The problem

Let’s start with Vivian. I think she hates me.

“My husband has been reading your blog for a while now,” she writes. “I have a problem.”

Oops. Okay, Viv. Get it off your chest.

“All of your posts about “don’t buy a house” always only take in consideration the money aspect of things. What about the whole comfort side? Knowing you aren’t going to see your entire life go up in flames because the stoned neighbour kid dropped his weed smoke on the carpet and was too stoned to put it out? Or because the old man on the other side fell asleep while cooking? You pay rent for 30 years and after that, what happens? You have nothing. You pay mortgage for 20 years, you can then turn around and sell it and get some of that money back.

“Living in an apartment or townhouse causes stress. Instead of constantly saying buying a house is bad, maybe you should try giving usefull advices on how to do it.

“Dont get me wrong, I have tried investing. I’ve tried placing $100 in a TFSA 3 years ago to see what would happen. I only put this small amount because I was skeptical. Over the years, it dropped down to $97 and now own $100.04. Same with my RRSP. I’ve put more money in it for the last 3 years than what it is currently worth. WOOPDEDOO. Investing is sooooo exciting. I feel like I’ve earned so much money /sarcasm. Investing feels like a risky money scam much more than buying a house to me.

“I have 30k in a regular savings account ready to be used for a downpayment. I fear if I listen to you and my husband and “invest” with it, I will just lose more money. Also, I hate hearing the neighbours yell when I am taking a bath.”

Now, aren’t you happy you’re not married to her? Lord knows what she does in the tub to attract the neighbours’ attention. But she got mine. And this is why we’ve been teetering on the edge of a real estate meltdown. When people who have no money (and thirty grand these days is nothing) think it’s only a blog standing between them and home ownership, disaster is but a few unexpected events away.

Vivian’s right that renting an apartment in the wrong building sucks. But lacking the money to own (clearly the case), she and her poor husband can always rent one. Trying to buy would financially cripple them, and any housing correction would quickly drown their meagre equity and send them deep underwater. But the fact this woman thinks it’s some weird, old guy on the Internet standing between her and heaven is the real concern. How many people believe they’re entitled to real estate? Is it everyone now?

Plus, note the reference to her prolonged and detailed experiment with investing. She lost three bucks. So it must be a scam. Most likely this involved a few units in a high-fee, low-risk, meagre-return mutual fund flogged by [email protected] So combine the two – feeling a house is an entitlement and financial illiteracy – and you get this. The seeds of a market meltdown if anything big goes wrong. A recession. Jobless jump. Rate spike. Trade war. Climate crisis. Unfortunately, we’re closer to this now than a year ago.

The Bank of Canada knows. No coincidence that while holding interest rates steady last week and removing the possibility of any hike for a long time, it dropped a real estate report with a shocking conclusion. The bubble that’s made housing so damned expensive and dangerous to people like Viv, the bank says, was not caused by foreign money. Not by speculators, either. Or the mortgage stress test.

Nope, it was us. Just as this pathetic blog has yammered about for years. The above may have been contributing factors, but it was FOMO and greed which shot values to unsustainable levels, just as fear and debt are bringing them back down.

Because so many people believed Chinese dudes and rich 1%ers were snapping up all the houses and driving prices to the sky, they rushed in to purchase even when (like Vivian) they could ill afford it, taking on huge debt. Then when foreign buyer and anti-speculator taxes hit, people panicked thinking real estate would tank. So it did. When emotion rules, wise decisions vanish.

“Overall,” says the bank’s report, “the evidence presented in this section suggests that the unexplained strength in resales reflects extrapolative expectations, which drove up speculative demand and caused some households to pull forward purchases in fear of later being priced out of the market. Importantly, the provincial housing measures appear to have played the dominant role in eliminating these sources of demand. This is mainly because the measures, while directly targeted at the relatively small portion of home purchases by non-residents, altered the expectations of residents and generated an outsized response in the housing market.”

“The largest impact of the policies,” it concludes, “came through shocks to expectations of domestic homebuyers.”

And what next? No rebound. Too late for that. Prices are still too high. Household debt has exploded to untested levels. The jobs boom is likely over. The economy has done nothing for six months and that is exactly why the Bank of Canada’s jumped on the brakes. The housing market, it says, “is in uncharted territory.”

So, Viv, give it up You cannot afford a house and shouldn’t try. Even if you had funds, this is a poor time to buy. If you don’t like your neighbours, move. And please try to behave in the bath.

About the picture...

Drew in Stoney Creek ON writes: “Kodiak (the dad) is a 6-year-old 140lb purebred  and Tamaya (mom) is a 7-year-old 140lb English Mastiff / St Bernard. They had one litter of 13 pups. Mom had a terrible labour taking the better part of 36 hours to deal with all of them. Due to the birth being so hard on her (and us), that was the first and last litter. Sadly she lost 5 during the birth. The pup here has gone to live in Bowmanville. Thank you for all you do. Give Bandit a tummy rub.”

128 comments ↓

#1 AK on 04.28.19 at 3:01 pm

“Now, aren’t you happy you’re not married to her?”
=====================================

It’s too bad there was no blog 40 years ago. I would not have married anybody. :-)

#2 crowdedelevatorfartz on 04.28.19 at 3:09 pm

30 k in the bank and almost zero invested.

Lotsa luck Viv.

Yer gonna need it.

#3 Fortunate one on 04.28.19 at 3:16 pm

What goomba would attempt to breed a seven year old dog and especially for the first time??? Obviously a selfish and greedy one!!!

Please keep up the much appreciated words of care and wisdom Garth.

#4 The Decent Majority on 04.28.19 at 3:16 pm

I think I was married to her. I am doing better now.

#5 BC Renovator on 04.28.19 at 3:20 pm

“Now, aren’t you happy you’re not married to her? Lord knows what she does in the tub to attract the neighbours’ attention. But she got mine. ”

Lol that was Hilarious!

Viv needs a Financial advisor.

#6 crowdedelevatorfartz on 04.28.19 at 3:30 pm

@#81 Rembrancer
“and now close protection specialists abound on this blog….”

++++
Uhh yeah, I noticed the “no necks” standing pretty close to the “berator”.

What i was surprised at was Mr Angry Volunteer was able to get within 50 feet of Trudeau during what was obviously a staged, public relations, campaign stunt.
An election year campaign stunt should leave nothing to chance.
Gerald Butts is gone.
It seems to be amateur hour in the PMO these days.

Immediately after 9/11 PM Cretien was in Vancouver to make a public presentation at the New Chinatown gates.
I was curious to see if security had been “improved” in those early days after 9/11
It was held at noon, midweek, in crappy weather.
A few dignitaries, Cretien, maybe 50 people.
At least 20 undercover cops.
One lone protester barely got to wave his cardboard sign and shout something juvenile and he was arrested and bundled away in an unmarked van with media ghouls there to gleefully record the event…

Yes, I understand PM’s are protected.
Not the point I was trying to make.

An amateur PR stunt gone bad and if the tweets and forwarded emails of it are any indication,….
Selfie just lost another 5 points…..

#7 crowdedelevatorfartz on 04.28.19 at 3:35 pm

@#83 Ponzie Pilot

“You used to be a gentle voice quoting Confucious
Now you’re suggesting that innocent bystanders be thrown in jail.
What happened?”

##########

The Carbon Tax drove him over the edge…….
F-150’s cost huge money to fill.

#8 Millmech on 04.28.19 at 3:40 pm

She should buy a house now, if she is flipping over $3 loss I can’t wait to see what she does when she loses $300k!

#9 Damifino on 04.28.19 at 3:42 pm

Speaking of Mr. Cretien and Prime Ministerial security, who could forget this marvelous incident…?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shawinigan_Handshake

#10 Ustabe on 04.28.19 at 3:45 pm

All real estate must be local. Around my compound here in the Gateway to the North Island homes are mostly 1,000 to 1,800 sq ft and if not fully renovated are 3 bed, 1 bath on 6 to the acre lots. A large number of them are old AHOP homes from the 70s.

We’ve had 6 pop up in the ‘hood with for sale signs over the past few months and all sold within weeks, not months. One I know went for full list. The ask seems to be in the high $400,000 range, just flirting with $500,000.

A custom home builder I’m familiar with is fully booked out for a year and a half, we have major builds going on in owner apartment buildings and rental apartment buildings with each new newspaper announcing a higher percentage sold. There are single family developments doing the same thing and my small town is getting its first commercial ground floor, apartments up top development, its just foundation and sticks now but the sign indicates a surprising (to me) % of sold.

My property taxes are under $2,000, my Doctor, Dentist and massage places are in walking distance. The newly renovated mall now offers food, government liquor, and drug stores along with a cannabis store and a gelato spot. It also is within walking distance.

