Market update March 31, 2014

Inventory vs sales and price2

My warnings last year of a looming inventory shortage have become reality and it’s an entrenched seller’s market. If you’re looking to sell your home, chances are good that you’ll have a bidding war from prospective buyers. In March, 34% of homes sold for list price or higher. That’s the highest it’s been since the insanity of 2006-2007. Call me for a free evaluation 403-650-2514.

For a more detailed summary of the month-end stats , go to my website

See you in the spring

It’s that time of year where I change jobs. Thanks for all your comments over the past eight months. You can stay on top of the real estate news at Mike’s blog  http://calgaryrealestatereview.com/ . Take care and be thankful for our fantastic winters. You can always find me at SkierBob.ca

Ski

False prophets of doom: Garth Turner and Ross Kay

Trust me1After reading this, you could be forgiven for thinking the headline should have been False “profits” of doom.

Garth Turner’s been wrong about the Calgary housing market for six years. When asked about previous predictions which have not panned out, he either denies that he ever made them, despite hard evidence of the written word(HIS written word), or he shrugs it off and blames his readers for being gullible enough to believe him. His blunders have been well-documented on this blog. My blog stats show the most-read blog post this year has been Garth Turner’s track record speaks for itself.

Trust me4He can get away with spouting poorly investigated pronouncements because of his entertaining writing style, and the unquestioning audience who believe him to be the housing-crash messiah.

Turner praises Ross Kay who makes unsubstantiated claims about Calgary real estate data. I’ve repeatedly asked Ross Kay for the infamous list of 317 sales which he claims were double-counted. He will not provide his data. He will not give his methodology. He finally got perturbed by my requests and sent me this final email: “This will be the last communication on this topic.”

Trust me2The onus isn’t on CREB. Kay is the one making accusations, therefore he should provide the 317 “private sales” to start with.  How convenient that he won’t, right?  He claims on his website that he’s not restricted by CREA or other regulations. He won’t provide the evidence because then he’d be giving his accusers evidence that he’s full of crap.


Ross Kay will sell you the “interpretation” of this “secret” data, but not the data itself

What the heck is Ross Kay’s motivation for being interested in the Calgary real estate market? How does he come up with his data? He has no direct access to the database, so where does he get his information? He boasts that it’s triple-verified. By who? Kay has not come through with any evidence to back his claims, but wait, could this be his reason, as he states on his website: “The only accurate interpretation of this data can come from RossKay.com.”  Translation: he’ll sell you the “interpretation” of the real data, but you will never actually see the hard numbers or the methodology. Anyone can make up numbers, but I would have to give him full marks for entrepreneurship and actually attempting to sell them.

Ross Kay is unburdened by data, evidence, or transparency

Ross Kay criticizes the credibility of CREB, yet he will not disclose his data. Ross Kay claims on his website that he is an advocate of open and full disclosure. How does he justify that dissonance?

Turner has a history of creating frankenumbers and questionable data, so it should be no surprise that he’s in bed with Ross Kay.

Ross Kay states on his website: RossKay.com is independent of any and all fiduciary duties related to MLS® data allowing for full independence, open and full disclosure and finally data review that is statistically valid.

Ross Kay, let’s have the open and full disclosure.

Image

Market update Oct 1 – 12, 2013

Inventory vs sales and price2

“So we project 60 to 90 days from May 19th that MLS sales will be reported that will reveal the market died on May 19th.”

Garth Turner and Ross Kay

Garth Turner and Ross Kay

Garth “I didn’t say crash” Turner has been discredited numerous times because of his hallucinatory predictions, followed up by self-inflicted amnesia. He’s admitted that if he can’t find a source for his theories, he simply makes up his own data. He’s now hitched his wagon to Ross Kay, a fortune-teller with startling revelations.

I’d never heard of Ross Kay until Garth publicized this sensational prediction, but being endorsed by Garth Turner is a warning sign of sketchy and unreliable data. I wouldn’t have given Kay a second thought, except he’s also accusing CREB of double-reporting sales. We analysed this in my previous post and have shown there is no evidence for Ross Kay’s claims. Waiting on Ross Kay’s open and full disclosure. I’ve asked Kay numerous tmes to produce the evidence, but he has gone silent.

Let’s now look at Ross Kay’s prediction that the market died on May 19, 2013 and see how it relates to Calgary’s data four months later. (Ross was sure it would manifest itself within 60 – 90 days, so we’ve given him a couple extra months for good measure).

The following blog post was written by Garth Turner on May 29, 2013 on the Greaterfool.ca http://www.greaterfool.ca/2013/05/29/a-downward-spiral/ :

The day it died (by Garth Turner, GreaterFool.ca)

In 2008, GTA realtor Ross Kay invented an ‘engagement index’ to statistically chart house horniness. For five years he’s been diligently amassing data, filtering and weighting it, and watching in fascination as 60 to 90 days later changes in his index appeared as official published real estate data.

