Trust us

THE YOUNG modified

For two years a developer in Surrey’s been trying to flog 71 townhouses to hipsters. Yeah, I know. Hipsters in Surrey. Brutal.

But Mackenzie Estates is now notable for desperation, and the lengths taken to suck the young into debt. Here’s the latest pitch, a “Christmas Bonus” on Craigslist:

“Heritage Style townhomes featuring a gorgeous design and wide open entertaining kitchen, Quartz countertops – Contemporary Maple Cabinets-stainless steel appliances, incl Washer and Dryer . NO YARD WORK

“INSTEAD OF RENTING WHAT ABOUT PURCHASING—NEED HELP WITH DOWNPAYMENT Santa can help – NO MONEY DOWN IF YOU QUALIFY—AND PAYMENTS AS LOW AS $1350 plus $1000 for Christmas Shopping. Free Telus Optic TV and wifi internet for 1 Year and from Santa’s Bag. NO STRATA FEES FOR 1 YEAR. Think about it…… HOW LONG WOULD IT TAKE YOU TO SAVE $20,000.00 CALL NOW

“You will enjoy HIGH 10 foot ceilings, laminate floors, crown mouldings, 3 bds. for your family plus 2.5 baths so there’s no waiting, pre wired security system, internet smart system, and rough-in vacuum. Cozy up to the electric fireplace and elegant surroundings throughout the home and enjoy a cup of cheer. Home situated in stuning Cloverdale, from thriving stores to shopping malls and schools. Plenty of parking -2car garage (plus Flex room 250 sq ft ). Available NOW, move in in time for the holidays.”

Free appliances. Free cable and Internet. Free strata fees. Free down payment. And a $1,000 bribe. Does this sound like a booming Vancouver real estate market to you? But such extraordinary measures are sometimes necessary when you make your living selling houses to people who don’t have any money. After all, anyone who had enough cash for a down payment wouldn’t jack the debt load by taking 100% financing, then shoulder a $450,000 mortgage for a suburban rowhouse.

But this is the world we now inhabit. Feasting on the young. The gullible. The horny.

Days ago the TD Bank released a survey on GenXers and mortgages. The big finding: “More than two-thirds of Gen X Canadians have told us they don’t want their entire budget allocated to mortgage payments,” said the bank. These people also want some money for that other major thing, “lifestyle spending.”

This was the advice given to the young by Nupi Zubair, associate vice president, Retail Products at the bank:

Set a budget: Start by listing all sources of income. Then list all non-discretionary expenses, such as food, utilities, insurance and car or student loan. What’s left will be the amount available for mortgage payments (replacing current living expenses), savings and any discretionary spending buyers may want to account for. “

See what you’re working for kids? Food, debt repayment and a mortgage. How depressing is that? Given the inflated and unsustainable cost of housing in Canada, is this the best possible path your life should be on?

Well, the bank thinks so, and has a mortgage to suit. And your mom believes it, since houses always made money for the Boomers. Now that she’s cloned, you should think that way, too.

But wait. The accountants aren’t so sure.

Here’s another national survey you should know about, this one done of the over-55 set. You know, people typically at the peak of their careers, with kids gone, mortgages paid and earning top bucks. And how are they doing?

The accountants found a quarter are in financial difficulty, and almost 70% think their financial situation will stay the same or deteriorate. A third now understand they won’t have enough money to last the rest of their lives (and another third likely don’t realize or won’t admit it). Add this to the growing body of Boomer data this pathetic blog has provided in recent months. Most people are unable to survive one missed paycheque. Most net worth is sitting in a house, dependent on finding a buyer. Most TFSAs earn 1% in a savings account or GIC. Most Boomers are pushing back retirement age or saying they’ll work part-time.

In 2008, over half of the wrinklies were sure they’d retire by age 66. Today just 27% think that way, according to Sun Life. And yet over this six-year period of time, we’ve had the bubbliest property market in Canadian history, presumably plumping their net worth. So, obviously, a lot of people are reaching the same conclusion – it’s more important to have income than it is to have a house.

So why are we, as a society, continuously telling the kids to “get on the property ladder”, or “stop throwing money away in rent,” or ask them, “why are you paying someone else’s mortgage”? When this strategy hasn’t worked for a huge segment of the population about to retire – who bought houses cheap with tiny debt loads, and still didn’t save enough – why do we think it’ll work now?

Easy. We need buyers.


#1 Cy on 11.09.14 at 5:05 pm

Is the gta this bad yet?

#2 CPG on 11.09.14 at 5:14 pm

From the perspective of my macro Credit analytical framework, history’s greatest Credit Bubble advances almost methodically toward the worst-case scenario. After more than two decades, the Bubble has gone to the heart of contemporary “money” and perceived safe government debt. The Bubble has fully encompassed the world – economies as well as securities and asset markets. And we now have the world’s major central banks all trapped in desperate “nuclear-option” “money”-printing operations.

#3 Terry on 11.09.14 at 5:15 pm

First !!! Yea!

#4 Retired Boomer - WI on 11.09.14 at 5:20 pm


Yes, buy NOW while you still know everything. You know how stupid the old man, and the old lady are, so why not ‘do it yourself?’

Yes, BUY NOW why wait to screw up your life? Your smart phone, and all those smart young people you know know where it’s at right now.

This from a debt free old fart that will buy up your mistakes for less than half what you owe, when you crash and burn. Don’t worry about it kids, he has been there before when the terminally indebted here in the US were about to lose their shit, too!

Buy Now, he needs the challenge in a couple of years!!

#5 LazyJason on 11.09.14 at 5:20 pm

I’m a renter (currently hanging out in Barbados for the winter) and I never viewed my rent payments as paying someone else’s mortgage. I view it as them supplementing my investments.

#6 Butcher on 11.09.14 at 5:25 pm

The Saints need to finish these Niners.
Go Hawks!

#7 Chris in Calgary on 11.09.14 at 5:29 pm

Garth, been lurking here a long time, great blog. Anyway just wanted to comment on your investment ideas. Would it not make sense to move out of long bond ETF’s/ Mutuals now and into either shorter durations, money market or simply cash at this point in the cycle? When interest rates start to creep up, the longs will be slaughtered.

There will be no slaughtering, as there are always reasons to hold debt. A bond ETF with laddered maturities is a reasonable option.

#8 4 AM Sunrise on 11.09.14 at 5:30 pm

In September, BNN designated one of their regular reporters to specifically cover their new real estate beat. Sign of a top?

#9 mythvsreality on 11.09.14 at 5:31 pm

Garth, what do you think will happen if prices in Vancouver or Toronto start to drop to at a critical level %25-%40? the BOC will drops rates to zero or negative, the government will boost CMHC, they will do everything they can short of robbing ever single saver in Canada at gunpoint to cater to debt ridden home owners and investors. That’s why house prices will never fall again. The government has put all it’s eggs in one basket and in 2014, at the present time, they can not afford a housing downturn. There is no “market economy” in housing anymore. Just like the stock market, it’s all about central banks and government policy. You can explain that to young kids when housing is double or triple in another 5-10 years. Is that insanity? Sure it is, but it’s also the reality of what the government is doing and there is no stopping it. This is no longer the world you knew during previous crashes. Or when Volker raised rates to %20. This is impossible to duplicate in 2014 so stop trying to predict the future by looking at the past when we’re in uncharted waters.

#10 Harbour on 11.09.14 at 5:43 pm

Of the boomers who are all good… if real estate took a dive they’d be in trouble.

#11 FormerSaskie on 11.09.14 at 5:44 pm

A friend has been trying to sell her deceased parents age restricted retirement condo for over a year without luck. It seems like the oldsters are not buying real estate either.

#12 Ad on 11.09.14 at 5:53 pm

So, Garth, based on your Friday post about the rates, basically if you were buying a house right now (yeah, I know it sounds like a joke) you will lock your mortgage rate, right?

Let’ say you have 2.3 variable or 2.89 fixed. (both 5yr)

What do you think?

I’d lock. — Garth

#13 Godth on 11.09.14 at 6:02 pm

#9 mythvsreality

Myth is Reality

“That’s why house prices will never fall again.”
Good God in heaven -why, WHY, WHY!?

