Mayhem

PLAN modified

We’re heading into the final five or six weeks of the spring real estate rutting season. This one, as you know, is memorable for having the lowest five-year fixed mortgage rates ever. Money is available for as low as 2.49%, if you don’t mind dealing with lenders you’ve never heard about before. But even with the big guys, 2.6% is totally doable. The result in the GTA and YVR is predictable. Mayhem. It’s a debt orgy.

Last week I told you the regulator in Ontario is about to crack down on the way bidding wars are being run, which is beyond overdue. These blind auctions totally disadvantage potential buyers, ensure the ‘winner’ pays too much and are open to realtor abuse. Bidders never actually know what the competing offers contained, or if they even existed. It’s the last way normal people would ever buy anything – and yet thousands get sucked into this when it comes to the biggest purchase of their lives. Go figure.

What can you do? Simple. Walk away from any property with panting buyers, a scuzzy realtor who holds back offers, or where the listed price seems below market value. You can also (at least in Ontario) make a Form 109 request to ensure other bidders actually existed, and the agent wasn’t just making them up.

Not so in BC, says realtor Greg Dent. He also admits to reading this pathetic drivel.

“I don’t have a lot of time to debate the pros/cons of most of your blog and while I disagree with some of it, you clearly have some valid points too (and while I know some of my colleagues are scum, there are a large number who are honest, hard-working professionals).  Regardless, I wanted to drop you a line around the RECO/Form 109 portion.  You’ll be interested to know (likely terrified to know) that there exists no such form/process either through the licensing body in BC (which as I’m sure you know is the Real Estate Council of BC) or the Real Estate Board (the board has very specific rules).  In BC, the only ways to confirm the presence of another offer is to either be presenting in person (which is what any good realtor should probably be doing for their client anyway) or ask to see the top half of Page 4 of the other offer (which contains no personal information other than the other buyer’s realtors’ name).”

Well, there you go. Another reason to move to Lillooet. No bidding wars there. Except for the bus to leave.

Speaking of Vancouver house prices, there may be another group to blame if you’re tired of mindlessly bashing people from China. And these folks are easier because they’re slower!

Yup, wrinklies. Specifically, millionaire home owning wrinklies who don’t feel like paying their property taxes any more. They’ve started to cost taxpayers a bundle, thanks to a weirdo program BC has to capriciously punish the young at the expense of the old. It’s called the BC Property Tax Deferment Program, and it more or less legalizes tax evasion on the local level.

Here’s the deal: if you’re 55 or older, you can stop paying the taxes on your Vancouver house, even though it’s worth a million or two and you’ve benefited from a windfall gain in property values, spiraling your net worth. You have the right to waive the tax bill and instead pay just 1% annual interest on what you owe. YVR’s property tax rate is $3.68 per thousand bucks of assessed value, which equals about $4,000 on the average house. But if you’re a crafty wrinklie who expects a full range of services you don’t want to pay for, and you feel like hoarding your cash, just say so. Now you only shell out $40 a year. The province has to make up the $3,960 and pay it to the city.

Only when the property is sold does the tax bill come due, but the outstanding amount does not attract compounding interest. It’s a gift to the greedy – since there’s no means test involved. Those with the ability to pay don’t have to, once they hit the double nickel. Ageism at its finest.

As you might imagine, this is spreading. Last year almost 39,000 people in BC didn’t pay their taxes – up 35% in the past four years. It’s costing about $17 million a year in Vancouver, and an equal amount in the burbs. That might not be a massive amount in a delusional market like this, but it should sure stick in the craw of all those moist millennials and lusty virgins who already feel shut out.

And it’s another fine example of the way politics feeds real estate, thanks to do-gooder elected nimrods who end up subverting the market. Like in Hamilton, where a renter making $70,000 can apply for a down payment loan that’s payment-free and interest-free for 20 years, so long as she buys a house in a specific hood. Hamilton house prices, by the way, have jumped 10% in a year and sales increased 13.9% last month, as the refugees from Toronto stream down the QEW.

And remember the federal RRSP Home Buyer’s Plan, allowing first-timer couples to raid their retirement funds for $50,000 in house-buying money? The number of kids who have abandoned paying anything back has risen to about 60%, which means the money is added back to their incomes over 15 years and taxed. It also means most of them have been borrowing to the max, buying so much house that they can’t find the cash flow to repay an average of $1,200 a year. Sad.

Meanwhile the plan has pumped an extra two billion into housing, making it more expensive for everyone, creating bidding wars, inflating household debt levels, leading to subsidy programs for former renters and grossly padding the equity of millionaire geezers who then legally refuse to pay their taxes.

You can’t make this stuff up.

198 comments ↓

#1 JustMe on 03.31.15 at 6:58 pm

Dramatic fee hikes coming to Alberta real estate market

In a budget thick with user fee increases, homebuyers face the biggest whack — registration fees will triple or quadruple for many new property owners.

The dramatic hikes for registering new land titles and mortgage documents come as Alberta’s real-estate market is mired in a significant slump, with sales volumes down and prices beginning to dip.

http://calgaryherald.com/business/real-estate/budget-dramatic-fee-hikes-coming-to-real-estate-market

#2 Van Isle Renter on 03.31.15 at 7:00 pm

“BC Property Tax Deferment Program” OMG!!!! That is hilarious.

Talk about Freedom 55!!!!

#3 JustMe on 03.31.15 at 7:01 pm

Look at page two of the pdf document at the link. It shows that Canadian house prices have topped out everywhere except Vancouver and Toronto.

Teranet – National Bank house price index – March 12, 2015

https://www.nbc.ca/content/dam/bnc/en/rates-and-analysis/economic-analysis/economic-news-teranet.pdf

#4 Smartalox on 03.31.15 at 7:05 pm

And just to pour salt into the wound for BC property tax payers: how many of those 55+ year olds who defer tax on their windfall-valued, single-family detached residences are:

1) employees of various levels of government, or the public sector (utilities, academia)
2) have defined-benefit pensions on the public purse
3) are ‘Sunshine – listers’ earning more than $100k / yr.

Go ahead, guess!

Why would anyone want to OWN property in BC, and subsidize these swindlers.

My landlord sure does subsidize a lot of people!

#5 ronh on 03.31.15 at 7:07 pm

Thanks for the info Garth. I’m off to apply for the BC
Property Tax Deferment Program. Best investment advice ever! Look Ma, no tax.

#6 Brydle604 on 03.31.15 at 7:07 pm

The Chickens are coming home to roost.
Credit counselling is becoming in high demand both in Alberta and British Columbia.
I have friends in B.C. who have hit the wall in cc debit.
I seems they do not realize how underwater they are until they go to renew their Mortgage and find out their credit scores are below 600 and have to finally face the reality, Many over 50K
Debt is Debt.
We are fast moving into recession and jobs and income are going to be the biggest single issue, to service this huge debt, Low http://business.financialpost.com/news/energy/credit-counselling-in-high-demand-in-alberta-as-oilpatch-downturn-hits-home/?__lsa=6869-908fInterest rates will not matter.
Credit card Companies have these people in a box, especially if they own a house and do not want to go bankrupt.
They force people into Second Mtgs at high interest rates.
Radio advertising has increased with “YOUR APPROVED”, ads, This is becoming big business.
I have known a number of people who took the bite, and eventually lost their homes.
Credit Counselling might be a better bet but only with a licensed Trustee. There are ads out there saying it is free, and after investigating, they are funded by, guess who, The Credit card Companies, to protect Their Interest. Be very carefull.

http://business.financialpost.com/news/energy/credit-counselling-in-high-demand-in-alberta-as-oilpatch-downturn-hits-home/?__lsa=6869-908f

#7 SWL1976 on 03.31.15 at 7:08 pm

You’re sharp today Garth, so many good one liners in there

I’d still take Lillooet over a big city any day, but that’s just me

Million dollar home and can’t or won’t pay simple property tax PATHETIC

Not first

#8 Mark on 03.31.15 at 7:09 pm

Government “programs” at almost all levels encourage home ownership, but discourage business ownership. Whether its the entrepreneur that faces the almost impossible task of finding debt financing because the banks are hooked on subsidized CMHC insured subprime lending. Or the wannabe farmer that can’t possibly afford to get started in the environment of government protectionism of senior producers through the quota system, the deck seems to be stacked against wealth creation in Canada. Even owners of businesses by way of common stock ownership are seriously disadvantaged, especially when almost all levels of government are constantly seeking to impose new taxes and mandates (ie: the CRTC’s constant attacks on Bell/Rogers/Telus, or the government’s long-term pattern of attacking the businesses of Canada’s railways). Even in Saskatchewan, an allegedly pro-business government actually targeted shareholders in one sector, the Potash sector, for an additional $100M+ tax instead of going into significant austerity.

Being in business in Canada seems like a mug’s game. Which is disgusting. Why work hard, take risks, etc., when one can just have a brother-in-law or some friend in government HR get you one of those Sunshine-list appearing jobs complete with minimum work and maximum pay?

#9 crowdedelevatorfartz on 03.31.15 at 7:09 pm

Come on Leroy!
Give us some more biblical quotes as to how stupid Canadians are.
It’ll make ya feel better.

#10 zedgt87 on 03.31.15 at 7:09 pm

I have a coworker who just raided his RRSP to buy his first home here in Edmonton. He moves in this weekend.

I congratulated him a lot today lol

#11 Duncan herbert on 03.31.15 at 7:12 pm

regarding yesterday and the guy with a million dollars. Buy a couple of townhouses for 200g each in edmonton. Who needs over priced TO and Van. Keep the rest

#12 Anon on 03.31.15 at 7:13 pm

Today I reduced the Canadian equity portion in my portfolio to 15% and upped US/Int’l to 30% apiece. It felt pretty good.

#13 Blogbitch on 03.31.15 at 7:14 pm

Legalized tax evasion? Bring. It. On. Yee-haw!

#14 nonplused on 03.31.15 at 7:14 pm

The tax program in BC doesn’t sound like it would be so bad if it did have compound interest or instead of 1% had a commercial rate applied to the whole balance. It would be just another reverse mortgage then.

I wonder if the reverse mortgage lenders are counting this amount in when they figure how much to lend. If someone didn’t pay $4,000 a year from 55 to 85 years in age

#15 Rico on 03.31.15 at 7:16 pm

First

#16 Jaybee on 03.31.15 at 7:17 pm

Holy Shit! Sid not know about this tax deferment scam in BC. Their real estate lust outweighs their love for their children. Yeah, you can’t make this stuff up!

#17 vic guy on 03.31.15 at 7:18 pm

If you have kids under 18 you can defer property tax too.
In Victoria anyway.

#18 nonplused on 03.31.15 at 7:19 pm

Whoops hit fire before I was done…

this would be a $120,000 encumbrance on the title. That’s probably manageable for a million dollar house because reverse mortgages are usually for around half the value of the property but they do incur compound interest so they can be near the value of the house when the bill comes due.

Bottom line is it’s one more way to hate your kids. But it should be at commercial interest rates.

#19 silverfan on 03.31.15 at 7:19 pm

If this is the trend than the average Vancouver home can be 2 million heck make that 3 million in 2030 as the tax paying portion will shrink to 20% while 80% tax defer their house… oh and Loonie will be trading at 10c to the USD ..

#20 Sebee on 03.31.15 at 7:21 pm

Just FYI, communists gave housing to it’s citizens. And while many used to dump on that commie construction, not only is it still standinh strong, you wouldn’t believe how much that free housing that was given away is worth today in those converted east block countries like Poland. Who looked after the citizens…makes you wonder.

#21 Retired Boomer - WI on 03.31.15 at 7:22 pm

No wonder so many Americans think Canada is the land of theSocialists. Appears maybe they are not entirely wrong?

