The agenda

Since 2015, when the shiny new prime minister vowed to corral house prices, they’ve swollen 81.4%. The federal debt has doubled. Household borrowing is off the chart. Inflation is the highest in 30 years. Interest rates are set to rise. And we have Omicron.

(By the way, a boring B&D portfolio has gained just under 70% in the same period.)

What will 2022 bring?

An end to the pandemic, probably. Many think Omicron – hugely contagious and more flu-like (so far, anyway) – will be the last hurrah in Canada, the US and Europe, where vax rates keep escalating. The markets seem to think so. Roaring Twenties, and all that.

But in this country, next year promises to be one of change, propelled by an increasingly activist federal government as Mr. Trudeau realizes this is his swan song. We’ve talked about the tax measures likely on personal incomes and investments already. Namely, a new tax bracket to suck off even more of the 1%er cash flow; an increase in the capital gains tax inclusion rate; and quite likely some diddling with interest-only line of credit payments.

The big news comes with real estate. Here is what we know will happen:

The FHSA.
A hybrid of the TFSA and RRSP, this will allow people under 40 to invest up to forty grand in a tax shelter, write it off taxable income, grow the funds tax-free, then withdraw them, no tax, to buy a house (which can yield tax-free capital gains). What a deal.

A ban on foreign buyers.
Announced in the Chrystia Update a couple of weeks ago. Like, a real ban, tempting other jurisdictions (like the US) to bar Canadians from buying there. Seriously bad news for areas of Canada that benefit from residents who keep principal properties elsewhere. Whistler. NS South Shore.

A tax on foreign-owned real estate.
To equal 1% of the assessed value. Announced twice now and scheduled to take effect in the 2022-3 fiscal year. It will be announced again in the budget.

A fat tax credit to close home sales.
The federal newbie credit will be doubled, a measure Trudeau said during the election campaign would help first-time buyers shoulder closing costs. Second-time buyers don’t matter.

An increase in the CMHC borrowing limit.
Big news here. To date there’s been a $1 million limit on getting CMHC insurance and using 20x leverage to buy a house. A property worth more than that required a 20% down payment. Now it is ballooning to $1.25 million. More debt.

A rent-to-own program.
Details sketchy and unknown. Consultations now taking place. The latest economic update set aside more than $4 billion for this and the FHSA next year.

A ban on blind bidding (maybe).
Cool, but this is not in the feds’ jurisdiction. Provinces control the real estate industry, so Ottawa will have to negotiate with them to encourage a ban on the practice of allowing multiple bids on one property without disclosing details to the bidders.

An anti-flipper tax.
The beginning of the end of the principal residence capital gains exemption? Maybe. The Libs say they will impose a tax on the profits of any house sale when the property has been owned for less than 12 months. So much for renovators who add real value and improve the housing stock, and where profits are already taxed as income.

Pressure to change zoning restrictions.
The housing minister says he fully supports the busting-up of single-family neighbourhoods to allow the intensification of land use, as NZ has done and BC is trying to do. In a stroke the federal government is demonizing those people who paid a premium for homes in established, leafy hoods, now to be devalued. I’d be pissed.

Higher down payments for investment properties.
A big sleeper. Details unknown. Contained in a ‘mandate letter’ from T2 to his housing minister, Ahmed Hussen. Perhaps minimum down payments will be jacked. Perchance the deductibility of interest on loan payments will be eliminated. And – without a doubt – rents will rise as a result.

Will any of this work to make houses more affordable?

No. Some of these measures may cool sales (kicking out offshore buyers, forcing mom & pop landlords to retreat), while others will hike demand and prices (the FHSA, enhanced tax credit, sweeter shared-equity mortgage, higher CMHC limit). Given historically low levels of inventory, the demographics of nesting Millennials, higher savings rates thanks to Covid and still-cheap mortgages, there’s zero chance of prices falling in Q1.

The heavy lifting, if it comes, will be done by the Bank of Canada. Steady increases in interest rates will take away the punch bowl and force prices lower as borrowing costs jump.

Unless, of course, the government relents and brings in an interest rate subsidy. You know, in time for the next election. Dog help us.

About the picture: “Greetings from Alberta!” writes Brett. “Here’s a pic of our COVID pup, Lucy, when our kids realized it was (roughly her 1st bday). She’s been the best thing to come out of this pandemic.”

154 comments ↓

#1 Mike on 12.22.21 at 2:30 pm

Typo: The heavy “listing”, if it comes…should be lifting

#2 A question on 12.22.21 at 2:34 pm

I know this blog is about finance and occasionally RE, but I’m wondering why public transportation is never talked about or at least mentioned as one of the solutions to the real estate bubble?
We keep hearing that workers are not going to travel from the ‘burbs to the GTA as the traffic is terrible and the rail infrastructure is non existent. But I’m wondering why is that? Why not invest in frequent reliable public transit? With the current climate, it would hit 2 birds with one stone – partially address RE prices and help with climate initiative.

#3 RichardTO on 12.22.21 at 2:35 pm

How does one even get a mandate to pass laws with 20-something percent national support in the election and a parliament which does not even want to get out of bed in the morning because “of Covid”?

The absolute state of this country…

#4 Exodus 2020 on 12.22.21 at 2:39 pm

“Pressure to change zoning restrictions…busting-up of single-family neighbourhoods to allow the intensification of land use…demonizing those people who paid a premium for homes in established, leafy hoods, now to be devalued. I’d be pissed.”

This is more likely to increase property values in premium densification areas. Developers will be going nuts paying more per square foot of land so homeowners win once again!

#5 Dogman01 on 12.22.21 at 2:41 pm

Climate Change Grifters.
I suspect Calgary’s Arena deal was cancelled as the Mayor decided to tack on an additional Climate mitigation tithe long after the deal was agreed upon.“Climate Emergency” in Calgary you know.

Our Elite are either stupid or lying:
https://nationalpost.com/opinion/derek-h-burney-climate-obsessed-politicians-must-wake-to-reality-of-how-essential-oil-and-gas-are-to-life

National Bank rep indicates that even our Large pension funds are fleeing Canada”.
https://betterdwelling.com/canada-might-see-capital-flight-after-real-estate-overtakes-private-investment-nbc/

https://nationalpost.com/opinion/john-ivison-we-are-bleeding-capital-and-that-spells-big-trouble-report-warns

Lowest Growth in the OECD for the foreseeable future!!
https://bcbc.com/insights-and-opinions/oecd-predicts-canada-will-be-the-worst-performing-advanced-economy-over-the-next-decade-and-the-three-decades-after-that

Oh Canada! -a massive Climate Emergency progressive faceplant taking what was a 1st world middle class society on the road to precariat 3rd world serfdom.

Elect Clowns..get circuses.

#6 TurnerNation on 12.22.21 at 2:41 pm

#38 I’mshort_corpdebt on 12.21.21 at 4:40 pm

^Field hospitals? Did ya catch how last year those were all torn down, never used – in Toronto, Vancouver, Hamilton? At a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars in sweet contracts I am sure.


— We pay high taxes in Kanada – for all the stuff we get! BC, ON, rationing healthcare. Not a penny of the Fed’s trillion dollar defecit went to that it seems. Billions spent on “testing”.

– Toronto with less than a dozen people in ICU overall over this: “”Meanwhile, the Unity Health hospital network in Toronto says it has made the “difficult decision” to pause non-essential ambulatory care and surgical procedures, with the exception of urgent cases.””


— Every system designed to protect us has been turned against us – as of March 2020. As seen here:

https://www.juliusruechel.com/2021/12/how-grinch-stole-christmas-from-nursing.html?m=1
“Nursing homes are one of the few places where it makes sense to test everyone who comes through the doors during peak cold and flu season. Covid has not changed this equation – this risk has existed in equal measure every single cold and flu season, and every public health official knows this. Yet politicians and health officials nevertheless prioritized rapid tests for school children in order to pander to fearful helicopter parents instead of giving these tests to long-term care homes. So, while the rest of society has transformed itself into a lunatic nation of hypochondriacs, the vulnerable are once again condemned to life-threatening isolation. That’s the cruel gift that the government gave our most vulnerable for Christmas.”

#7 All lies and manipulated u decide on 12.22.21 at 2:45 pm

Ironically housing the biggest part of the economy as T2 runs corps out of the country.
It housing goes it will be a double header and we are now one of the worst economy’s of the developed nations and forecast for the next 20 years.
What a rock star fool.

#8 Faron on 12.22.21 at 2:48 pm

#144 Reynolds753 on 12.22.21 at 1:57 pm

This is for comment #108 Richard TO

Do you have any particular background in virology or immunology? I am guessing that you do not. The following is taken from the British Society of Immunology.

* Firstly, the antibodies neutralise the virus, meaning that it is no longer capable of infecting the host cell.
* Secondly, many antibodies can work together, causing virus particles to stick together in a process called agglutination. Agglutinated viruses make an easier target for immune cells than single viral particles.
* A third mechanism used by antibodies to eradicate viruses, is the activation of phagocytes. A virus-bound antibody binds to receptors, called Fc receptors, on the surface of phagocytic cells and triggers a mechanism known as phagocytosis, by which the cell engulfs and destroys the virus.
* Finally, antibodies can also activate the complement system, which opsonises and promotes phagocytosis of viruses. Complement can also damage the envelope (phospholipid bilayer) that is present on some types of virus

Quoting in-full to reëmphasize. Thanks for that steelie

#9 SunShowers on 12.22.21 at 2:52 pm

#148 IHCTD9 on 12.22.21 at 2:12 pm
“The customer pays WSIB premiums, a homeowner does not. The customer has an incentive to keep things safe on their premises. Can’t see how an employer can be expected to maintain safe working conditions at a private residence. Maybe the WFH employee should be paying into WSIB as well?”

Sorry, I don’t think I’m understanding this response.

If a worker goes to a homeowner’s house to perform work during work hours and falls down the stairs, the worker is covered by the WCB and their employer pays increased WSIB premiums, not the homeowner.

The employer cannot go after the homeowner for having an unsafe house that caused the worker to be injured on the job, nor can employers guarantee the safety of every home their workers visit on the job. The employer’s premiums go up, the worker gets paid, and the homeowner pays nothing.

Is this completely fair? Maybe not, but it’s how traditional employment has worked thus far, and from the perspective of an employer’s responsibility, I don’t see a meaningful difference between a plumber falling down a homeowner’s stairs on company time, and a WFH employee falling down their own stairs on company time.

#10 Sheesh on 12.22.21 at 2:59 pm

#143 RichardTO on 12.22.21 at 1:55 pm

“Long Covid is not a known or described medical condition”

I’m sorry you’re so easily frightened by reality. Read em and weep. Boo!
https://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/for-providers/civil-rights-covid19/guidance-long-covid-disability/index.html

“Unfortunately for your fear-porn, the mRNA vaccines flood the body with a greater dose of the harmful spike protein than a natural infection which only takes place in on the surfaces of the bronchi and trachea”

This is blatantly false. So hilariously wrong. Although I would love to see your evidence.

“So if you’re whipping up FUD”

again, lol. FUD is the domain of anti Vaxers who whip up fear about imaginary boogeymen while keeping their head in the sand about the reality of the virus.

“If I were a stakeholder in the mRNA vaccine program, I would have you muzzled for sowing the seeds of doubt in mass vaccination”

Oooh, scary. How is it that all those supposedly muzzled doctors and scientists are somehow so freaking loud, and have the ear of people in power, like DeSantis?

#11 Diamond Dog on 12.22.21 at 3:01 pm

We might have Trudeau around for the full 4 years.

Otherwise, I offer a detailed take on Omicron as a late entry in Garth’s WFH Chill piece.

Happy holidays, everyone.

#12 DON on 12.22.21 at 3:07 pm

Feels like we are nearing the top of the roller coaster. Looking at all the historical charts with sterp declines tells us one thing the decline is sudden and unstopable.

#13 Felix on 12.22.21 at 3:09 pm

That photo perfectly illustrates why the Omidog variant is about to dogawfully threaten everyone and ruin the holidays.