My advisor just traded in her Fiat for a Tesla and not the poverty spec one either. (She makes better investment decisions than car buying ones, honest) Me…I’m thinking the south of Portugal, Tavira to be precise. Time to eat some octopus and get a jump start on summer.

#11 Yukon Elvis on 04.28.19 at 3:49 pm

High real estate prices were caused by low interest rates, easy credit, and government policy.

#12 Jimmy on 04.28.19 at 4:04 pm

Classic Garth.
Hilarious!!
Makes my Sunday after shovelling heavy wet snow.

#13 Vivian on 04.28.19 at 4:18 pm

Vivian brought up good points! Not sure why all the negativity. I made way more money in the last 7 years in real estate than I could have ever made by investing in stocks, etc. There are more than just the Toronto/Vancouver real estate market. Garth’s advice is mainly based on those markets, but if you live anywhere else, his advice may not apply.

Tell your husband to be more open minded and not just take all the info from one person! Garth is a smart man and I appreciate his advice but I take it with a grain of salt. And yes, why live in a tiny apartment when you can own a house (in a different city)?!
Good luck, I am single by the way ;)

#14 Scottyinthesky on 04.28.19 at 4:21 pm

I have never commented before…I was compelled.
GOOD HEAVENS.
I married a saint. That poor, poor man.
Poor. Man.

#15 Andrew on 04.28.19 at 4:33 pm

https://www.bloomberg.com/amp/opinion/articles/2019-04-26/capitalism-is-broken-because-of-central-banks#click=https://t.co/rKd1hrqcnO

Unleash capitalism, it’s time for plan B(itcoin)

#16 Willum Lebovitz on 04.28.19 at 4:38 pm

Poloz and Trudeau Jr will transform that 30 grand into 30 pesos when they are done with Canada.

As a Canadian for the past 30 years of my life, I wouldn’t want to buy a house in Canada.

I’ve seen the terrible things that the growing Alt Right is doing to destroy property of those deemed not Canadian or white enough for their racist utopia.

House prices are costly and insurance companies give one a very difficult time to cover the cost of damages done by racist groups.

One well-known insurance company (and part of the Big 5 banks) reiterated that when a group of racist troublemakers attempted to burn down my friend’s garage, while spraying Nazi imagery graffiti on his car parked on the driveway, that it was one of those “An act of God” clauses that the insurance did not cover.

and they refused to cover the costs of damages unless police (York Regional Police) apprehended a suspect.

York Regional Police refused to lay hate speech charges on a school administrator for advocating genocide; this is what home ownership is in Canada.

#17 I think maybe ... on 04.28.19 at 4:45 pm

Vivian has some extrapolative expectations too.

#18 tkid on 04.28.19 at 4:50 pm

Viv, what did you invest in? Do you remember the stock code? If you don’t, can you give us the full title to your investment?

#19 Joe Schmoe on 04.28.19 at 5:06 pm

I own my home, my brother rents….pros/cons to both sides of the equation.

The fact that Garth tries to beat into thick skulls…is what can you afford?

My brother is saving $14K a year in AFTER TAX dollars buy renting vs carrying a mortgage….not including property taxes and toilet replacements. Furthermore the down payment he is sitting on gained 21% in the past 3 years.

Timing is everything. Why pay more to own, when you can be subsidized by a landlord.

When the market conditions change, he will be ready to vulch…either his liquid portfolio will stay healthy, or he will have a much lower leveraged house.

Waiting “forever” in these conditions is just fine.

#20 Captain Uppa on 04.28.19 at 5:34 pm

>>Even if you had funds, this is a poor time to buy.>>

Garth, you have mentioned in some recent (and somewhat recent) posts about this being a good time to find some deals.

Something about the human herd only buying when prices are rising and not when prices are declining.

So now you say “poor time to buy”. What gives?

#21 yvr_lurker on 04.28.19 at 5:35 pm

The amount invested and saved over the years is indeed not enough to purchase a place, and for sure it is not a “right” to own a place to live. This couple is in a bad situation. However, due to rampant speculation by foreigners and locals, purchasing a decent place suitable for a family (and I don’t mean a 600 sq.ft. Hong Kong style apartment) in our major cities has become unaffordable for the vast majority of people (without trust funds and inheritances) who have yet to purchase. It is undeniably more difficult to get a foothold than in the past, and this is largely a result of zero gov’t controls and too much globalization of our local housing market.

#22 Linda on 04.28.19 at 5:37 pm

Golly, what to say to ‘Viv’. First, owning a house doesn’t magically confer immunity from noisy neighbors or fire. That stoner kid could just as easily flick a burning butt into flammable material near a house & up she goes. In suburbia, housing is cheek by jowl & it is truly amazing how much one can hear the neighbors, especially during warm weather.

Second, investing doesn’t come with a guarantee of continuous returns. Read a year’s worth of blog posts & pay attention. Lots of excellent advice on how to build a portfolio. Hint, a single $100 contribution to a TFSA isn’t going to ensure you will be financially secure X number of years in the future. Try investing $100 a week using the freely provided advice in this blog to build a balanced & diversified portfolio. Even if you just broke even, after a decade you would have at least $52,000 ($100x52x10).

Third, if you really want something time to get off your duff & do the work to figure out how to get it. Be realistic. If you are looking for a swanky big mansion in the heart of the GTA or Vancouver, not going to happen with $30,000 in savings plus $100 in the TFSA. Think affordable locales & small housing options instead.

#23 DON on 04.28.19 at 5:44 pm

Had a recent chat with a late firend. Who asked why I haven’t bought an investment house yet.

The person did 5 years ago on Van Isle and intends to scale up again to the 800K plus range. Recently, made an offer but it fell through do to the broker. What are the possible reasons? Anyone?

I merely mentioned that troubles in Van.

Reply: ‘But that won’t happen here cause we are not Vancouver’

I mentioned the mortgage would be huge.

Reply: ‘Not with the equity in your current house’

I mentioned high debt rates and an uneasy global/domestic horizon.

Reply: ‘The plan is to air bnb and rent out as one can rent out for a killing’

I didn’t mention the lack of high paying jobs in the area as it was best to change the conversation three times and keep it as light and move on. The new side of his family has a realty influence – not a bad thing.

I could be wrong but at least I gave some thoughts to consider while trying to avoid any real talk on the subject.

The dramatic house equity increases have made people adverse to risk, or our own human nature. Need to live it before it truly sinks in. I wish all the best for this individual and thanked the stars the deal fell through. What to do?

#24 Buddy on 04.28.19 at 5:46 pm

What about the 100,000 people coming to the GTA every year. Why no recognition that the GTA is booming, still. The service-based economy is thriving, people from all over, rural areas, other countries and provinces are flooding into the GTA. Why must we always anticipate the inevitable bust. Things are rockin’. And getting vertical.

#25 DON on 04.28.19 at 5:47 pm

#20 DON on 04.28.19 at 5:44 pm

Had a recent chat with a late firend. Who asked why I haven’t bought an investment house yet.

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

Hit submit prior to proof reading.

Should have read:

‘Had a recent chat with a late friend who is late 30’s.’

#26 SimplyPut7 on 04.28.19 at 5:57 pm

I don’t think there are that many people who have a problem with renting. The problem is Canada has not encouraged developers to make affordable purpose-built rentals, leaving very little choice for tenants who are on a tight budget.

I find rentals at the higher end of the market $2,500 or more are a lot nicer and plentiful in cities like Toronto, whereas finding an affordable place that allows a pet, has a parking spot and a clean place to do laundry for $1,600 or less is hard to find in the GTA.

Once the 150,000+ condos being built in the GTA and YVR are finished being built and rents fall, I think people will appreciate renting more and not be as house obsessed as they were in the period between 2011-2017 in Canada.

#27 Howard on 04.28.19 at 6:02 pm

Drew in Stoney Creek ON writes: “Kodiak (the dad) is a 6-year-old 140lb purebred and Tamaya (mom) is a 7-year-old 140lb English Mastiff / St Bernard. They had one litter of 13 pups. Mom had a terrible labour taking the better part of 36 hours to deal with all of them. Due to the birth being so hard on her (and us), that was the first and last litter. Sadly she lost 5 during the birth. The pup here has gone to live in Bowmanville. Thank you for all you do. Give Bandit a tummy rub.”

———————————————

Why are you contributing to pet overpopulation when there are tens of thousands of dogs sitting in kennels across the country waiting for homes?

#28 DON on 04.28.19 at 6:16 pm

#10 Ustabe on 04.28.19 at 3:45 pm

Had a work colleague who bought an house to live Courtney area. She just recently sold to applied for one of those new rental buildings. She never lived in the house she sold.