#22 TS on 03.31.15 at 7:22 pm

Using RRSPs to buy houses = Garth’s Fault

:)

#23 LH on 03.31.15 at 7:23 pm

Fade SFHs in 416 and 604 at your peril..
Trend is my friend and this is still undeniably a BULL MARKET in the words of old partridge

#24 Normal Person on 03.31.15 at 7:23 pm

Demand (both international and recent immigrants) in Vancouver is strong.

Calgary prices have barely fell while there has been a recession in that city for over half a year now.

Let Toronto detached prices speak for themselves. people are smarter than you think.

#25 Freedom First on 03.31.15 at 7:24 pm

Yes, we live in a brainwashed society of consumerism and materialism. And if that is not sick sounding enough, people are massively borrowing their future earnings to pay for it. All for no reason, as a person can live very well in Canada without ever borrowing a penny from anyone. But then again, few people put Freedom First. Slavery is optional. No exception.

#26 JimH on 03.31.15 at 7:24 pm

Great post again, Garth!

Geez Louise! the good folks out in Lotus land hit the jackpot once again!

I suppoise this is why they truly insist on calling it, “The Greatest Place on Earth”?

There is no cure; there is no solution; and there is no hope.

Them with the gold make the rules. But, what can you expect from a nation with a tired, old, little English lady with a penchant for funny hats on its currency?

Oh, Canada!

#27 prairie person on 03.31.15 at 7:30 pm

This appeared on my timeline. Not sure why. I’m not buying or selling. I guess just random hits. Why would I doubt any of it? After all, this is by someone who should know: a real estate agent.

Overpricing your home leads to lackluster activity, pricing on point leads to buyer excitement!

Yes, the Victoria Real Estate market is alive and well…

The number of homes sold this March compared to the same month last year increased by about 15%. More than 5% new listings were launched but active inventory is 7% lower indicating that homes are being aggressively purchased. We’re seeing a lot of competing offers on homes with a very good number selling for higher than list price.

Capitalize on this sensitive market with the right advice and an unparalleled marketing plan. Selling? Contact me for an interview, you won’t be disappointed…

#28 Randy on 03.31.15 at 7:32 pm

Crazy times indeed. 4/11

#29 Zach on 03.31.15 at 7:37 pm

So, OK. Government is encouraging house ownership, that’s clear. But why? And what they expect will happen when everybody owes 6-7 times annual salary? What is the predicted scenario?

#30 Vancouver on 03.31.15 at 7:40 pm

So what! Who cares! These posts are the same everyday! And yet I can’t stop! Garth can we talk about something else? Market conditions , leasing a car vs buying, I’m dying here, the 604 doesn’t care everything is wrong because everything is right ! Let’s move on, how long is this going to go on for another 5 years?

#31 Mark on 03.31.15 at 7:41 pm

“Look at page two of the pdf document at the link. It shows that Canadian house prices have topped out everywhere except Vancouver and Toronto.”

And even then, Teranet data lags the real world by a year or two. Because of its methodology. So at the top of the bubble, the Teranet index will be the last to show a decline. And at the tail end of a long-term bear market, Teranet data will be overly pessimistic.

#32 Glengarry Glenn Ross on 03.31.15 at 7:42 pm

In other words…the whole country is geared toward home buying ….period….i mean.. how can you fight this.
Whats new????

#33 Glengarry Glenn Ross on 03.31.15 at 7:57 pm

And if you add our gargantuan immigration levels then what you get is …well…CANADA.

Immigration levels have not changed in a very long time, at less than 1% of the national population. — Garth

#34 ILoveCharts on 03.31.15 at 7:57 pm

Sometimes when the game is rigged you need to throw out logic.

#35 Smoking Man on 03.31.15 at 8:00 pm

#23 LH on 03.31.15 at 7:23 pm
Fade SFHs in 416 and 604 at your peril..
Trend is my friend and this is still undeniably a BULL MARKET in the words of old partridge
…..
Supply and Demand…its the law of nature.

God that was hard to type.

24 hours later, defiantly broke something trying to find the holly grail of creativity, it ain’t at the bottom of a empty bottle of JD I can tell you that, never again.

Wine only. Three glasses tops. I’ll pass tonight.

Good night ..

#36 Ret on 03.31.15 at 8:05 pm

Hamilton’s 20 yr. interest free mortgage could get real expensive for taxpayers if mortgage rates ever rise over the next 20 years. That won’t happen, will it?

Twenty years of interest free money courtesy of your fellow Hamiltonians. It just keeps getting better and better in this town!

#37 Babblemaster on 03.31.15 at 8:07 pm

“Last week I told you the regulator in Ontario is about to crack down on the way bidding wars are being run, which is beyond overdue.” – Garth

———————————————————–

Correction. They will pretend to crackdown. I don’t think that realtors are particularly scared.

#38 Linda on 03.31.15 at 8:16 pm

The generational warfare mantra need not be added to, it seems to breed plenty of spite on its own.

This week from RBC came the latest list of account fee & service increase notifications. Quite a few specified RBC accounts that previously gave a rebate of service fees for those aged 60+ will, as of June 1, 2015 now have a new age of eligibility of 65+. Anyone who currently is 60+ & has been receiving any service rebate fees on the specified accounts will continue to receive those rebates unless they close the account in question. Then the new rules apply.

Further, RBC is going on June 1, 2015 to institute a service fee for previously ‘free’ services such as ‘Internet Flash – POS (point of sale) debit transactions’; RBC loan payments; RBC credit card payments; RBC mortgage payments AND RBC investment contributions. Pre-authorized or non-scheduled, the fee still applies. The fees apply to specific accounts, such as RBC Day to Day banking; RBC Leo’s Young Savers Accounts; RBC Student Banking & RBC US Personal accounts; Daily interest savings accounts, T-Bill savings accounts, RBC Enhanced Savings accounts, RBC High Interest accounts; RBC US High Interest eSavings accounts. The youth based accounts pay $1 per debit POS transaction; the adult based accounts pay $2 per debit POS transaction. The price of your daily latte just went up, big time. Want to bet other banks are giving their clients the good news as well? I predict some stellar growth when the next quarterly earnings from RBC are posted – given how many people use their debit cards to pay for stuff, likely going to generate HUGE amounts of cash in a very short time by charging $1 to $2 PER TRANSACTION for what looks to be the majority of RBC accounts. Plus how many people actually read those notifications & realize it may apply to them? Going to be a lot of unhappy surprise for a whole bunch of banking customers come their RBC statement in June or July, whenever the new fees show up.

#39 IM in C on 03.31.15 at 8:17 pm

Garth
Legalized tax evasion
Isn’t that the definition of tax avoidance ?

#40 Exurban on 03.31.15 at 8:19 pm

Last year almost 39,000 people in BC didn’t pay their taxes – up 35% in the past four years. It’s costing about $17 million a year in Vancouver, and an equal amount in the burbs.

Chump change to our politicians. This means they never have to deal with tear-jerking stories about oldsters forced out of their homes. That leaves them free to pursue their primary business of pumping RE.

#41 Squirrel meat on 03.31.15 at 8:26 pm

#38 Linda on 03.31.15 at 8:16 pm
————-
Had just noticed those upcoming RBC charge changes. Bastards. Solution, I went and purchased some more stock!

#42 mitzerboy aka queencity kid on 03.31.15 at 8:26 pm

we are broke as a province but…
we luv everybody out here

The transgender pride flag was raised at the legislature in Regina as a part of International Transgender Day of Visibility and the province’s Transgender Awareness Week. first province in canada

#43 Porsche on 03.31.15 at 8:27 pm

#38 Linda

Thanks, I’m with RBC and didn’t know those charges were coming. Back to carrying cash in my pocket… sheeesh

#44 Heisenberg on 03.31.15 at 8:27 pm

I use a realtor’s greed to my advantage. When I buy a property, I don’t use a buying realtor. I go to the listing realtor directly. He acts in “dual agency” and he gets to double his commission.
With that kind of motivation, you will see how quickly the realtor brings your offer to the seller, even if it’s below asking price, even if it’s below the other offers he has received from other potential buyers who have brought in their own buying agent.

#45 suede on 03.31.15 at 8:30 pm

The trend and various incentive programs to buy RE is your friend.

#46 Mike in Toronto on 03.31.15 at 8:30 pm

#29 Zach

The predicted scenario is that they’ll retire from politics when the opposition party is left holding the bag.

I don’t know why Harper’s trying for another round. That’s the only part that doesn’t make sense. His exit would be perfect. Trudeau having to explain how everything went to crap as soon as he was handed the reins.

#47 takla on 03.31.15 at 8:35 pm

Genstar Corp. just put over 1100 acreas of developeable property up for sale in Mission B.C .This was one of the largest remaining blocks of future zoned residential realestate left in the B.C Fraservalley area and was somewhat of a shock to the towns city council and residents.
After owning these lands for over 50 years and spending huge $$ holding and having the area rezoned they have thrown in the towel.
Genstar corp{U.S \} owned has apparently got cold feet on ALL there Canadian holding properties….

#48 waiting on the westcoast on 03.31.15 at 8:40 pm

#29 Zach on 03.31.15 at 7:37 pm
“So, OK. Government is encouraging house ownership, that’s clear. But why? And what they expect will happen when everybody owes 6-7 times annual salary? What is the predicted scenario?”

Who would have thought that is what they meant by “the meek shall inherit the earth”…

And who would have thought it referred to patient vulture investors… ;-)

#49 Fiendish Thingy on 03.31.15 at 8:40 pm

CBC Vancouver did an investigative report on the myth of HAM tonight, using the measly data that is available, none of it thanks to realtors. They then promptly segued to a segment pumping a book by the former ambassador to China that supported the HAM theory…

#50 Bytor the Snow Dog on 03.31.15 at 8:41 pm

This is a bit too soon for an April Fools post….right?

#51 Blacksheep on 03.31.15 at 8:46 pm

Zach # 29,

“So, OK. Government is encouraging house ownership, that’s clear. But why? And what they expect will happen when everybody owes 6-7 times annual salary? What is the predicted scenario?”
————————————————-
The system likes control.

A slave in debt, is a slave in control.

#52 Daisy Mae on 03.31.15 at 8:47 pm

“Here’s the deal: if you’re 55 or older, you can stop paying the taxes on your Vancouver house, even though it’s worth a million or two and you’ve benefited from a windfall gain in property values, spiraling your net worth…”

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

On paper. These homeowners have inflated house values which will return to the mean….eventually. But for a house originally valued at $350,000 and is suddenly ‘worth’ $1,000,000 there is no way the middle-income homeowners can handle the assessed values and thus, property taxes due, without deferment.

#53 What about CMHC? on 03.31.15 at 8:50 pm

And then there’s CMHC – the biggest enabler… with 1 trillion dollars handed away using you and I as co-signers.

#54 Drill Baby Drill on 03.31.15 at 8:51 pm

#24 Normal Person

Housing in Calgary is going to drop quickly. It has not dropped by much because delusional home owners that have to sell are still living on company buy-outs or one spouse is working and the other is newly on EI. This will change quickly with a quick drop in prices by June 01. It has only just started here in Cowtown.

#55 will on 03.31.15 at 9:02 pm

It just gets stupider and stupider.

#56 Washed Up Lawyer on 03.31.15 at 9:05 pm

Gang:

In Alberta, the property tax deferral program is a provincial program charging (currently) 2.85% simple interest. You have to be 65 and have 25% equity in your residence. I did not go deeply into the details, but presumably the province takes a second charge behind the mortgagee upon a forced sale.

So the potential exists that first CMHC pays and then the taxpayers of Alberta in the event the owner ends up underwater.

