Faltering

DOG SCARED modified

“Every time I feel myself faltering,” says Nancy, “I go to your blog. Thank you for being a voice of reason in troubled times.”

Now I don’t include these nice words simply as an anecdote to all the slugs and inflated tools who are curiously drawn to this blog, but to illustrate something. Nancy’s a lawyer with years of fancy schooling, a fat salary, limitless borrowing power and a lit career. She’s smart and astute. “I work as a lawyer and I’ve watched family, friends and colleagues sink every single cent into real estate; some can afford it, others cannot. I constantly get asked when I’m going to buy a house (I’m a lawyer – of course I should own a $2M house with a $1.5M+ mortgage!) and get bullied when I tell people that I think this market is built on a house of cards. I save in any given year 50-60% of my income, invest in the market and travel the world guilt and worry-free when I’m not working.”

She gets it. But even Nancy is not immune.

“The financial literacy of even highly educated people truly shocks me. However, it’s easy to get sucked into the hysteria. I too would like a garden and a big kitchen to entertain. I didn’t think that at 33 (with the income I have), I would even have to think hard about owning a home. Yes, I could go out tomorrow and get approved for a massive mortgage but I don’t consider that truly owning. Logic and reason would dictate that I stay out of this market, build equity and wait for the inevitable. Emotion and the fear of everyone getting rich and leaving me behind would say otherwise. Luckily, I am smarter and more rational than I am emotional or inclined to fantasy.”

Could this be the perfect woman? I’m thinkin’ maybe. But there is a larger point. The times are ‘troubled’ for her and so many other people because they simply don’t know what to believe. On the Internet, for example everything has equal weight. The doomers, the Zero guy or every sleazeball flogging gold, ammo or a new book tell you daily the world’s a tinderbox ready to blow. I tell you otherwise. The government, central bank, developers, real estate boards and agents tell you houses are a perfectly good place to put all your wealth. I caution you against it.

And the media’s no help, decimated economically as it is. When markets fall, it’s on the front page. When they soar, it’s nowhere. Education? That’s a joke. Daily we turn out graduates who think TFSA is a designer drug.

Well, time for a concrete example. So let’s pick on Calgary, where men are men because they like to rope and torture calves (starting tonight).

Yesterday the local daily ran a fat headline saying the housing market is stabilizing. It even found a realtress to offer these encouraging words, “Even though overall sales activity is slower than recent years, what many people aren’t aware of is that there are several neighbourhoods where demand has been stable, including prime areas in the inner city.”

Bolstering this was an RBC report suggesting the worst may be over for Cowtown real estate. But the cynical might look at the numbers and conclude it’s all a transparent attempt to sucker buyers into a market with serious downside potential. For example, sales fell 18% in June, the average price dipped 2% and the length of time it took the 2,184 sellers to find a buyer increased by 40%. In fact, more and more homeowners are giving up – active listings tumbled 18%.

No wonder. Oil is back in the $50 range and energy sector layoffs seem to be building momentum. Alberta now has a socialist government, which has already goosed taxes on profitable corporations and higher-income earners. Oil exports have plunged, pipelines are cancelled and the ‘Alberta Advantage’ is gone. Taxes will increase further, as will spending. The Dippers plan on saddling small business with a minimum wage 36% higher than anywhere else in Canada.

Well, actions have consequences. They’re arriving already.

Here’s another view, from housing analyst Ross Kay, who says Calgary provides a “classic example of what happens when real estate markets are misrepresented to the public.” How many Calgarians, he wonders, have been told what’s really happening to their single-biggest asset.

  • Calgary is now in its 12th consecutive month of slowing sales. (this is very, very important to understand for post June 2015 through the rest of the year ).
  • In the first six months of 2014 Calgary houses sold on average for $25,000 more than the average for all of 2013
  • In the first six months of 2015 the homes they sold for $9,000 less than the average for all of 2014
  • The average home was already over $9,000 cheaper on June 30th, 2015 than it was on June 30th, 2014 and the spread is getting worse each month.
  • Calgary is on pace to record fewer than 19,000 resales in 2015 which would see people moving 50% less than they were in 2006.
  • Only 46% of all sellers have been successful so far in 2015 while in 2014 81% were successful in the same first 6 months.

See what I mean? It’s a confusing world. Everybody has an agenda, and pity the fools among us who can’t figure it out correctly.

By the way, in Toronto (where they only eat calves) there are currently 10,000 condos listed for sale – on Kijiji alone. Another 8,000 condo resales sit on MLS. If this is not telling you something, you’re not listening.

Okay, that’s it. I’m now taking bids for Nancy’s email addy.

208 comments ↓

#1 Mike on 07.03.15 at 6:56 pm

FIRST Big hearts Garth <33333

#2 Squirrel meat on 07.03.15 at 7:01 pm

Cockroach pizza cancelled at the stampede….tragic… when will it all end.

http://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/bug-pizza-off-the-menu-at-calgary-stampede-cockroaches-denied-at-border

#3 Linda on 07.03.15 at 7:01 pm

Let’s say houseaggedon occurs & prices dive by 30% from their current levels. Should one purchase if this occurs or would you still recommend people stay out of the housing market? Is it likely or even possible that house prices will ever again only be 2 or 3 times annual earnings? It seems that for many buying a house is not going to be possible unless they do mire themselves in epic levels of debt.

#4 Good grief on 07.03.15 at 7:02 pm

How can you possibly say a market is stabilizing when it’s falling? Stable is reaching and staying at a bottom. It could continue to fall for another month or another 5 years, the data indicates nothing save for the fact the price of oil will play a factor.

The CREB even goes on to say that it may get worse.

As for outstanding condos for sale in Toronto what does 10,000 mean? Is that high? low? Give the number context or it’s meaningless.

#5 Dee on 07.03.15 at 7:02 pm

Sure is refreshing to see a fellow 33-year-old with their stuff together, especially following yesterday’s post/my reply!

#6 Smoking Man on 07.03.15 at 7:04 pm

It seems so long ago, Nancy was alone..

https://youtu.be/z7vbH3Yzz0Q

#7 Suede on 07.03.15 at 7:08 pm

If you’re single…

1) Get Nancy’s email.

2) Become a kept man

How?

Tell her about a spousal RRSP and how you’ll take care of the kids. She can lower her income tax bracket

Hell, you’ll even consider carrying the kid to term and giving birth for her. It’s probably possible – I mean, NDP won an election in Alberta, then Connor McDavid wen to the oilers.

Anything can happen.

#8 Jerry O'laughlin on 07.03.15 at 7:09 pm

They are forgetting that in Toronto we had David Miller, a NDP mayor who put in a doubling of the Ontario, provincial land transfer tax.

Ontario gave his wish and added another 13 new tax sources for Toronto only.

In Alberta, don’t be surprised if they have a similar outcome. Any taxes they keep adding and increasing just means more money coming out of people’s pockets and makes it tougher for real estate sales.

Even the bank of Canada’s 25 to 50 basis points cuts in interest rates if they come will not be able to stop a train wreck called Alberta real estate.

#9 Realtor007 on 07.03.15 at 7:14 pm

Nancy needs to get into the market asap if she ever wants to own anything decent in Toronto (assuming Toronto is her current residence), this isn’t grampas era where we compete with each other.

Toronto is considered prime RE and the city now has the same status effect as London, Paris, NY etc, foreign money is pouring in and buying up prime SFH, she may be able to buy some leaky condo in the not so hot neighbourhoods but the good areas she better be ready to throw in an extra $250k over asking for good measure, she still may not get it. Reporting from the ground.

#10 Steve French on 07.03.15 at 7:23 pm

Nancy (with the laughing face)

John Coltrane Quartet

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

#11 not 1st on 07.03.15 at 7:24 pm

Whatever a lawyer, doctor or engineer does financially, do the exact opposite. Do what politicians do.

#12 Interstellar Old Yeller on 07.03.15 at 7:24 pm

Hang in there, Nancy, it sounds like you’ve got life figured out! You just need to stop talking RE with people who won’t consider a rational argument.

#13 Bob Dog on 07.03.15 at 7:25 pm

This country could use a heavy dose of socialism after 10 years of the harper regime. It sickens me that Canadian corporations pay far less income tax than US companies. Socialism is not communism. Socialism build the US interstate highway system. Where would America and wall mart be without it to move their goods around the country?

An October NDP win is the only thing that might keep me in Canada.

#14 Bottoms_Up on 07.03.15 at 7:25 pm

Sounds like Nancy could go out and buy a house outright for 500k cash. But sounds like she’s too good to rub elbows with regular folk, and can’t stomach the fact that to buy in her eschelon she would have to fork over 2 million. I’m calling her bluff, she’s just rich and cheap.

#15 Greek in vancouver on 07.03.15 at 7:26 pm

I am not actually greek but i am an immigrant from eastern europe and i kind of know how government and taxes work there. An exit will do good for these people and bad for their lenders, at the end of the day they will have a sunny weather, oranges, olives, feta cheese… But certainly no BMW’s and Mercedes.
Here on the west coast we are waiting for the alberta layoffs spillover to hit right about now, you can feel is the perfect storm coming, except if you have realtor’s glasses everything is rosy.
A lot of 50% off in retail stores all over YVR, empty food courts, only things that are busy: costco and dolarama

#16 Victoria Market Alive on 07.03.15 at 7:30 pm

Where is our weekly Victoria Market Update poster?

Its time to call BS on your outdated numbers with factual calculations. For those interested, here are real stats with real graphs showing that the Victoria market is, relatively speaking, on fire.

https://househuntvictoria.wordpress.com

While the market has been flat, and slowly eroding with inflationary increases for the past several years, the times have changed in the last six months.

Prices are now almost back to their peak pricing in 2010; its officially switched to a sellers market with only 2 months of inventory on the market, days on the market shrinking to under 30, and bidding wars. Victoria is no longer a slowly dying market.

The interest rate cut, tired bears, returning Albertan oil money (from workers no longer working in the oil fields), and retirees fresh from their Toronto massive equity gains are shaping the market.

Victoria Market Update – be sure to post you December 2013 stats and extrapolations to make your case. Your home-made analysis and ‘stats’ have simply been a disservice to all….

#17 So long Marianne on 07.03.15 at 7:34 pm

#6 Smoking Man on 07.03.15 at 7:04 pm
It seems so long ago, Nancy was alone..
—————
Leonard Cohen beats the Hunter guy hands down.
And he can also sing.

#18 omg the original on 07.03.15 at 7:34 pm

THE CALGARY EXPERIMENT

What’s happening in Cowtown is absolutely amazing.

There have been more high paying jobs lost in Calgary than any plain vanilla recession would produce in the rest of Canada (proportionally speaking of course).

Yet real estate prices have hardly budged – truly a few percent points in a market that has double in the last 10 years is rounding error.

Just goes to prove my contention…..

…People will do ABSOLUTELY anything to not loose money on their house.

Until we see a meaningful increase in the cost of buying a house – that is a rise in interest rates – there will be no correction in Canada.

And the way the Canadian economy is going we will not see a meaningful increase in interest rates for a couple years yet. And by meaningful I do not mean 50 to 75 basis points.

But it will happen, and the more out of control RE prices get, the more the correction will sting.

#19 Carpe the damn Diem on 07.03.15 at 7:37 pm

#2
Cockroaches banned from entering Canada.
———-
maybe they should try locusts.

#20 Freedom First on 07.03.15 at 7:41 pm

Good thinking Nancy. Hang in there and ignore the noise.

Yes Garth, Nancy is a “dateable” woman. However, I am an honest man and always let my girlfriends know that I have never cheated on anyone, and I won’t ever be co-habitating, having children, nor getting married. I avoid anything that is high risk and always always always put my Freedom First. Women are attracted to real men.

#21 Carpe the damn Diem on 07.03.15 at 7:42 pm

#9
Garth, maybe you should revoke Realtor007’s License to Shill.

#22 omg the original on 07.03.15 at 7:44 pm

Realtor007 on 07.03.15 at 7:14 pm
Nancy needs to get into the market asap if she ever wants to own anything decent in Toronto…….

Toronto is considered prime RE and the city now has the same status effect as London, Paris, NY etc, foreign money is pouring in ………. she better be ready to throw in an extra $250k over asking for good measure, she still may not get it. Reporting from the ground.

—————————

So I hope you are being sarcastic and that this is not really your advice to your clients??

#23 Nora Lenderby on 07.03.15 at 7:45 pm

I noticed something the other day, that I hadn’t seen for over a decade. The houses of three local realtors that I know of have “For Sale” signs in front of them. Funny that.

Perhaps it’s a coincidence that they all have to leave town in a hurry?

#24 Montery on 07.03.15 at 7:48 pm

Garth,

I offer 1 million quatloos for Nancy’s email address. This is a fair offer since you did not provide any information other than first name, estimated income, and approximate age. More details may garner a higher bid.

#25 John on 07.03.15 at 7:51 pm

#4 Good Grief –
I agree. Garth, can you maybe do a post about the condos in Toronto and give us some context? In Winnipeg, there are 833 condos for sale on MLS. In Toronto there are 8000. Toronto is about 10X bigger than Winnipeg. So to me it sounds like Winnipeg also has a condo glut. Although I don’t know because I haven’t been keeping track over the years. If you can expand on this sometime, that would be helpful .Thanks

#26 John on 07.03.15 at 7:57 pm

#9 Realtor007 –
That was funny. Toronto on the same level as London and Paris? You obviously have never been to those cities…lol

#27 omg the original on 07.03.15 at 7:57 pm

Victoria Market Alive on 07.03.15 at 7:30 pm
Where is our weekly Victoria Market Update poster?