“You can explain that to young kids when housing is double or triple in another 5-10 years.”
how, HOW, HOW!?

Howling mad lunacy abounds. There must be limits. Enter mother nature, otherwise known as Nemesis.

Here’s some sort of sanity:

#14 Jonah on 11.09.14 at 6:05 pm

Houses are safer than condos, condos can devalue like Nortel stock but houses always show resistance. Unfortunately Garth is buying against property especially at these times, what he doesn’t realize is the house that I had bought and has not been completed yet has increased in price by 40K over one year so technically if I sell it after one year of once it is completed, I will profit at 60K to 70K if not more.

Energy sector has been deflated purposely by the political crooks sitting in US. Stocks markets fluctuate like a wave in a storm. Bonds would be bonds. If the economy fails, so would every thing else. Only those who panic will suffer the most.

If you don’t crystallize that gain, there isn’t one. Especially in Ottawa. — Garth

#15 Obvious Truth on 11.09.14 at 6:10 pm

There is no saving housing. Was never meant to be an investment. Anyone who tells you this is not an investor.

You are a taker of circumstance when you own a home. You have no control of rates, prices, currency and cost. You can usually do nothing when these change. Circumstance has been on your side for a while. But it’s clearly changing.

Investors buy and sell opportunity. Change with the changing circumstance and prepare for a changing economic landscape. Most people have no idea how to do this even though it’s so easy to get information.

Everyday I have people tell me how risky what I do is. Even my own family many of whom have double the mortgage. They want to buy rental homes and fix them up.

Personally I can’t figure out how anything could be safer than going to 30% cash at the top of a trend channel.

It’s easier to listen to friendly sales people.

#16 4 AM Sunrise on 11.09.14 at 6:20 pm

I went to China for the first time recently – some thoughts on their real estate market:

I see lots of unfinished condos. They may or may not be finished in the future. It depends on whether the developer actually wants to build these condos or just pocket the municipal development grant. These developments are advertised as gated communities, with hospitals and schools inside the complex so you don’t have to face the riffraff outside. They’re springing up in the middle of nowhere outside of big cities and small provincial towns. I don’t know how China’s consumer class – I call them “the 10%” – is supposed to absorb all of these units.

Some cities are loosening restrictions on second property purchases and easing requirements on mortgages, especially on units in those new gated communities because those units need to be sold, gosh darnit! Lowering the required down payment in order to goose the real estate market…sound familiar?


I learned that not all of what we in BC perceive as HAM is dirty money. Some of them simply found themselves on the right side of the property bubble. I met one lady whose property quintupled in 7 years, and that’s typical. Only in certain parts of Scamcouver could you get that kind of return.

She’s moving to Vancouver to be with family and she’s waving around real estate printouts and cooing “look! In Surrey, you can get a SFH for only $350,000!” That house is in freakin’ Sullivan Heights!

#17 Retired Boomer - WI on 11.09.14 at 6:26 pm

#15 Obvious Truth

Well Said.

#18 RayofLight on 11.09.14 at 6:45 pm

#15.. I don’t see the point of going to cash. When the markets fall badly, I think it is better to sell the stocks that have suffered the least, and buy the stocks in your portfolio that have suffered the most. This is how I handled the mid October correction, and it worked well.

#19 Brian Ripley on 11.09.14 at 6:50 pm

If you don’t crystallize that gain, there isn’t one. Especially in Ottawa. — Garth

I have the Sales and Listing data updated with OCT data:

…and the Monthly Absorption Rate & Months of Inventory data as well

Ottawa is around 7 months of inventory and Montreal is almost TWICE that !

Montreal absorbs (sells) only 8% of its listings each month and Ottawa only 15%

That’s what a market looks like when the bids stop coming and low interest rates will not stimulate demand after demand has left.

Banking is a demand side business, not supply side. It does not matter how much capital a bank has; if there are no credit worthy people asking for loans walking through the door, there is no loan growth and banks have to chase yield like everyone else for a return.

At the moment only Toronto has serious mojo going into the winter with Calgary in second place.

#20 economictsunami on 11.09.14 at 6:58 pm

Depression in the southern periphery and danger of deflation in the northern core countries of Euro Land.

The Japanese government raises the consumption tax, (the shaky economy tanks) and the BoJ gets desperate to the tune of almost 3/4 of a trillion U$D per year.

But for how much longer? (and yes that nasty consumption tax is set to rise once again.)

Some have concerns of a possible deflation occurring here but it somehow feels increasingly more akin to stagflation in eastern Canada.

#21 Timmy on 11.09.14 at 6:58 pm

Surrey is a dump. THere is a reason it is somewhat affordable.

#22 Screw The Boomers on 11.09.14 at 7:11 pm

I live in the metro Vancouver area (having grown up here) and I am so sick of the real estate greed that is going on. I am particularly galled by the attitude that the only thing that matters is getting rich and that real estate is the way to do this. The advice I get is ‘buy a chunk of land, because in ten years, it’ll be zoned for a high rise and you’ll get rich!” The boomer entitlement is rife. They’ve lived high off the hog for years; they’ve made it incredibly difficult for their kids to get established in life.

My parents generation did well with limited to no education. Jobs that used to require a two year diploma now require a master’s degree. Tuition was cheap. Jobs that used to pay well, don’t anymore. The ‘new industry’ jobs are being given to temporary foreign workers because that’s what the corporate crowd want. Cheaper, and when you get tired of them, or don’t need them, you deport them.

The boomers have screwed over their kids. They’ve left us a completely broken economic system in this province, with no jobs, massive liabilities, huge costs of living, and an attitude that every penny needs to be spent on housing. Screw the whole lot of ’em.

#23 ozy - yeah, and all we need now is doomsayers on 11.09.14 at 7:16 pm

yeah, and all we need now is doomsayers :)

what is this – a generational class fight blog? haha

kids have to work hard as we did. no personal computers were available when I was 20. starting as a locksmith and various other jobs to pay through university while living with parent/siblings…. wasn’t your regular univ. dormitory fun… so, why are we handling them like eggs, life is a challenge, let them find out

#24 bobdog on 11.09.14 at 7:30 pm


#25 -=jwk=- on 11.09.14 at 7:36 pm

I’m feeling a little left out. The house we are renting doesn’t have a mortgage on it. So I can’t say I am paying someone else’s mortgage! Sad, but true.

#26 Jan on 11.09.14 at 7:46 pm


#27 Porsche on 11.09.14 at 7:56 pm

Thierry Leyne, the French-Israeli entrepreneur who last year started an investment firm with former International Monetary Fund Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn, jumped to his death at the age of 49.

Leyne’s death now adds yet another count of mysterious death of a financial executive this year…all of whom either mostly committed suicide, or died from unknown causes.

Here are just some:

William Broeksmit, a 58-year-old former senior executive at Deutsche Bank AG, was found dead in his home after an apparent suicide.
Gabriel Magee, a 39-year-old JP Morgan employee, died after falling from the roof of the JP Morgan European headquarters.
Mike Dueker, a 50-year-old chief economist of a US investment bank was found dead close to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington State.
Tim Dickenson, a U.K.-based communications director at Swiss Re AG, died of unknown causes.
Ryan Henry Crane, a 37-year-old equities trading executive at JP Morgan died in an apparent suicide.
Li Junjie, a 33-year-old banker in Hong Kong jumped to his death from the JP Morgan HQ.
James Stuart Jr, a Former National Bank of Commerce CEO, was found dead in Scottsdale, Ariz., the morning of Feb. 19. Cause of death unknown.
Edmund Reilly, a 47-year-old trader at Midtown’s Vertical Group, died by jumping in front of a speeding train.
Kenneth Bellando, a 28-year-old a trader at Levy Capital, formerly investment banking analyst at JP Morgan, jumped to his death from his 6th floor East Side apartment.
Jan Peter Schmittmann, a 57-year-oldformer ABN Amro Netherlands Chief Executive Officer apparently committed suicide after killing his wife and one of his daughters. There were no witnesses.
Li Jianhua, a 49-year-old director of China’s Banking Regulatory Commission died of a sudden heart attack.
Julian Knott, a 45-year-old executive director of JP Morgan Chase & Co.’s global technology network apparently killed his wife and then himself with a shotgun in Jefferson Township, New Jersey.
Christophe de Margerie the CEO of France’s largest oil company, Total, died just hours after a high-level discussion with Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev to discuss foreign investment in Russia.