What a great country.

http://www.seniors.alberta.ca/seniors/property-tax-deferral.html

#57 Paul on 03.31.15 at 9:07 pm

#33
It’s not the 1% of the population immigration Level that’s the problem for relestate. It is that most new Canadians want to go to Toronto and Vancouver that’s where the jobs and money is.

#58 Snowboid on 03.31.15 at 9:09 pm

#27 prairie person on 03.31.15 at 7:30 pm…

My word, what a master of sarcasm!

#59 Alberta is AWESOME on 03.31.15 at 9:12 pm

Sadly only 1% think Elvis is still alive.

http://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/many-albertans-think-global-warming-is-a-hoax-but-ufos-are-real-poll

#60 Julia on 03.31.15 at 9:13 pm

#8 Mark

Banks have plenty of money to lend to businesses. In fact, competition is quite fierce for the few credit worthy out there. Pricing is as low as ever and covenants are light (that is a accident waiting to happen but a separate issue).
There is however this notion that business owners do not want to hear about: Equity should form part of any business, not just debt. For the medium to large companies, there is lots of liquidity available in from funds. Again to the credit worthy.
For the smaller guys, well, they would be expected to put skin in the game as well and they either refuse or are unable to do so because they are too highly leveraged themselves.

To say that it is an impossible task for businesses to find financing is false. Business owners have the same unrealistic expectations as home buyers.

#61 JustMe on 03.31.15 at 9:13 pm

Albertans and their debt hangover

BMO’s annual debt report pegged average household debt in the province at $124,838 in 2014 (compared to a Canadian average of $76,140.) Among Albertans, half held credit card debt, 53 per cent had mortgages, and 17 per cent held student loans.

And a February Ipsos Reid poll for MNP Ltd., a personal debt consulting firm, suggests that 23 per cent of Albertans are technically insolvent, defined as the inability to pay debts as they come due, or having liabilities in excess of assets.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/albertans-and-their-debt-hangover-1.3001849

#62 seeing it from both sides on 03.31.15 at 9:16 pm

The tax deferment program is great, until the property needs to be sold. The whack of back taxes have to be paid in full before the property can be sold. If the seller can’t get access to liquid funds to discharge the taxes owed, then it becomes a ball and chain.

#63 Panhead on 03.31.15 at 9:30 pm

#21 Retired Boomer – WI on 03.31.15 at 7:22 pm
No wonder so many Americans think Canada is the land of theSocialists.

————————————————————
Still remember an American friend we used to meet up fly fishing every year calling our health care system … socialized medicine. RIP Carl.
As for the BC tax deferal program, it has been around for many years. I have a single friend with no kids that has loved it every since turning eligible.

#64 Omg the original on 03.31.15 at 9:30 pm

38 linda – on new RBC fees
—————–

I love Canadian banks and their fat fees – they are just padding-up for an economic slowdown.

Canadian banks never lose money, they just increase fees.

Buy some shares or the Canadian banks – then you’ll feel good about the fee increases.

#65 Paully on 03.31.15 at 9:31 pm

Seniors in million dollar houses who don’t have enough cash-flow to pay their property taxes should sell and move somewhere cheaper, or rent. Everywhere. Period.

#66 the Jaguar on 03.31.15 at 9:46 pm

If you defer your taxes in BC the province registers a lien on your title. So what happens in the event you need to remortgage your property and [email protected] informs you “sorry, but we are unwilling to be in second position behind the province and the BC gov are unwilling to postpone their first charge”…….
???? I think they call this “GOTCHA!”

Most BC residents are eligible for the BC Homeowner Grant which reduces their property taxes.

#67 macroman on 03.31.15 at 10:09 pm

#35 Smoking man, just curious, have you tried the colt 45?

If you really do have 30-40 mil, being a prolific commentor on this pathetic blog, how bad is your depression?

#68 hank on 03.31.15 at 10:09 pm

Hang in there SM.

You’ve got a nice family, some good dough, a couple of sweet doggies… and you’re smart.

Good on you for getting your health sorted out. JD ain’t been a good friend to you; it’ll just suck everything that’s great right outta your life.

Maybe a Betty Ford style crib mightn’t be such a bad idea? Give it a shot man. You’ve got the money. You’ve got the time. Your family prolly’d be pretty supportive. What else do you need?

It’d be a shame to see all your intelligence, humour and grace pickle up in skunked arteries and a rotted liver.

As parroted ad nauseam daily on this blog, it won’t end well, lil Buddy.

#69 TurnerNation on 03.31.15 at 10:10 pm

PEI similarly has this tax programme.

Been buying Dollarama kaputs at these lofty levels.

#70 Ghost Wrighter on 03.31.15 at 10:10 pm

Garth,

In spirit of recent biblical references and the rapidly approaching financial Armageddon facing Canada, may I hereby respectfully propose the following short and pithy title for your blog tomorrow,

“Garth wept”

#71 Mike on 03.31.15 at 10:11 pm

Realtors be schemin’, buyers be feignin’
60-40 stock bond ratios just ain’t yieldin’
A cool mill for a house – California dreamin’
This blog’s still stuck – crystal ball readin’

#72 Randy Randerson on 03.31.15 at 10:16 pm

First there is reverse mortgage, now there is property tax deferment? Who’s idea is it to stick it to the kids, who’ll inherit their parents’ properties, along with a huge bill of back tax?

#73 Ontario Property Tax Deferment Program on 03.31.15 at 10:17 pm

Where is it?!

#74 screwed on 03.31.15 at 10:17 pm

What’s funding BC’s budget this year? Pixies and house fairy dust? LNG up North is all but an entry into the provincial history books…

AB has a budget out and it ain’t pretty. Still waiting for the Feds and the save-face measures they will propose.

As much as they’d like to keep spending and keep borrowing to afford more spending, it’s just not reality.

Reality is that spending is becoming an issue and then austerity and savings need to be tabled. Provincial and municipal budgets in BC are all in jeopardy of massive funding shortfalls this year.

#75 macroman on 03.31.15 at 10:18 pm

Linda, #38, your handle made me think about the new stink surfacing 7 years later over the title issues in Garth’s wannabe homeland.

Seems some foreclosures are being thrown out because of statute of limitations, no chain of title can be established due to MERS and MBS fraud.

Rehypothecation of mortgages apparently is a no no. Coming soon to the gold market….

Your last name wouldn’t be Green would it?

#76 Sheane Wallace on 03.31.15 at 10:20 pm

#38 Linda

How about statement fees?
……………………………..
There is a way: demand all services to be with no fees or else move your money somewhere else.

If they don’t bend you can demand all your money in cash immediately and use safety deposit box, pay in cash and cut all your cards.

The banks should fight for your money, instead thanks to BOC and Poloz they are messing with you.

#77 Mark on 03.31.15 at 10:20 pm

“So, OK. Government is encouraging house ownership, that’s clear. But why? And what they expect will happen when everybody owes 6-7 times annual salary? What is the predicted scenario?”

Systemic deflation. A collapse in consumer demand and extremely high risk premia applied to the credit that continues to exist as lenders are scared witless of default. A return to the times when daddy dressed up the whole family in the best clothes and went to the banker’s office to negotiate a mortgage renewal. A Canadian dollar that surges well over par and beyond (think: $1.50 USD = $1 CAD$), but isn’t much good to most Canadian consumers cross-border shopping wise because they simply don’t have any money to spend.

Like the 1930s, big winners will be those who manage to preserve their capital. The precious metals can perform well in such an environment, as well as their miners. Industrial companies have a lot of trouble, but still survive. Companies oriented around mid-high end middle class debt fuelled consumer consumption are most likely destroyed (think: airlines, car dealers, boat dealers, etc.).

#78 45north on 03.31.15 at 10:21 pm

Here’s the deal: if you’re 55 or older, you can stop paying the taxes on your Vancouver house You have the right to waive the tax bill and instead pay just 1% annual interest on what you owe. YVR’s property tax rate is $3.68 per thousand bucks of assessed value, which equals about $4,000 on the average house. But if you’re a crafty wrinklie who expects a full range of services you don’t want to pay for, and you feel like hoarding your cash, just say so. Now you only shell out $40 a year. The province has to make up the $3,960 and pay it to the city.

The provincial government jumped in but how can it jump out? First by canceling the program for all except existing participants. Second cap the years the province will pay at 10. After that the participant has to pay his own taxes. Who on God’s earth would run in the provincial election with such a platform? Might as well as run for election in the Ukraine.

#79 Winterpeg on 03.31.15 at 10:25 pm

Here’s the deal: if you’re 55 or older, you can stop paying the taxes on your Vancouver house, even though it’s worth a million or two and you’ve benefited from a windfall gain in property values, spiraling your net worth. G.T.

Does this only apply if you own your home outright, or can it apply to a 55+ boomer carrying or taking on a mortgage?

#80 TurnerNation on 03.31.15 at 10:30 pm

Albertans are becoming that which they fear the most: Home-O’s.

(Natch that’s short for Home Occupiers. Nary an Owner.)

#81 OttawaMike on 03.31.15 at 10:32 pm

The city of Ottawa has a tax deferral program which they failed to mention to the previous owner of my house.

Instead choosing to subject him to a tax sale under the municipal act. This elderly man suffered from a disability but the city treasurer, now auditor general, chose to evict him instead. The P.O. now lives in a subsidized city living apartment.

These deferral programs have their place under certain circumstances.

#82 OttawaMike on 03.31.15 at 10:32 pm

http://ottawa.ca/en/city-hall/budget-and-taxes/property-taxes/tax-deferral-program

#83 B Riding on 03.31.15 at 10:33 pm

One position opened up for a Project Manager to take care of Tenants at a strip mall complex in Vancouver. Company hiring is large owner of commercial property across Canada (Bental / Sunlife). And so far 22 Hurtin Albertins men, not boys applied for the job. They have families, big homes and of course even bigger bumper balls hanging from there trucks. Now with there PM oil jobs gone, they are coming out to the coast, what happened to the coast heading to the North East?

#84 Mark on 03.31.15 at 10:34 pm

“There is however this notion that business owners do not want to hear about: Equity should form part of any business, not just debt. For the medium to large companies, there is lots of liquidity available in from funds. ”

Your comment is quite inconsistent with what I’ve seen out there. Getting credit is like pulling teeth for most small to medium sized businesses in Canada from the banks, and they are very quick to pull the plug if there is even so much as a temporary downturn in business conditions. For large businesses, effective financing rates are quite high relative to what “joe sixpack” is borrowing at on a freakin’ residential mortgage backed note.

Just look at this list of BCE bonds (use the pull-down box):

http://www.bce.ca/investors/bondpreferreds/bondinfo

The rates are such that practically nobody in Canada actually pays rates that high on residential mortgages. And those were deals often done a billion dollars at a time in which investment banking fees had to be added to the quoted rates. While the residential borrowers’ quoted rate is usually inclusive of the commission paid to the originator/mortgage broker.

Things are improving, as risk premia rises for the RE loans, but all you need to do to understand why the Canadian economy has been so anemic employment-growth-wise over the past decade is simply understand that there has been a large CMHC-induced credit preference to the subprime mortgage sector in favour of the market naturally allocating capital towards its most worthy causes which ostensibly would have more heavily included business credit.

#85 Washed Up Lawyer on 03.31.15 at 10:38 pm

I should have added that the 2.85% simple interest on the deferred property tax in Alberta appears usurious in comparison to B.C.’s 1%. Tomorrow I will call my MLA.