Its time to call BS on your outdated numbers with factual calculations. For those interested, here are real stats with real graphs showing that the Victoria market is, relatively speaking, on fire.
—————-

Thanks for the link.

Didn’t know your blog existed, so good to know about it.

Couple of comments.

Regarding the SFL median price graph on your blog if one stand back a bit from the numbers I would suggest the market has been about flat from 2010 to 2015 – really just flirting around a 5-10% trading band. There are some ups and down but no real breakouts.

And look at the price graph from 2002 to 2009 – price increases buy about 250%. If one believes in secular bulls, that is a poster child for one.

Mind you, I am of the opinion that Victoria and Vancouver have been in a secular bull since the mid 1980s. I am also of the opinion that secular bulls are followed by secular bears.

#28 Panhead on 07.03.15 at 7:58 pm

Okay, that’s it. I’m now taking bids for Nancy’s email addy.
————————————————————

Has she got a boat and motor?

#29 Leo Trollstoy on 07.03.15 at 7:58 pm

Sounds like Nancy could go out and buy a house outright for 500k cash. But sounds like she’s too good to rub elbows with regular folk, and can’t stomach the fact that to buy in her eschelon she would have to fork over 2 million. I’m calling her bluff, she’s just rich and cheap.

Another poor single wage slave that is envious of a young woman with $500k.

#30 Leo Trollstoy on 07.03.15 at 8:00 pm

Toronto house prices won’t go down for awhile. The demand is crazy. Something is crazy anyway.

#31 Mukadi on 07.03.15 at 8:06 pm

It’s time for the international vultures to short Canadian banks.

#32 Mark on 07.03.15 at 8:16 pm

“Until we see a meaningful increase in the cost of buying a house – that is a rise in interest rates – there will be no correction in Canada.”

Explain why house prices are falling (for the past 2 years), even though interest have fallen?

Houses aren’t immune from the basic laws of supply and demand. Pricing was excessive. Huge amounts of supply was stimulated. Prices fell. Its all pretty simple.

The mistake a few people here are making is reading those RE-industry produced headlines and actually believing that Vancouver/Toronto is still going up. Little could be further from the truth.

Rates aren’t going anywhere because the economy simply isn’t strong enough to justify such. Actually the economy is so weak that rates most likely need to go down a lot more than they already have. Won’t help the home-borrowers though.

#33 Godth on 07.03.15 at 8:17 pm

#9 Realtor007 on 07.03.15 at 7:14 pm

Too bad it’s all a ponzi scheme, everywhere. Base pumping and humping the ground won’t help anyone, anywhere.

There’s debt and then there’s mathematics you wingnut.

#34 not 1st on 07.03.15 at 8:19 pm

#20 Freedom First on 07.03.15 at 7:41 pm

Damn straight, cause you know the best women out there hate kids, living together and any kind of commitment.

#35 SWL1976 on 07.03.15 at 8:23 pm

A whole lot more than the real estate market is a house of cards these days

It’s true… If you can’t see it, you’re simply not looking

A blatant display of corporatocracy was the fast tracking of the TPP

Read the fine print

Oh that’s right it’s classified

#36 Catalyst on 07.03.15 at 8:24 pm

R/E may be less liquid in Calgary, but even in a downturn it is holding value fairly well.

One of my friends who owns a condo then later bought a house. He tried to sell the condo but rather than sell at a small loss he decided to let his investment make him income and rents at a loss each month.

Prices are very sticky, people would rather become subsidizing landlords than sell for a small loss! There is nothing similar to this in investing in stocks and something you don’t account for with price:income ratios etc.

#37 Sheane Wallace on 07.03.15 at 8:26 pm

Let’s be clear:

1. Guaranteeing sub-prime mortgages through CMHC
and
2.Keeping nominal interest rates at zero, real intereest rates negative

drivesto excessive loans which would not happen normally and due to the fractional reserve banking magic is equivalent to big time money printing.

Ca dollar is doomed and will hit 0.7 then 0.6 then 0.5 pretty soon.

Diversify out of Canada as the idiots are going to kill the Ca dollar.

Demand real interest rates or convert your confetti into real money – Euro, USD.

Let;s force the rates where they should be – 6-8 % and sent Poloz to jail.

#38 Mark on 07.03.15 at 8:27 pm

“Let’s say houseaggedon occurs & prices dive by 30% from their current levels. Should one purchase if this occurs or would you still recommend people stay out of the housing market? Is it likely or even possible that house prices will ever again only be 2 or 3 times annual earnings? It seems that for many buying a house is not going to be possible unless they do mire themselves in epic levels of debt.”

Of course housing is going back to 2-3 times annual earnings on average. It probably will go even lower as mean reversion requires a period of abnormally low prices to match a period of abnormally high prices. “only” a 30% correction is probably completely out of the cards at this point given that the valuation gap between the long-term average and current prices is on the order of 100-150% nation-wide, and even worse in certain major centres. Implying an ultimate real loss of 60-70% of value with the potential of overshoot in some of the most severely over-extended locales.

Of course, most people won’t hit the true bottom when they buy, nor the true top when they sell. But excess buyer pessimism, and banker pessimism usually is a pretty good sign.

#39 Sheane Wallace on 07.03.15 at 8:31 pm

How stupid must one be to keep their life savings in confetti?

Very stupid.

Either ask the real price for your money or show them the finger. Nobody is going to save you when penniless in retirement.

#40 Crazy Crocket on 07.03.15 at 8:38 pm

So the roaches got stopped at the border. Just top the pizza with real estate agents. I see no difference except a slightly more bitter taste.

#41 NOTHING SURPRISES on 07.03.15 at 8:45 pm

Nancy,I’m old enough to be your father and here is a suggestion.
Move to the area where I live, Southwestern Ontario near Stratford. You can buy the best home you want for 25% of what it would cost in the GTA. Lady lawyers are most welcomed and respected and you can walk around without fearing being mugged, shot or kidnapped. !/2 hour to larger cities and 1-1/2 hour to T.O. Rural and urban culture and access to great plays in Stratford and surrounding towns. No real smog or unbelievable heavy traffic.
Think about it!
All the rest of you who read this blog need not give it any thought. Please stay where you are.
This is a nice place and we don’t want to spoil it.
Thanks!!

#42 Obvious Truth on 07.03.15 at 8:46 pm

In general Nancy. And it’s been said many times. You just can’t talk to people about this stuff. Especially those you know. They are having way too much fun you are the fun wrecker. Just tell them how lucky they are. Suspend your pension for logic and arguing. Like washed up does. Just have fun.

On your current path you could probably retire in a decade I’m sure. Or you will be able to work different. That’s the beauty of the course you have taken. It’s way bigger than the silly housing debate.

As an aside on a recent road trip I stopped a a small bar. Nice guy serving drinks.

30 Year old kid. Traded for a few years after the crash. Built up over 300k from 20 by 2012. No bartender bs. He knew his stuff. Now just uses more or less a garth like approach but with individual equities. Works for spending money and to meet people. Owns a house.

We had a good chat. He knows he’s set. Rule of 72. He’s just planning his next adventure. Lots of sailing in his future.

Tells me tourists and travellers are scarce this year.

Sorry. No email addy.

#43 Shawn on 07.03.15 at 9:00 pm

Why are Costco and Dollarama busy?

Number 15, Greek in Vancouver said:

A lot of 50% off in retail stores all over YVR, empty food courts, only things that are busy: costco and dolarama

*****************************************
Which raises the question: Why are those two stores doing well?

The answer is because they deserve to be doing well and busy.

Costco is a retail/wholesale marvel that quite simply is THE most efficient at moving product from manufacturers / producers to convenient stores. They mark up their landed cost of all items by a maximum 15% which compares nicely to Walmart at 30% and many stores at 100%. Despite the low mark up they are highly profitable. And it’s not because of their membership fees which amount to about 2% of revenue which brings the total markup to an average 17%. Costco is profitable with low markups because of its efficiency and low costs of operation. Costco is lowering the cost of living for people and so is doing the economy a great service.

As to Dollarama it is one of Canada’s very best managed companies. It has markups of an average of 58% (i.e buy for 63 cents and sell for a dollar) and yet is able to sell cheaper than their competitors. It’s secret is in buying the goods more cheaply partly by going direct to Asia. They also have a low cost structure. The success of Dollarama has NOTHING to do with a poor economy and has EVERYTHING to do with delivering products more cheaply and efficiently in convenient and clean stores. Dollarama is also lowering the cost of living for people and so is doing the economy a great service.

Many will turn their noses up at the idea of shopping at Dollarama and a few (including Garth) even disparage Costco shoppers for some reason (probably the entertainment value and just to get a reaction).

In any case the above are the reasons for the success of these two very well-managed companies.

People who want to save money look for bargains and always have. Others drive their Hummers to Whole Foods. This behavior by two groups of people changes very little with the economy.

#44 Is that Freedom First in the pic? on 07.03.15 at 9:00 pm

Just kidding man, I’m sure (or hope) you’ve had your fair share of “kitties” when you weren’t as “free”…
Cheers!

#45 Ben on 07.03.15 at 9:00 pm

The worst may be over? Hah.

Interest rate rises are the real earthquake. US unemployment won’t go much lower.

As Mr T used to say: “I pity the fool”

#46 million dollar journey on 07.03.15 at 9:08 pm

I’m finding the same thing here in Newfoundland. Even with low oil prices, real estate remains propped. We really need higher interest rates for any significant correction.

#47 saskatoon on 07.03.15 at 9:10 pm

#13 Bob Dog

1. corporations are socialist-created entities.

2. it “sickens you” that the Canadian government steals LESS?

3. private enterprise can build roads too…

sigh…another bewildered commie, caught in the propaganda feedback loop.

#48 Gurdeep K. on 07.03.15 at 9:15 pm

Smoking Man a degree would have required schooling on your part however anyone including a Clown (no offense to Clowns) can claim to be a management consultant. So it is essentially a weak link in the TN-1. Why not go for a green card? I have one still. Or perhaps the fact that you have only applied for a TN-1 shows us that you will be back here after it expires! They will not likely renew them anymore.
…..

I’ve had 4 in the past, easy for me, best in the world in my field expertise. Hard to beilive im sure. But when Microsoft has you on a retainer, the last go to guy. Well either I’m the worlds greatest bull shitter. Or I’m good.
—————–

Microsoft largely hires university grads under 35. Actually anyone in tech does this.

#49 Oceanside on 07.03.15 at 9:30 pm

#13 Bob Dog on 07.03.15 at 7:25 pm
This country could use a heavy dose of socialism after 10 years of the harper regime. It sickens me that Canadian corporations pay far less income tax than US companies. Socialism is not communism. Socialism build the US interstate highway system. Where would America and wall mart be without it to move their goods around the country?

Socialism is not communism …well stated

#50 noodles '79 on 07.03.15 at 9:32 pm

If Jim Morrison were alive today,and read what l’ve been reading on this blog for the last few years.We would not have ‘People are Strange’, we would have ‘People are F#&=€$ed’!

#51 Karl hungus on 07.03.15 at 9:33 pm

Sales and prices ahead of last year in Edmonton, sorry no crash

#52 noodles '79 on 07.03.15 at 9:49 pm

P.S. Both ,financialy and mentaly ,cause when the mania wares off ,they’ll only be left with one big mess .That may take years to clean up .l only speak from experience,it took me ten years just to get back to zero !

#53 not 1st on 07.03.15 at 9:49 pm

My neighbor is a doctor, and not just some dumpy GP. A specialist, cause he goes somewhere late at night in his beemer. He told me with a straight face that houses will go up 5-6% per year forever. Too bad they are down more than twice that in the last year.

#54 pwn3d on 07.03.15 at 10:00 pm

Garth, how do I add a signature when posting here? I would like to add a public service message to all my posts:

“Lesson one, kid: stop reading Mark. — Garth”

#55 noodles '79 on 07.03.15 at 10:01 pm

Sorry,but l have another P.S.
Ive stopped even mentioning real estate in my circles ,its been years since lve voiced my opinion ,it seems like lm the only one who remembers 1990 and how fast things could change .Maybe being in partnership on eight houses and losing my job has something to do with that.

#56 YEG_WTF on 07.03.15 at 10:04 pm

#51 Karl, you’re joking right? I personally know a realtor who recently sold their million dollar home in Edmonton, and has down sized to a duplex half that value, precisely because the ‘real’ stats on poor sales and the average ‘length of time on market’ were freaking them (a realtor) out.

#57 BS on 07.03.15 at 10:11 pm

It’s a confusing world. Everybody has an agenda, and pity the fools among us who can’t figure it out correctly.

If there was only one thing I could teach someone starting out in life, that would be it. EVERYBODY has an agenda. In most cases it is about making money for them or their organization. It is amazing how many otherwise smart people cannot figure this out. Take everything with a grain of salt.