She was talking as if she got out just in time.

#29 Phylis on 04.28.19 at 6:17 pm

Viv, do some more reading.

#30 Paul on 04.28.19 at 6:19 pm

#27 Howard on 04.28.19 at 6:02 pm
————————————————————————————————
What a dick!

#31 Rexx Rock on 04.28.19 at 6:19 pm

How do you know when a politician is lying?When their lips are moving.The CB is the same.The goverment and CB planned this bubble and high ownership of real estate to enslave the masses and fill their coffers.They do everything under the sun to make this happen.My next prediction that it will not allow snowbirds to live out of the country for a warm sunny winter.3 months max or your CPP or AOS will be cut.
We all know the German people are very smart people,its private citizens are buying gold big time.Why?Do they no something we don’t?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qd4GQRtCPu8

#32 the ryguy - In cabo on 04.28.19 at 6:32 pm

Viv sounds like a treat! Although that alt right rant is the dumbest thing on the blog today..so far anyway. How many more Smollet-esque staged hate crimes, like the one in winnipeg a few days ago, do we need before folks have a little more cynicism towards this “huge overwhelming alt right presence”.

Critical thinking is at an all time low.

#33 Lost...but not leased on 04.28.19 at 6:33 pm

Garth’s advice et al..

It’s classic Mexican standoff….all RE is currently owned by “someone”…there are future buyers…so how does this Gordian Knot get resolved ???

As a Boomer..I went through a few Real Estate cycles and thought the prices were ridiculous and would collapse…they never did insofar as normal metrics….so one had to be savvy to “brave new world” economy of rampant speculation ala inflation since early 1970’s. Now the issue is a focus on “timing”.

We bought in 1996 at a low point in the RE market, negotiated a 20% haircut ( the sellers we found out had bought elsewhere and thus very motivated to sell )

Since then our property value has quadrupled ….. we own it clear….and not interested in selling (aka it’s a “home” and not yet an ” RE investment ” ) and we have cash in the bank.

Again..at the end of the day(or cycle)….REGARDLESS.. someone will own each given piece of RE.

#34 NoName on 04.28.19 at 6:41 pm

definitely press play! 1 min long.

https://twitter.com/PolishPatriotTM/status/1116837251374358528

#35 Bonhomme Carnaval on 04.28.19 at 6:53 pm

Home ownership is a privilege, not a right.

The biggest scam is the Millennial meme of urban Canadian living, lattes, and biking to work.

Secondary cities and small towns offer a better quality of life, not to mention real communities.

Stop drinking the overpriced Kool-Aid!

-A tail-end GenXer

#36 ImGonnaBeSick on 04.28.19 at 7:06 pm

#27 Howard on 04.28.19 at 6:02 pm

Good lord you’re irritating. I hope you fall off your bike.

#37 Chris on 04.28.19 at 7:13 pm

Some people’s mind is stuck in the industrial age. With robots replacing most jobs, there is going to be mass unemployment. People’s mindset have to change. In the information and robotics age, a house and a family is a liabilty. Don’t have kids and don’t buy a house. That will make your life easier and you will be able to retire early.

#38 BlorgDorg on 04.28.19 at 7:15 pm

Entitlement to real estate ownership is rampant because everyone knows at least one loud-mouthed self-congratulatory “investment genius” who made money in the past decade on real estate. And to be sure, there was lots of money made.

Let’s just hope those gains were declared legally. Just learned that my idiot BIL the realtor and his 4 co-investors/brothers all just got a nasty letter from the CRA demanding a full audit of the past 7 years – because one of them only declared 25% cap. gains tax on one of their properties.

A made-in-Canada housing crash could well come from a CRA crackdown on poor tax reporting (whether deliberate evasion or negligence). Garth has alluded to this several times already with the CRA registry but evidently it’s happening now.

Tax deadline is Tuesday, just a reminder.

#39 Flop... on 04.28.19 at 7:18 pm

Some light Sunday evening reading perhaps?

I was gonna write Garth off blog, just to touch base, but I might as well write you all.

Work is surprisingly busy, still lots of construction on the Westside, despite the downturn.

Maybe just the lag, but it is putting food on the table and so I will take it.

Should I comment on Vancouver Real Estate?

I don’t do the Pink Snow project anymore.

During my last few months on the blog I was slowly transitioning away from the big hits to speculators,and perhaps mainly on my blog, was spending more time helping people find something affordable in their range that would possibly help improve their living conditions.

Apologies to those people that I was in the middle of helping, but my wife’s safety took precedent.

A few days after the incident on here I walked by my wife’s place of work and she was out doing a fire drill with the kids and I knew right there I had done the right thing to diffuse the situation.

People in this city are looking for a scapegoat and I have no need to be one, a construction worker with a conscience should not be at the top of anyone’s hit list after what was allowed to happen in Vancouver the last decade or so.

Part of the reason I started to transition in helping people find options to live was it was bought to my attention that several copycats had popped up on Twitter doing similar types of things as my Pink Posts, so people that are interested in that are still covered, just not so well on this blog.

Here is recent example of the new conditions upon us.

One of my neighbours just sold their house for 860k.

Assessment comes in at a lofty 1.34

https://www.zolo.ca/vancouver-real-estate/749-east-39th-avenue

It was only 3 years ago houses like this in this area were going for 1.3-1.4.

Quite the reversal.

The main problem going forward in Vancouver real estate is there is no floor to the market where there should be, such was the contrived and convoluted nature of the market.

Instead of a two or three year run up, we had 15 years with only one brief dip during the Global Financial Crisis, but as I have always maintained the 2010 Winter Olympics and the feel-good factor and the cash being splashed paper mached over that crack pretty quick.

Hard to see prices not going back to somewhere around the same time (2009-2010) at this stage, the way things currently stand.

I still occasionally look at my Pink Folders, just keep the findings to myself.

That’s the positive side of things covered what’s happening on the negative side?

I don’t add any new addresses, just let them slowly run out, some of them will still be dealing with their situations into the next decade, I feel sorry for some of them but I did everything in my power to ring the bell.

I won’t put up the address or anything, as the realtors cry too much about the losses or anything negative, but it looks like someone just lost 5 million on a flip gone wrong.

More money gone than I will ever earn in my lifetime, by far.

You can tell some of the realtors and speculators on here only watch the first half of horror movies and then turn them off.

Has anyone on here ever tried to guide a city through a real estate collapse?

I have.

Didn’t end too well, but I still have my wife so not all is lost…

M44BC

P.S , hope everyone is having a good year on here.

P.p.s , No Name, why you keep calling me a bastiges?

Is that a bastard with a bandage on…

#40 crowdedelevatorfartz on 04.28.19 at 7:32 pm

@#36 I’m gonna be sick
“Good lord you’re irritating. I hope you fall off your bike.”
+++++

Whoa! Slow down!
Bike?
Howard hasnt mastered the bicycle yet.
He’s still quite happy cruising on this…..

https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/shopping?q=tbn:ANd9GcTGEIGLB0VZgEVSQSg_4c_DKIEV60P4rTFeuIPilSZk7B6iSu3ykOnIEM84SE1EH8rmbr0vkH0n2Q&usqp=CAc

#41 Dolce Vita on 04.28.19 at 7:37 pm

Dear FARM, OUTBACK or FOREST PRIMEVAL HICKS:

#6 crowdedelevatorfartz
#9 Damifino

Spelled:

Chrétien

Not:

Cretien

As for the handshake, my ‘kinda guy. I would have gone for a right jab. Bonus points instead for the more direct choke approach. Imagine the Drama Teacher doing that…he would have cried after.

Under “Chrétien” (Wikipedia):

-Tax-to-GDP ratio FELL from 34.8 percent to 32.8 percent.
-Tax on personal income as a % of GDP, FELL from 13.5% to 11.3%.
-Tax on personal income as a % of all taxation FELL from 37.6% to 34.3%.
-From 1997 to 2003 tax revenue ROSE from $327,838 million to $410,302.
-Real GDP ROSE an average 3% annually; to 5.5% in 1999 and 2000.

He rolled back the Pierre Trudeau and prior Liberal PM’s social spending and lack of deficit cutting by Conservative Mulroney (recall Mulroney increased Pierre’s -$32.4 Billion deficit to -$39 Billion).

Chrétien inherited Mulroney’s -$39 Billion deficit and turned it into a +$10.6 Billion surplus. Martin continued that increasing the surplus to +$13.2 Billion.

LUCK SUCK HARPER inherited, by in large, Chrétien’s hard won surplus carried on by Martin.

