Sprouts

When is bad news almost, well, good news?

When you’re a realtor, of course. Actually at Realtor U everybody takes a course on Voodoo Faux Populist & Mythical Economic Theorum which is easily summed up: trees, not forests. Clients see what they want to see. The rest is just background noise.

For example, the economy’s slowing. GDP growth is flatter than a rat on the 401. There might even be a made-in-maple recession out there. But that’s noise. What actually matters to clients is that mortgage rates are going down, as the Bank of Canada gets skittish again. Combine sub-3% mortgages with lower prices and rutting season and, voila, you get a juiced spring market.

Only a few weeks after telling everyone rates would likely rise a few times in 2019, the central bank has changed its tune drastically. The most recent crappy economic stats, showing little or no growth for the last nine months, sealed the deal. Despite great jobs numbers reported Friday, Ottawa’s going into turtle mode, worried about oil, politics and trade.

Markets have gone from pricing in at least two rate jumps this year to… none. Here is a Scotiabank chart on overnight swaps predicting the BoC benchmark rate (now at 1.75%). No movement for about a year, and then come cuts.

And remember that bond chart published here last week? Stunning. The 2.5% yield on Government 5-year debt has crashed down to the 1.6% range. In the bond world that’s Kardashian. It sets the scene for lower fixed-rate mortgages and suggests if the economic data stays swampy, a central bank cut’s not out of the question.

Anything can happen, of course. And remember that this blog is only to be taken seriously when it comes to canines and sexual innuendo. But here are some predictions:

First, as stated, no central bank increase any time soon. Maybe one in late 2019, around October. But probably none.

The prime rate at the big banks is unlikely to move, but the same cannot be said about five-year home loans. Already HSBC (as mentioned last week) has gone Kim Jung Un with a 2.99% mortgage, setting the bar for the Big Five. Currently their fivers are down to 3.5% or less, and discounts of up to half a point are probably just a few weeks away.

Mr. Bond Market is strongly suggesting the bankers cut now, but with weaker-than-wanted earnings on Bay Street lately, there’s no appetite to take the hit sooner than needed. Looks like the mortgage war will be in full swing in about a month.

And what about VRMs? Variable-rate mortgages have been shunned more by borrowers as fixed-rate loans get cheaper, Meanwhile the difference in cost between the two narrows. But remember that history has always favoured going short and if the economy continues to puddle, leading to even a modest rate cut, VRMs will win.

So, trees not the forest. Realtors are counting on (a) cheaper rates encouraging more borrowing and bigger loan amounts; (b) a perception prices are lower than they were two years ago (largely true) creating house lust you can justify to your spouse – the best kind, (c) a federal budget on March 19th bringing back insured 30-year mortgages and an enhanced homebuyer tax credit, and (d) spring. Sprouts. Shoots. Happiness. Hormones.

Immaterial may be the fact economic risks have increased, the jobs machine could slow dramatically, China hates us, families are steeped in debt, the government is wounded, the business cycle is old and we may be going into the mother of all American presidential elections.

Thus, bad news is good news. At least in the short-term, and especially if you survive on commission. House prices may well be higher by September than they are now. If you’ve been waiting for a exit door, here she be.

141 comments ↓

#1 Red_falcon on 03.10.19 at 2:59 pm

Oh ya! Canada! And um, first!!!

#2 joblo on 03.10.19 at 3:02 pm

SNC Lavalin rabbit hole goes deeper?
where’s this headed?

https://www.withpierre.ca/notaboutjobs

#3 Jean on 03.10.19 at 3:12 pm

I plan on taking out a billion dollar loan when rates hit 0%

#4 Alessio on 03.10.19 at 3:17 pm

Interest rate cuts and higher real estate prices coming? ummm am I on the right blog here?

#5 AGuyInVancouver on 03.10.19 at 3:25 pm

Meanwhile in Vancouver, CTV reports a strange phenomenon. Despite the maligning here of the NDP’s Speculation Tax, it is apparently freeing up hundreds of mansions for rental. The market is flooded with them and the rents are low! I guess there were a lot more offshore owners than some would have you believe:
https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/why-are-hundreds-of-luxury-vancouver-mansions-being-rented-for-cheap-1.4329800

What a suspect story. One example of a $14,000-per-month house. Are you that gullible? – Garth

#6 Dave on 03.10.19 at 3:27 pm

In BC we have the NDP…they will destroy real estate pricing

#7 Reality is stark on 03.10.19 at 3:40 pm

Purple Bricks.
Finally the free market is beginning to address the idiocy of the real estate market.
In a hot market you don’t need an agent, the house sells itself. Realtors add no value to a property, they are nothing more than parasites.
Transaction costs kill people who are already taxed to death. Unfortunately whatever savings is generated by Purple Bricks will be offset by a new government tax as the public sector gobbles up the difference.
The justice foolishness taught in schools is finally causing the opposite effect of the intention as marriage rates collapse. The domestic population becomes depressed. In essence this does not cause a problem for government as they would rather import healthy people with high IQ’s and good family values rather than adopt the risk of potentially unhealthy domestic children.
You have to ask yourself if this is a morally bankrupt policy.

#8 Andrewski on 03.10.19 at 3:42 pm

Groupthink continues to be promulgated by those in the business of buying/selling real estate because it’s their bread & butter. Most people are easily (mis)led due to their own financial illiteracy. Sad.

#9 JD on 03.10.19 at 3:46 pm

“flatter than a rat on the 401?” Did the Omniscient participate in that test and 401 filled by s-d cars?

#10 Do r fight the tape or the hers on 03.10.19 at 4:07 pm

Real estate has been a winning investment for such a long and consistent time that at this point those who are fighting the trend are really just hurting themselves .

If you hold a bearish position on RE at this point,it is simply because you refuse to admit that you have been wrong all along.

Some advice : admiting that a position has been wrong, although painful initially , can result in relief well worth the initial pain , especially if you adjust your actions .

It can also , In the case of RE ,become more financially rewarding

In many markets residential real estate has been an awful investment over the short-term. Given the huge costs of acquiring and selling plus the financial burden of ownership, it can be a disaster for many who get suckered in by comments such as yours. – Garth

#11 not 1st on 03.10.19 at 4:13 pm

I said about 2 months ago that we are going to get another shot at a sub 3% fiver and Garth pshawed me.

Now it a certainly by this fall. Lock it down this time when you get a chance. Because eventually this govt is going to start spending stimulus as well and that will just go into raising the cost of living even higher and chain your kids to debt for good. Cant lock down grocery costs but you can fix your borrowing for 5 yrs or at least until Canada fails and joins trump land. Book it.

#12 For those about to flop... on 03.10.19 at 4:30 pm

The last post.

I’m sure some people are already scrolling, but I will do one last post for the people on here that were interested in what I brought to this blog.

I was on this blog for maybe a couple of years before I started commenting on Vancouver real estate.

Summer of 2016 things were humming along, although I had an upcoming ankle surgery on my mind.

Fall of 2016, I noticed that houses around me that had previously been selling without problem had hit a road block.

I had also noticed that my best friend and most trusted adviser on here was no longer commenting, and reached out to him a few times but eventually decided to respect his privacy and focus on my surgery.

As the fall turned to Winter, I realized my surgery had not gone as planned and Boom was not responding to anyone’s queries, my concerns deepened.

Boxing Day 2016, Garth Turner wrote a post named Boom, the title I had nicknamed my buddy from Wisconsin on here, confirming my worst fears.

I had been crawling around the house for around 10 weeks,unable to weight bare on either leg and was detached from the world outside my window.

I did not wish to have relatives and friends see me in such diminished capacity and so I kept to myself trying to look forward to brighter days.

The one person that I felt would not be judgemental and raise me up had passed away, I was devastated.

I was hoping he was going to fill a void in my life for the next 20 or so years, as a mentor, and in return I would make him laugh and possibly visit each other at some stage to cement our perhaps unlikely friendship.

I think we saw the goodness and authenticity in each other.

How could a guy with not much to offer other posters possibly find a way to honour this man?

After discovering I would be unable to walk for an extended period of time, which in total ended up being seven months, I racked my brain to see if I had something deep inside of me to switch from commenting to contributing.

What does Vancouver real estate have to do with a guy in Wisconsin?

Nothing.

It was the only thing I could think of that I could contribute to this forum to help some people out as I had been helped out on different subjects.

I was the student in most cases, this was the only thing I could think of where I could show people something they were perhaps not aware of.

The pushback was immediate from people who did not want this information to become public knowledge.

I decided to set some guidelines and boundaries, among them on my side of things I would not try and exaggerate things, only show confirmed information or be in the process of confirming something with someone’s assistance.

Also, try to let the other side of things be told without interference but show contrary evidence if I believed someone was talking porkies.

The banter continued, and people tried to make it personal, I stated that it was fine but asked only one thing.

Leave my wife out of it.

Last week someone decided to cross this line and threatened my wife’s safety.

A line had been crossed.

I am big enough and ugly enough to look after myself, but as a married man my priorities changed in an instant.

I am not in Vancouver to build houses, I’m not here to be a real estate reporter, I’m simply here to be with my wife.

Suggestions that someone should pay my wife a visit at her workplace surrounded by hundreds of children is something I am not willing to risk, even if the chances are 0.1% that number is too high for me to continue.

Simply not worth it.

I have shut my blog down, never to return, and filed all the evidence away, hopefully never needing to be seen by the relevant authorities.

That is not the sort of thing where you can say I was only joking.

I have honoured a friend who passed away.

I have paid my debt to this blog and long may it continue.

I wish everyone on here well in the future.

I decided to help out this blog and report on real estate.

My wife did not…

M44BC
M64WI

#13 expat on 03.10.19 at 4:39 pm

#10 Do r fight the tape or the hers
Real estate has been a winning investment for such a long and consistent time that at this point those who are fighting the trend are really just hurting themselves .

LOL Only a fool holds for the crash after profits….

It’s called a bagholder
Look it up..

BTW a person who sold 2 years ago and rented pocketed 20-30% profits from the losses they would have had if they held…
Laughable comment.

#14 Canadian Infidels on 03.10.19 at 4:41 pm

DELETED

#15 You know on 03.10.19 at 4:49 pm

How irresponsible these guys are….I guess it’s ok to keep borrowing and OFSI…pfft who cares if the banks go tits up…after all it is an election year!