#58 Kaitlyn on 07.03.15 at 10:18 pm

Thanks for this blog it’s very entertaining. My husband and I moved to Vancouver from the U.S. And kept about 70% of our money invested in various ways in the U.S. We are renting here to everyone’s horror. We don’t feel any desire to buy a house right now. Although if the housing bubble in Canada does burst I will feel a little bad cashing in on it. (We would probably buy something by Whistler if that happens, maybe even a condo in Van). But if it doesn’t happen we will still be ok. Renting is great Canadians! Don’t worry so much about it :)

#59 Smoking Man on 07.03.15 at 10:30 pm

#48 Gurdeep K. on 07.03.15 at 9:15 pm
Smoking Man a degree would have required schooling on your part however anyone including a Clown (no offense to Clowns) can claim to be a management consultant. So it is essentially a weak link in the TN-1. Why not go for a green card? I have one still. Or perhaps the fact that you have only applied for a TN-1 shows us that you will be back here after it expires! They will not likely renew them anymore.
…..

I’ve had 4 in the past, easy for me, best in the world in my field expertise. Hard to beilive im sure. But when Microsoft has you on a retainer, the last go to guy. Well either I’m the worlds greatest bull shitter. Or I’m good.
—————–

Microsoft largely hires university grads under 35. Actually anyone in tech does this.
……

Is that what you think Igate.. Don’t tell me you fell for my rivet bucking story…

Idiot.

#60 Andrew Woburn on 07.03.15 at 10:36 pm

#53 not 1st on 07.03.15 at 9:49 pm
My neighbor is a doctor, and not just some dumpy GP. A specialist, cause he goes somewhere late at night in his beemer. He told me with a straight face that houses will go up 5-6% per year forever. Too bad they are down more than twice that in the last year.
==========================

Somewhere in the Eighties there was an actual real estate crash. You know, one those things that can never happen again. I was the GM of a developer that sold tax sheltered real estate. Thanks to the tender mercies of the Fed, our clients were whomped on closing with an 18% first mortgage and a 50% vacancy rate.

A disgruntled client, a neurosurgeon (an actual brain surgeon, yes really), stomped into my office to complain that the cash flow shortfall on his tax shelter should not be charged to him because we were the managers of the project and it was our problem. The fact that the economy had collapsed had escaped his notice or perhaps that too was our fault. I decided if he approached his profession with the same calibre of logic, I wouldn’t let him cut my toenails. Unfortunately, he was typical of the level of financial sophistication of his medical peers.

#61 Nancy was alone on 07.03.15 at 10:42 pm

DELETED

#62 Bottoms_Up on 07.03.15 at 10:50 pm

#58 Kaitlyn on 07.03.15 at 10:18 pm
——————————————-
Appreciate your insight, yet you are an example of people waiting to ‘pounce’ if prices go down. This is exactly why prices won’t go down. Pent up demand, and people on sidelines waiting to buy.

That is not usually the case. When prices fall so does demand. Humans, it turns out, move in herds. — Garth

#63 West Coast on 07.03.15 at 10:52 pm

http://www.moneysense.ca/property/the-ultimate-home-maintenance-guide/

How about this Nancy – as well as digesting Garth’s excellent advice, pause to consider the cost of maintaining your ‘dream home’. In 2011, Money Sense suggested putting aside $25,000 a year towards upkeep. Of course you might not shell out that much per year, but you need to set that much aside, unless of course you can get a HELOC for all those up and coming repairs (no doubt you’ll be able to).
Unless Garth is instrumental in finding you a willing, well off consort (preferably a professional carpenter, plumber, etc. who is able to help you maintain your new abode), I would strongly advise continuing to rent.

#64 Smoking Man on 07.03.15 at 11:01 pm

That is not usually the case. When prices fall so does demand. Humans, it turns out, move in herds. — Garth

Hallelujah …..!!! finally

Fundamentals be dammed..

Dr Smoking Man
PhD Herdonomics

#65 3s on 07.03.15 at 11:08 pm

I’m not Canadian but the TFSA is such a no brainer. I would consider proposing to Nancy to gain access to this awesome opportunity and keep it stuffed to the maxed:)

#66 Winterpeg on 07.03.15 at 11:11 pm

Re: John 25
In Winnipeg, there are 833 condos for sale on MLS. In Toronto there are 8000. Toronto is about 10X bigger than Winnipeg. So to me it sounds like Winnipeg also has a condo glut.
______

Yes, there does appear to be lots of condos for sale in Wpg and more being built as well as apartment conversions to condos. House are selling but I think more are starting to go below the asking price.

Hazy skies here this week from the forest fires burning in northern Sask, Alta.

#67 Smoking Man on 07.03.15 at 11:12 pm

OXI

It’s in my blood.

#68 boonerator on 07.03.15 at 11:15 pm

If we were rational beings, then houses would drop in price when people worked out the economics of it.
But reading Kahneman and Tversky blows that one out of the water. People will do anything to avoid selling at a loss because it hurts too much.

“In economics and decision theory, loss aversion refers to people’s tendency to strongly prefer avoiding losses to acquiring gains. Most studies suggest that losses are twice as powerful, psychologically, as gains”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loss_aversion

#69 Chaddywack on 07.03.15 at 11:18 pm

Well I’ve already found my Nancy equivalent! She keeps me focused on NOT buying a house when my emotions threaten to take over.

She’s also a blonde doctor who makes killed perogis!

Living the dream in a Vancouver rental (right by the ocean) :)

Gentlemen, I suggest you bid over asking without conditions for Nancy’s email!

#70 Washed Up Lawyer on 07.03.15 at 11:22 pm

Can’t comment at length tonight. Cannot see the screen on my computer through the forest fire smoke here in Ft. McM.

Need Nancy’s email addy ASAP. We need to start a class action suit – ROTSPOE* v. Nature

Help!!!

WUL

*ROTSPOE – Residents Of the Strangest Place On Earth

#71 Ontario's Left Coast on 07.03.15 at 11:22 pm

#20 Freedom First

No offense, but I’m seriously starting to fear for your sanity. You essentially post the identical comment every night in a poor attempt to convince yourself that your sad, scared and meaningless existence amounts to financial mastery. Time to work on those fears of getting ripped off… It’s not too late to start a real life. Good luck!

#72 TRT on 07.03.15 at 11:22 pm

Mark, pleeezzz stop.

Vancouver prices going down for the last 2 years???? Man, you are beyond help.

PS Good grammar does not make you smart. Far from the truth.

#73 Andrew Woburn on 07.03.15 at 11:23 pm

If you can get past the moronic headline, this article point out that the new widened Panana Canal will, for the first time ever, allow the transit of LNG vessels. This may have significant effects on world pricing and distribution of liquid natural gas.

http://seekingalpha.com/article/3296425-finally-passing-gas-10-winners-and-losers-of-the-panama-canal-expansion?ifp=0

#74 T. Hamanaka on 07.03.15 at 11:25 pm

Looks like HAM is spreading its tentacles and becoming…OCTOHAM…time for a reality show…
Smoking Man as the doomer Gonzo host, and Garth as the cerebral counter-foil….or vice-versa, hell, make it a call in show and have the bloggers from here flood the lines and twitterspace with questions/comments. Should make for interesting viewing…

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-07-02/salarymen-sidelined-as-chinese-descend-on-japan-property-market

#75 Llewelyn on 07.03.15 at 11:28 pm

Since Garth likes to focus on historical averages to support a 7.0% return over the long haul I would like to point out that the foundation for this average return on investment is GDP growth, inflation and average corporate dividends.

In 2015 GDP has fallen below 3.0% per annum and inflation is being held below 2.0% in most economies. Corporate dividends are tied to profits and there is no guarantee that all companies will enjoy long term profitability, just look at Blackberry or Nortel.

Since I don’t have a crystal ball I am having a bit of difficulty using trends from a time frame when average interest rates exceeded 4.0% per annum and average GDP exceeded 3.0% per annum to project future yields of 7.0% on a balanced investment portfolio.

I don’t know whether the followers of this blog have noticed the shifting percentage of Canadian GDP being generated by sectors of the economy supported by income taxes and consumption taxes, health care for example. If government subsidies and debt were extracted from our GDP the Canadian economy would look pretty anemic.

We are living in different times where long term government bonds and guaranteed investment certificates are being issued at historically low interest rates and producivity seems to be on the skids.

Somehow this disconnect is not providing me with the same level of comfort about our future as the majority of cheerleaders.

Not trying to be negative here. I’m just trying to determie if a 7.0% return on investment is really a target that the current global economy can deliver without a more significant contribution from inflation.

#76 will on 07.03.15 at 11:37 pm

Haha smoking man #6, leonard cohen nancy was alone. that’s good. haven’t heard that for a looooong time. of course leornard cohen is/was/has always been an idiosyncratic artist of debatable merit with no general application. still, thanx for the reminder. hahaha. btw, seems to me leonard cohen came into some financial difficulties a few years back. maybe he would have some pointers to consider about financial planning. hahaha. hey Garth, how about inviting leonard cohen for insight on financial planning? hahaha.

#77 palebird on 07.03.15 at 11:38 pm

#60 “Somewhere in the Eighties there was an actual real estate crash. You know, one those things that can never happen again. I was the GM of a developer that sold tax sheltered real estate. Thanks to the tender mercies of the Fed, our clients were whomped on closing with an 18% first mortgage and a 50% vacancy rate.”

That is amusing to say the least. I remember that same real estate crash in Toronto. I worked for a charter airline and remember flight crew bragging about their condo investments and how they were set for life, going to retire early, etc. Except it never happened. Things got very ugly, business died off, people lost their jobs and shirts, etc.. Oh well I just kept chugging along and wondered what happened to all the hot air. I didn’t have any money to invest at the time and, besides, it all looked a little frothy to me. Who knew?

#78 S.Bby on 07.03.15 at 11:44 pm

That is not usually the case. When prices fall so does demand. Humans, it turns out, move in herds. — Garth

Yep. People want houses because other people want houses. Fear and greed; the two biggest financial motivators.

#79 Mart Burstym on 07.03.15 at 11:44 pm

Sir

What is your view on this article from the G&M?

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/housing/boomers-and-the-bust-in-vacation-land/article25267033/

“Chinese buyers

Increasingly, demand for Canada’s recreational properties is being driven by a relatively new force: Chinese tourists.

B.C. has long been a popular destination for Chinese tourists, but visitors from mainland China are now venturing farther afield in search of a more authentic Canadian experience. Organized tours are becoming popular, Mr. Johnson says, often featuring a visit to a farm or winery in the Okanagan, a day of fishing and a night at a lodge on Vancouver Island with a traditional Chinese dinner incorporating local Canadian ingredients.

Chinese investors are picking up on the trend, fuelling demand for resorts, hotels and marinas in smaller communities such as Richmond and Kelowna to cater to Chinese tourists. Mr. Johnson has sold several B.C. resorts, marinas, farms and private islands to Chinese buyers.

“The Chinese buyers see things that we don’t see,” he says. “In Canada, our development horizon tends to be three-to-five years. Chinese buyers will say back home in China we do 40-year deals. It’s a legacy property that a company would have for a long time.”

Often Chinese investors are looking at the soaring cost of buying and renting out a home in Vancouver’s overheated market and opting to buy waterfront resort projects instead. That has driven up the prices of properties in some regions that historically were never popular tourist destinations. “I look at some of the prices that are being paid and I think they’re being very aggressive,” Mr. Johnson says.”

#80 Twinkle on 07.03.15 at 11:48 pm

Time for celebration: Garths predictions are coming true after 8 years in Calgary – Now if rest of Canadian cities were as dependent on Oil as the cow city :-(

#81 fleabitten monkey on 07.03.15 at 11:50 pm

#16 Vic Market Alive
Lol! Seriously? I was there 3 times over the last 3 months. Signs for sale, deals being done, but on fire? Peak of 2010? Yeah…not so much.

#82 Conservative on 07.04.15 at 12:01 am

#13

Feel free to move to the US and enjoy their version of interstate highway socialism then.

“The trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money”. – commonly attributed to Margret Thatcher

#83 BS on 07.04.15 at 12:04 am

Appreciate your insight, yet you are an example of people waiting to ‘pounce’ if prices go down. This is exactly why prices won’t go down. Pent up demand, and people on sidelines waiting to buy.

When prices start falling nobody wants to buy. Vancouver RE is not different.

Do you think the Chinese stock market is a buying opportunity right now? It is 30% cheaper today than it was a month ago for the exact same companies. Rarely in bubbles is there any pent up demand because bubbles pull demand forward. For every person waiting on the sidelines there are 10 who bought sooner and invested more than they normally would have because of fear of being priced out. What ever pent up demand that does exist remains on the sidelines as long as prices are trending down.

China’s stock indexes are currently tumbling into a free fall, with panic taking the place of the brash confidence that, until last month, led these markets to rapidly develop into an unsustainable bubble.

http://time.com/3945446/china-stock-markets-plummeting/

#84 Bob Dog on 07.04.15 at 12:09 am

Realtor007 is an accomplished internet troll. Nothing is more satisfying to a troll than getting y’all worked up. Do not feed the trolls.