#86 Mark on 03.31.15 at 10:40 pm

“If you defer your taxes in BC the province registers a lien on your title. So what happens in the event you need to remortgage your property and [email protected] informs you “sorry, but we are unwilling to be in second position behind the province and the BC gov are unwilling to postpone their first charge”…….
???? I think they call this “GOTCHA!””

A reasonable assumption is that a lot of these properties are paid-off, not mortgaged. But as property taxes ramp up, especially to cover cashflows that aren’t arising from people taking advantage of this ‘program’, property values will fall as a sort of discounting mechanism. After all, properties, over the long term, are only priced at the PV of the future *net* rents the market anticipates they can produce, and taxes directly reduce the net.

For instance, if taxes on property go from $3000 to $6000/year, a good first-order estimate, at a 3% rate of interest, is that $100k is knocked off of the “value” of the property. When the senior or their kids go to sell the property, they may very well find that the property is worth dramatically less than they anticipated. And of course, the tax lien remains as a super-senior charge on the title, and has to be paid off in full for a property transfer to take place.

#87 Capt. Obvious on 03.31.15 at 10:43 pm

If anyone has not read Devil Take the Hindmost, I highly recommend it. You’ll quickly realize that we’ve seen this show before and the ending is always the same.

#88 Mayhem | Realties.ca on 03.31.15 at 10:49 pm

[…] Source: http://www.greaterfool.ca/2015/03/31/mayhem/ […]

#89 kommykim on 03.31.15 at 10:52 pm

RE: #62 seeing it from both sides on 03.31.15 at 9:16 pm
The tax deferment program is great, until the property needs to be sold. The whack of back taxes have to be paid in full before the property can be sold.

This is where the wealthy & astute wrinkly can make some extra dough. Instead of paying your property taxes, defer them and invest an equal amount in a balanced portfolio. 20 years down the road when you sell, use the funds to pay off the tax lump sum and keep the difference!

#90 Joe2.0 on 03.31.15 at 10:54 pm

As house prices go up the value of your cash goes down.
It’s all about the banks getting you in as much debt as possible, let’s talk derivitives shall we….
Milk the sheeple.

#91 Love my Kia on 03.31.15 at 10:55 pm

Lillooet, doesn’t look like such a bad place, within 100 clicks of somewhere else more attractive. Here in Thunder Bay we are literally 100 clicks from nowhere, with the exception of the Minnesota line (still nowhere), and another 100 clicks from that to the next small town fueling station which also happens to also serve as that town’s economic driver.

I grew up here and watched this community decay in front of my eyes, watching family and friends leave in droves for better opportunities. If it wasn’t for one of the rare well salaried jobs here I’d be gone too. Its just a place to work now, like Fort Mac.

That being said, our real estate is booming. Why? Ring of Fire why. Now with the glut in oil, the broke province and the feds need to look like they’re doing something, so sinking $ into new resource exploration and infrastructure development is what is driving real estate up. Mineral prices are low at the moment but that hasn’t stopped anyone from rushing in to develop infrastructure…roads, power and rail to and from the land of promised riches in chromite, gold, iron ore, kryptonite, and whatever else is a rare mineral.

I plan to cash in on the rush to riches when this development does start going and move to somewhere more attractive, say like, Lillooet. From my perspective, Lillooet looks like a suburb of Vancouver.

#92 Mark on 03.31.15 at 10:56 pm

“Does this only apply if you own your home outright, or can it apply to a 55+ boomer carrying or taking on a mortgage?”

As another poster correctly pointed out, lots of mortgage companies wouldn’t even write a loan if there was a charge senior to their position on the title. And the covenants on nearly all mortgages in Canada require property taxes to be kept fully up to date (to the extent that skipping a property tax payment might cause the bank to make the payment for you and tack it onto the mortgage along with a hefty penalty for such technical default!).

#93 Realtor007 on 03.31.15 at 10:59 pm

#69 TurnerNation on 03.31.15 at 10:10 pm
PEI similarly has this tax programme.

“Been buying Dollarama kaputs at these lofty levels.”

You were saying the same thing 40%+ ago, how did that work out?

DOL is a Canadian darling, it’s going back to a $100 again for another split. The Canadian environment is ripe not to mention their expansion out of Canada, they are still in their infancy.

#94 Mark on 03.31.15 at 11:00 pm

“This is where the wealthy & astute wrinkly can make some extra dough. Instead of paying your property taxes, defer them and invest an equal amount in a balanced portfolio. 20 years down the road when you sell, use the funds to pay off the tax lump sum and keep the difference!”

The extra income such an arrangement will put onto a tax return, for many, will damage income-tested social benefit payments/entitlements. Such money “borrowed” isn’t eligible for tax deductibility like someone who merely took out a loan to invest in a leveraged portfolio. And a crackdown is practically an inevitability at some point in the future.

I’m personally in the camp that leverage isn’t appropriate for retirees, and if leverage is “needed” to achieve a certain financial goal, then the goal is probably unrealistic and unattainable. A retiree who wants to take more risk should reduce their bond allocation before they even think of leveraging, even if such leveraging is merely taking advantage of a ‘tax deferral’ program.

#95 Smoking Man on 03.31.15 at 11:00 pm

#67 macroman on 03.31.15 at 10:09 pm
#35 Smoking man, just curious, have you tried the colt 45?
If you really do have 30-40 mil, being a prolific commentor on this pathetic blog, how bad is your depression?
……

Its gone now, the depression, few wines fixed that up..

seriously what wrong with you, 30 or 4O million.ha

Im a bostfull, admitted, known bull shitter. Jesus man.

The tiny bungalow, roll down windos in the standard transmission pick up..

What is wrong with you even remotely beiliving that bullshit story.

Its a miracle, my wife is at church with her sister, a thing for the dead, sis lost the perfect son, 4 months ago. They were some what OK.

I get a knock on my door..I open it scared to death, thinking its the mossad is getting revenge for my NutandYahoo chirps.

Hallelujah, its the toothless missing low life scum bag who would take my empty wine bottles of my hands . He’s been in jail…he’s out now.

I’m pissed , I had to pay a dude to pick up my cigarette butts.

Shit, he would have done it for free.

I’m glad he’s back..look forward to our talks… I missed him big time, way more than the dudes at the golf club, and Yacht Club.

Thank you god..its going to be a great summer, now that I have a pall again..

#96 Mark on 03.31.15 at 11:03 pm

“As house prices go up the value of your cash goes down.
It’s all about the banks getting you in as much debt as possible, let’s talk derivitives shall we….”

And now that house prices are going down, money is getting more valuable relative to houses and all the other “stuff” that is heavily bought on credit.

The reduction in demand in the Canadian economy experienced recently, mostly on account of falling RE prices, has been nothing less than spectacular. Despite the currency being pushed down nearly 20%, demand has fallen so much that pricing power has collapsed for a wide multitude of consumer consumption, leading to the no inflation environment.

#97 Washed Up Lawyer on 03.31.15 at 11:06 pm

#86 Mark

You raise a good point about the priority of the claim for municipal residential taxes which have been paid by the province in the event of a foreclosure. It has been 30 years since I have done any foreclosure work.

Common sense would suggest that the province would not pay the municipal property tax without gaining the priority position of the municipality.

The devil in the details.

Which raises the further issue of the ability of the foreclosing bank to add the taxes (and solicitor client costs) to the claim to CMHC.

Too late at night here in Fort McMurray for legal research.

Good night dogs.

#98 SWL1976 on 03.31.15 at 11:08 pm

Any Canadians thinking about buying a place in the south west US might want to do some research on JADE HELM 15

Any comments Leroy?

Its just a drill. Right?

#99 BG on 03.31.15 at 11:33 pm

Mark on 03.31.15 at 7:09 pm
Government “programs” at almost all levels encourage home ownership, but discourage business ownership. […] (ie: the CRTC’s constant attacks on Bell/Rogers/Telus,[…])
——————————————————————–

Are you kidding me? Telecommunications and Internet in Canada are some of the most expensive in developed countries.
Price levels and services are lagging 10-15 years behind what’s in effect in Europe.
And these big groups are doing whatever they can to discourage smaller competitors.

I may agree with most of the rest of your post. But victimizing the big telecomm companies? No way.

#100 Roy on 03.31.15 at 11:34 pm

Here’s an evacuation plan
‘A lot’ of TFWs must leave Canada on April 1 as visas expire, but how many?
http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/a-lot-of-tfws-must-leave-canada-on-april-1-as-visas-expire-but-how-many-1.3015821

Possibly, another pin for the housing bubble, and fallout for the service sector

#101 kommykim on 03.31.15 at 11:38 pm

RE: #94 Mark on 03.31.15 at 11:00 pm
“This is where the wealthy & astute wrinkly can make some extra dough. Instead of paying your property taxes, defer them and invest an equal amount in a balanced portfolio. 20 years down the road when you sell, use the funds to pay off the tax lump sum and keep the difference!”

The extra income such an arrangement will put onto a tax return, for many, will damage income-tested social benefit payments/entitlements.

Not really. If the senor is in a low tax bracket, which they are if they are getting getting GIS/OAS, then they probably have nothing extra to contribute to a TFSA. They could essentially put their yearly property tax money into a TFSA and defer their taxes.
With a 20 year time horizon (age 55-75) the risk is extremely low that you’d lose any money even with a 100% equity portfolio in a TFSA.

#102 Bottoms_Up on 03.31.15 at 11:38 pm

Time for some laws in BC to change….

#103 Mocking Sam on 03.31.15 at 11:39 pm

Garth, you mentioned ages ago about some sort of insurance that one could buy for your favourite wrinkled family member that could cover inheritance tax. I was wondering if you could repost the link or comment on this again as its something I have not heard about since.

#104 the Jaguar on 03.31.15 at 11:44 pm

#86. Mark.

You miss the point. Which is that the lender will stand aside. Perhaps at the exact moment when the property owner needs to refinance for whatever unexpected reason. Just because the property is or has been mortgage free for some time does not mean there cannot be sudden and compelling reason to seek to refinance the property. But the first charge presents limitations. And people who defer taxes may do so because they have cashflow problems. Which could also mean they might not qualify for financing….

#105 Russ L on 03.31.15 at 11:50 pm

Garth,
You’re on record supporting the income tax deferral schemes of TFSA & RRSP.
Why are you against a property tax deferral scheme? i think this is just grandstanding and hypocrisy on your part.

However, I do observe you got the message out to the illiterate who starting shouting “tax evasion?, burn the tax heretics!”. Many comments.

Thanks for the over 55 tip. I thought it was only available to those over 65… might be different on the Island.
And yes, I have no desire to leave anything to an ungrateful kid who breaks his mother’s heart!

#106 OttawaGUYRenting on 03.31.15 at 11:57 pm

I think Ottawa Mike and I live in the same hood. HintonItalia.
Property tax is innnncreasing like lines on the LRT.

Ottawa job numbers are scary. Houses sit on the market forever.

5 years ago my $900 2 bed – Parking – hardwood floor – finished kitchen – quiet street rental seemed like a ton of dough.

LL is keeping me living the high life! Subsidizing my portfolio! While he pays the Ottawa – water – tax bill. Let’s the gas run up in here to heat the place!

Wet young Millens looking down at rental guy over here as they NEVER leave their overpriced houses! Trips to FL. trips to GA. trips to Chicago.
I have a lady clean the place every two weeks!

That portfolio stacked with REITs and EtFs keeps chugging!

Life is Garthin’ Good

#107 Obvious Truth on 04.01.15 at 12:01 am

The GDP internals were ugly again. It all basically stinks. And the real damage hasn’t worked through yet

Of course government spending is a huge part. Austerity in AB, NB and coming to a province and capital near you will make it worse. As will higher taxes. But so will more debt….

And we have tax deferral stacked on debt and buoyed by leverage as a wealth strategy.