Cut-and-paste like that again and you will be gone. — Garth

#28 Hawk on 11.09.14 at 7:59 pm

#13 Godth on 11.09.14 at 6:02 pm


Time to invest in oil stocks then :-)

#29 Nemesis on 11.09.14 at 8:00 pm

#RarePreUnificationInterviewMit… #ProtoHipstersKurtUndDieter… #”TrustUs,… #NowTouchTheMonkey”…

#30 Dover from clover on 11.09.14 at 8:02 pm

Cloverdale is not vancouver. I guess ham doesn’t like a dairy farmer for a neighbour. Nice try though gimme a story about deals and desperation in vancouver proper not a story from the back forty of the lower mainland

#31 takla on 11.09.14 at 8:07 pm

number one rule..”don’t lose money”
It tough enough to earn So why risk what you have socked away on risky bets be it residential realestate,topy stock market,depreciating assets ect ect.
Rent and let the landlord supliment your cost of living.
Buy with cash,interest is the devils game
Live within your means

We are in Dangerous financial/geopolitical times and your wealth preservation should be your no. 1 priority

#32 Uh Oh Canada on 11.09.14 at 8:14 pm

Update on my area:

Two pals trying to sell their house cannot find a buyer.

RE agent acquaintances say the market is terrible- nothing is moving.

Just saw a house listed at 275K in my area that isn’t a dump. Pretty good since the average price for the last five years was 300-400K.

We’re in for a terrible 2015.

#33 Larry1 on 11.09.14 at 8:16 pm

Yep, housing bulls spouting that “rent is throwing your money away” BS. In some cases it’s true but not in YVR today.

How about:
– have a landlord subsidize an option for you to retire at 50
– have a diversified portfolio of good businesses rather than an enslaving debt load for an overvalued, non-liquid real-estate asset
– earn investment income at half the tax rate of rental income (Shame on those who don’t claim that rental income!)

#34 North Burnaby on 11.09.14 at 8:19 pm

Surrey is like Detroit, it has the highest crime rates in BC

#35 Chickenlittle on 11.09.14 at 8:27 pm

#15 Obvious Truth:

You are so right. My rich uncle sold his two Muskoka properties either last year or the year before. He knew it was time and unloaded them.

The rich always seem to know what to sell and when. Not like us Gen Xers…

#36 Jan on 11.09.14 at 8:28 pm


#37 Porsche on 11.09.14 at 8:35 pm

Cut-and-paste like that again and you will be gone. — Garth


Is there something wrong with cut and paste?

Would you like the link along with the cut and paste?

Or maybe just the link?

This is a ‘comment’ section, not a ‘repeating’ section. Leave that for the media. — Garth

#38 450 Days on 11.09.14 at 8:35 pm

It’s now 450 days and counting.

The wheels are coming off RE one by one, starting with new builds like this one in Surrey and condos everywhere else.

By the end of this 500 or so day period, in 2016, everyone will be hearing about the RE drop from their friends and people on their streets. That’ll be the sign that it is really is much too late.

This is the last chance, between now and the spring 2015 market, for people to get out with their finances not in a shambles. Sellers better hope for a winter of blues skies and little snow.

#39 A Yank in BC on 11.09.14 at 8:42 pm

#22 Screw The Boomers

Whoa.. lots of issues. But there is a simple solution. Move.

Since when is living in BC a birthright.

#40 Jan on 11.09.14 at 9:00 pm


#41 batt519 on 11.09.14 at 9:00 pm

I love when you talk real estate, I couldn’t agree with you more. Another one good one.
$ilver turned a corner last week. Suicide portfolio is in a stellar spot. Did you mine IMG’s books and news releases?
Where can I get $450k over 25years to buy SSO, GPR, FR, YRI, IMG, FCO, STA, CRJ, PAA, SVB and SYD?
How about the 7-2 Lions? :)

#42 juno on 11.09.14 at 9:01 pm

Just came back from pt roberts today. Gas was at 68 cents a liter in van it 132 cent. Almost twice as much. Goes to show the high price for living in vancouver. Everything is so expensive here.

Everything gets taxed so high.

#43 Brian on 11.09.14 at 9:01 pm

hahahaha love the part about “stuning Cloverdale” note spelling! Ever been to Cloverdale? believe me – it isn’t stunning!

#44 Amanda on 11.09.14 at 9:02 pm

awwww those lambs are cute little creetures.

I disagree with the author’s statement:
Given the inflated and unsustainable cost of housing in Canada…

My hubby works at the downtown office of Google, and I work as a Grade 10 teacher at the TDSB.

We afforded a 750$k home in North York and our mortgage is not that high.

Maybe some of the newer generations need to study harder, work harder and rise to the challenge instead of wasting time in clubs and objectifying women?

The ban on prostitution by Harper is one step forward. Young men will respect women and learn not to waste their money on STD ridden strippers.

Troll, but amusing. — Garth

#45 Patiently waiting on 11.09.14 at 9:04 pm

Buyers buying a $0.5 million property never ponder that when the realtors arrive at the house in a shiny new BMW/Audi/Mercedes, and he/she arrives in a 5-year old Honda with no hope to afford a new car in the next 5, then there is something very wrong here.

When the Ottawa REB’s October headline states it a Buyer’s market, then it truly is very bad out here. In my neighborhood of Centrepointe, there are 10 single home listed between $420 – $850K, all of them on the market for over 5 months, with 2 of these on the market for over 18 months (yes, 1.5 years). Nothing is moving even after multiple price reductions. The above #s doesnt include several frustrated sellers who have taken the house off-market after few months of sitting around in the summer.

Welcome to the big slowdown.

#46 Ambiguity on 11.09.14 at 9:04 pm

With all due respect,

Your post is contradictory. Boomers getting more and more worried YET real estate on fire.

I don’t think the young are buying million dollar homes in Vancouver.

You, sir, will have a complete puzzle when you eventually acknowledge the effect of foreign money on Vancouver real estate.

#47 Jan on 11.09.14 at 9:12 pm


#48 Arfmooocat on 11.09.14 at 9:19 pm

Wake me up when the downturn begins, until then it’s just hopeful chatter.

#49 Kenny on 11.09.14 at 9:26 pm

43- Amanda

You sound like a religious nutter that has never been inside or understand the realities of a strip club.

You must be an amazing mother to your kids.

And your husband must hope you don’t speak when he takes you out.

Women deserve to be safe. Prostitutes or not.

Strippers are not all std ridden, many are single moms and women doing the best they can.

Unlikely folks like you would give them a hand up.

#50 Kenny on 11.09.14 at 9:28 pm

One could also argue women should be in the home, not working and supplementing monster mortgages and payments. But that would be sexist too…. But you want it both ways….

#51 batt519 on 11.09.14 at 9:33 pm

Bearded Wonder,
Did you notice in the news last week about shortages and rationing for $ilver Eagles and Maple Leafs? Even as the price had been getting hammered.
Physical demand is insatiable in all forms. How can the paper price keep falling?
Respectfully, I’m honestly surprised that a maverick such as yourself hasn’t or wouldn’t examine this market for surplus capital allocation. Mind you I’m a newer arrival here…

Not a gold blog. Now you can leave. — Garth

#52 Fiendish Thingy on 11.09.14 at 9:35 pm

Just over the river in Maple Ridge, we’ve been getting expensive, multi-page, slick color flyers for local condos and townhomes for months now. The offer many of the incentives, with the exception of the $1000 for Christmas. Instead they offer a three year discount on property taxes.

One flyer even had a financing offer endorsed by Don Cherry himself, proclaiming ” if your household makes at least $21 an hour, you qualify!”

With the minimum wage in BC AT $10 an hour, you’d think there would be long lines of McDonald’s and Tim Horton’s employees just drooling to jump in to the debt swamp, but instead, the complexes sit mostly vacant.