————————————————————-

Chrétien lowered taxes, gave the money to the people instead while increasing tax revenues at the same time and creating a healthy Gov. surplus from a HUGE deficit.

For the MAJORITY OF YOU CONSERVATIVE DICK HEADS that read this Blog (70% of you said you’d vote for Harper in 2015 from Garth’s informal poll), THE ABOVE IS LIBERALISM AT ITS BEST (choke holds and all).

BITE ME.

Why Justin NEEDS TO GO COME OCTOBER and a new crew to remake the Liberal Party to what it was under Chrétien and Martin.

————————————————————-

As for you, My Liege, GARTH the left leaning young can INDEED become older and NOT CONSERVATIVE, you can have your cake and eat it too (well, you could under Chrétien & Martin).

#42 bellend on 04.28.19 at 7:38 pm

viv losing 3g of your own is manageable.. vs a 300g mortgage that goes bad? your life ambitions are shattered coz that mortgage aint going away

#43 Dolce Vita on 04.28.19 at 7:56 pm

Good Blog today that illustrates in spades FINANCIAL LITERACY still a major challenge in Canada.

Still, people do want a roof over their heads they can call their own.

But as you say Garth, if you can afford it then do it. Just don’t give away your future well being away in that quest.

RULE of 90.

Sound advice.

————————————-

Buonanotte e Ciao d'[*]Italia.

*threadbare GDP growth.

#44 not 1st on 04.28.19 at 8:11 pm

When your wife’s on the warpath and threatening you, buy the damn house.

#45 Renting in Vancouver For Life on 04.28.19 at 8:18 pm

For Life.

I have owned a house in Vancouver. Faked affording it, rode the appreciation wave, lucky to have gotten out with my shirt. Hated it. Year end tax returns would go straight to taxes. Was running house poor, low on liquidity and this was when Vancouver houses cost 500k. It didn’t make sense then and it doesn’t make sense now. I sold it and invested the gains. Who cares if they go to 20million dollars per. Never looking back. I do my math now when making decisions instead of being stupid and listening to what a bank thinks.

There are so many good rentals available now. And NDP are expanding this supply. 2k gets you anywhere in Vancouver, Burnaby, Port Moody right now. Students are sharing luxury point grey mansions for like 800 bucks per room. People are brainwashed by the Canadian dream pushed by all those who a stake in making money off it. Switch up your job for better pay and moving is easy when renting. Screw commuting. You see the price of gas in the Lower Mainland? Those people who moved to Langley to commute and save a couple hundred grand on a place don’t look so smart now. 2hours in traffic each day to have the keys to place leased off the bank? Screw that. But that is the result you get when not bothering to do the math.

I am not throwing away 2k per month because I rent. The cost of home ownership runs neck and neck with renting where in 25 years no headway in wealth will have been achieved. You know how many things can change and happen in 25 years?

I am okay with a 2million dollar investment portfolio upon retiring at 55. I will continue to rent and live anywhere I want and not have to worry about commuting from Langley. Prefer Kitslano. I can buy a new car if I want. I can take off for a Hawaiian vacation if I want. The money is in the bank. No stress. Ever. A lot of people my age look 20 years older. Lose my job in the next recession. Oh well. I am good for 5 years to find a new one.

If prices devalue 70+%, maybe I will take another look. Probably won’t happen and don’t waste your time worrying about whether or not it will. Invest in your education and growth of income and park money in investments and enjoy life along the way.

Housing costs in Canada cost you a minimum of 2k per month, whether you own or rent. Closer to 3k if you own. Get used to it and get on with it.

#46 not 1st on 04.28.19 at 8:19 pm

Lets impart some wisdom to both views. First Viv made the mistake of not buying dividends it appears. Never buy any investment that doesn’t pay you to own it. A reliable, long term dividend is a marker of a good stock that has cash flow and a business cycle that’s fairly knowable.

Second for Garth, the imaginary great home for rent in a great area doesn’t exist. Most landlords are slum lords. They own the cheapest places in the worst areas and they live in the best ones. There are no houses for rent in my entire subdivision. Just cardboard condos. if you want a house to rent, then it off to the WW2 era styles in the core. Not something any wife would tolerate no matter how big your TFSA is.

#47 Mr Canada on 04.28.19 at 8:29 pm

Hey Garth. You have been preaching the end is nigh on real estate for a long, long time (over a decade at least). Homes in great neighbourhoods in the GTA are still selling near list – sure it’s a buyers market, and with 350,000+ immigrants moving to Canada every year, they have to live somewhere, and most end up in the GTA. Sure prices have dropped from the peak in May 2017, I bought in 2012 and while I am still ahead – but you gotta live somewhere…and tax free gain at some point is still a good game. Btw, do you own your own house ?

#48 Ace Goodheart on 04.28.19 at 8:47 pm

She’s right though. There’s no way for the average person to understand investing. You can understand real estate buying, easily enough. It’s simple. Crappy looking building, with good bones, in a bad neighbourhood that has something going to happen to it that will make property values increase.

Try buying investments with that strategy.

Which ETF should I put all my money in?

Maybe I just want to hold individual stocks? Which one?

Maybe I want to buy bonds.

All the time you are living in squalor, while your friends and relatives gush about how many more hundreds of thousands of dollars they have made off of appreciation on their houses.

Yeah, everyone is going to start investing.

#49 NoName on 04.28.19 at 8:50 pm

P.p.s , No Name, why you keep calling me a bastiges?
Is that a bastard with a bandage on…

Yeah, something like that…

#50 Paul on 04.28.19 at 8:53 pm

#47 Mr Canada on 04.28.19 at 8:29 pm
with 350,000+ immigrants moving to Canada every year, they have to live somewhere, and most end up in the GTA..
————————————————————————————————
You should see how some immigrants are living.
I have a rental to lease, almost every prospective tenant is new to the country which is fine. But no credit history, lower incomes short work record in some cases four different last names currently living in the same building different units trying to split the rent on a house. The GTA is getting full up.

#51 JustinTime on 04.28.19 at 8:56 pm

“But the fact this woman thinks it’s some weird, old guy on the Internet standing between her and heaven is the real concern.”

Isn’t it? though she neglected to mention that you have a beard.

#52 Mike on 04.28.19 at 9:20 pm

Here’s a headline that shows the absurdity of the left, anti-pipeline, pro carbon tax nut jobs. The title says it all:

New NC Bill Would Require Hybrid Owners To Pay Extra Fees To Offset Gas They Don’t Use

https://www.charlottestories.com/new-nc-bill-would-require-hybrid-owners-to-pay-extra-fees-to-offset-gas-they-dont-use/?fbclid=IwAR0ciaAx_gxZbNou13uaULDPUPrvIx41-bcFAEW3TyKt2AzM9e_u8nTFdbA

#53 Mike Denners on 04.28.19 at 9:22 pm

Vivian, It’s nice to hear your perspective and comments and you may have saved me from losing money in the stock market. Thank-you for your help and I’d love to hear more advice from you.

#54 BCWally on 04.28.19 at 9:27 pm

Sadly, I had a similar experience recently with a cousin that could easily have 6 figures working for her in a balanced portfolio. Instead it sits in 2 rental condos in the GTO with most of the cash flow going to the bank.
The reason was a serious loss earlier through an advisor that had her in mutual funds, I suspect through the same bank that gave her the mortgages on those condos.
Its that fear of loss that prevents most people from active investing and most of them have no stomach for temporary downturns. Real estate is seen as a safe haven that never disappoints.
This blog has tried very hard to educate people on the facts of good money management but I fear only the few of us that see present real estate values as seriously overblown will survive intact in the years ahead.
The American funds that are shorting Canadian banks although seriously misguided in that exercise are right about one thing in that this country has not had a serious credit contraction in 25 to 30 years. The conditions for that contraction are near perfect present day.
I’m convinced it will come when our central bank will have to defend our dollar’s value and raise interest rates in order for all those imported essentials like processed foods to remain affordable to the average Canadian. That average affordability eroding every day with increasing taxes and wage stagnation.
I wish I had a better outlook but when half of us are $200 a month away from wiping out and we have a neighbour 10X bigger on a growth binge I can’t see it coming out any other way. I hope I’m wrong.

#55 Fred Reitman on 04.28.19 at 9:28 pm

I bet Quebec and Ontario right now wished they had the windfalls of an Energy East Pipeline that would have created a healthy reserve of cash to help aid in the flood efforts.

#56 William R Drury on 04.28.19 at 9:38 pm

It wasn’t just us. The banks and government have some responsibility also. The lust for staying in power and the bank greed using CMHC as a back stop.

