we believe” that productive assets (like stocks and farmland) are better than cash or gold as investments.

#75 souvereigninternational on 07.26.14 at 12:39 am

#45 Sheane Wallace on 07.25.14 at 9:09 pm

…Who has one ounce of platinum?

Does Wellgreen Platinum Ltd. (WG) stock count?

by the way why not build your own PM ETF just pick 15 to 30 miners you like plus streaming, supply, trust etc. augmented by hefty physical.

#76 devore on 07.26.14 at 12:48 am

#37 Sheane Wallace

It beats the crap out of me why everyone hates gold so much, specially mainstream media.

Buy productive companies and assets that pay you to own them. If gold is all it’s cracked up to be, gold producers will have a license to print money.

#77 Mark on 07.26.14 at 12:49 am

Well over a year into the price drops in the GVR, Calgary, and the GTA, and the Realtors are still marketing the delusion of rising prices? Even when the evidence of falling prices is actually staring them in the face?

Gotta hand it to them, they are great propagandists. I don’t think I could say half the nonsense they say with a straight face.

#78 Mixed Bag on 07.26.14 at 1:01 am

Funny about gold. I remember my late grandmother telling me about a German family in her area back home selling their land (not in Germany), as Hitler wanted/was forcing Germans to go back to Germany. They had a lot of cash after the sales, little in physical assets. This being WWII, the currency changed. And just like that – poof! – their money was worthless, they couldn’t buy anything with it. That family was now broke, and had to start over. THAT’s when you want physical gold. Until then, not so much.

(Although I am fascinated hearing about Germany and other countries asking for the US to return the gold they stored for these other countries, and being unable/unwilling to return it).

#79 Papa John on 07.26.14 at 1:06 am

Sheane buddy ….. we almost had you until you crapped out and broke the signal.

“If there was honesty people would not be living in basements, drinking water with fluoride delivered with lead pipes, eating GMO crap in this huge, rich, abundant with resources country.

I could go on here for a while: most indebted per household, most expensive insurance, most expensive banking, bigger deviation between rents and prices,
second in property taxes (for now) and so on.”

Keep typing a little longer next time so the mother ship can find you and beam you aboard. Meanwhile keep a wet towel wrapped around your head so ‘the man’ can’t locate your signal. Your information is ….priceless.

#80 View From NYC on 07.26.14 at 7:38 am

Hello from NYC,
I wish I could bring better news on transparency Garth. In NYC you can see the history of every building and every unit, right down to the names of the buyers and sellers. Check out http://www.streateasy.com, which was recently bought by Zillow. The ugliness of short term flippers is there for all to see. Sadly, this knowledge hasn’t stopped the bidding. For a decent place in Manhattan you’re talking $1750 – $2000 US$/sqft. (not luxury). I’m afraid that the only thing that will be a catalyst for softer prices will be higher rates. As far as timing goes, who knows? I keep thinking about JDS Uniphase in 2000 or Countrywide in 2007… never would have predicted those highs in a million years. Thanks for all the info over the years, keep up the great work and I hope your leg is feeling better.

#81 truth be told on 07.26.14 at 7:59 am

“But not gold. Dead money. — Garth”

an absolute silly comment. gold has been proven to preform as well as the SP500, dividends included. its’ a fact. since gold has traded freely in the early 1970’s, at $35/oz. it’s grown at nearly 9% pa compounded … that compares to the SP500, bonds or any other asset. it moves counter to other assets and will balance a portfolio.

those that disregard gold are simply not true to their diversification mantra. everyone should own a portion of gold in their portfolios.

Three-year return: -31%. — Garth

#82 Best Mortgage Rates on 07.26.14 at 8:33 am

It is really so good and perfect for one to do so. So be passionate and be perfect one.

#83 Basil Fawlty on 07.26.14 at 9:39 am

#63 JimH
“Anyway, this has been fun, and pressing the buttons of the ‘gold bugs’ always results in good entertainment. ”

What, people who put a portion of their investment portfolio in precious metals amuses you? You find them
entertaining, maybe like clowns?

While you get “good entertainment”, the Chinese continue to buy 100 tonnes per month, that we know about. Singapore opens a new precious metals exchange. Countries scramble to get their gold back from the US, with little chnace.
Meanwhile, from Rueters ” China signs currency swap worth 150 billion yuan with Switzerland ”

That people ignore the above is what I find entertaining.

#84 Effluence greasy on 07.26.14 at 10:14 am

#83 Basil Fawlty — “What, people who put a portion of their investment portfolio in precious metals amuses you? You find them entertaining, maybe like clowns?”

Nope, but internet goldbugs amuse me. Exactly like clowns — giant shoes, squirting flower, the works. Instead of rationally analyzing what the charts say, they just hype daily stories of doom. A few months ago, the new Singapore Gold Exchange was finally going to ’emancipate’ (yes, goldbugs really do use that word) gold from paper suppression at the Comex, and gold prices would go way up. Didn’t happen. Before that, it was imminent settlement failure at Comex, because of supposedly not enough physical metal there. Didn’t happen. Before that, someone reported that he’d seen the inside of the vaults at Scotia Mocatta in Toronto… and there was barely any metal there! Nothing at Fort Knox to deliver to the Germans! We should all listen to the wisdom of Chinses and Indian peasant gold buyers without flush toilets, because they’re smarter than us! Foreign central bankers are wiser than our central bankers!