#14 Tim on 12.22.21 at 3:10 pm

The Feds are not serious about stopping the housing bubble, otherwise they would enact tougher measures. What’s a measly 1 percent tax going to do? If we want housing as a right for people in this country then we should tax the hell out of those with multiple properties. They should bump it up to 20 percent and foreign ownership should have been banned decades ago. Trudeau is beholden to developers, just like the former airhead Vancouver mayor Moonbeam.

#15 Dr V on 12.22.21 at 3:12 pm

“…. busting-up of single-family neighbourhoods to allow the intensification of land use, as NZ has done and BC is trying to do. In a stroke the federal government is demonizing those people who paid a premium for homes in established, leafy hoods, now to be devalued.”

I do not agree if all the new zoning does is allow the densification, and not require it in established ‘hoods.
The addition of laneway houses, garden homes and secondary dwellings normally increases the value of the property. I would have no issue with this in my neighbourhood.

However, I am familiar with jurisdictions where SFD areas have been re-zoned to multi family and SFDs are no longer permitted. if your house burns, you are stuck rebuilding with a new multi-unit. Also may not be a huge issue depending on personal circumstance and exact bylaw requirements.

#16 TurnerNation on 12.22.21 at 3:13 pm

— War on Small Business. As I noted here in mid 2020 – “Distancing” is the greatest economic weapon every invented. It’s working.

.Canadian small businesses struggle again amid covid-19 capacity limits, CFIB says (globalnews.ca)

— Byebye small business. The Green Pass didn’t make them healthy? Now, prison Curfew.
See we’ve always been seperated into “Essential” and “Non-essential” (to the New System). Guess who will be given the UBI.

.Quebec to impose two-week lockdown, reinstate curfew: reports. Gatherings in households could be limited to six, the reports say. The measures would reportedly go into effect on Dec. 26.


— Communism – is when the government shuts down your business and hands you scraps from the public purse. March 2020 it all kicked off. Is UBI next up?

https://financialpost.com/news/economy/ottawa-to-expand-aid-for-businesses-suffering-under-omicron-restrictions
“Ottawa to expand aid for businesses suffering under Omicron restrictions. Loss of 25% of their revenue in the last month will trigger wage and rent subsidies”


–Take quiz. Say didn’t the Internet Consp. Theorists tell us that this was coming?
https://abcfinance.co.uk/social-credit-quiz/index.html
COULD YOU SURVIVE THE SOCIAL CREDIT SCORE?
Social Credit Scoring is a way for governments, banks and insurers to grade you by your actions both on and offline. Overspending or associating with the wrong people could lower your score and lead to financial and social restrictions. TAKE THE QUIZ.

#17 Princess on 12.22.21 at 3:19 pm

I want a Pony!

Uncle Garth, Pony, Pony, Pony!

Give me, give me, give me!

#18 Love_The_Cottage on 12.22.21 at 3:21 pm

Will any of all of this work to make houses more affordable? No.
______
So Garth, if you don’t like the proposed list then what suggestions do you have? If I’m not mistaken you had argued previously in favour of eliminating blind bidding.

#19 Chameleon on 12.22.21 at 3:22 pm

Garth,

The window of opportunity is nearly here.

Cue the photo of a deer.

You know when.

You know why.

Shock us with it!

#20 Dave on 12.22.21 at 3:25 pm

We need to densify and get rid of single family homes so we can sell more property to all of the immigrants we are brining in. Better quality of life for all, lol

#21 DON on 12.22.21 at 3:27 pm

Bad spelling in previous post, and some idiot hit the submit button too early…

Feels like we are nearing the top of the roller coaster. Looking at all the historical charts with steep declines tells us one thing, the inevitable decline is sudden and unstoppable.

All that really matters is how exposed you are when it comes.

Which brings me to Cathie Wood and her innovation investments. I remember lots of innovation in the dot com frenzy that didn’t survive.

Somewhat related a bloke in Europe took his 2013 Telsa into the shop. They told him he needed to replace the battery…no problem…how much? At least 20,000 euros. Lots more innovating to do. Where there is a will there is a way but it just takes time.

#22 Tim on 12.22.21 at 3:33 pm

We must allow more properties to be built on smaller spaces. We need to create more housing for all of the people coming into this country. Why are they coming.

#23 Tom on 12.22.21 at 3:37 pm

Just when you think it can’t get worse than in Vancouver. Look at how the government in Portugal has screwed up their housing market

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/dec/22/luxury-homes-short-lets-and-shacks-inside-lisbons-housing-crisis

#24 Paul on 12.22.21 at 3:40 pm

So if one has their RRSP maxed does that mean they must make a choice between the RRSP and the FHSA for the following years?

Or do they get and extra $40k to deposit funds all at once (ie move non-registered funds into the FHSA when the account becomes available)?

For someone in their mid 30’s this seems ideal for an extra fat refund even if they don’t plan to purchase a house at age 40, when I’m assuming the account is then taxed when delisted? Or is it rolled into an RRSP?

#25 Wrk.dover on 12.22.21 at 3:40 pm

Maybe the non-finance crew will decide to top up all balances with the amount eroded by inflation periodically.

You have to really try hard to think like they do.

#26 All lies and manipulated u decide on 12.22.21 at 3:43 pm

Reprint for prior blog didnt want the bro to miss it.

#75 Biden my time on 12.21.21 at 7:19 pm
————————————————
LOL
Its a hellova lot easier to navigate as they had a year to figure it out. Rules, makin the Vax, most vaccinated ect.
Trumped played it down because he didn’t want to panic and that didn’t work out to well.
Biden blew up Afghanistan and created a way bigger problem at the boarder. The guy can barely remember where he is and he’s reading a teleprompter all the time.

And this quote “The LEFT knows it is in serious trouble. This is why Biden had his Democracy Summit, which was a joke. Biden’s polls have collapsed. California is in crisis mode. The LEFT has defunded police, and violent crimes have exploded. Stores are subjected to organized gang shoplifting. So now we find that the LEFT is crying democracy will end by 2024, and this is coming from Hillary Clinton, Adam Schiff, and other elite intellectuals on the LEFT, including the media”
My buddy super DIE hard Californian just bailed.
Biden’s an off the chart failure.
What planet are you on bro?

#27 Ponzius Pilatus on 12.22.21 at 3:52 pm

Interesting:
Avg. Life Expectancy in the States dropped from 79 to 77.
Birth rates are dropping world wide.
The trend defies the linear forecasters.
Mother Nature likes an equilibrium.
Too many of us, breathing on polluted air.
The mantra “The age 60 is the new 50” could be just a commercial for health products.
Longevity (or lack of it) is defined by your genes and luck.
But walking 10k steps a day does make a difference in your health.
And it may prolong your life a little bit.

#28 wallflower on 12.22.21 at 3:52 pm

Lucy is glorious.

#29 Faron on 12.22.21 at 3:53 pm

#10 Sheesh on 12.22.21 at 2:59 pm

#143 RichardTO on 12.22.21 at 1:55 pm

Hilariously, RichardTO, new research shows that Omicron preferentially reinfects those who previously had COVID. LOL.

https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/12/22/world/omicron-covid-vaccine-tests/omicron-infections-do-not-seem-as-severe-leading-less-often-to-hospitalization-uk-researchers-report

Unfortunately, today’s UK hospitalization stats are very grim. Brace yourselves for the next month could be very bad. Like an Oprah show: you get COVID and you get COVID and you get COVID… etc.

#30 Polozi Scheme on 12.22.21 at 3:54 pm

Ban/tax on foreign buyers/owners is a red herring. There are very few foreign buyers/owners in Canada. However, there is a massive amount of foreign dollars buying Canadian RE.

#31 Euclid Bullfinch on 12.22.21 at 3:54 pm

“In a stroke the federal government is demonizing those people who paid a premium for homes in established, leafy hoods, now to be devalued. I’d be pissed.”

Yeah, if I had a government-backed veto over what my neighbour does with his property, in order to keep the stock of housing artificially low, I’d be pissed to lose it too…

#32 Dolce Vita on 12.22.21 at 3:56 pm

N = 4

https://twitter.com/EricTopol/status/1473681239378964486

Hopefully an overreaction by Israel.

UK Omicron to Dec. 22. New cases fx ∝ x³. Hospital/Deaths very low.

https://i.imgur.com/UVD8l7o.png

Denmark this AM CET, similar.

According to ZOE about 1.48 million Brits sidelined by Covid (symptomatic). Nov. 2021 UK employees = 29.4 million per ons.gov.uk.

UK shortening self-isolation time from 10 days to 7 days. Clear they want Covid sidelined people back into the workforce sooner. I think it’s a good move for the sake of GDP, labour shortages and so forth. Time will tell if it was.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/dec/22/covid-self-isolation-cut-to-seven-days-for-jabbed-people-in-england

——————-

Saddened when I saw this on CTV National News from last night.

State of emergency in MTL
https://www.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=2348325

I know Omicron not hospitalizing or killing much. But had a sob anyway this morning, first time in 2 years of this pandemic…not even once during the deep darks of Covid in Italia.

Everyone has a limit I guess. That one was mine.

Get better the GOOD people of Montréal, La Belle Province and Canada.

#33 under the radar on 12.22.21 at 3:56 pm

Real estate is local. Federal fluff will not make housing more affordable. Increasing density makes urban infill more expensive and leads to practical issues , like parking, school capacity, etc. that require layers of bureaucratic approvals and delayed decision making. It takes years for a re-zoning and 6 months or more for a minor variance .
Housing in major urban centers will never again be affordable because land, labour and materials are inputs that will not meaningfully retreat so that an hourly or middle income earner has much of a chance. If you want to live in the 416 and own a home, million dollar mortgages are already here. Only a nasty recession and sky high rates will tame the beast.

#34 Deception on 12.22.21 at 4:05 pm

By appearing to offer all these measure to allow first time buyers to have more money to put down, the government will generally be seen in a favourable light, or at least that is probably their intent. Perhaps it is also the intent of the Liberal strategists to make it seem as if it is the Bank of Canada that is the villain even as they, the strategists, are trying to do everything they can to help first time buyers (part of their largest voting block).

I expect to see lots of talk from the Government about the independence of the B of C, and how the Liberals are unable to interfere.

#35 IHCTD9 on 12.22.21 at 4:08 pm

#9 SunShowers on 12.22.21 at 2:52 pm
#148 IHCTD9 on 12.22.21 at 2:12 pm
“The customer pays WSIB premiums, a homeowner does not. The customer has an incentive to keep things safe on their premises. Can’t see how an employer can be expected to maintain safe working conditions at a private residence. Maybe the WFH employee should be paying into WSIB as well?”

Sorry, I don’t think I’m understanding this response.

If a worker goes to a homeowner’s house to perform work during work hours and falls down the stairs, the worker is covered by the WCB and their employer pays increased WSIB premiums, not the homeowner.
— – —

Exactly. Everyone engaged in hiring employees to do work pays WSIB.

So either the policy holder (employer) gets to tell the WFH’er she needs to put in a new walk and set of stairs, or the WFH’er pays in as well to cover herself in her own house.

How else could it go? If the employer is responsible for their wfh employee safety, how could they be barred from preventative actions at the residence? Bylaw and fire officials can force updates and repairs, so can your home insurance carrier.

It’s a new area as yet to be fleshed out, but I can’t see how remote employers can be expected to provide a safe working environment (ie the employee’s principal residence) without the ability to inspect, and force improvements at the employee’s cost. This could get real ugly in a hurry if employers are continually held responsible for all manner of residential workplace injuries.

#36 Dolce Vita on 12.22.21 at 4:09 pm

Cdn RE needs a Covid disease.

#37 Eco Capitalist on 12.22.21 at 4:14 pm

My immediate concern with the rezoning call is the infrastructure. Water, sewer, hydro, roads were all planned based on a SFH neighbourhood. Now you’re going to triple the density?

#38 mark on 12.22.21 at 4:18 pm

” So much for renovators who add real value and improve the housing stock, and where profits are already taxed as income.”

hahaha, oh garth. sometimes you make me weep. installing cheap linoleum and an ikea kitchen does not increase a house’s value by $100k. flippers need to be spanked they add no value. in 95% of cases it is a pure profiteering play and the ultimate buyer is worse off. good riddance, they should make it 36 months.

