Crazies

Okay, so no place is perfect. But it’s always constructive to compare. And understand why differences exist.

Let’s talk about Fresno.

This California city sits inland about half way between San Francisco and LA. That means the climate is temperate but not extreme. December is the coldest month. This weekend temps are mid-60s. Summer heat can reach into the 90s. And California, like swaths of Western Canada, has been battling drought. Like I said, no place has it all.

But what Fresno – with a population of 545,000 (about the size of Halifax or Hamilton) – does contain, unlike any comparable maple city, is an inventory of 123 active real estate listings for detached homes asking less than $300,000.

In fact lately, according to a local TV report, there’s rekindled interest in two-bedroom, 1000-sq-foot dwellings built about a century ago in the arts-and-crafts style. They may be simpler. One bathroom. Not much in the way of granite or bamboo floors. But they have goodly lots, sit in decent hoods, and can carry for vastly less than the rent on a one-bedroom box in a godless Toronto condo tower.

Here are two currently on the market:

.

By the way, the media household income in Fresno is just over $70,000 (C$). That compares with Vancouver families, at $82,000. The average Fresno property sells for $494,000 (C$). Up the road, the Van average is $1,148,900. The average American mortgage rate is 7%, and borrowers can lock in for 30 years but renegotiate lower whenever rates fall. The average five-year fixed rate in Canada is 5.6% with a break fee. In California a qualified buyer can secure a conventional mortgage with a 3% down payment. In Canada the minimum is 5%, and anything less than 20% requires the purchase of CHMC insurance. In California there is no mortgage stress test. In Canada borrowers must prove they can handle payments at 7.25%.

Those are some of the differences. They explain a few things. But not the yawning price disparity.

So, why?

There are technical reasons housing in Canada costs more. Like climate and weather. It costs less to build a house when the temperature rarely, if ever, dips below freezing. Less insulation. Smaller heating infrastructure. Shallower plumbing lines. Perhaps no basement. No cement walls extending below the frost line.

But this does not account for a doubling of real estate market values. Across the entire country, BMO estimates Canadians pay 46% more for a property. In the big, crazed urban regions like the GTA or the LM, the premium is far higher. It’s all resulted in our economy being twice as dependent on residential real estate as that of the US. So, why?

Partial reasons include strong population growth in Canada than the US, where the Trump years brought tighter borders. There’s also the fact 80% of Canadians live in a narrow strip along the southern boundary, with main cities, like Toronto and Vancouver, attracting a steady stream of people.

But the main reasons are simple. Cultural. “Canadians have made a collective choice to allocate more resources to (and thus ‘consume’ more) housing than other countries,” says economist Doug Porter. And he’s right. We have an obsession. A fetish. An unhealthy FOMO’d appetite for real estate that has driven people to absorb a level of debt the average American would gag over, and led to policy decisions by Canadian governments that feed this house lust.

For, example, we let people speculate on house values, sell for a profit and pay no tax on the gains – the only investment asset so favoured. “No doubt that has juiced prices in Canada,” Porter says. Add to that the fact Ottawa allows new buyers to raid their retirement savings for a down payment, that CMHC wipes away the risk for lenders who will then provide 20x leverage for a property purchase and that we have a plethora of federal and provincial (and municipal) tax credits, first-time-buyer grants and shared-equity financing schemes. In return, our craving for bigger, fancier digs grows. Why suffer with two bathrooms when you can have four. With heated floors?

In Canada the coddling of real estate buyers and owners is as breathtaking as the discrimination and disadvantage heaped upon renters. The first thing young couples want to do is plunger into a house and a mortgage. Nobody in Canada thinks they can successfully procreate without a backyard. We see renters as barely more successful than the homeless. And for all this, we pay a huge price.

This country, every politician says, now has a housing crisis. Billions are being rushed to build more homes. They’ll all cost roughly the same as existing ones. Household debt levels are off the charts, and the recent runup in interest rates is showing what a disaster may loom as a result.

The sacrifices we’ve made to feed the property beast are legion. It’s as if, collectively, we’ve lost our minds, like those dim historic crazies who paid fortunes for tulip bulbs.

Meanwhile, in Fresno, there are people actually happy with one-bathroom starter homes. Imagine.

About the picture: “I thought you would appreciate this pic,” writes Rob. “This is a clan of shelties (and a sheltie wannabe) that go hiking with their humans around Prince George, BC.  My mother’s Tri-Colour sheltie “Juno” is a life member of this troupe. I’m not sure how they get them all to sit still, especially since they’re shelties.  I know from experience that Juno likes to spin and spin and spin again. They must be reading a daily blog from Garth Turner to the dogs to get that kind of attention. Thanks for all that you continue to provide for free, and your thick-hide & filter mechanism of the comments section.

170 comments ↓

#1 Shawn on 11.28.22 at 11:20 am

What’s this “we”?

#2 Former cubicle dweller on 11.28.22 at 11:28 am

Garth, the wells are running dry there, in fact, the water shortage in Fresno county is directly responsible for our $8 heads of romaine lettuce. It is much worse than the drought conditions further north. I’m not disputing your argument, but it’s not an apples to apples comparison. The future of those communities in California is uncertain.

As stated. – Garth

#3 Mattl on 11.28.22 at 11:34 am

Properties across the US are definitely much cheaper then in Canada.

But Fresno as a comp to Van doesn’t work. Fresno is somehting like 3.5 hours from LA, about the same to LA, both of which are better comps. Those houses are about 200 USD per sgft, so 250 CAD, which is comparable to B Canadian markets – and Fresno is on the low side of B. Kelowna – 3.5 hours from Van for instance, you can get a nicer home in a better area for 300 CAD per sqft. Calgary, same story.

You also have to watch for property taxes, in places like Texas you can pay 10K a year USD prop taxes.

So while I agree there is lots of good value in the US, you won’t see my family moving to central Fresno to save 100 bucks a square.

We are world-class at justifying the utterly indefensible. Good job. – Garth

#4 Miff Tacklem on 11.28.22 at 11:44 am

First

#5 Sail Away on 11.28.22 at 11:49 am

Thanks Garth,

It’s always worth comparing, contrasting… and objectively evaluating the relative cost/benefit to living in other areas.

Also in the warmer areas, like Fresno, cost of living is quite significantly lower due to heating and fuel costs, which also carries through to food production.

#6 Former cubicle dweller on 11.28.22 at 11:50 am

Garth, are you really deleting comments that politely poked holes in your argument?

What use is a cheap property in Fresno if they don’t have running water?, anyway…

Today’s comments section is already hilarious. – Garth

#7 Don on 11.28.22 at 11:52 am

Good article Garth!- You added some great color to the research WO the usual political and economic off-color opinions and the usual poking at ‘truthers'(You know the one’s who have been screaming the researched ‘truth’)

Keep it up- That is why I continue to peek at this blog from time to time- for your excellent real-estate work.

#8 Love_The_Cottage on 11.28.22 at 11:54 am

I’d be curious of a comparion of rents in addition to housing prices. If rents are also higher then part of the cause in a shortage of housing. This fantastic blog (msu) continually focuses on housing prices and not rents.

#9 Sail Away on 11.28.22 at 11:55 am

Just a comment…

It appears the prestigious ‘Sail Away’ moniker has again (sigh) picked up an impersonator, with a couple of Tucker Carlson quotes so far.

I wonder whoever that could be? Such mystery, such mystery. Who is absolutely obsessed with both me and Tucker Carlson? Hmmm… if only there were a clue, some past indication of complete and utter devotion, like 100% response, for example… to little ol’ me…

#10 Dolce Vita on 11.28.22 at 12:00 pm

It’s a disease Garth not a foot fetish.

Lance it I say.

Then people can get on with their lives, invest and retire happily instead of shoving $100 of thousands, millions, down the throats of hungry Bankers.

Why?

Because they’re dumber than a box of rocks, sack of hammers about Finance and Investing.

They want low risk; thus, their home is an “investment”. And the entire Cdn financial system and insurance is set up to ensure that remains so, encourage it.

Financial illiteracy has a price. Time to pay the piper.

#11 Former cubicle dweller on 11.28.22 at 12:03 pm

Garth, you edited my comment as not to show a a valid argument against your thesis, then you mocked me. I’m a long time podcast listener and thought better of you.

I edited nothing. But I did enjoy the mocking. – Garth

#12 D on 11.28.22 at 12:08 pm

Garth,
Please have a quick visit to and drive through Fresno first. You may come to realize why there’s less competition to live there.

Done a few times. Nice city. Maybe even better than Hamilton. – Garth

#13 Dolce Vita on 11.28.22 at 12:10 pm

FTX.

Celebs getting Class Action Lawsuit sued like Tom Brady and Larry David. Good update by Job Blogs incl. the commercials …

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

They may end up getting fined by the SEC like Kim Kardashian and Floyd Mayweather did for their endorsing cryptocurrency launches w/o disclosing they were paid quacks.

The plot thickens.

————–

Still 0-0 between Schweiz and the RELENTLESS SWARM (a.k.a, Brazil).

#14 The real Kip (Ret) on 11.28.22 at 12:19 pm

I love getting out of bed when it’s -20C outside in my bare feet. Heated floors are the best! They asked if I wanted heated floors in the shops too. I said yes, hell yes!

It would take more than California to get me to leave Canada.

#15 Linda on 11.28.22 at 12:23 pm

What a fantastic photo! Whoever is in charge of the puppy pack in the photo today sure found a great spot to pose them in:)

The Arts & Crafts bungalows do look lovely. However, Fresno does have some issues. First, that city/town is currently experiencing ‘Extreme’ drought conditions – the highest level. Second, even before the drought there were concerns about the quality of potable water. So while the house prices are great, the current climate conditions would take Fresno off the relocation list insofar as I’m concerned.

Another RE issue here in Canada is the level of taxation. I believe most municipalities charge developers offsite levies. That can add a considerable amount to the price point of a dwelling. Then throw in things like GST, PST, land transfer taxes, foreign buyers taxes, come from away taxes etc. Yes, home buyers have all sorts of financial incentives as outlined in todays column. But they also pay some or all of the above taxes which renters mostly avoid. I’d imagine the rent price set by landlords would include the costs for providing accommodation which would presumably include the property tax owing on the building. Or not, if landlords are indeed subsidizing tenants.

#16 Dolce Vita on 11.28.22 at 12:24 pm

#2 Former cubicle dweller
#3 Mattl

Listen to yourselves talk. You’re like demon possesed Realtors about a thing as simple as a roof over your head.

Comparing Canada to California. SF etc. Apples to apples. Are you out of your minds?

What next?

Your Cdn IGLOO/ARK dwelling is La Dolce Vita like in Italia. Sad, obsessed, brainwashed house lusting Cdns.

————

You unwittingly made Garth’s point today. Gold Medal performances.

Reading acuity, as in TOEFL, of what he wrote needs improvement.

#17 Doug t on 11.28.22 at 12:26 pm

Canucks EH – its like being in a cult – drink the Kool-Aid and get on the bus lol

#18 Dolce Vita on 11.28.22 at 12:31 pm

#14 The real Kip (Ret)

Says the Igloo Dweller.

Cdns are house obsessed, simple as that.

Must be a cold or very wet climate disease?

Still, as you all like to pull rank with each other about your Italian made stuff like marble, obsess away I say.

Italia’s GDP thanks you (and unlike me, encourages you).

#19 Quintilian on 11.28.22 at 12:34 pm

Talk about stirring a hornet’s nest.

There will be a lot of posts from the greatly indebted, and the RE cartel.

The supporting details of their argument will be absurd.

The problem is that once you enter their Twilight Zone, you almost agree to debate against their illogical, and emotional gobbledygook.

Emotions have no brains, the peddlers profit from that.

#20 UCC on 11.28.22 at 12:39 pm

I get why the politicians don’t tax gains in housing, so let’s erode these gains. Make the inclusion rate zero — for all renters….and watch the housing market come back to normal….