#57 Paul on 04.28.19 at 9:38 pm

#52 Mike on 04.28.19 at 9:20 pm
Here’s a headline that shows the absurdity of the left, anti-pipeline, pro carbon tax nut jobs. The title says it all:

New NC Bill Would Require Hybrid Owners To Pay Extra Fees To Offset Gas They Don’t Use
————————————————————————————————
Yes it’s the same here with Hydro smart meters use less cost goes up. Water saver taps water cost more, Trying to produce less carbon use less gas cost goes up.

#58 Sail Away on 04.28.19 at 9:39 pm

#14 Scottyinthesky on 04.28.19 at 4:21 pm

I have never commented before…I was compelled.
GOOD HEAVENS.
I married a saint. That poor, poor man.
Poor. Man.

—————————————-

Recognizing you’ve mistreated your husband is a good first step, Scotty. Go now and sin no more.

#59 Gogo on 04.28.19 at 9:49 pm

With such a solid down payment, she can get a nice parking space if they give her a mortgage

#60 Long-Time Lurker on 04.28.19 at 10:06 pm

#39 Flop… on 04.28.19 at 7:18 pm

Hi, Flop! Nice to hear from you!

You didn’t miss anything in the comments section. It’s the same old, same old.

If you’re done with “flopping,” maybe come back as “The Tasmanian Devil.”

Germany: The two biggest German banks are in trouble and just failed a merger; the EU will probably be doing negative interest rates in their next recession.

Ergo, gold.

#61 Boomer Bill on 04.28.19 at 10:06 pm

#25 DON on 04.28.19 at 5:47 pm
#20 DON on 04.28.19 at 5:44 pm

“Should have read:Had a recent chat with a late friend who is late 30’s”

Did you have this chat with a late/deceased friend on your own or through a medium?

#62 Flop... on 04.28.19 at 10:12 pm

Same dude, different handle.

It’s been kinda dark on here lately,I’ll try and lighten the place back up.

Real estate is not the be all and end all.

Let’s talk about two of my passions, travel and brews.

Went to Houston for Spring Break, I enjoyed it.

Vancouver not considered a global city by these guys….sweet!

Toronto $4.91 a pint according to Howmuch.

TurnerNation just threw mashed potato at his iPhone…

M44BC

How Much Does a Pint of Beer Cost Around the World?

https://howmuch.net/articles/prices-of-a-pint-of-beer-around-the-world

#63 wallflower on 04.28.19 at 10:12 pm

you cannot fix stupid

#64 DON on 04.28.19 at 10:17 pm

#62 DON on 04.28.19 at 10:13 pm

#61 Boomer Bill on 04.28.19 at 10:06 pm

#25 DON on 04.28.19 at 5:47 pm
#20 DON on 04.28.19 at 5:44 pm

“Should have read:Had a recent chat with a late friend who is late 30’s”

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

Yah…I saw the second mistake after I corrected the first one.

Was supposed to be ‘late millennial friend.’

Don’t tell teacher though!

(Been doped up on allergy medication and muscle relaxers for a recent back injury hence the multiple mistakes).

@FLOP

Glad things are good for you, nice to hear from you. Happy belated birthday?

#65 Non, merci on 04.28.19 at 10:18 pm

#55 Fred Reitman on 04.28.19 at 9:28 pm

I bet Quebec and Ontario right now wished they had the windfalls of an Energy East Pipeline that would have created a healthy reserve of cash to help aid in the flood efforts.

…..

Québec solidaire Retweeted
Manon Massé
‏ @ManonMasse_Qs
Apr 27

La planète nous parle, il faut l’écouter.
L’époque où les changements climatiques étaient un concept abstrait est révolu. Les gens subissent les conséquences dans leur localité. Et le pire, c’est que ce genre d’événements s’annonce pour être de plus en plus fréquent.

#66 Interstellar Old Yeller on 04.28.19 at 10:19 pm

I know you say the letters you publish are real, Garth, but sometimes it’s just easier to pretend they’re made up. :P

#67 Long-Time Lurker on 04.28.19 at 10:23 pm

Flop, in case you never saw this growing up in Australia.

Warner Brothers’ Tasmanian Devil

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ed0Hg7stjHE

#68 45north on 04.28.19 at 10:24 pm

Flop: One of my neighbours just sold his house for 860K.
Assessment comes in at a lofty 1.34

He sold because he could but Steve Saretsky tells the story of someone in Vancouver who cannot: He’s got a 1st and 2nd mortgage from TD for $1.7 million. A 3rd mortgage from a private lender for $1.6 million. The house is worth $3 million.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXsjhnk6LyQ&feature=youtu.be

Flop: The main problem going forward in Vancouver real estate is there is no floor to the market

look at Wolf Richter’s chart, comparing Vancouver to San Francisco.
https://wolfstreet.com/2019/03/14/the-most-splendid-housing-bubbles-in-canada-deflate/

It’s like you said: there is no floor. A substantial portion of the middle class in British Columbia is about to be wiped out.

#69 Musty Basement Dweller on 04.28.19 at 10:31 pm

Wow some new condo developers are offering free strata fees for life. Please see the email that I just received from this project in White Rock, B.C.
—————————————
Altus in White Rock Announces a Ground Breaking New Program: Free Strata Fees for Life!

Altus in White Rock introduces the most exciting offer in condo history to celebrate the start of construction. Already one of the premier address in the city, Altus wants to reward the next ten home buyers with a chance to live “fee free” for as long as they own their home.

Imagine, your monthly costs paid by the developer as a thank-you for joining the Altus family. Home owners will enjoy the full time concierge, the Oak Room, the fitness facilities and so much more that is Altus – all for free.

The Ground Breaking Ceremony for Altus will be held on site on
April 29th, Monday and this will also signal the start of the new program. Please join us at 11:00 am sharp in Altus presentation centre on 1589 Maple St, White Rock for the celebration of White Rocks finest new community!

PURCHASE INCLUDES
Downsizer’s Dream
BONDED AND INSURED MOVING COMPANY
EXTERNAL STORAGE FOR 1 YEAR
PACKING & UNPACKING SERVICES
UNWANTED FURNITURE/BELONGING REMOVAL
CLOSING AND LEGAL COSTS

*Drop by or call the Sales Center for all the details.

Sincerely,
Altus Sales Team

[email protected]
778.294.7794

#70 april on 04.28.19 at 10:36 pm

#47 – sure people have to live somewhere but many can’t afford to buy no matter how much they might want to. So no not everyone is buying a home much as you’d like to have us believe.

#71 april on 04.28.19 at 10:37 pm

#39- Hey Flop great to hear from you and happy to know your doing well. WE do miss you.

#72 Ace Goodheart on 04.28.19 at 10:50 pm

RE: #68 45north on 04.28.19 at 10:24 pm

You should see how things are here in Toronto, where people literally get tears in their eyes when they see the latest sloping floored offering. If there is a patch of grass in the backyard beside the laneway garage, they downright start crying.

They refer to this city as the “Victorian Wonderland”.

I just wonder, when you go for a walk and the predominant smell is urine and old booze, when you get on a bus or a street car (or subway, but that is usually broken or delayed for some emergency or other) and you have to deal with the TTC “crazies” harassing you, what is the attraction?

They are going to knock down that old group of buildings, that you find so pretty at the end of your block, and build condos, anyway.

High park, that people pay billions to live next to, is not Central Park by any stretch of the imagination, and is really just a dog poop filled smelly stretch of hilly, abandoned land centred around a swamp that they affectionately call a pond.

Your penthouse condo, that you paid zillions for, looks out over a skyline that is not remotely famous or even a small bit picturesque.

Your subway is two lines that don’t go anywhere (and that are usually broken). From 1992 to the present, Beijing built its entire subway system. Here it is:

https://www.travelchinaguide.com/cityguides/beijing/subway-map.htm

Toronto argued about its downtown relief line, and built the same subway line twice (they started it, tore it up, and then now are building it again).

There is no reason to spend millions of dollars to live here. Toronto is a work camp. Only the poor want to come here. The wealthy know better.

Go to New York. It is way, way, way better than this.

#73 LP on 04.28.19 at 10:50 pm

Flop: I echo the others…great to hear you and Mrs. Flop are okay now. And nice to have you back here, even if only occasionally.

F71ON

#74 millmech on 04.28.19 at 11:32 pm

Vivian I can get you into a house for under $300k in one market I am watching and for under $400k I can get you into over 20 houses in another market. Listings all say the same thing “tenant leaving or tenant left” quick possession available and seller is motivated, watching the listing grow by 5-10 places a day some days, some places have been for sale for 2 years plus and no takers.
Remember real estate is easy money!

#75 Sail Away on 04.29.19 at 12:55 am

Off for a tour of the midwest US, then a weekend in Omaha at the Berkshire AGM. Anyone else going to hang with Warren?