Now the boc is on board with trashing peoples money to compete with Mexico. I thought we didn’t use currency manipulation as an economic tool. I didn’t vote for that. They really say this stuff. What’s their mandate? Like garth says. You can’t make this stuff up.

Yield curve still inverted. They’re in a box it seems. Lost control. Have only words left. The market is going to push them around.

What’s worse at this point. The market forcing a rate rise or a cut?

This is going to cause a lot of hard ache I’m afraid.

#108 Mark on 04.01.15 at 12:10 am

“Are you kidding me? Telecommunications and Internet in Canada are some of the most expensive in developed countries.”

Of course, because we have some of the lowest population density and highest labour costs in the developed world. Totally expected. People that want to compare the cost of telecom in Canada to, say, South Korea or Japan really need their heads examined.

#109 SydCixel on 04.01.15 at 12:30 am

Toronto and Vancouver are horny? Waterloo, ON may be even worse. Not only have numerous high rise apartments and condos been built during the last six years (creating a skyline where none existed previously), but even more are on the way. Today, I counted nine construction cranes. A tenth will arrive just about any day.

One of the projects went bankrupt as it neared completion.

Kitchener is attempting to become horny with two construction cranes in the downtown area, and a third planned.

Are only the readers of this “pathetic blog” capable of recognizing a glut in the making?

#110 Canucklehead on 04.01.15 at 12:37 am

#77 Mark …
“A Canadian dollar that surges well over par and beyond (think: $1.50 USD = $1 CAD$)”
—————————————————–
I agree with most of your comments on this blog except for your insistence that CAD will rise. Relative to USD? I just don’t agree with that. I agree there will be deflation, but there will also be deflation in the U.S. even more so than Canada. In fact, when the next crisis hits (and its coming) the whole world will rush to USD as the safe haven. That will further cause deflation in the US as imports fall in price and export sectors lose steam and jobs. You have to consider that currencies are all relative. I just don’t get why you feel CAD will rise against USD when there is so much debt owed worldwide in USD (think emerging markets), and even you yourself have said that dollars will be needed to pay back debt. Well there is a whole lot more USD owed in the world than there is CAD owed. Therefore the demand will be for USD and it will rise and while CAD may rise against other currencies, it is likely to continue to fall against USD and I just don’t see any scenario that would take CAD to 1.5 USD.

#111 4 AM Sunrise on 04.01.15 at 12:37 am

#38 Linda on 03.31.15 at 8:16 pm

The $1 and $2 fee only applies to “Interact Flash” debit card transactions. That’s only for people who are in such a hurry that they don’t have time to stick their card in the reader and punch in their PIN number. Regular debit transactions are not affected. And since we blog dogs have better credit than the greater population, we put everything on our credit cards for the points anyway and pay off every statement in full, right? I haven’t used a “debit card” in years because exposing my bank account to a merchant gives me the heebie-jeebies.

The fees for pre-authorized or non-scheduled transfers to other RBC products suck because they make it harder to do business with them, but you only get charged if you go over your 2/10/12/whatever free debits for the month.

I’ve been able to avoid all fees at RBC for the past 10 years. These upcoming changes almost made me close my accounts, but instead I made some adjustments so that I’ll still be able to avoid fees for now. I have a feeling I won’t survive the next round of increases. I’ll burn that bridge when I get to it.

#112 macroman on 04.01.15 at 1:05 am

Smoking man, you said 3 wines max tonight…

I think you Smo King than man.

#113 Leo Trollstoy on 04.01.15 at 1:18 am

Bugs Bunny accidentally transformed the word ‘nimrod’ into a synonym for ‘idiot’ because audiences didn’t understand the comparison between Elmer Fudd and the Biblical figure, Nimrod (a great hunter).

http://www.dailywritingtips.com/accidental-shifts-in-meaning/

#114 Entrepreneur on 04.01.15 at 1:40 am

It is too bad that government could not pull some fancy strings for small business; they need all the help they can get.

#115 Astroboy on 04.01.15 at 2:39 am

I know several Singaporeans who jumped into the property market in Singapore two years ago, when money was its cheapest ever. If 2.5% in Canada seems cheap to you folks, in Singapore they were getting 0.5% floating-rate, 40 year mortgages, and 5% down payment. Regular Joes were buying million dollar properties with 50k down. 2013 also happened to be the top of the property market. It has been downhill ever since.

Now, 24 months later, interest rates in Singapore have gone up almost 1%. The market is dead. The paper ‘millionaires’ have gone silent. Rents have dropped 15-20%. Property prices are down 10-15% and still falling.
2% cashflow positive has become 2% cashflow negative. An estimated 10-15% of homeowners are underwater on their mortgages, and losing money every month.

#116 Lillooet, BC on 04.01.15 at 2:41 am

While you folks in Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, and Eastern Canada were buried in 6 foot snow drifts, -30 windchills, we poor slobs in Lillooet, BC were snow-free, warm and sunny, +10 C most days in February, people in jeans and T-shirts walkin’ the dog down Main Street, gettin’ their garden ready, some fishin’ in the Fraser, enjoying life. I think we had a total snowfall of 5 inches this winter, right on Christmas Eve.

Who needs retirement when almost everyday is like a vacation? And because houses and the cost of living is fairly cheap, many people need only work part-time to get by.

There’s an old Serbian parable that goes something like this:

A man is sitting relaxed on a dock fishing, when a passing businessman walks by and takes notice. He stops and says:

“Why are you sitting around idle, when you could be working, making money and getting ahead, saving for retirement?”

The fisherman, pauses for a moment, then replies:

“Because then as soon as I retired, I’d be out doing exactly what I’m already doing – fishing.”

#117 Steve French on 04.01.15 at 4:24 am

smokey:

ya you gotta be careful of the JD.

stick to White Russians and the odd spliff.

Whisky and rye are a young mans game. Whisky’s for fighting.

the dude would be proud of you.

#118 Hicksville Alberta on 04.01.15 at 4:43 am

#100 Roy

Seems that the Canadian TFW program hasn’t been much more than a cheap ” sophisticated ” form of human trafficking. Just another good old Canadian Way thing that can be swept under the rug and shrugged off.

It will be interesting to see the fallout and repercussions over time but already in the Brooks area there are labour shortages from what i understand at McDonalds which is short nineteen employees which likely they won’t be able to fill and especially at the Lakeside Cattle plant where the daily kill has gone from 4,500 per day to about 3,500 per day.

I’m sure there is much more going on than the little i’ve been told but i think it will be very difficult to fill a good part of the jobs that go vacant because most ” Canadians ” won’t want to work in a lot of the jobs that these workers were performing.

#119 Julia on 04.01.15 at 6:30 am

#84 Mark
“Your comment is quite inconsistent with what I’ve seen out there. Getting credit is like pulling teeth for most small to medium sized businesses in Canada from the banks, and they are very quick to pull the plug if there is even so much as a temporary downturn in business conditions.”

I guess we have a very different perspective. I see lots of funds and not enough good borrowers.
And no, Banks are not “very quick to pull the plug”, in fact, they are usually quite patient as enforcement proceedings and/or insolvency is extremely costly and often not a good outcome for the lenders. A last resort.

#120 Nick Roerich on 04.01.15 at 7:42 am

That an MSM outlet would produce the analysis below only tells what’s coming around the corner … especially with all the collateral damage from the shale oil collapse.

Is the housing market on the cusp of another collapse?

http://stateofthenation2012.com/?p=13462

“Warning signs in the housing market”

#121 Alberta is FINISHED on 04.01.15 at 7:45 am

JustMe on 03.31.15 at 9:13 pm
Albertans and their debt hangover

BMO’s annual debt report pegged average household debt in the province at $124,838 in 2014 (compared to a Canadian average of $76,140.) Among Albertans, half held credit card debt, 53 per cent had mortgages, and 17 per cent held student loans.

And a February Ipsos Reid poll for MNP Ltd., a personal debt consulting firm, suggests that 23 per cent of Albertans are technically insolvent, defined as the inability to pay debts as they come due, or having liabilities in excess of assets.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/albertans-and-their-debt-hangover-1.3001849
____________________________________

I knew Alberta was FINISHED but wow the house of cards called Alberta pissed away all that oil money and now it’s just a matter of time until the bankruptcies hit Alberta like a tsunami. I bet alberta wishes they followed socialist Norway When it comes to saving money. What does PC stand for? They waste everything and only benefit the 1%. Enjoy your economic depression Alberta.

#122 Bottoms_Up on 04.01.15 at 8:00 am

#38 Linda on 03.31.15 at 8:16 pm
——————————————–
Perhaps worse than the chintzy debit fees, they are changing the qualification for monthly bank account rebate, one must now have an ‘active investment’, by their definition, at least $500 invested or on a preauthorized contribution plan.

These changes will cost me $132 per year.

http://www.rbcroyalbank.com/servicefeechanges/

#123 Victor V on 04.01.15 at 8:10 am

https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/temporary-foreign-workers-low-skilled-jobs-must-start-081508951.html

OTTAWA – Thousands of temporary foreign workers could be heading to airports to leave Canada today as permits expire for those who have been in the country for more than four years.

The Conservative government set April 1, 2015 as the deadline for temporary foreign workers in low-skilled jobs to either become permanent residents or leave the country after changing the rules in 2011.

In Alberta alone, 10,000 temporary foreign workers have applied to stay in Canada.

Vancouver immigration lawyer Richard Kurland says there aren’t enough Canadian Border Services agents to knock on the doors of every temporary foreign worker and frog-march them to the nearest airport today.

#124 maxx on 04.01.15 at 8:14 am

Excellent pic, Garth. The great economic action plan: an endless stream of fiscally damaging decisions, rinse and repeat.

For the most part, unnecessary infrastructure projects, vanity projects, tax breaks for so many who don’t need/don’t deserve them, backstopping of banks, CMHC enabling FIRE with no end in sight, punishing the fiscally responsible, reducing social programs in the name of absolutely unnecessary “austerity” (don’t get me started), increasing fees and taxes in mostly all of the wrong places…..

Nearly impossible to decide where to plunk down re money as it’s so difficult to see which is the least stupid province/area of the country to invest in. Dumb decisions just keep on getting more damaging over time. Mostly feeble, reactionary, back-foot economics if you will.

Far better to rent (for now) rather than attaching to the mother ship, thereby being bled dry with zero say in the matter.

Imagine had Canada been on the same program as Norway.

#125 Julia on 04.01.15 at 9:20 am

Did you see this advice? $800,000 in house equity, lots of debt. Just find ways to increase your income, maybe even rollover your debt in your mortgage if you can cut down on expenses. Downsizing may not be a good idea due to the current market in Toronto.
Sell and rent? Not even considered.

http://www.thestar.com/business/personal_finance/spending_saving/2015/03/26/money-makeover-debt-puts-couples-retirement-at-risk.html

#126 rosie "moving forward" in the knowledge that, "this won't end well" on 04.01.15 at 9:20 am

You can defer all you want, but they’re going to get it.

http://nowplanb.ca/2015/03/local-funeral-directors-seeing-red/

#127 Hoser on 04.01.15 at 9:26 am

Hamilton’s plan applies to ‘Action Neighbourhood Boundaries’ which is politician-speak for shitty neighbourhoods.

#128 Broke Dick on 04.01.15 at 9:47 am

Income tax avoidance = Good

BC Property Tax Deferment Program = Bad

any way the wind blows

Avoiding paying more than your responsible share of income taxes is rational. Not paying for garbage collection or police protection when you live in a million-dollar house is not. — Garth

#129 Contrarian Coyote on 04.01.15 at 9:59 am

“We’re heading into the final five or six weeks of the spring real estate rutting season.” – Garth Turner

Haha, great phrase.