#21 The Engineer on 11.28.22 at 12:42 pm

a Cement wall would just be made of powder. Cement mixed with water and aggregate is concrete. No such thing as a cement wall.

#22 wallflower on 11.28.22 at 12:44 pm

Also, our entire media landscape relies on CREA et al for its data sources. This is a massive structural problem.

The data sets will be very interesting going into January through June. The spin may yet win.

32 Filly Path, Oshawa (Freehold Townhouse)
Date Start Date End Price Event Listing ID
2022-11-09 2022-11-26 $731,000 Sold E5821074
2022-11-09 2022-11-26 $2,850 Suspended E5821080

2022-03-05 2022-05-17 $845,000 Sold E5524843

#23 jack on 11.28.22 at 12:51 pm

alas, I’m stuck in Canada. Can’t get a work visa in the US and we can’t participate in the lottery. Government should allow a citizenship swap. I’d be first in line to leave this cold wasteland – not sure they’re be any takers in the US though.

#24 Wrk.dover on 11.28.22 at 12:56 pm

Love our 900 sq ft R-2000 standard house!

41 years of almost free living.

Yearly taxes are up from 180 > 800.

Resale value, 15X uppa. (20>300,000)

Panoramic ocean view locks that in.

#25 Ponzius Pilatus on 11.28.22 at 1:06 pm

#9 Sail Away on 11.28.22 at 11:55 am
Just a comment…

It appears the prestigious ‘Sail Away’ moniker has again (sigh) picked up an impersonator, with a couple of Tucker Carlson quotes so far.

I wonder whoever that could be? Such mystery, such mystery. Who is absolutely obsessed with both me and Tucker Carlson? Hmmm… if only there were a clue, some past indication of complete and utter devotion, like 100% response, for example… to little ol’ me…
——————-
Well.
Sailo it was not me.
But the Trucker is surely one of your idols.
And Elon.
And remember:
Along with fame, come the stalkers.

#26 Dogman01 on 11.28.22 at 1:08 pm

I suspect the Cold and Dark long winter has a deep psychological effect. Northern societies have more future think cycle.

Only Canada would have a thriving $800+ Winter Jacket phenom…Canada Goose.

#27 Dogman01 on 11.28.22 at 1:08 pm

Censorship etc:

The most disturbing trend in society for me is the number of “citizens” of “democracies” whom seem to support censorship, followed by the number of ‘journalist” whom support censorship.

That the “New-Left” has been so entirely co-opted by Establishment forces, is a most disturbing trend, I had always figured the Free Speech Right and Revolutionary left could at least agree on the principle of free-speech.

Great article for today considering the current “all out” information war against Elon Musk.

The Consortium Imposing the Growing Censorship Regime
https://greenwald.substack.com/p/the-consortium-imposing-the-growing

“To suppress free speech is a double wrong, it violates the rights of the hearer as well as those of the speaker” – Frederick Douglass

#28 the Jaguar on 11.28.22 at 1:10 pm

‘This country, every politician says, now has a housing crisis. Billions are being rushed to build more homes. We have an obsession. A fetish.’ – GT

All of the above true, but the real crisis is the relationship to our GDP. Beyond greed and envy it’s the backbone of the economy. Consume, consume, consume, be it housing or the SUV’s that adorn the driveway, the immodest outdoor furniture & BarBQ’s, etc. Brake hard on the house building industry and the Canadian economy would fall apart like a cheap suit. No getting off this merry-go-round without serious butt hurt. Neither politicians or the peeps they serve have the stones for that……….. +++

@ Sail Away——“Just a comment…
It appears the prestigious ‘Sail Away’ moniker has again (sigh) picked up an impersonator, with a couple of Tucker Carlson quotes so far.
I wonder whoever that could be? Such mystery, such mystery. Who is absolutely obsessed with both me and Tucker Carlson? +++

Umm…maybe it’s the same person who did likewise to me some time ago. Also to Billy Bob when he was still posting. I think that person has also posted under ‘Sean’ in the past. Garth advised us recently of the ‘monikers’ posted under the IP address of Old Boot, so maybe he will do a ‘quid pro quo’ and provide the other monikers posted under the IP address of post # 9 – Sail Away on 11.28.22 at 11:55 am? Would be nice to see who owns the behaviour.

#29 David Greene on 11.28.22 at 1:12 pm

I noticed no mention was made of paying for healthcare premiums, and co-pays, and anything else health-related.

#30 Faron on 11.28.22 at 1:15 pm

#9 Sail Away on 11.28.22 at 11:55 am

Sounds like you are implying it’s me based in zero evidence?

Wrong as usual.

I was wondering what you were on about with those quotes.

Also, while I have you, I’ve also been wondering if your mutt had its microspikes on for the ascent of Benson that you forced on it last weekend?

#31 Ponzius Pilatus on 11.28.22 at 1:17 pm

#23 jack on 11.28.22 at 12:51 pm
alas, I’m stuck in Canada. Can’t get a work visa in the US and we can’t participate in the lottery. Government should allow a citizenship swap. I’d be first in line to leave this cold wasteland – not sure they’re be any takers in the US though.
—————————
Just gonna get worse as “Fortress America” is getting stronger and stronger.
“Paranoia runs deep, into your life it will creep.
It starts when you’re always afraid”.

#32 That Guy on 11.28.22 at 1:18 pm

One thing has become clear over the last several years: Canadians are more materialistic than ever! Prior to Canada Goose jackets, winter coats over $500 were rare. A new SUV used to be under $40,000. Cellphones were a few hundred dollars.
Canadians have come to demand luxury as the norm, and are willing to take on insane levels of debt to live the dream. Wealth is a thing the middle class envies while spending themselves into payment after payment. The ‘hewers of wood and drawers of water’ mindset has never been more apparent, along with the shortcomings that mindset permits in terms of financial debauchery.

Wake up Canadians!
Dear Garth, thanks for trying to help.
TG

#33 Faron on 11.28.22 at 1:23 pm

Another crypto bankruptcy. FTX contagion taking BlockFi to Ch. 11

#34 Ponzius Pilatus on 11.28.22 at 1:27 pm

#27 Doggie bag01
To suppress free speech is a double wrong, it violates the rights of the hearer as well as those of the speaker” – Frederick Douglass
————————-
Sure , it violates the right of the people who are called the “N” word.
“Free speech is not a right, it is a privilege”
Ponzi the Elder.

#35 Damifino on 11.28.22 at 1:31 pm

Residential home equity is the cake you will never eat.

That is, unless you eat it.

I began eating mine twelve years ago. Since then, it’s been like the story of the loaves and fishes.

Capital that keeps on giving. Sublime.

#36 Faron on 11.28.22 at 1:37 pm

#31 Ponzius Pilatus on 11.28.22 at 1:17 pm

It starts when you’re always afraid

Yep. Kinda the yin to the FYIGM (eff you I’ve got mine) yang of the conservative mindset. If one grabs greedily, one will make all kinds of enemies and paranoia grows. See Ustabe’s comment from yesterday.

Seems a few people around here are convinced I’m THE bogeyman. They issue paranoid, violent insinuations, nonsense about “claymores”, and whatever The Jaguar’s latest fever dream is. Funny thing is, I live-trap backyard rats so I can release them elsewhere because I can’t bear to hurt a critter. I certainly couldn’t stomach causing any harm to a human.

Meanwhile, Sail Away spreads misinformation and lies IRL about me to his SAR buddies and god knows who else likely causing real harm. Disgusting, dangerous, clownish and hypocritical x 1000. A very unfunny joke.

#37 TurnerNation on 11.28.22 at 1:41 pm

Life in Kanada. Kanadians trapped in their overpriced homes, living in fear over the bankers’ next move.
Tell me who again dislikes our freedoms?

What’s this payments-upon-payments?? The bankers come thru.

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#38 Faron on 11.28.22 at 1:43 pm

#28 the Jaguar on 11.28.22 at 1:10 pm

“…provide the other monikers posted under the IP address of post # 9 – Sail Away on 11.28.22 at 11:55 am…”

LOL. Gonna guess that came from the offices of a minor engineering firm co-owned by a commenter with a wistful, maritime screen name based in a small town on eastern Vancouver island. But, yeah, dig hard. Dig desperately.

#39 pBrasseur on 11.28.22 at 1:45 pm

CMHC wipes away the risk for lenders

THAT explains the difference between US and Canada, the rest is mostly noise as both countries do several things (fiscal measures, MBS, etc) to support RE. But nothing is more powerful than making credit easily available.

When banks can lend without risk they lend more, it is as simple as that. And if the backer is the government then it is called socialism.

#40 TurnerNation on 11.28.22 at 1:45 pm

Ho-ho-hold the payments.

.The Globe and Mail reports in its Monday edition that Starlight Investments, one of Canada’s largest owners of apartment buildings and multifamily properties, is halting monthly payouts on two of its funds, another sign that higher interest rates are causing trouble across the real estate sector. The Globe’s Tim Kiladze writes that Starlight, which owns $25-billion of properties and real estate securities in Canada and the United States, paused distributions on two funds that specialize in U.S. properties: the U.S. Residential Fund, and the U.S. Multi-Family (No. 2) Core Plus Fund. Combined, the two funds have $840-million in assets under management
© 2022 Canjex Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.

#41 Dragonfly58 on 11.28.22 at 1:49 pm

The first house the wife and I bought was in 1992, in Abbotsford B.C. Very similar to your Fresno examples. In a nice area with about 60 or 70 similar places. Good quality houses built in the 1920’s.Except for one low rent Apt. building that was a regular source of problems. But it never caused us any direct trouble.
But the main reason we bought was it was a place very similar { house and surrounding area } to where we had been renting { Kerrisdale }while at UBC and Langara Col. Very similer except the price, $300,000 + on the West side of Vancouver { those were the days } vs $140,000 out in Abbotsford , plus a bigger lot as a bonus.
Only problem was we overestimated our chances of getting jobs out in the Valley. Wife and I had no option other to keep our existing jobs and went through 2 years of very long commutes. Abby all the way into Vancouver for VG Hospital was no fun even in the mid 90’s. After 2 years we threw in the towel , sold and moved back closer. { Langley } Still a commute except 30 – 40 min. rather than 1 hour +. Really did not make any money after all the dust settled, but we chalked it up to learning and was somewhat cheaper than renting.
Langley place was an extra $100,000.00 { by that time West side of Van was $500 +}. We figured the savings on gas would pay most of the extra cost over the years, it did.
That Abby place would be a $ million +, 6 months ago, probably $800,000 right now. Those Kerrisdale places are all 3 – 3 1/2 and more million these days.Just nuts !

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#43 Shawn on 11.28.22 at 1:55 pm

Energy and GDP and Exports

The Jaguar at 28 noted that Energy is the backbone of Canada’s GDP.

True , energy is a big part of GDP. Based on stats Can 2021 figures oil and gas and mining EXTRACTION was 8% of GDP and that was including mining. This put it behind manufacturing (which does include refineries) and way behind real estate. BUT this was using Stats Can’s wonky concept of 2012 chained dollars which I think does not properly take account of 2021 actual energy prices.

Anyhow, what is perhaps more important is that as a net export category, energy is head and shoulders and MILES above the next closest category. Using current Q1 2022 prices, Energy was bringing in over $150 billion net of imports of the stuff. The next highest was forestry at $26 billion.

This is EPIC, Energy is bringing home the bacon to this country and is what makes it possible for Canada to pay for all the stuff it imports.

https://www.investorsfriend.com/canadian-GDP-canadian-imports-and-exports/

Wind and Solar will never come close to replacing oil and gas as a net export. The U.S. does not need our wind and solar electricity. They got plenty of sun and solar of their own.

#44 Mattl on 11.28.22 at 1:59 pm

#16 Dolce Vita on 11.28.22 at 12:24 pm
#2 Former cubicle dweller
#3 Mattl

Listen to yourselves talk. You’re like demon possesed Realtors about a thing as simple as a roof over your head.