Needless to say, these guys never advise holding a certain percentage and rebalancing, or taking profits, or trading gold ETFs instantly for less than $10. No, they advise getting ALL your money out of the system, taking physical possession of gold and hiding it.

Given that these types of website seem to outnumber any sites that do rational analysis of gold trading by about 10,000 to one, I have to figure that these clowns or the type that listen to them represent the marginal buyer or seller of gold. Who wants to be on the same side of the market as a bunch of clowns?

I think the best way to trade gold is to look at long term charts and completely ignore the noise. And right now, the chart says “Outlook not so good. I pity the fool who’s been long.”

#85 Tony on 07.26.14 at 10:22 am

Re: #71 souvereigninternational on 07.26.14 at 12:15 am

The juniors have to get to the production stage or get taken over. Sometimes a partnership is formed.

#86 TurnerNation on 07.26.14 at 10:27 am

Saw Lamb at a downtown hotel bar this week. No #blondetourage in tow. A buddy pretended not knowing him. Hillarious feigned intros ensued.

Ventured down the Gardinder Distressway/Lakesnore Blvd, ultimately past Southside Johnny’s. Know someone with a pre-con Minto townhouse at a project, down that road. The Beer Store is to be razed there. Sniff for locals.

#87 Doug in London on 07.26.14 at 10:56 am

@Irene in Salmon Arm, post #18:
It looks like you got a discussion going about the merits (or lack thereof) for buying precious metal stocks. When I read that, I suddenly got sucked onto the time tunnel and shot back to 1999 with music like Better Days by Citizen King, Praise You by Fat Boy Slim, Millenium by Robbie Williams, and Smooth by Santana. I also found myself in a theatre watching Star Wars the Phantom Menace for the first time. YES, back in 1999 it was an EXCELLENT time to buy gold bullion, or stocks like Barrick Gold, Placer Dome, or Kinross Gold. Altamira Precious Metals Fund was on sale also back then. Now I’m out of the time tunnel and back in 2014 and will stay away from gold as it looks and feels more like 1980. Say, has anyone heard that brand new vinyl record album (also available in cassette and 8 track tape format) Back in Black by AC/DC?

Alright, enough deviation from the original topic of real estate. As for the website Viewpoint.ca it’s not about time but rather LONG OVERDUE. This website should have been around when the internet was in its earliest stages in the 1970s.

#88 calgarybndid on 07.26.14 at 10:58 am

@# 77 Mark

LOL!!! Calgary price drops. WUT??? If someone buys a place last year for $600k, lists it for $800k now and has to drop the price and sell it for $700 you consider that a price drop? Ok maybe, but fact remains, prices are going UP not down. Calgary has been brutal for years now. The second coming of Jesus will be upon us before realestate in Calgary drops. Calgary is getting 40,000 people moving here every year. There aren’t that many new homes being built to keep up with demand. Its obvious. The only direction Calgary is headed is towards Vancouver and Toronto prices.

#89 Realtors are scumbags on 07.26.14 at 11:00 am

The RE industry HATES just HATES FREE and OPEN markets. The RE industry knows they are USELESS just USELESS plus they wouldn`t be able to LIE or MISLEAD when they publish info. The market is crashing but the RE industry seems to be MISLEADING sales month in and month out. RE industry full of shysters

That was ugly. — Garth

#90 Smoking Man on 07.26.14 at 11:16 am

Should have popped into South Side Johnnys and said hi.

Who cares about the beer store.. New LCBO Right at no frills.

Bounce a Dollar Rama too.

Never no when I’ll need a screw driver, to fix something. Five for a buck… Good deal.

#91 Basil Fawlty on 07.26.14 at 11:37 am

“Three-year return: -31%. — Garth”

Well, if we want to cherry pick, what is the 5 year return? If this three year history was applicable to the S&P 500, you would be recommending it as a screaming buy.

Companies make money. Rocks sit there. — Garth

#92 Macrath on 07.26.14 at 11:46 am

Canada’s top court declines to hear Toronto realtor case appeal

Canada’s top court said it won’t hear an appeal of a case on whether Toronto’s main realtor group must give wider access to their historical price data.

The Ottawa-based Supreme Court published the decision on its website Thursday.

http://business.financialpost.com/2014/07/24/toronto-real-estate-board/

#93 Basil Fawlty on 07.26.14 at 11:49 am

“Companies make money. Rocks sit there. — Garth’

This implies that gold has not gone from $300 in 1999 to $1300 today.

Hope you sold when I told you. It would have been nice to avoid the 31% loss over the last three years. More to come. — Garth

#94 Son of Ponzi on 07.26.14 at 12:32 pm

Never no when I’ll need a screw driver.
Five for a buck… Good deal.
——————
Good Happy hour deal.
But you have to buy the expensive Steak and Lobster dinner to go with it.

#95 Son of Ponzi on 07.26.14 at 12:36 pm

Talking about Gold.
The reality show “Yukon Gold” is as primal as it gets.
As the character Big Al says:
Let’s get slousing!

#96 };-) aka Devil's Advocate on 07.26.14 at 12:41 pm

Just heading into my third competitive offer in as many days. The vultures are panicked to beat rising prices. It’s starting to get stupid again. Nope I think it’s already there – “stupid”. Buyers are so obsessed with house porn and securing their piece of “the dream” they’re willing to pay whatever the price. Can’t stop ’em so might as well do the best I can to help protect them from themselves and earn some income along the way.