#39 Ontario Lock Down on 12.22.21 at 4:20 pm

“An end to the pandemic, probably. Many think Omicron – hugely contagious and more flu-like (so far, anyway) – will be the last hurrah in Canada, the US and Europe, where vax rates keep escalating. The markets seem to think so. Roaring Twenties, and all that.”

There is a “nightmare scenario” to all of this (and the reason why they have been aggressively pushing vaccines for SARS-COV-2).

Our novel corona virus has a new feature, never before seen in corona viruses. A furin cleavage site, right at the correct location, using the human form of the double CGG codon. This is what makes it so transmissible. Human airway cells don’t have a chance against it.

There has been a growing concern in our scientific community regarding the possibility of recombination.

Viruses routinely pick up features of other viruses by being in the same cell at the same time. Two viruses are mixed together, creating a third “chimera” virus.

The deadly corona viruses out there (like SARS and MERS) are not very transmissible, because they lack a furin cleavage site.

And up until now, no known corona virus has had one (so they could not pick one up by mixing with a common cold corona virus and taking on its furin site in a recombination episode).

SARS-COV-2 has such a site.

So the discussion now is turning to, what happens if someone who is infected with MERS, picks up Omicron at the same time, and a recombination event occurs, allowing MERS to develop a furin cleavage site?

MERS has a fatality rate of 34%.

SARS-COV-2 has an IFR (infection fatality rate) of about 1.4% (twice that of influenza, which is why it overwhelms hospitals regularly and triggers lock downs wherever it goes).

If MERS picks up a furin cleavage site, what do y’all think is going to happen?

That is the nightmare scenario.

#40 Gravy Train on 12.22.21 at 4:21 pm

#27 Ponzius Pilatus on 12.22.21 at 3:52 pm
“[…] But walking 10k steps a day does make a difference in your health.[…]” Cutting back on calories, sugar, sodium and saturated fat also helps. :)

#41 James on 12.22.21 at 4:23 pm

Since 2015, when the shiny new prime minister vowed to corral house prices, they’ve swollen 81.4%. The federal debt has doubled. Household borrowing is off the chart. Inflation is the highest in 30 years. Interest rates are set to rise. And we have Omicron.
____________________________________________
Be careful you dumb ass millennials who voted the shiny idiot into power. People who fall for shiny things are often mislead and it appears to be playing out that way.
Good luck suckers, now you young ones are either straddled with imposing mortgage debt or unattainable property aspirations. On the good side go smoke a joint he made it legal so you can get high and blame boomers for your woes.

#42 Sail Away on 12.22.21 at 4:25 pm

#27 Ponzius Pilatus on 12.22.21 at 3:52 pm

Too many of us, breathing on polluted air.

——–

Consider South Dakota. Their air is fresher, cleaner and purer than any other air in the world.

Peer-reviewed medical studies show SD residents present as 15 years younger and 3x more virile than expat Austrians in Richmond.

#43 YVRTechGuy on 12.22.21 at 4:32 pm

Garth – I’m curious why you believe removing the deductability of mortgage interest for landlords will lead to higher rents. When they did exactly this in the UK a few years back, it made no difference at all.

What’s your reasoning?

#44 Sam on 12.22.21 at 4:33 pm

Lot of NIMBY talking points in here Garth. Playing the world’s smallest violin for the “mom & pop” landlords.

#45 Dolce Vita on 12.22.21 at 4:52 pm

#34 Ontario Lock Down

I just look at the Math and make conclusions.

I will tell you in less technical eloquence that I worry as well from the simple fact that Omicron will likely infect most everyone.

That gives Omicron far, far too many opportunities to morph into something else.

Let’s hope Mother Nature by some miracle overlooks your “furin cleavage site” though I doubt she would have put it there if not for her eventual good use (bad for us).

Purely carnal here.

For once cleavage not a good thing.

[Ya. I said that Garth. So shoot me.]

#46 Pbrasseur on 12.22.21 at 4:52 pm

“ an increase in the capital gains tax inclusion rate;”

Like a broken record….

Chances there are null!

The country needs growth above all else, punishing investors when their gains are already being eaten by inflation would just be insane, not to mention electorally costly…

#47 Linda on 12.22.21 at 4:53 pm

Lucy looks like she is thinking ‘I’ll be patient, then the moment this photo is over this hat is OFF!’:)

Where I live the local municipal government has been very pro-densification. Not a few communities, particularly those within the ‘inner core’ neighborhoods have been fighting to limit development. It isn’t that these areas don’t want any development, but to the dismay of long term residents a lot of leafy, traditional lots with single family housing are being replaced with multifamily housing developments. All too frequently local Council grants relaxation to development rules, so the expected maximum height of the new build ends up being far higher – with the attendant issues of loss of privacy, loss of vegetation due to lots being cleared of mature trees, increased vehicle traffic etc.

In our own neighborhood recent development permit applications are mainly for secondary suites. While some of those suites will likely house aging relatives, at least some will presumably provide an income stream as the property owner rents out the new space. While this blog has mentioned the financial implications to renting out property I for one would like to read about how the tax rules would impact anyone creating & renting out a secondary suite in their personal residence. If one is using said suite to house an aging parent ‘rent free’, how does one prove that to the CRA?

#48 More Shalom on 12.22.21 at 4:53 pm

Green Goons “ The sky is falling. The Earth Mission to Nirvana has 18 months to kill all energy production or we all die”.

Senior and worker. “ But I’m freezing. I can’t afford food and heat. “

Green Goon . “ We all have government jobs and get subsidized pay from foreign green goons to shut down Canada energy.”

Normal person . “ But you can afford to winter in Jamaica and none of us working people and fixed income seniors are freezing”.

Green goons. “ We don’t care. Wait till summer comes and we’ll be back from our tropical vacations and we’ll shut down your energy patch again and collect more Earth us Dying money from Justin. “

Starving senior . “ But Justin just hired a eco-goon to starve us out and replace us. Where do we go”?

Green goon. Hahahaha, we put our replacements in fine hotels while you starve and shiver”.

“ But you’re causing inhuman hardship across the world”.

Green goon “ We agreed at COP that you’re an unwelcome mouth to feed, so go *uck yourself.”
https://financialpost.com/commodities/energy/europes-power-crunch-shuts-down-factories-as-prices-hit-record

#49 BowlingBall on 12.22.21 at 4:54 pm

#82 Garth’s Son Drake on 12.21.21 at 7:47 pm

Those Interior numbers are a bit low right now. Any coincidence that this is because the highways have been shut down to non-essential covid spreaders? You know, the one’s Big White’s Ballingall want coming in from the Lower Mainland to spend money at his resort.
—————————————————————————————

Too funny! But so accurate. I called him out on this elsewhere online … and was in email contact with him recently on related matters.

Put another way . . . ” risk your life and the lives of others on this crappy highway, prevent necessary goods from getting through, add to the congestion while they are trying to make repairs, burn up gallons of fossil fuel doing so, just so you can spend an arm and a leg for a few hours on one of the worst climate change contributors known to mankind!

All in the name of capitalism and padding his bank account! I don’t see the problem.

#50 Haas Say Yhoo on 12.22.21 at 4:59 pm

#5….. I am surprised you have just learned or it appears so, the precariat exists in Canada. It raised its ugly head for all to read in 2007. Prior to that it was under ground.

#51 Cheese on 12.22.21 at 5:11 pm

As someone who just hit 40, and been saving like a demon for years now, where is MY 40k tax shelter?

Seriously, whom do we have to talk to get some sort of challenge against this ageist FHSA?

#52 Faron on 12.22.21 at 5:15 pm

#42 Sail Away on 12.22.21 at 4:25 pm

#27 Ponzius Pilatus on 12.22.21 at 3:52 pm

Too many of us, breathing on polluted air.

——–

Consider South Dakota. Their air is fresher, cleaner and purer than any other air in the world.

LOL. Nice advert/propaganda, but living downwind of a bunch of coal-fired power plants actually sucks…

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-08-03/this-incredibly-detailed-map-shows-global-air-pollution-down-to-the-neighborhood-level

But, that’s 2015 data. I’m sure the deregulating shift in many governments especially SDs has made the picture so so much better.

Given that the opposite of Sailo’s claim regarding air quality is true, we have to believe it’s opposite day for the entirety of that comment.

Fish in barrels my friends.

Sorry, been procrastinating on starting my first-ever tile job. Stakes are high.

#53 SunShowers on 12.22.21 at 5:16 pm

#43 YVRTechGuy on 12.22.21 at 4:32 pm
“Garth – I’m curious why you believe removing the deductability of mortgage interest for landlords will lead to higher rents. When they did exactly this in the UK a few years back, it made no difference at all.

What’s your reasoning?”

Well you see, landlords have a God-given right to make a set amount money (as much as their tenants can afford and not a red cent less) by doing diddly-squat outside of creating an artificial scarcity of shelter, and profiting from that scarcity. Any attempts to reduce that set amount of money must be immediately rectified by a commensurate rent hike to maintain equilibrium.

You are finally learning. – Garth

#54 Shawn Allen on 12.22.21 at 5:19 pm

Fear Not the Multi-family homes

#37 Eco Capitalist on 12.22.21 at 4:14 pm
My immediate concern with the rezoning call is the infrastructure. Water, sewer, hydro, roads were all planned based on a SFH neighbourhood. Now you’re going to triple the density?

***********************************
Relax, there are fewer occupants per single family home and we have water conserving appliances compared to the old days. Low flush toilets, better washers and dishwashers.

And the electrical grid has been upgraded over the years.

If Manhattan managed, I think Toronto can too, and easily.

Or you think a better solution is all new infrastructure in fields 100km from downtown Toronto.

Let the market decide and let zoning laws get out of the way. The SFH belt is a scourge. You could phase out SFH belts slowly perhaps giving 20 year notice in some neighborhoods. They can’t stay SFH frozen in time forever. And you don’t necessarily have to go from SFH to apartments, it can be SFH to duplex allowed sort of thing. You do not own your neighbors’ houses.

#55 Yukon Elvis on 12.22.21 at 5:19 pm

DELETED

#56 NOSTRADAMUS on 12.22.21 at 5:24 pm

SIFTING THROUGH THE GARBAGE.
I don’t know which media to believe anymore. Headlines pull me in, the content starts out supporting the headline, then veers off into something not even remotely relevant. And finally ends with an alternative point of view, if any. Chum the waters, Bait and switch comes to mind. Then, like a diamond tipped bullet, right between the eyes, the purpose of the media article became crystal clear. “TO SELL ADVERTISEMENT.” I don’t think there actually is a main stream media. All these media outlets are for one purpose, and one purpose only, to sell advertisement to the group that tunes in. Pay attention to the commercials and you will see who they are slanting toward.
IE. CBS evening news— drug commercials for the older demographic. They have the cash to live forever.
NBC— cellphones, cars ,travel, etc. poor folks can live the good life just like the rich.
FOX— the blonde bimbos with short skirts– them old white guys love that.
And on and on—
The best I ever heard was when FOX NEWS defended itself from criticism by claiming they were not a news channel, but an entertainment channel, FOX NEWS!
It takes a lot of effort to sift through the garbage. Unfortunately most people don’t. Sleep tight my little beauties.

#57 SunShowers on 12.22.21 at 5:24 pm

#35 IHCTD9 on 12.22.21 at 4:08 pm
“I can’t see how remote employers can be expected to provide a safe working environment (ie the employee’s principal residence) without the ability to inspect, and force improvements at the employee’s cost.”

The same way they’re “expected” to provide a safe working environment for employees who visit customer’s homes to do work. (i.e. they’re not expected to because they literally can’t, and if something happens they have to take it on the chin.)