Comparing Canada to California. SF etc. Apples to apples. Are you out of your minds?

What next?

Your Cdn IGLOO/ARK dwelling is La Dolce Vita like in Italia. Sad, obsessed, brainwashed house lusting Cdns.

————

You unwittingly made Garth’s point today. Gold Medal performances.

Reading acuity, as in TOEFL, of what he wrote needs improvement.

—————————————-

What are you rambling about? I left Vancouver because the crazy price of RE. Own 1 home, that was purchased at 2.5 times income. This home is just a home to us, where I raise my family. No obsession with RE at all.

The fact remains Fresno isn’t a comp for Vancouver. Garth knows this. That home is 200 per sqft, adjusted for CAD, around 250 per. I can find many Fresno comps
– B markets – in Canada for around 250 -300 per. I bough my lakeview acreage for 210 CAD per 5 years ago, one down the street just sold for 275 per. Homes and areas significantly better then those Fresno shacks.

This stuff isn’t emotional for me so if you compare an apple to an orange I may say something.

And you stick to your Italian schtick, rambling about Italia, as if anyone cares.

#45 Blobby on 11.28.22 at 2:03 pm

But but but!

I *need* a big house, so I can rent out the basement to afford said big house.. for .. “reasons”..

As someone who wasn’t born in Canada, I still find that way of thinking “odd”. Why not just buy a house the size of the bit you want to live in?

#46 Shamus on 11.28.22 at 2:07 pm

If I recall correctly, it all started about the time of 9-11.

Things changed back in the very early 2000s. People started looking at the world differently and shifted away from cars, clothes & music defining us. It extended it into the household nesting realm of dinner parties & decorating. We also had a period of sitting at home, watching tv…remember HG-TV’s “Trading Spaces”…Paige Davies (sigh!). We all thought we could do it better!

It was also a few years prior to 9-11 that people discovered HomeDepot in Canada & the fun theraputic sexiness of renovating. “You can do it, We can help!”…NO YOU SHOULDN’T, AND NEITHER SHOULD THEY!

In addition, the LCBO magazine also came along and promoted the dinner partys & drinkfests, which were beyond what people’s lives were really like. It was fun to fantasize & everyone wanted to be cooler than they really were…cooler than the Jones’ down the street…cooler than your sister-in-law…better than your coworkers! We all wanted to be Marth Stewart.

Housing helped people try & define themselves and it turned into a very profitable business for many people.

Many aspects of life allowed this to happen in the beginning…the lifestyle promoting media, the financial institutions, the governments, and almost every Canadian. Everyone was having fun, making money, and felt they were doing society good. We all loved it and didn’t think about the long-term consequences.

Sadly, when the renovation boom started, nobody cared about being energy efficient & making houses more airtight. Today, all anyone does is complain about what they bought, how bad it was constructed, how they’ve had to spend a lot of money to have it corrected, and how they reap the government rebates for tax-payer energy efficient upgrades to fix the crap that was done.

#47 chalkie on 11.28.22 at 2:07 pm

Markets are skittish into the red today and this may last for a little while, concerns on China’s economic growth, protest, and uproar over the long-term lockdowns of citizens for COVID outbreaks as pushed people to their limits, it is like the Twisted Sister song, we are not going to take it anymore.

This is the week of the big 6 bank earnings, there are a few gamblers buying BNS (volume) today because they are the first of the big 6 to announce their earning, it is all about the FOMO possible any sudden BNS increases for tomorrow, plus BNS as the highest dividend among the big six. The BNS downturn in the past months may produce a little springboard and perhaps, I suspect the rest of the banks latter will follow Tues, Wed, Thursday and so on for the rest of the speculators as the week goes on, if you are chasing long-term Dividend its fine, but if you want growth, not so much. Day traders’ paradise in a way.

The TSX have outperformed the big six in Q3 and it looks as if the continuation may go for a while, based on a recession looming and the banks are conserving cash for lack of mortgage payment shortfalls and potential foreclosures staring them in the face right now. With reserves of 1 ½ to 2 ½ % put to the sidelines will affect bank stock prices for the near future, “so” banks will not be my favorites until they begin to see the light of day again.

A good friend who is into loaning second mortgages, says he is looking at the wall right now, the door hardly swings and when it does, you best do every inch of research before any approval is made, check recheck and recheck again, “as he put it, or my ass is grass” for the outcomes, its scary times for mortgage approvals.

Our Office vacancy rates are climbing quickly in Toronto and even the great west city of Vancouver is seeing plenty of air bubbles, these vacancy increases are mostly caused by the work economics of uncertainty for tomorrow’s, will we work from home or come to the office.
Looks like our next generation has shunned the five-day office work week for now, let’s see where this will go down the road, if the recession hits.

The SAP-SE, one of the world’s largest software companies in Montreal, is reducing its office space by 60%, SAP is also looking at their office space in Vancouver with similar plans, this is based on their mobile workforce, strange times ahead.

Montreal was known for their downtown office space, what a chance as you visit the offices of their downtown core, even the shoulder-to-shoulder lunch hour street crowds have gone for the most part, the noticeable difference certainly dominates the lunch time horde.
The vacancy rates are pointing to the work from -home crowd winning great victories.

The office vacancy rates in the downturn of 2003 reached a low of 13%, but today, we are over 15% in office vacancy and the anticipated slowdown/recession, whatever you want to call it, is still out there in the unknown territory, its like the song lyrics: how low can you go.

Prior to the Pandemic days, Vancouver had an office vacancy rate of just over 3% and today they are setting at an office vacancy rate of close to 12%, what does this tell you? Do you save or spend right now?

Cheap credit for business is quickly disappearing into the clouds, business owners are looking at every way possible to turn over some dimes to pay the office leases. Millions of sq feet of office space were taken up by the tech companies and you know what has happened in the tech world.

There are real estate transactions going on, or at least trying to go on, as companies try to unload their large office buildings and spaces for smaller ones, also looking at newer buildings to keep maintenance fees to a minimum. The owners with the little building are saying to the big guys, we have you by the marbles now and we need this much for our building and there is none being built, ” does going in circles ring a bell”.

Some of these older office buildings need a lot of TLC and renovations to give them a new facelift. Even the empire CIBC giant is trying to offload close to half a million square feet of office space, maybe this is your opportunity for cheap space???

Quote of the day: Life is a series of experiences, each one of which makes us bigger, even though sometimes it is hard to realize this. For the world was built to develop character, and we must learn that the setbacks and grieves which we endure help us in our marching onward

#48 Old Ron on 11.28.22 at 2:08 pm

There are so many people with a stake in the real estate game, that it is hard to get past the noise, as seen in some of the comments here.

Eastern Canada is about as economically diversified as Saudi Arabia. Building housing is all we seem capable of doing. I guess it is a step up from the early days in Canada when we caught fish and killed Beavers for a living.

But as the Bank of Canada has finally grasped we are a single asset economy in the East, and as such are highly vulnerable to macro economic trends.

I wonder what kind of economy we could have created had we plowed the massive Gov. stimulus into start-ups, new industry, R&D, Green energy, and planning for a radically different world that is on our doorstep.

Instead all we could manage was blowing an enormous unsustainable real estate bubble.

But by all means talk about California’s water issues. So we don’t have to talk about Boise, or Minneapolis, or Austin, or Dallas or Charlotte, or Atlanta or hundreds of mid sized towns with booming hi-tech economies and affordable housing.

Expensive real estate doesn’t make us world class, especially when the only way it works is by filling Scarborough bungalows with two mattresses per room on the floor for $800 a piece per month…..A world class flop house perhaps.

#49 baloney Sandwitch on 11.28.22 at 2:09 pm

The grass looks greener on the other side of the fence.
Cheap housing is not the only thing. You have to contend with guns, violence, close minded people, racism, lack of social safety net, etc.
Sure there are advantages there, but there are many advantages here too.

#50 Timmy on 11.28.22 at 2:19 pm

Do those houses in the states come with a gun and free healthcare? Put your money where your mouth is and move there if you think it is such a good idea.

This is getting embarrassing. – Garth

#51 dutch4505 on 11.28.22 at 2:19 pm

Purchased 1.7-acre lot, fully serviced. Paid $33K. Located 5 kilometers due East of Niagara on the Lake, Ontario. (1 mile East of Youngstown, NY on Highway 93 Lockport Road) Plan to build a 1300 sq ft retirement home and 1,000 sq ft workshop in 2023.

#52 Tom on 11.28.22 at 2:21 pm

DELETED (Anti-immigrant.)

#53 Dave on 11.28.22 at 2:24 pm

The latest house on MLS in Vancouver is going for 24 million. I wonder where the money is going to come from?

#54 Leftover on 11.28.22 at 2:26 pm

Sure, Fresno might not be a good comp for Vancouver, but Seattle is:

https://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/10219-66th-Ave-S_Seattle_WA_98178_M10701-13659

https://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/9250-4th-Ave-SW_Seattle_WA_98106_M14754-19273

CAD$700,000. Basically the building code too.

Why a qualified young person would stay in Canada is difficult to understand.

#55 Emma Zaun - Greater Fool Unpaid Intern #007 on 11.28.22 at 2:27 pm

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The Amazons have a great deal for those of you in steerage today.

Contribute $30 today to the CUPE strike fund and we will give you unlimited free access to this website for 2023, with no deletes or banning.

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#56 ElGatoNeroYVR on 11.28.22 at 2:28 pm

The housing prices in Canada are mostly driven by land prices ,not actual buildings. Look at the property assesment and you will see it.
A 1,000 sqft home sitting on a bigger lot costs way more than a 3,600 sqft home on a regular lot.For most builders 75% of cost is the lot and only 25% is the house -granite countertops included ,at least here in the GVA.
If we want cheaper houses what needs to happen is that the local governments should make available land for a small nominal fee if the house build is say under 2,000 sqft.and sale price is 3-5 times the median wage. Same for condominiums ,Price/sqft should match or come close to that of a house -I am sure soemone with a construction engineering background can enlighten us on the cost /sqft to build a tower vs. a house.

#57 Nonplused on 11.28.22 at 2:31 pm

Ya, but to live in Fresno you have to live in California. No thanks. It might work out great for all the lefties in YVR or YYZ but being a born and raised Albertan, I’d head for Texas, Florida, Montana, or Idaho.

Yesterday’s phrase of the day was “words are important”. Today’s is “facts are important”.

Trump was unsuccessful in reducing illegal immigration, mostly due to a lack of enforcement at the local level, same problem Obama had before him.

https://www.cato.org/blog/president-trump-reduced-legal-immigration-he-did-not-reduce-illegal-immigration

Legal immigration was down considerably but much of that was due to covid, with the remainder being policy.

In both cases (or countries), immigration is not a significant factor in the residential real estate market.

Back to important words, primary residences are not, IMHO, an “investment class”. Obviously we disagree on that, but until we can agree on what is an investment and what is not, we can’t agree on tax treatment.

I would venture that a primary residence, as it produces no revenue but considerable expenses, is a cost of living. It only resembles an investment because it is in a bubble. That bubble looks likely to deflate before the government can come up with the complicated tax laws required to syphon off the gains, making the whole discussion meaningless. So tax them if you want, at this point it is more likely to result in capital loss write-offs.

That horse has left the barn.

#58 Dr V on 11.28.22 at 2:36 pm

Tough to compare anything in Canada to the US southwest, deep south or gulf.

Perhaps Seattle to Van, Calgary-Denver, TO-Chicago.
Omaha-Regina?

Years ago, when the US RE market had imploded, and the C$ appreciated, I enjoyed watching reno porn based
in the states. If it could be believed, it was shocking how cheap labour and materials were in the US. At least half off compared to Canada. Workers and contractors seemed happy, and some left over for the flippers in the end. And the houses still seemed cheap.