Here in the 705, still some people fleeing the GTA and buying RE for a 1/2 to a 1/3 of prices in TO. I’m still renting and holding strong against the pressure to buy from everyone around me.

#130 Broke Dick on 04.01.15 at 10:05 am

#89 kommykim on 03.31.15 at 10:52 pm
RE: #62 seeing it from both sides on 03.31.15 at 9:16 pm
The tax deferment program is great, until the property needs to be sold. The whack of back taxes have to be paid in full before the property can be sold.

This is where the wealthy & astute wrinkly can make some extra dough. Instead of paying your property taxes, defer them and invest an equal amount in a balanced portfolio. 20 years down the road when you sell, use the funds to pay off the tax lump sum and keep the difference!
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Kommykim I like you.
Some people see a situation and all they can do is whine about it. You see a situation and see opportunity.
Cheers to you

#131 Dup on 04.01.15 at 10:06 am

There was a survey done not long ago where people were asked in Canada and US: What is favourite job/career?

The Americans said: I would want to start my own business and be independent….

The Canadians said: I want to find a job in the government….

Now you see where the problems lies? We have allowed our gov to pay its employees too much. Uneducated, unskilled labour that can be replaced in a heartbeat should not be paid 100k, what is so special about them?
We also have the other type, the greedy professionals like the Western University president that makes more money in a year than our prime minister! What is up with that?

The public unions protecting them up are messing up the country’s finances. Rewarding lazy uncreative employees because they have been there the longest.

#132 Lillooet, BC on 04.01.15 at 10:45 am

Today’s temperature:

Lillooet, BC: 20 C
Toronto, ON: – 10 C

So?

Actually it is +7 in Toronto and will be +15 tomorrow. And no truck nutz or plaid shirts anywhere. — Garth

#133 John Mc on 04.01.15 at 10:59 am

Today’s temperature:

Lillooet, BC: 20 C
Toronto, ON: – 10 C

BS It’s 3 degrees C. What you have the temperature probe in your coffee???

#134 OttawaMike on 04.01.15 at 10:59 am

106 OttawaGUYRenting on 03.31.15 at 11:57 pm

HintonItalia.
Property tax is innnncreasing like lines on the LRT.

Ottawa job numbers are scary. Houses sit on the market forever.

Well. Not exactly.
The city has held property tax increases down with water and sewer surcharge being raised 7% to cover increasing infrastructure renewal demands. Taxes are up in the older neighbourhoods due to increased assessed valuations.

Lots of listings but good urban core properties sell quickly.

Jobless rate is up .5% overall in the last 12 months:

http://www.statcan.gc.ca/tables-tableaux/sum-som/l01/cst01/lfss04d-eng.htm

Quebec side jobs seemed to have fared worse.

#135 The American on 04.01.15 at 11:02 am

At #131: Dup, I completely agree with you. Did you know there are over 4,800 mutha f*ckin’ pages of names of government employees in Canada who all earn six figures or more? Yeah, no shit! 25 names on average to a page. Really, Canada? 3.5% of your collective population, all earning over six figures for the government? That is beyond f*cked up.

#136 saskatoon on 04.01.15 at 11:16 am

quick question:

what happens when/if someone who has dual-citizenship declares bankruptcy here?

what is stopping them from just picking up shop and leaving canada (and debt responsibility) behind?

i’m thinking not much.

curious.

#137 straight six on 04.01.15 at 11:25 am

madness must pay big dividends, or why would gov embrace it.. maybe everyone’s gone mad.
Property tax deferral in the LML is rampant and considered a ‘no brainer’ by the well to do, and even if you’re not.

I’d rather pay $100K for a house with a 10% rate than 2 mil or more for the same property at 2.49% .. and have to defer property taxes.

I think the key to financial freedom is quite simple..
don’t drink the water! and as soon as possible, move to another planet.

#138 Mark on 04.01.15 at 11:35 am

“The public unions protecting them up are messing up the country’s finances. Rewarding lazy uncreative employees because they have been there the longest.”

Not only that, but the sort of example those “lazy uncreative employees” set (who are often managers) is atrocious and destroys initiative. Government employment is profoundly damaging to the minds of our young best and brightest, who instead of questioning how things are done and improving upon processes and procedures, are told by such individuals that such is “out of their pay grade”. I once worked in government, it was disgusting how new hires and contractors were used to get most of the real work done relatively cheaply, while people who had been there for 20 years literally spent their afternoons on the golf course at the public’s expense. Heck, my own manager built a retirement project — a 10 bed senior long-term care home, almost entirely while he was “working” at a government job.

Your other point is good too. I remember in the late 1990s, going to a college career fair, and seeing booths of Nortel, Arthur Andersen, etc., lined up deep with prospective employees, while barely anyone was visiting the CSIS booth, the GoC booth, etc. Today, it is basically reversed.

#139 Obvious Truth on 04.01.15 at 11:40 am

Looks like Greece just euchred the eu and the institutions.

Bit coin for heavens sake!

Genius!

#140 Julia on 04.01.15 at 11:40 am

Great post. Btw a friend of mine owns a condo in Edmonton she bought as an investment propery prior to coming to Toronto. She paid almost $200k for it a few years ago and recently it was assessed at $140k. Now she and her new hubby are looking to buy a house in Oakville and needless to say they won’t be using money from the sale of the condo toward their downpayment. I would have thought she might have learned the hard way not to buy top of market but i guess when people want to own a home they are not thinking that way.

#141 pete on 04.01.15 at 12:06 pm

Dup #131

What about the lazy CEO’s who bankrupt their companies and walk away with $10’s of millions of dollars. Here is an example the CEO of target Canada walked away with $60,000,000.00 that’s $60 million dollars which was more severance pay they ALL of target canada employees put together. Why go blame the average guy that’s making a living wages for all the world ills. You want to complain about real issues complain about this

http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2009/03/wall-street-bonuses200903-2

#142 Oceanside on 04.01.15 at 12:14 pm

33 John Mc on 04.01.15 at 10:59 am
Today’s temperature:

Lillooet, BC: 20 C
Toronto, ON: – 10 C

BS It’s 3 degrees C. What you have the temperature probe in your coffee???

20 degrees is not uncommon for that area at this time of the year but will be cold at night. It was 18 degrees in the shade the other day in Parksville, likely the same time as the Fraser canyon was hitting 20.

#143 Ray Skunk on 04.01.15 at 12:19 pm

Actually it is +7 in Toronto and will be +15 tomorrow. And no truck nutz or plaid shirts anywhere. — Garth

No plaid shirts? Clearly you’ve not visited Queen West recently.

The plaid-shirted, black-framed-glasses, sleeve-tattoo set down at The Drake have beards that would make even you envious, Garth.

#144 gut check on 04.01.15 at 12:22 pm

BANK FEES? You do NOT still pay those… please, tell me you have pulled your heads out of the box at least for a PEEK, sometime in the last 15 years.

day to day banking can be done without any fees at all. At ALL. Plus credits towards free goods. yes, it’s true. there is no catch. Unless you want stop payments or some other really rare transaction you will not be charged whatsoever, ever. nada.

I’ve been banking free for … what is it now, 16 years? try it, it’s fun.

#145 Squirrel meat on 04.01.15 at 12:30 pm

#143 Ray Skunk on 04.01.15 at 12:19 pm

Actually it is +7 in Toronto and will be +15 tomorrow. And no truck nutz or plaid shirts anywhere. — Garth

No plaid shirts? Clearly you’ve not visited Queen West recently.

The plaid-shirted, black-framed-glasses, sleeve-tattoo set down at The Drake have beards that would make even you envious, Garth.

—————————————–
Lumbersexuals are the new metrosexuals….

#146 gut check on 04.01.15 at 12:31 pm

#141 Pete

why more people don’t get this I’ll never understand. I guess those billions they spend researching how to brainwash people might have something to do with it

#147 prairieboy43 on 04.01.15 at 12:32 pm

No more doom/gloom for me. Going Surfing SM style.

#148 Spiltbongwater on 04.01.15 at 12:33 pm

Avoiding paying more than your responsible share of income taxes is rational. Not paying for garbage collection or police protection when you live in a million-dollar house is not. — Garth

But would you advise the 55+ to invest the tax money in a balanced diversified portfolio earning 7% avg past ten years while merely paying 1% tax on the deferred property tax?

The financial advisor response is, yes. The responsible response is, pay your taxes if you have the money. If not, sell the $1,000,000 house, because you can’t afford it. — Garth

#149 Shawn Allen on 04.01.15 at 12:40 pm

Canadians Fooled Again and Again

Albertan’s were told last week that there is no room to raise corporate taxes.

Following the false mantra of all-taxes-are-bad and consumers-pay-corporate taxes, most Canadians have been fooled into accepting that we can’t increase corporate taxes.

Meanwhile this week it was reported that corporate profit margins are the highest in 27 years. (Nothing to see here folks, move along.)

Also meanwhile, many corporations don’t even pay the low statutory tax rates because of various accelerated write-offs and the ability to shift profits to lower-tax jurisdictions.

I benefit greatly from low corporate taxes rates and the even lower corporate cash taxes since I own a lot of shares.

I also own a profitable small business corporation. I pay a grand total of a 14% tax rate (11% federal, 3% provincial). I would face additional tax if I took the profit out as salary or dividend. But I leave it in where it can grow on a tax deferred basis for many years.

Life is good as an owner of corporate profits.

For how long will over-taxed Canadians put up with allowing very low taxes on corporations?

#150 SWL1976 on 04.01.15 at 12:42 pm

Not only that, but the sort of example those “lazy uncreative employees” set (who are often managers) is atrocious and destroys initiative. Government employment is profoundly damaging to the minds of our young best and brightest

I have never worked for or in government, but the employees you describe drive me absolutely bonkers. The lazyest most unproductive will hold on to their job at all cost and even snuff out young competion before they get a chance. Its pathetic really to see it, but not hard to undersatnd where we are heading as a nation as this behaviour has been and still is rampent.

I have developed a few sayings over the years to help me cope with circumstances like above on various jobs…

Expect less, and, If no one else cares why should I?

People are a product of their enviroment and many work places in Canada are poison… Too bad many are too indebted to retire… Good riddance already to many

I have worked with good managers but have found they are much more rare than the bad

#151 Mike on 04.01.15 at 12:52 pm

Lillooet, Nice! I will have to check to see if I have any plaid shirts. Is there a Starbucks in town?

#152 Suede on 04.01.15 at 12:58 pm

Alberta is not special anymore. Only Quebec, Toronto and Vancouver.

Goodbye RESP extra grant..

http://www.edmontonjournal.com/Alberta+Tories+slammed+cancelling+RESP+grant/10935517/story.html#__federated=1

#153 Mark on 04.01.15 at 1:10 pm

” For how long will over-taxed Canadians put up with allowing very low taxes on corporations?”

Low taxes on corporations? Are you kidding? There’s a provincial or federal government with their hand out at practically every juncture when it comes to taxing businesses. And remember that corporations, are at best, owned by people, and quite frankly, over the past few decades, those owners haven’t really made a lot of money. There has been no equity risk premium in Canada.

You appear to be arguing that somehow that the Canadian tax system isn’t appropriately “integrated”, and that such is to the benefit of the owners of corporations, rather than the public. I disagree. There is a significant disadvantage to owning the corporate structure, versus either owning stuff directly, or through a flow-through entity. Why do you think the income trusts were so darn popular until “F” put an end to the model? Lower income people face higher effective taxation rates on their ownership of corporations than they do of direct ownership of assets. Pension funds, the same.