#58 Is anybody listening? on 12.22.21 at 5:25 pm

Re: Ontario Lock Down #39

Does not look like Mers is an issue.
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-74101-0

#59 Row your boat on 12.22.21 at 5:29 pm

#27 Ponzius Pilatus on 12.22.21 at 3:52 pm
Interesting:
Avg. Life Expectancy in the States dropped from 79 to 77.
Birth rates are dropping world wide.
The trend defies the linear forecasters.
Mother Nature likes an equilibrium.
Too many of us, breathing on polluted air.
The mantra “The age 60 is the new 50” could be just a commercial for health products.
Longevity (or lack of it) is defined by your genes and luck.
But walking 10k steps a day does make a difference in your health.
And it may prolong your life a little bit.

Two or three years back I was taking a stroll on Centre Island, and at the east end edge saw a guy working on his row boat. He said hi. I said hi. It was a nice rig he was refinishing for sale. Anyhow, turns out he was one of a team to row across the Atlantic ocean. They made a movie about it. He gave me the DVD, although I brought it back to him after viewing. To the point. He swears that the rowing is what has kept him healthy and strong in his life. He is an older gentleman now.

Was a pleasure to meet him. He was the only no-drama rower on that team when I watched the movie. Didn’t get injured. Didn’t complain. Just rowed. You barely hear him talk in the movie. He just gets on with it. It was a pleasure to talk to that individual really.

Funny what you can bump into when walking.

#60 Taco Devil on 12.22.21 at 5:32 pm

#45 Dolce Vita

That’s right DV. Next up…Pi!

Are you ready for…Life with Pi?

#61 Barb on 12.22.21 at 5:34 pm

Higher down payments for investment properties.
“Perchance the deductibility of interest on loan payments will be eliminated.”

——————————
Interest payments not deductible?
OK, let’s not declare revenue in that case.

Poi-fect.

#62 catralph on 12.22.21 at 5:43 pm

I think the FHSA is age discrimination under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and when challenged successfully in the courts T2 will say sorry I tried and will save himself a ton of money.

#63 Dolce Vita on 12.22.21 at 5:47 pm

#58 Is anybody listening?

Why can’t these Scientists just a have a section titled:

“For the rest of you slugs”

And in it say something like:

“The chances of that happening are Slim to Nil and Slim just got on the bus and left town.”

Would it kill them to say that?

How hard would that be?

—————

Everyone’s hurting here on Planet Earth with this damn Covid-19 et. al. and some reassuring words in Plain English of no MERS + Covid-19 Armageddon is likely to happen incl. some sort of probability, say 0%…that would be so nice for slugs like me.

#64 Dolce Vita on 12.22.21 at 5:56 pm

#60 Taco Devil

No. Not ready.

As long as they don’t name the next one the:

α and Ω

I’m good with that.

If they do. Seppuku comes to mind.

#65 Ponzius Pilatus on 12.22.21 at 5:56 pm

#2 A question on 12.22.21 at 2:34 pm
I know this blog is about finance and occasionally RE, but I’m wondering why public transportation is never talked about or at least mentioned as one of the solutions to the real estate bubble?
We keep hearing that workers are not going to travel from the ‘burbs to the GTA as the traffic is terrible and the rail infrastructure is non existent. But I’m wondering why is that? Why not invest in frequent reliable public transit? With the current climate, it would hit 2 birds with one stone – partially address RE prices and help with climate initiative.
——————-
Good question.
I’ve been palavering about this for a long time.
The answer is:
North Americans have been fixated on the automobile since the early 1900’s.
Started with Ford.
It’s a addiction.
Gotta drive when you turn 16.
Otherwise you’re a loser.
Not gonna get a girl.
Major investments in public transport?
Not gonna happen.
Interestingly, the commie countries in Europe were great on public transport.
I was in Budapest, quite a few times.
The subway, noisy but fast and gets you everywhere.
Asked for directions.
They gave you the direction, plus a bus/subway ticket.
The tickets were so cheap.

#66 Sail Away on 12.22.21 at 5:59 pm

#52 Faron on 12.22.21 at 5:15 pm

…been procrastinating on starting my first-ever tile job. Stakes are high.

——–

Ah, tiling is fun, relaxing, and enormously satisfying.

Easy to do a top-notch job if you approach with a joyful heart and a patient wife.

Some tips:

1. Use a corded drill for mixing. Battery-powered won’t have enough oomph.
2. If the area is small, such as bathroom, entryway, laundry room, etc, it is often possible to find cheap quality tile at the Habitat Restore, and further:
3. The Restore often has offcuts and bits of natural stone that can be used to create or dress up corners, edges, shower lips, shelving without need for metal transition edge
4. Never grout inside corners and bottoms- always use silicon caulk, and usually clear is a better idea than coloured. Installer screw this up all the time, especially the self-styled ‘pros’
5. Remove spacers before grouting.
6. Keep half a dozen extra tiles on hand for repairs. The same match will never be available again.

Good luck. Have fun.

#67 Dyno Might! on 12.22.21 at 6:01 pm

#21 DON on 12.22.21 at 3:27 pm

Somewhat related a bloke in Europe took his 2013 Telsa into the shop. They told him he needed to replace the battery…no problem…how much? At least 20,000 euros. Lots more innovating to do. Where there is a will there is a way but it just takes time.

_________________________________________________

Oh … you mean this bloke?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2sJXKrc0SM

P.S. You still have to work a lot harder on the spelling and the grammar. It’s Tesla; not Telsa!

#68 Ponzius Pilatus on 12.22.21 at 6:03 pm

#42 Sail Away on 12.22.21 at 4:25 pm
#27 Ponzius Pilatus on 12.22.21 at 3:52 pm

Too many of us, breathing on polluted air.

——–

Consider South Dakota. Their air is fresher, cleaner and purer than any other air in the world.

Peer-reviewed medical studies show SD residents present as 15 years younger and 3x more virile than expat Austrians in Richmond.
———————-
Thank you for your offer.
But I have to decline, I rather die from pollution.
Than from gunpowder and lead poisoning.
Heard it’s very painful.
Too many people shooting other people in self defence.

#69 George S on 12.22.21 at 6:09 pm

#56 NOSTRADAMUS on 12.22.21 at 5:24 pm wrote:

“The best I ever heard was when FOX NEWS defended itself from criticism by claiming they were not a news channel, but an entertainment channel, FOX NEWS!”

For years I was under the impression that Fox News was a parody news network from an Alt Right perspective similar to the SNL skits that mock the Right Wing agenda from a Left Wing viewpoint. I was surprised to find that people actually take it seriously and think that is actually a legitimate news network.
Only imbeciles would trust a news network that has its hosts claim that they are only entertainers under oath in a courtroom.

Until there is more data available to calibrate the models it is anybody’s guess what will become of Omicron. One thing that you can be sure of is that if you are unvaccinated, you better watch out.

#70 Sail Away on 12.22.21 at 6:15 pm

#56 NOSTRADAMUS on 12.22.21 at 5:24 pm

FOX— the blonde bimbos with short skirts– them old white guys love that.

——–

‘old white guys’ huh?

Because nobody else is interested in well-dressed, attractive women?

It seems at least one of these narratives being sold has taken up residence in your head.

#71 Ponzius Pilatus on 12.22.21 at 6:22 pm

It’s good to have some real scientists in the White House.
Rather than the goofs who recommended shooting up chlorox.
Fauci is the man.
So, now we know that the Omicron Virus is 70% more contagious than the Delta.
But much less lethal, and most vaccines provide great protection against the.
No panic, just stay the course.
Get your booster, keep safe distance, be careful in close quarters, masked up when with people you don’t know.
Pretty basic stuff.
And ignore what Turner Nation tells you.
And, hopefully in spring, we’re back bashing Realtors again.

#72 Robert Ash on 12.22.21 at 6:25 pm

The Heavy Lifting will be done by the Federal Reserve bank and the B of C, just follows, as has been the case for ever, in terms, of meat and bones, monetary policy. We can hardly justify paying a Billion a year, for a B of C, when our Customer Supplier relationship, commits, us to US Monetary policy, we even try to devalue our Currency to maintain and edge. Let’s face it folks, most 1st years, know when Aggregate Demand exceeds, Aggregate Supply, … only one way for prices to go… And then if we factor in the fact as illustrated above, that the Liberals, will inflame, Demand higher… Sad manipulation of Financial milestones, to achieve Leadership in a country where 30% of a group of desperate and ill informed citizens, can exacerbate the problems. Not a nice comment for the season, so please accept this as a comment about todays, subject… However Have a Merry and Safe Holiday Season.

#73 VladTor on 12.22.21 at 6:25 pm

As I told here too many times – existing government doing nothing to start solving house bubble problem. Again bla-bla-bla.

Especially look at this –> Pressure to change zoning restrictions!!!!

Where? In Canada? In a second biggest country in the world ??? Compare size New Zeeland with Canada and will not sleep well this night.

Are they idiots ??? Nope! They are clinical idiots!

#74 Ponzius Pilatus on 12.22.21 at 6:31 pm

#40 Gravy Train on 12.22.21 at 4:21 pm
#27 Ponzius Pilatus on 12.22.21 at 3:52 pm
“[…] But walking 10k steps a day does make a difference in your health.[…]” Cutting back on calories, sugar, sodium and saturated fat also helps. :)
———————
Totally in agreement.
It’s the holistic approach that works.
Can’t sit on a chair with only one foot.
I found you start with one, like exercise and than you go into healthy food, etc.
It’s kinda like investing.
Gotta be balanced and diversified.

#75 Rent the podium on 12.22.21 at 6:34 pm

Re Real estate gain since 2015 81% vs 70% BD portfolio. Thanks for sharing. Had been wondering about relative performance of these two. Is this normal? Is it happening elsewhere? The idea that real estate would beat stocks.

It didn’t. By a long shot. That is the return on a relatively conservative balanced portfolio. – Garth

#76 Do we have all the facts on 12.22.21 at 6:37 pm

Under Section 92 of the Constitution Act Provincial governments are responsible for all matters of local interest and for property rights. The Federal Government cannot pass legislation that will encroach upon areas of Provincial and Municipal jurisdiction and this includes official plans, zoning regulations and the issue of building permits.

The Federal government could offer financial incentives to
Provincial and territorial governments to support a wide range of affordable housing initiatives but the jurisdiction would remain with Provincial and Territorial governments or through their delegation of jurisdiction to Municipal governments.

The owners of property previously zoned for single families have the legal right appeal any change in zoning that might result in undesirable consequences. There are reasons why houses in designated single family zones are sold at, and taxes at, a premium.

Justin is free to suggest zoning changes to the Provinces or Territories but does not have the authority to step on their toes without an amendment to our Constitution.

#77 Leftover on 12.22.21 at 6:51 pm

“Anti-flipper Tax…..So much for renovators who add real value and improve the housing stock, and where profits are already taxed as income”

????

By definition these guys are paying tax as income, so nailing the buy-sit-sell six months later crowd won’t hurt them a bit. Might even make their world a little easier.

#78 Nonplused on 12.22.21 at 6:52 pm

I don’t think house prices in YVR and YYZ are coming down anytime soon.

First, there is all the housing stimulus described in today’s post, almost none of which will exert downward pressure on pricing. No need to go point by point other than to say the only real solution is more supply and there isn’t any of that in there really. Some talk of zoning but that is up to the municipalities. If they wanted to do something it would be done by now.

But the main reason I am skeptical is because I don’t see how 2% interest rates, if and when they eventually come, will have much of an affect on 6% inflation. Even at 2% real rates will still be deeply negative.

Have you been to the grocery store lately? $14 worth of bacon is now $20. There aren’t any “supply chain issues” between where the pig is raised and the grocery store in Alberta. With the exception of maybe milk and eggs, this is throughout the store. Gasoline, indeed any energy source, is through the roof but that is largely due to carbon taxes. Be that as it may it is still inflationary.

People were complaining about house prices before. I think by the end of winter they’ll also be complaining about food, transport, heating, and just keeping the lights on.

And I think it is going to last a long time. 2025 at least.

#79 Nonplused on 12.22.21 at 7:07 pm

#5 Dogman01 on 12.22.21 at 2:41 pm

“Climate Change Grifters.
I suspect Calgary’s Arena deal was cancelled as the Mayor decided to tack on an additional Climate mitigation tithe long after the deal was agreed upon.“Climate Emergency” in Calgary you know.”