SHIFT happens

};-)

#97 Effluence greasy on 07.26.14 at 12:56 pm

#93 Basil Fawlty
“Companies make money. Rocks sit there. — Garth’

“This implies that gold has not gone from $300 in 1999 to $1300 today.”

It surely did, with a stop at $1,895 on the way. But that $1,895 STILL wasn’t higher, in inflation-adjusted dollars, that the peak in 1980. And that’s using the evil, understated, official government inflation figures. If inflation has been running at the rates many goldbugs believe, it’d be even worse.

Gold’s a great trade if you buy low and sell high — keeping in mind that you need to use technical analysis since the stuff has no fundamental value, in the sense that it doesn’t produce an income or grow while you own it. Buy it at the wrong time and you could still be underwater thirty-four years later. That’s a poor store of value and a poor hedge against inflation.

#98 Basil Fawlty on 07.26.14 at 12:57 pm

“Hope you sold when I told you. It would have been nice to avoid the 31% loss over the last three years. More to come. — Garth”

It will be interesting to see where we are in a year. You may be right, but there is no way to be sure.
Stay insured!

#99 Slim on 07.26.14 at 1:15 pm

His highness, King Lamb is coming to Edmonton!

Read all about it here: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/Condo+King+Brad+Lamb+build+luxury+tower+downtown/10052569/story.html

Just what they need, another condo building.

#100 Sylar read this on 07.26.14 at 1:17 pm

@ #2 Sylar

Ask Garth if he would pass along my email and drop me a note. Let’s see if we are on the same page.

Sorry to throw you in the mix Garth! : )

#101 crowdedelevatorfartz on 07.26.14 at 2:44 pm

South shore N.S.

Has the Bluenose III rectified its “steering problems” yet Garth?

This is what happens when the NDP builds a ship. It only turns left. — Garth

#102 bill on 07.26.14 at 2:54 pm

#75 souvereigninternational on 07.26.14 at 12:39 am
#85 Tony on 07.26.14 at 10:22 am
wellgreen appears to be emulating prophecy coal…despite the upgrade in resource.

#103 Chickenlittle on 07.26.14 at 3:59 pm

RE: Happy Renting: “Don’t you think the people who own the formerly $965k house may be the same as the house-horny GTA hipsters, just about 4-6 years further down the line?”

No I don’t, and I wil tell you why: the hipster population seems to be obssessed with public transit, dive bars, and over priced “vintage” clothing. While that beautiful piece of property seems like the perfect place to raise chickens, organic produce, etc., a vehicle is needed.

It is too far off the beaten path to appeal to hipsters.

Nova Scotia is more connected to reality than most people in urban centres.

#104 Oceanside on 07.26.14 at 5:21 pm

#31 Sheane Wallace on 07.25.14 at 8:07 pm
#24 Papa John

honest realtor is oxymoron. like honest used car salesmen (actually I know one relatively honest!).

They will lie until the bitter end and then will ask us to pick up the tab.

I showed today’s blog to a friend who is a realtor and she said that she would welcome any kind of disclosure tool for everybody.

There are a lot of realtors out there who aren’t all CREA types that are often portrayed here and would like a steady market without all the hype.

#105 Smoking Man on 07.26.14 at 6:09 pm

Pretty slow day at house of blog dog.

Gogo girls at Seneca tonight… Come on down.

#106 TurnerNation on 07.26.14 at 6:25 pm

No time for S-Side Johnny’s as was ‘on the clock’, driving my station-in-life-wagon, a Zipcar econobox, which rents by the hour…

But if they have Molson Ex there…that stuff is hard to find?

#107 waiting on the west coast on 07.26.14 at 6:45 pm

July 24 – #34 Victoria Real Estate Update

First – thanks for the great updates. Do you have access to mls info or are you just tracking them on your own. I have been looking at properties in Oregon and using Trulia and Zillow rock especially for price history and averages for the zip.

My spouse and I are thinking about getting some acreage in either Saanich or Metchosin (hopefully in a year or two rather than five but who knows if the market does not fall enough). Any insights/metrics on farm-able acreage – 10 acres plus (preferably no house but not necessary). It would be interesting to see if it has taken as much of a hit or even more than the residential properties.

Thanks again for your posts!

#108 JimH on 07.26.14 at 7:08 pm

#83 Basil Fawlty
“… people who put a portion of their investment portfolio in precious metals amuses you? You find them
entertaining, maybe like clowns?…”
———————————————
Basil; if you’re going to comment on a post, could you at least please take the time to read it???
Yes, I do find the prepper ‘gold bugs’ amusing, and it was to them alone I was referring, and clearly in a context of a global meltdown.
I have no idea concerning your preferred investment strategies, but if the shoe fits, by all means go ahead and wear it!

#109 T. on 07.26.14 at 7:12 pm

In some recent posts you speculate that CPP universality could end and marginal tax rates will almost certainly increase. Do you foresee a time when politicians decide to tinker with the preferential tax rates given to dividends and capital gains? Or would that be too devastating to our financial system for politicians to consider?