And before you go quoting Warren Buffett (like you often do, as he’s your idol) and his comments about paying less tax than his secretary, keep in mind that Buffet, by proxy, pays literally billions in taxes each year through his ownership of stock.

#154 Ray Vasquez on 04.01.15 at 1:33 pm

Canadians are borrowing record amounts to buy stocks on margin, http://www.bnn.ca.

#155 cramar on 04.01.15 at 1:42 pm

#91 Love my Kia on 03.31.15 at 10:55 pm
Lillooet, doesn’t look like such a bad place, within 100 clicks of somewhere else more attractive. Here in Thunder Bay we are literally 100 clicks from nowhere, with the exception of the Minnesota line (still nowhere), and another 100 clicks from that to the next small town fueling station which also happens to also serve as that town’s economic driver.

——————

Years ago, stopped in Thunder Bay once for a picnic lunch at the park where the Terry Fox statue is. Great park! Great view! Great tourist attraction! Loved it! But if it weren’t for Terry, I never would have stopped.

But live there? Not on your life. It was well into May and there was still ice on the lakes in the area. And houses aren’t cheaper than here. Here in the extreme south of Canada, it has been well into double-digits and sunny the last two days. They are projecting 19 tomorrow, but rain. I’m hoping for a 20 for the first time this year.

#156 Spiltbongwater on 04.01.15 at 1:50 pm

The financial advisor response is, yes. The responsible response is, pay your taxes if you have the money. If not, sell the $1,000,000 house, because you can’t afford it. — Garth

Don’t hate the player, hate the game.

Now would you let us know your thoughts about the discount seniors pay on their property taxes as well? Personally I don’t think there should be any discount given. They use same garbage collection, police, services etc. as I do. I would argue they use more municipal services seen as they have more free time to do so.

#157 The American on 04.01.15 at 1:50 pm

At #131: Dup, in the U.S., government jobs are looked at typically as a “last resort” for those who can’t fit into a functioning workplace. These are the people who are socially inept and with a chip on their shoulder. Also, In the U.S. government employees are looked at as being dumb, or lazy, or not having much ambition. Maybe not the politicians as much, but most all other publicly funded roles are pathetic. Basically, they’re your average, porn watching burnouts who live for a coffee break every 15 minutes and don’t care to do a damn thing. This may be why the survey results turned out as they did. Here are some comedic takes on the way we view government employees:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KT7oUhb3Lc0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h25BW9JwI3E

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oS7FqfVwoMI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbUi_3tIsT4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TIkkxeHH8zs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vofWkCJvbDo

#158 Holy Crap Wheres The Tylenol on 04.01.15 at 1:58 pm

#95 Smoking Man on 03.31.15 at 11:00 pm
#67 macroman on 03.31.15 at 10:09 pm
#35 Smoking man, just curious, have you tried the colt 45? If you really do have 30-40 mil, being a prolific commentor on this pathetic blog, how bad is your depression?
………………………………..
Its gone now, the depression, few wines fixed that up.. seriously what wrong with you, 30 or 4O million.ha
Im a bostfull, admitted, known bull shitter. Jesus man.
The tiny bungalow, roll down windos in the standard transmission pick up.. What is wrong with you even remotely beiliving that bullshit story. Its a miracle, my wife is at church with her sister, a thing for the dead, sis lost the perfect son, 4 months ago. They were some what OK. I get a knock on my door..I open it scared to death, thinking its the mossad is getting revenge for my NutandYahoo chirps. Hallelujah, its the toothless missing low life scum bag who would take my empty wine bottles of my hands . He’s been in jail…he’s out now. I’m pissed , I had to pay a dude to pick up my cigarette butts. Shit, he would have done it for free.
I’m glad he’s back..look forward to our talks… I missed him big time, way more than the dudes at the golf club, and Yacht Club.
Thank you god..its going to be a great summer, now that I have a pall again..
___________________________________________
Smoking Man lose the depression man! Summer is coming, boating, drinking and boating, drinking boating and scantily clad young girls in bikinis. See you’ve got a different outlook now that you think about it.. For me its going to be another season of sailing, drinking after in the forward quarters, sleeping over on the boat, grandchildren on Sunday mornings “we always take them for a boat ride.” BTW wife at church, go find your hidden bottle of JD and have yourself a celebration drink! Heres to boating season!

#159 Holy Crap Wheres The Tylenol on 04.01.15 at 2:06 pm

My buddy in Cushing OK says that just this week incoming oil is starting to slow and capacity is still there. Whats going on? Is usage catching up to production. Jesus summer isn’t even here yet. My take is once America discovers cheap oil that copious millions of Merikans will be gassin up the Minivan, station wagons and camper-vans for a good old road trip. We could see a turnaround on oil sooner than later.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRPSSF-T4Ck

#160 Holy Crap Wheres The Tylenol on 04.01.15 at 2:09 pm

Jesus the evacuation plans looks familiar? LRC?
http://home.web.cern.ch/about/updates/2015/04/cern-researchers-confirm-existence-force

#161 Bottoms_Up on 04.01.15 at 2:18 pm

#152 Suede on 04.01.15 at 12:58 pm
————————————————
That does not eliminate the RESP grant, it eliminates and “Alberta special handout” whereby simply by opening up an RESP account you are handed $500.

#162 Bottoms_Up on 04.01.15 at 2:22 pm

#149 Shawn Allen on 04.01.15 at 12:40 pm
——————————————————
You raise a good point, the longer corporations lobby to keep taxes low, the more indebted Canadians are becoming, and the higher risk there is to Canadian-based company profits.

#163 Nagraj on 04.01.15 at 2:25 pm

What the heck is “nimrods” ?
Herr Freud say Herr Turner condensed “do-gooder dim-witted dipstick” into “nimrod” and then pluralized to further mask –

Herr LEO TROLLSTOY notably and rightly references Elmer Fudd to explain “nimrods”. [If yer into The Holy Book, Nimrod is a great grandson of Noah.]

Herr Nagraj is pleased to point out that Elgar’s Enigma Variation No. IX, titled Nimrod, has entered the canon of British nationalist music and is often played on Rememberance Day. [ The brevity of No. IX, Nimrod, notwithstanding, it’s on a par with Barber’s Roosevelt elegy, and I dare say, with the Mahler’s 5th adagio. ]

Yes.

#164 Bottoms_Up on 04.01.15 at 2:25 pm

#144 gut check on 04.01.15 at 12:22 pm
—————————————————
Sure, free banking is great, until that point in time you actually need to go speak with a teller.

The free banking outfits are less flexible when it comes to setting up lines of credit and other special services such as getting a bank draft in order to buy a house.

#165 Bottoms_Up on 04.01.15 at 2:30 pm

#131 Dup on 04.01.15 at 10:06 am
#135 The American on 04.01.15 at 11:02 am
——————————————————
1/2 of the employees on that list risk their lives on a daily basis (police, firefighters), and only make that money because they are working lots of overtime hours.

And, I’m not quite sure an American is best suited to comment, given how much that country spends on its ‘public service’ military.

#166 calgaryboomer on 04.01.15 at 2:54 pm

I think what Van is doing is smart. It’s like a line of credit where they get interest up front. When the home is sold, there will no doubt be some sort of condition that Van gets it’s backtaxes before the owner gets the cash and leaves the new buyer clear. And it gets the people that can’t pay anyway, to get by. That home will eventually sell at some point.

In Calgary, while I believe the numbers and stories, in my hood, 4 homes have sold in fairly short order, one on the first day! The others took a month or two. Some of the prices are perhaps lower than last year but still way up from a year or two ago. Can’t always look at the peak numbers. It’s like selling stocks at a nice profit and complaining that you didn’t sell at the absolute high. House prices are still too high anyways.

And thanks for the blog again Garth. Keep the humor up, you’re pretty funny and a lot has to do with your writing style. I like the story format. I actually read some lines to my wife. IOh that reminds me, someone questioned whether some of Garths stories are real. I can attest to the fact that Garth printed a letter I sent to him looking for advice a few years ago. He just changed my name.

#167 Broke Dick on 04.01.15 at 2:55 pm

Actually it is +7 in Toronto and will be +15 tomorrow. And no truck nutz or plaid shirts anywhere. — Garth
—————————————-

No plaid shirts? Hipsters, Garth, Hipsters. You forgot about the hipsters.

#168 Dup on 04.01.15 at 3:00 pm

@ #141 pete:

I do not disagree with you, but the core of my post was based on tax payers money (Gov employees).

The private sector is a different issue. It is up to the companies and their investors to decide on what to do with their money.

Let’s not even start with the Gov employees entitled fat pensions…

#169 Shawn Allen on 04.01.15 at 3:06 pm

Mark, no response required…

Mark at 153 responded to me:

You appear to be arguing…

**************************************
Mark, your responses to what I actually say are more than annoying enough on their own. Believe me. But it is even more annoying to see you respond to various things that in your mind “I appear to be arguing” but which I never said.

Please cease and desist.

#170 saskatoon on 04.01.15 at 3:08 pm

70,000 foreign workers?!?!

just since 2011??!

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2015/04/01/foreign-workers-warned-not-to-dodge-deportation.html

#171 Smoking Man on 04.01.15 at 3:09 pm

That’s right, you all have some Nectonite in you.

http://www.etupdates.com/2015/03/31/interview-scientific-proof-human-race-was-created-by-aliens/

#172 Crowdedelevatorfartz on 04.01.15 at 3:29 pm

@#151 Mike
A Starbucks in Lillooet?

Bwahahahahahahahaahahaha Good one.

Only if you hit your head after being tossed off a horse at the rodeo……

#173 Kristof on 04.01.15 at 3:49 pm

I bid on a home a few years ago. Multiple offers, they said. We were told to “put our best foot forward” by increasing our bid at least 20k to be in the running. My wife & I are always uncomfortable with pressure.. So we left our bid unchanged.

Guess what – Next day they said we were the “winning bid”! I asked how the hell that could happen, if just 24hours prior they’d said we were 20k shy of the ‘top bid’. The story they told us – “The other guy’s finances fell thru.” (Little did we know, this is a standard lie)

Other factors about the home didn’t sit right with us, so we backed out after home inspection.

Weeks later, I came to know one of my colleagues at work was the seller! My wife’s maiden name was on the home offer, so my colleague had no clue I was the bidder. He admitted the first attempt to sell his home fell thru when his agent portrayed it as a multiple bid situation, when really, there was only one bid (us!). I asked what happened to that single bid – My colleague goes, “His finances fell thru” (Same lie, but this time, he was saying MY finances fell thru, a complete lie!)

My colleague re-listed it after a few weeks and sold his home. But the experience PROVED to me how shady this industry really is. I never found out if our agent was in collusion with the other agent about the multiple offers lie, or not – How could/would I ever know?

Is “Form 109” a recent policy? My story happened in Oakville (Toronto), Spring 2010.

#174 john on 04.01.15 at 3:53 pm

Hey Garth answer the following- Can exponential growth in a finite world last forever?? The national debt’s of nations have averaged 9% per year growth. It can only go on so long before it out-weighs the system that supports it. NO- IT’S NOT THAT FAR OFF! MATH BUDDY!

#175 Mark on 04.01.15 at 3:59 pm

“You raise a good point, the longer corporations lobby to keep taxes low, the more indebted Canadians are becoming, and the higher risk there is to Canadian-based company profits.”

Nothing wrong with low taxes. But low taxes should be accompanied by low government spending. Which obviously hasn’t happened. Under the current government, the bloat has accelerated. If Preston Manning was in a grave, he’d be rolling over in it. Many of us out west here voted for the Conservatives because we wanted a party that was going to destroy the eastern Liberal establishment, the sort of infestation that beset almost every sort of government appointed board, tribunal, commission and even the Senate itself. Not only did the government fail to do proper housekeeping, but they actually installed their own skunks. Many of which are now coming back to bite them.