#16 not 1st on 03.10.19 at 4:53 pm

Its totally clear that housing has become too big to fail in Canada. There is only ever tinkering around the edges to keep it in line, then when it corrects, they goose it up again. I suspect BC will eventually fall into line as well and drop their punitive regulations.

Housing is like separation. Nobody wants to be PM when the country hits the skids.

#17 reynolds531 on 03.10.19 at 4:57 pm

I suggest looking at mrmoneymoustache for an example of a site where you can blog and the masses can forum. Maybe a format change will save you from editing stellar individuals like yesterday’s #22. Plus I think he makes revenue on it.

#18 Kat on 03.10.19 at 5:30 pm

@#5, yes there are way more listings on Craigs for huge whole homes as well as luxury condos now. With rates holding or going lower seems the crash isn’t going to happen so maybe rentals can at least come back down from nosebleed levels with the extra taxes forcing these speculators to rent.

#19 SimplyPut7 on 03.10.19 at 5:31 pm

House prices may well be higher by September than they are now.
————

Sure.

Let’s see how all of those novice landlords and flippers do once they start to take ownership of the 140,000 condos being built in YVR and GTA.

Lowering mortgage rates and lengthening amortization periods won’t help speculators if they never qualified in the first place. Many mortgage brokers were not verifying the income levels of buyers prior to 2017, very few speculators thought critically about their plan B just in case they had to take ownership of the home and pay a mortgage on their investment property for longer than a year.

#20 Winter Tiger on 03.10.19 at 5:38 pm

Dear Flop
I am saddened to hear of your decision to shut down your blog. However, I understand and respect that decision. Will you still share your intelligence on this one, or is it too early or inappropriate, even, to ask?

I am also disappointed to hear of the misguided attempt towards your wife.

Tiger of Winter

#21 Sold Out on 03.10.19 at 5:42 pm

Hey Flop,

Sorry to hear that the troglodytes have turned you off blogging. As a former GVA’er, I appreciated your updates on the real estate carnage unfolding in the old stomping grounds. Lots of big, brave men sitting behind keyboards these days, threatening all sorts of things that they will never carry out. Unfortunately, there is occasionally one loon just crazy enough to follow through. It’s one thing to accept that risk personally, but quite another to expose loved ones unknowingly. In keeping with this blog’s lessons in managing risk, you made the right choice. Your fondness for Retired Boomer from WI is really sweet, too. Don’t go too far away,eh?

#22 Caledondave on 03.10.19 at 5:43 pm

Change of topic…some Canadian humor…

DIARY OF A SNOW SHOVELER:

Moved to North Bay this fall. We heard that summers are fun and winter is beautiful. We think there is no more beautiful a place in the whole world!

December 8 – 6:00 PM It started to snow. The first snow of the season and the wife and I took our cocktails and sat for hours by the window watching the huge soft flakes drift down from heaven. It looked like a Grandma Moses print. So romantic, we felt like newlyweds again. I love snow!

December 9 – We woke to a beautiful blanket of crystal white snow covering every inch of the landscape. What a fantastic sight! Can there be a more lovely place in the whole world? Moving here was the best idea I’ve ever had! Shoveled for the first time in years and felt like a boy again. I did both our driveway and the sidewalks.

This afternoon the snowplow came along and covered up the sidewalks and closed in the driveway, so I got to shovel again. What a perfect life!

December 12 – The sun has melted all our lovely snow. Such a disappointment! My neighbor tells me not to worry- we’ll definitely have a white Christmas. No snow on Christmas would be awful! Bob says we’ll have so much snow by the end of winter, that I’ll never want to see snow again. I don’t think that’s possible. Bob is such a nice man, I’m glad he’s our neighbor.

December 14 – Snow, lovely snow! 8 inches last night. The temperature dropped to -20. The cold makes everything sparkle so. The wind took my breath away, but I warmed up by shoveling the driveway and sidewalks. This is the life! The snowplow came back this afternoon and buried everything again. I didn’t realize I would have to do quite this much shoveling, but I’ll certainly get back in shape this way. I wish I wouldn’t huff and puff so.

December 15 – 20 inches forecast. Sold my van and bought a 4×4 Blazer. Bought snow tires for the wife’s car and 2 extra shovels. Stocked the freezer. The wife wants a wood stove in case the electricity goes out. I think that’s silly. We aren’t in Alaska, after all.

December 16 – Ice storm this morning. Fell on my ass on the ice in the driveway putting down salt. Hurt like hell. The wife laughed for an hour, which I think was very cruel.

December 17 – Still way below freezing. Roads are too icy to go anywhere. Electricity was off for 5 hours. I had to pile the blankets on to stay warm. Nothing to do but stare at the wife and try not to irritate her. Guess I should’ve bought a wood stove, but won’t admit it to her. God! I hate it when she’s right. I can’t believe I’m freezing to death in my own living room.

December 20 – Electricity’s back on, but had another 14 inches of the damn stuff last night. More shoveling! Took all day. The damn snowplow came by twice. Tried to find a neighbor kid to shovel, but. they said they’re too busy playing hockey. I think they’re lying. Called the only hardware store around to see about buying a snow blower and they’re out. Might have another shipment in March. I think they’re lying. Bob says I have to shovel or the city will have it done and bill me. I think he’s lying.

December 22 – Bob was right about a white Christmas because 13 more inches of the white shit fell today, and it’s so cold, it probably won’t melt till August. Took me 45 minutes to get all dressed up to go out to shovel and then I had to piss. By the time I got undressed, pissed and dressed again, I was too tired to shovel. Tried to hire Bob-who has a plow on his truck-for the rest of the winter, but he says he’s too busy. I think the asshole is lying.

December 23 – Only 2 inches of snow today. And it warmed up to 0. The wife wanted me to decorate the front of the house this morning. What is she, nuts?!! Why didn’t she tell me to do that a month ago. She says she did but I think she’s lying.

December 24 – 6 inches – Snow packed so hard by snowplow, l broke the shovel. Thought I was having a heart attack. If I ever catch the son of a bitch who drives that snow plow, I’ll drag him through the snow by his balls and beat him to death with my broken shovel. I know he hides around the corner and waits for me to finish shoveling, and then he comes down the street…at a 100 miles an hour and throws snow all over where I’ve just been! Tonight the wife wanted me to sing Christmas carols with her and open our presents…but I was too busy watching for the damn snowplow.

December 25 – Merry f—ing Christmas! 20 more inches of the damn slop tonight – snowed in. The idea of shoveling makes my blood boil. God, I hate the snow! Then the snowplow driver came by asking for a donation and I hit him over the head with my shovel. The wife says I have a bad attitude. I think she’s a fricking idiot. If I have to watch “It’s A Wonderful Life” one more time, I’m going to feed her through a chipper shredder.

December 26 – Still snowed in. Why the hell did I ever move here? It was all HER idea. She’s really getting on my nerves.

December 27 – Temperature dropped to -30 and the pipes froze; plumber came after 14 hours of waiting for him, he only charged me $4,400 to replace all my pipes.

December 28 – Warmed up to above -20. Still snowed in.

December 29 – 10 more inches. Bob says I have to shovel the roof or it could cave in. That’s the silliest thing I ever heard. How dumb does he think I am?

December 30 – Roof caved in. I beat up the snow plow driver, and now he is suing me for a million dollars, not only for the beating I gave him, but also for trying to shove the broken snow shovel up his ass. The wife went home to her mother. Nine more inches predicted.

December 31 – I set fire to what’s left of the house. No more shoveling.

January 8 – Feel so good. I just love those little white pills they keep giving me. Why am I tied to the bed ???

-Author Unknown

#23 jo on 03.10.19 at 5:43 pm

Hey Flop. So sorry to hear of your experience, you are definitely making the right choice. I really did appreciate you sharing all your hard work with us. I will miss your blog very much. Good luck to you and your wife.

#24 JSS on 03.10.19 at 5:45 pm

Wages need to go up meaningfully across the country. Then the rest should follow through.

#25 akashic record on 03.10.19 at 5:47 pm

“China hates us…”

In China by 2020, in two years from now, will have installed 600 million face-recognition cameras, throughout the country to monitor the 1.6 billion population. 1 camera for every 2.5 people, with a goal to locate people within 2-3 minutes.

Put on top of that the social credit scoring system, G5 connected infrastructure, in China already 95% of non-financial transactions are conducted on smart phones.

All of this under a Communist party monopoly, where separation of legislative and executive power is non-existent.

It should scare the hell out of any person, who has any sense of illusion of democracy as guiding principle of society.

#26 not 1st on 03.10.19 at 5:56 pm

http://338canada.com/

CPC 35% (155 seats)
LPC 33% (140 seats)
Includes aggregate polls.

Sounds like the 905 doesn’t like corruption

#27 akashic record on 03.10.19 at 5:58 pm

…in China already 95% of non-commercial financial transactions are conducted on smart phones…

#28 renter in Surrey on 03.10.19 at 6:16 pm

Are we going to have $1.2mil+ townhouses and $2.0mil+ SFH in the valley by 2020 ?

#29 crowdedelevatorfartz on 03.10.19 at 6:19 pm

@Flop.
I hope you reported that idiot to the police for that threat.

And thanks for your hard work over the past few years.
Much appreciated.
Life’s too short.
Go enjoy it…..
and if the spineless, anonymous Troll is caught…. link us to the Court case…

#30 Do r fight the tape or the hers on 03.10.19 at 6:20 pm

Meant to call myself “ Do not fight the tape or the trend “

Garth your post today indicates lower for longer interest rates and more ‘ treats ‘ being thrown at the RE market come the 19th . You really want anyone to believe that the house horny won’t be ‘stimulated’ .?

Expats and bagholders.. seems to me the bagholders are the ones sitting on the sidelines

#31 NJGeezer on 03.10.19 at 6:21 pm

Hello Flop,
Very sorry to hear of the unseemly behavior by others. It’s a shame that people think such “keyboard warrioring” is acceptable. Boom was one of my favorite commenters, and i miss him too.
Kind tribute you posted to honor his memory.
Plenty of us on here thank you for that, as well as your other contributions. God bless.