Unlikely, as financial impacts would be large and revenues small. — Garth

#110 Bobby on 07.26.14 at 8:17 pm

For #96 Deveils Advocate

Funny, I’m receiving regular updates regarding condos in Kelowna. Many are price changes down after lengthy periods on the market. Yes, there are some sales but all certainly less than asking.

I think what you meant to say was shi….t happens.

#111 };-) aka Devil's Advocate on 07.26.14 at 9:17 pm

#110 Bobby on 07.26.14 at 8:17 pm

I don’t much care what you’ve heard, read or seen, the market here (Kelowna) is ON FIRE.

And no, I meant SHIFT happens. And if you, and others, would take a moment and actually think about it you will see your opportunity. If not then; yes you are absolutely correct and it is shit that happens.

Have fun
};-)

#112 Nemesis on 07.26.14 at 9:19 pm

“It only turns left.” — Garth

#Avast, ye ScurvyDog! #That’s,”Port”. #Not,”left”. #ByTheWay… #AreTheTricorn,Parrot&PegLeg… #PerformingAsPredicted?… #WorkedWondersForLongJohnYouKnow. #Albeit,GregoryManagedRatherWell… #OnHisReputationAs… #ANotorious’HornBlower’…

http://youtu.be/p1H9VgxWAk4

[NoteToSM: See how many outrageous {unintended?} DoubleEntendres you can spot. Hint: it would appear that LadyBarbara’s valiant efforts to entertain the fleet were not only exceedingly popular with the JuniorRanks… but of enormous interest to CaptainHoratio, too.]

#113 Smoking Man on 07.26.14 at 9:20 pm

Hammered at the bar at Seneca, old has been boomers dancing to the lion sleeps the night. Their sun is at four pm, the fat ones, the sun is about to set on them.

Me, a gorgeous rental pulls a seat beside me. I got no game left, I was pre drinking JD in the room which is nuts cause it’s free in the chairman lounge.

Got hosed out of 10 k mis deal at Mississippi stud.

I now understand gun control..

#114 Smoking Man on 07.26.14 at 9:28 pm

DELETED

#115 Smoking Man on 07.26.14 at 9:30 pm

DELETED

#116 Smoking Man on 07.26.14 at 9:43 pm

DELETED

#117 Defrauded2 on 07.26.14 at 9:48 pm

Through the course of time we have all been deluded in the belief “It can’t happen here, never did, never will!” Garth is right about the fate of the RE in these inflated markets. One has to ask though, why did the US go through and continue to go through such massive RE corrections but not the Great White North.

My belief is the sheeple believe the MSM that we are different and everything supports that belief, for now, thus it is so! However we will feel as the US is just now beginning to feel the loss not just RE but more.

Our financial system is a Ponzi scheme of sorts and you can see for yourself the degree to which we have fallen for the lies about or RE industry. ( see the link ) If we have been lied to about that industry, what else have we been lied to about?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IJeemTQ7Vk

Both my parents were WWII vets. My mom still lives her last days in senior’s residence. She told me she joined the military as a nurse ( then known as Nursing Sister ) because the enemy, those people had no morals or ethics. That’s what they were told then. “They tortured people” They used weapons to terrorize the public…. Remember Buzz Bombs? Their Führer believed he had the sovereign right to kill those who threatened the peace and security of the Homeland… That attitude is what stimulated the world to change that paradigm. So where are we today?

I believe we will endure that correction and it will eventually occur, and not just in RE, but it will be felt there first, and maybe most. Change is inevitable, and part of life, but will lead to a new begging after the old order has fallen away. Including the idea that RE values never drop. Just ask our neighbours to the south.

#118 JimH on 07.26.14 at 10:03 pm

#103 Smoking Man
“… I now understand gun control…”
——————————————
We’ll all sleep just a little bit better tonight knowing that you’re unarmed, SM. You’re still dangerous, however.
(Ever consider surrendering your driver’s license?)

#119 Mark on 07.26.14 at 10:03 pm

“Gold’s a great trade if you buy low and sell high — keeping in mind that you need to use technical analysis since the stuff has no fundamental value, in the sense that it doesn’t produce an income or grow while you own it. Buy it at the wrong time and you could still be underwater thirty-four years later. That’s a poor store of value and a poor hedge against inflation.”

The same could be said of bonds. After all, are bonds ever repaid in anything but new bonds?

As you’ve correctly pointed out, we’re now a good 34 years into poor gold prices (relatively speaking). This reduces, substantially, the probability of the next 34 years being of poor gold prices. Gold ownership is relatively rare, the average portfolio is allocated at less than 1%. There are few other contemporary buying opportunities of such nature.

#120 Smoking Man on 07.26.14 at 10:04 pm

Candles romance, love..

What the hell delete that too.

Garth, you have issues…

#121 KommyKim on 07.26.14 at 10:57 pm

RE: #93 Basil Fawlty on 07.26.14 at 11:49 am
Hope you sold when I told you. It would have been nice to avoid the 31% loss over the last three years. More to come. — Garth

Obviously, gold is over valued. What do you think the fair market price should be for gold today?