That’s all right by me. Even though the mayor is being entirely ludicrous, obviously suffering some sort of delusion if she thinks Calgary can solve the climate crisis no matter what we do, it is best to kill the project anyway. The last thing Calgary needs is a new arena and stadium.

#80 crowdedelevatorfartz on 12.22.21 at 7:18 pm

@#17 princess
“I want a Pony!
Uncle Garth, Pony, Pony, Pony!
Give me, give me, give me!

++++

Ummm talk to The Prime Minister….you’ll have better luck.

#81 Another Deckchair on 12.22.21 at 7:20 pm

@4 Exodus 2020

“This is more likely to increase property values in premium densification areas…. paying more per square foot of land so homeowners win once again!”

Yeah, but what happens around here is that a couple of SFDs get re-purposed into a 25 story condo with 176 parking spaces; the roads are not super-sized at the same time. (numbers taken from latest proposal)

You get 7 to 10 times the cars on the no-sidewalk-kids-playing roads. Even more, as the old home-owners would sit in their back yards or porches or cut the grass or shovel snow, now people go driving to the Starbucks drive-through to keep themselves busy.

Multiply that by 10 to 20 Condo towers, and traffic gets to be a whole other problem…

Gotta get rid of cars completely, I guess. They take up space, are a huge killer of people, a green-house gas creator (in construction and ownership and destruction) no matter what the power is.

Sigh.

#82 Bezengy on 12.22.21 at 7:28 pm

The one aspect of housing affordability we often forget is rental costs. Why are rentals so expensive? These 500 sq/ft dwellings should be dirt cheap to rent. If they were I’d be willing to bet a lot of housing stock would be freed up by home owners. As it stands it’s still much cheaper to stay in your home than shell out $2k a month for a half decent place. Being a former landlord I can see what tenant rights have done to the supply as no one in their right mind would want to be a landlord, at least not in the low end rental market. I have an old house that sits empty, and a friend of mine is tearing down his duplex and growing grass on the lot. It’s simply not worth the hassle. One bad tenant and your life turns into a nightmare. Give back the power to the landlord to throw the bums out the door and watch the rental market explode with new supply, with new house listings following shortly after.

#83 cuke and tomato picker e on 12.22.21 at 7:29 pm

Number 59 Row Your Boat yes I walk around Central
Saanich and the water front heart smart walk in Sidney
B.C. YOU ARE SO RIGHT. The people you meet walking
are so interesting people from all walks of life with
wonderful life stories to tell. Some have had the charmed life others have had difficult things to overcome but are moving on .I have learned so much from these interesting people. Keep walkin and talkin.

#84 SoggyShorts on 12.22.21 at 7:36 pm

#57 SunShowers on 12.22.21 at 5:24 pm
#35 IHCTD9 on 12.22.21 at 4:08 pm
“I can’t see how remote employers can be expected to provide a safe working environment (ie the employee’s principal residence) without the ability to inspect, and force improvements at the employee’s cost.”

The same way they’re “expected” to provide a safe working environment for employees who visit customer’s homes to do work. (i.e. they’re not expected to because they literally can’t, and if something happens they have to take it on the chin.)
*********
Totally different industries with totally different insurance rates.

How many people in WFH jobs now visited clients’ homes before covid?
1%? Fewer?

Did you think that plumbers and cubicle workers pay the same WCB rates?

An office cubicle setting is significantly easier to control than some rando’s home. Come on mate, use your noggin a little on this one.

Or whatever, maybe just make it policy that all employees must wear full PPE including steel-toe boots, hardhats, flame-resistant coveralls and use a 5 point harness when descending stairs.
Have fun fielding IT calls like that.

#85 John in Mtl on 12.22.21 at 7:36 pm

@ #16 TurnerNation on 12.22.21 at 3:13 pm

Please stop pushing non factual info. In Quebec, there are now a few restrictions but there is currently no curfew or lockdown in the works, it was discussed and dismissed for the moment. Stricter gathering limits only apply starting on dec 26. The hospital situation will determine if further restrictions are warranted.

#86 Cici on 12.22.21 at 7:55 pm

#59 Row your boat

Cool story! Thanks ;-)

#87 What the... on 12.22.21 at 8:30 pm

The government is going to save the public money? Really? Yeah. For sure.

#88 the Jaguar on 12.22.21 at 8:42 pm

The FHSA. +- Seems to be an incentive to save for the under 40 crowd, but what controls would be in place to make sure the funds were not derived from a) parents or other sources and b) not used for investment properties?

A ban on foreign buyers. + – What if a Canadian resident maintains a small percentage of ownership, i.e. the family member attending UBC, etc.? And don’t worry about USA peeps. They’ll get the same pass they did on Covid testing when entering Canada. Politics and other financial interests will trump any sweeping ban.

A tax on foreign-owned real estate. +- See above

A fat tax credit to close home sales. +- All sales? Even investment properties? (p.s. what controls in place to ensure ‘declared’ owner occupied purchases really are occupied versus intent being investment properties?

An increase in the CMHC borrowing limit.+- Who cares. It’s just play money, and the reality is that significant amounts of minimum down payment funds are from nefarious undeclared sources anyway. Lies, lies. Oh….and, more lies.

A rent-to-own program.+ – Negotiations still taking place? Sounds like the Banks ‘no likey’. An administrative nightmare. No wonder some Banks are busy purchasing other banks in the USA. That’s where their bread and butter has been coming from for some time……..

A ban on blind bidding (maybe). +- Doubtful. And if people want to climb into the ring, play rope a dope, and subsequently find out they were the dope…..well maybe let them learn their lesson.

An anti-flipper tax. +-Will it include ‘assignments of sale’ or other slippery moves thunk up by accountants, lawyers and the like?

Pressure to change zoning restrictions.+ – Horse has left the barn. This is the new reality. NIMBYism is on the progressive hit list and ain’t no going back. It will be about good and bad choices. Peeps may wish to read up on urban exodus/flight. Everything old is new again, with a new twist. Voting with feet is the only option.

Higher down payments for investment properties. +- We always circle back to control measures, n’cest pas? Real estate investor Dad wants another investment property, just gets the kid to apply for the financing in his/her name after dumping funds in the new FHSA. Low income kid lives at home. Wake up peeps. This kind of activity is as old as the beard of Moses. ( Think CERB).

In the past seven days Jaguar has endured two molecular PCT tests, a booster shot, and accepted a box of free rapid tests from her Alberta government today while grocery shopping. ( Thank you Mr. Kenney). Time to turn off all media until boxing day and focus on more pleasant pursuits. Will be reading Greaterfool, of course. (smile). Merry Christmas to all dogs, cats, and the deserving in between……amen

#89 crowdedelevatorfartz on 12.22.21 at 8:44 pm

@#66 Sail Away
“4. Never grout inside corners and bottoms- always use silicon caulk, and usually clear is a better idea than coloured.”
++++

I agreed with all the previous tiling advice with one exception.
Use translucent silicone not clear.
The translucent will turn slightly opaque, giving the illusion that it is slightly white….but not too white…. in these politically correct times.

#90 the Jaguar on 12.22.21 at 8:45 pm

oooops PCR test.

#91 Ponzius Pilatus on 12.22.21 at 8:58 pm

#89 crowdedelevatorfartz on 12.22.21 at 8:44 pm
@#66 Sail Away
“4. Never grout inside corners and bottoms- always use silicon caulk, and usually clear is a better idea than coloured.”
++++

I agreed with all the previous tiling advice with one exception.
Use translucent silicone not clear.
The translucent will turn slightly opaque, giving the illusion that it is slightly white….but not too white…. in these politically correct times.
————————-
I only use black silicone.
Because it does not show the mold stains.

#92 Garth's Son Drake on 12.22.21 at 9:02 pm

This probably will be the last big wave since everyone is going to catch Omicron. Statistically impossible not too.

So, back to buying. Santa showed up after-all.

Looks like January market is set to rocket up even more.

The market will not truly trend down until the controllers of it decide. So for now, party on.

#93 Sail Away on 12.22.21 at 9:11 pm

#88 the Jaguar on 12.22.21 at 8:42 pm

The FHSA. +- Seems to be an incentive to save for the under 40 crowd, but what controls would be in place to make sure the funds were not derived from a) parents or other sources and b) not used for investment properties?

———

Shhhhh….

#94 Sail Away on 12.22.21 at 9:13 pm

#89 crowdedelevatorfartz on 12.22.21 at 8:44 pm
@#66 Sail Away
“4. Never grout inside corners and bottoms- always use silicon caulk, and usually clear is a better idea than coloured.”

———-

I agreed with all the previous tiling advice with one exception.
Use translucent silicone not clear.
The translucent will turn slightly opaque, giving the illusion that it is slightly white….but not too white…. in these politically correct times.

———-

Good idea, thanks.

#95 Pandemic Is Over on 12.22.21 at 9:52 pm

Oh, I’m glad we’ve finally started a serious discussion on zoning in this think tank.

#96 Albertistan on 12.22.21 at 9:55 pm

#79 Nonplused on 12.22.21 at 7:07 pm
#5 Dogman01 on 12.22.21 at 2:41 pm

“Climate Change Grifters.
I suspect Calgary’s Arena deal was cancelled as the Mayor decided to tack on an additional Climate mitigation tithe long after the deal was agreed upon.“Climate Emergency” in Calgary you know.”

That’s all right by me. Even though the mayor is being entirely ludicrous, obviously suffering some sort of delusion if she thinks Calgary can solve the climate crisis no matter what we do, it is best to kill the project anyway. The last thing Calgary needs is a new arena and stadium.

The Flames new rink deal is the first victim of the Calgary climate emergency. Tacking on climate change costs after the deal is agreed to in principal didn’t sit well with Murray Edwards.
Our new Mayor Gondek also proposes to send $100 k of taxpayer money to help fight Bill C 21. Starting Xmas day in YYC, our climate changes to a high of -22C, doesn’t vary much for the following 10 days, no problem, lots of natural gas here.

#97 crowdedelevatorfartz on 12.22.21 at 10:06 pm

@#91 Ponzies Personality Pores
“I only use black silicone.
Because it does not show the mold stains.”

+++

Alas Ponzerrelli that isn’t mold….it’s your personality oozing out

#98 crowdedelevatorfartz on 12.22.21 at 10:16 pm

geez .

Big dump of snow predicted for the Lower Brainland on Christmas day!
And then a cold snap next week.
-14 cel on Monday or Tuesday.
The Hummingbirds outside the shop wont be impressed.
Hopefully my homemade “hummingbird heater” will do the trick.
A 25 watt refrigerator ( non LED) bulb in a large soupcan lashed to the bottom of the feeder to keep it from freezing. all covered with an old, gray, frayed, wool sock Ponzie donated from his 30 year old wedding ensemble.
Lets give it up for Ponzie.
Clap ….clap….clap

#99 Cici on 12.22.21 at 10:18 pm

Pressure to change zoning restrictions.
The housing minister says he fully supports the busting-up of single-family neighbourhoods to allow the intensification of land use, as NZ has done and BC is trying to do. In a stroke the federal government is demonizing those people who paid a premium for homes in established, leafy hoods, now to be devalued. I’d be pissed.
_____________________________________________

Thanks for that, Garth. I live in one of those areas that used to be beautiful, quiet and residential but the whole area is being destroyed by big, ugly, overpriced condo developments. Thank God I didn’t buy here and am only renting, because there’s more to come. The golf course, which is supposed to be a protected area through zoning, is going to be destroyed by yup, you guessed it, the the erection of sky-high concrete penises. Meanwhile, the network of narrow roads mostly devoid of sidewalks doesn’t support the increased traffic and too many people in the area were already driving way above the school zone limits.

Values are not going down though, although the complete character of the area is being destroyed. Very sad for the kids and families who, like you said, paid a huge premium to live in a safe, quiet and peaceful area.

According to what I see on the ground, the smart money’s moving out and the dumb money is moving in. And the place will be a hollowed out and rundown slum at some point within 10 to 20 years.