#53 MI6 on 11.09.14 at 9:36 pm


Collateral casualties in the grand scheme of things.

“The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.” – Albert Einstein

#54 Godth on 11.09.14 at 9:45 pm

#28 Hawk

I’d highly recommend it, just don’t come crying to me (or anyone else) when your stock(s) go bust. I’d avoid the new fangled financialized stuff. Good luck.

#55 Dave on 11.09.14 at 9:47 pm

I am from Surrey, AND I’m hip..tyvm!!

#56 prairie person on 11.09.14 at 9:48 pm

Went to a C&W concert last night. 34.00 a ticket. There was a good crowd. I would say nearly everyone was 50 and up. At the break there was coffee, tea, water, snacks. Sign said no charge but donations accepted. Lots of five dollar bills for a cup of tea. Lots of draw tickets being sold. Say the evening cost this older crowd a hundred. No young people. May be the style of the music. May be young couples can’t drop a hundred on an evening out. The evening was a fundraiser for a food bank. Not sure what to make of it. Is the financial divide that great, old (houses paid for), young (big mortgages). I like to think it is the music style but maybe not. How much discretionary spending is left if you have a 450,000 mortgage, two kids, car payments?

#57 Godth on 11.09.14 at 9:53 pm

#44 Amanda

That was an amazing and wonder-filled transition from housing to prostitution. Are you working on your Phd.?

STD’s could be a subtext? The STD’S of the average suburbanite versus the prostitutes that service them. What a wonderful project. You’ll be meeting all sorts that Jesus would approve of.

#58 nonplused on 11.09.14 at 9:53 pm

Well I don’t tell my kids to buy a house or apartment. Why not rent when you are young? That’s what I did and it worked out we moved a couple of times due to job and lifestyle changes. You can buy when you are established in your career. You can’t establish yourself by buying a house.

Better to work up north and live in a camp than not work and have a mortgage. Renting is not so bad. If the jobs move, so do you and the landlord gets stuck with the property. That’s all fair, he bought it based on his assessment the jobs would stay.

Even on children I do not push my kids to have them like I was. I was raised the old fashioned way, it’s your duty to have kids and continue the family. But why? Would the universe really be that bad off if we all took the time to decide if we really wanted to raise a child and could afford to do so before having them? It’s not like the 1900’s, where you needed the labor for the farm and we actually having kids for quite selfish reasons, that being the free labor.

I want my kids to go to school, get a good job they like, have free time to do recreational things they enjoy, and not be a burden on society or me. If they have the wherewithal at some point to have their own children and want to, go crazy but don’t feel any obligation to me or anyone else, including church and state. We don’t need more people, there is an app for that, so don’t have them unless you really want to love and nurture a child, and can afford it.

In earlier times last century we still needed more workers. That is no longer the case, and there is plenty of evidence. The economy can grow however fast it likes, it doesn’t create jobs at the rate it creates people anymore because technology.

And anyway there are plenty of reasons to assume any children you may have today (I do not say this to my kids but I believe it) will not reach adulthood because peak oil, nuclear waste and reactors just blowing up if they get wet or shaken, and of course those wily Ruskies and their nukes. I’ll be surprised as hell if we are all still here in 20 years and bet appropriately as I light another cigar.

Ever wonder why we don’t find intelligent life in space, maybe dropping by for a visit? I don’t after Fukashima. They probably figured out how to make plutonium before they figured out what to do with it too.

So my word to the young is get an education you enjoy, then a job you enjoy, do those tricks in the terrain park or whatever it is that you enjoy, and don’t worry about things. Houses and kids and all that were for when we thought the world could stand us forever. Be free. Have fun. Have kids if we get things sorted out and you want to. And don’t buy a house unless you need one for your kids.

In much of the world of course they don’t have a choice because the tools to conquer our biological imperative to reproduce are not there so the babies just come until the point of starvation, competition, and desease.

#59 nonplused on 11.09.14 at 10:02 pm

And one more point,

Believing that we have a better than not chance of killing all life on the planet used to make me quite sad. But then one day I realised that nobody owed me anything, even my existence, 4 billion years ago when the earth was being spun together around what was then our very new star. Life is a free gift. Everybody that isn’t alive now died for other reasons. So don’t complain or fret about the fact that plutonium is going to kill everything, instead rejoice in the fact that for now it powers the hospitals that without chances are you would already be dead. Grab those skis when it snows and hit the hills.

Oh and point 2,

Saving for retirement seems to me like it is something you do with extra money, as has always been the case outside government and retirement plans. Chances are you won’t need it. You’ll be dead. People always thought this was before science extended our lives so much but now it’s not clear how even science can save us from ourselves. We have met the enemy, and he is us.

#60 Godth on 11.09.14 at 10:04 pm

btw, since when was a townhouse with crown mouldings and laminate floor hip? Jesus, buy a small house in the ex-urbs (or whatever they’re called now) with a big lot, use some elbow grease to fix the place up and then set up the turntable.

#61 devore on 11.09.14 at 10:10 pm

#25 -=jwk=-

I’m feeling a little left out. The house we are renting doesn’t have a mortgage on it. So I can’t say I am paying someone else’s mortgage! Sad, but true.

What is the house valued at, and what is their return on it?

#62 Suede on 11.09.14 at 10:12 pm

I hope it’s not electric baseboard heating with those 10ft ceilings.

Get ready to buck up for the electrical bill this winter

#63 Nemesis on 11.09.14 at 10:14 pm

#JustForGodth&FiendishThingies… #OK,ForSaltierDogz&OtherEruditeLandlubbers,Too… #&SM,Like,Yeah,WhyNot?,YouWorthyFool,You…



[NoteToGT: Ever wonder where those slogans come from?… Hey, and just between the two of us… I am, like, so waiting for those two to be ‘recycled’ by Pfizer: … BonusZen: “Tastes like butter… Promise!” – CaptainKirk: … NoteToNorthBurnaby: Yikes! DetroitShudders… CorpsesAreEasy… SoCallMe when a SurreyLabel TopsMotown for Grammys before you, ‘Compare&Contrast’: ]

#64 Rexx Rock on 11.09.14 at 10:14 pm

Whatever you do don’t lock in a long term mortgage rate until you see 1.75% 10 year rate like my friend has in Japan.Its a given in the next year or two.The variable might be under 1%.

That was funny. — Garth

#65 Retired Boomer - WI on 11.09.14 at 10:16 pm


I re-read tonight’s blog, and missed your comment, about – (Boomers) “who bought houses cheap with tiny debt loads, and still didn’t save enough.”

No, it won’t ‘work’ now either. Some Boomers me included, bought “less house” back in those 70’s than the bank said we could afford, practiced that during the moves up, too. Almost every Boomer went from a defined BENEFIT retirement plan, to a defined CONTRIBUTION retirement plan somewhere along their journey. That is to assume they had any planet all offered to them. I would hope those who saw they had none, made some provision, those that saw plans change, changed with them.

Your statistics tell me otherwise. Sure, it would be wonderful to have owned a a million dollar home in Canada that one could have sold to finance a slim retirement kitty.
Now, what are chances of seeing a full return on that house? 90% 80% 70% the longer they delay the lower their recovery percentage, right? Perhaps the tide has not yet gone out, but might “soon.” Everybody loves a good game of chance, you’ve bet your retirement already, why not throw the kids under the house, too -with a place of their own.

Now, that would seem utter folly.

#66 Cow Man on 11.09.14 at 10:19 pm

#27 Porsche

They all jumped because they had missed out on the housing bubble? If they had of bought condos instead of trying to diversify a portfolio, they would still be with us?

#67 Nemesis on 11.09.14 at 10:21 pm


#68 Nemesis on 11.09.14 at 10:23 pm


#69 Mark on 11.09.14 at 10:25 pm

“Whatever you do don’t lock in a long term mortgage rate until you see 1.75% 10 year rate like my friend has in Japan.Its a given in the next year or two.The variable might be under 1%.”