#122 Nemesis on 07.26.14 at 11:13 pm

#LittleThenDidCaptainHighlinerSuspect… #That, “Ever been to sea, Billy?”… #WouldBecomeAStapleRiposte… #OfDockYardMessDressDinners… #ForDecadesToCome…

http://youtu.be/__QmUvZCNaI

#123 coastal on 07.26.14 at 11:17 pm

Ahh, Kelowna…. I bet the smell of burning forests has them lined up around the block. Even Christy Clark can’t bring herself to lay down any coin for a condo. ;)

#124 };-) aka Devil's Advocate on 07.26.14 at 11:34 pm

#117 Defrauded2 on 07.26.14 at 9:48 pm

You clearly have the vision but appear to lack the understanding that; “ours is not to see what lies dimly at a distance but to deal with what lies clearly at hand”. – Thomas Carlyle

It is what it is here and now. When we get to where it is going we will deal with that then. Carpe diem.

#125 JimH on 07.26.14 at 11:41 pm

#68 Basil Fawlty
Barrick has lost 60% of its share value in two years. You can can pick ‘em. — Garth”

“Still not a buy at 60% down, Garth?”
—————————————-
Fawlty, Basil:
If a stock is a buy just for the sole reason that it’s down 60%, why not bet the whole farm on Nortel? It’s down a whopping 99.985%…

There is nothing “contrarian” at all about buying a stock just because it is down. Contrarian investing is much more complex than that and entails looking for “unfairly-valued” stocks: ones that have been “unfairly” punished by mother market.

Yes, Barrick (ABX) has been punished. The question is simply about the severity and the justification of the sentence.

Barrick gold has a 5 yr. beta of 0.23; this is the equity equivalent of a crack-whore on a snowboard. (that’s a negative for a non-gambler, trust me… I’ve learned the hard way)

The institutional ownership of this stock has drifted from over 100% (leveraged) to a current 58%… (institutions sell in small lots so as not to start a panic) Doesn’t look to me like they’re anxious to jump on this “bargain”.

Earnings? (All in US $) Q3 2011=$1.39 Q3 2013=$0.58
Q4 2013= $0.37 Q1 2014= $0.20 Q2 2014 (est) $0.18

You want to gamble? Fine. Go to the casino… at least you (hopefully) know the risk.

It pisses me off when I see people advocating equity buys without a scrap of substantiating fundamental or technical data to support their recommendation.

I made more rookie mistakes buying stocks simply because “they can’t go any lower, right?” than I care to admit to.

The worst mistake you can make is to buy a stock SIMPLY because it is down. Quite often, there’s a really good reason!

Barrick stock has tried 6 times after it’s low to break out above $20 and has failed every time. It has found support around $16, but if this fails, the stock could go much lower. If it finally does manage to break out and sustain a price above $22, then it just might… it just might… present an opportunity… IF the price of gold moves well above the current $1300 where it’s been bogged down.

Is gold “insurance against the demise of the US$? Over the last 3 years, the “UUP” etf that tracks the value of the US$ relative to the Euro, Yen, Pound, Can$, Swedish Krona and Swiss Franc is up 2.42% while the “GLD” etf that tracks the price of the yellow stuff is down over -20%.

If you want to gamble, go ahead: your odds are about 50-50 over a long enough time span, but only if “other things remain equal”. It could be a lot worse. After all, awhile ago, there were some on this blog pimping a BBRY buy at $15 as a bargain. Haven’t seen them lately.

I really do wish with all my (hard) heart that there was an easy way to make a buck or two in the market. But, Basil, Sheane, takla & Virginia; there ain’t no Santa Clause.

Would you go ahead and bet on a boxer just because he’s down?

#126 };-) aka Devil's Advocate on 07.26.14 at 11:54 pm

#117 Defrauded2 on 07.26.14 at 9:48 pm

Not you, nor Garth, nor the collective Governments of this planet can stop SHIFT from happening. It is bigger than all of us because it is all of us.

”Start first with the understanding that you cannot repeal the laws of economics just because they are inconvenient.” – Lawrence Summers

#127 Mark on 07.27.14 at 12:03 am

“LOL!!! Calgary price drops. WUT??? If someone buys a place last year for $600k, lists it for $800k now and has to drop the price and sell it for $700 you consider that a price drop?”

Nice try at hyperbole and putting words in my mouth, but if someone bought a place last year in Calgary at $600k, it is unlikely they’d get that this year as prices have declined and supply has more than caught up. $525-$550k perhaps?

Similar deal in Vancouver and the GTA. Prices are going down, and have been for the past year as the entry level is increasingly frozen out due to a reduction in subprime credit.

#128 };-) aka Devil's Advocate on 07.27.14 at 12:07 am

For crying out loud, do yourselves a favour and read the book “SHIFT: How Top Real Estate Agents Tackle Tough Times” by Gary Keller. I am sure it will be a mind blowing experience for many of you.

#129 Joe Anderson on 07.27.14 at 12:43 am

Gath, is there a regulatory or legal barrier to Zillow setting up a Canadian subsidiary? I’ve looked at US properties using Zillow and they show listing and sales price history, property taxes, comparables, days on market, etc. If they provided the same service here either realtor.ca/mls would become defunct or change to compete effectively.

#130 WhiteKat on 07.27.14 at 1:00 am

@Defrauded2 #117 re: “However we will feel as the US is just now beginning to feel the loss not just RE but more. ”

These are scary times, and about to get scarier IMHO. Does this make me a ‘doomer’ or a realist?

#131 };-) aka Devil's Advocate on 07.27.14 at 1:11 am

So here’s a prediction for you: TREB will lose. The realtor cartel will soon be broken. Data will flood over the marketplace as new online brokerages (like Viewpoint) sprout like magic mushrooms. And prices will reflect a new empowerment. Finally.