#85 NoName on 07.04.15 at 12:15 am

#43 Shawn on 07.03.15 at 9:00 pm

“Many will turn their noses up at the idea of shopping at Dollarama and a few (including Garth) even disparage Costco shoppers for some reason (probably the entertainment value and just to get a reaction).”

it is not snobbery why some people don’t shop in dollar stores, somehow value and quality is left out of items that stores like dollar stores sells.
you can argue that pencils and paper is same, but there is more to it.

After I read book called retail anarchy I cringe every time when I see one…

google books
retail anarchy food recall
read pages 38-44

#86 Joseph R.. on 07.04.15 at 12:19 am

#18 omg the original on 07.03.15 at 7:34 pm

It’s called Nominal rigidity, or “price-stickiness” and it was described by Keynes in his famous “The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money” , published din 1936. It was part of his main criticism of classical economics (Smith and Ricardo).

Keynes was interested as to why workers will fight tooth and nail to resist any wage cuts, even when the economy is in deflation: when the economy is in deflation, your own Purchasing Power increases. As such, if classical economics was true, workers would accept a lower wages as their standard of living remain the same.

The same rule can also applies to well-regulated markets, like real estate in Canada (we didn’t have NINJA loans). That’s why Real estate isn’t going implode but either remain stable or go down slightly in price as interests rate go up. That will happen over many years, making real estate a very bad investment.

I don’t recall Garth using that term but he constantly mentions how wrong the Zero guy or gold-pumpers are wrong in their view of the economy. That is the reason why.

#87 Nosty, etc. on 07.04.15 at 12:23 am

“And the media’s no help, decimated economically as it is. When markets fall, it’s on the front page. When they soar, it’s nowhere. Education? That’s a joke. Daily we turn out graduates who think TFSA is a designer drug.”

A few days ago, one article I read said that since 2014, over 100 papers had either gone to a net-based paper or had ceased publishing entirely.

A second mentioned that production (composing room setting ads and classified ads, where I used to work) had been outsourced to smaller countries which have no unions. It appears that I had the stroke at the right time!
*
Spectacle, Godth, swl1976, SMan, shanks and a few others — here’s some light weekend reading for you!

Wonder how much the TPP and TiSA have set up FATCA, if at all? Possibly this is why SArabia is considering switching alliances; Japan – Canada Goin’ down!

#88 Carpe Diem on 07.04.15 at 12:25 am

Firstly,

Carpe the what ever Diem – get an original name … please!!!

Second,

#48 Gurdeep K. on 07.03.15 at 9:15 pm

….

I’ve had 4 in the past, easy for me, best in the world in my field expertise. Hard to beilive im sure. But when Microsoft has you on a retainer, the last go to guy. Well either I’m the worlds greatest bull shitter. Or I’m good.
—————–