#32 crowdedelevatorfartz on 03.10.19 at 6:41 pm

@#22 Calendondave

Sorry but…..A very old, long winded, “joke” that takes too long to reach the punchline……

#33 Barb on 03.10.19 at 6:51 pm

Dismayed to learn of the cruelty, Flop.

Sad indeed when a caring and sensitive man is brought down by one hateful idiot.

Be well.

#34 iRent2020 on 03.10.19 at 6:56 pm

Garth sir, As rate hike is out of picture for months and if at all there happens to be a cut, will the preferred etfs go down further! I was hoping for a recovery

#35 DON on 03.10.19 at 6:56 pm

#5 AGuyInVancouver on 03.10.19 at 3:25 pm

Meanwhile in Vancouver, CTV reports a strange phenomenon. Despite the maligning here of the NDP’s Speculation Tax, it is apparently freeing up hundreds of mansions for rental. The market is flooded with them and the rents are low! I guess there were a lot more offshore owners than some would have you believe:
https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/why-are-hundreds-of-luxury-vancouver-mansions-being-rented-for-cheap-1.4329800

What a suspect story. One example of a $14,000-per-month house. Are you that gullible? – Garth
**************

Given the dire rental situation in Vancouver (price etc.) this may catch on with students, young families (who rent together). Who knows! Just recently 7 (students got kicked out a smaller 6 bedroom home (garage etc) as they weren’t related. Neighbours didn’t like this (young women students).

There were three different houses mentioned in that article. Not an ideal situation for me…but there is obviously a need.

We will have to see if this one develops legs.

Why are these homes sitting vacant with POOLS and Sauna’s. Soon to turn into University communes. Gangs for landlords?

#36 Linda on 03.10.19 at 6:59 pm

#22 ‘Caledondave’ – thanks for sharing the humor:) Folks from warmer climes won’t understand, but any Canuck will!

The anticipated return of revved up RE markets will be an opportunity for those who were planning to get out with a profit (or at least w/o taking a loss) to do so. While one would hope that people would not take on debt in an uncertain economic climate, hormones tend to trump logic regardless of gender. Is learning from others mistakes too much to hope for?

#37 Ace Goodheart on 03.10.19 at 7:05 pm

“In many markets residential real estate has been an awful investment over the short-term. Given the huge costs of acquiring and selling plus the financial burden of ownership, it can be a disaster for many who get suckered in by comments such as yours. – Garth”

It really depends what you buy.

In my situation, the $329,000 three bedroom two bathroom house that I picked up in Toronto back in 2012 is now worth conservatively $1,000,000.00

The crappy roach and rat infested semi that I bought down the road the same year for $279,000 now would get me about $800,000.00

If I had bought a $2,000,000.00 row house off Queen Street that needed a full gut, fumigation and reno, I would have lost money. Not a lot of money. Probably around $500,000 or so, after renos and fumigation.

If I had gone to Vancouver at the height of the boom and bought a 1940’s dump with a mud basement and one non functional bathroom, for $4,500,000.00 in a bidding war, I would have lost about a million dollars by now.

So it really depends what you buy.

You can always make money in real estate. You just have to follow the magic rule: Outwardly crappy building, with good bones and mechanicals, in a bad location, that is likely to experience an event which will make properties in that area worth more.

In my case, they decided to build a transit hub with an UP Express stop and a Crosstown station across the street from my properties. When that is done, I will have the shortest commute downtown of any person in Toronto who cannot access “The Path” system from their condo. Roughly 9 minutes with one intervening stop on the UP Express, for $5.00 per run. Straight downtown to Union Station.

That sort of thing is golden. It just happens sometimes.

And I don’t even work downtown.

#38 DON on 03.10.19 at 7:08 pm

#4 Alessio on 03.10.19 at 3:17 pm

Interest rate cuts and higher real estate prices coming? ummm am I on the right blog here?
*************

All depends on the financial acumen and state of the continued pool of buyers. Could have an upstick but how will it be sustained. Prices and debt are the problems here.

#39 Long-Time Lurker on 03.10.19 at 7:10 pm

#12 For those about to flop… on 03.10.19 at 4:30 pm
The last post….

>A clear case of shooting the messenger.

Come back with a new handle, Flop. Comment about other things. You can do colour commentary on the comment section’s brawls or help Smokey find some aliens.

#40 Long-Time Lurker on 03.10.19 at 7:14 pm

>Escape from New York: Snake, I have a job for you.

https://nypost.com/2019/03/09/new-york-city-is-edging-toward-financial-disaster-experts-warn/

New York City is edging toward financial disaster, experts warn

By John Aidan Byrne March 9, 2019 | 10:10pm | Updated

New York City is careening closer to all-out financial bankruptcy for the first time since Mayor Abraham Beame ran the city more than 40 years ago, experts say.

As tax-fleeced businesses and individuals flee en masse, and city public spending surges into the stratosphere, financial analysts say Gotham is perilously near total fiscal disaster.

Long-term debt is now more than $81,100 per household, and Mayor de Blasio is ramping up to spend as much as $3 billion more in the new budget than the current $89.2 billion.

“The city is running a deficit and could be in a real difficult spot if we had a recession, or a further flight of individuals because of tax reform,” said Milton Ezrati, chief economist of Vested.

“New York is already in a difficult financial spot, but it would be in an impossible situation if we had any kind of setback.”…

…“New York City could go bankrupt, absolutely,” said Peter C. Earle, an economist at the American Institute for Economic Research….

#41 millmech on 03.10.19 at 7:18 pm

Just looked at a house in the Fraser Valley today to possibly buy(3bdrm/1.5bth), just over $450,000 currently tenanted at the moment. Tenant pays $1150/mth for the house plus utilities. I came home and did the math that it would cost me monthly around $1900 for the mortgage, $200 for taxes, $300 for maintenance and up keep. Tenant would pay $345,000 over 25 years, owning cost over same time period just around $720,000.
Using Moneychimp calculator and going with the difference of $1250/mth or $15000 per annum invested and earning 6% for 25 years you would have a balance of $875,000 as the difference between owning and renting in favour of renting. Looks like I will keep renting

#42 DON on 03.10.19 at 7:19 pm

#29 crowdedelevatorfartz on 03.10.19 at 6:19 pm

@Flop.
I hope you reported that idiot to the police for that threat.

And thanks for your hard work over the past few years.
Much appreciated.
Life’s too short.
Go enjoy it…..
and if the spineless, anonymous Troll is caught…. link us to the Court case…
**************
Agreed…report the bastard.

Sorry to hear Flop.

Your always welcome here…cheers,

#43 Warren Buffett on 03.10.19 at 7:21 pm

MAY I reiterate these words of wisdom

“Forecasts may tell you a great deal about the forecaster; they tell you nothing about the future.”

Warren Buffett

#44 Gen X Calgarian on 03.10.19 at 7:22 pm

Given Alberta’s long term economic forecast, will this be the best time to buy in Calgary or will prices begin to dip again after the initial bump is over?

#45 Asterix1 on 03.10.19 at 7:29 pm

Will detached homes, townhouses and condos keep going up in value in GTA/Vancouver?

No, they will not. When you have hit such a debt wall, you cannot keep trucking like nothing has happened. The atrocious wage growth in Canada is another layer that slows everything down. Keeping our rates low (or lower) will destroy the C$ further, boost inflation and increase the price of all our imports.

When most residents of GTA are blowing most of their money on rent or mortgage/food/heat/transportation (the basics!), nothing is left. No disposable income. It’s game over.

T2 will not be able to stop the RE slide. A Canada made recession is on the horizon.

PS:
– Thanks Flop for your work.
– Since I’m here, shouts out to Brian Ripley, love those charts, Ross Kay and Garth..

#46 Nonplused on 03.10.19 at 7:46 pm

#12 For those about to flop…

It’s hard to blog or even comment because of all the trolls. Garth has far thicker skin than I do but yet it even gets to him from time to time. For some reason, there is a large cadre of people who think if they are using a handle then there is no reason to be polite. I often wonder how those people would act in person if they didn’t think there would be consequences. They must be highly, highly disturbed. It frightens me to know they walk among us.

#47 DON on 03.10.19 at 7:50 pm

https://www.scmp.com/economy/china-economy/article/2189245/chinas-gdp-growth-could-be-half-reported-number-says-us

It may just be a story, but will it affect sentiment?

#48 What about inflation? on 03.10.19 at 7:52 pm

I have been a renter longer than I care to say. I am in Ottawa, the hottest market in Canada. Suddenly nobody is selling because most areas have jumped in the past year to be way beyond what they were. A few years ago there were 12,000 listings and today there are 1296. In a city of about a million, as these listings go to small towns outside the city.
I rented this house three years ago for $1,550 and now the rental market has gone beserk. Nothing below $1,800 for a townhouse and some are really far out of town. In town, you can pay $1800 for a 1 bed downtown.
So what has happened? the rules for mortages have locked some people out. So young couples are all renting. There is nothing left to rent so the price goes up.
House prices are not counted in inflation data, but renting is. This should put strains on Canada’s inflation. Is this happening? From 2015 when the rate was 1.12 to 2018 when it was 2.57, this has followed housing. The prediction is that this rate will start to go down.
So yes, mortgages should be cheaper in 5 years, but I don’t know how the “middle class” can afford to save for a house with these prices.
Question:
Which is the better buy? A small house with a big lot right in the city for $500,000 or a huge townhouse in the city for $285,000 with $400 a month condo fees. The condo townhouse is 20 years younger than the small house. Or the other alternative, renting something for $300 – 400 a month more than I now pay. Does anyone know of a place where rent goes down?

#49 Randy on 03.10.19 at 7:55 pm

Should have taken Garth’s advice and bought a southern U.S. property when prices were depressed and the Cdn Dollar was closer to par.

#50 Dolce Vita on 03.10.19 at 7:56 pm

Long winded, I apologize. Hear me out though.

I think Garth you have it about 416 RE this Spring but have not taken what you write to its logical conclusion, your JUXTAPOSITION thinking in perspective.