There was another show, originating from TO, that followed successive reno flips in an attempt to make it big. After several flips, I’m not sure if they had actually made any money. Costs too high, and the market quickly sorted it out. If house was $X, and renos cost $Y, then market price was X + Y.

Canadians just pay too much for everything.

#59 Islandgirl on 11.28.22 at 2:40 pm

Article great! Comments typical. Houses are more expensive in Canada because people are confused as to what is a “safe” investement. Canadian’s are dumb in that regard.
Dad and brother were in town this weekend to watch my kids dance. Brother rents still (super sweet deal in friends attached suite) no desire to buy. And dad lives in mortgage free house in small town (been there forever and then some). Neither have felt the need to “move up” the property ladder and both are happy with their living conditions. There are a few of us out there following your advice, a house is a home, and nothing more. Now I’m just waiting for the overly-leveraged neighbor to find they can no longer afford their home that they have been remortgaging over and over…

#60 ElGatoNeroYVR on 11.28.22 at 2:45 pm

An economic news related topic is the one of Self-driving cars. Tens if not hundred of Billions of dollars have been lost on this snake-oil pursuit and decimated porfolios whose growth allocation was ahem “Innovation”.
Let’s settle this before the usual suspcts chime in.
The aeronautic industry does not have full AI only driven planes and they operate in a fully and strictly controlled evironment -set air routes , very few crossover air lanes ,vertical separation of trafic depending on flighs direction (E-W vs. W-E) ,horizontal separation based on plane capabilities, Air routes(lane) load cababilities. They also have TCAS ( traffic collision avoidance system).
With all of that we still have human pilots for landing and take-off and backups to the real autopilot (not the one branded as such by a certain company) enroute AND Air Traffic Controllers to keep an eye oneverything and tell each plan how high and how fast to go and reroute them.
A daily commute on a regular road is some many factors more complex, not even talking about the quality of the equipment involved when mass-produced at the cheapest bid.
Fully automated self driving if basically unrealistic in the real word so it is time the tech industry focuses on someting more achievable. and srtop losing us money ,even if on a small portion of our protfolios.

#61 ts on 11.28.22 at 3:10 pm

Garth, I’m surprised you didn’t mention the coming recession. When people are unemployed, won’t that affect house prices?

#62 some guy on 11.28.22 at 3:11 pm

We definitely have some cultural issues that have lead us into this situation. People blame politicians but they are only catering to our population’s obsession with Home and Garden TV.

#63 Ustabe on 11.28.22 at 3:13 pm

@ Jaguar and the ever persecuted Sail Away:

While I am certain that Garth doesn’t need to take the time to indulge you in your conspiracy theories, I will offer what I can.

Google the following: How to see IP addresses in (name of your browser).

You might have to stick “forums” in there somewhere.

If you need further hand holding ask Faron, I’m sure he knows how and would be willing to share methodology to clear his name from the innuendo you two have laid here today.

#64 Sail Away on 11.28.22 at 3:19 pm

#30 Faron on 11.28.22 at 1:15 pm

Also, while I have you, I’ve also been wondering if your mutt had its microspikes on for the ascent of Benson that you forced on it last weekend?

——–

I find it amusing you think mocking SAR recommendations for essential winter gear is somehow a win.

Respect the mountain. Also, please do run up without the spikes. You’ll probably be fine (slow, but ok) 95% of the time.

#65 PBrasseur on 11.28.22 at 3:20 pm

Laval shopping mall absolutely packed last Friday, early US sales numbers for Black Friday indicate sales are greater than ever.

Inflation getting under control? Yeah right…

#66 alexinvestor on 11.28.22 at 3:25 pm

Problem is old-school companies don’t let us WFH from these and other exotic locales. I barely make it in to work every other week, but since Ontario has very good common law severance requirements if you’ve been very loyal (or a sucker), it’s hard to give up security from a big package.

#67 Craig on 11.28.22 at 3:28 pm

As of Oct. 2022, median home price in Niagara Falls NY is only $124,900 , Buffalo is $174,900, and beautiful Lewiston (similar to NOTL across the border) is $299,900 ( realtor.com source used for all ). If you live in other border areas throughout Canada or the US please chime in. Also, if you’ve ever had quotes on a home renovation , the figures are much higher north of the border. Have to fully agree with Garth on this one , we need a wake-up call one way or the other.

#68 Bezengy on 11.28.22 at 3:31 pm

Buffalo NY $82000

https://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/1163-LA-Salle-Ave_Niagara-Falls_NY_14301_M47006-13286

Niagara ON $699000

https://www.realtor.ca/real-estate/25072652/5292-bridge-st-niagara-falls

Houses are probably a few miles from each other. Same property tax, and they drink from the same river.

#69 Me on 11.28.22 at 3:40 pm

I disagree.
If tomorrow Fresno will attract people with higher than average salaries + a lot of jobs; be basically a more attractive city (like Van or To in Canada), the 200-300k homes will evaporate in a blink.

Be it owner or investor, as long as on paper they don’t lose money, they are happy (hence landlords subsidizing the renters).

Yesterday I spoke to a “RE investor” friend of mine. He said the exact words: “I see why houses go up in price, it’s because of the immigration. But I think the securities markets are a hoax. Where do the money come from?”.
Financial literacy? What’s that?

#70 IHCTD9 on 11.28.22 at 3:42 pm

#70 Dharma Bum on 11.28.22 at 10:20 am
#28 Triplenet

You’re a funny guy.
—————————————————————————————————-

Funny how?

___________

…funny like I’m a clown? I amuse you?

One of my all time fav’s. Just heard Liotta passed away this year. I don’t know if we’re ever going to see good movies like these types again. Martin Scorsese’s last one was The Irishman. Tarantino is all done. Clint is pretty much done too (Cry Macho was a let down).

I just can’t get into all this Disney Superhero / Star Wars crap.

#71 Rook on 11.28.22 at 3:49 pm

“We see renters as barely more successful than the homeless.”

For good reason, though, no? The national opinion seems to be, “Renters are poors, who can’t afford to buy. If they could, they would, because why pay someone else’s mortgage when, for $100 more a month, you can pay your own? Only suckers do that, and they rightly get punished for it by not having any equity, unlike we smart homeowners.”

Now, I’m not saying that’s right or correct, but the ‘renting for life’ model seems to work pretty well in Europe, where there’s not a scrap of land left to develop, and any that is is already owned by someone or something. Why wouldn’t it work similarly in Canada, where prices would indicate a similar situation: there’s no land left on which to develop and any that is must be already owned by someone or something?

I know that’s not the case, and we have a ton of land, but it’s the only explanation that fits. Prices are as high as they are because there must be no land left.

#72 dosouth on 11.28.22 at 3:50 pm

You say bananas they say oranges. No matter what you try to teach some days, it seems to be “challenge on” to prove you are wrong (in their world).

I believe the premise of your blog is to enlighten and educate and even challenge others beliefs from experience and wisdom. Heck maybe even research to challenge themselves to be wiser and better…..or maybe I am wrong too? Thanks for another enlightening post Garth

#73 Jens on 11.28.22 at 3:56 pm

I remember many a Time magazine article deploring the Americans’ obsession with housing as a prerequisite to realizing the American Dream, which kept driving up real estate prices for decades.
But all that stopped in 2008, when our brothers down south learned their lesson. We beavs, on the other hand, skirted the housing meltdown, leaving our own obsession unshattered. I guess we are just about to learn our own lesson.

#74 Sitting waiting wishing on 11.28.22 at 4:00 pm

This blog and the comments section is like a Jack Johnson song sometimes. Sitting, waiting, wishing for a change in the culture away from home ownership.

It won’t happen, particularly in Vancouver and Toronto where, if anything, the proportion of people who deeply and culturally prize home ownership is increasing. Ask a second generation south or East Asian member in community if home ownership is important to them.

#75 Faron on 11.28.22 at 4:02 pm

#19 Quintilian on 11.28.22 at 12:34 pm

The problem is that once you enter their Twilight Zone, you almost agree to debate against their illogical, and emotional gobbledygook.

Pretty much describes any efforts i’ve made to discuss just about anything here in comments. Here’s the algo applied by others to my comments:

while facts
mock, threaten, lie, whataboutism
if uncomfortable facts
gaslight
fi
if really uncomfortable facts
dissemble and flee
fi
if typos
snicker like an 8th grader
fi
end

#76 Ed on 11.28.22 at 4:12 pm

Or there’s this nice joint near to my motorhome for $80,000USD.

https://www.point2homes.com/MX/Home-For-Sale/Sinaloa/Mazatlan-Municipality/Mazatlan/Santa-Teresa/Coto-Santa-Lucia-Arena/128871261.html

Better than Fresno trust me.

#77 the Jaguar on 11.28.22 at 4:33 pm

#63 Ustabe on 11.28.22 at 3:13 [email protected] Jaguar and the ever persecuted Sail Away:
While I am certain that Garth doesn’t need to take the time to indulge you in your conspiracy theories, I will offer what I can.
Google the following: How to see IP addresses in (name of your browser).
You might have to stick “forums” in there somewhere.
If you need further hand holding ask Faron, I’m sure he knows how and would be willing to share methodology to clear his name from the innuendo you two have laid here today.+++

You’re nothing if not monotonous. You’ve posted these instructions numerous times in the past. You miss the point entirely. At least we know how you spend your time when you and your adopted son Faron aren’t seizing every opportunity to giddily jump on every post of Sail Away’s.

Sail Away’s posts are positive & upbeat. He loves the great outdoors, Munger, Buffett, and Musk. So do millions of others including some here on this blog. What’s it to you? Or does an alpha male make you feel small because you were kicked out or excluded from some club that didn’t accept you as a member? Picked last and out of pity for the little league team? Note you feel you need to speak for Garth and ‘his time’ similar to remarks often made by Faron when he has been on one of his verbal benders. Garth appears to be able to speak for himself.
If you, Faron, Observer, Quint something or other don’t like what the sturdy conservatives post then post an alternate viewpoint instead of playing attack dogs endlessly.

#78 Faron on 11.28.22 at 4:36 pm

#60 ElGatoNeroYVR on 11.28.22 at 2:45 pm

Yep, exactly and especially regarding flight. Driving on a road with an unconstrained environment is a ferociously difficult task and Tesla is waaaay behind the auto version. There’s a reason Tesla has to disclaim its tech in the regulatory world. Meanwhile, Waymo is now operating driverless robotaxis in select locales.

And, no, the recent FSD release isn’t even halfway decent. Hundreds of videos already up showing it struggling. Only goofs who think AI is a magical panacea while not understanding it put any stock into Tesla’s lies.

All that said, Elon is pumping TSLA hard. This is likely so that he can sell stock (that he promised never to sell) to support the Twitter dumpster fire. I predicted a bounce and it came Wednesday. Probably more to come with monthly opex in the rearview making gamma squeezes easier. The stupes are already fired up gauging by fans commenting here and elsewhere on the internet.

The more turgid the dead, bloated cat, the higher and faster the bounce.

#79 Sail Away on 11.28.22 at 4:36 pm

#63 Ustabe on 11.28.22 at 3:13 pm

…the ever persecuted Sail Away

——–

True dat. But don’t worry about me. I’ll make it through… somehow…

#80 Ponnaps on 11.28.22 at 4:38 pm

People go out and enjoy life a lot more in warmer climes..dopamine aplenty… there’s nothing much to do in Canada for the larger part of the year that you’d feel good about..

so people are obsessed with buying homes and then spending on upgrades and updates as a means of retail therapy to generate that much needed dopamine in short supply out here..

#81 Doug t on 11.28.22 at 4:41 pm

#50 timmy

Healthcare aint free buddy

#82 Steven Rowlandson on 11.28.22 at 4:42 pm

No real solutions to the homeless problem unless prices crash to 1960s levels. The real-life monopoly game must end.