In equity investing, you can spend a lot of time studying markets and chasing returns… or just buy BRK and spend your time having fun. Like lurking here.

#76 Bobby Bittman on 04.29.19 at 12:57 am

I think today’s post should have been titled “strawman.”

#77 dosouth on 04.29.19 at 1:49 am

Just couldn’t avoid smiling/chuckling when they call this news…

Apartment sells over asking

#78 InDebt on 04.29.19 at 1:58 am

First time posting cause I would encourage Viv to keep on keeping on along with useful advice she asked for. She only needs 5k more and shes set. 1) Put 35k into RRSPs, 2) Wait until literal insanity in canadian housing stops. 3)Buy somewhere you can afford living so you have a quality of life that is not just about money. 4) In meantime either scream back at neighbours or move. When this perverted canadian housing market finally changes there will be many people who bought at absurd prices that will be seriously hurt and probably end up in worse places and ways than apartments / townhouses with running water for baths and screaming neighbours. I have lots of debt and this is kinda my plan.
Thank You Garth for all the advice you give and not giving up on us. It must take some kind of strength. It’s given me hope and direction in digging out of my financial mess and I’m sure there’s countless more.

#79 Damifino on 04.29.19 at 2:03 am

#48 Ace Goodheart

She’s right though. There’s no way for the average person to understand investing.
————————————–

Of course there is. One need only to have been reading greaterfool for the last decade, as I have. QED.

#80 Dolce Vita on 04.29.19 at 4:25 am

#39 Flop…

Thanks for the info. you provided even though not well received by some. Pity.

For those that crave this sort of RE information, go to Twitter and Follow:

@KTmoneyTOR (“Greater Fool @ Toronto RE”)

There’s also “Mortimer” for YVR RE:

@mortimer_1

@KTmoneyTOR usually Retweets Mortimer’s info. so I follow him only. He provides other good insights as does Mortimer.

————————————————–

And, here is our Prime Minister welcoming “CHINESE” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (you know, the guy from Japan):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGdy5qS_MwI

WHAT an embarrassment. And, Justin did it right under Abe’s nose.

Of course, Justin’s Twitter feed is all Sugar & Spice, Everything Nice BUT have a read of the Replies (Justin’s and gracious Abe’s Reply Spin Doctor’s didn’t have a chance, outnumbered by embarrassed Canadians from the word “get go” – some funny to blunt Replies):

https://twitter.com/JustinTrudeau/status/1122580173671550978

Please God…fast forward to October ASAP.

#81 Howard on 04.29.19 at 4:50 am

It seems some people here enjoy seeing dogs sitting behind bars. Frankly I wouldn’t trust any of you to care for my dog given how disposable you think they are. A pet rock would be more your forte, with the intellect to match.

#82 Howard on 04.29.19 at 5:20 am

Cue the violins.

Developer admits he’s ‘desperate’ as multimillion-dollar West Vancouver home prices tumble

https://www.thestar.com/vancouver/2019/04/11/developer-admits-hes-desperate-as-multimillion-dollar-west-vancouver-home-prices-tumble.html

#83 Howard on 04.29.19 at 6:05 am

Flop – congrats on the Zerohedge callout! You’re going to be famous before the Vancouver collapse is complete.

#84 TurnerNation on 04.29.19 at 7:34 am

#62 Flop that chart is a nice lesson. .on ancient history. In even the most scowly of dive bars it’s $5-6 at least – for a can or bottle.
As the other Gartho (Brooks) sang with a country twang, I got friends in low places.
I go also to places where they charge $12. Tractable.

#85 NoName on 04.29.19 at 7:45 am

interesting read,

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-04-29/ubs-banker-cleared-after-seeing-tip-on-eurostar-neighbor-s-phone

#86 MF on 04.29.19 at 7:48 am

#72 Ace Goodheart on 04.28.19 at 10:50 pm

-Says the guy who already made money off Toronto real estate, and, boasts about it.

If you think New York doesn’t have any crazies, or subways that smell urine than you need to actually get out more.

And lol at “work camp”. Those are called jobs, and that’s one reason why 6 million people call the GTA home. The city is also getting younger. If you are young, there is nowhere else to be.

Toronto, like every city on planet earth, is also becoming a rich wealthy middle, surrounded by lower income suburbs http://3cities.neighbourhoodchange.ca/

The idea that it’s only poor people coming is laughable.

And finally Beijing is in China. Everything, statistical or otherwise, is fake and for consumption. Don’t believe any of it..including the merit of any transit system.

MF

#87 Dharma Bum on 04.29.19 at 7:50 am

No worries Viv.
With $30Gs down, you should soon be able to afford one of those rat infested holes in the borough of East York.

#88 Buy? Curious? on 04.29.19 at 7:55 am

Realtors are desperate, they’ll work for anyone.

https://youtu.be/9TzHTKBiy68

#89 Tater on 04.29.19 at 8:07 am

#58 Sail Away on 04.28.19 at 9:39 pm
#14 Scottyinthesky on 04.28.19 at 4:21 pm

I have never commented before…I was compelled.
GOOD HEAVENS.
I married a saint. That poor, poor man.
Poor. Man.

—————————————-

Recognizing you’ve mistreated your husband is a good first step, Scotty. Go now and sin no more.
—————————————————————-

Just watched Idiocracy again the other day, and comments like this make me certain it is the most prescient film ever made.

#90 crowdedelevatorfartz on 04.29.19 at 8:11 am

Another election.
Another minority coalition govt.
A coalition of socialists and separatists?
Voters everywhere are disgusted with the status quo.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-spain-election/spains-socialists-short-of-majority-weigh-partners-for-forming-government-idUSKCN1S50OA

#91 Linda on 04.29.19 at 8:19 am

‘Ace’, I agree with ‘Damn’. Ordinary people follow Garth’s blog & anyone who can read & comprehend English can follow the advice. One doesn’t need a diploma as a securities or investment advisor to invest. The advice you cite regarding purchasing real estate can apply equally to investing. Crappy house equals poor performer. Bad neighborhood equals high risk. That something is going to happen to equals potential ROI. And how do you know ‘something’ is about to happen? You do your research & believe that things are about to change for the better so your purchase will grow in value. Seems like ordinary isn’t that unable to invest after all.

#92 crowdedelevatorfartz on 04.29.19 at 8:22 am

@#80 Dolce Vita
“And, here is our Prime Minister welcoming “CHINESE” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe”

+++++
The PMO’s election staffers must have been crapping themselves off camera…..
Steer must be thinking, “Just keep up the good work Justin, Moo hoo, haa, haaaaa”

It could have been worse . He could have barfed on the Japanese PM like President Bush did way back in the 1990’s…..

That being said,

The only politicians MORE painful to watch and listen to were BC Premier Christy Clark and Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. ( hopefully not at the same press scrum)
Vapid, inane, mindless babbling …

#93 PHMIKE on 04.29.19 at 9:11 am

Garth you forget to mention that after 30 years renting at the very least she has her down payment still sitting in the bank, and helped the bank triple her money at the very least which helps us get a fatter dividend…

#94 Erich on 04.29.19 at 9:19 am

Here’s a question for those who know how MLS works. In most cases when a house drops in price it’s gets re-listed with a new MLS# and the previous asking price will show up on HouseSigma. This resets the DOM counter but now that information is available to everyone, whereas in the past that info would have only been available to agents.

What I’m seeing now is a house that gets listed at one price but then drops a few weeks later with no record or reference to the previous price. This seems even sneakier to me. How do the agents get away with this? Is the price adjustable as long as they maintain the original MLS# and DOM counter? This seems like an easy way for agents to manipulate their “Sold at % asking” stats with no record of original asking prices.