Toronto is a city of RE investors (Domum Cupido). Ipsos/TREB study results, John Pasalis Tweet Feb 2019:

https://twitter.com/JohnPasalis/status/1093259356186071040

Then there is my worn out Toronto Avg. Home Price chart going back to 1969 up to 2018 adjusted for inflation (TREB and Realtor data):

https://i.imgur.com/0YST700.png

Not ONE SINGLE CORRECTION, 3 of them, have reversed themselves in the past 50 YEARS.

Corrections/crashes, whatever you want to call them, take about 4 years to play out in terms of steep price declines, 1 or 2 more years to stabilize/flatten out and then the next bubble begins.

2018 = 1st year of price declines in Toronto RE.

2019 = 2nd year of price declines in Toronto RE.

————————————————

From the above and in light of what you say Garth (banks dropping their drawers for business, Realtors praying for the 2nd Coming, BoC gutless as usual, Gov. just as gutless except for BC) the Modus Operandi in Toronto this Spring:

1. There will be motivated Sellers in a city of millions of people (Domus Desperatio).
2. There will be honest to goodness Buyers that qualify in a city of a millions of people (Domum Avidus).
3. The Buyers know prices will fall even more in an MSM widely reported housing correction and will GRIND Sellers for every penny they can (Caveat Emptor).
4. There will be motivated Sellers that need to sell and will take the cash now knowing the market will only get worse (Nummus Egenum).
5. Enough of the above to make the market and its pricing (Pretium Occumbo).

ADD to the above Economic Uncertainty with GDP flirting between recession or slow growth, far too many Canadians with crippling debt and a negative psychology out there.

The Job numbers were great indeed but in the last 5 months, the avg. annualized wage gain was:

1.9% (Nov. 2018 Inflation Rate = 1.7%, sans Carbon Tax)

Wages barely matching inflation, people “feel” they are not getting ahead – la surprise. Also and in a recession unemployment peak lags -‘ve GDP by a lot.

CONCLUSION

Sales will increase a bit from their current funk but prices will decline as expected in a correction (unless Realtors get their 2nd Coming or their 100 Year Wave).

You have all the making of a RE Crash instead of a Correction – I believe we are in a recession, not a technical recession, but in one regardless.

YVR the same.

Montreal RE would not know but sugar and spice, everything nice being reported by their MSM (reason enough to be suspicious).

The rest of Canada, who knows?

-Yes Garth, Buonanotte from technical recession Italia.

-Latin grammarians, forgive my travesties.

#51 SW on 03.10.19 at 8:08 pm

Dear Mr. Flop, I am very sorry for your experience.

It is shocking, but not surprising, I’m sorry to say.

Your work presented here and your own website was interesting and informative. I really appreciate all the time and effort you put into it. Not to mention the appalling puns and incredibly weak jokes that made me laugh…

“Be well, do good work and stay in touch!”

#52 TRUDEAU THE CHEATER on 03.10.19 at 8:28 pm

THE WORLD HAS CAUGHT THE DRIFT…

https://www-m.cnn.com/2019/03/09/opinions/trudeau-lavallin-scandal-analysis-intl/index.html?r=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cnn.com%2F

#53 Dolce Vita on 03.10.19 at 8:31 pm

PS: to my last post. My long winded night.

Undoubtedly some of you will avail yourselves to Google Translate, and so you should (Latin –> English).

The “literal” meaning, translate 1 word at a time then use deductive reasoning (your are a well healed crowd of above average intelligence although stuck on conspiracy some of you).

For some humor, translate both words in one go, and yes that was on purpose.

Thus far, 2019 has been an economic disappointment so a bit of off the wall humor not a bad thing…nor a Cuba Libre to make it all better.

Ciao d’Italia (the technical recession one).

Bring Cash Canada (BC are not the only one’s) and come visit this beautiful and amazing country, Italia’s GDP needs the economic boost big time. We will be at our 100’s of Blue Flag beaches as you “turisti” invade us.

And I promise this year not to bitch about your clickety clack luggage noise on our millennia old cobblestone streets at 2 AM, your being half naked and wearing GAP or Mark’s Work Warehouse attire in the country of Versace, Armani, Prada, Gucci, Diesel, Zegna, Valentino, etc.

Tilley hats are fine.

And don’t forget, it’s the ONLY country in the EU where you will get a tasty & well priced meal sans GMO, Steroids and Antibiotics to drop a horse (and real pizza if you go to Napoli with actual Italian’s making it). Or come to my Region, Friuli-Venezia-Giulia in the NE and eat what we invented: Tiramisù (again made by actual Italian’s) – wash it down with our Prosecco (also made by actual Italian’s).

Oh ya, and our coffee’s not bad either (better than Starbucks sewer, mud puddle water for sure).

#54 Fiendish Thingy on 03.10.19 at 8:34 pm

Garth, hopefully you will have some long term forecasts to balance this short term bad news.

I have patiently resisted FOMO for several years now, anticipating a return to sanity in the real estate market in time for my retirement, and now, if you are right and prices may be higher by the fall, our plans may be on hold…

#55 dr talc on 03.10.19 at 8:48 pm

Question:
Which is the better buy? A small house with a big lot right in the city for $500,000 or a huge townhouse in the city for $285,000 with $400 a month condo fees. The condo townhouse is 20 years younger than the small house.

—-

Houses depreciate. Inflation is in the land.

#56 Midnights on 03.10.19 at 8:50 pm

The article on https://www.ctvnews.ca/mobile/canada/why-are-hundreds-of-luxury-vancouver-mansions-being-rented-for-cheap-1.4329800

Garth I don’t understand why you find this hard to believe. A simple AirB&B search will show you the same thing. You can rent a mansion in Alberta for 180-250 per/day.

This is not Airbnb. It’s a bogus story. – Garth

#57 Rargary on 03.10.19 at 8:55 pm

Thank you for posting Diary of a Snow Shoveler!

#58 yorkville renter on 03.10.19 at 8:58 pm

lower rates cant save this market… maybe a dead cat bounce, but still dead.

We built a wall of debt… no ladders or tunnels will save people from themselves.

#59 Sam on 03.10.19 at 8:59 pm

Rates aren’t rising for 2019 ?

Who knew

:)

#60 Brett in Calgary on 03.10.19 at 9:15 pm

The can be kicked down the road a little…

#61 Remembrancer on 03.10.19 at 9:17 pm

#48 What about inflation? on 03.10.19 at 7:52 pm

Bit off your main topic, but before you go townhouse do your due diligence on that Condo .i.e. underground parking? Money pit. Roofing due? Crazy condo board? And none are mutually exclusive of the other…

#62 crowdedelevatorfartz on 03.10.19 at 9:18 pm

@#51 Dolce Vita

There IS snow in Hell. I agree with you.

2 years ago everyone where I worked talked about “getting into the market”.
Now?
Crickets.

And with the stats for Canadian’s personal debt rearing its ugly head…..
Methinks a lot of folks arent gonna be rushing out to get a mortgage…
AND
With all the waffling economic numbers out there….
Banks aint gonna be too quick to drop their pants to hand out 30 year loans. Unless you “qualify”.
Nah.
No matter what kind of spin the Realturds and the MSM poo out……
This ship is sinking and the S.S. Liberalin is about to back off the election rock it just hit and head for the briney deeps…….

#63 wait a minute on 03.10.19 at 9:23 pm

#12 Flop Suggestions that someone should pay my wife a visit at her workplace surrounded by hundreds of children

Hey Flop, that poster didn’t say what your wifes job is or where she works.

A walk score is for all kinds of amenities like a hospital, retail stores, grocery stores, transit etc.

Your wife could work at any of these places but you just told every one where she probably works … surrounded by hundreds of children.

#64 earlybird on 03.10.19 at 9:24 pm

Gen X
Given Alberta’s long term economic forecast, will this be the best time to buy in Calgary or will prices begin to dip again after the initial bump is over?

I have been watching careful and meticulously and man, even in the SW single family detached by great schools are trending down hard. My small sample of Condo’s have dropped around 20% – 30% in the SW..and are still Cash Flow negative, given the rental situation…veteran real estate agents in my circle are adjusting to buyers market paradigm..
The folks I know trying to sell in the mid market have de-listed.
Alberta has absolutely nothing in the future to change that, even a change of gov. is not going to change oil prices…were screwed, unless you have lotsa dry powder…

#65 45north on 03.10.19 at 9:25 pm

flop: Last week someone decided to cross this line and threatened my wife’s safety.

I am sorry to hear that.

thank you for your work

God bless

#66 David Driven on 03.10.19 at 9:27 pm

DELETED

#67 Shawn Allen on 03.10.19 at 9:28 pm

Rate Reset Preferred Shares – next move

#34 iRent2020 on 03.10.19 at 6:56 pm asked

Garth sir, As rate hike is out of picture for months and if at all there happens to be a cut, will the preferred etfs go down further! I was hoping for a recovery

*************************************
Short answer is nobody knows.

Let’s assume the preferred ETF you speak of consist mostly of rate reset preferred shares. This is likely the case.

In theory rate reset preferred shares are a floating instrument and should never have been all that much impacted by changes in the 5 year Canada bond.

Sure, with a drop in the 5 year, these will reset at a lower rate. But since interest rates in general were lower the market required yield on these should have dropped and the rate reset pref should have remained fairly stable in price.

But what happened was the market decided that the “spread” that was demanded over and above the 5 year bond should widen. That, primarily, is what drove the prices down.

In a lower rate (or lower-for-longer) environment, the market may possibly decide that the going rate like 5.2% on new rate resets issued by the banks is pretty rich and that something lower would be the new market rate.

If that happens, the the existing rate reset preferred shares could rise in price.

In any case, the yield on rate reset preferred shares at say 5.5% average or whatever is not a bad rate especially as yields on GICs may well drop. You could buy or hold just for the yield. If the price drops, keep them for yield. If the price happens to rise a lot, consider selling and taking the gain.

As Buffett says make the market price be your slave, not your master.

#68 akashic record on 03.10.19 at 9:28 pm

The brains behind AOC
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1h5iv6sECGU&feature=youtu.be

“The Congressional seat is operated by Justice Democrats, AOC auditioned for the role”

Ignore her. She’ll go away. Like a rash. – Garth

#69 WUL on 03.10.19 at 9:29 pm

#44 Gen X Calgarian on 03.10.19 at 7:22 pm

Given Alberta’s long term economic forecast, will this be the best time to buy in Calgary or will prices begin to dip again after the initial bump is over?