LOL… and how’s that working out in Nova Scotia? The Cartel broken there? No one using a REALTOR in Nova Scotia?

Do you honestly think REALTORS® are the buggy whip of the current era? And financial advisors – what about them? After all there is a plethora of information on financials out there. Anyone can do it themselves – real estate or financial investing… right?

Seriously Garth you are not that stupid. But that you think your readership is such that they could so easily be manipulated is… well… telling…

Much to the dismay if many on this site, I have continuously suggested consumers are best off – buying or selling – using a licensed realtor. That bears no relation to the attempts of local boards to manipulate information, hide data from buyers and thereby unduly influence and inflate the market. Good agents should welcome the breaking of the cartel. The weak ones will lash out. I see that you have staked your ground. — Garth

#132 };-) aka Devil's Advocate on 07.27.14 at 1:21 am

Knowledge is power and there is no education quite like experience. Thomas Edison is reputed to have failed 10,000 times before getting it right.

The question you have to ask yourself is; Do I want to fail 10,000 times in order to finally get it right or do I just want to pay the guy who knows the answer to give it to me so I can get there in just one step?

#133 Bobby on 07.27.14 at 1:54 am

For Devils Advocate,

You’re right, it is on fire. My colleague sent some interesting video of the water bombers flying over his house.

You should get out more!

#134 Nomad on 07.27.14 at 2:46 am

Zolo shows me this many detached houses being sold right now around Brampton. Isn’t that a LOT of people selling? Is there lack of food in that city? And isn’t the peak house selling period supposed to be over?

http://tinypic.com/r/2v0iusw/8

#135 Nomad on 07.27.14 at 2:48 am

Bought some Atrium shares on Friday. It’s a mortgage investment corporation (ticker = TSX:AI).

“Atrium funds a variety of types of mortgages including term, construction and bridge financing with one to five year terms”.

I sure don’t feel like paying 550k for a well located 2bdrm condo, but I do feel like getting a 8% per year income stream from people who do. Sorry fellows…I’m contributing to the house craze.

#136 maxx on 07.27.14 at 7:16 am

#61 Bob Rice on 07.25.14 at 11:16 pm

This type of thing goes on endlessly…… emotions run very high at any point on the continuum of a re deal, and don’t realtards know it! It is so easy to frighten and manipulate a prospective buyer.

If questionable realtard behaviour is not recorded, on camera or on an industry form, it seems that anything goes.

Garth, perhaps a blog post exposing real-life buyer and seller experience with some rotten re industry members might be useful and informative.

These predators need to be kept on the shortest possible leash- not only by their regulatory bodies, but far more importantly, by the consumer.

An educated, informed and connected consumer is the best protected one.

Buying and selling property is not brain surgery. An informed consumer with a great inspector and excellent lawyer are all that is required.

Good for your parents. Bravo.

Time to flush the meddling middleman!

#137 Apocalypse2014 on 07.27.14 at 8:03 am

The idea of endless human economic and population growth, leading people to believe real estate bubbles are different this time, is factually wrong and stupid.

In fact, we, and especially our children and grandchildren, are in for very deep troubles. There are simply billions too many humans on this planet for the ways we have chosen to live. (And let’s not get started about idealistic ways we can improve, conserve etc…since those just won’t happen, humans always revert to herd stupidity)

These reports the last few days are both shocking and entirely predictable. We are right on the edge of mass extinction events which will devastate us, after doing the same to large and small fauna, unleashing a storm of pestilence that will likely kill billions of people.

(And the source for these ideas is not some stupid doomer site or 9-11 conspiracy nutjob collection, either)

http://news.stanford.edu/news/2014/july/sixth-mass-extinction-072414.html

I think we will see early effects in places like China, where pollution and growth are already so toxic.

But overall, this is what will undermine any hopes of economic recovery of the style we saw the last century. All “booms” from now forward will essentially be cases of musical chairs, with no real overall sustained growth.

Toronto’s emerald ash trees are all dying off right in front of us, invasive species moving north. So we’ll make some art out of the wood, maybe build some more real estate. Great.

http://www.thestar.com/business/2014/07/14/recycling_the_victims_of_the_emerald_ash_borer.html

This is a real time example of devastation happening over just a few years. This whole species will be gone by about 2018.

http://www.thestar.com/life/homes/outdoor_living/2013/04/04/time_has_nearly_run_out_for_our_ash_trees.html

Just one example of the speed at which things are starting to happen.

Forget real estate and commodity speculation, folks. Unless humans reduce the number of their offspring (or our human created side-effects kill of about five billion of us), we are all just so completely screwed.

Localized environmental actions to preserve the tree canopy and the value of slanty semis in Leslieville will make no difference, don’t kid yourselves.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suIePaXzuIQ

This author is widely viewed to have gotten the broader issues right about mass extinctions already started.

http://elizabethkolbert.com/

But on a lighter note, the planet itself may only have about 500 million years left, so don’t worry, be happy.

http://leebillings.com/five-billion-years-of-solitude/

As Billings, says, 500 million years may sound like a long time. But in the context of our planet, that’s like telling a 45 year old woman she only has five years to live.