#100 april on 12.22.21 at 10:22 pm

Ross Kay – Howestreet.com December 21. Crea uses the benchmark figure which is ” unethical”. House prices have been falling for months.

#101 Leichendiener on 12.22.21 at 10:29 pm

Electric vehicles, which symbolize the green reset of the economy, aren’t going to happen. LAC-T.

#102 45north on 12.22.21 at 10:29 pm

Pressure to change zoning restrictions.
The housing minister says he fully supports the busting-up of single-family neighbourhoods to allow the intensification of land use, as NZ has done and BC is trying to do. In a stroke the federal government is demonizing those people who paid a premium for homes in established, leafy hoods, now to be devalued. I’d be pissed.

Again outside federal jurisdiction. The City of Ottawa has already adopted policies that remove zoning protection. The New Official Plan formalizes present practice. The people on my street would be pissed too, if they knew about it.

I posted this May 28


In Ottawa, the New Official Plan is a well conceived brilliant piece of work. The driving force is intensification which is based on the need to be more energy efficient and environmentally friendly. Ottawa is not a very dense city – it’s easy to make it more dense. The Plan identifies special areas as transforming – this means high density. The special areas are located around transportation hubs which are where public transit routes intersect. The developers already own this land. Don’t think developers means only private developers, it also means the Federal Government. So the new Official Plan identifies areas as transforming and the owners are in agreement. Brilliant!

The professional planners in Ottawa have produced a plan which City Council endorses.

#103 45north on 12.22.21 at 10:33 pm

The heavy lifting, if it comes, will be done by the Bank of Canada. Steady increases in interest rates will take away the punch bowl and force prices lower as borrowing costs jump.

so the government is in a dilemma. If it raises interest rates, it forces prices lower. People will be pissed. If it doesn’t, inflation goes up. People will be pissed.

In a way the government has already chosen to piss off the people hurt by inflation. In the US, inflation is higher and it’s hurting Joe Biden. I feel so bad.

#104 Stoph on 12.22.21 at 10:47 pm

#66 Sail Away on 12.22.21 at 5:59 pm
#52 Faron on 12.22.21 at 5:15 pm
——————–

Another tiling tip:

I had adhesion problems when tiling vertical surfaces using thinset so had to apply the thinset as usual to the wall plus a thin layer of thinset to the back of the tile. It takes way longer but at least the tiles haven’t fallen off.

#105 Tom from Mississauga on 12.22.21 at 10:53 pm

I’m waiting for the Sigma variant to get infected.

#106 T-Rev on 12.22.21 at 11:08 pm

Three thoughts tonight:
1. One way or another, Covid is over from a restrictions point of view in the next quarter in most liberal democracies. It’s over now in most. People will not be contained any longer, and further attempts to shutter movement and businesses is going to be met with increasingly violent revolt. The populace is not only no longer on the side of shutdowns (something I’ve noticed both in my personal sphere and on social media), but the majority have now moved from quiet

#107 T-Rev on 12.22.21 at 11:38 pm

Fat fingers hit submit too soon:

Three thoughts tonight:
1. One way or another, Covid is over from a restrictions point of view in the next quarter in most liberal democracies. It’s over now in most. People will not be contained any longer, and further attempts to shutter movement and businesses is going to be met with increasingly violent revolt. The populace is not only no longer on the side of shutdowns (something I’ve noticed both in my personal sphere and on social media), but the middle two quartiles if people have now moved from quiet acceptance of “we need to support the system” to “dude we’ve don’t what they told us to, 90% of the adult population is double vaxxed, it’s time for life to go on and I’m actively opposed to more shutdowns”. Any thinking person can see that cases are irrelevant and only sever outcomes and health system capacity matter, and the vaxxed have done their job, even against OMGicron. We can either choose to live our lives, vaxxed and protected against a virus that has a 99% survival rate for the breeding and working age human population, or live in a state of perpetual lockdowns and restrictions as variant after variant rolls through the populace. It’s a bad flu. We need to move beyond this and we could of only our healthcare system would adapt…which brings me to:
2. WTF is there a complete lack of leadership and innovation in our HC system? The issue with the ‘rona the whole time has been a) we need to hang in there until there’s a vaxx and b) let’s not overwhelm the system in the meantime because even at 1% hospitalization if it happens all at once that’s 350,000 Beavers in the hospital in a country where the HC system is strained to bursting on the best of days. 90% of us have done our part for a), but our leaders have done SFA about b). Why in the Flowerbed have we not created spaces, purchased equipment, and TRAINED MORE HC WORKERS ON AN EMERGENCY NEED BASIS to get us through this? Sure, you need four years of med school after 2-4 years of an undergrad degree and several more years as an intern, resident, etc before you’re a big girl or boy doctor, because whether you’re a generalist or specialist you need to learn every nuance of your field. But this is ONE SINGLE CONDITION WITH A CLEARLY IDENTIFIABLE SET OF “IF THIS THEN THIS” treatment progressions. We should be able to deputized thousands of smart, university educated students to be “Covid doctors/nurses” in a year who can treat Covid patients specifically in purpose-built facilities. The only thing stopping us is bureaucracy and inertia within our HC system, our executive branches of government, and likely pushback from the colleges of physicians and surgeons. Everyone needs to pull their collective heads out of their a**es and treat this like it’s the end of the world and through the old rule book out the window. Nobody seems to be willing to make strong choices anymore and it’s driving me nuts. Which brings me to:
3. At what point to the few remaining sane people along us start to fight back agains the destruction we are committing future generations to? We’re leaving them a debt load and an economy that is going to make it impossible for them to enjoy the same standards of living we enjoy. We are literally stealing from children, and the unborn, to the point where they may not be able to afford basic necessities so that our octogenarians have a higher chance of not catching a virus. Does anyone else not see the absolute insanity of what we’re doing? Billions for special interests, identity politics, reparations, hundreds of billions for Covid supports, more lockdowns; we are f’ing things up for generations. On the whole, Canadians have become a society of ungrateful, entitled, selfish, visionless sheep. I’d like to believe there’s still a silent majority or large minority out there with the guys to do what’s necessary to bring this country back, and I think 2022 is the year the pendulum starts to swing, first in America with midterm elections, and then here. Sure hope so anyway, because if it goes on like this for too much longer, the ballot box is going to be a less and less viable means of change, and then the options get a lot uglier. Maybe people just aren’t hungry (literally) enough yet. It’ll come…

#108 Meh on 12.23.21 at 12:04 am

#71 Ponzius Pilatus on 12.22.21 at 6:22 pm
It’s good to have some real scientists in the White House.
Rather than the goofs who recommended shooting up chlorox.
Fauci is the man.
No panic, just stay the course.
Get your booster, keep safe distance, be careful in close quarters, masked up when with people you don’t know.

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

Awwwwww good boyyyyyy…now roll over, shake a paw, fetch my slippers.

#109 Faron on 12.23.21 at 12:53 am

#94 Sail Away on 12.22.21 at 9:13 pm

#89 crowdedelevatorfartz on 12.22.21 at 8:44 pm
@#66 Sail Away

Thanks for the tips. Keeping it simple. Wanted to mosaic an octopus in the niche, but partner nixed it. There are two good reasons for that:

1) Material arts are not my forte
2) She knew it would add a month to the job.

Saw a reference to Jason Isbell today, so Spotify has spun me a nice playlist based on his music. I’m slow AF at this. Befits my name.

#110 Faron on 12.23.21 at 1:03 am

#104 Stoph on 12.22.21 at 10:47 pm

#66 Sail Away on 12.22.21 at 5:59 pm
#52 Faron on 12.22.21 at 5:15 pm

Thanks. So far adhesion isn’t a problem. I’m using subway tile. 3 x 6. I had to remove a cut tile that was too tight in the corner and it was STUCK (pulling a vacuum really). Only thing I’m buttering is my toast for now.

#111 DON on 12.23.21 at 3:39 am

#67 Dyno Might! on 12.22.21 at 6:01 pm
#21 DON on 12.22.21 at 3:27 pm

Somewhat related a bloke in Europe took his 2013 Telsa into the shop. They told him he needed to replace the battery…no problem…how much? At least 20,000 euros. Lots more innovating to do. Where there is a will there is a way but it just takes time.

_________________________________________________

Oh … you mean this bloke?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2sJXKrc0SM

P.S. You still have to work a lot harder on the spelling and the grammar. It’s Tesla; not Telsa

********

Thanks for ading ti the conversation and pointing out the speling…

Did the point chsnge?

#112 Wrk.dover on 12.23.21 at 7:17 am

Tiling site? Tiles are not uniform sized, therefore never use spacers. Use a straight edge and eye balls. On walls, revisit every ten minutes to push movers back where they belong.

Don’t finish one end a surface with a small cut series of tiles, plan ahead, maybe they could have defined the center. I have one cut tile between the sink and the mirror and one above the mirror, rather than a series all the way from floor to ceiling.

Above the shower enclosure, I put the halved cut tiles at each end, beveled.

Talented M68NS

#113 Wrk.dover on 12.23.21 at 7:54 am

#107 T-Rev on 12.22.21 at 11:38 pm

Yes

#114 Outrage on 12.23.21 at 7:59 am

Just read that SFH will go up only 8%- 10% next year. Gains not as big but great for homeowners and investors. Higher wages and lower interest rates will make another banner year for 2022. I think Americans are little shocked and jealous of how Canadians can afford our high priced real estate when I talk to many Americans.

#115 Steven Rowlandson on 12.23.21 at 8:00 am

If government would repeal statutory expenditures and slash spending and pay down debt the problem would be fixed over a number of years. It is only a matter of making the decision. Fiscal rectitude must be a priority…
Political promises and financial joy rides have to be renounced and repudiated. Puberty economics does not ever work. It is an irresponsible escape from reality.

#116 crowdedelevatorfartz on 12.23.21 at 8:11 am

@#112 Wrk.Dvr

A plethora of closet tile setters in the group.

What’s next in the talent section.

Blind knife throwing tap dancers?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9SkZ3bM2Is

#117 Do we have all the facts on 12.23.21 at 8:29 am

I find it interesting that $500 billion of Quantitative Easing in Canada has had no real impact on Canadian GDP. The rapid decline in GDP following a lockdown of many Canadian businesses was followed by an increase in GDP as restrictions were lifted. In December 2021 Real GDP in Canada is at the same level of Real GDP in Canada in December 2019. The net impact of the Covid 19 virus and QE on Real GDP in Canada between December 2019 and 2021 was a loss of approximately $70 billion.

The Quantity Theory of Money holds that a substantial increase in the supply of money will stimulate investment in the production of goods by Canadian companies and in the purchase of goods by Canadian citizens. What actually happened under Quantitative Easing in Canada was increased investment in existing assets such as housing, stocks, gold and even cyber currencies. The QE experiment by the Bank of Canada increased the supply of money while keeping interest rates low. This experiment encouraged investment in existing assets and contributed to the rapid escalation house prices across Canada.

Instead to encouraging investment in the productive side of GDP QE in Canada actually slowed growth of Real GDP.
Investment in the production of goods within Canada in 2020 and 2021 slowed down while the amount of cash being held by Canadian companies and citizens increased. As the velocity of money and the production of goods within an economy slowed down and supply of money increased the end result was an increase in prices.

The majority of initiatives put forward by the Liberal Party to make housing more affordable completely avoid any mention of increasing productivity and growth of Real GDP. The prices of investment based assets including dwelling units were strongly influenced by an increase in the money supply.

It is time to shift priorities by encouraging investment in productivity. An increase in productivity will slow down the current rate of inflation and will protect the purchasing power of our currency. The most effective was of improving the affordability of housing is to protect the purchasing power of our currency through economic growth.

#118 IHCTD9 on 12.23.21 at 8:30 am

#57 SunShowers on 12.22.21 at 5:24 pm

The same way they’re “expected” to provide a safe working environment for employees who visit customer’s homes to do work. (i.e. they’re not expected to because they literally can’t, and if something happens they have to take it on the chin.)
____

Those guys can refuse to do the work (and are expected to refuse) in unsafe conditions. I was on a job once where the electrician had to attach a wire to the house up near the eaves and refused due to a big yellow-jacket nest above the soffit. Homeowner had to get rid of it first.