Microsoft largely hires university grads under 35. Actually anyone in tech does this.

~~~~~~~

IT, Programmers and management consultants … last to go guy …

Who cares? There are lots of people that are specialists and really smart. In the end, you are replaceable!!!

You got a couple of good contracts. Great! Keep milking.

But that’s a linear revenue stream. The team of you.

You need to be repeatable, clone-able and exponential to really matter.

Microsoft uses you to be exponential and keeps you linear.

Just like a good slave.

BTW. Whatever about less than 35. At 48, it’s the year you figure out you exit strategy …..

They just want you to be slaves until past that.

And keep being slaves.

#89 Bob Dog on 07.04.15 at 12:27 am

#49
Yes the government steals less from corporations and more from people to maintain the roads that corporations use. No roads would be built by corporations unless short term profit was involved.

The government is not the enemy. Greedy banks and corporations are. People seem to have lost touch with the fact that corporations exist for the benefit of humanity. Humanity does not exist for the benefit of corporations.

#90 will on 07.04.15 at 12:31 am

hey nancy, will you marry me?

I rent a beautiful basement suite facing broadway avenue. you might like it. bus stop less than 1oo meters away. great clubs just down the street. i think you might like me. I’m financially conservative and loaded. i also write poetry but not in a leonard cohen way so nothing to worry about there. well let’s leave it up to Garth. Garth?

#91 Christopher Lackey on 07.04.15 at 12:50 am

Let’s all write to those 18,000 condo owners at 1 am on friday night. “Hey, yeah I’m really interested. Can I come see it tomorrow? $469k for a 1 + den with $380 maintenance fees and $275 property tax just sounds like a dynamite investment opportunity!”

Follow up phone conversation “Yeah…uh-huh…do you know what a cap rate is? I thought not. *click*”

#92 Mike T. on 07.04.15 at 12:56 am

why is the law so complicated that you need to go to fancy schools for so long?

who does that benefit?

if the elites work so hard to make sure people in general are financially illiterate….do they tell the truth about other things like science, history, or astronomy?

probably not right?

we’ve used cars for over 100 years, no one?, no one!, not one person in 100 years thought of something better?

it’s not just your finances, it’s everything

#93 Joseph R. on 07.04.15 at 1:08 am

“That is not usually the case. When prices fall so does demand. Humans, it turns out, move in herds. — Garth”

Human desires are unlimited: I never seen people wanting less 60″ TVs and laptops because you can buy them cheaper now than you done a decade ago.

#94 Karl hungus on 07.04.15 at 1:21 am

#56

Ah yes so your one anecdotal story about your “friend” gives the whole picture about what’s happening in edmonton. Gotcha

#95 Has anyone seen this? on 07.04.15 at 1:35 am

http://hellenicinsider.com/how-the-troika-is-doing-everything-in-their-power-to-scare-greece-into-a-yes-vote/

(how did that work out in the recent Vancouver vote?)

#96 Debtfree on 07.04.15 at 1:51 am

Calf torture fest in 2015 is bad enough . Liz may being there ? I’ve lost my compass . Animal torture and death flogged for entertainment ? Barbarismo.

#97 debtified on 07.04.15 at 2:11 am

Oh please, please, tell me Nancy is still single. :D

#98 Black sheep on 07.04.15 at 2:14 am

A lot of 50% off in retail stores all over YVR, empty food courts, only things that are busy: costco and dolarama

*****************************************
Which raises the question: Why are those two stores doing well?

Good answer, except that the guy is wrong. There’s no retail slump in Vancouver.

Houses, cars, designer goods are all selling very well.

#99 Turtle on 07.04.15 at 2:14 am

Re: Freedom First

Come on, man, stop embarrasing yourself already. Free from commitment, free from kids, free from all the fun you can have by having a family.

If you choose not to have kids… keep it to yourself. Don’t start a church “freedom from kids first”. This is nonsense. I am deeply sorry for you, man.

I know who you are. You are the Savings Account from Donna’s story (Happily ever after)… You milk yourself one day at a time until you are all gone and there is nothing left…

Do something, man. Invest yourself, diversify.

Why do you hate women so much?
You have so many rules, how can you be free?
Do you understand that you are a self prisoner, not a freedom first man?

#100 West side Renter on 07.04.15 at 2:44 am

Hey Nancy. I’m you only 10 years further along. I had bought at your age but sold for a profit that now spins off 7%. I save 50%, I travel, I buy what I want and my career continues to challenge, inspire and keep me intellectually engaged. I rent and dream of owning but the rational part of me and my savvy neurosurgeon husband won’t let it happen. And my cohort feels sorry for me! The jokes on them.

#101 waiting on the westcoast on 07.04.15 at 3:23 am

Garth – my wife won’t let me bid… The horror… The horror…

My daughter and I are in HK and I am explaining to her that this is an example of having little land left to develop and not like Vancouver/Fraser Valley. Even then, they are building two new islands of the airport on Lantau (one as a commercial/entertainment district and one just residential). Many 50+ story towers going up everywhere.

Vancouverites are in for a nasty lesson on perceived value soon….

#102 Luke on 07.04.15 at 3:59 am

Garth, you can’t honestly believe that raising the minimum wage is a detriment to the economy or business? One only has to look at history beginning with Ford calling the bullshit on trickle down theory to realize it’s all greed. Grow up and understand that while you may be right in housing, putting more money in the hands of people who will spend it is far more productive than adding it to some rich fellows Swiss bank account.

#103 Victoria Real Estate Update on 07.04.15 at 4:03 am

# 16 Victoria Market Alive

You are probably a realtor. Lately we have seen a lot of this on Garth’s site.

You wrote that: “It’s time to call BS on your outdated numbers with factual calculations. For those interested, here are real stats with real graphs showing that the Victoria market is, relatively speaking, on fire.”

Let’s use updated numbers with factual calculations and real graphs (based on the local RE board’s sales stats) to conclude that Victoria’s market is not on fire. In fact, updated SFH sales numbers, factual calculations and real graphs prove that the performance of Victoria’s market in 2015 has been relatively weak and disappointing.

Updated SFH sales numbers (from Victoria’s RE board) show that, so far this year, SFH sales (January through June) have been significantly below Victoria’s long-term average.

I’ve proved several times, with factual calculations, that 2007 was an average year for SFH sales in Greater Victoria (let me know if you’d like to see these calculations).

. .Total (Yearly) Single Family Home Sales. .
. . . . . . . . Greater Victoria. . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . .Compared to 2007. . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
1989. . . . . . . . . . . ****************
2007. . . . . . . . . . . *
2012. . .**********
———————————————————————
. . . .-40%. . . . . . .0%. . . . . . . . . . .+60%

(source: Victoria’s board)

Realtors have posted comments claiming that comparisons of SFH sales should go back only 8 or 10 years. Of course they want that. Here’s why:

2012: lowest SFH sales total since 1984
2013: second lowest SFH sales total since 1984
2011: third lowest SFH sales total since 1984

(source: Victoria’s board)
(not population adjusted)

To get a true picture of Victoria’s long-term average, we must use sales data from further back than 8 or 10 years. I’ve used data from 1986 to present.

Factoring in 2015’s record-low interest rates reveals that the performance of Victoria’s market has been extremely weak in 2015.

As I said, 2007 was an average year for SFH sales in Victoria. In June 2007, 5-year fixed rates were at 5.79%. In June 2015, 5-year fixed rates were at 2.48% (second chart).

Anyone who knows anything about real estate knows that lowering interest rates this much has a powerful stimulative effect on a housing market.

As a result, SFH sales in 2015 should be breaking records each month. Instead we have seen below average sales. I’ve proved this with real stats and factual calculations.

You obviously lack the ability to see the big picture.

Victoria’s relatively weak market will weaken substantially as 5-year fixed rates begin to rise this fall.

#104 Mike in Toronto on 07.04.15 at 4:46 am

I was in Chicago recently, I learned a few things.

My GF was talking to a fellow at a party about his house. He picked it up a few years ago for $150k, then put $50k of renos into it. She quietly asked me “does he mean this is a condo?” – she was referring to his refinished basement. She couldn’t believe that we could pay cash for a house in Chicago, but the same money for the same house would be a downpayment in a bidding war for 30 years of indebtedness in Toronto.

I also learned that Chicago is larger than Toronto, with a higher population, higher population density, and much larger metropolitan area. Making me wonder how Toronto is the 4th largest city in North America.

It was nice to see no cranes, no mega-construction. It was clean and quiet. Felt like 1990s Toronto, only bigger with architecture, history and no inferiority complex.

#105 NoName on 07.04.15 at 6:56 am

#?? NoName

in my previous post there might be a sentence that can be very easily taken out of contekst, I apologized.

#106 NoName on 07.04.15 at 6:57 am

-ed.

#107 maxx on 07.04.15 at 7:38 am

#36 Crazy Crocket on 07.03.15 at 8:38 pm

“So the roaches got stopped at the border. Just top the pizza with real estate agents. I see no difference except a slightly more bitter taste.”

Bwaaa-haaa-haaaa!! Excellent!

#108 Axehead on 07.04.15 at 8:21 am

#13 Bobble Dog

About socialism (yes, it’s not as extreme as communism, but it’s the same philosophy), Margaret Thatcher said it best: ‘Socialism is a great concept, until you run out of other people’s money to spend.’

Watch what you ask for, cause you might just get it. like Alberta.

#109 Steve French on 07.04.15 at 8:36 am

yo Garth there are media stories down under of significant flows of illegal laundered money being moved internationally into the Australian housing sector.

if this happening in Canada, don’t you think this should be regulated e.g. By requesting the data on Canadian citizenship and watching overseas financial transfers involved in real estate transactions?

you said previously it was bad policy to request such basic documentation as it would raise transaction costs for no benefit.

But what happens if overseas investment into Canadian real estate is linked to international money laundering and criminal activity. don’t you think that the Cqnadian authorities have the obligation to request basic documentation from purchasers to avoid and control that scenario?

#110 Gurdeep K. on 07.04.15 at 8:38 am

Microsoft largely hires university grads under 35. Actually anyone in tech does this.
……

Is that what you think Igate.. Don’t tell me you fell for my rivet bucking story…

Idiot.
……
All you have is make believe stories.

#111 Dominoes Lining Up on 07.04.15 at 9:20 am

Some big dominoes that many have not been paying attention to are falling in on the GTA.

A slow real estate implosion from the fringes of cottage country inwards towards the GTA continues, mostly unnoticed by granite-licking urbanites.

Look at what has been happening with recreational properties – a quiet disaster that few talk about.

It seems Boomers just don’t have the money or interest to buy in Muskoka etc… Time share properties have been auctioned off for fractions of original prices.

Muskoka’s economic state means now it has the highest increase in % of people on social assistance in the entire province of Ontario.

This speaks to the financial straits of so many who have plowed everything into their one overpriced urban “asset” and cannot even consider a cottage.

And pity the fools in this article who bought into a golf resort near Ucluelet B.C., where “it rains 290 days a year”, lol.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/housing/boomers-and-the-bust-in-vacation-land/article25267033/

The same also goes for other recreational purchases.

Anyone buying a brand new RV is surely amongst the greatest fools of all time – little aftermarket demand and huge depreciation (probably why there have been so many desperate RV ads on tv recently)

Same for boats. You can find many boats offered for “free” – all you have to do is pay dockage fees. The rest of the prices are quite cheap generally and very few people want the work and ongoing payments associated with being a boater.

When almost half of all boomers and those older are being forced into retirement sooner than they wanted to, all these extra toys and second homes will continue to rapidly depreciate.

Get out of cottage country while you can, if you are counting on the value of that property staying where it is.

(If you just happen to love mosquito bites and pulling weeds out of the lake by your beachfront as well as three hour commutes each way, knock yourselves out)

#112 Tri State Pat on 07.04.15 at 9:44 am

” Everybody has an agenda”

Four words that mean a lot.

#113 TheAwakenedOne on 07.04.15 at 9:48 am

Man, I see wisdom here: somehow Nancy seems to be a much better investment than a 400 sqt condo here in Van

Will ya take me Nancy??
I can cook like a real man…
Oh yes, really, baby
though I’m not the best
but I don’t torture calves or pets:
I give them love, you know
Take me now, to eternity
Let’s sail, eat seaweed and fish
Forget this housing insanity
I promise you Nancy:
You’ll be happier with me
than crazy friends & relatives…
Love,
@}–,-‘—

#114 Daisy Mae on 07.04.15 at 10:03 am

#13: “An October NDP win is the only thing that might keep me in Canada.”

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

Businesses will move south and take their jobs with them. Seen it happen repeatedly in BC.

#115 Nagraj on 07.04.15 at 10:11 am

MY PETA EXPERIENCE by Honey Child

Long ago In Washington DC, Aunt Nelly, an old Episcopalian church lady with a Southern drawl, roped me into driving her TOO EARLY IN THE MORNING to the courthouse in Richmond, VA, where we met up with all the other remarkably well-dressed Episcopalian PETA supporters. PETA was suing for custody of the NIH monkeys.
Nelly, big hat and white gloves, was a perfectionist so I’m stuck in a three piece suit and it’s hot as hell.
I’m (half dead already) setting up their grisly photo display in fronna the courthouse and along comes the tv people. They ask me – I, who know nothing about the NIH monkeys but love drama, point to the photos and say, “You can see this monkey is suffering horribly. Horribly! You can see that that monkey is in extreme pain. Extreme pain! Etc.”

To my utter consternation (and shock) there was no AC in the packed courtroom. Just three ceiling fans (and three judges). But the Episcopalian PETA ladies had brought fans! Fancy fans. “This was mah grandmotha’s from Charlotte, Ah think it’s French.”

We all went to lunch around the corner (I’m now 3/4 dead, what with no breakfast and quasi-heat stroke). Luckily there was AC. It was a great restaurant actually and, without thinking, I ordered their fabulous salami sandwich special. Suddenly a dead silence. Nelly blanches. I switched to a – salad.

On the way out one of the well-dressed Episcopalian PETA ladies put a gloved hand endearingly on my arm and said, “You know, honey child, there IS a kind of shrimp we do eat, it’s lackin’ a nervous system.” I was close to passing out.

#116 Setting the Record Straight on 07.04.15 at 10:14 am

@103 Victoria Real estate update

I may be mistaken but I do not recall a reply to my earlier criticisms of your methodology concerning sales and population growth, as well as changing demographics. You assume sales should rise at the same rate as population rises in order to determine an “average” sales year.

#117 Daisy Mae on 07.04.15 at 10:19 am

#34: “Damn straight, cause you know the best women out there hate kids, living together and any kind of commitment.”

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

The women likely think Freedom First will change his core beliefs…..’cause they are, well, special.

#118 ANON on 07.04.15 at 10:35 am

“On the Internet, for example everything has equal weight.”

Not everything. Compounding math is still the unconditional absolute, and gives the correct explanation, as long as what you owe does not get confused with the future value you dream of. Anatocism (tokos: a bringing forth, birth, fig. interest, usury, token) the birth of token-ized promises, is what makes civilizations, and then breaks them without fail. It is simply impossible to fight such an astounding force, so you must keep riding it (down as of now into the future) as best as you can.
Understanding this helps a lot in quieting down the wailing cognitive dissonance on the internet and in real life. An educated person such as Nancy should have no problem understanding it. However, accepting it as the universal truth instead of accepting an ideology, dogma, along with hatred for a different ideology (commis, cappies, soccies), or blaming cultural groups, may take years, or, if history is any indication, the acceptance never, ever happens.

#119 Daisy Mae on 07.04.15 at 11:24 am

#102 Luke: “…putting more money in the hands of people who will spend it is far more productive than adding it to some rich fellows Swiss bank account.”

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