#83 Senator Bluto on 11.28.22 at 4:50 pm

Apple is toying with banning Twitter from their Apple Store to shut down free speech.

I’m going one better. I’m banning all Apple products from my house.

Who’s with me?

#84 crowdedelevatorfartz on 11.28.22 at 4:57 pm

@#34 Politically Perfect Ponzie
“Sure , it violates the right of the people who are called the “N” word.”

+++
Whats wrong with being a “New Driver”?

#85 So true on 11.28.22 at 4:58 pm

We see renters as barely more successful than the homeless.

This is so true!!! I have a PhD, a reasonable job, a spouse with a PhD and a reasonable job, kids that i think we do a reasonable job raising, but we rent a place that by all standards is too small for our family (even my father tells me so every time he gets a chance). And i feel like a loser because of it every day! Everyone i meet makes me feel this way.

#86 Balmuto on 11.28.22 at 4:59 pm

I remember pre-2008 it was the opposite situation and all the talk was about why Canada hadn’t seen the same run-up in house prices as the US. The answer only became apparent in hindsight: excessive subprime lending with risks buried in complicated mortgage-backed products like CDOs had taken hold in the US to an extent that we never saw in Canada.

Fast-forward to today and the situation has flipped, the reasons for which we may only fully understand in hindsight as well.

The point is don’t count on the Canada vs. US housing premium to last. It’s more likely that we’ll see a reversion to the mean, and since house prices are trending down, that means our correction will probably be more severe than theirs and/or last longer.

#87 Sail Away on 11.28.22 at 5:11 pm

#36 Faron on 11.28.22 at 1:37 pm

Meanwhile, Sail Away spreads misinformation and lies IRL about me to his SAR buddies and god knows who else likely causing real harm. Disgusting, dangerous, clownish and hypocritical x 1000. A very unfunny joke.

——–

Thou besmircheth my honour, sir.

I disseminate only such missives as prepared by thine own gory paws.

Blameth not.

‘The deeds we do, the words we say
Into still air they seem to fleet
We count them ever past
But they shall last
In the dread judgment they
And we shall meet.’

-John Keble

#88 Nora Lenderby on 11.28.22 at 5:13 pm

#32 That Guy on 11.28.22 at 1:18 pm
“One thing has become clear over the last several years: Canadians are more materialistic than ever! Prior to Canada Goose jackets, winter coats over $500 were rare…”

Not really. Perhaps you weren’t shopping in upmarket department stores or boutiques formerly. I remember when clothing was very expensive, but then it was usually made in Canada with union labour, and sometimes had real animal skin and fur on it…

The price of clothing and accessories is like the price of jewellery or fancy watches. There’s no practical upper bound on the price. Veblen goods.

#89 SW on 11.28.22 at 5:20 pm

Could not agree with you more.

I check out housing prices in other countries occasionally and see what you can buy. Canada on average is the most expensive compared to what I look at.

I used to live in Ireland but left in 2008 at the end of the Celtic Tiger boom. Huge FOMO there too pre-2008 and real estate was crazy then. It has never recovered from what I can see. 200 – 400 thousand Euros buys you a really nice place in most of the country, excluding Dublin. Temperate climate, interesting people to say the least and it’s one of the most beautiful countries in Europe. They also have a retirement visa that appears fairly easy to get. It’s one of my top picks for retirement.

#90 Prince Polo on 11.28.22 at 5:21 pm

Speaking of crazies, wait to see what happens when politicians give us multi-generational amortizations. Why take Buckley’s medicine now with a teaspoon, when one can take it much later from a million howitzers?

#91 RE_Investor on 11.28.22 at 5:27 pm

Nice affordable homes even for a Canadian. Seems better than a cottage in Ontario. I don’t even care about the proximity to the San Andreas Fault because these homes could be the new waterfront! I spent many months in San Fran, Oakland, and Palo Alto during the 2000s. California is ultra beautiful and the coastline is amazing.

#92 Faron on 11.28.22 at 5:34 pm

#64 Sail Away on 11.28.22 at 3:19 pm
#30 Faron on 11.28.22 at 1:15 pm

You’ll probably be fine (slow, but ok) 95% of the time

Wait, 5% of skilled, fit 45 year olds who ascend Mt. Benson without microspikes are injured or die!? I took a 1 in 20 chance when I climbed it? Gosh, on my summit climb of Mt. Baker (crampons, ice axe, helmet) I hate to think how narrow the odds of survival were. And skiing back down? I’m getting faint just thinking about it.

Again, if there are exposed slopes where a slip could lead to injury or death (as you repeatedly imply) recommending microspikes to inexperienced people (what one has to assume when commenting in the internet)

Did you also know that people frequently slip, fall and injure themselves on wet floors in Walmart. Sounds like they need some microspikes.

#93 Faron on 11.28.22 at 5:37 pm

Continuing that sentence:

Again, if there are exposed slopes where a slip could lead to injury or death (as you repeatedly imply) recommending microspikes to inexperienced people (what one has to assume when commenting in the internet) is awful practice.

#94 jess on 11.28.22 at 5:38 pm

fresno -300 sunny days although seems to have its
” dark days ” greed has no boundaries
Fresno man accused of stealing $4.2M in Ponzi scheme — Royce Newcomb, 60, of Fresno was indicted on five counts of wire fraud and a count of money laundering through his company Strategic Innovations 
==========

walkable scores replaced with how many guns are in the community / homicide rates ?

11/18/2022 Listed for sale $280,000 (+70.7%) $285/sqft
Source: FresnoMLS #587600
10/5/2022 Sold $164,000 $167/sqft

#95 AM in MN on 11.28.22 at 5:42 pm

No shortage of 5000 sq ft. McMansions in the outer burbs of every US city. Plenty of 4 bathroom townhouses closer in as well.

Most were built pre-2008 crash. Since then major policy changes were enacted. First the tightening of mortgage standards, but then then Trump tax changes that dis-allowed you to deduct the property and income tax you paid to the state and local govts. from your federal income.

Much less financial incentive to carry a big house you can’t afford, the carrying costs are much higher.

Canada will make changes after enough people get wiped out. In Canada it will be worse for many because you own the debt for life, can’t just had the front door keys back to the bank like so many did in the US.

#96 Bill zufelt on 11.28.22 at 5:44 pm

Considering it’s not that long ago people used outhouses one bathroom is fine for a family of 3 or 4. Don’t understand how some empty nesters live in Rosedale and the place has 7 bathrooms. Imagine the cleaning…ugh.

#97 Drew on 11.28.22 at 6:02 pm

If only we still built small starter homes, instead of the giant cubes on postage sized lots with walk in closets and 3+ bathrooms. I’d be fine with one of those

#98 Reality is stark on 11.28.22 at 6:05 pm

The disparity is greater than you think.
Please factor the 60 cent dollar into the equation.
Deficits until 2028.
This socialist utopia is a farce.
Then people throw in health care. Yes it’s cheaper because we allow people to die in Emergency wards waiting for treatment. Get in line, if you die our cost structure improves. We don’t care how much tax you’ve paid.

#99 Ben Caballero on 11.28.22 at 6:07 pm

Would love to find a nice 1200 sqft home slab on grade on a lot with in floor radiant heating.

The municipalities won’t allow it.

You need to build big 3,000 sqft home in the nice suburbs.

The walkout basement is never used and costs a ton to heat and air condition. It is a waste.

#100 Linda on 11.28.22 at 6:13 pm

#85 ‘So’ – children grow up & leave the nest (maybe). Have some neighbors who’d love to downsize but smaller places in the same area are few & far between. As renters, you can size up (or down) at will, as long as there are places you actually want to rent in the price range/size you want, in the area you want.

#23 ‘Jack’ – why limit yourself to the USA? Apparently there are large expat communities in Panama, Costa Rica, Mexico etc. which a frost bitten Canadian might find within the budget. Even if said budget is a fixed one.

#101 Chris on 11.28.22 at 6:47 pm

Scarcity of liveable land withing reach of services and has jammed us into cities. We are a much smaller country than people think.

#102 JSquared on 11.28.22 at 7:00 pm

Anyone who’s traveled anywhere else in the world and checked out local RE prices could tell you what a rip off Canada is. Unless you bought more than a decade ago (basically won the lottery), forget about the younger generation ever getting the chance, or enjoyment, of becoming homeowners. Between inflation, stagnant wages & house prices it’s no wonder the young ones are feeling hopeless. This listing in my neighbourhood, originally listed at $5M, 103yr old house with unfinished basement. What a bargain!

https://faithwilson.com/listings/1056-richelieu-avenue/

#103 Took my wife ... on 11.28.22 at 7:02 pm

to Wallymart today to do a little grocery shopping (her choice) as her foot is in a brace from a fall. As she was “self checking” out I happened to look at the cashless register and it had an option for “6 equal payments.” At Wallymart. I guess I don’t get out enough … my goodness.

#104 Marcus on 11.28.22 at 7:05 pm

It might also be that greedy politicians have forced prices up by limiting supply in order to raise more taxes to pay politicians and civil servants more. Civil service and political pay in Canada is outrageous compared to the US. Strangely the ‘back of the napkin’ calculation covers it perfectly. Ex: The CEO of Washington State Ferry is $150 K while CEO of B.C. Ferries is a million and a half. The ‘Sunshine List ‘ in Canada is outrageous, and triple similar salaries in the US. This might go a long way in explains why property in Canada is triple the price.

#105 WTF on 11.28.22 at 7:17 pm

Just got home from a San Fran road trip and have been to Fresno B4. Meh

This place however, is amazing. A testament to one man tilting against windmills. Obstacles overcome through sheer determination and grueling hard work.

https://undergroundgardens.com/

Nothing to declare on the trip but a case of Covid. Glad to be home to sweat it out.

#106 Dragonfly58 on 11.28.22 at 7:19 pm

Only 5 % of British Columbia is privately owned. The rest is Crown land. Extremely low compared to almost anywhere in the Western World. Huge landmass in B.C. but equally huge prices for the small fraction of it that people actually own.

#107 DON on 11.28.22 at 7:21 pm

Big houses in cold climates means lots money on heating bills. If not, mold creeps in. And a basements is a liability if not done right in the first place.

#108 Wrk.dover on 11.28.22 at 7:21 pm

Southern Maine compares to Niagara Peninsula for housing with land holds. Proximity to Toronto or Boston is the same. Winter sports are better in Me., though.

#109 Dr V on 11.28.22 at 7:28 pm

99 Ben

“Would love to find a nice 1200 sqft home slab on grade on a lot with in floor radiant heating.

The municipalities won’t allow it.

You need to build big 3,000 sqft home in the nice suburbs.

The walkout basement is never used and costs a ton to heat and air condition. It is a waste.”
—————————————————-

Ben has described my first home – actually about 1100 sq ft. 3 bed, 1 bath. Carport enclosed by previous owner for family/play room. Downside no garage. New owner added on and put shed out back.

Ben has described my current home of 20 years. 1600 sq ft on main with almost full basement, daylight walkout.

The in-ground foundation provides coolness in summer,
and warmth in winter, or maybe “less coldness” if it ever got that cold on the wet coast. Added cost at that time was maybe $20k, plus a bit to finish a bed, bath and spare room (man cave). Also provides easy access to HWT and furnace, warm storage for bikes and electric yard tools, exercise area and pool table. Definitely not a waste.

#110 Ronaldo on 11.28.22 at 7:29 pm

#14 The real Kip (Ret) on 11.28.22 at 12:19 pm
I love getting out of bed when it’s -20C outside in my bare feet. Heated floors are the best! They asked if I wanted heated floors in the shops too. I said yes, hell yes!

It would take more than California to get me to leave Canada.
—————————————————————-
So what’s your carbon bare footprint.