I agree, that’s probably where we’re heading. However, a 1% rate isn’t much consolation when the underlying asset is shedding 6-8%/year like has been happening in Japan for a long time, now is it?

#70 Chickenlittle on 11.09.14 at 10:28 pm

#44 Amanda:
“We afforded a 750$k home in North York and our mortgage is not that high.”

Are you reffering to the monthly payment or total mortgage? The monthly is not as important as the amount you owe the bank. I would rather pay $1500 and have a $100k mortgage than pay $1250 but owe $250k.

#49 Kenny

Why assume this woman is “religious” just because she doesn’t like strip clubs? I am a woman and I don’t like them either.
It is a sad day when having an opinion on something makes you “religious”.

#71 SWL1976 on 11.09.14 at 10:33 pm

Haha, that ad reminds me of the blow hards you will hear on the local Van rock station, for those who listen know the ones. Ian and Steve down at Maple Ridge, good credit, bad credit, no problem, walk away with a new car and 10k cash. Funny thing they never mention the total cost just perpetual biweeky payments I assume, talk about a deal!!!

I guess there is no shame in anything anymore, not only is the car they are purchasing soon to become worthless, likely before it’s paid for, the 10k cash may also have its own troubles as well, but not before its long gone

Awesome!!! Family Guy just did a spoof on RE agents and condo flipping, this goose has got to be fully cooked now

#72 devore on 11.09.14 at 10:38 pm

#51 batt519

Physical demand is insatiable in all forms. How can the paper price keep falling?

Insatiable demand? Is that why VBCE (Vancouver’s largest bullion dealer by far) won’t even pay you spot price for your coins? Must be all that insatiable demand they just can’t keep pace with.

I can buy and sell my paper gold for spot price.

#73 Don Derc on 11.09.14 at 10:47 pm

I like Surrey – the outgoing Mayor looks good in a tight dress, and she’s bankrupted the budget – everything I look for in a girl, in a woody allen sort of way – Abbotsford and Chilliwack are excellent opportunities – better prices and value than Surrey – the whole lower mainland has a crack/gang problem so let’s not beat up on Whalley etc. Funny how everyone wants to live in Vcr – the center of the universe – but the partiers are not interested in anything past 200th street – I think we’ll see million dollar homes in Abby (1970’s bungalows) by 2030.

#74 Mark on 11.09.14 at 11:00 pm

“Insatiable demand? Is that why VBCE (Vancouver’s largest bullion dealer by far) won’t even pay you spot price for your coins? Must be all that insatiable demand they just can’t keep pace with.”

Paying spot has never been the business model of coin/bullion dealers. The moment that dealers start paying spot on coins is the moment in which you probably should sell all your gold and silver as the market is obviously highly over-inflated and the coin dealers are financing their operations on (probably unsustainable) inventory appreciation and speculation, not merely collecting a spread between bid/ask. In short, the only way they’ll be forced into doing this is in a gold mania in which there’s a large influx of other coin dealers in the marketplace. Entirely possible in the future, but we’re nowhere near such at the moment.

Additionally, if precious metals are in so much demand, its relatively trivial to buy a futures contract on the COMEX and stand for physical delivery.

#75 For those about to flop... on 11.09.14 at 11:11 pm

Hi Garth ,I have my tfsa maxed out earning about 1% like you said in your post what do I do to fix this .
Because getting that percent is pathetic like this blog!

#76 Linda on 11.09.14 at 11:24 pm

So, lots of (temporary) incentives to purchase. Have to say, for $450K or more I’d want real hardwood & not laminate. All those incentives won’t stop the hurt when the bill arrives after the ‘free’ year is up.

About retirement. I know a number of retirees, thus far they all of them say they love it. Also say they are so busy they don’t know how they ever found time to work. Don’t know their financials, but they seem to be doing o.k. However, also know a growing number of people who have expressed doubt about retiring due to monetary concerns. One told me retirement will be involuntary – person wants to keep working because they don’t think they have enough, but the company they are working for is in danger of closing its doors due to creeping obsolescence. Retraining in an alternate profession is always an option, but they are already 60+ years old. No company pension plan & CPP won’t be enough to cover the cost of living, even if the company doesn’t fold prior to their reaching age 65. Yes, some savings/investments but they never did get that 8% plus return per annum those glorious RRSP ads implied would be so easy to achieve. So are not looking toward retirement with anything other than apprehension. Sad.

#77 Freedom First on 11.09.14 at 11:26 pm

The survey on the over 55 crowd mentioned on today’s Post, plus all the info Garth has written about the Boomers financial situation says a lot. And it is not good.

I know, as a number of Boomers have sought me out to talk about their financial situation. Many of them would love to stop working, as they have had enough of it, but they are not even close to being able to afford to. And even the ones who could afford to retire, and want to, but only by selling their house, and drastically downsizing, are, for some reason, terrified of doing it. It is not only the women either, bet the men also. On that note, I have seen some women persuade their husband to sell the house and do just that, as well as some men, but that is the minority. However, the ones that did sell and downsize, well, they are very very very happy they did.

#78 Mike in Toronto on 11.09.14 at 11:33 pm

56 prairie person

Can’t afford to drop $100 on an evening out? Not sure if you’re joking.

Dinner and a movie costs that much. A cheap dinner, non-alcoholic drinks and a tip. Shared popcorn at the theatre, and hopefully not-very-expensive parking.

If you had two kids, skip the dinner.

You should take a walk down King Street on a Saturday night to see what people are spending. I don’t know where they get the money.

#79 ed on 11.09.14 at 11:35 pm

“Hipsters in Surrey” is an oxymoron; just like “culture in Nanaimo.”

#80 Panhead on 11.09.14 at 11:40 pm

Cloverdale??? … really … can you get there from here???

#81 Harbour on 11.09.14 at 11:47 pm

#47 Jan on 11.09.14 at 9:12 pm


Dang, now I want to know what she/he/it said more then any other post on this pathetic blog

#82 Hippy Jack on 11.09.14 at 11:48 pm

How do you say ‘stunning and Cloverdale’ with running to the toilet and vomiting up a lung? The Surrey School District has a track record of only sending 1.7% ( according to the Fraser Institute count) of it’s high school graduating class to university. Thats a statistic that makes native reservations look like bastions of success and higher learning. If you’re a parent..think…short order cook or prostitution for little Johnny.

Like to commute to work? Surrey has zero access to anything other than a two lane farm track leading to a one lane tunnel….or you can pay $11.00 a day to go twenty miles out of your way and cross a bridge. Welcome to commuting hell.

Never mind your in a community where people state that they are to afraid to walk out at night…where crack heads are very where like a zombie invasion…where you can’t leave your mini van idling in the driveway for a second.

The ethnic divide is so entrenched that varied colours have strictly demarcated streets where you don’t want to cross.

Yeah….stunning Cloverdale….you’d have to be stunned to live there.

#83 Blacksheep on 11.09.14 at 11:59 pm

Devore # 72,

“won’t even pay you spot price for your coins?”

Your dealing with the wrong place.

Bought and sold with both exchanges, no problems.

#84 Hippy Jack on 11.10.14 at 12:02 am

BTW #72 Devore

“Insatiable demand? Is that why VBCE (Vancouver’s largest bullion dealer by far) won’t even pay you spot price for your coins? Must be all that insatiable demand they just can’t keep pace with.”

It’s not that the dealers can’t pay spot…they refuse to because Canadians are suckers and the dealers know it. The dealers rip you off big time. Ditto for US ‘we buy gold’ outlets.

Here in Bangkok, Thailand gold is cash money…you take it into a gold shop and you get full daily value over the counter as easily as buying a pack of smokes. Save yourself the commission…the differance ( if you have several ounces and get full value for your gold ..and a nice vacation. Bottom line..never sell gold in Vancouver.

Last year I cleaned out all the old gold out of my closet etc….all the old broken…forgotten stuff….nojust stuff I felt was insignifigant…like a chain I’d bought in the disco era and a ‘golden memory of Hawaii’….the wife did the same…..we didn’t really know how much we’d spent over a twenty year period on stuff that wasn’t used any more.