His track record (he says): 100%.

Hours ago he released what he considers ‘drastic’ results, in a warning to his clients. “Over the course of the last 9 weeks, our index has revealed a downward spiraling real estate marketplace, with results that will not reveal themselves in MLS sales data until finally reported by Organized Real Estate Associations,” he wrote on his site. (This has been removed from his site – Bob)

In a note to me, he adds:

“On May 19th, 2013 we recorded the lowest value of Canadian consumer engagement in real estate since 2010.  What is scary here is that on April 8th 2012, we reached an all time high engagement value.  The May 19th numbers for 2013 represent about a 72% decline over that peak number.   This massive decline raises grave concerns not being reported in newspapers across the country.

“So we project 60 to 90 days from May 19th that MLS sales will be reported that will reveal the market died on May 19th. Our numbers have not been wrong since 2008. So as it turns out the peak of the real estate market in Canada was April 8th 2012, as posted here on Greater Fool.  Peak pricing was established and as recorded MLS sales prices now show, anyone who bought in competition around that date paid too much.”

Is this credible? Obviously we’ll find out in a couple of months…

******
How did Ross Kay’s prediction play out in Calgary? Was Ross Kay 100% correct? 50% correct? or dead wrong?

September 2013 price is up 9.2% compared to last year.

September sales are up 20% compared to last year.

Inventory, which you would expect to increase in a dead market, is down 20%.

Would there be bidding wars during a dead market? 18% of homes were sold for list price or higher in Sep.

Not exactly the sign of a dead market.

Waiting on Ross Kay’s open and full disclosure

ross-kay

Ross Kay

Ross Kay has made some claims, unsubstantiated, that CREB has engaged in double-reporting of sales. His allegations came to light in a recent blog posting on GreaterFool.ca., a blog written by Garth Turner.

I’ll be the first one to call out CREB if they have inconsistencies in their reporting. My first and foremost goal is to provide accurate statistics to my readers and clients.

Says Kay: “If CREB removes the 317 private sales in August not similarly counted last August, total sales are really up 14.24%, not 27.5%. And removing private sales from listing means there are only 6,447 active listings now – a 28.17% decrease.”

I’ve repeatedly asked Ross Kay for a list of the 317 sales. Crickets.

Ross Kay is an advocate of open and full disclosure. I say, bring it on!

ComFree, one of the largest FSBO brokerages that lists on MLS, weighs in. “CREB has included ComFree MLS® listings in its sales stats since we became a brokerage in 2012. And those listings that are only featured on ComFree.com (and do not include an MLS® listing) are not included in CREB’s stats and are not counted as “private sales…In August of 2012 our brokerage was already offering MLS® listings on REALTOR.ca to our sellers. So that certainly does not account for the rise in listings on REALTOR.ca in August 2013!” Calgary Real Estate Review

CREB has released this statement: One outspoken critic of organized real estate recently wrote a blog in which he questioned the integrity of the data at some real estate boards in Canada, including CREB®’s. CREB® would like to assure you that there is no significant double-reporting of sales in our MLS® System, nor is there any distortion of data involving the reporting of so-called “private sales”, as the blog’s author referred to them. “There is no such thing as a ‘private sale’ in the MLS® System – all sales are recorded and treated equally,” says Ann-Marie Lurie, CREB®’s chief economist.

Ross Kay states on his website, “RossKay.com is independent of any and all fiduciary duties related to MLS® data allowing for full independence, open and full disclosure and finally data review that is statistically valid.”

Kay initially returned my emails but stopped when I asked him directly for his “317.”

“When pressed for hard numbers, he doesn’t respond”

The methodology by which Ross Kay has invented his secret frankenumbers is, as far as I can tell, known only to him. He’s  all too happy and quick to dish out vague allegations but when pressed for hard numbers, he doesn’t respond. He’s critical of CREB’s data, yet won’t disclose his method of collecting data, or the data itself. The media has been giving him a free ride with no hard questions.

As Garth said in the title of his blog posting, “Who can you trust?

My emails to Ross Kay requesting the info are reprinted below:

Oct 1: Are you going to provide this information so we can see what we’re missing?  I’ll take you at your word that it is for anyone to read. My readers are waiting. I’d rather that I have all the information so I can provide to my readers a proper and well-informed comment.  

 Sep 30, 2013: It’s easy to solve this issue. Could you send me a copy of the audit so we can all comment intelligently on it? It would be enlightening to know what we are overlooking.