#111 Mike on 11.28.22 at 7:32 pm

Hi Garth,

Thank you for years of blog reading enjoyment. I have read your books and found all of it very useful. I am a Canadian who has been living in America since graduating from Uni. I love the opportunities I have been afforded here. Not that this country is not with out or painfully obvious problems. A couple of things I would like to note about your comparison of Fresno and Canadian real estate.

US mortgage for the most part are also backed by the government Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are government backed entities that guarantee residential mortgages

US mortgages that are issued with less than 20% downpayment pay mortgage insurance just like the CHMC insurance.

We also have fully deductible mortgage and Heloc interest (under certain circumstances).

30 year mortgages are a beautiful things. Very few Variable rate financing here after the GFC.

With these built in advantages shouldn’t Americans be as rabid (“house Horny”) for real estate as Canadians?

#112 Sail Away on 11.28.22 at 7:32 pm

#93 Faron on 11.28.22 at 5:37 pm

Again, if there are exposed slopes where a slip could lead to injury or death (as you repeatedly imply) recommending microspikes to inexperienced people (what one has to assume when commenting in the internet) is awful practice.

——–

Please feel free to ascend the mountain wearing only a joyous smile and the courage of your convictions.

#113 AACI Homedog on 11.28.22 at 7:33 pm

Beautiful picture, Rob !

#114 Ponzius Pilatus on 11.28.22 at 7:39 pm

#74 Old Boot on 11.28.22 at 2:53 pm
#60 Ponzius Pilatus on 11.27.22 at 9:21 pm
Sailo,
Re: Self driving cars.
Billions of women around the world are finally allowed to drive.
Do you think they will give that up to be chauffeured, again?

————-

Are Austrian babies especially slippery?
—————
Of course they are.
Watch Arnold’s “Pumping Iron”.
Can’t become Mr. Universe six times without greasing up.
I thought you knew that.

#115 jess on 11.28.22 at 7:44 pm

“the best answer to bad speech is more speech.”
“The best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market.”
” Does truth rise to the top in the market place of ideas?”
========
Twitter Troll Tricked 4,900 Democrats in Vote-by-Phone Scheme, U.S. Says
Jan. 27, 2021
Federal prosecutors accused Douglass Mackey, 31, of coordinating with co-conspirators to spread memes on Twitter falsely claiming that Hillary Clinton’s supporters could vote by sending a text message to a specific phone number.The co-conspirators were not named in the complaint, but one of them was Anthime Gionet, a far-right media personality known as “Baked Alaska,” who was arrested after participating in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, according to a person briefed on the investigation, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation.” (nyt)

As a result of the misinformation campaign, prosecutors said, at least 4,900 unique phone numbers texted the number in a futile effort to cast votes for Mrs. Clinton.
Douglass Mackey, a right-wing provocateur, was accused of spreading memes that made Hillary Clinton supporters falsely believe they could cast ballots in 2016 via text message.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, January 27, 2021
Social Media Influencer Charged with Election Interference Stemming from Voter Disinformation Campaign
Defendant Unlawfully Used Social Media to Deprive Individuals of Their Right to Vote

The complaint alleges that in 2016, Mackey established an audience on Twitter with approximately 58,000 followers. A February 2016 analysis by the MIT Media Lab ranked Mackey as the 107th most important influencer of the then-upcoming Election, ranking his account above outlets and individuals such as NBC News (#114), Stephen Colbert (#119) and Newt Gingrich (#141).

As alleged in the complaint, between September 2016 and November 2016, in the lead up to the Nov. 8, 2016, U.S. Presidential Election, Mackey conspired with others to use social media platforms, including Twitter, to disseminate fraudulent messages designed to encourage supporters of one of the presidential candidates (the “Candidate”) to “vote” via text message or social media, a legally invalid method of voting.

For example, on Nov. 1, 2016, Mackey allegedly tweeted an image that featured an African American woman standing in front of an “African Americans for [the Candidate]” sign. The image included the following text: “Avoid the Line. Vote from Home. Text ‘[Candidate’s first name]’ to 59925[.] Vote for [the Candidate] and be a part of history.” The fine print at the bottom of the image stated: “Must be 18 or older to vote. One vote per person. Must be a legal citizen of the United States. Voting by text not available in Guam, Puerto Rico, Alaska or Hawaii. Paid for by [Candidate] for President 2016.”

The tweet included the typed hashtags “#Go [Candidate]” and another slogan frequently used by the Candidate. On or about and before Election Day 2016, at least 4,900 unique telephone numbers texted “[Candidate’s first name]” or some derivative to the 59925 text number, which was used in multiple deceptive campaign images tweeted by the defendant and his co-conspirators.

#116 twofatcats on 11.28.22 at 7:46 pm

Residential real estate has sadly become the go-to business to make a buck. In our small town in southern Ontario, former butcher shops, restaurants, gas stations, furniture stores and other abandoned store fronts are putting curtains over the windows and renting them out as residential apartments. IOW, it is far easier to make money in residential real estate than it is to start up and maintain a small business.

#117 Ustabe on 11.28.22 at 7:47 pm

#77 the Jaguar on 11.28.22 at 4:33 pm

Lots of ad hominem there with a considerable lack of substance.

Sort of like the current version of conservatism in Canada.

#118 Mrs Hubris on 11.28.22 at 7:54 pm

Thanks Garth. From a renter of sound net worth (and no debt), compliments on your excellent skewering of the real estate obsession in Canada. Sadly though, the monkeys (and the Canadian press) still have it: hear no, see no, speak no. The mythology of Canadian real estate is a well crafted belief system and the faithful generally don’t question.

#119 Ponzius Pilatus on 11.28.22 at 7:55 pm

#70 IHCTD9 on 11.28.22 at 3:42 pm
#70 Dharma Bum on 11.28.22 at 10:20 am
#28 Triplenet

You’re a funny guy.
—————————————————————————————————-

Funny how?

___________

…funny like I’m a clown? I amuse you?

One of my all time fav’s. Just heard Liotta passed away this year. I don’t know if we’re ever going to see good movies like these types again. Martin Scorsese’s last one was The Irishman. Tarantino is all done. Clint is pretty much done too (Cry Macho was a let down).

I just can’t get into all this Disney Superhero / Star Wars crap.
—————-
Agree.
Just like the old Western movies.
“Unforgiven” was probably the last good one.
And Marvel and Disney are just awful.
But make tons of money.
But at least you’ve got RAP.

#120 VicPaul on 11.28.22 at 8:10 pm

#34 Ponzius Pilatus on 11.28.22 at 1:27 pm

Sure , it violates the right of the people who are called the “N” word.
“Free speech is not a right, it is a privilege”
Ponzi the Elder.

*********

The word was dying in the eighties – almost everyone got it – it’s hurtful. Then rap brought it back to the mainstream, why? It’s a cultural thing.
It has long been a word black males call each other (70’s black cast productions anyone?/ present day Youtube videos of youngish black males) – no extreme derogation intended – it’s used often among those of the culture as a mild admonishment. Am I really telling you something you don’t know?
That said – I’m not sayin’ it, ain’t my culture.

You’re near my age ponz and you know this – but, as is your disingenuous lefty way, you virtue signal (as if there is still any social capital in that transparent behaviour)…it just makes you look like an insipid simp. It’s not helping anyone or anything.
Stop it!

M58BC

#121 Faron on 11.28.22 at 8:12 pm

One slice of Elon Musk’s Giga Fraud

#122 PeterfromCalgary on 11.28.22 at 8:18 pm

Not that may Californians want to live in Fresno or in the Central Valley. I got this impression when I studied in San Diego in the early 1990s.

It is far inland so the climate is not as moderated by the ocean. Fresno has a crime rating of 9 meaning 91% of US cities are considered safer. Even LA is safer with a 14 rank.

House prices are low in Fresno because demand is low. This is why houses in LA average $860K, $1.3 million in San Francisco, and $845K in San Diego. Remember this is US dollars.

Source: https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/

#123 Tony on 11.28.22 at 8:19 pm

Re: #88 Nora Lenderby on 11.28.22 at 5:13 pm

Arctic Bay makes much warmer and better quality winter coats made in Canada. My sister has a couple of them. They cost about the same or slightly more.

#124 jack on 11.28.22 at 8:22 pm

#100 Linda

because I need to be able to work and make decent money. Doubt the countries you mentioned would allow me to work there, and if they did would likely pay a very low wage. Sure, cost of living is less but I like to travel so need to enough money to vacation in first world countries.

#125 Ponzius Pilatus on 11.28.22 at 8:27 pm

#84 crowdedelevatorfartz on 11.28.22 at 4:57 pm
@#34 Politically Perfect Ponzie
“Sure , it violates the right of the people who are called the “N” word.”

+++
Whats wrong with being a “New Driver”?
—————-
Well,
The other N-Word “Nazi” is still quite popular.
You used it yourself a few times.
I was subjected to it on numerous occasions.
But it never really bothered me.
Made me stronger.

#126 Faron on 11.28.22 at 8:44 pm

#112 Sail Away on 11.28.22 at 7:32 pm
#93 Faron on 11.28.22 at 5:37 pm

Again, if there are exposed slopes where a slip could lead to injury or death (as you repeatedly imply) recommending microspikes to inexperienced people (what one has to assume when commenting in the internet) is awful practice.

——–

Please feel free to ascend the mountain wearing only a joyous smile and the courage of your convictions.

What I have said stands.

Further, I have no interest in going almost 2 hours out of my way to climb an unremarkable hill in any particular state of attire, sorry. However, I am flattered you wish to catch a glimpse of me wearing nothing but a smile and a positive mindset.

#127 Ponzius Pilatus on 11.28.22 at 8:48 pm

#120 VicPaul on 11.28.22 at 8:10 pm
#34 Ponzius Pilatus on 11.28.22 at 1:27 pm

Sure , it violates the right of the people who are called the “N” word.
“Free speech is not a right, it is a privilege”
Ponzi the Elder.

*********

The word was dying in the eighties – almost everyone got it – it’s hurtful. Then rap brought it back to the mainstream, why? It’s a cultural thing.
It has long been a word black males call each other (70’s black cast productions anyone?/ present day Youtube videos of youngish black males) – no extreme derogation intended – it’s used often among those of the culture as a mild admonishment. Am I really telling you something you don’t know?
That said – I’m not sayin’ it, ain’t my culture.

You’re near my age ponz and you know this – but, as is your disingenuous lefty way, you virtue signal (as if there is still any social capital in that transparent behaviour)…it just makes you look like an insipid simp. It’s not helping anyone or anything.
Stop it!

M58BC
————-
Quite the sermon.
Anyway, I said Free Speech is a privilege, not a right.
What’s your take on it.
Let’s hear it.

#128 Flop… on 11.28.22 at 8:50 pm

Bit of a trailblazer on here, I know.

Here’s me in one of a series of posts touching on Fresno.

Looks like I’ve had a couple of birthdays since then.

Snowstorm coming to Vancouver, if you’re looking for something to binge watch, may I suggest Undercover Billionaire, Season 2, as there’s lots of focus and footage of Fresno.

I’ve been to Fresno on the way back from the National Parks down that way.

Out of Fresno, Tacoma and Pueblo, the 3 cities featured in the latest series, if allowed I would live in the other two cities mentioned first.

Currently I reside in Vancouver, but live for my time in The States…

M48BC

////////////////////////////////////////

28 Flop… on 02.09.21 at 8:32 pm

Undercover Billionaire.