#138 JimH on 07.27.14 at 8:13 am

Re: Real Estate transparency for buyers and sellers;
Interesting article on the rumored merger of Trulia (TRLA-NYSE)and Zillow (Z-Nasdaq).

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/giant-online-house-hunting-brokers-223100398.html
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-07-25/zillow-taking-page-from-grubhub-speeds-profit-real-m-a.html

#139 SWL1976 on 07.27.14 at 8:28 am

#117 Defrauded2, You have hit the nail on the head my friend.

This is not related to RE, but if the masses can come together on a few simple things this house of cards will fall, but the prison door is closing quick.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jaLpWyllLWc

And if not I hope you like your new dad

Please take 27 minutes out of your day to understand

And wear 27 layers of tin foil. — Garth

#140 Piccaso on 07.27.14 at 8:44 am

#134 Nomad
I sure don’t feel like paying 550k for a well located 2bdrm condo…

………………………………………………………………………

Ya me either plus the taxes, utilities, cable, internet, condo fees, furnishings, upkeep…

But I do like spending $900 a month to rent that place that includes all of that.

#141 crowdedelevatorfartz on 07.27.14 at 10:07 am

@ #114,115,116 Smoking Man

Wow! A 3-fer consecutive deletions. A new record.
Apparently drinking JD and being allowed access to a computor has lethal results……..

#142 crowdedelevatorfartz on 07.27.14 at 10:25 am

@ # 139 SWL1976

Been sniffing too many chem trails have we?
Quite the video. I lasted 3 minutes until the narrator said, And I quote, ” All U.S. Presidents are Free Masons and are related. Their bloodlines can be traced back to ancient Egypt………”

The only thing that scares me more than the people that believe this sensationalistic conspiratorial drivel is …… you vote in elections

#143 Daisy Mae on 07.27.14 at 10:31 am

Re MISSISSAUGA MANSION: “The home was originally listed at 11M and the original auction started at 7M and there where no bidders. A 5.5M bid was the initial offer that got bumped to 6.2…..”

******************************

#128 MARK: DA said: “LOL!!! Calgary price drops. WUT??? If someone buys a place last year for $600k, lists it for $800k now and has to drop the price and sell it for $700 you consider that a price drop?”

Really, DA? The above Mississauga mansion was touted as being sold ‘over asking’.

#144 SWL1976 on 07.27.14 at 12:06 pm

#142 crowdedelevatorfartz

Glad you kept an open mind go ahead and vote all you want… Look what government does to rational thinking. Right Garth

Nothing matters to anyone until it matters to everyone… and by then my friend it is far too late

Happy Sunday

Your thinking is anything but rational. — Garth

#145 };-) aka Devil's Advocate on 07.27.14 at 12:36 pm

Much to the dismay of many on this site, I have continuously suggested consumers are best off – buying or selling – using a licensed realtor. That bears no relation to the attempts of local boards to manipulate information, hide data from buyers and thereby unduly influence and inflate the market. Good agents should welcome the breaking of the cartel. The weak ones will lash out. I see that you have staked your ground. — Garth

As is the case with Exclusive Buyer Agency which most REALTORS® are afraid of as it requires a more overt disclosing to the Buyer that they ARE, in fact, actually PAYING A COMMISSION, (it’s built into the listing price) so too is it with much of that which the 100,000 strong membership of CREA insist on the maintenance of the “status quo”. Personally I do not fear the breaking of “The Cartel” although I am more inclined to believe that supposed “cartel” does, in fact, protect the consumer far more than you and your followers are aware or care to admit. Once it is gone I am sure then that what CREA does that benefits the public will become more clear to you. But be warned; once it is gone you’ll have a hard time getting it back.

I am quite sure every one of the 100,000 plus REALTORS® in Canada knows that they cannot change or manipulate the market. The real power is in knowing what the market is doing right here right now. THAT is the question I am asked multiple times every day – “What is the market doing?” Not “What are you doing to change the market today?” It’s the difference between being “in” the market and “on” the market.

And from that you must logically deduce that it is Buyers who set the market. Nothing, absolutely NOTHING happens without a ready willing and able buyer. It is Buyers who dictate what the market is doing and it does not matter how empowered they are they still do the same stupid things which results in SHIFT happening. Once you understand the inevitability and predictability of the SHIFTS nothing else much matters. And certainly in the face of those all-powerful market SHIFTSsuch “tin foil hat speak” as that of real estate cartels becomes just plain gibberish.

The market will naturally and rightfully tank after a period of irrational exuberance. It’s called a “market correction” although I prefer to think of it as a “market cleansing” – “Pigs get slaughtered”. And believe me it’s not the REALTORS® that make up the pigs, it’s panicked buyers. Doesn’t matter how empowered buyers are they still get tossed about by “Fear and Greed”. A predominance of multiple offers is a sure sign that we are nearing that much needed naturally occurring market cleansing. Although I think it is two years away and when it does come it will not so substantially eradicate all the gains made between now and then.

Back on “The Cartel”. Be careful of what you wish for, you might just get it. Personally I hope you do because it won’t make any difference to my business but I am quite sure it will for many of the CREA bashers.