*****

In a word, nope.

Alberta’s long term economic forecast? Dismal.

Wait. For a few years.

#70 Chaddywack on 03.10.19 at 9:33 pm

But I was just catching up saving for a downpayment and now prices are likely going up again!!

Damn it. Oh well Vancouver smells like weed anyway.

#71 millmech on 03.10.19 at 9:47 pm

#68
Chaddywack
Do the math and rent much better cash flow

#72 crowdedelevatorfartz on 03.10.19 at 9:50 pm

Does anyone find that the lack of interest in the US budget for 2019 is drawing so little interest with the American public?
And I quote,

“What we have right now is essentially government by automatic pilot and that’s not healthy,” Moore said, describing the cycle of last-minute massive omnibus spending bills agreed on only when deadlines loom….”

A $900 Billion dollar budget and a $22 Trillion dollar debt…..and no one cares….

https://www.dianomi.com/click.epl?url_id=439126516&ru_variant_id=103

#73 burnaby south gardener on 03.10.19 at 9:55 pm

Flop,
I am so sorry to hear that someone has threatened your wife and made your life miserable.
Please accept our gratitude for all the hard work you have done in the past. Your pink snow blog was a site I checked daily for both your insight into what was actually going on in the BC LMD RE market and for your quips and humour. Your contributions will be sorry missed. All the best to you and your wife.

#74 akashic record on 03.10.19 at 10:03 pm

#66 akashic record on 03.10.19 at 9:28 pm

The brains behind AOC
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1h5iv6sECGU&feature=youtu.be

“The Congressional seat is operated by Justice Democrats, AOC auditioned for the role”

Ignore her. She’ll go away. Like a rash. – Garth

I recommend you to actually watch the video.

It is not about AOC, but who are behind her, the so-called Justice Democrats, mostly millenial brains behind the surprisingly successful B. Sanders campaign.

In 2018, out of nowhere, the Congressional Democrats endorsed 79 candidates, many of them against long-time establishment Democrat politicians. 26 of them won their primaries, 7 of them won at the general election and are now in the Congress. AOC is one of them.

Their goal is to audition (yes, literally casting) hundreds of candidates for the 2020 election. Imagine that, if they won 7 seats with 79 puppets.

#75 i.see.debt.people on 03.10.19 at 10:11 pm

#12 For those about to flop… on 03.10.19 at 4:30 pm

The last post.

——————————————————————–

That’s a shame! I liked the Pink Snow – aers to the ground reports.

Take care floppie.

#76 Nonplused on 03.10.19 at 10:29 pm

I don’t think prices are going up this spring, or if they do it won’t be by a lot.

Here is an analogy: Demand is like pulling on a rope, interest rates are like tension on the rope. But the problem is, when the tension on the rope goes to zero because there is nobody left to pull on it, you can’t push it.

According to the analogy, so far as it is useful, another round of rate cuts won’t change anything. They’ve spent that powder. 30 year mortgages won’t change anything. More taxes and land transfer fees won’t change anything. This thing is going down.

Look at Brian’s chart:

http://www.chpc.biz/6-canadian-metros.html

Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa and Montreal do not look too horrible, there hasn’t been any dramatic changes since 2013 and one could argue all the way back to 2007. Some increases but nothing mind blowing. But Vancouver? OMG!!! If you saw that chart for a stock you’d expect another $230,000 decline before it could hope to meet resistance. Toronto doesn’t look as bad but it doesn’t look great either.

#77 Rargary on 03.10.19 at 10:30 pm

#44 Gen X Calgarian on 03.10.19 at 7:22 pm

Given Alberta’s long term economic forecast, will this be the best time to buy in Calgary or will prices begin to dip again after the initial bump is over?
_______________________________________________________

Without having a crystal ball, later this year or next year depending on oil and gas and pipeline.

Luxury housing market went up this year in Calgary which is a sign. Usually luxury 1st to go up or down and condo last to go up or down.

#78 rknusa on 03.10.19 at 11:04 pm

DELETED

#79 acdel on 03.10.19 at 11:08 pm

We need to work together to truly understand where the market is going.

Any of you that viewed the ” The Big Short” understood on how much research was done in the field. These people investigated and spoke to, interviewed, the average person/worker, through there hard work understood where the market was heading and shorted on it. Great film for those of you that have never watched it.

The charts, expert opinions, unrealistic economic fluffed up numbers only stand true if one goes out there and actually has a conversation with all workers. That is where the true numbers are; people on this blog are smart and know that this is true.

No disrespect Garth, I truly appreciate you providing us the charts and making us do the home work, I think that I should at least be provided a B for this post. :)

#80 Investx on 03.10.19 at 11:10 pm

Prolonged low rates remain low, historically low.
A la Japan.
And this blog said it couldn’t here.
It’s different here.

#81 acdel on 03.10.19 at 11:24 pm

#12 For those about to flop

WTF! I remember the Boomer posts!

Anybody threatening your family over an effing post deserves the full extent of the law; what the hell is wrong with certain people out there???

Sad if this is your last post; but dam, you have your reasons for your decision, respected, but???

#82 not 1st on 03.10.19 at 11:24 pm

#66 akashic record on 03.10.19 at 9:28 pm
——

AOC is a trailblazer. First fake congresswoman elected by social media influencers.

#83 thesecondcomingofjohngalt on 03.10.19 at 11:50 pm

Hey Flop, don’t quit, lay low for a while, and come back under a different pseudonym, just because you’ve proven the obvious about the current state of real estate in the Lower Mainland, and that perhaps offends a more than likely criminal element that has had to endure a substantial portion of of their ill gotten gains evaporate into thin air , or as suggested by some other posters , an internet troll with nothing better to do intimidate you. You gave away way too much in your posts that would allow someone figure out your identity, as well as your immediate family. You’re posts, and your sense of humour were one of the highlights of this blog, stay well, and come back soon.

#84 Lorne on 03.10.19 at 11:57 pm

Meanwhile in Vancouver, CTV reports a strange phenomenon. Despite the maligning here of the NDP’s Speculation Tax, it is apparently freeing up hundreds of mansions for rental. The market is flooded with them and the rents are low! I guess there were a lot more offshore owners than some would have you believe:
https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/why-are-hundreds-of-luxury-vancouver-mansions-being-rented-for-cheap-1.4329800

What a suspect story. One example of a $14,000-per-month house. Are you that gullible? – Garth

………
Don’t know why you think this may be a bogus story….probably because you do not believe anything the NDP does, is a good idea. No brainer to me….$1000 for a bedroom in a mansion or $1400 for a studio apartment. Gee, wonder what I should choose?

#85 ca$h money on 03.10.19 at 11:58 pm

Flop,

Very sorry to hear things have escalated. That’s just crazy when all you’re doing is posting facts of what’s really happening in real estate.

We all lose by this as i really enjoyed getting your updates.

All the best to you and your wife.

#86 Hongcouver on 03.11.19 at 12:19 am

So many desperate people on here trying to time the future of the market etc. They know they answers but are refusing to listen to their gut. Good luck

#87 Smartalox on 03.11.19 at 12:48 am

@Flop,

Thanks for your contributions to the comments section here. I’ve been a reader and commentor here daily for almost a decade, and I’ve seen a lot of the ‘toughest guys on the Internets’ come and go. The kranks and weirdos tend to realize their impotence and wander off after a while, but over the last few years the tone of the debate, and the humanity of the commenter has degraded considerably.

Your contribution was a bright spot, a beacon in a gathering storm, and a noble tribute to a good friend. I appreciate your desire to help, but you’ve done your bit to show us all how the trees are rotten and worm eaten, even as the forest still stands.

You don’t owe us (your fans) anything, at this point. Take some time off from this, spend it doing something more meaningful than chasing real estate listings on the Internet. I liked your posts, but there seemed to be so much work invested, I was going to suggest that you change your handle to ‘Man Zolo’ ( play on the name of the rakish Star Wars rebel, stifling and weakening the Empire, at every turn).

Shutdown the file, and get out and enjoy yourself. In a few weeks, the cherry trees of Vancouver will once again be a riot of colour, and shortly after, the streets will be dusted with pink petals, which. as I recall, was the original inspiration for the “Pink Pollen” title and theme to your posts.

Enjoy.

#88 Voice from the past on 03.11.19 at 1:26 am

Just wondering if we are any happier now in the post-modern age where women have to work and men are not required.

I think it’s definitely where we are going, but can we evolve and adapt fast enough? Or would we all be happier if men all had jobs and women stayed with their kids? That’s how it’s been for 200,000 years, can we change it in 200, even if that’s what’s ideal?

So many things are changing so quickly it’s a wonder anyone knows whether they are eating or going to the bathroom.

And now we have transwomen playing women’s sports, and winning. Even Martina Navratilova never saw that coming, and thinks it’s a travesty. And she’s a lesbian. Who would have thought we’d come to a point where it would take a lesbian to explain to us what a woman is, although I have to admit she should know. Things are going so fast we don’t even have time to think about them.

I can’t see women continuing to compete in sports if they are increasingly forced to compete against transwomen. The reason you have tiers in sports is to keep it fair. Tier 1 players don’t get to play for tier 2 teams, although tier 2 players can play up to tier 1. The rules in most sports are pretty clear, you can play up an age group at your tier or up a tier at your age group but never down. So what we do with Transwomen hasn’t been addressed. Nobody knows what tier they belong at as men, let alone as women.

Things are getting so crazy that soon black really will be white and nobody will be able to tell the difference. Up next, a transwoman wins the LGPA or a major tennis title and women’s sports disappear from TV as nobody will watch it. If anybody watches women’s sports, it’s mostly women, and when they realize that women can’t win because they have to play transwomen they will simply stop watching. We’ve crossed the line here. But nobody seems to have noticed except a lesbian. How sad is that???

#89 Chopping Broccoli on 03.11.19 at 2:09 am

#12 Flop,
I too have enjoyed your informative posts to the blog, as a person that called Vancouver home until last fall I can confirm your input was helpful, Thanks for all your hard work !

M55BC

#90 Kelsey on 03.11.19 at 3:34 am

House prices can keep going up forever from here, but if they do, it means we destroyed the currency. Or they can go down with a lot of pain. Politicians and the electorate tend to choose the easiest option, not what’s in our longer-term interests.