Sep 28: You can put this controversy to rest by furnishing MLS numbers or addresses of the supposed 317 “private” sales that sold in Calgary for August. There’s nothing to hide, and there is no proprietary information if it’s already on MLS.

Image

Market update Sep 30, 2013

First timers

Image

Market update Sep 1 – 26, 2013

Inventory vs sales and price2

The most serious threat to Calgary real estate

Trudeau

Justin Trudeau will follow in the footsteps of his father and demonize Alberta in order to get elected

“Screw the west, we’ll take the rest”

I have no doubt that previous strategies of the Liberal party will be resurrected come election time. It was Liberal Senator and campaign chairman Keith Davey who, in the 1980 election, summed up his party’s strategy as “Screw the West, we’ll take the rest.” Liberal prime minister Jean Chretien used Alberta as a foil for everything he claimed would go wrong if his Liberals were not re-elected in 2000, and it was Mr. Chretien who said he preferred to do politics with anyone but Albertans.

“It’s all Alberta’s fault.”

Trudeau6As we get closer to an election, and reality sets in, and Trudeau sees his support plummeting, he will do the same thing that his old man did to get elected. Demonize Alberta. Alberta has become the economic engine of the country, however, so there are serious consequences for the rest of the country as well.

Pretentious, vacuous, and bumbling, Justin Trudeau has the support of many Canadians based simply on his looks and his name. His platform consists of smoke and mirrors(legalizing marijuana). Trudeau and the Liberals stand for nothing except the goal of attaining power at any cost. Scarier still, Trudeau has most of the media eating out of his hand and asking him no difficult questions.

“Justin Trudeau and Justin Bieber have more in common than just a first name. Both guys are also adored by legions of love struck fans. Except in the case of Bieber the fans are teenage girls, whereas for Trudeau they are the Canadian media.”

In November 2010, Trudeau told a Quebec television show that he was tired of Albertans running the country and that, whether it was Jean Chretien or Brian Mulroney, Canada is better off when Quebecers are running the country.

“Canada isn’t doing well right now because it’s Albertans who control our community and socio-democratic agenda. It doesn’t work.”

Trudeau was then asked if he thought Canada was better served when there are more Quebecers in charge than Albertans.

Trudeau replied: “I’m a Liberal, so of course I think so, yes. Certainly when we look at the great prime ministers of the 20th century, those that really stood the test of time, they were MPs from Quebec… This country – Canada – it belongs to us.”

Trudeau3“This anti-Alberta attitude is deeply held in the Liberal party.” 

He’s also on the record for saying “…it would be a bad idea to abolish the Senate, because we have 24 senators from Quebec and there are just six from Alberta and six from British Columbia. That’s to our advantage.”  He is defending the status quo Senate because it gives Quebec disproportionate power at the expense of the West. 

Alberta has been a tried-and-true whipping boy of Liberal politicians. They have nothing to lose because there are no seats to be won by Liberals in Alberta, but they have tons to gain in central and eastern Canada. I expect he’s learned this lesson well from his daddy.

Baby Trudeau has accomplished nothing in his life except to charge schools and charities with speaking fees while he’s supposed to be in parliament, all the while collecting his MP pay from the taxpayer. Charities with lobbyists who later approach him for favours.

Will Trudeau Jr. follow in the steps of Trudeau Sr. and plunder Alberta?

Will Trudeau Jr. follow in the steps of Trudeau Sr. and plunder Alberta?

“Alberta will suffer if Trudeau becomes prime minister”

If he  becomes prime minister, Alberta will be plundered as occurred during the national energy program when real estate tanked and thousands of people lost their homes.

Two years ago, on the night that Stephen Harper was elected, I predicted on this blog that Justin Trudeau would become leader of the Liberals, and that our real estate values would be in jeopardy if Trudeau became prime minister. I have no doubt that as the pressure mounts for him to get elected, he will revert to the divisive style of regional politics that Liberals are known for.

“Justin Trudeau is a dabbler – he dabbled in teaching, dabbled in the arts, dabbled in acting, dabbled in activism. Now he’s dabbling in politics.” 

Trudeau has absolutely no idea what it’s like to work for a living. He is a silver-spoon millionaire who pretends to understand the middle class average guy. I hope there are enough intelligent Canadians who can see through the thin veneer of this airhead. He is an opportunist with little intelligence and no abilities. His most important decisions to date revolve around managing the $1.2 million trust fund which was bequeathed to him.

I hope I am wrong in thinking that Canadians would give this lightweight the reins of power on Oct 19, 2015. My greatest fear is that they will buy into the name, the looks, the hair, the smile, the youth, and completely disregard his agenda that will decimate Alberta, and consequently Canada.

“The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter” -Winston Churchill

Image

Market update Sep 1 – 20, 2013

Inventory vs sales and price2