Raising the minimum wage will result in ALL workers demanding more. This will lead to a continual round of one union strike after another across the country.

#120 bsant54 on 07.04.15 at 11:24 am

18,218 condos in Kijiji (Toronoto GTA) Garth.

My number was TO. — Garth

#121 Broke Dick on 07.04.15 at 11:34 am

#43 Shawn on 07.03.15 at 9:00 pm
Why are Costco and Dollarama busy?
————————————————-

Welcome back Shawn.
You were true to your word, no posting til after July 1.

Wish Mark would take a vaction.

#122 rosie "moving forward" in the knowledge that, "this won't end well" on 07.04.15 at 11:34 am

More like a buzz cut.

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/9963b74c-219c-11e5-aa5a-398b2169cf79.html#axzz3ewAI7pOM

#123 Alex N Calgary on 07.04.15 at 11:52 am

Have we forgotten how Carner and F and how the Cons didn’t save a dime in Alberta, but its the NDP’s fault for raising taxes to pay for the huge upcoming budget shortfall from no more foreign investment in oilfields projects leading to royalties right? Are you blaming housing on the NDP now? how is this possible after 5yrs of blaming the Cons? For all the years I’ve been reading this blog I used to believe you were about the #’s but this year you’ve been super polarized on your view of AB, which is pretty standard of the rest of canada when it comes to other provinces, I had sort of hoped for more from you though.

Of course oil is back down, and wait till sept when no new projects are announced, Fall will be when it starts to get widespread, maybe the hated (by you) NDP will kick open real estate info into high gear so we can get a proper un-adjusted picture.

#124 What about CMHC? on 07.04.15 at 12:35 pm

Calgary Stampede: Hon GT, one more reason for you to avoid coming to Cow Town!

Media is in shambles, don’t expect them to give you any useful information (If you ignore the media: you’re uninformed; if you follow the media: you’re misinformed).

#125 What about CMHC? on 07.04.15 at 12:41 pm

More on Calgary Stampede: Cockroach pizza is cancelled but 100-dollar hot-dogs and Cannon Lady are still on!

#126 MF on 07.04.15 at 12:48 pm

#9 Realtor007 on 07.03.15 at 7:14 pm

It’s laughable watching this poster’s comments go from putting forth an argument for real estate, which could be debated, to his/her most recent posts which were basically all TREB propaganda.

I specifically love this Toronto world class spin. Lol get real buddy.

Again, go sell some houses to some idiots.

MF

#127 The Summer Wind on 07.04.15 at 1:00 pm

(Victoria Real estate). Victoria’s relatively weak market will weaken substantially as 5-year fixed rates begin to rise this fall.
—–
Not necessarily. People who have studied this have found a counter-intuitive result, where rising interest rates have correlated with rising house prices. This is perhaps because many factors determine house prices, and rising interest rates are also associated with an improving outlook, improving economy, and inflation.

Yes, it’s counter-intuitive, but since you are a data guy with charts in your posts, look up the data yourself, and tell us what the actual data shows about house prices when interest rates rise.

#128 BS on 07.04.15 at 1:23 pm

The same rule can also applies to well-regulated markets, like real estate in Canada (we didn’t have NINJA loans).

The NINJA loans in the US did not become apparent until after the decline in RE. Don’t be so sure the same subprime does not exist here. Nobody will know how much is out there until prices tank.

That’s why Real estate isn’t going implode but either remain stable or go down slightly in price as interests rate go up. That will happen over many years, making real estate a very bad investment.

In other words you are saying it is different here. I don’t think so. RE declined 45% on average in Vancouver in the early 80s when interest rates went up. The British Properties in West Van were down by over 60%. There was more regulation back then and higher downpayment requirements. Our bubble is no different than others where prices have imploded. History has shown regulation in Canada in the past did not prevent the implosion.

#129 Abolish CMHC & ZIRP on 07.04.15 at 1:50 pm

#37 Sheane Wallace – Fully agree CMHC & ZIRP are going to drown C$ to record depths (and debt).

#130 Shawn on 07.04.15 at 1:59 pm

Dollarama and quality

NoName at post 85 responded to my post at 43 as follows (in part):

it is not snobbery why some people don’t shop in dollar stores, somehow value and quality is left out of items that stores like dollar stores sells.
you can argue that pencils and paper is same, but there is more to it.

*****************************************
Actually I am not much of a Dollarama shopper myself but have bought paper cups there when I needed a sleeve.

But quality and value on little mostly consumable items is what Dollarama is all about.

Some dollar stores are smelly junky places.

Dollarama manages to provide a host of little everyday products at very low prices and does offer quality.

It is a major Canadian retail success story under our noses and most people don’t see it.

Every retailer should study them to learn some things. That is exactly what Sam Walton did was study the successful aspects of competitors.

You point me to some book about the evils of some retail practices.

Retailers like Costco, Dollarama and Walmart are all doing a great service for consumers. (Save money. Live better.)

At times (not all times) their stocks have also been wonderful investments.

I studied these retailers in detail on my own. Books like Retail Anarchy have their place but be sure to do your own thinking.

My main message was that people shopping at Dollarama and Costco is not some sign of a poor economy. It’s the intersection of the demand and supply for value (which includes quality). People always want value even in good times. These retailers have grown across all the economic cycles for years. Because they deserved to.

#131 Victoria Real Estate Update on 07.04.15 at 2:02 pm

# 116 Setting the Record Straight

“You assume sales should rise at the same rate as population rises in order to determine an “average” sales year.”

Population adjustment has been used by economists and bankers worldwide for many years.

Population adjusting sales from previous years is necessary to create an apples to apples comparison.

Below are examples of yearly SFH sales totals in Greater Victoria (without population adjustment).

1987 – 4,688 sales
1989 – 5,920
1991 – 5,496
1992 – 5,103
1996 – 3,812
2002 – 4,430
2003 – 4,477
2005 – 4,214

2007 – 4,464

2014 – 3,451

(source: Victoria’s RE board)

Even without population adjustment 2007’s total looks weak when compared to several other (much earlier) years.

Since 1987, Greater Victoria’s population has grown by over 90,000 people (34%) and by over 60,000 (20%) since 1992.

Comparing current sales numbers to 1987 and 1992 without adjusting for population would be unfair and misleading.

Demographics may have changed enough to alter these numbers slightly, but overall population adjusting previous sales totals gives us a much more accurate (apples to apples) comparison.

Realtors hate population adjustment. They know that it makes current sales totals look weaker when compared to sales totals of previous years.

You probably work in the housing industry in some way.

#132 saskatoon on 07.04.15 at 2:03 pm

#102 Luke

government can mandate wages, but it CANNOT mandate productivity.

spoken by someone who has never employed anyone.

additionally, you’re diction is insincere, and reflects misleading leftist propaganda:

“putting more money” in the pockets of poor people ain’t what’s happening with inflated minimum wage laws.

what is actually happening: you are advocating increased, state violence and use of force against those who are employing the poor.

is this what “honest” people do?

do “honest” people encourage direct violence?

and you accuse GARTH of being dishonest?

look those big words up, embrace logic and morality, and get back to me.

#133 Shawn on 07.04.15 at 2:12 pm

Marriage Proposals to Nancy

#90 will on 07.04.15 at 12:31 am

hey nancy, will you marry me?

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

Be sure to buy her a diamond ring from Costco or Bluenile on line for a HUGE savings over the jewelry store prices. Tell her you but the savings into a bigger stone or into the marriage fund. This will impress her sensibilities.

Diamonds are a commodity and come with quality certificates.

But I have to admit the blue box of Tiffanys is worth its weight in gold in terms of cachet.

#134 Herb on 07.04.15 at 2:13 pm

#114 Daisy Mae,

“Businesses will move south and take their jobs with them. Seen it happen repeatedly in BC.”

Also seen it happen repeatedly, in Canada, since NAFTA was negotiated by those darn socialists!

#135 Victoria Real Estate Update on 07.04.15 at 2:20 pm

# 127 The Summer Wind

Prices fall as rates rise.

Your claim that house prices will move higher as rates rise is ridiculous.

Why do prices fall as rates rise?

It’s simple. Fewer potential buyers can qualify for mortgages as interest rates rise. Those that do qualify do so for less and less as rates rise. As a result, prices fall.

It isn’t rocket science.

You won’t convince anyone that rising rates will push house prices higher in Victoria or any city in the world.

Are you on crack?

Janet Yellen would probably laugh if she read what you posted.

#136 Overpriced on 07.04.15 at 2:49 pm

Retail is hurting in vancouver, every mall in the last 8-9 months has a majority of stores with big sale and 30-50%off, might be a marketing strategy… But i doubt it, a friend that works for a financial institution with offices in us, uk, canada is saying the former are bringing more cash with less staff than the later. Deals are smaller and usually mergers and aquisutions in canada, maybe Garth sees a similar trend….
Canada economy is 2-3 years offseted from usa, and is due for a correction, you have seen the first 5 months of 2015 another reading and we are in technical recession. Wait for media to pick up the R word, no HAM will help your mortgage payments.
Follow greece things are getting interesting from now on!

#137 rosie "moving forward" in the knowledge that, "this won't end well" on 07.04.15 at 2:57 pm

Further to post #122

http://news.forexlive.com/!/ft-greek-banks-considering-bail-in-haircut-of-at-least-30-on-deposits-above-8000-20150703

#138 Herb on 07.04.15 at 3:12 pm

“The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money …”

A nice ideological trope, in whatever form Saint Maggie may have iterated it. Thank you, Conservative (#82) and Axehead (#108) for trooping it out once again.

Perhaps you can answer a question that troubles me whenever I see that warhorse: Whose money does “capitalism” spend?

Do capitalists not work for the election of governments that promise to support them? Do these governments not maintain policies, programs and services to enable and enhance business operations? Does capitalism not need and spend “other people’s money” too, or do only capitalists pay taxes?

By all means debate, attack or defend “systems”, but skip the ideological horseshit.

#139 L. Rowland on 07.04.15 at 3:22 pm

I’ve been reading this blog for over a year. My husband was from Cali, I was born in Alberta..daughter has dual citizenship. Wonderful immigrant parents from Europe passed away long ago. Too young. I lived in USA ( kind of..Hawaii ) 18 yrs…husband doesn’t smoke or drink..dies of pancreatic cancer at 52. US medical bills I moved back to Canada, to Tofino, west coast Vancouver Island in 1995. Start a small business…popular surfer cafe ( Tofino the only surfing town in Canada..now quite popular ) but realize I will never get ahead if I do not own the building. Did not renew the 5 yr. lease. Took a job running a small hotel for an elderly Alberta couple who want to move back to Alberta and made a deal. I will defer most of my yearly income and instead..buy 2.5 % shares in the business every year, and option to purchase. They’ll have more money to live on…Their accountants write it up and we all sign. Then I make another deal. For a house. Family with 8 kids want to move to a farm in Saskatchewan. Had just sunk a ton of money into a so-so house… expanding to 3850 sqft ..8 bedrooms, 5 baths..sort of old new mix, almost bankrupt themselves.. had it on the market for over a year and it didn’t sell. Big houses in Calgary subdivisions selling for 185,000.00 at the time. I saw an opportunity…and signed an expensive two year lease with them, so allowing the banks to give them a loan on the Sask farm, for a promise to sell at reduced price, IF I was able to get the down payment and the loan to buy them out in two years. I had thought this thru…the house could pay its own way. I lived in one area, and just rented rooms for two years, Tofino rentals have always been scarce…took on a second job (books for a big family restaurant) Banks giving 5% down and not much interested in due diligence on income in 2004, bought the house…as an income property. Now worth*3 ..Money was very scarce at this time, but all bills paid on time. Have never personally paid the mortgage or expenses on this house…zoned right..high demand for rentals. Started a small third business…vacation rental mngmnt for a few properties..made 1000 clear the first year. Much, much better now. Then a few years back, one of the Alberta partners died suddenly. Agreement in place, and with my equity in the business, after 13 years happily working for them, a nice arrangement for the survivor…bought the hotel with less of a mortgage than the cost of a 1953 bungalow fixer in Calgary today. And corp tax is 13 %. Net income 115,000.00 2014 on top of a small wage. Business professionally valued with bricks and mortar, at 2 mil. ( great Ocean View from all rooms helps! ) Where do I live? in a rent reduced leasehold, as I manage this property for another absentee landholder. My motto..live like a hippy..think like a lawyer. and read a lot.. an armchair economist. Canada and USA. So..20+ years back in Canada, no gov’t job, 13 yrs running someone else’s business making no money ever to save, invested all in excellent income properties..bank of me. America taught me to buy and sell, look for opportunity and take CALCULATED risks, and don’t kid yourself about money, incoming and outgoing. My retirement looks like this…business stable and making money to employ good people…I still do the books, and have enough time off that I can take care of myself…oh and my daughter? brought the US Dollars inherited from father to Canada when CDN was at 76 cents to the US dollar…did not buy a new car or a new house or a trip around the world, even tho she was in her early 20’s …bought a good rental property, at a fair price, with three separate domiciles within, fixed it up herself with help from paid labour. The mortgage and property expenses covered from day one , AND now realizes positive cash flow of +900.00 month AND house will be paid off in 6 yrs.

#140 Bobby on 07.04.15 at 3:22 pm

#16 Victoria Market Alive. You’ve got to be a realtor, what jibberish. I receive the latest market updates, with ask /sell prices and days on market. No it’s not a seller’s market and prices certainly aren’t rising. In fact if you look at bcassessment.ca you will see many are selling for less than they sold for in 2010 -12. And with 910 sales, a real peak and over 4000 properties for sale, it is more like 4+ months of inventory. If the numbers fall back to about 600 next month, it is over 6 months.
Just looking at today’s TC real estate insert, there are a number of price reductions and a few houses I have been watching have been taken off the market.
You can always tell a realtor, they believe their own hype!

#141 april on 07.04.15 at 3:33 pm

#102 – You obviously don’t see the bigger picture.

#142 sam on 07.04.15 at 3:35 pm

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-07-02/calls-grow-for-rate-cut-with-canada-on-recession-brink

#143 Lorne on 07.04.15 at 4:06 pm

#108 Axehead on 07.04.15 at 8:21 am
#13 Bobble Dog

About socialism (yes, it’s not as extreme as communism, but it’s the same philosophy), Margaret Thatcher said it best: ‘Socialism is a great concept, until you run out of other people’s money to spend.’

Watch what you ask for, cause you might just get it. like Alberta.
……….
Or like Norway…if you are lucky!

The sales tax in Norway is 25%, including 15% on food. Lucky? — Garth

#144 Lorne on 07.04.15 at 4:08 pm

#114 Daisy Mae on 07.04.15 at 10:03 am
#13: “An October NDP win is the only thing that might keep me in Canada.”

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

Businesses will move south and take their jobs with them. Seen it happen repeatedly in BC.
…..
Traditional statement….that very rarely occurs!

#145 gut check on 07.04.15 at 4:18 pm

@ Freedom First –

Why do you go out of your way to make yourself look like Ebenezer Scrooge? Your comment added literally nothing to the conversation except to expose your vulnerable and lonely underbelly. I’m certain you believe you were doing the opposite but trust me, that’s not what comes across.

#146 Andrew Woburn on 07.04.15 at 4:33 pm

#138 Herb on 07.04.15 at 3:12 pm
“The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money …”

Does capitalism not need and spend “other people’s money” too, or do only capitalists pay taxes?
==========================

All the money there is ultimately comes from business expenditures and profits so you could reasonably say that only capitalists (and their employees) pay taxes.

#147 SEIZE the damn DAY on 07.04.15 at 4:55 pm

FYI,
Daniel Sedin is selling his Vancouver mansion.

#148 Bill on 07.04.15 at 5:01 pm

DELETED (Anti-Semetic)

#149 Victoria Real Estate Update on 07.04.15 at 5:02 pm