#91 BGOC on 03.11.19 at 4:36 am

Question Garth as a long time reader. Say the market turns the way we all expect. Where does blog go? Straight financial guidance? I love the tax stuff every year but I’m curious where it goes from ? (Here)?

#92 Under the radar on 03.11.19 at 6:28 am

Interesting, as there are pages and pages of never occupied subdivision particle board McMansions for sale on kijiji in the 905 . A Boc pause or budget tinkering will not save those sellers from painful losses as their fate was sealed the moment they bought firm.

#93 Howard on 03.11.19 at 6:57 am

#5 AGuyInVancouver on 03.10.19 at 3:25 pm
Meanwhile in Vancouver, CTV reports a strange phenomenon. Despite the maligning here of the NDP’s Speculation Tax, it is apparently freeing up hundreds of mansions for rental. The market is flooded with them and the rents are low! I guess there were a lot more offshore owners than some would have you believe:
https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/why-are-hundreds-of-luxury-vancouver-mansions-being-rented-for-cheap-1.4329800

——————————————–

Sehrish Qureshi is one of 14 students who applied online and was placed in a Vancouver mansion nicknamed “the castle,” paying around $1,000 a month for a mansion with a pool, home theatre, and games room.

That’s 14 fewer students competing for shoebox studios. If this catches on, the NDP’s spec tax may single-handedly solve the Vancouver housing crisis, at least from a rental supply point of view.

Banning AirBnb might be the next step to long-term reasonably priced rents for residents.

A news story based on one house is not news. YVR is so amusing. – Garth

#94 David Driven on 03.11.19 at 7:46 am

#91 Howard, spot on, banning Air BB would be the answer to the rental squeeze. Renting out rooms in a “mansion” is just another slumlord dodge. Right now plenty of agents have figured it out and are collecting on behalf of foreign owner..cash business, no income tax.

The goof balls at Shitty Hall are really that stupid. The ghost hotels are really where the problem is. With the stroke of a pen the Air BB licenses can be revoked and presto, problem solved, so why isn’t the NDP even mentioning the condo market? Could it be pressure from the ethnic dominated trade unions? Say it ain’t so. Please don’t mention corruption in politics.

‘Ethnic-dominated trade unions’? The intolerance of Van posters is breathtaking. – Garth

#95 Howard on 03.11.19 at 8:09 am

A news story based on one house is not news. YVR is so amusing. – Garth

—————————————–

Well I did say “if it catches on”. Maybe the number of owners forced to rent out due to the spec tax is overhyped, but it’s certainly greater than one. In a city with a 1.0% vacancy rate, any additional supply helps.

This can only be a positive. Either absentee owners leave their mansions empty and pay more tax to the province that doesn’t have to come from residents’ pockets. Or, they rent out their properties and improve the rental supply situation. I see no downside here.

The downside is one nice house on a nice street in a nice hood full of students who don’t give a fig for the community. Give your head a shake. – Garth

#96 crowdedelevatorfartz on 03.11.19 at 8:16 am

@#81 Voice

When an interviewer once asked Arthur Ashe if it was “fair” that he was paid more money to play tennis than Billie Jean King he replied, “We’re entertainers. We dont provide a necessary service like a policeman or a fireman. People watch us to be entertained. If more people are willing to pay more money to watch me play. Then I will be paid a higher fee to entertain them.

Thus male hockey players make millions to “entertain” the masses while the female hockey players earn less.

I just rue the day when women’s volleyball becomes available to all…….

#97 604Sam on 03.11.19 at 8:29 am

Flop-
I had no idea you even had a blog. But I always enjoyed your comments here on GF. Thanks for posting man.

#98 Bdwy sktn on 03.11.19 at 8:52 am

Attention boeing investors.
In preparation for descent please fasten your wallets securely.
Could get bumpy.

200 dow points lost at open are Boeing caused

Buy the dip.

#99 Howard on 03.11.19 at 9:00 am

https://www.macleans.ca/politics/ottawa/caesar-chavannes-trudeau/

She said, he said, he said: Yet another rift has opened within the Liberal caucus, this one pitting soon-to-be-former Liberal MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. After dashing off a mysterious tweet last week that apparently took aim at Trudeau’s leadership style, Caesar-Chavannes told the Globe and Mail Trudeau reacted angrily when she first told him she planned to leave politics. “He was yelling. He was yelling that I didn’t appreciate him, that he’d given me so much,” she said. The PMO shot back with what has become a familiar refrain—that yet another woman in Trudeau’s cabinet experienced things differently than he did: “There’s no question the conversations in February were emotional, but there was absolutely no hostility.” (Globe and Mail)

But there was, according to a statement from Caesar-Chavannes’s husband Vidal Chavannes, who says he was listening to his wife’s phone call with Trudeau on speakerphone. “What I heard from that call was misplaced anger and frustration.” (Twitter)

#100 David Driven on 03.11.19 at 9:13 am

DELETED

#101 Penny Henny on 03.11.19 at 9:30 am

#41 millmech on 03.10.19 at 7:18 pm
Just looked at a house in the Fraser Valley today to possibly buy(3bdrm/1.5bth), just over $450,000 currently tenanted at the moment. Tenant pays $1150/mth for the house plus utilities. I came home and did the math that it would cost me monthly around $1900 for the mortgage, $200 for taxes, $300 for maintenance and up keep. Tenant would pay $345,000 over 25 years, owning cost over same time period just around $720,000.
Using Moneychimp calculator and going with the difference of $1250/mth or $15000 per annum invested and earning 6% for 25 years you would have a balance of $875,000 as the difference between owning and renting in favour of renting. Looks like I will keep renting
////////////////

Don’t forget to account for increasing rent payments and life after the first 25 years.

#102 Alistair McLaughlin on 03.11.19 at 10:08 am

The downside is one nice house on a nice street in a nice hood full of students who don’t give a fig for the community. Give your head a shake. – Garth

Because an absentee owner from a far away land parking a few million dollars in an empty mansion is all about the community. (Am I a xenophobe for pointing this out?)

Seriously, if the owners gave a fig about the community, they would sell the place to someone who would actually live there, instead of hanging onto it and turning the place into Animal House.

The NDP policies are ridiculous and destructive, but it only came to this because the situation was already well past ridiculous and destructive.

#103 millmech on 03.11.19 at 10:24 am

#99 Penny Henny
I will be retired by then and an extra $900k in the float would be about an extra $5k a month in spending if needed.

#104 Howard on 03.11.19 at 10:40 am

The downside is one nice house on a nice street in a nice hood full of students who don’t give a fig for the community. Give your head a shake. – Garth

——————————————

Well then if they want quiet and low density, they can move to a quiet and low-density community. Young people are regularly told to move to Tuktoyaktuk if they don’t like the obscene housing costs in Toronto or Vancouver. The same argument applies here. They should blame the government for making it too easy to non-citizens to launder money into their community and buy houses to sit empty and warp the market.

And you act as if all students are disruptive, drunken, aggressive, littering louts. Certainly not the case and especially not at a university like UBC. I would also assume that owners of multimillion dollar homes would be extremely picky with which students they select as tenants.

Moreover given how parts of Vancouver have become ghost towns, I think some of the residents might welcome a few students moving into the neighbourhood and giving it some life.

#105 Howard on 03.11.19 at 10:44 am

#100 Alistair McLaughlin on 03.11.19 at 10:08 am

Seriously, if the owners gave a fig about the community, they would sell the place to someone who would actually live there, instead of hanging onto it and turning the place into Animal House.

—————————————

It’s UBC, not Arizona State. They’re more likely to have a 3D chess competition on the front lawn.

#106 n1tro on 03.11.19 at 10:45 am

#100 Alistair McLaughlin on 03.11.19 at 10:08 am
The downside is one nice house on a nice street in a nice hood full of students who don’t give a fig for the community. Give your head a shake. – Garth

Because an absentee owner from a far away land parking a few million dollars in an empty mansion is all about the community. (Am I a xenophobe for pointing this out?)
—————————–
What part of property rights and the current laws that allow foreign ownership can’t people respect? Would people who are all about “community” have the same issue if the foreign owner left a mansion empty in Regina or Winnipeg? Should Floridians enact similar punitive rules for properties left empty by Canadian snowbirds??

#107 Penny Henny on 03.11.19 at 10:48 am

#101 millmech on 03.11.19 at 10:24 am
#99 Penny Henny
I will be retired by then and an extra $900k in the float would be about an extra $5k a month in spending if needed.
////////////////

No doubt you will have a big float, but maybe not nearly as big as you hope for. All I am saying is to account for rent increases to get a more realistic estimate of what you will really have.
Also, as a reminder, after the house is paid off no more mortgage payments and it too can be liquidated for a ‘float’.
Just saying that your calculations are far too simplistic to base a plan on.
I’m not saying you are wrong but try to be more accurate.

#108 Mattl on 03.11.19 at 10:53 am

#99 Penny Henny on 03.11.19 at 9:30 am
#41 millmech on 03.10.19 at 7:18 pm
Just looked at a house in the Fraser Valley today to possibly buy(3bdrm/1.5bth), just over $450,000 currently tenanted at the moment. Tenant pays $1150/mth for the house plus utilities. I came home and did the math that it would cost me monthly around $1900 for the mortgage, $200 for taxes, $300 for maintenance and up keep. Tenant would pay $345,000 over 25 years, owning cost over same time period just around $720,000.
Using Moneychimp calculator and going with the difference of $1250/mth or $15000 per annum invested and earning 6% for 25 years you would have a balance of $875,000 as the difference between owning and renting in favour of renting. Looks like I will keep renting
////////////////

Don’t forget to account for increasing rent payments and life after the first 25 years.

———————————————————-

Exactly. I couldn’t care less if people own or rent but I’m amazed at the short term approach people take to housing. Being mortgage free in your 50s means 20-30 years of no rent payments. At 2-3K per month for a house, increasing 2-4% per year, that’s 500k-1.5MM in rent payments saved.

Renting and saving makes a lot of sense but you will need significant savings to fund a lifetime of renting in any popular Canadian city. I suspect most renters are not saving the difference and that buying a home that can afford – and saving – is the best path for most middle / upper middle class folks.