Any way….we brought it to Thailand duty free…they don’t regulate gold as it is same as cash……went into a gold shop ( government regulated no rip offs guaranteed) and got a stack of thousand Baht notes…enough to pay for our entire winter inc flights….we even went home with a surplus after flying twice to Malaysia and Cambodia on side trips.

Seriously….I think there are a lot of CDN couples have a lot of useless/unused gold in the safe dep box and bottom drawers……why not take it to Thailand or Vietnam and convert it into real money…no rip off commission and have your self a fantastic winter in the sun.

#85 V-Strom Rider on 11.10.14 at 12:05 am

How did the hipster burn his mouth? He drank coffee before it was cool!

*bows* I’ll be here all night folks! :)

#86 chuch league on 11.10.14 at 12:08 am

So just an only semi-related comment on human nature.

So kids are playing hockey right now and I am amazed by parents who tell their kids not to pass, hit other kids aggressively, or outright cheat. Well I used to think this was abhorrent but also a bit of an anomaly. But then I remember back to the day.

So I was an adult now and working my first job. A guy at work asked me if I wanted to play on his hockey team and well I love playing hockey so I said yes. Good clean fun. But one particular game, we were winning, I intercepted a long pass (playing defense) well before anyone got there, passed the puck solidly to one of my forwards who had a full head of steam into the other end. So I’m just coasting up the ice watching the play when wham!!! I get this elbow right to the face. I only wore an eye shield at that time so it hurt. I’m cursing the guy who hit me, then I ask the ref for a call and he says he didn’t see it he was looking at the play, etc. Well I was so mad I forgot about consequences and a couple shifts later this same guy has the puck on the boards behind our net. Guess what happened to him??? Now it would have been a legal hit in the NHL, but not so much in a non-contact league. The ref decided not to call it even though he must have seen it. I got the puck, cleared it up to the forwards, and then this guy got back up off the ice screaming blue murder at me and the ref and making all kinds of threats.

And it was a church league. I didn’t go to any of the churches, like I said a guy from work recruited me.

Point is human nature is pretty shitty. We take advantage of each other whenever we can. They sell $400,000 condos to kids because nobody is playing with any conscience.

Parents in rep teach their kids to cheat. So I have my kid in house because they are better there, still some cheating but not the same, no concussions. Adults cheat too, and often cheat their own kids or their friends kids. The world won’t get better until we start taking responsibility for our actions and all playing by the same rules. That goes for anything from hockey to nuclear conflict. And the distorted housing market.

#87 Vanecdotal on 11.10.14 at 1:17 am

This one development is offering what has become pretty “typical” buying incentives in the last few years on a large number of new townhomes & condos in Surrey/S. Surrey/Langley. Actually by recent comparison to advertised perks for other developments, it’s still pretty tame. Recently seeing up to 5 (yes FIVE) years of strata fees paid, plus some utilities, plus free TV/Internet, plus appliance upgrades, plus the occassioal one-year car lease, plus plus plus. This developer is probably going to have to couple these promos with substantial price drops to get much interest, as others in the area already have. Yet, every month or so another massive swath of forested land is razed and more osb beauties are being puked up as fast as they can build them. (kwality abounds). There really are parallels to the cheap tract housing being thrown up all over the outlying burbs and the TO condo market, as far as massive oversupply continuing to build.

As far as White Rock, and the very spendy parts of S. Surrey, the RE market is visibly behaving a bit different. These are areas where RE speculation/flipping is still very active, but at the high $1million + price points. I will also say these are areas popular with foreign investors. Local builders are still active in buying tear downs then building “luxury” homes where modest SFH’s once stood. I don’t have access to the data, but just anecdotally speaking, the supply of these new builds appears to be increasing. I’ve seen more than a few come to market, then be de-listed, only to appear next spring with ping-pong pricing. Then, they drift slowly down over the summer, get de-listed, rinse & repeat. We’re maybe going into the 3-4 year of this cycle. That market appears to really be cooling.

… and I just wanted to add, I’m a dyed in the wool Kits ex-pat, former Kool-Aid drinking Vaincouverite who now lives in a (pretty decent) party of Surrey.

Few points:

1) Yes, there are great swaths of Surrey that are either Ghetto’s of Today, and vast more tracts that will likely become Ghettos of Tomorrow, but there are also beautiful pastoral areas, seaside areas, and everything in between.

2)Want some privacy, personal space, a unique SFH, grow your own food, be near the ocean, and a 35 min. drive to Van in off-peak hours? It’s possible out here for the cost of a 2 bed condo in a mediocre part of Van.

#88 kommykim on 11.10.14 at 1:21 am

RE #75 For those about to flop… on 11.09.14 at 11:11 pm
Hi Garth ,I have my tfsa maxed out earning about 1% like you said in your post what do I do to fix this .
Because getting that percent is pathetic like this blog!

Create your own portfolio of ETFs or buy a really good mutual fund like the MAW104 for your TFSA.

DIY ETF examples here:


#89 Entrepreneur on 11.10.14 at 1:23 am

#86 church league…liked your last couple of paragraghs. The world has gone from “not fair” to “who cares about the next guy as long as I win” attitude. Very cold & greedy.

We should not be allowing our youth get into huge debt, be manipulated by the mass. We need the youth to build, spend, and grow, better for the economy.

Foster the youth not destroy them.

#90 Vanecdotal on 11.10.14 at 1:28 am

I will add though, if you have a daily commute into the Big Smoke, fuggedaboudit! Up to 2 hours each way, everyday. Freakin’ brutal. I suspect that’s why it’s still “affordable” (by Vancouver standards), even in the nicer areas. Needless to say, I am no longer a daily Van commuter for work. That is a consideration anyone considering this kind of move would want to take seriously before committing.

.. and true, Surrey, despite our mayor’s bleating to the contrary is no bastion of arts and entertainment THAT’S FO’ SURE! Kind of a cultural suburban wasteland generally speaking, at least for now. When I need a city fix, I head back to the ol’ hood, stay with friends, or rent a hotel for the night. Best of both worlds.

#91 Lillooet, BC on 11.10.14 at 1:36 am

“Given the inflated and unsustainable cost of housing in Canada”

Correction: the inflated and unsustainable cost of housing in many Canadian cities. In small towns like my own, you can buy a two or three bedroom house with yard, garage, deck and fruit trees for under $175,000, like many other small towns across Canada.

So again, the housing crisis faced by Millenials and Gen-Xer’s is because they have decided to live and work in a big, expensive city. That is their choice. No one is forcing them to live in the city. If they want affordable housing in a more pleasant environment, move to a small town, create your own job, contract out, or if you have skills you can get a job teaching, working for a small business, the municipal government, provincial government, hospital, police, library, whatever. There are jobs in small towns for people with educations and a bit of entrepreneurial skill.

So I don’t think there is a housing crisis in Canada. I don’t think the Baby Boomers are exploiting Gen-Xers and Millenials. The young adults need to get out of the city and explore other parts of the country.

#92 Andres on 11.10.14 at 1:50 am

@ #30 Dover from clover

You either aren’t from Vancouver or don’t get around your city all that much. Go look on google maps and you may be surprised to learn Surrey is directly across the river from Vancouver – it’s an abutting municipality. It’s also almost as large as Vancouver now and growing even faster. Hardly some distant, irrelevant suburb.

#93 Phantom on 11.10.14 at 2:06 am

Oh, I know those townhouses. They’re within walking distance of absolutely nothing. It’s the ugliest part of Fraser Highway right near the Surrey/Langley border. There are probably six more townhouse developments currently being built within 10 kilometres. Good luck to them! Vancouver ‘s’burbs are probably the most screwed part of the whole country.

#94 observer01 on 11.10.14 at 2:49 am

Listening to all the crap that is being tossed around and all the dismay people out there.

I’m just glad I’ll be retired in the next several years, with a government pension and money in investments and etc.

In our industry alot of the jobs are being offloaded to India and China (help centers and development teams). The Full time employees are getting screwed and there is no such thing as a secured job, even in the government. The next reorganization should send people in the late 50’s and over 60 packing with a nice package. But there aren’t any plan to hire people to replace them, instead they will be contracted out to companies in India, China or Russia.