# 140 Bobby

Your input is appreciated. Please keep us informed.

#150 Bill on 07.04.15 at 5:03 pm

You better post this :)
China DOES make our realestate look solid….but it could blow apart anytime….
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/chinas-middle-class-dream-on-shaky-ground/article25142239/

#151 TurnerNation on 07.04.15 at 5:07 pm

Smoking man maybe I’ll signal if I see you out there.

I never know if those idling back cars and Suvs parked there are Uber or Csis ;-)

#152 Godth on 07.04.15 at 5:11 pm

#138 Herb on 07.04.15 at 3:12 pm

Too true. This trope about “free markets” is equally duplicitous. There have never, in the history of civilization, been free markets – meaning independent of states. States enable markets to flourish, how could it be otherwise? Money is a human creation and needs to be regulated.

This Saskatoon character and his ilk like to pretend that ‘every man is an island’ but that’s obviously ludicrous. I’m all for voluntary association and critiquing the monopoly of force by the state, in other words anarchy but we’re so far from ready for self responsibility it’s farcical. We’re headed into something completely otherwise; authoritarian and brain dead. This Ayn Rand sort of neoliberal fascism will fail of course, mighty headwinds are blowing in the natural world (not that we’re not natural but we act like aliens).

Socialism and society, communism and community – humans have been struggling with this balance within civilization since the time of Gilgamesh (and Enkidu) or Cain (and Abel). Civilization takes more than it gives, tribal societies were sharing societies, if you were identified as a sociopathic sort you would be exiled. Go experience the free market by yourself Saskatoon. Alone, you aren’t the top predator anymore. Good luck.

You are one scary dude. — Garth

#153 Godth on 07.04.15 at 5:21 pm

#146 Andrew Woburn on 07.04.15 at 4:33 pm

lol, lol, lol. Wealth comes from the natural world. Money is created by the state (law). Capitalists just exploit both for their own benefit. Grow up.

#154 Godth on 07.04.15 at 5:31 pm

You are one scary dude. — Garth

Your ideology is scary. It’s a Jim Jones drink the kool-aid sort of mass suicide scary. Yeast eat the food available and grow and grow until they create a toxic environment for themselves and have a good ‘ole mass die off. Every human civilization has done the same, it’s just global this time so what the hell, why not? We’re just not that smart, and we’ve put a lot of effort into better ways to kill ourselves.

The War on Terra – Canada vs Australia
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RM3W5XBrVEA

#155 Lorne on 07.04.15 at 5:37 pm

#108 Axehead on 07.04.15 at 8:21 am
#13 Bobble Dog

About socialism (yes, it’s not as extreme as communism, but it’s the same philosophy), Margaret Thatcher said it best: ‘Socialism is a great concept, until you run out of other people’s money to spend.’

Watch what you ask for, cause you might just get it. like Alberta.
……….
Or like Norway…if you are lucky!

The sales tax in Norway is 25%, including 15% on food. Lucky? — Garth

……
Been there. Have many relatives there. Prices and taxes are high…but so is income…it is all relative. Everybody is well looked after and happy. Unfortunately, we cannot say the same thing about Canada…wish we could.

“In Norway, the average household income per capita is USD 33,492 a year. But there is a considerable gap between the richest and poorest – the top 20% of the population earn close to four times as much as the bottom 20%.” Median household income in Canada (2103): $76,550. — Garth

#156 saskatoon on 07.04.15 at 6:21 pm

#138 Herb

you answered your own question by placing capitalism in quotes.

you aren’t talking about capitalists.

#157 saskatoon on 07.04.15 at 6:28 pm

#156 Lorne

another whackjob commie, who cannot distinguish “I” from “We”.

“everybody is happy.”
“we cannot say the same thing about Canada”
“wish we could.”

Those who speak like this ARE the state–individually, they have no personal identity, and are thusly incapable of individual morality, logic, and honor.

The most dangerous of humans.

#158 Ronaldo on 07.04.15 at 6:46 pm

#128 BS

”In other words you are saying it is different here. I don’t think so. RE declined 45% on average in Vancouver in the early 80s when interest rates went up. The British Properties in West Van were down by over 60%. There was more regulation back then and higher downpayment requirements. Our bubble is no different than others where prices have imploded. History has shown regulation in Canada in the past did not prevent the implosion.”

And interest rates only had to double from 11% to 22% to do the job. Today, it would be 2.5% to 5% to have the same effect. Only thing is, we don’t have the rampant inflation as we had back then which was the reason for the rapid rise in interest rates to kill it off. Was funny to watch people running to the bank to get a 22% mortgage fearing rates would go higher. Same craziness back then.

#159 CARPE DIEM the Elder on 07.04.15 at 6:48 pm

Can’t talk about Norway.
But I’ve been to Germany and Holland recently.
It’s sure nice to pay only the price quoted on the menu.
No extra taxes and no tip.
And the food is way better.

#160 Kaganovich on 07.04.15 at 6:50 pm

“In Norway, the average household income per capita is USD 33,492 a year. But there is a considerable gap between the richest and poorest – the top 20% of the population earn close to four times as much as the bottom 20%.” Median household income in Canada (2103): $76,550. — Garth

Huh?

“Money, while it cannot buy happiness, is an important means to achieving higher living standards. In Norway, the average household net-adjusted disposable income per capita is USD 33 492 a year, more than the OECD average of USD 25 908 a year. But there is a considerable gap between the richest and poorest – the top 20% of the population earn close to four times as much as the bottom 20%.” OECD better life index

“Money, while it cannot buy happiness, is an important means to achieving higher living standards. In Canada, the average household net-adjusted disposable income per capita is USD 29 365 a year, more than the OECD average of USD 25 908 a year. But there is a considerable gap between the richest and poorest – the top 20% of the population earn about five times as much as the bottom 20%.”

#161 salonist on 07.04.15 at 6:50 pm

158

The Psychopath’s Bible

http://www.scribd.com/doc/11554313/The-Psychopath-s-Bible

#162 Andrew Woburn on 07.04.15 at 6:52 pm

#154 Godth on 07.04.15 at 5:21 pm
#146 ,Andrew Woburn on 07.04.15 at 4:33 pm

lol, lol, lol. Wealth comes from the natural world. Money is created by the state (law). Capitalists just exploit both for their own benefit. Grow up.
================================

Usually, telling people to “grow up” won’t significantly increase your chances of a respectful hearing. It is also a sure sign that you haven’t.

Let’s try again. All the real wealth in the modern world is extracted from nature by business entities which use state created fiat money to effect economic exchanges. If you tax these entities out of existence or socialize ownership, you soon won’t have any wealth generators left. See – Venezuela.

#163 Leo Trollstoy on 07.04.15 at 6:59 pm

#139

Fantastic story. Kudos to you. Sorry about your husband. Passed too young. Most impressive was your financially independent daughter.

#164 213 fool on 07.04.15 at 7:07 pm

I’m thinking Nancy (33) is really a Greg (45) or something like that.

#165 Lorne on 07.04.15 at 7:12 pm

#108 Axehead on 07.04.15 at 8:21 am
#13 Bobble Dog

About socialism (yes, it’s not as extreme as communism, but it’s the same philosophy), Margaret Thatcher said it best: ‘Socialism is a great concept, until you run out of other people’s money to spend.’

Watch what you ask for, cause you might just get it. like Alberta.
……….
Or like Norway…if you are lucky!

The sales tax in Norway is 25%, including 15% on food. Lucky? — Garth

……
Been there. Have many relatives there. Prices and taxes are high…but so is income…it is all relative. Everybody is well looked after and happy. Unfortunately, we cannot say the same thing about Canada…wish we could.

“In Norway, the average household income per capita is USD 33,492 a year. But there is a considerable gap between the richest and poorest – the top 20% of the population earn close to four times as much as the bottom 20%.” Median household income in Canada (2103): $76,550. — Garth
……..
A little misleading, Garth:

In Norway, the average household net-adjusted disposable income per capita is USD 33 492 a year, more than the OECD average of USD 25 908 a year. But there is a considerable gap between the richest and poorest – the top 20% of the population earn close to four times as much as the bottom 20%.

In Canada, the average household net-adjusted disposable income per capita is USD 29 365 a year, more than the OECD average of USD 25 908 a year. But there is a considerable gap between the richest and poorest – the top 20% of the population earn about FIVE TIMES as much as the bottom 20%.

Stats from OECD Better Life Index.
….
From Wikipedia, which I realize, is not always accurate:
Median Household Income 2011
1 Luxembourg
2 Norway 51489
7 Canada 41 280

Per capita household income (OECD) 2011
1 US
2 Norway 34791
6 Canada 30030

#166 Andrew Woburn on 07.04.15 at 7:14 pm

#77 palebird on 07.03.15 at 11:38 pm
I worked for a charter airline and remember flight crew bragging about their condo investments and how they were set for life, going to retire early, etc.
========================

One of the most successful tax shelter promoters of the time was a former airline pilot. In those days, pilots made much more money than today and many were in the highest tax bracket. You could get them into a tax shelter condo with no net cash outlay using the magic of leverage and write-offs. It was all fun until mortgage rates spiked, jobless tenants moved back with Mom and CRA started asking awkward questions about the validity of the write-offs. Prepare to meet thy banker.

I would guess there were a lot fewer pilots taking early retirement after that. Maybe that’s one reason the airlines were able to force down salaries for younger pilots.

#167 old gringo on 07.04.15 at 7:18 pm

Buddy on the golf course told me today

“Mexico might have the CARTEL as a problem but at least not the NDP.”

Thought that was pretty funny.

#168 Lorne on 07.04.15 at 7:20 pm

#156 Lorne

another whackjob commie, who cannot distinguish “I” from “We”.

“everybody is happy.”
“we cannot say the same thing about Canada”
“wish we could.”

Those who speak like this ARE the state–individually, they have no personal identity, and are thusly incapable of individual morality, logic, and honor.

The most dangerous of humans.
…..
Thanks for your obviously well researched description of myself…..”no morals, logic or honour…..a dangerous commie! ” Wow, not sure what to say. Wish I possessed your superb judgment skills…or maybe not!!

#169 espressobob on 07.04.15 at 7:27 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fgjfi1DU1mQ

Begs the question?

#170 Washed Up Lawyer on 07.04.15 at 7:36 pm

Lucky Montreal. A happy story to unfold this year.

Rakeem Cato.

He whupped the Stamps last night.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n05xRojLuao

A star is born.

I know. I know. The CFL blog is down the hall but Calgary real estate is so yesterday.

#171 crossbordershopper on 07.04.15 at 8:23 pm

all this daily talk about real estate, the pan am games are going on, we should all go out and have some fun. its canada in july we only have a few months of good weather so we should take advantage of it.
i still dont understand why people care about the value of their homes, mines worth 500, great, who cares, i am not moving or selling, so when i die in 40 years it might be relevent otherwise, i am here till the guy with a pitchfork comes knocking. i honestly think thats the way most people think, ive been living here 20 years, and i havent even thought about being tired living here. who moves?
my parents built a home in 1971, lived in it, still do and same thing, they will leave when the guy in black comes knocking, where do you think he is going in a retirement home? florida? he already bought is plot, his final resting home.
i think people spend way too much time talking about drywall. enjoy yourself before you die

#172 NoName on 07.04.15 at 8:28 pm

#160 CARPE DIEM the Elder

One way of hiding a tax is a blending it product price, so you see only one member, like all taxes hiden In price of gas on gas station . I remember few years ago if you pay gas with gas station attendant on gas station, printed receipt would brake down of all taxes. I remember once looking at the receipt and taxes were almost 1/2 of the bill.
Remember megintis health tax blended and in with income tax so people would forget, out of sight out of mind. Keep on mind that Germans enjoy one of the longest paid vacations comparing to western countries, we dont.

#173 Smoking Man on 07.04.15 at 8:46 pm

Do you guys remember Old Man

He’s been spotted in London.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eadNfgGzic

#174 Love my Kia on 07.04.15 at 8:52 pm

About socialism (yes, it’s not as extreme as communism, but it’s the same philosophy), Margaret Thatcher said it best: ‘Socialism is a great concept, until you run out of other people’s money to spend.’

Watch what you ask for, cause you might just get it. like Alberta.
……….
Or like Norway…if you are lucky!

The sales tax in Norway is 25%, including 15% on food. Lucky? — Garth
————————————————
Norwegians are also the happiest people on earth. The answer to your ‘Lucky?’ question Garth has been answered.

Sounds like utopia to me!
http://www.forbes.com/sites/christopherhelman/2013/10/29/the-worlds-happiest-and-saddest-countries-2013/

#175 Leo Trollstoy on 07.04.15 at 9:37 pm

But I’ve been to Germany and Holland recently. It’s sure nice to pay only the price quoted on the menu.

Too bad the only thing you can eat are sausages.

#176 Shawn on 07.04.15 at 9:58 pm

Why Should Anyone Click Your Link?

#169 espressobob on 07.04.15 at 7:27 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fgjfi1DU1mQ

Begs the question?

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

The question that is actually begged here, is what is this link about? Why would anyone bother to click without at least some clue what this is about? Cat video?

Help a reader out.

#177 Setting the Record Straight on 07.04.15 at 10:36 pm

@171
“i am here till the guy with a pitchfork comes knocking. i honestly think thats the way most people think, ive been living here 20 years, and i havent even thought about being tired living here. who moves?
my parents built a home in 1971, lived in it, still do and same thing, they will leave when the guy in black comes knocking”

$$$$$$$$$$$
That is quite a sad tale. Who moves? Well the European settlers of NA moved. Young people who leave for the U.S. move. People who leave Newfoundland for Fort Mac move. Managers who are posted to Europe by their employers move.

#178 BS on 07.04.15 at 10:43 pm

Been there. Have many relatives there. Prices and taxes are high…but so is income…it is all relative. Everybody is well looked after and happy. Unfortunately, we cannot say the same thing about Canada…wish we could.

I used to work for BP which had considerable operations in Norway where I spent a fair bit of time years ago. The standard of living in Norway is much lower for the average family compared to here in Canada. Workers in Norway begged to be transferred to Canada. For example only 10% of the population in Oslo lives in a SFH. Very few families have 2 vehicles and the one they do have is usually an economy car. Going out for dinner is almost unheard of for a normal person or family. Fresh fruits and vegetables are considered a luxury. The taxes are atrocious. Gas is double, alcohol is triple, the Vat tax is 25%, income tax starts at 50% for low wage earners, etc. In Norway most people live like the lower middle class here.

Norway produces more oil per capita than Saudi Arabia and well over 5 times that of Canada per capita. Canada’s cost to produce the oil is also much higher per barrel leaving much less for royalties and tax.

Norway proves socialism is a failure. With all that oil money the standard of living should be much higher.

#179 Setting the Record Straight on 07.04.15 at 10:48 pm

@174
About socialism (yes, it’s not as extreme as communism, but it’s the same philosophy), Margaret Thatcher said it best: ‘Socialism is a great concept, until you run out of other people’s money to spend.’

Watch what you ask for, cause you might just get it. like Alberta.
……….
Or like Norway…if you are lucky!

The sales tax in Norway is 25%, including 15% on food. Lucky? — Garth
————————————————
Norwegians are also the happiest people on earth. The answer to your ‘Lucky?’ question Garth has been answered.

Sounds like utopia to me!
http://www.forbes.com/sites/christopherhelman/2013/10/29/the-worlds-happiest-and-saddest-countries-2013/

&&&&&&
From your source
“About socialism (yes, it’s not as extreme as communism, but it’s the same philosophy), Margaret Thatcher said it best: ‘Socialism is a great concept, until you run out of other people’s money to spend.’

Watch what you ask for, cause you might just get it. like Alberta.
……….
Or like Norway…if you are lucky!

The sales tax in Norway is 25%, including 15% on food. Lucky? — Garth
————————————————
Norwegians are also the happiest people on earth. The answer to your ‘Lucky?’ question Garth has been answered.

Sounds like utopia to me!
http://www.forbes.com/sites/christopherhelman/2013/10/29/the-worlds-happiest-and-saddest-countries-2013/