#109 David Driven on 03.11.19 at 11:19 am

DELETED (No matter how many times you return using new names. You are still a loser. Go away. – Garth)

#110 iRent2020 on 03.11.19 at 11:50 am

#65 Shawn Allen on 03.10.19 at 9:28 pm

Thanks for your detailed response!!!

#111 Alistair McLaughlin on 03.11.19 at 11:52 am

@#104 Nitro, it’s the current laws regarding property rights for people who have neither stake in nor concern for the future of this country that some of us have a very big problem with. Floridans have every right to govern their state as they feel fit, and if they decided too many Canadians were bidding up prices there, they would be right to act (if they could, the US Constitution likely precludes that), and boo hoo for Canadians.

Regina and Winnipeg need no such restrictions. Just being Regina and Winnipeg is all the protection against foreign ownership they’re ever going to need. :)

#112 n1tro on 03.11.19 at 12:01 pm

#109 Alistair McLaughlin on 03.11.19 at 11:52 am
@#104 Nitro, it’s the current laws regarding property rights for people who have neither stake in nor concern for the future of this country that some of us have a very big problem with. Floridans have every right to govern their state as they feel fit, and if they decided too many Canadians were bidding up prices there, they would be right to act (if they could, the US Constitution likely precludes that), and boo hoo for Canadians.

Regina and Winnipeg need no such restrictions. Just being Regina and Winnipeg is all the protection against foreign ownership they’re ever going to need. :)
—————————-
I think the point is that you can’t have a set of laws for BC while it not applying to SK or MB just because the area is less desirable. That kind of thinking borders on discrimination based on dare I say it…skin color or sex.

What makes this an important issue is not the parking of the money but rather the laundering of it perhaps. So let’s drop the “think about the community” bit as it too close to the same old “Think of the children” bit.

#113 Lillooet, BC on 03.11.19 at 12:09 pm

#12 For those about to flop… on 03.10.19 at 4:30 pm
The last post.

***********

a really sad day
many will miss your input!

#114 bdwy sktrn on 03.11.19 at 12:12 pm

its a barn burner on the sp500 and naz today

having missed most all of the 2018 drop, and re entering early jan, this has been a torrid run .

taking heavy profits here, just unloaded all major etf positions.
only costco left and a smidge of irdm.

may she now drop like a stone!

#115 Remembrancer on 03.11.19 at 12:14 pm

#109 Alistair McLaughlin on 03.11.19 at 11:52 am

In fact Florida has both Capital gains on sale and annual property tax rates specific to foreign nationals…

Actually all US properties are subject to a withholding tax in the case of profit. No, Florida does not have a special property tax for non-residents, but a tax credit locals can apply for. There is no foreign buyer tax. No empty houses tax. No speculation tax. And buyers from other locations are welcome. No comparison. – Garth

#116 John Wayne on 03.11.19 at 12:18 pm

Not quite sure what is being said here…

So now the sentiment is that government will keep further pumping RE? At what cost? This has to die eventually, why make the crash even bigger?

It’s a slow melt right now, seems most logical to keep the temperature as is to keep the ice melting.

#117 maxx on 03.11.19 at 12:22 pm

@ #61

Agree. If this attempt at rounding up another wave of realtard-finessed desperados doesn’t launch, the puppy’s nose will be firmly in the economic poop.

I can’t wait to see what economic snake oil the aggregate I.Q. of the Libs squirts out then…….

#118 EB on 03.11.19 at 12:22 pm

akashic record – It should scare the hell out of any person, who has any sense of illusion of democracy as guiding principle of society.

Fair enough and no argument there, but the de facto definition of Democracy has been under revision globally for a long while now in any case. You perform all sorts of tricks as long as “everyone gets some kind of vote eventually”, regardless of whether or not it means anything at all in a practical sense. Heck, “rule by the the majority” almost sounds ideologically impure these days.

#119 jess on 03.11.19 at 12:22 pm

i wonder how many guys got caught and now they cry about their reputations?
The Massage Parlor Owner Peddling Access to Trump Has Ties to Chinese Government-Linked Groups

Daniel Schulman, David Corn and Dan Friedman
https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2019/03/the-massage-parlor-owner-peddling-access-to-trump-has-ties-to-chinese-government-linked-groups-cindy-yang/

Founder of Florida spa tied to Robert Kraft case offered access to Trump and family at Mar-a-Lago to Chinese clients
Doug Stanglin and Christal Hayes, USA TODAY Published 10:04 a.m. ET March 9, 2019 | Updated 9:03 p.m. ET March 9, 2019

How Florida police snared nearly 300 — including Robert Kraft — at spas used for sex trafficking
Rick Jervis, USA TODAY Published 5:06 a.m. ET March 8, 2019 | Updated 4:46 p.m. ET March 8, 2019
That complex and painstaking – and, to some, controversial – teamwork was at the center of a four-county, seven-month sex trafficking investigation of massage parlors that included hidden cameras, billionaire johns, semen-stained napkins and a $20 million suspected network that stretched from China to New York to Florida.
Instead of raiding and shutting down the spa, as most law enforcement agencies would do given such evidence, he would launch a protracted investigation to try to root out any organized criminal rings operating there.

“We would actually see how far we could go in making a case for human trafficking or racketeering,” said Snyder, a former Republican state lawmaker who co-wrote one of the state’s human trafficking laws. “My sense was: These women don’t do this on their own.”
Orchids of Asia Day Spa

look back
https://www.forbes.com/sites/investor/2014/09/04/carry-trade-the-multi-trillion-dollar-hidden-market/#570d03464d91

#120 Eks dee Siple on 03.11.19 at 12:27 pm

Flop: Batman said he wears a mask not to protect himself, but those he loves. Keep the mask for now. Evil never sleeps.

In other news… 80% of Americans, and 50% of Canadians living paycheck to paycheck. Tell me again, how Capitalism is supposed to work? Oh yeah, I forgot. Poor people are just lazy. Workplaces are full of them.

#121 JB on 03.11.19 at 12:57 pm

#60 Remembrancer on 03.10.19 at 9:17 pm

#48 What about inflation? on 03.10.19 at 7:52 pm

Bit off your main topic, but before you go townhouse do your due diligence on that Condo .i.e. underground parking? Money pit. Roofing due? Crazy condo board? And none are mutually exclusive of the other…
…………………………………………………………………
Ha Crazy condo board take in just about every board in the GTA. They wheel and deal like they are GOD. Most of them are retired wealthy moisters with nothing better to do than stay on a board! Any board, they have huge investment incomes to blow just for the fun of it. They don’t think twice about the fees while the average Joe in the same building has to worry about fees every day as they escalate. They all want the nice amenities from their penthouse while Joe has to count his pennies on the bottom floor all in the same building. This is a real problem as they do not have anything in common with the average Joe. Inflation doesn’t affect the board members and that is why so many average Joe moisters eventually have to unload their condos due to fees.

#122 BillyBob on 03.11.19 at 12:58 pm

#106 Mattl on 03.11.19 at 10:53 am

Exactly. I couldn’t care less if people own or rent but I’m amazed at the short term approach people take to housing. Being mortgage free in your 50s means 20-30 years of no rent payments. At 2-3K per month for a house, increasing 2-4% per year, that’s 500k-1.5MM in rent payments saved.

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

You seem to have missed mentioning the costs of home ownership which are more than considerable. All those costs are subject to the same inflationary forces as rent.

And then there’s not just the direct costs, but the time value of administrating the endless maintenance. Or doing it yourself. When you’re missing life to cut the grass or paint the garage you have to take a long hard think about what’s actually important.

The point is there’s no free lunch and the calculus is always more complicated than portrayed by the home-humpers.

#123 Renting out the home or condo on 03.11.19 at 1:06 pm

Do you really want to rent out your home or condo to strangers? The extra income that is taxable is appealing, but might have unseen consequences.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7iFrLrP6_sc

#124 AGuyInVancouver on 03.11.19 at 2:36 pm

What a suspect story. One example of a $14,000-per-month house. Are you that gullible? – Garth
_ _ _
I’m disappointed you would level a trumpian fake news against ths story. It is CTV, not HuffPo.

Simply go to Craiglist Vancouver, Housing for Rent and select Houses:
https://vancouver.craigslist.org/search/apa?availabilityMode=0&housing_type=6&sale_date=all+dates

Of course, some of these could be owned by spec builder caught out by plummeting prices who can’t afford to sell…

The CTV story was, indeed, fake. It was about one house. – Garth

#125 Ace Goodheart on 03.11.19 at 2:42 pm

Overall portfolio performance update for 2018 year:

Canadian equities portion: gain of 5.32%

Canadian preferred shares: loss of 7.67% (not including dividends received)

Canadian ETFs: Gain of 1.04%

Canadian REITS: Gain of 21.47%

US equities: gain of 10.42%

That is one of seven portfolios that I have constructed. Overall gain for 2018 year: 8.33%

The Canadian REITs are the most successful item in the portfolio once again, for another year. The gain does not include dividends (which is also substantial).

Preferreds are the laggards (this is unusual as for 2017 they did quite well).

The ETFs continue to underperform my other groupings, but that is the usual.

All in all another successful year for this portfolio.

Now add in the 4.5% preferred dividends. – Garth

#126 millmech on 03.11.19 at 3:04 pm

#105 Penny Henny
The homeowners I know have ongoing expenses of $500-$800/mth even after the mortgage is paid off(not including the HELOCs that are going through the roof). In the last four years I have yet to have a rent increase and if the rent goes up I can just move to a more economical place to live.

#127 Deplorable drunken aliens on 03.11.19 at 3:04 pm

#121 Renting out the home or condo on 03.11.19 at 1:06 pm
Do you really want to rent out your home or condo to strangers? The extra income that is taxable is appealing, but might have unseen consequences.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7iFrLrP6_sc

Gotta be smoking man’s place…..

#128 Renter's Revenge! on 03.11.19 at 3:06 pm

You know it’s a good day on the blog when you see not just one, but TWO Warren Buffett quotes in the comments.

My personal favorite is the story about the aliens coming to earth and watching as humans dig gold out of one hole in the ground and then bury it in another hole in the ground and then posting guards around the hole to watch over it, and the aliens are trying to figure out what the heck the humans are doing.