Those sweet jobs will be replace by walmart greeter or macdonalds jobs.

#95 Kris on 11.10.14 at 2:50 am


#96 EdmontonMike on 11.10.14 at 3:45 am

Wow! So true! Here in Edmonton we have Brad Lamb talking about how we are ripe for huge condo tower development, just after a huge mega project bankruptcy!

Many new towers breaking soil have seen sales slow right down, and from what I see many remain only half sold

#97 live within your means on 11.10.14 at 7:24 am

#78 Mike in Toronto on 11.09.14 at 11:33 pm
56 prairie person

You should take a walk down King Street on a Saturday night to see what people are spending. I don’t know where they get the money.
I do. They charge it.

A friend of my hubby (C) & his wife live way beyond their means. A female friend of theirs is in the market for a stereo system. At a party, C told her she had to spend at least $2500. to get a decent one. Hubby didn’t say anything, but later checked the net for a used one – top of line system, 2 yrs old. Asking price $200. Lots of folks out there are in dire straits financially. Hubby already called the seller & will call her. No doubt he’ll check it out with her. Hubby says C will likely have to work till he’s in his mid 70’s. He’s in his 50’s, is an auto mechanic, but not paid that well in comparison to mechanics at other dealerships. Plus, the physical work is demanding. No pension plan, house remortgaged several times, no investments, etc. but lots of toys.

#98 devore on 11.10.14 at 7:42 am

#74 Mark

Paying spot has never been the business model of coin/bullion dealers. The moment that dealers start paying spot on coins is the moment in which you probably should sell all your gold and silver as the market is obviously highly over-inflated

All good points, and true. The specific premise I am responding to is that physical price is disconnected from “paper price”, which is farcical. There’s no dealer in the country that will pay more than spot price, or who has crazy spreads, or who displays any signs of a price disconnect. It’s just a gold-nut propaganda talking piece.

#83 Blacksheep

“won’t even pay you spot price for your coins?”

Your dealing with the wrong place.

Border Gold pays more to buy, also charges more to sell. Meh. See above.

#99 bigrider on 11.10.14 at 7:59 am

#44 Amanda on 11.09.14 at 9:02 pm
awwww those lambs are cute little creetures.

I disagree with the author’s statement:
Given the inflated and unsustainable cost of housing in Canada…

My hubby works at the downtown office of Google, and I work as a Grade 10 teacher at the TDSB.

We afforded a 750$k home in North York and our mortgage is not that high.

Maybe some of the newer generations need to study harder, work harder and rise to the challenge instead of wasting time in clubs and objectifying women?

The ban on prostitution by Harper is one step forward. Young men will respect women and learn not to waste their money on STD ridden strippers.

Troll, but amusing. — Garth

You got your hubby really p#$$7 whipped don’t you…LOL

Bet you got em doing a bunch of chores over the weekends in order to keep him from out of those clubs with “STD ridden strippers”

News flash for you. He is watching online porn while you sleep.

#100 devore on 11.10.14 at 8:16 am

#84 Hippy Jack

It’s not that the dealers can’t pay spot…they refuse to because Canadians are suckers and the dealers know it. The dealers rip you off big time. Ditto for US ‘we buy gold’ outlets.

What a load of bull.

First, “we buy gold” places are there to soak up people’s 10 and 14 karat “family heirlooms” that no one cares about anymore. This is scrap metal, and requires processing to bring to bullion state. Even then, it is raw, and unassayed/uncertified. There’s a whole chain such product must pass through, each step taking a cut. It’s basically a pawn shop. Ever sold anything to a pawn? What kind of price did you get? But you got cash on the spot, which comes are a major discount to you, and that’s what those places are for.

Second, if what I’m told is correct, then I can advertise to pay spot price for your gold, way more than any bullion dealer in Canada, so I will surely get lots of it, then turn around and sell this loot for ludicrous amounts of money to this mysterious pool of buyers (always nameless foreigners, isn’t that funny) starving for physical? Alternatively, for zero effort, I can walk into any major bullion shop in Canada tomorrow, walk out with hundreds of ounces, and flip them for mega profits. I know I can do this, because I called them. I also know I can do this, because the buy-sell spread is low, and centered square on the spot price, ie, the “paper price”, indicating no shortage of supply.

So why aren’t you a billionaire yet? Why aren’t the people writing these newsletters you’re reading billionaires themselves? Why are they telling you these things instead of doing them? Oh yeah, because this market does not exist. No one who wants to buy and take delivery of any amount of physical gold or silver is paying more than 2-3% over spot, anywhere in the world. If you’re willing to wait a bit, it won’t even cost you anything. This is a story concocted to sell newsletters, books, assorted paraphenalia, and make money on the buy/sell spread selling to suckers, not wealthy investors with “surplus capital”.

It doesn’t pass the smell test. Fail.

#101 David McDonald on 11.10.14 at 8:57 am

I am still waiting for a newspaper headline stating prices have dropped significantly. Until that comes I can’t convince my wife that buying a condo was a poor financial decision and that we should have followed Garth’s advice. Garth needs vindication and so do I. How long do we have to wait!

#102 Mr. Frugal on 11.10.14 at 9:23 am

#44 Amanda on 11.09.14 at 9:02 pm
awwww those lambs are cute little creetures.


I like the lambs too. BBQ lamb chops are great!!!

Oh, and by the way, with sexist idiots like you running teaching our youth it’s no wonder they are financially illiterate.

#103 maxx on 11.10.14 at 9:52 am

Garth, you deserve the Order of Canada.

“Pathetic blog” joking aside, very few have devoted the care and effort you have to enlightening the fiscally vulnerable.

….and there are thousands whose official job is to do just that.

#104 crowdedelevatorfartz on 11.10.14 at 10:03 am

@#44 Amanda

Hubby works at Google and you’re a teacher.
Two well paying careers until Hubby gets wacked in a “downsizing” .

And the “younger generations should work harder and stop objectifying women”
Wow! Quite a generalization of the poor students that have you as their teacher. Are all the teachers in your cohort of the same “Stepford Wife” mindset?
Unbelievable, narrowminded drivel.
And from a 90,000.00 per annum Ontario”teacher”

#105 fancy_pants on 11.10.14 at 10:56 am

kettle calling the pot black

#106 Jim B on 11.10.14 at 11:20 am

#22 and #23
Why does it always have to be “us against them”? Whether someone you think is responsible for society going to hell is over or under 55 is meaningless. There are plenty of both in positions of (government and corporate) power here, in the U.S., in Europe, everywhere. Stop cherry picking examples to prove the Boomers/Gen Xers/whomever are the ones screwing you.

#107 Jim B on 11.10.14 at 11:35 am

So most seniors (in the developed world) will have to lower their lifestyle expectations in retirement. Hasn’t that pretty much been the case for virtually all of human history (except when there was no such thing as “retirement” or “stopping work”)? Okay, lots of wrinklies will be forced to live smaller for their last couple of decades, but at least they’ll be “falling” from a middle-class level for the most part. Crisis? What crisis?

#108 Mark on 11.10.14 at 11:36 am

“I am still waiting for a newspaper headline stating prices have dropped significantly. Until that comes I can’t convince my wife that buying a condo was a poor financial decision and that we should have followed Garth’s advice. Garth needs vindication and so do I. How long do we have to wait!”

The way that the traditional, dependant on RE advertising, traditional media works, is that they won’t admit the price declines (ongoing for the past year and a half) until its far too obvious/blatant to the majority of the public. So I wouldn’t expect to hear anything but various Realtor press releases (with increasingly narrow “statistics”, assuming that its not all made up) in the traditional print media.

#109 Wu on 11.10.14 at 12:15 pm

Yesterday someone here said stucco was no good.
Today’s stucco is very good. I’m using Durock Puccs-
R3.75 per inch. Two inches of that will really cut your heating

#110 Daisy Mae on 11.10.14 at 12:17 pm

#86 Chuch: “Adults cheat too, and often cheat their own kids or their friends kids….”