“About socialism (yes, it’s not as extreme as communism, but it’s the same philosophy), Margaret Thatcher said it best: ‘Socialism is a great concept, until you run out of other people’s money to spend.’

Watch what you ask for, cause you might just get it. like Alberta.
……….
Or like Norway…if you are lucky!

The sales tax in Norway is 25%, including 15% on food. Lucky? — Garth
————————————————
Norwegians are also the happiest people on earth. The answer to your ‘Lucky?’ question Garth has been answered

&&&&&&

“Norway has ranked first on Legatum’s list in each of the past five years. It’s helped along by the fact that its homogenous and egalitarian population of 4 million is economically bolstered by vast troves of offshore oil and gas. “

#180 Squirrel meat on 07.04.15 at 10:56 pm

#175 Leo Trollstoy on 07.04.15 at 9:37 pm

But I’ve been to Germany and Holland recently. It’s sure nice to pay only the price quoted on the menu.

Too bad the only thing you can eat are sausages.
——————————-
Beer.

#181 Setting the Record Straight on 07.04.15 at 10:57 pm

@131
“You probably work in the housing industry in some way.”
&&&&&&
You really should apologize. And donate $100 to a homeless charity.

I offer a criticism and your response is a gratuitous attack on my character suggesting I am a stalking horse for the housing industry. On a real estate blog any commentator associated with the housing industry should make that clear. Failure to do so us mendacious.

#182 Setting the Record Straight on 07.04.15 at 11:19 pm

@131 Victoria Real Estate Update

In 1995 there were 924 condo sales in Greater Victoria.
In 2014 there were 1623 condo sales in Greater Victoria

In 1995 there were 3117 SFH sales.
In 2014 there were 3451 SFH sales.

Total 1995 4 041
Total 2014 5074

Perhaps you have left out an important consideration in your assessment of the numbers.

Have SFH prices risen relative to incomes and the price of condos suggesting substitution?

Population growth RATES may be important, separately from the population growth The growth rate seems to have declined over the last 20 odd years.

So suggesting that a decline in the per capita sales of SFH is a definitive measure of market dynamics seems a bit simplistic to me.

I have no idea whether the Victoria market is hot or in the dumps. And no dog in that hunt.

#183 Lorne on 07.04.15 at 11:42 pm

#178 BS
In Norway most people live like the lower middle class here.

Norway produces more oil per capita than Saudi Arabia and well over 5 times that of Canada per capita. Canada’s cost to produce the oil is also much higher per barrel leaving much less for royalties and tax.

Norway proves socialism is a failure. With all that oil money the standard of living should be much higher.
………..
Well, you certainly chose an apt screen name!
“Most people live like the lower middle class here”….certainly not what I noticed when I was there and stayed in various homes. Wonder how that works into the “Happiness” quotient?

“Noway proves that socialism is a failure….with all that oil money the standard of living should be much higher”.
Surely you realize that, as a result of all the oil the country has a sovereign wealth fund of over 1 trillion CDN, which provides a solid standard of living and pension for all….hence ranking #1 on the happiness scale, as mentioned by others. If that sounds like a failure, well, I guess our definitions do not match up!

#184 Nancy on 07.04.15 at 11:44 pm

All these desperate loser guys here, digging for gold, without even having a look at me. Pathetic 7% virgins.

#185 Bratwurst and Beer on 07.05.15 at 12:16 am

#175 Leo Trollstoy on 07.04.15 at 9:37 pm
But I’ve been to Germany and Holland recently. It’s sure nice to pay only the price quoted on the menu.

Too bad the only thing you can eat are sausages.
————–
Stupid ignoramus.
We stayed in a hotel in Haarlem, outside of Amsterman,
And I had the best cod dish ever for € 18.
No tax and no tip.

#186 Steve French on 07.05.15 at 12:49 am

There’s a disturbance in the force.

The HERD is starting to move.

Greece, China.

Spidey-senses.

I believe an ill wind bloweth our way.

Lightening on the horizon.

Darkness on the edge of town.

Get strapped in.

#187 Godth on 07.05.15 at 5:43 am

#162 Andrew Woburn on 07.04.15 at 6:52 pm
If you tax these entities out of existence or socialize ownership, you soon won’t have any wealth generators left. See – Venezuela.
—————————————————————
If we negotiate for wages they might leave too. If we require some environmental protections they might leave too. Oh right, they already have!

Maybe we should pay them to stay. Oh right, we already do! Thank you for your greatness wealth generators, for the first time in human history people are able to make things.

In fact we’re making so much crap we’re drowning in it, our conspicuous consumption just can’t keep up. Planned obsolescence helps but we really can’t throw all this wealth out fast enough because the house is overflowing.

So much wealth.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-j_Zohgg4S8

We’re so good at generating wealth (garbage) that when I listen to the way some smart people talk they keep saying industrial civilization will be finished in 20-30 yrs. Yeah, job done – we consumed everything and had a big boom boom. Gold star for everyone!

Grow up.

#188 Herb on 07.05.15 at 8:19 am

#178 BS,

JACKASS!!! (And that, Garth, IS a personal attack on a BSer.)

http://www.numbeo.com/quality-of-life/rankings_by_country.jsp

#189 Smoking Man on 07.05.15 at 8:32 am

OXI Clean

Great new product for stain and debt removal.

#190 Squirrel meat on 07.05.15 at 10:36 am

#188 Herb on 07.05.15 at 8:19 am

#178 BS,

JACKASS!!! (And that, Garth, IS a personal attack on a BSer.)

http://www.numbeo.com/quality-of-life/rankings_by_country.jsp
—————————————
Saudi Arabia looking good on the list – ahead of Norway, US and Canada!

Venezuela is negative!

#191 BillyBob on 07.05.15 at 11:05 am

Hmmm. There are many valid targets for things being not as good as they are said to be – but Norway is not one of them. Just got back from Oslo and it is a pretty fabulous place. Food, drink, beautiful women, beautiful, clean place. Perhaps they were hiding all those lower-middle-class people somewhere, I dunno?

Of course you can’t even begin to compare it to Canada, totally different scales of geography and population, for starters. But trying to put down Norway (or the Scandi countries in general) to try and make Canada seem better is a bit of a loser’s game.

I’m betting that the overwhelming majority of people talking down Norway have never even left Canada…

And Germany? Also a great deal more refined than Canada. Light years ahead in pretty much every way. They’re achieving economically what they failed militarily – domination in Europe.

A key difference from Canada is that they don’t spend much time trying to validate themselves the way Canadians do.

I love Canada but some of the posts here just make us sound like such hicks. (German food is only “sausages”, etc…)

#192 NoName on 07.05.15 at 11:40 am

#130 Shawn

thank you for lengthy reply, I do agree with you that companies like Costco Walmart and Dollarama should be studied buy someone who wants to replicate their success, but all 3 are so very different from each-other, they target 3 very different segments of society. In my opinion dollarama rapid growth has to do more with consumers shrinking purchasing power than with anything else.

Kudos to dollarama to placing majority of their stores with in walking distance from some form of subsidized housing, while Walmart is usualy bas ride away, and I am yet to see Costco near public transport.

#193 Srsly on 07.05.15 at 11:42 am

Kay and Madani are “doomers”. I guess doomers are only Bonkers if Garth says so.

#194 Miser Obvious on 07.05.15 at 1:17 pm

#192 NoName

“Kudos to dollarama to placing majority of their stores with in walking distance from some form of subsidized housing, while Walmart is usualy bas ride away, and I am yet to see Costco near public transport.”
——————————

It all makes sense to me. It has mostly to do with the quantity of items you expect to buy.

At Dollarama you pick up a few cheap household times and walk home with them.

At Wall mart you might buy a little more (groceries, etc.) but its still its not to hard to carry a couple of bags to the nearest bus stop.

At Costco you expect to fill your SUV with case lots of canned goods and four-liter jugs of milk so you generally expect a huge parking lot outside of the city core.

That said, I can think of three Costco locations in greater Vancouver that actually are very close to public Transit. There’s a Costco within easy walking distance of the Brentwood, Production Way, and Stadium Skytrain Stations.

#195 Hawk on 07.05.15 at 1:27 pm

#191 Billy Bon

==================

Maybe, but on the other hand here’s a counter viepoint by someone who is born and bred Norwegian. This woman loves her country but has given a factual position of what living there entails and if she’s right, I sure as heck would not trade Toronto for Oslo.

http://inspiringtravellers.com/moving-to-norway-know-30-things/

#196 Julia on 07.05.15 at 1:29 pm

#192 NoName
“…I am yet to see Costco near public transport.”

This one is slated to open in the city of Toronto, not near subway but plenty of bus routes.
http://www.bayview-news.com/2015/03/costco-offers-to-include-1965-coke-office-building-in-new-store.html/

#197 NoName on 07.05.15 at 2:00 pm

#195 Julia

UBER guys will love it !!!

I can’t remember when was a last time that I shop in Costco, and that trunk was not being jam-packed.

#198 Shawn on 07.05.15 at 2:07 pm

Dollarama’s success

#192 NoName on 07.05.15 at 11:40 am
#130 Shawn

thank you for lengthy reply, I do agree with you that companies like Costco Walmart and Dollarama should be studied buy someone who wants to replicate their success, but all 3 are so very different from each-other, they target 3 very different segments of society. In my opinion dollarama rapid growth has to do more with consumers shrinking purchasing power than with anything else.

Kudos to dollarama to placing majority of their stores with in walking distance from some form of subsidized housing, while Walmart is usualy bas ride away, and I am yet to see Costco near public transport.

******************************************
Agreed the three target different demographics.

I think you are completely wrong on the reason for Dollarama’s success. It’s been growing rapidly since it was started as a private company in the early 1990’s. It is publicly traded now but still under the same management.

Dollarama has grown in all economic conditions for about 25 years. There have always been consumers seeking bargains. Dollarama simply is extremely good at meeting the need including by going direct to suppliers in Asia and by working with suppliers to design products that could be sold at a profit for a dollar.

Many middle class people also shop at Dollarama. Some rich people too. Most rich people did not get that way by turning up their noses at bargains. (Some rich people do turn up their noses, mostly these are people that married or otherwise came into money that they did not personally work hard to accumulate. Not that marriage is easy.)

#199 BillyBob on 07.05.15 at 2:10 pm

“Maybe, but on the other hand here’s a counter viepoint by someone who is born and bred Norwegian. This woman loves her country but has given a factual position of what living there entails and if she’s right, I sure as heck would not trade Toronto for Oslo.”

=====================================

Uhhh…did you actually read the article? Her remarks are on the whole completely positive lol.

“30 Things You Should Know Before Moving To Norway”

“1. The honesty policy is alive and well in Norway.”

Nooooo!

“2. Things can be very efficient here.”

The horror! lol

“7. Trade unions and collective agreements make a difference.”

Mon Dieu! How DID she survive?

And so on. Well, there is that massive nightmare she mentions “11. You will pay more for vitamins. A lot more.”

Dear God. The barbarians!

Seriously. Were you just making a joke about not trading Toronto for Oslo? I honestly can’t tell. Trust me, no one from ANY Scandinavian country is fighting to take your place on the 401 parking lot.

But my point was not that Norway – or anywhere – is perfect, or utopia. More that people who haven’t been further afield than Newmarket or High River really shouldn’t be dismissing entire countries so casually.

Including Garth, with the glib comments about 25% taxes. Trust me, those kinds of taxation levels are coming to the socialist paradise of Canada and we can only wish our government would be a fraction as responsible with public funds as somewhere like Norway.

THAT is the takeaway.

#200 Gandy Fall on 07.05.15 at 2:17 pm

Change the names of the players and we get a ‘Canadian Tragedy’ by any other name.

“There is no way around it: Greece engaged in a three-decades-long credit binge starting in the early 1980s, spending the money on plush government jobs for supporters of the country’s two major political parties — the centre-left PASOK and centre-right New Democracy. Taking turns in office, they paid their followers well — driving up private sector wages and making Greece a costly place to do business. They also looked the other way on widespread tax evasion. Independent professionals — including doctors and lawyers — often reported less income than factory workers.

Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Overspending+austerity+euro+flaws+have+pushed+Greece+brink/11189098/story.html#ixzz3f2e9oTk6

The Greek Public Service went Hog Wild in the trough, and just like Canada began to suck up more than 100% of all tax revenues which forced the cities, municipalities, provinces and national government to issue ‘bonds’ in the hundreds of billions…which now can’t be repaid with even a 1/10th increase in interest rates. Canada is as hooped as Greece is…we just haven’t hit the 100 taxation wall yet…when people stop paying their taxes and go underground….but it’s happening in slow motion anyway.

Debt has become a necessity in Canadian families now forced to borrow month end groceries on credit. There are no prices tags on cars any more…just the 9 year lease rate.

The idea that shocked Vancouver’s civil service purists was that people can’t handle a 1/2 point increase in sales tax and has been met with fury by the likes of union leaders. Apparently ‘the citizens just don’t understand’.

Canada needs austerity before we go the way of Greece. Which politician will have the guts to admit it?

#201 the Jaguar on 07.05.15 at 2:41 pm

#191 Billy Bob’s comment rings very true:
A key difference from Canada is that they don’t spend much time trying to validate themselves the way Canadians do.

So true, and perhaps explains the madness over granite counter tops.

#202 kommykim on 07.05.15 at 2:51 pm

RE: #178 BS on 07.04.15 at 10:43 pm
income tax starts at 50% for low wage earners, etc. In Norway

I call BS on BS.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxation_in_Norway#/media/File:Average_tax_rates_on_wage_income_in_Norway_2010.JPG

#203 Investorz on 07.05.15 at 7:11 pm

“10,000 condos listed for sale”

Checked Kijiji and it’s true. I’m very surprised. So I called a friend of a friend who is a realtor working the Queen and Dufferin area and he says he has trouble selling 1+1 condos.

He could be a bad realtor, but then again… there’s 10k condos on Kijiji…

#204 james on 07.06.15 at 12:58 am

Nancy is wise to save. Depending on her practice area, law might not be a long term career. The statistics on law in the USA are pretty dismal, as are those from the UK and australia. Trouble is that almost no one collects data on the legal market in Canada.

I urge any lawyers or law students to go out and read ‘glass half full’, by Benjamin Barton. I would not want to be a lawyer who is doing transactional or process based work.

#205 james on 07.06.15 at 1:00 am

PS: teachers now make more than lawyers in Ontario. Average salary for teachers just eclipsed average salary for lawyers this year. Now, average salary for lawyers in Toronto is far higher than the Ontario average, but that’s because Bay Street skews the upper end.

#206 MarkIsATool on 07.06.15 at 12:18 pm

Mark, you are the biggest liar on this blog.
The houses on my street (Toronto) have gone up by atleast 15% over the last year.

Please stop posting your “facts”.

#207 Sean on 07.06.15 at 2:18 pm

“By the way, in Toronto (where they only eat calves) there are currently 10,000 condos listed for sale – on Kijiji alone. Another 8,000 condo resales sit on MLS. If this is not telling you something, you’re not listening.”

As soon as the investors try to get out these units which most of them probably even saw when they bought em, its OVER.

We just looked at 15 units to rent in different “highly desirable” areas of downtown Toronto. THEY SUCK. The amount of things that make them unlivable was enough for us not to put an offer on any of them just to RENT for a YEAR. Imagine owning one of these things? The shitty tiny condos that have gone up like crazy are going to be worth nothing. There are still tons of new buildings mostly sold but no where near built yet. Sucks this condo boom is gonna mess up great areas of the city that could have done other things with the land :(

There are lots of unrentable units out there right now on Bay street – we saw em all, most from June with no rental, but who wants to live in 1 bedroom + tiny den for $1800+ and not even have any windows in your bedroom or a balcony that faces your neighbors. It’s bad.

#208 Sean on 07.06.15 at 2:58 pm

BTW… the numbers have gone up. Almost 11k in Toronto on Kijiji.

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