It’s a show on Discovery Channel.
The first series I missed the start because I had Undercover Boss in my head and thought I’m not watching that.
The challenge essentially is you get dropped of in an American city that you’ve never been to before, given an alias, one hundred dollars and an old truck.
You have 90 days without using your existing network to make 1 million dollars.
You don’t have to make an actual million, you can start a company and get an independent valuation of one million.
In the original series banker Glenn Stearns was dropped off in struggling Erie, Pennsylvania and eventually started a BBQ restaurant after doing well in some competitions.
He fell short of the target, can’t exactly recall but 750k valuation rings a bell, but because he lost he had to chuck a million into the pot, but the people that helped him get to keep their jobs and I think some of the big players got a share of the profits.
Anyway, the new COVID effected series has it way harder than Glenn Stearns had it.
This series has three participants, two of them wanted to do something real estate related but it had be hard to establish a deal and get all the relevant permits in 90 day.
One woman, Monique Idlett-Moseley, is in Tacoma, Washington and is try to establish a fruit/vegetable mobile health shot business where eating healthy is a challenge.
Another woman, Elaine Culotti, is in Fresno, California try to turn a struggling restaurant into a delicatessen/grocer, because apparently downtown there is a void that needs filling in that department
The guy, Grant Cardone, is in Pueblo, Colorado, he got of to the best start but then got COVID and is house bound -the clock keeps ticking, I think.
The main reason for this post is because America seems to way more affected than Canada by this pandemic and so in a spin-off series Undercover Billionaire-Comeback City, Glenn Stearns has decided to go back to the city he helped, Erie, because so many businesses are hitting the wall there and lots of people reached out to him.
He has only 27 days to help the guys.
Why 27 days?
Because that’s apparently what the average small business has 27 days in cash reserves.
Some people got sidetracked because Glenn Stearns is not actually a billionaire and I’m not sure the other 3 are as well, but they are very successful people and the last time I ran the article there were only 660 billionaires in the United States.
That number shrinks to 44 billionaires in Canada.
I would still watch it if it was called Undercover Half-Billionaire…

M46BC

#129 meslippery on 11.28.22 at 9:20 pm

The Engineer on 11.28.22 at 12:42 pm

a Cement wall would just be made of powder. Cement mixed with water and aggregate is concrete. No such thing as a cement wall.
————————–

Perhaps not a cement wall but there is a cement pond.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z85dJajIExg

#130 crowdedelevatorfartz on 11.28.22 at 9:23 pm

@#125 Ponzie’s parables
“The other N-Word “Nazi” is still quite popular.
You used it yourself a few times.”
++++
Numbskull is also a word that is currently in my head.
Sorry.
I’m busy watching a Dave Chappelle comedy hour.
I’ll get back to you about the “N” word later.

#131 Editrix on 11.28.22 at 10:16 pm

I’ve never understood the fascination with having so many bathrooms and especially more bathrooms than bedrooms. Is everyone in the house going to be sitting on the toilet at the same time? And someone has to clean all of them. I guess if you’re rich enough to have so many bathrooms you can afford the maid/cleaning lady to take care of them.

#132 Sail Away on 11.28.22 at 10:25 pm

#126 Faron on 11.28.22 at 8:44pm

I have no interest in going almost 2 hours out of my way to climb an unremarkable hill in any particular state of attire, sorry.

—————

Noted. Never has anyone demonstrated greater indifference toward Mt Benson than your total and complete indifference toward anything related to Mt Benson. And microspikes. Impressive, really.

#133 Ponzius Pilatus on 11.28.22 at 10:28 pm

130 crowdedelevatorfartz on 11.28.22 at 9:23 pm
@#125 Ponzie’s parables
“The other N-Word “Nazi” is still quite popular.
You used it yourself a few times.”
++++
Numbskull is also a word that is currently in my head.
Sorry.
I’m busy watching a Dave Chappelle comedy hour.
I’ll get back to you about the “N” word later.
————————
I used to like Chappell.
But now his schtick is getting tiresome.

#134 IHCTD9 on 11.28.22 at 10:42 pm

#119 Ponzius Pilatus on 11.28.22 at 7:55 pm
#70 IHCTD9 on 11.28.22 at 3:42 pm
#70 Dharma Bum on 11.28.22 at 10:20 am
#28 Triplenet

You’re a funny guy.
—————————————————————————————————-

Funny how?

___________

…funny like I’m a clown? I amuse you?

One of my all time fav’s. Just heard Liotta passed away this year. I don’t know if we’re ever going to see good movies like these types again. Martin Scorsese’s last one was The Irishman. Tarantino is all done. Clint is pretty much done too (Cry Macho was a let down).

I just can’t get into all this Disney Superhero / Star Wars crap.
—————-
Agree.
Just like the old Western movies.
“Unforgiven” was probably the last good one.
And Marvel and Disney are just awful.
But make tons of money.
But at least you’ve got RAP.
————-

Clint’s last goodie was Grand Torino, not a Western, but guys that like Westerns will like Grand Torino. Unforgiven was awesome though, I love Hackman and Freeman too. All my favourite actors won’t be making movies much longer, I have to find some new favs.

I will admit to liking some of the super hero stuff involving Jackman and Bale. Jackman as Wolverine reminds me of Clint.

As far as music goes, the pool is limitless, I’m finding new great stuff all the time. No end in sight.

Here’s a non-rap one just for you Ponz. It found its way onto my play list about a month ago. If you don’t like it, I bet some of the younger homies out in your hood will – if they already don’t. If you show it to them, they’ll think you’re cool :)

“Bloodywood” – Machi Bhasad (Expect a Riot)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gsy5sJy5_34

#135 Dragonslayer on 11.28.22 at 10:46 pm

Faron and Sail Away: Mt. Benson

Benson is quite a fun mountain to climb. You get the whiskey jacks eating out of your hand at the halfway point. Then the views across the strait- you can see Vancouver in the distance. Up island you’re looking up to Denman and Hornby.

Best part is dropping into White Sails brewing for a glass of Mt. Benson ale to toast your accomplishment.

Always thought it would be a fun (but exhausting) day to climb Arrowsmith, drop in at Arrowsmith Brewing, climb Benson and hit White Sails, and finish off with an easy jaunt (or drive!) up Mr. Prevost and hit Craig St. for a glass of Mt. Prevost porter.

#136 It Tollya on 11.28.22 at 10:57 pm

Garth,
What’s the price per sq ft in Mogadishu….heard they got nice beaches!

#137 jim on 11.28.22 at 11:05 pm

The Federal Reserve needs to raise interest rates quite a bit further and then hold them there throughout next year and into 2024 to gain control of inflation and bring it back down toward the U.S. central bank’s 2% goal, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said on Monday.

https://www.reuters.com/markets/us/fed-has-a-ways-go-interest-rate-hikes-bullard-says-2022-11-28/

#138 fishman on 11.28.22 at 11:38 pm

A Yank that lives in the rice growing area of California told me a couple weeks ago that the Sierra Nevada was at 5% of their normal snowpack. This year they planted half the normal crop. Lake Mead is a mud puddle. Those big cold lows we used to get out of the Bering sea just aren’t powerful enough to get down that far before they come in with a load of moisture. Little (Miss Piggy )B.C. & her little piglets ( Alaska, Yukon & Washington ) are pigging out on what remaining moisture absorbent air the feeble Arctic Ocean can get down.. The Colorado River needs a lifesaving transfusion. The Colombia River Treaty just so happens to time out in 2024. I’d say buy some B.C. land that the Yanks will need to buy our water rights. If you don’t like the price you could always ask the lil potato “how many tanks do we have?”

#139 Froggy on 11.29.22 at 12:06 am

Hi Garth and thank-you for your great Post today but my take is the same as yours on this well l think Fresno is very much comparable to so many cities in Canada and l’m sure that realestate cost two and a half time more in those Canadian cities that’s why we’re going busy for a good ten years in real estate it won’t take long to set in l mean higher rates were cooked in my opinion this thing about hating Canada will exponentially expand Trust me the last thing we need is for people to invest elsewhere

#140 Faron on 11.29.22 at 12:23 am

#135 Dragonslayer on 11.28.22 at 10:46 pm
Faron and Sail Away: Mt. Benson

Always thought it would be a fun (but exhausting) day to climb Arrowsmith, drop in at Arrowsmith Brewing, climb Benson and hit White Sails, and finish off with an easy jaunt (or drive!) up Mr. Prevost and hit Craig St. for a glass of Mt. Prevost porter.

That’s an awesome plan. Adds up to 2400m of vert? Great peak training for a 50k. And the beer stops in between are brilliant.

Here are some other nutty ideas to gnaw on:

Park at Cameron Lake, combine Wesley ridge with an ascent of Cokely as a loop. Getting from Cathedral Grove up toward Arrowsmith looks unclear.

Extremely hard: Island Rim2Rim2Rim. The rims are Mt. McBride and Mt Albert Edward. The “river” is Buttle Lake. I’ve done each in a day from Buttle, but combining them…?

Various combinations of the Kludahk trail with the Juan de Fuca.

Here is what was an annual jaunt until COVID killed it: board the 1st morning Coho from Victoria on foot, disembark ferry in PA, touch ocean then run from up any of numerous trails up to Hurricane Ridge and back down in time for a meal at the Next Door Gastropub in PA before last ferry to Vic.

In all of this “run” is often “walk fast”.

#141 Sail Away on 11.29.22 at 12:41 am

#135 Dragonslayer on 11.28.22 at 10:46 pm

Faron and Sail Away: Mt. Benson

Benson is quite a fun mountain to climb. You get the whiskey jacks eating out of your hand at the halfway point. Then the views across the strait- you can see Vancouver in the distance. Up island you’re looking up to Denman and Hornby.

Best part is dropping into White Sails brewing for a glass of Mt. Benson ale to toast your accomplishment.

Always thought it would be a fun (but exhausting) day to climb Arrowsmith, drop in at Arrowsmith Brewing, climb Benson and hit White Sails, and finish off with an easy jaunt (or drive!) up Mr. Prevost and hit Craig St. for a glass of Mt. Prevost porter.

—————

Yes- I’m in, you bet! That’s a summertime, long daylight endeavour. We’ll definitely sleep well after that.

#142 PeterfromCalgary on 11.29.22 at 12:48 am

Houston Texas a city with over 2 million people is under a boil water order. An electrical problem at its water plant caused water pressure to drop. When presume drops contaminants can get in the water.

Imagine a city about the size of Toronto under a boil water order.

#143 Ronaldo on 11.29.22 at 1:44 am

#135 Dragonslayer on 11.28.22 at 10:46 pm
Faron and Sail Away: Mt. Benson

If you are ever up Smithers way I highly recommend the climb up Hudson Bay Mountain. Drive to top of the ski lift and hike up from there. Did it on my 70th birthday 6 years ago with my grand nephew. Relatively easy climb.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hudson_Bay_Mountain#/media/File:Hudson_Bay_Mountain_-_panoramio.jpg

Another incredible hike in Waterton National Park is the Akamina Ridge which we did 5 years ago. One of the best.

https://enjoyyourparks.com/waterton-lakes-park/hikes-and-places/akamina-ridge/

So many great places to hike in this country. Have done many of the national parks in BC and Alberta.

#144 Dr V on 11.29.22 at 1:50 am

Regarding Mount Benson

Try this link, and set the date to November 30, 1970.
You will see the headline, but you must join to read the article.

A tragic tale.

https://www.newspapers.com/paper/nanaimo-daily-news/5893/

#145 Steven Rowlandson on 11.29.22 at 2:06 am

“Meanwhile, in Fresno, there are people actually happy with one-bathroom starter homes. Imagine.”

In my Honda Civic tonight in the Tim Horton’s parking lot in Barrie Ontario such a home for 30 to 50 thousand would be a luxury I could barely afford on the 11 thousand income this year that I had to work for at age 62. Too many people in this country other than myself are out of touch with the real world. But maybe not for long.

#146 Habitt on 11.29.22 at 6:40 am

Thanks again Mr. T. Great post.

#147 Wrk.dover on 11.29.22 at 6:46 am

I’m commenting on the mention of walkout basements here twice;

Two magazine articles in 1979, lead me to install 3″ of Styrofoam OUTSIDE our basement wall, not inside. I sheathed it with steel roofing, going below grade.

We heat mass, not air. Fire goes out, house is warm a very-very long time.

Chimney through the center of the house, same effect!