Here’s an example. 107 Dorset Road in Scarburough was originally listed for $980k and now the asking price shows up as $948k. HouseSigma has no record of the original asking price.

https://housesigma.com/site/en/listing/a6zqW7dap2X35eZE

#95 JB on 04.29.19 at 9:32 am

“All of your posts about “don’t buy a house” always only take in consideration the money aspect of things. What about the whole comfort side? Knowing you aren’t going to see your entire life go up in flames because the stoned neighbour kid dropped his weed smoke on the carpet and was too stoned to put it out? Or because the old man on the other side fell asleep while cooking? You pay rent for 30 years and after that, what happens? You have nothing. You pay mortgage for 20 years, you can then turn around and sell it and get some of that money back.
“Living in an apartment or townhouse causes stress. Instead of constantly saying buying a house is bad, maybe you should try giving usefull advices on how to do it.
……………………………………………………………………..
Twelve years ago when my wife an I were first married we bought a nice 2 bedroom condo in the east end of Mississauga. We both worked in the city and she commuted from Mississauga transit to the TTC. It was OK until we started noticing that our neighbours units loved to cook Indian food. Now don’t get me wrong both my wife and I like Indian food but we do not cook it as the smells are quite strong and you can never get rid of it. No matter what we did the smell came through to our place and the other neighbours as well. They complained nicely to the unit that cooked this food if they could please use a exhaust fan or open a window. The unit said it was their place and they could cook what they wanted. Then they took it to the condo board who basically said there was nothing they could do. Then came the small kitchen fire one floor below us and that smell went through the entire floor below and our above. We had air fresheners for one year and it still had a lingering odour. Our insurance wouldn’t cover it as they deemed it not enough damage to claim. So we ended up painting the entire place. We had the marijuana experiences as well that stuff really stinks up an entire floor. “both of us do not smoke” So you are correct about comfort my wife totally lost it one day and blew a gasket. That was it we were out of there within four months. We had enough cash saved to purchase our first home in the city. A small older home but completely separated from our neighbours. She is happy and comfortable now. When a window is open and it smells outside she closes it.

#96 Tater on 04.29.19 at 9:47 am

#48 Ace Goodheart on 04.28.19 at 8:47 pm
She’s right though. There’s no way for the average person to understand investing. You can understand real estate buying, easily enough. It’s simple. Crappy looking building, with good bones, in a bad neighbourhood that has something going to happen to it that will make property values increase.

Try buying investments with that strategy.

Which ETF should I put all my money in?

Maybe I just want to hold individual stocks? Which one?

Maybe I want to buy bonds.
—————————————————————
The investing equivalent of this is buying companies with a P/E less than 15, dividend yield over 3% and sales growth of at least 5%.

#97 Smoking Man on 04.29.19 at 9:50 am

Markets of Fire.

Fireball.

#98 Dups on 04.29.19 at 10:10 am

Wow that lady seems so ignorant! I could not stand reading her poor comments. I keep forgetting how many like here are out there. We are surrounded by them, neighbourhoods, work, family, friends!

Here is some advice to people like her.
Talk Less and Listen More !!!!
Fight as if you are right! and Listen as if you are wrong!
Do not assume that your point of view is the right one!

Garth please educate her!

#99 millmech on 04.29.19 at 10:12 am

#48 Ace Goodheart
It isn’t really understanding investing that is hard it is the media that makes it intimidating. Last October to December all you heard was stock markets collapsing, biggest correction in years, catastrophic losses, etc in the media because fear sells. Markets come roaring back and it is not even mentioned at all just another setup for the next round of chicken little the sky is falling.
Real estate apparently has receded more and no dire warnings on the hour every hour, no analysts giving their dire predictions of doom, actually people are encouraged to invest as it is now a buyers market.
The best is when you talk to people about investing and using margin to buy more investments and they think your nuts using leverage and that it is so dangerous to extend yourself financially like that. These same people then go out and margin up to 100% to purchase an investment that they put very little time into studying usually only listening to their circle of influence for financial guidance.
Imagine going to the bank of mom for a $300k loan so you can margin $1,000,000 worth of TD stock, she would have a heart attack, but for a house she would go to the bank tomorrow and co-sign for you.

#100 yvrmc on 04.29.19 at 10:20 am

Hey Flop , I echo the others sentiment ! Good to have you back !

#101 Remembrancer on 04.29.19 at 10:25 am

#94 Erich on 04.29.19 at 9:19 am

Are you a market transparency advocate or the CTO at housesigma.com and trying to refine your code to better aggregate MLS’ site data?

Anyway, anyone who doesn’t treat agent marketing (speaking of Sold % Over Asking – I know of one personally were it was the sum total of $100 over asking that was proudly plastered on the sold sign, leaving out the $100 part of course) as anything more than marketing huckstering is a sucker and needs to build their greaterfool toolkit further…

If you are looking for an agent, then over asking stats or catchy slogans based on riffs on their name are the least useful criteria – local market product knowledge, communications ability and presentation count much more (as in pretty much every sales job…).

#102 IHCTD9 on 04.29.19 at 11:02 am

“Instead of constantly saying buying a house is bad, maybe you should try giving usefull advices on how to do it.”
____

Here’s how we did it. Back in 01 our combined income was a measly ~90K. We found a nice place in a small village known for great bang for the buck. We found a nice old 1800’s farm severed with 4 acres 2 barns and a pond that needed work for 123K. We bought it.

Moral of the story: don’t bother shopping for a house if everything costs 7 figures, rather; shop for a place to live where you can get ahead incomes/costs of living wise. We paid off the mortgage in 14 years, and invested the whole time too.

If you live in a big city where all the houses cost 7 figures – just forget about owning. Have a frank discussion with your blog reading hubby – start with “if we want a house, we’re moving”

#103 Jason on 04.29.19 at 11:19 am

To Vivian’s husband:

RUN. Don’t walk, RUN away from this woman. She will set your life on fire and p*ss on the ashes.

She clearly has no clue about money, yet pretends like she does. Meanwhile she criticizes you for learning actively about it.

Run.

#104 Ronaldo on 04.29.19 at 11:22 am

Steve Eisman on the Canadian banks and the credit crisis.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1WhlQxTVlQ

#105 Erich on 04.29.19 at 11:25 am

#101 Remembrancer on 04.29.19 at 10:25 am

I have no affiliation with HouseSigma. I just use them to access historical listing and sales data. If there’s a better tool to access that data I’ll gladly use it. And yes, I actually like transparency.

But you didn’t provide any information that helps answer my initial question. How do agents adjust asking prices without that showing up in the historical record? This skews the stats yet again, does it not?

If your point is that the whole system is rigged and you can’t trust anyone in real estate, I won’t argue with you on that point. I’m just looking for an informed answer from someone who actually knows how agents are able to manipulate the data.

#106 The Otherone on 04.29.19 at 12:00 pm

Now I know what it is like to be a toddler trapped in a grown person’s body =JT

https://www.spencerfernando.com/2019/04/29/watch-justin-trudeau-twice-refers-to-japan-as-china-in-front-of-japanese-pm/

#107 SimplyPut7 on 04.29.19 at 12:24 pm

#27 Howard on 04.28.19 at 6:02 pm

It’s not easy to get a dog in larger cities, dogs go quickly and local rescue groups have difficult application process (phone & paper interviews plus inspection of your home to see if it is a good fit for their pets) with many people on waiting lists.

Even if you see a dog you like in humane societies outside of major cities, many won’t allow you to adopt their pets because they require you live within a certain radius of their location to adopt.

Which leaves many people in big cities getting dogs from backyard breeders. It’s not the preferred method, as an older dog that is potty-trained would be more suitable for most families, but the hassle of trying to find a dog in humane society or an overprotective rescue is not worth it.

#108 IHCTD9 on 04.29.19 at 12:32 pm

#103 Jason on 04.29.19 at 11:19 am
To Vivian’s husband:

RUN. Don’t walk, RUN away from this woman. She will set your life on fire and p*ss on the ashes.

She clearly has no clue about money, yet pretends like she does. Meanwhile she criticizes you for learning actively about it.

Run.
______

She actually made good points IMHO. Renting sucks. Condos suck even more. No privacy or freedom. You have to put up with other people of which you only need one @sshole to essentially wreck your life. Neighbours have feuded and even ended up killing each other because of this kind of stuff. She is bang on the money here, I don’t think humans were meant to be stacked on top of one another.

She just needs to learn more about investing, and do some honest math to see what the chances of owning a home actually are in their area. If they can’t afford it where they live now, then it’s time to formulate a plan B – and be honest about the ups and downs of each scenario.

There are probably several medium/smaller, cities/towns; where the income to cost of living ratio works out better than where they are now. That’s where they need to set up shop.

Why not just rent a house? Why do they need to move, buy and clean out their liquid assets? Rash and irresponsible behaviour (and advice). – Garth

#109 Exurban on 04.29.19 at 12:35 pm

Just watched Idiocracy again the other day, and comments like this make me certain it is the most prescient film ever made.

Idiocracy is the greatest film of the 21st century. It never gets old. Every time I watch it I see something I didn’t see before. Last time I noticed the Playboy mudflap designs on the iron gates to the White House grounds, and that the American dollar features a portrait of a wrestler and the motto GETTIN’ PAID.

#110 oh bouy on 04.29.19 at 12:51 pm

@#72 Ace Goodheart on 04.28.19 at 10:50 pm
RE: #68 45north on 04.28.19 at 10:24 pm

You should see how things are here in Toronto, where people literally get tears in their eyes when they see the latest sloping floored offering. If there is a patch of grass in the backyard beside the laneway garage, they downright start crying.