Do you expect that WFH’ers would refuse to work in their own home due to unsafe conditions? Would they even understand what things might be unsafe?

What happens if WFH dude goes through his front porch because the deck is rotted? Wood doesn’t rot overnight. Employer’s fault?

#119 crowdedelevatorfartz on 12.23.21 at 8:40 am

Who in the “H” “E” Double hockey sticks….would want to go to this winter olympics?

https://www.burnabynow.com/coronavirus-covid-19-national-news/china-puts-city-of-13-million-in-lockdown-ahead-of-olympics-4893955

A dystopian police state cattle prodding the audience to applaud.

They cancelled the Tokyo Olympics for a year.
Time to yank the time sheet out from under China?
Lets sit this one out Canada.
Pay the athletes CERB.
No sense risking any athletes named Michael getting arrested by Chirman Xi’s thugs on a whim.

#120 Diamond Dog on 12.23.21 at 9:40 am

A decent Omicron spike yesterday in the U.S. and Canada:

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

The U.S. had 232k in cases while Canada hit a fresh new high of nearly 15,000 cases. Breakthrough cases are at 30% of vaccinated (this number is a ball park of those with natural immunity). In North America, considering 61.9% of Americans have been fully vaccinated and 72.5% have had at least one shot, there is roughly as many break through cases now as there are unvaxxed with the obvious difference being the degree of sickness being higher with unvaccinated.

If a recent U.K. study is accurate (this link I found to be the most informative with the study. North American media sugar coats it):

https://indianexpress.com/article/world/hospitalisation-rate-lower-for-omicron-than-delta-coronavirus-variant-uk-study-7686894/

“The estimates suggest that Omicron cases have, on average, a 15-20 per cent reduced risk of any hospitalization and an approximately 40-45 per cent reduced risk of a hospitalization resulting in a stay of one or more nights, they said.

Reinfection is associated with approximately a 50-60 per cent reduction in hospitalization risk compared with primary infections, according to the researchers.” – Indian Express

The dataset included 56,000 cases of Omicron and 269,000 cases of the Delta variant and so, its likely a good indicator of what to expect although one would have to peruse the demographics to confirm. There are plenty of moving parts that factor in to what lies ahead. Pfizer’s first drug is hitting the shelves (months ahead of schedule):

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/world/article-us-authorizes-paxlovid-pfizers-covid-19-antiviral-pill-for-at-home-use/

“Pfizer’s antiviral regimen, Paxlovid, was nearly 90 per cent effective in preventing hospitalizations and deaths in patients at high risk of severe illness, according to data from the company’s clinical trial. Recent lab data suggests the drug retains its effectiveness against Omicron, Pfizer said.” – G & M

If Pfizer’s numbers hold up, this drug is a game changer without question but there’s a catch. “There are two key issues, however, that remain: It will be scarce in the coming weeks and its optimal use requires prompt diagnosis, which can be difficult with the continual testing problems that plague us,” – G & M

Also, Paxlovid isn’t cheap. The U.S. govy shelled out $530 U.S. per treatment. Pfizer plans to manufacture 80 to 120 million treatment courses in 2022.

Slightly off topic, but China just locked down a city of 13 million over 206 cases:

https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/world/china-covid-19-xian-city-of-13-million-people-goes-into-lockdown-imn-response-to-cluster/ar-AAS54PS?ocid=ACERDHP17

And… it could be an outlier (doubtful)… an anomaly… but when we look at daily confirmed cases in the world, yesterday was a tie for the most cases on record with 900,000+ confirmed cases. Take a look at the numbers from the U.S., France, Spain, the U.K. … We are not an island.

#121 Dharma Bum on 12.23.21 at 9:45 am

#51 Cheese

Seriously, whom do we have to talk to get some sort of challenge against this ageist FHSA?
—————————————————————————————————-

Better call Saul!

#122 Great Balls on Fire on 12.23.21 at 9:47 am

Canada’s economy grows 6 months in a row?
Bwahaahagahahaha.

And how many months has the Trudeau/Tiff Theater been juicing real estate? Oh yeah, 6 months.

Nah. We’re just stupid.

#123 IHCTD9 on 12.23.21 at 9:50 am

Bud here at work, his parents are finally selling the farm out in PEC. Looks like 2Mil+. I hope they get absolutely maximum dollars. The old farmers deserve the $ more than some 905/416 schmuck specuvestor.

Not too long from now, it seems I’ll be living in a very expensive house in an area I no longer want to be. Pretty much everyone I work with is in the same boat. RE going to the moon, but we’re all planning on making an exit. GTA folks piling in, stupid taking over.

At least it’s profitable stupid.

#124 @Ontario Lock Down on 12.23.21 at 9:52 am

Ontario Lock Down u need to get your head examined.

Seriously…monster mutations that evolve naturally against evolution laws..

#125 Common Sense on 12.23.21 at 9:54 am

Re: #15 Dr V

Yes, this.

Rezoning can be done with common sense, but unfortunately all too often our politicians and bureaucrats lack it.

I’ll speak to Toronto as I know the city well, as opposed to other cities I’ve just visited but don’t feel know well enough to have an opinion. Other posters can comment on other locals.

Toronto already has zoning bylaws to increase density in transit corridors – think subway and LRT lines. These are fought fiercely with every development application, and the fight is usually led by the local councillor! It’s a sickening display of NIMBY-ism. If you live on Bloor street or have a yard next to a subway station – what did you expect!?!

Toronto also has SFHs lining almost every major arterial road outside of the downtown core. Think Islington, Lawrence, Dufferin, etc. These are ripe for densification, and it can be done in a measured way. We can zone for semis, duplexes, townhomes, and under 6-storey wood framed stacked townhouse low rise. There’s a huge densification opportunity not being taken advantage of.

We don’t need to plop a condo tower in the middle of a leafy hood that’s off the major arteries to achieve density.

Toronto is also flush with laneways. The older city is known as a city of laneways, which are another huge opportunity for small secondary laneway homes and increased density. Great condo alternatives that could be subdivided and sold or rented out. The development potential is enormous, and this is low hanging fruit.

We also need to be realistic… the arterial road homes and laneways are usually crappy, so the redevelopment would revitalize tired housing stock and infrastructure.

But common sense doesn’t usually survive in politics and planning. Somewhere along the way the middle ground consensus building politician got pushed aside for the polarizing partisan extremism politics that we get now, where everything is an extreme position and all things must be painted with the same brush. There’s no room for nuance or subtlety, or degrees. So with extreme positions we get a very few who win – the special interests, some who think they win, but really lose, and most who lose.

#126 Dharma Bum on 12.23.21 at 9:57 am

#52 Faron

…been procrastinating on starting my first-ever tile job. Stakes are high.
————————————————————————————————–

I went through the same thing a few years ago.

Re-tiling a few bathrooms were my first DIY jobs when I retired. I kept putting off the work and watching YouTube instructional videos. (They were actually extremely helpful and informative.)

I finally bit the bullet and got down to it.

It all worked out quite well. I was very impressed with myself. I did a better job than some of the “pros” I hired in the past. (Then again, the work took me 8 times as long!).

One word of advice: always back butter your tiles!

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

Good luck.

Send photos.

#127 crowdedelevatorfartz on 12.23.21 at 10:11 am

@#114 Outrage
“I think Americans are little shocked and jealous of how Canadians can afford our high priced real estate when I talk to many Americans.”

+++

They’re shocked at out naivete and jealous at our generous govt cash handouts.
We’re not “special”.
Housing in Canada is going to take a bath.
We’re long overdue for a brutal correction.

Interest rates will lead the charge and hopefully Prince Truedough will be at the front of the Liberal army riding on his valiant, loyal steed Freecash into the valley of Debt.

#128 Wrk.dover on 12.23.21 at 10:26 am

#119 crowdedelevatorfartz on 12.23.21 at 8:40 am
Who in the “H” “E” Double hockey sticks….would want to go to this winter olympics?
__________________________________

After whatever crisis develops, it will be “Who could have predicted that?”

CEF told you so, that’s who!

Consider how low our GDP will go if our supply chain boycotts China after the inevitable Olympic crisis unfolds, all that will be left to purchase at Canadian Tire and Walmart will be bottled water and potato chips.

All they need to do to win WWIII is to stop shipping, which is clearly evident with the port jam right now.

#129 crowdedelevatorfartz on 12.23.21 at 11:11 am

@#123 IHCTD9
“Not too long from now, it seems I’ll be living in a very expensive house in an area I no longer want to be. Pretty much everyone I work with is in the same boat. RE going to the moon, but we’re all planning on making an exit. GTA folks piling in, stupid taking over.

++++

Sadly.
It sounds exactly like the Lower Brain Land.

Prices to the moon.
The average wage earner is left in the dust.

When this whole house of cards collapses in a pile of flames and dust…..
Blame the idiots in charge that did nothing but wash their hands.

#130 Quintilian on 12.23.21 at 11:13 am

Hi Garth, love to hear your suggestions on tiling, but if you don’t have any, how about commenting on this:

https://transparencycanada.ca/news/ti-canada-joins-press-conference-for-ontario-anti-money-laundering-in-house-act

At least $35 billion in residential mortgages were provided by unregulated lenders with no statutory AML reporting obligations.

Corporate entities have acquired $28.4 billion in GTA housing that decade. The vast majority of those companies are privately owned, with no information on their beneficial owners.

$9.8 billion in GTA housing was acquired by companies through cash, or non-financed purchases during that period, much of it bypassing statutory AML checks on source of funds and beneficial owners.

I have bought residential (and commercial) properties with numbered companies. Completely legal. Stop trying to shift the blame for high prices and FOMO to the straw men. – Garth

#131 Penny Henny on 12.23.21 at 11:17 am

Ontario’s covid count.
5790 cases on 68,191 tests. Should represent a positivity rate of 8.49%.

Reported positivity rate of 16%.

What am I missing here? Shawn, Sail, Faron?

https://covid-19.ontario.ca/data/testing-volumes-and-results

#132 Ponzius Pilatus on 12.23.21 at 11:22 am

#128 Wrk.dover on 12.23.21 at 10:26 am
#119 crowdedelevatorfartz on 12.23.21 at 8:40 am
Who in the “H” “E” Double hockey sticks….would want to go to this winter olympics?
__________________________________

After whatever crisis develops, it will be “Who could have predicted that?”

CEF told you so, that’s who!

Consider how low our GDP will go if our supply chain boycotts China after the inevitable Olympic crisis unfolds, all that will be left to purchase at Canadian Tire and Walmart will be bottled water and potato chips.

All they need to do to win WWIII is to stop shipping, which is clearly evident with the port jam right now.
——————————-
So far, the USA, Canada, Britain, Australia and mighty Lithuania have joined in the Boycott.
And it’s a boycott in symbol only.
I’m sure Xi is shaking in his boots.
Don’t you guys have better things to worry about?
Like keeping the tiles straight.

#133 Don Guillermo on 12.23.21 at 11:45 am

#126 Dharma Bum on 12.23.21 at 9:57 am
#52 Faron

…been procrastinating on starting my first-ever tile job. Stakes are high.
————————————————————————————————–

I went through the same thing a few years ago.

Re-tiling a few bathrooms were my first DIY jobs when I retired. I kept putting off the work and watching YouTube instructional videos. (They were actually extremely helpful and informative.)

I finally bit the bullet and got down to it.

It all worked out quite well. I was very impressed with myself. I did a better job than some of the “pros” I hired in the past. (Then again, the work took me 8 times as long!).

One word of advice: always back butter your tiles!

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

Good luck.

Send photos
******************************************
Adulfo is retiling our pool this week. I watched him do the back butter thing. He’s real good.

#134 Satori on 12.23.21 at 11:55 am

The FHSA

Isn’t this ageism… ls there a vote for this to pass? This is grossly unfair… I know nothing is fair in life but this is not children we are talking about. Grown adults who in school were obviously not taught “life mathematics’…

I was taught about life math at home. Perhaps the Gov should put money towards teaching “future adults” about the basics: banking and investing, credit and interest.