};-)

#146 crazed and a little confused on 07.27.14 at 1:22 pm

Hi garth,

I bought and sold barrick aa few times in the last 10 years ssold I made a profit ; however I bought Kinross @ $10 after dropping from $ 18 …you know it about $ 4.58 now so It is about 60 % loss.

now i have bought and sold gold etf twice this last 4 months based on contrarian thinking …a little profit. all these buys have dividends just in case

so i guess you are saying dont buy the physical asset but buy good value companies. i agree most do not know what they are doing and barrick is a bad buy right now

#147 DM in C on 07.27.14 at 2:05 pm

MY LORD who keeps feeding the troll. And I don’t mean that in an internet-blog-baiter way, I mean it in, lives under the bridge and is stupid and brash way.

How many times can one be banned before it sticks, Mr. Turner?

#148 T.J.BONES on 07.27.14 at 2:29 pm

Sir Mr. Turner: How is this not the Black Swan Event? The end of bidding wars, and realaturds as we know it! Sir, how is this going to impact all the transactions to date? Will there be a freefall, of cancelled contracts. Lawsuits, over corrupt business practices, and the demise of all realturdes, as there should be. Will people be able to sue past realaturds for fraud and misreppentation? This is a BIG deal. Let it ride! To all realestate professionals< you can run but you cant hide!

#149 Shawn on 07.27.14 at 2:41 pm

Mommy will fix the big bag realtors

T.J. Bones asks:

Will people be able to sue past realaturds for fraud and misreppentation?

*******************************************
Sure, just go to your Mommy to start the process and all past perceived injustices in your life will be fixed, starting with anytime you paid to much for real estate.

It starts today.

#150 jess on 07.27.14 at 2:42 pm

hashtag #JewsAndArabsRefuseToBeEnemies

==
The storm is here

quarterly capitalism ——->long term
1) growing inequality,
2) decline of public trust in institutions of all kinds,
3) the resulting social unrest.
http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/25188-world-of-resistance-report-imf-world-bank-giant-consultants-admit-the-storm-is-coming

“Dealing With Disruption: Adapting to Survive and Thrive,” 16th Annual Global CEO Survey)
Dominic Barton, “Capitalism for the Long Term,” Autumn 2012)

#151 SHELTER THE MONEY NOT THE PEOPLE on 07.27.14 at 2:44 pm

#78 Mixed Bag on 07.26.14 at 1:01 am

There are no worries for German Gold

http://www.mining.com/bubba-explains-why-the-us-only-gave-germany-back-5-tonnes-of-its-gold-73709/

#152 KommyKim on 07.27.14 at 2:48 pm

RE: #128 };-) aka Devil’s Advocate on 07.27.14 at 12:07 am
For crying out loud, do yourselves a favour and read the book “SHIFT: How Top Real Estate Agents Tackle Tough Times” by Gary Keller. I am sure it will be a mind blowing experience for many of you.

Well, it’s about time you explained about all the SHIFT you’ve been spewing on about here. ;-)

#153 armpit on 07.27.14 at 3:02 pm

Why are the comments sometimes longer that Garth’s blog?

#154 bill on 07.27.14 at 3:09 pm

#142 crowdedelevatorfartz on 07.27.14 at 10:25 am
and they can reproduce as well….

#155 dave on 07.27.14 at 3:11 pm

that viewpoint is sure nice….I do hope it comes all across the country

#156 };-) aka Devil's Advocate on 07.27.14 at 3:15 pm

#147 DM in C on 07.27.14 at 2:05 pm

No worries. You can pass over the bridge under which he lives. He’s really quite harmless.

#157 Oceanside on 07.27.14 at 4:11 pm

Much to the dismay if many on this site, I have continuously suggested consumers are best off – buying or selling – using a licensed realtor. That bears no relation to the attempts of local boards to manipulate information, hide data from buyers and thereby unduly influence and inflate the market. Good agents should welcome the breaking of the cartel. The weak ones will lash out. I see that you have staked your ground. — Garth
____________________________________________

Well said, the realtors that I have as friends here on Vancouver Island are so removed from the cartel on a day to day basis that they would love these changes.

A big help explaining to a seller why they can’t list their $400k house for $550k and just waste everybody’s time and money…Full disclosure will mean a steady and predictable market.

#158 takla on 07.27.14 at 4:28 pm

Lets face it,gold/silver talk threatens stock/paper bugs,especially with the djia at all time highs and Yellen continueing to pull Quantitive easing,
Lets face it without the massive QE would the markets be at all time highs….I think not.Much like the threatened realestate agent who wont make their pound of flesh off future sales the stock pushers are threatened.
Golds the contrarian trade to the relentless stock pushers out there and one’s on this blog,you can taste and feel it their rebuttles.
So …with investment coin do you buy stocks,etf’s ect @ all time highs with a weakening economy and current geopolitical strife ,or poor beatup metals @ recent low’s and good entry points??

Let’s face it: nobody cares about you. Go away. — Garth

#159 blobby on 07.27.14 at 5:33 pm

Did i miss a post where you talked about the new chmc rules which came into effect recently?

#160 Kevin on 07.28.14 at 10:52 am

That $965k to $695k price drop is clearly the result of a simple typo. The house was listed on Sept. 30, then just 5 days later they dropped it a quarter of a million? To a price that is exactly the same, but with two numbers transposed?

Still telling, but not nearly as dramatic as portrayed.

Mistakes of that nature are unlikely on an MLS listing. The provincial real estate board is the source of all that site’s data. — Garth

#161 Long View on the Prairies on 07.28.14 at 11:40 am

@ Sylar: I will!