They refer to this city as the “Victorian Wonderland”.

I just wonder, when you go for a walk and the predominant smell is urine and old booze, when you get on a bus or a street car (or subway, but that is usually broken or delayed for some emergency or other) and you have to deal with the TTC “crazies” harassing you, what is the attraction?

They are going to knock down that old group of buildings, that you find so pretty at the end of your block, and build condos, anyway.

High park, that people pay billions to live next to, is not Central Park by any stretch of the imagination, and is really just a dog poop filled smelly stretch of hilly, abandoned land centred around a swamp that they affectionately call a pond.

Your penthouse condo, that you paid zillions for, looks out over a skyline that is not remotely famous or even a small bit picturesque.

Your subway is two lines that don’t go anywhere (and that are usually broken). From 1992 to the present, Beijing built its entire subway system. Here it is:

https://www.travelchinaguide.com/cityguides/beijing/subway-map.htm

Toronto argued about its downtown relief line, and built the same subway line twice (they started it, tore it up, and then now are building it again).

There is no reason to spend millions of dollars to live here. Toronto is a work camp. Only the poor want to come here. The wealthy know better.

Go to New York. It is way, way, way better than this.
_________________________________

dude, there’s meds you can take to help with your condition.

NYC is great if you enjoy a disneyland atmosphere of tourists.

#111 NoDebt on 04.29.19 at 12:56 pm

#81 Howard on 04.29.19 at 4:50 am

Your post is a direct insult to everyone that reads this blog.

May the fleas of a thousand cats infest your armpits.

#112 not 1st on 04.29.19 at 1:03 pm

#106 The Otherone on 04.29.19 at 12:00 pm
—-

Yup and now we know what it feels like to have children in charge of a once respected G7 nation.

Nice to know we admire dictatorships enough to donate to them.

https://www.thestar.com/politics/federal/2019/04/29/scheer-to-urge-trudeau-to-pull-funds-from-chinese-multilateral-development-bank-amid-canola-feud.html

#113 IHCTD9 on 04.29.19 at 1:12 pm

#86 MF on 04.29.19 at 7:48 am

…The city is also getting younger. If you are young, there is nowhere else to be.

…Toronto, like every city on planet earth, is also becoming a rich wealthy middle, surrounded by lower income suburbs
http://3cities.neighbourhoodchange.ca/

MF
_____

Youth levels in Toronto live and die by Immigration Canada. Immigrants are young, that is what Canada is looking to bring in. Wherever they go “gets younger”. Meanwhile there is evidence the domestic Toronto youth are starting to bail out more and more every year (300+% increase in 5 years).

So, more like: “If you are young [and new to the Country] there is nowhere else to be.”

I had a look at that income map, it said the average high income percentage group increased 3% in 35 years. I call that a flat line. Maybe the burbs are just getting poorer?

#114 IHCTD9 on 04.29.19 at 1:30 pm

“Why not just rent a house? Why do they need to move, buy and clean out their liquid assets? Rash and irresponsible behaviour (and advice). – Garth”
______

I’m trying to save their marriage :)

Why? – Garth

#115 Tater on 04.29.19 at 1:31 pm

#113 IHCTD9 on 04.29.19 at 1:12 pm
#86 MF on 04.29.19 at 7:48 am

…The city is also getting younger. If you are young, there is nowhere else to be.

…Toronto, like every city on planet earth, is also becoming a rich wealthy middle, surrounded by lower income suburbs
http://3cities.neighbourhoodchange.ca/

MF
_____

Youth levels in Toronto live and die by Immigration Canada. Immigrants are young, that is what Canada is looking to bring in. Wherever they go “gets younger”. Meanwhile there is evidence the domestic Toronto youth are starting to bail out more and more every year (300+% increase in 5 years).

So, more like: “If you are young [and new to the Country] there is nowhere else to be.”

I had a look at that income map, it said the average high income percentage group increased 3% in 35 years. I call that a flat line. Maybe the burbs are just getting poorer?

—————————————————————
You’re missing the point, look at what happened to the middle and lower groups.

Would like to see this updated to today, rather than 2005. Trend will have continued, just curious to see by how much.

#116 not 1st on 04.29.19 at 2:04 pm

You guys are smoking crack. Toronto is not getting younger. Only Ab and Sk have young demographics. The rest of the country is aging into oblivion despite all the immigration efforts.

http://population-pyramids.github.io/

#117 Brett in Calgary on 04.29.19 at 2:32 pm

https://www.cbc.ca/archives/when-calgary-s-double-digit-vacancy-rate-created-a-tenant-s-dream-1.5093710

I love when the the CBC digs these out of the archives, “And I am Knowlton Nash”.

#118 AGuyInVancouver on 04.29.19 at 3:03 pm

Well it’s obvious from this post that the article I linked to on how money laundering can move a market fell on deaf ears. If one is going to write on Vancouver real estate, one should really understand it.

We do. Thanks for dropping by. – Garth

#119 expat on 04.29.19 at 3:05 pm

DELETED

#120 not 1st on 04.29.19 at 3:05 pm

Not only are our companies leaving, our financial research companies are too. Guess there is nothing left for them to do in Canada. Game over.

https://business.financialpost.com/news/fp-street/macquarie-is-exiting-equity-research-sales-in-canada-report

#121 expat on 04.29.19 at 3:14 pm

BTW the Fed is pondering another round of QE type activity.

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/04/29/fed-looking-at-a-program-that-could-be-version-of-quantitative-easing.html

From one bubble to the next, wash rinse repeat

#122 IHCTD9 on 04.29.19 at 3:43 pm

#115 Tater on 04.29.19 at 1:31 pm

You’re missing the point, look at what happened to the middle and lower groups.

Would like to see this updated to today, rather than 2005. Trend will have continued, just curious to see by how much.
____

Oh, I saw it.

It ain’t becoming a rich wealthy middle surrounded by lower income suburbs – it’s a normal same as ever middle surrounded by steadily decreasing wealth.

I’d like to see that updated chart as well – a lot has happened since then, certainly nothing to improve incomes in the burbs…

Median ages. Toronto: 39.5 years. Ontario: 41 years. That’s old. – Garth

#123 IHCTD9 on 04.29.19 at 4:03 pm

#116 not 1st on 04.29.19 at 2:04 pm
You guys are smoking crack. Toronto is not getting younger. Only Ab and Sk have young demographics. The rest of the country is aging into oblivion despite all the immigration efforts.

http://population-pyramids.github.io/
___

Median age last i remember was somewhere in the 30’s.

I can’t believe for a minute that the GTA is aging fast. Way too many immigrants, and Canada does not import a load of retired folks.

#124 IHCTD9 on 04.29.19 at 4:26 pm

#114 IHCTD9 on 04.29.19 at 1:30 pm
“Why not just rent a house? Why do they need to move, buy and clean out their liquid assets? Rash and irresponsible behaviour (and advice). – Garth”
______

I’m trying to save their marriage :)

Why? – Garth
____

It’s up to Hubs and V. If she wants a house, has done the honest math, and finds she can’t afford to where they are – then they will have to move IF they want a house.

If they stay where they are, then of course they will rent and like it.

If they are living in the GTA, and are NOT making the big bucks – they may well do well to move if skills are transferable. My neighbours two doors down across the road are from Vancouver, he works in construction – they moved here with a job lined up, bought a fixer upper and is doing great. My parents did the same long distance type move and prospered from it. So did my Grandparents. IMHO – moving can be the right decision sometimes.

#125 TurnerNation on 04.29.19 at 4:43 pm

Part of new New Economic Green deal plan..just who is paying legal fees. Same deep pockets behind this movement to regulate what we eat, freedom of choice.

https://www.blogto.com/city/2019/04/toronto-vegans-taking-walmart-and-home-depot-court-over-mouse-traps/

#126 Ho(m/p)eless on 04.29.19 at 11:55 pm

I think Viv put her 100 bucks into a TFSA thinking it had a great interest rate (duh), and of course it did nothing. She failed to miss the whole point of a TFSA, to invest in the REIT’s, ETF’s etc. diversify….

So right, you can’t fix stupid. So glad she found you Garth!

#127 Pulp Faction on 04.30.19 at 5:32 am

The gas bag won’t blow until we run out of Vivians. So take her money and let her find out the hard way. She’s got this…. she’s informed !

#128 Lang on 04.30.19 at 9:09 am

Wow, there’s so much to unpact about Viv’s whole statement. This shows a failure of our school system on educating the masses about basic financial matters.
https://www.iwillteachyoutoberich.com/blog/surprising-real-estate-investing-myths/

She should read that.