We have to teach our kids to be honest and fair. Altho’ generally we, as parents, know that often the world is not. As young adults they learn fast enuf how to protect themselves and still maintain their high level of integrity. We keep our fingers crossed alot! ;-)

#111 Screw The Boomers on 11.10.14 at 12:55 pm

#39 A Yank in BC

You say that living in BC isn’t a birthright. Sure – I can agree with that. But what does it say about a place when young people can’t find jobs there, and can’t raise families (i.e. the next generation of taxpayers)? What does that mean for the community? It sounds like the death of a community to me.

You’re right – moving is a solution. However, it’s not so easy just drop everything. There are lots of costs, and the first big piece is finding a job. My wife and I both work in technical fields with lots of letters behind our names, and finding work is not so easy. People aren’t hiring, so there’s limited to no movement. Despite what the job numbers suggest, I’m not seeing a whole lot of movement these days.

#112 Mister Obvious on 11.10.14 at 1:19 pm

On stucco in Vancouver:

In this town we are desperate to be thought of as the ‘San Diego’ of Canada.

But we are in deep denial in so many ways. San Diego get about 10 inches of rain per year while Vancouver sees about 120.

Regardless, we coat our homes, mid-rise condos & townhouses in thin, pink ‘California’ stucco and pray for sun.

It doesn’t work well. At any time there are dozens of ‘draped’ 10 to 15 year old buildings under going ‘envelope reconstruction’. That’s a fancy name for ‘scraping the rot out and restarting the process”.

It’s much like the painting of the Sydney Harbour Bridge which is perpetually ongoing.

I have a misguided friend who thinks this is a good thing since it keeps people working during construction slowdowns.

#113 New Renter on 11.10.14 at 1:21 pm

Garth: I saw you today in First Canadian Place!

With my Amazonian escort? — Garth

#114 MoneyMyHoney on 11.10.14 at 1:31 pm

“However, interest rates will be rising in 2015. First with the Fed in the US….”

Garth, you have been smoking that stuff for so many years. That stuff creates a lot of illusion. Once you stop smoking that stuff, you may come to a terms with reality which is way different from illusions.

US rates will begin their ascent in 2015. — Garth

#115 straight six on 11.10.14 at 1:39 pm

#44 Amanda on 11.09.14 at 9:02 pm

I think what Amanda meant was.. if wolfy would quit objectifying the fuzzybutts, the lambchops could afford an electric fence so they wouldn’t have to become pole dancers.

#116 kommykim on 11.10.14 at 1:50 pm

RE: #106 Jim B on 11.10.14 at 11:20 am
#22 and #23
Stop cherry picking examples to prove the Boomers/Gen Xers/whomever are the ones screwing you.

Exactly. Most people are screwing themselves by spending too much and saving too little. Then they blame their lack of money/success on someone else.

#117 Blacksheep on 11.10.14 at 2:37 pm

Devore # 98,

“Border Gold pays more to buy, also charges more to sell. Meh. ”
Demand vs supply, in action.

#118 UVZ on 11.10.14 at 3:14 pm

#108 Mark on 11.10.14 at 11:36 am

Mark, I share your mistrust for Canadian RE statistics.

That said, how do you know that prices have been dropping? What are your sources of data?

#119 Mr. Monday Night on 11.10.14 at 3:21 pm

I have a friend in Halifax that had to move for work and didn’t want to rent the house out (he had no intention on ever moving back). He wanted a quick sale so he put the house up for slightly more than he paid for it in 2004. It sold in less than a week and tanked the entire street, including five houses that were still pricing their homes like it is 2010.

For those who have properties for sale but aren’t heavily leveraged in the largest markets, there’s a big difference between ‘can’t sell’ and ‘can’t sell it for what I want’.

#120 Holy Crap Wheres The Tylenol on 11.10.14 at 3:44 pm

Welcome back to earth Smoking Man. I am sure after your rough patch over the last few weeks we can look forward to your narratives on love, life, investing and lunacy and Pink Floyd.
Met these guys many years ago in NYC through a really well connected friend. I’m sure you would have appreciated this.
BTW, David was very cool, Richard & Nick very serious, Roger very much a loner and very melancholy. It was when they were doing the Dark Side Tour.

#121 GJ on 11.10.14 at 5:02 pm

Another interesting read Garth. At 52, I’m currently renting and it’s definitely cheaper than owning a home or *cough* condo. I have no intention of purchasing property and quite frankly, a car either. I’ll keep my 97 beast. I put a couple of grand into it each year, but after factoring in insurance, fuel and my landlords’ parking fee each month, it’s still cheaper than buying new, and I own the beast. No credit card debt (or any other debt), no big screen tv or fancy ear pasted smartphone (call me at home and leave a message, I’ll get back to you!). If this real estate market does a radical correction, it’s going to more painful than anyone wants to believe. The economy doesn’t look too promising either. I wonder if it is near the 2008 kick in the teeth? For some reason, my gut is telling me that it’s not far off.

#122 nonowayway on 11.10.14 at 5:12 pm

As others have mentioned, cloverdale is not vancouver. As a former surrey resident, I wouldn’t even consider cloverdale surrey, more like langley. Are they really 400k? i can get that in burnaby (if i was crazy. I wouldn’t spend more than 80k on a condo with all the restrictions, fees and levies).

which makes it even more pathetic to suggest that someone who works in vancouver should live way the hell out there. They are not getting transit before UBC does. So lifestyle in surrey is the car life which is unsustainable in the 20 year term, or much before, with all the damn tolls and whatnot.

However when I did live in surrey, I didn’t cross bridges. I think many valley folk have that attitude. Why would I go to vancouver when surrey had everything i needed! plus masala chicken and 3 for a dollar samosas every day from the glorious meat shops!

Sometimes I miss living there…

#123 I agree on 11.10.14 at 5:55 pm

#22 screw the boomers

Hahah and now the boomers are rich so they are looking for a crash in real estate so they can buy something nice .. boomers are actually pretty “cheap” because life back then was a struggle i guess but lots of opportunities

#124 Tony on 11.10.14 at 5:56 pm

Re: #114 MoneyMyHoney on 11.10.14 at 1:31 pm

America is like Bre-X in that they try to create a facade (a phony recovery when in reality they’re becoming a socialist third world hellhole just like all the rest of the third world countries) with all their lies. The truth is interest rates will once again fall next year and the next year and you know the rest.

We know your track record. — Garth

#125 TheLaughingCon on 11.10.14 at 6:01 pm

Historical picture of the traditional APEC 2014 “family” photo:

History made in front of our own eyes.

#126 james on 11.10.14 at 6:03 pm

If you don’t crystallize that gain, there isn’t one. Especially in Ottawa. — Garth

But when you own a SFH in cities like Vanvour and Toronto you can cristilize any time you want. Why it is important? The only RE market that matters in Canada.

#127 Mike S on 11.10.14 at 6:52 pm

Garth, a question if I may

assume one has a TFSA which is about 5% of net worth. What is the best strategy to use it?

Should it have balanced portfolio (essentially replicating the larger portfolio)?
Alternatively, should it include only the risky components of the larger portfolio (say small caps and/or emerging markets)?

#128 what do you do on 11.10.14 at 7:13 pm

#121 gj

Lots of things you dont do or have .. so what do you do or have

I think everything will be okay if it just stays the same and let others adapt

#129 Mr. Monday Night on 11.10.14 at 8:28 pm

#126 james on 11.10.14 at 6:03 pm

But when you own a SFH in cities like Vanvour and Toronto you can cristilize any time you want.
1. BS, unless you mean crystallize a gain that once was significant to something much, much less. That seems to be the tune sellers are singing these days.
2. I love it that despite the fact that Garth gave you the correct spelling of crystallize, you still managed to screw it up.

#130 b on 11.10.14 at 10:28 pm

43- Amanda

Darn, I am happy you will not be teaching my kids. An entitled union worker tell us how it is.

#131 reality check on 11.12.14 at 1:19 am

Re : # 58 \ 59 to nonplussed ….. woooow u must be a joy to be around. Talk about a bad combo fatalistic & materialistic ….. Children are not a commodity….. Depends on your priorities. I personally get more joy from my children \ family than I ever get from living the high life. They make life more fun ……