Excess solar hot water keeps floor warm in summer. No condensation, also have a 9-watt solar powered fan exhausting heavy humid air at floor level.

#148 crowdedelevatorfartz on 11.29.22 at 8:14 am

@138 fishman
“A Yank that lives in the rice growing area of California .

+++
Agriculture is the biggest consumer of water.
Growing rice, avocados, or cotton in the desert….and they wonder why they’re running out of water….
When the water is virtually free …no one cares…
Soon, they will.

#149 crowdedelevatorfartz on 11.29.22 at 8:32 am

@#134 IHCTD9

Bad Bollywood Metal Rap….
I truly have seen everything this planet has to offer….
Now I can die….screaming….

#150 TMac on 11.29.22 at 8:33 am

The USA is near impossible to get into, legally anyway. I have been trying for years. .
To live in a nation that is affordable. Imagine. What a dream that would be.

#151 Gone For A Long Long While on 11.29.22 at 9:33 am

Good luck to you, Steven.

Old Ron (post #48) is a good read.

#152 Mattl on 11.29.22 at 10:26 am

#102 JSquared on 11.28.22 at 7:00 pm
Anyone who’s traveled anywhere else in the world and checked out local RE prices could tell you what a rip off Canada is. Unless you bought more than a decade ago (basically won the lottery), forget about the younger generation ever getting the chance, or enjoyment, of becoming homeowners. Between inflation, stagnant wages & house prices it’s no wonder the young ones are feeling hopeless. This listing in my neighbourhood, originally listed at $5M, 103yr old house with unfinished basement. What a bargain!

https://faithwilson.com/listings/1056-richelieu-avenue/

———————————————————–

At the risk of being called a Realtor……the above is hyperbole. RE isn’t even at pre-pandemic prices in most places, so 10 years ago to be ahead is a big stretch. More like 3-5 years, and if you want to be accurate, everyone other then those who bought their FIRST home the past 5 years are in good shape. A fraction of overall home buyers (not accounting for those who blew their brains out on debt through HELOC’s, that’s on them)

Also, young people have been and continue to buy. No, you can’t get a starter home in the best areas of town. I have equity, and top 1% income and I can afford a home in Kits. Too bad, so sad, this is true of all desirable markets. You think young people are buying homes in the best areas of Austin, San Fran or even Seattle?

Yes, the last 5 years have been challenging, but that is changing and there are still major Canadian cities that have affordable homes. But no, we can’t all live in any area we chose and that has been true forever.

Also, don’t discount how big the opportunity is for young people to make some serious bank. Not hard at all for someone ambitious in their late 20s to make 100K, I have a whole team, average age around 40, making 150K+. A 25yo working a framing crew, or unning an exhavator will make 100K. Two married teachers or goverment workers, 180K family income. Things aren’t as dire as some of you would like to portray, if they were we would see it in consumer spend numbers, and other metrics that track consumption, which has been WAY up even as housing prices rose.

Things are out of control regarding RE, there is no doubt but what comes up will come down. Young folks are going to get a nice shot at RE over the next decade, I’d suggest they focus on income and savings, and be ready to make a move, because this bubble has only started to burst.

#153 tbone on 11.29.22 at 10:30 am

Denzel was the best actor in his prime.
If he was in a movie , you knew it was going to be good.

#154 Dharma Bum on 11.29.22 at 10:46 am

@Baloney Sandwich

You have to contend with guns, violence, close minded people, racism, lack of social safety net, etc.
—————————————————————————————————–

But enough about Canadian cities…..

Canadian Gun Violence:
https://www.cbc.ca/cbcdocspov/features/gun-violence-by-the-numbers

Canadian Racism:
https://toronto.citynews.ca/2021/06/08/london-a-racist-city-that-pretends-it-isnt-former-london-west-pc-candidate/

https://www.bcg.com/en-ca/publications/2020/reality-of-anti-black-racism-in-canada

Canada has racism, violence, and terrible healthcare.

At least in the U.S., they have an actual economy and myriad places to live with moderately priced housing compared to Canada. Also, more social programs than in Canada (just not as publicized because Americans don’t hang their hats on socialism like Canadians do).

And better weather, mostly.

And cheap beer.

#155 Randy on 11.29.22 at 10:47 am

Don’t forget property taxes…I live in a bordering jurisdiction in rural Ontario (ie a Townline) ….Across the street property taxes are double what mine are….Their services must be very superior…..just kidding

#156 stealth on 11.29.22 at 10:56 am

Thank you for the post.

Given the current state of housing ‘setup’ in Canadian society (PR exemption on cap gains, withdraw rrsp funds etc etc…), I only have 1 question,
*Who continues to benefit the most, financially speaking? (follow the money)

a) bottom 20%
b) top 20%
c) gov’t
d) offshore $
e) other

#157 Mike on 11.29.22 at 11:05 am

I see many small potato houses being torn down and replaced by big potato houses. Old houses take longer to demolish per square foot than new houses take to erect on account of the quality of construction.

#158 Bubbles on 11.29.22 at 11:11 am

#50 Timmy on 11.28.22 at 2:19 pm

Good lord Tim’s..
Do you know what health care costs?
Do you know we dropped in ranking as in near top place to about 28th in the developed nations.
My neighbour’s got a huge family, his niece and hubby were on all the news channels 5 days ago with their 1 year old. He needs a heart op to save his life….Ya know what. No money…still waiting as our idiot gov turns down the taps in that area but gives free money to other nations for a 1000 thing incl climate change. That’s HOW they manage the little folk and I don’t mean babies.
He’ll probably get some attention now.
Pathetic.
I have an excellent bs detector. T2 results are showing up in spades in all areas our your lives.
I say yours because I made my self wealthy to protect my family from the poor policies of our clueless leaders…
Now that my friends is real Dirt.
Cheers
Oh ya a wealthy USA farmer says groceries could double due to various things. The largest factor……
Turning off the energy industry.
T2 and Biden are big proponents of that.
Double cheers

#159 Shawn on 11.29.22 at 11:17 am

All Hail Canadian Citizenship

Our right to live and work and travel freely anywhere in Canada is a valuable right that is taken for granted. A lot of people seem to think they could move easily to live and work in another country.

No always true as per the following:

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

#150 TMac on 11.29.22 at 8:33 am
The USA is near impossible to get into, legally anyway. I have been trying for years.

**********************
A lot of Albertans and Quebecers don’t value their Canadian citizenship. Except of course when they need to show their passport to travel.

We got crazies practically foaming at the mouth about Equalization, carbon tax, religious symbols and Trudeau. Crazies indeed.

#160 Sail Away on 11.29.22 at 11:24 am

#147 Wrk.dover on 11.29.22 at 6:46 am

Two magazine articles in 1979, lead me to install 3″ of Styrofoam OUTSIDE our basement wall, not inside. I sheathed it with steel roofing, going below grade.

We heat mass, not air. Fire goes out, house is warm a very-very long time.

Chimney through the center of the house, same effect!

—————

Good idea. Our home chimney is huge, about 3’x7’, running up through the middle of the house connected to wood stove, gas furnace and gas insert. Basically it stays warm all winter with gas insert on low. Toasty.

Also cold-weather backpack hunting camps. Important. The best fire is 6-8’ feet away downwind against a rock face with hundreds of more pounds of stacked big rocks directing heat to the wind-protected and covered seating area. Radiant heat, no smoke in the face and plenty of hot rocks for lap or sleeping bag. Upgrade with collapsible mesh rock heater/carrier and tarp for tipi sauna.

#161 WTF on 11.29.22 at 12:14 pm

“Yank that lives in the rice growing area of California told me a couple weeks ago that the Sierra Nevada was at 5% of their normal snowpack. This year they planted half the normal crop. Lake Mead is a mud puddle”
——————————————————————
Lake Shasta is also lowwww. Drove by the Rice fields and couldn’t help wondering why they would grow such a water intensive crop in a drought stricken area.

The farmers blame the cities, meanwhile the Central Valley aquifer is being drained.

South, in the imperial Valley, the Salton Sea is a toxic stew of fertilizer, methane, and dust storms. Birds land.Then die.

Good news on the housing front, according to the Kreskins at Remax. They must Gather around a snow globe every year, 2023 to be “balanced” slight decline.

I smell a Cheap political ploy to pressure the Tiffster to lower interest rates.

#162 Wrk.dover on 11.29.22 at 12:23 pm

#160 Sail Away on 11.29.22 at 11:24 am
Our home chimney is huge, about 3’x7’,
______________________________

If you reduced the amount of chimney going through the roof, next time you re-roof, you would double the effect.

It is wicking heat out.

#163 IHCTD9 on 11.29.22 at 12:33 pm

#149 crowdedelevatorfartz on 11.29.22 at 8:32 am
@#134 IHCTD9

Bad Bollywood Metal Rap….
I truly have seen everything this planet has to offer….
Now I can die….screaming….
____

Ha! The tune is good IMHO, and these guys are on the right track. I’ll throw ’em a bone. Obviously they’re not going to be the next Slayer, but when it comes to decent music, India is a barren wasteland. That’s coming from a guy who listens to everything.

Guitar work is decent, drums ok, long hair blue shirt screaming guy is very good, shaved head guy needs to be replaced. A few changes, a lot of work, and who knows?

#164 Cici on 11.29.22 at 12:56 pm

Thank you, Garth for pointing out the obvious (which the majority still don’t seem to “get”).

Either they love overpaying, or there’s really something special in all that abundance of “water”.

#165 Faron on 11.29.22 at 1:24 pm

#154 Dharma Bum on 11.29.22 at 10:46 am
@Baloney Sandwich

You have to contend with guns, violence, close minded people, racism, lack of social safety net, etc.

—————————————————————————————————–

Canada has racism, violence, and terrible healthcare.

I’m confused. Jordan Peterson, the beacon of right wing thought, told me racism is impossible in Canada. Maybe the all-beef diet clouded his thinking.

#166 Doug in London on 11.29.22 at 2:03 pm

Interesting that there’s an article by Rob Carrick in today’s Globe and Mail that says much the same thing as Garth has said here. A big reason for these high prices is that so many Canadians think it’s a sure way to gain wealth and have effectively put all their eggs in this one basket. It will be interesting to see what happens if interest rates go up enough that we have a repeat of the early 1990s. Say have you heard that new song Blue Sky Mine by Midnight Oil, from Australia? Wow, East and West Germany becoming reunited. Who would have thought?

#167 jess on 11.29.22 at 2:15 pm

RBC buying HSBC Canada for $13.5B
Social Sharing

HSBC has 130 branches and 4,200 full-time equivalent employees in Canada
Pete Evans · CBC News · Posted: Nov 29, 2022 8:07 AM ET | Last Updated: 2 hours ago

#168 West Coast Girl on 11.29.22 at 9:43 pm

As a retiree who sold their home 10 years ago, well below the peak, I do feel discriminated against now being a “renter”. I’d love to have a starter bungalow home like this. Sadly there are no small houses in the L.M. and certainly not at this price.

#169 Gerry in Elora on 11.30.22 at 12:27 pm

Garth, you have written quite a bit about the risks facing mortgage holders as renewal dates approach. As stated, many cannot afford to renew at rates 2x and 3x the rate assumed a few years ago.
You don’t discuss what this looming financial disaster might mean to CMHC as it faces mortgage defaults on those mortgages it insured. How big is this goose egg that taxpayers may have to cover?

Canadians have no history of widespread defaults. – Garth

#170 Tyler on 12.01.22 at 2:02 am

I grew up in Fresno and I live in Vancouver. I can tell you I would much rather rent a bungalow in Vancouver than own a big house in Fresno. High crime, sweltering summers, very few things to do, the list goes on. With that said, and the two not being truly apples to apples, real estate being 3x doesn’t make any sense either and it never has since I’ve come to Canada 10+ years ago. But, my quality of life is certainly better, but maybe that is because I don’t have this house lust most my age seem to have.