#176 Nacho Cheese on 04.01.15 at 4:08 pm

#118 Hicksville Alberta on 04.01.15 at 4:43 am

I’m sure there is much more going on than the little i’ve been told but i think it will be very difficult to fill a good part of the jobs that go vacant because most ” Canadians ” won’t want to work in a lot of the jobs that these workers were performing.

If Canadians don’t want to work, then the wage must go up until they want to work. This TFW nonsense has got to stop.

#177 John Mc on 04.01.15 at 4:10 pm

Oceanside

20 degrees is not uncommon for that area at this time of the year but will be cold at night. It was 18 degrees in the shade the other day in Parksville, likely the same time as the Fraser canyon was hitting 20.

What does that have to do with the price of fish???
He said it was 20. It wasn’t, it was 3.

#178 S. Bby on 04.01.15 at 4:15 pm

#141 Pete
Re. Target Canada:
Not to mention the tens of millions of dollars in unpaid taxes, debts to their suppliers, etc. because of their so-called “bankruptcy” which is just their way of dodging their obligations in Canada. Their voluntary decision to leave Canada hardly warrants bankruptcy, especially considering the financial strength of parent Target USA.

#179 Sean on 04.01.15 at 4:47 pm

Can someone help me with the need of a Buyer Representation Agreement?

I’m just casually looking right now and just want to get listings through a realtor. Do I have to sign one of these to get this information or are there agents that will provide this to me without it?

#180 Matt Gamon on 04.01.15 at 4:49 pm

My RE agent called me last weekend for the annual ‘how are you doing’ call (he’s been doing it for years)
He’s been selling houses in the GTA area for over 30 years, but according to him his income is the lowest in many years. Too much competition, too many agents.

#181 gut check on 04.01.15 at 5:17 pm

#164 Bottoms_Up on 04.01.15 at 2:25 pm
#144 gut check on 04.01.15 at 12:22 pm
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Sure, free banking is great, until that point in time you actually need to go speak with a teller.

The free banking outfits are less flexible when it comes to setting up lines of credit and other special services such as getting a bank draft in order to buy a house.
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You’re falling for it. That’s the verbatim answer everyone gives to me – and has given to me – for 16 years.

it’s funny really because I’m the one with the account and the experience – but I guess all you guys who don’t bank where I bank must know better.

I probably missed something dangerous and inconvenient when I got my car loan and a mortgage through this means.

I suppose the tellers I’ve dealt with in person (and I even sat while working with them!) were not _real_ tellers but that I was too foolish to notice.

Ironically the most trouble I’ve had with a bank is one that charges the highest fees. And my problems — at least 3 times – couldn’t be solved IN bank. I had to call in to fix them. So.. I don’t know. You can keep believing in the ‘rumors’ in fact I hope you will. Why should I rock the boat?

#182 Mark on 04.01.15 at 5:24 pm

““I appear to be arguing” but which I never said.

Please cease and desist.

You made some provocative statements, arguments, that corporate taxes were not high enough. You went on to claim that you were achieving, through ownership of a corporation, much lower tax rates than you felt you deserved.

You stated in your post that a belief that taxes were not high enough on corporations. That was an argument.

So I will not ‘cease and desist’ pointing out that you made an argument. It is a completely unreasonable request from you, that you expect your comments to be free of scrutiny or debate in such a forum.

If I mischaracterized your argument, ie: that you believe that corporate taxes are too low, and that owners of corporations are benefitting in a way that is unfair, then I apologize. But after reading, and re-reading your post, that’s exactly what it appears that you are arguing.

Might I add, I know you are a public servant, so your claim that taxes are too low on corporations really ought to fall onto deaf ears.

#183 Mark on 04.01.15 at 5:27 pm

“If Canadians don’t want to work, then the wage must go up until they want to work. This TFW nonsense has got to stop.”

Either that, or Canada’s engineering and management talent needs to be engaged to determine ways in which productivity can be improved, so that the existing workforce can do more with less labour input.

This is one of the most disturbing aspects of TFW’s. In many industries, they have actually enabled employers to forgo making investments in productivity, automation, and technology, in favour of simply hiring TFW’s. So while the TFW’s have provided a select group of businesses a short-term benefit, the engineering and management talent in Canada that would have been heavily engaged to overcome labour shortfalls through technology has sat largely under-utilized.

#184 Kris on 04.01.15 at 5:35 pm

#179 Sean.
You don’t need to sign anything (definitely not a BRA) to get listings from an agent. If an agent is not ready to work with you until a BRA is signed.. Move on. You’ll find other agents who are fine with a verbal agreement that you’ll use them for the listings they show you.. Honest agents will not tied you up with a BRA for 6-9 months.

I learned this the hard way – After signing a BRA, then waiting for it to expire, then dealing with agents who were far more reasonable.

In fact, when I tried to get out of the BRA (because it was completely skewed in favour of the agent), the agent’s boss, the guy who owned the brokerage firm admitted his agent “had us in a straight-jacket” and said “I personally would not trap a client this way”! But he added with a smile, “Well, you signed it.”

That’s the bottomline. Don’t sign it.

#185 Josh in Calgary on 04.01.15 at 5:37 pm

179 Sean,
No you do not need to sign a buyer rep agreement and nor should you. Realty is highly competetive and there should be plenty of good agents out there who are willing to work on good faith. As in, if they legitimately help you find a place then you will use them to finalize the deal so they can collec their fees.

What a BRA does to benefit you: Nothing.

What a BRA does to benefit your agent: Ties you to them for the period stated in the document whether or not they’re working up to your satisfaction. They can literally sue you for tens of thousands of dollars if you buy a house months after you thought you were through with them.

There are stories in the news all the time about sleeze balls who use a BRA to sue people for fees despite playing no active role in the deal. I’m sure (I hope) these guys are in the minority, but why take that chance.

#186 Mike T. on 04.01.15 at 5:38 pm

If you look forward to Friday afternoon, you’re in it for the $$
If you look forward to Monday AM you’re in it for the passion

Betcha my Mondays are better than lotsa folks’ Christmases….

#187 Josh in Calgary on 04.01.15 at 5:43 pm

#174 john,
You’re right that infinite growth in a finite system can not go on forever. However, when looking at government debt it is NOT a finite system. They can litterally print as much money as they want. There are consequences to doing so (your currency will devalue and your debt will come with much more interest in future), but it can be done. That’s why it’s more important to look at debt as a % of GDP.

Euro countries are more restricted as Greece is finding out. They do not have control over their own currency and so they do not have the ability to simply print money to pay back debt.

#188 John Mc on 04.01.15 at 5:43 pm

#179 Sean

If you are casually looking why not just go to the mls website and check listings for the area you are interested in. mls.ca

#189 Oot der Hoos on 04.01.15 at 5:52 pm

I am not convinced socialised medicine is correct or moral. I shut up and gave it a try for twenty years.

My wife died. The nurse did not know how to measure blood pressure. It was probably near 0. She blamed the machine and ignored the data.

Maybe semi-communism fills the system with incompetent persons. I think one third of the nurses and doctors are incompetent and lazy (my observation from three weeks in the hospital and two nurses warned me). Maybe setting the wages by central government edict and forcing them to work for government is not attracting skilled persons. Maybe having no fees is overloading the system with unimportant activity.

You will have your own silent experience one day. Let’s compare notes then. In the meantime, greedily celebrate your free socialism stuff. You semi-communists and communists are very short sighted. RIP my wife.

In reply to and others:

#63 Panhead on 03.31.15 at 9:30 pm

#21 Retired Boomer – WI on 03.31.15 at 7:22 pm
No wonder so many Americans think Canada is the land of the Socialists.

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Still remember an American friend we used to meet up fly fishing every year calling our health care system … socialized medicine. RIP Carl.

#190 Bottoms_Up on 04.01.15 at 6:00 pm

#179 Sean on 04.01.15 at 4:47 pm
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A BRA ensures the agent will be paid, no matter what agent you use to buy a house. Don’t sign it. Other agents will provide you listings without having to sign that thing.

#191 Bottoms_Up on 04.01.15 at 6:05 pm

#181 gut check on 04.01.15 at 5:17 pm
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You’re funny, ’cause you assume I have a certain set of experiences and lack certain others. I have both a paid banking account, and a free banking account. I have experienced both, and know the hassles I went through by only having an account at a free bank.

If you’re a mouldy 20-something renter living in the basement of your parent’s McMansion, sure, you may have no or limited need for bank drafts and specialized banking products.

#192 Bottoms_Up on 04.01.15 at 6:08 pm

#168 Dup on 04.01.15 at 3:00 pm
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That’s right, they are entitled to their pensions to which they contribute heavily over the course of their careers, and which the fund sees robust growth most years:

http://www.investpsp.ca/en/invt-performance.html

#193 Millenial on 04.01.15 at 6:24 pm

Hey Garth,

Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta just adjusted their 2015 Q1 GDP growth estimate.

https://www.frbatlanta.org/cqer/researchcq/gdpnow.cfm

#194 Retired Boomer - WI on 04.01.15 at 6:30 pm

#63 Panhead

I don’t consider your medical care “socialized medicine” I will just call it “smart medicine.” Most all civilized countries have a version of it, we the US of the retarded do not. Besides you possible pay far more than our costs if I add the patrol taxes, and sin taxes up.
(I am a user of both petrol, tobacco, and booze).

I don’t get the property tax deferral idea. It places undue burdens on others. Here, you can ‘defer’ property taxes for three years, then your property can, and WILL be sold at public auction to pay your back taxes. Sorry, no recourse to that one.

WE are VERY mindful taxes are paid on time or, before ’round here.

#195 Exurban on 04.01.15 at 6:56 pm

#170 Saskatoon

You think 70,000 “temporary” Foreign Workers is a big deal. There are far more of them than that. 125,000 arrived in the first six months of 2013 alone. This should be one of the greatest political scandals in the history of Canada.

No Let-Up in Influx of Foreign Workers

How many are actually in the country? The statistics have been deliberately obscured, but a lowball estimate would be 500,000. Who’s going to make them leave? Probably no one.

#196 John Prine on 04.01.15 at 6:57 pm

#179 Sean on 04.01.15 at 4:47 pm
Can someone help me with the need of a Buyer Representation Agreement?

I’m just casually looking right now and just want to get listings through a realtor. Do I have to sign one of these to get this information or are there agents that will provide this to me without it?

Yes, lots of agents don’t use these, if you get a realtor who will work for you while “casually looking” remember that they get no pay until you buy something, lots of people drag realtors around for sometimes years and don’t consider the other side of the coin……Hundreds of hours of work, arranging showings driving all over the place, paying for land title searches and many more costs. So if you like a realtor stick with him/her.

#197 Kilby on 04.01.15 at 7:00 pm

1 Mike on 04.01.15 at 12:52 pm
Lillooet, Nice! I will have to check to see if I have any plaid shirts. Is there a Starbucks in town?

2 hours and 11 minutes to the nearest Starbuck’s, makes it a real treat..

#198 gut check on 04.01.15 at 10:36 pm

#191 Bottoms_Up on 04.01.15 at 6:05 pm
#181 gut check on 04.01.15 at 5:17 pm
—————————————————-
You’re funny, ’cause you assume I have a certain set of experiences and lack certain others. I have both a paid banking account, and a free banking account. I have experienced both, and know the hassles I went through by only having an account at a free bank.

If you’re a mouldy 20-something renter living in the basement of your parent’s McMansion, sure, you may have no or limited need for bank drafts and specialized banking products.
——————————————————–

assumptions? me??
re-read your posts, man.