Or maybe it’s the story about the Gotrocks family losing all their wealth to the Helpers. I’m not sure.

Mr. Market coming to your house and knocking on your door every day with his manic-depressive offers is another good one, but I think Benjamin Graham made that one up.

#129 Mattl on 03.11.19 at 3:25 pm

20 BillyBob on 03.11.19 at 12:58 pm
#106 Mattl on 03.11.19 at 10:53 am

Exactly. I couldn’t care less if people own or rent but I’m amazed at the short term approach people take to housing. Being mortgage free in your 50s means 20-30 years of no rent payments. At 2-3K per month for a house, increasing 2-4% per year, that’s 500k-1.5MM in rent payments saved.

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

You seem to have missed mentioning the costs of home ownership which are more than considerable. All those costs are subject to the same inflationary forces as rent.

And then there’s not just the direct costs, but the time value of administrating the endless maintenance. Or doing it yourself. When you’re missing life to cut the grass or paint the garage you have to take a long hard think about what’s actually important.

The point is there’s no free lunch and the calculus is always more complicated than portrayed by the home-humpers.

———————————————————-

Don’t disagree at all.

But the largest cost associated with home ownership, by far, is the mortgage. I’d also argue that home ownership costs tend to get exaggerated on this blog. Yes, a home can become a money pit or or it can cost very little (other then the obvious, insurance and Prop Tax). I am in my 3rd home, 12 years of ownership total and haven’t done one roof, window package, foundation etc. Changed two water tanks + discretionary upgrades. Current house won’t need major updates for 20+ years.

And for a lot of us cutting the grass, planting a berm or painting the garage isn’t missing life. I mean are renters really turning the 60 minutes a week it takes to mow the lawn into some amazing life experience? Yes I have to mow the lawn but I also get to play with my kids on it, entertain, lay in the sun, have pets. If I rented I would likely take care of the yard anyways, I’ve seen what rental yards look like.

Home ownership isn’t for everyone – if I didn’t have kids in school, dogs etc we might be renters. I can’t imagine having to move at a landlords whim, we like the security of owning a home no matter what the rent vs own calculator spits out. If that makes me a house humper so be it, we get so much value out ownership that I would own even if the math was clearly on the side of renting (which for us, it’s not).

#130 WUL on 03.11.19 at 3:26 pm

Tax time. My bookkeeper arrives tomorrow for my year end work. I need to see if my little practice made a profit last year.

I’m minded of the writings of the great American jurist, Justice Learned Hand:

“Any one may so arrange his affairs that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which will best pay the Treasury; there is not even a patriotic duty to increase one’s taxes.”

Gregory v. Helvering, 69 F.2d 809, 810 (2d Cir. 1934)

“Over and over again courts have said that there is nothing sinister in so arranging one’s affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible. Everybody does so, rich or poor; and all do right, for nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands: taxes are enforced exactions, not voluntary contributions. To demand more in the name of morals is mere cant.”

Commissioner v. Newman, 159 F.2d 848, 851 (2d Cir. 1947) – dissenting opinion

#131 not 1st on 03.11.19 at 3:38 pm

Better lower that maple weighting again Garth. Article in G&M today. Obviously Trump is winning at our expense.

“The collateral damage from preferential Chinese purchases could extend to other sectors, including agriculture, where there is significant overlap between what Canada and the United States sell. Both countries are major exporters of wheat, oil seeds, beef, pork and other farm commodities. Both countries also export civilian aircraft to China.”

#132 Midnights on 03.11.19 at 3:50 pm

ECONOMICS
3h ago
Rate cut coming with Canada ‘one notch away’ from recession: Rosenberg

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/rate-cut-coming-with-canada-one-notch-away-from-recession-rosenberg-1.1227014

More locusts from Rosey? – Garth

#133 Ubul on 03.11.19 at 3:50 pm

#126 Renter’s Revenge! on 03.11.19 at 3:06 pm

You know it’s a good day on the blog when you see not just one, but TWO Warren Buffett quotes in the comments.

My personal favorite is the story about the aliens coming to earth and watching as humans dig gold out of one hole in the ground and then bury it in another hole in the ground and then posting guards around the hole to watch over it, and the aliens are trying to figure out what the heck the humans are doing.

—–

That’s a good one.
I wonder though, what the same aliens would think about trucks hauling in paper rolls, some people print some stuff on it, cutting into small pieces, then people would dig gold out of holes, or have sex with aliens in return of that piece of printed paper.

#134 JB on 03.11.19 at 3:51 pm

#121 Renting out the home or condo on 03.11.19 at 1:06 pm

Do you really want to rent out your home or condo to strangers? The extra income that is taxable is appealing, but might have unseen consequences.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7iFrLrP6_sc
………………………………………………………………………
Happens more that you think here. Condo boards and owners bury this stuff. They don’t want to lower the property values.

#135 jess on 03.11.19 at 4:01 pm

foreign money is coming into elections through nonprofits and corporations”

Part 1
How a Top GOP Lawyer Guided a Chinese-Owned Company Into U.S. Presidential Politics
Part 2
Meet the Chinese Husband-and-Wife Team Whose Company Spent $1.3 Million Trying to Make Jeb Bush President
Part 3
Three Paths Citizens United Created for Foreign Money to Pour Into U.S. Elections
https://theintercept.com/2016/08/03/gop-lawyer-chinese-owned-company-us-presidential-politics/

The total combined fine against Bush’s super-PAC and APIC, which has not previously been reported, is $940,000 …

https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2019/03/jeb-bush-super-pac-fec-fine-neil-right-to-rise-apic-gordon-tang/

“This illegal $1.3 million is a direct result of Citizens United,” Fischer says, since before that 2010 Supreme Court decision, companies could not donate unlimited amounts of money to super-PACs.

#136 Ace Goodheart on 03.11.19 at 4:51 pm

Anyone watching what is happening in Venezuela?

Very interesting situation developing.

A bit of history: Venezuela draws about 80% of its electrical power from a single source: The massive Guri dam on the Caroni River in Bolivar State.

On Thursday last week, the Simón Bolívar Hydroelectric Plant, which makes up the entire generating capacity of the Guri dam, went down.

Since Thursday, the Venezuelan government has tried to re-start this generation plant four times, with each time ending in failure. Each time, they have also broken something else, most recently blowing up a substation that supplies power to Caracas.

The trick with the Guri dam is it is very difficult to re-start once it is stopped. There are nine individual turbines that must be started by skilled operators who can synchronize them so they run at the same speed – and that is if they are all actually working.

However, years of mismanagement and corruption means that Guri was probably operating on borrowed time, with no maintenance, unskilled operators and much needed repairs being missed due to money being sent elsewhere due to corruption.

You basically had the military running a hydro electric dam. They knew nothing about how to do it.

Flash forward to now – Guri is most certainly broken. The question is, how do they get people in who can fix it?

Well, Venezuela’s government is in the process of shutting their borders to all foreign aid. They are blaming Americans for a web attack that killed the Guri (impossible, but that is what they are doing).

So, likely Guri will not be up and running anytime soon. If it is badly damaged, and even if they could get the right people and equipment in, it would still probably take months to fix it.

So we now have a country that basically sits on the equator, and has a large number of people, that was almost starving as it is, now with almost no electricity. Food is spoiling. There is no refrigeration. People are dying in darkened hospitals.

There is no quick fix to this. This is probably one of the worst catastrophes to hit the human race in some time, and we are basically watching it unfold right now…

#137 Vancouver on 03.11.19 at 4:57 pm

#12 For those about to flop

Sorry to hear you are not going to post anymore… you did a good think about reporting and now stopping it because of your wife. The treat just tells us how important it is for some people to keep real estate truth hidden. You have done a good job, now rest. Your job is done.. the real estate is in correction mode and nothing can stop it, not even lower interest rates. I appreciate your time and help. You have opened the eyes of many who were blind to real estate cartel deception and for that we are grateful. I see that treat as a peak real estate madness or start of beautiful correction. Thank you

#138 Barb on 03.11.19 at 6:23 pm

#127 Mattl on 03.11.19 at 3:25 pm

“…And for a lot of us cutting the grass, planting a berm or painting the garage isn’t missing life. I mean are renters really turning the 60 minutes a week it takes to mow the lawn into some amazing life experience? Yes I have to mow the lawn but I also get to play with my kids on it, entertain, lay in the sun, have pets. If I rented I would likely take care of the yard anyways, I’ve seen what rental yards look like.”

——————————————

Exactly! Thought the same thing(s).

But I do wish H would clean the gutters (ahem!)
Probably my job to coincide with when I put up the Christmas lights.

#139 Van_WHY on 03.11.19 at 10:21 pm

#12 For those about to flop

That’s terrible! I am really going to miss your blog, I ckecked it daily as we were often watching some of the same properties. It’s so unfortunate that trolls have taken over the online discourse. I really appreciated all the effort you put in. I wish you the best!

#140 David Driven on 03.11.19 at 11:03 pm

Re:109 , so….you are taking Trudeau’s bullshit to heart and suggesting that we’re just experiencing the same thing differently”? Don’t even try to grab my ass…groping is groping….lying is lying….the truth is the truth..

And…if you want quotes from local, national and international media, let’s have a debate that just might Schick you off your delusional maypole mentality. If you want to live as a bullshit artist just say so, but don’t expect the adults not to comment. Some of us take our responsibilities towards Canada seriously.

#141 praire person on 03.12.19 at 12:52 am

Unexpected costs. Are you planning on paying the mortgage by renting rooms? Friends did that. He’s retired. She’s close. Went okay for a couple of years. Joined AirBNB. Pretty steady clientele. Then two couples came. Lots of screaming and yelling. Fighting. It got so bad that the owners called the cops. Cops came twice. The second time they escorted the “guests” out. No rent paid. The owners thought there were remnants of drugs in the suite. They found an empty Naloxin (sp?) kit,empty needle. Cops didn’t want anything to do with it. They’re too busy. The former guests took to the internet blaming the owners. Complained mightily to AirBNB. The owners got a call that said they were being kicked off the Air. Lost rent, lost money for a scrupulous cleaning. Lost license. Good luck with renting out rooms. You think all those renters are sane, clean, respectable?