#135 Satori on 12.23.21 at 11:58 am

Tim: We must allow more properties to be built on smaller spaces. We need to create more housing for all of the people coming into this country. Why are they coming.
______________________________

Because they were brainwashed in thinking they will have a better life here. Canada needs to fill some jobs…and both spouses have to work 2 jobs here and likely (even though they might be educated to the hilt) they will be given the jobs that born-here Canadians would refuse to do.

#136 Yukon Elvis on 12.23.21 at 12:03 pm

#131 Ponzius Pilatus on 12.23.21 at 11:22 am

Consider how low our GDP will go if our supply chain boycotts China after the inevitable Olympic crisis unfolds, all that will be left to purchase at Canadian Tire and Walmart will be bottled water and potato chips.

All they need to do to win WWIII is to stop shipping, which is clearly evident with the port jam right now.
++++++++++++++++
All we need to do is blockade the Strait of Malacca to Chinese oil tanker traffic and China would go dark in a month. India could do that with no outside help.

#137 Satori on 12.23.21 at 12:04 pm

#32 Dolce Vita on 12.22.21 at 3:56 pm

Sending you a Virtual Hug…very sad indeed.

#138 crowdedelevatorfartz on 12.23.21 at 12:19 pm

@#132 Ponzies Propaganda Parade
“So far, the USA, Canada, Britain, Australia and mighty Lithuania have joined in the Boycott.
And it’s a boycott in symbol only.”

+++

The Beijing Olympics show hasn’t started yet.

I’d say most of the democracy’s are waiting til the last minute to cancel their athletes.

Nothing like “poking the Panda” in the eye to get Xi to “lose face”.
:)

#139 Don Guillermo on 12.23.21 at 12:25 pm

#136 Yukon Elvis on 12.23.21 at 12:03 pm
#131 Ponzius Pilatus on 12.23.21 at 11:22 am

Consider how low our GDP will go if our supply chain boycotts China after the inevitable Olympic crisis unfolds, all that will be left to purchase at Canadian Tire and Walmart will be bottled water and potato chips.

All they need to do to win WWIII is to stop shipping, which is clearly evident with the port jam right now.
++++++++++++++++
All we need to do is blockade the Strait of Malacca to Chinese oil tanker traffic and China would go dark in a month. India could do that with no outside help
**********************************
Vancouver would just ramp up their coal shipments.

#140 Satori on 12.23.21 at 12:25 pm

#82 Bezengy on 12.22.21 at 7:28 pm

One bad tenant and your life turns into a nightmare. Give back the power to the landlord to throw the bums out the door and watch the rental market explode with new supply, with new house listings following shortly after.
___________________________________

Totally agree. My late father use to have rental units, heck of a lot of work. He said “If I had an enemy, I would just wish on him – one rental unit”. Good tenants are few and far between.

#141 Sail Away on 12.23.21 at 12:30 pm

@#114 Outrage

“I think Americans are little shocked and jealous of how Canadians can afford our high priced real estate when I talk to many Americans.”

———

May I relate a short story?

Long ago in a land far away, certain dandelions were greatly valued by the inhabitants. The valuable dandelions were distinguished from non-valuable dandelions by the simple fact that they grew on land north of an invisible boundary, demarked and named by the king as the ‘Canadrome’.

Canadrome dandelions conferred great social standing on the owners, many of whom would destitute themselves to the point of acquiring immense debt for the benefit of ownership. Prize horses and hunting dogs, family inheritances, even firstborn sons were exchanged for Canadrome dandelions.

An enterprising young man decided to trade all his family’s wealth for three Canadrome dandelions, which he then transported across the ocean to make his fortune. He was to discover, to his great horror and complete ruin, that Canadrome dandelions carried no value outside his own village. He was mocked and ridiculed for his outlandish beliefs in the new land, with respectable citizens crossing the road to avoid him and packs of small children tormenting him with thrown dandelions and horse dung, eventually devolving into a comically pathetic figure known only as ‘The Cannydrome’.

The End.

#142 Sheesh on 12.23.21 at 12:53 pm

#114 Outrage on 12.23.21 at 7:59 am
“I think Americans are little shocked and jealous of how Canadians can afford our high priced real estate when I talk to many Americans”

…just show them pictures of what $$$ buys you in terms of house. Then they’ll just think we’re ridiculous.

#143 Russ on 12.23.21 at 1:00 pm

crowdedelevatorfartz on 12.22.21 at 10:16 pm

… The Hummingbirds outside the shop wont be impressed.
Hopefully my homemade “hummingbird heater” will do the trick.
A 25 watt refrigerator ( non LED) bulb in a large soupcan lashed to the bottom of the feeder to keep it from freezing. all covered with an old, gray, frayed, wool sock Ponzie donated from his 30 year old wedding ensemble.
======================

Hey cef.

A 25 watt bulb seems a little excessive, it can get hot enough to melt plastic.

I put one of these under the feeder yesterday.

https://external-content.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=https%3A%2F%2Ftse2.mm.bing.net%2Fth%3Fid%3DOIP.EiYUsym_CkzF7ddr2TcIbAHaFj%26pid%3DApi&f=1

I thought the 7 watt bulb might be on the light side (pun intended) so it is encased in a repurposed styrofoam box, otherwise cord & nightlight is same as in image.

Cheers, R

#144 Russ on 12.23.21 at 1:02 pm

crowdedelevatorfartz on 12.23.21 at 12:19 pm

The Beijing Olympics show hasn’t started yet.

I’d say most of the democracy’s are waiting til the last minute to cancel their athletes.

Nothing like “poking the Panda” in the eye to get Xi to “lose face”.
:)

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

These cancellations might give run to start a cat curling competition…

https://twitter.com/slender_sherbet/status/1451976855838396419?s=20

Cheers, R

#145 Faron on 12.23.21 at 1:07 pm

#131 Penny Henny on 12.23.21 at 11:17 am

5790 cases on 68,191 tests. Should represent a positivity rate of 8.49%.

Reported positivity rate of 16%.

#tests does not equal number of people tested. See below from your link:

The number of tests that were processed by the lab for COVID-19 on a given day (some people are tested more than once, so this is higher than the number of people tested).

example: Sue and Stu are both feeling ill. Might be the nachos. Might be drinking too much Bailey’s. Might be Omicron. Regardless, they feel like crap. They go get tested. Sue is feeling pretty bad so she stays in emerg and winds up getting a rapid test and a confirming PCR test on the same day and one or both comes back positive (doesn’t matter). Stu gets a PCR test and is told to go home (lactose intolerant + Bailey’s, COVID negative).

So, we have three tests administered in one day. But, we only have one positive COVID case (importantly, the #s you cite aren’t positive tests, they are cases) Sue’s. One case on three tests gives you a 33% positivity rate by your calc. But the real positivity rate is one in two people or 50%.

The number that you need to calculate your own 16% rate is the number of people tested.

#146 Damifino on 12.23.21 at 1:17 pm

#134 Satori

The FHSA Isn’t this ageism…
—————————-

You bet. Ageism is still alive and well.

When I was fourteen, I considered myself deserving of a driver’s license. The Motor Vehicles Branch of British Columbia did not. They were completely intransigent on the matter in spite of my howling complaints. Moreover, I found not a single sympathetic ear in my town save for my buddy next door, who also happened to be fourteen.

Neither of us had ever heard of “ageism” but if we had, we’d have been shouting about it from the rooftops to all who would listen (i.e. nobody). As it was, we both got our licenses at sixteen and from that point on the universe began unfolding as it should.

#147 IHCTD9 on 12.23.21 at 2:00 pm

#129 crowdedelevatorfartz on 12.23.21 at 11:11 am
@#123 IHCTD9
“Not too long from now, it seems I’ll be living in a very expensive house in an area I no longer want to be. Pretty much everyone I work with is in the same boat. RE going to the moon, but we’re all planning on making an exit. GTA folks piling in, stupid taking over.

++++

Sadly.
It sounds exactly like the Lower Brain Land.

Prices to the moon.
The average wage earner is left in the dust.

When this whole house of cards collapses in a pile of flames and dust…..
Blame the idiots in charge that did nothing but wash their hands
———-

The last thing I’ll be doing is living in a facsimile of the gta. At least it’s a golden handshake. Sell the bunker complex for koo-koo dollars to some nimrod 2 hrs West of here, and burn rubber heading north.

Or East. Very East. Glace Bay looks pretty good actually. A nice little house for 100k, lots of places to park a boat, and probably a safe distance from the demented gta lunatics.

#148 Penny Henny on 12.23.21 at 2:04 pm

#145 Faron on 12.23.21 at 1:07 pm
#131 Penny Henny on 12.23.21 at 11:17 am

5790 cases on 68,191 tests. Should represent a positivity rate of 8.49%.

Reported positivity rate of 16%.

#tests does not equal number of people tested. See below from your link:

The number of tests that were processed by the lab for COVID-19 on a given day (some people are tested more than once, so this is higher than the number of people tested).

example: Sue and Stu are both feeling ill. Might be the nachos. Might be drinking too much Bailey’s. Might be Omicron. Regardless, they feel like crap. They go get tested. Sue is feeling pretty bad so she stays in emerg and winds up getting a rapid test and a confirming PCR test on the same day and one or both comes back positive (doesn’t matter). Stu gets a PCR test and is told to go home (lactose intolerant + Bailey’s, COVID negative).

So, we have three tests administered in one day. But, we only have one positive COVID case (importantly, the #s you cite aren’t positive tests, they are cases) Sue’s. One case on three tests gives you a 33% positivity rate by your calc. But the real positivity rate is one in two people or 50%.

The number that you need to calculate your own 16% rate is the number of people tested.
/////////////////

Okay I get that but going back to the numbers.
5790 positives at 16% positivity rate means the were 36,188 individuals tested. 68,191 tests done for 36,188 individuals. So 32,003 tests were retests.
I still don’t buy it, my spidey senses are tingling.

#149 Canadians are really dumb on 12.23.21 at 2:04 pm

I hope houses drop like Detroit to $5,000 so there will not have to pay any capital gains, flipping tax on them. I also hope the Liberals will get maybe 20 or 30 seats for the next 50 years as they deserve it.

#150 IHCTD9 on 12.23.21 at 2:23 pm

#114 Outrage on 12.23.21 at 7:59 am

I think Americans are little shocked and jealous of how Canadians can afford our high priced real estate when I talk to many Americans.
——

Canadians can’t homie. Just ask the Mils, and recent immigrants if you’re confused.

#151 crowdedelevatorfartz on 12.23.21 at 2:38 pm

@#144 Russ

I have a metal feeder with plastic tubes leading into the “yum yum sugar juice”

I ran it last winter with no issues and it was much warmer air temps.
I change the water every 5 days to keep it from getting too scungy with hummingbird spit.
The water is barely warm to the touch when I change it and the birds seem to have no probs with it.
The -14c next week will be the ultimate test.
Supposed to be a cold Jan and Feb this year in the Lower Brainland.

Seems to work.

#152 R on 12.23.21 at 6:19 pm

#101 Leichendiener on 12.22.21 at 10:29 pm
Electric vehicles, which symbolize the green reset of the economy, aren’t going to happen. LAC-T.
Tesla has figured out how to extract Lithuim out of clay using salt,water and electricity . The land is restored as it is processed, so no open pit mines or evaporation ponds. In less than ten years, no one will want to own a car. Robo taxis will be ubiquitous.

#153 Drinking on 12.23.21 at 6:21 pm

#13 Felix

I have to say that your comment was pretty funny! I will give you this one until Garth posts a pic with a feline with the same stupid hat as the poor canine was forced to wear it…

#154 Drinking on 12.23.21 at 6:26 pm

Yeah Garth, one thing that I do agree with is that flippers should be charged like any of us that flip shares, stocks etc. Hold on to a place for five years then no, flip numerous properties per year then that is not fair to the rest.

Regarding the rest; only higher interest rates will cure it!