Garth Turner chuckles: “Too bad.”

In a recent article in the Financial Post Magazine, Garth Turner of the doesn’t show much empathy for the people he misled with his predictions…

Garth questions other people’s integrity but has no problem posting outright lies on his blog

Garth questions other people’s integrity but has no problem posting outright lies on his blog

Housing permabear, blogger and former MP Garth Turner thinks “those people that are waiting for a U.S.-style cataclysmic dump are never going to see it.” He admits he was unsure in 2008 “because the world was pretty wonky.” But Turner sounded awfully sure when he told Ottawa Citizen readers on Mar. 27, 2008, to look closely at the “real estate disaster now in full flower to our south” because “it’s coming here.” What about all those readers who think he mistimed the market? “Well, too bad,” he says, then chuckles…”

Read more in the Financial Post Why real estate doomsayers continue to be wrong

Read even more  Garth Turner’s track record speaks for itself

Garth Turner – milking the gullible

Garth Frankenturner

Garth Turner misleads his readers about Calgary

On my blog statistics page, I can see what words are used for searching. Top of the list today…

garth turner is wrong
calgary housing market
calgary house market
calgary housing price
garth turner
bob’s real estate blog
calgary property prices
calgarly real estate market
garth turner fraud

free web stats

Market update Aug 31, 2013

Calgary continues to experience a severe shortage of inventory. There is only a 54-day supply of single family homes on the market. Last year, we had a 90-day supply. Despite the shortage of listings, it was the second-best August ever for sales. More detailed statistics can be seen at Monthly stats updates

Inventory vs sales and price2

Bidding wars are also continuing with 14% of homes selling for list price or higher during the last 3 days of the month.


Market update Aug 1 – 28, 2013

Inventory vs sales and price2


Market update Aug 1 – 21, 2013

Inventory vs sales and price2

Free to choose part 2

I came across a reader comment from one year ago when the Financial Post posted an article about the mortgage rule changes(reducing amortization from 30 to 25 years). Mortgage changes may be too late. After reading comments such as this,

This government is responsible for the comming housing collapse.

one intelligent person posted the following:

Everyone’s so quick to blame the gov’t.  No one these days seems to want to be accountable for their own actions.  Yes, the Bank of Canada sets the interest rates, but is it the government’s fault if someone who can’t afford a mortgage still goes to the bank to get one?  Did the gov’t drag that person or couple there kicking and screaming against their will??  If mortgage costs and other related housing costs are going to take up 3/4 of their income and they STILL go in to apply for a mortgage, is that the government’s fault?  No, it’s people’s own stupidity that does them in far too often, but they point the finger at everyone else.  Paying for trips with credit cards at 20%+ rates, spending like drunken sailors and then 3 years later finding out that they’re in up to their eyeballs.  Then they say “it’s not our fault, it’s the bank’s, the government’s”.  People need to wake up and live within their means and NOT rely on someone else to tell them how to do so!

Who is responsible for your decisions? The bank? The teacher? The news reporter? When and where did personal responsibility disappear? Why is there such a victim mentality prevalent on bubble blogs like By blaming someone else, we absolve ourselves of the responsibility we have to make wise choices. Then when government steps in and makes those choices for us, we complain about it.

Why 3 years?

‘The real estate executive says July sales statistics from a historical standard were “tepid” and adds the numbers gets “the big headline” because the comparison is to a period when housing sales were slumping badly.’

If you’ve followed my blog, you’ll be aware that I’ve been comparing the present year to the average of the past 3 years when I compile the market updates. The story in the Financial Post illustrates the reason why. A single year can be an outlier, an anomaly. It can severely distort the overall picture when comparing to a single year.

In the same article, David Madani of Capital Economics gets thrown under the bus for his history of incorrect predictions. He’s been predicting a 25% correction consistently for 30 months. If the Canadian market declines 25% from today’s prices, it will be pretty much back where it was when he started his forecasts. Now that Harold Camping has met his maker, perhaps Madani can take his place at the table.

It would appear that CREA is the voice of calm and reasonableness: “Canadian home sales have staged a bit of a recovery in recent months after having declined in the wake of tightened mortgage rules and lending guidelines last year,” said Gregory Klump, chief economist with CREA, who expects August results will also look strong as they are compared to a weak 2012.”

Accolades to First Foundation

When Madani first made his prediction in Feb 2011, it was rebutted by a mortgage broker who wrote, “people are not over-leveraged, that our incomes are sufficient to pay our obligations, and that the fundamentals are solid for a good, old fashioned, boring real estate market where reality overcomes emotion and conjecture.” It wasn’t sensationalist enough to attract any headlines, but it was accurate. Why David Madani is wrong

I’m not sure how a guy like Madani is able to keep his job in the light of such incorrect forecasts. On Capital Economics home page it states, “we have gained an enviable reputation for original and insightful research.” Good thing they don’t claim that it’s accurate.

Fireworks in Canmore

Fireworks in Canmore on Canada day. Sales are up 32% in the mountain town.

Sales are up 32% in the mountain town.

More recreational buyers are driving up the demand for Canmore property. Sales in the mountain town are up 32% so far this year. There are currently only 229 properties for sale in Canmore which is very low inventory and a drastic change from the depths of the recession felt in Canmore, when there were 400-500 listings on the market at any given time.

The iconic three sisters which overlook Canmore

The iconic three sisters which overlook Canmore

Canmore realtor Jessica Stoner reports:

“The Canmore real estate market is strong and very active.   It is not what many expected. It was  assumed the market sales volume would slow down as we recovered from the flood. It was also assumed that buyers would be shy about buying after such a powerful and damaging display by mother nature, knowing she can get out of our control at times.

However, the buyer’s market has made its intentions clear. Canmore is an ever popular destination and buyers are buying.”

Prices are very similar to last year’s, but as Stoner says, “Should these higher sales volumes continue, it is likely we will start to see price appreciation across the board  in Canmore in the remainder of 2013.”

Canmore average prices Jan – Aug 2013:

Single family homes $781,000

Townhouse-duplex $582,000

Condo $374,000

Hotel condo $167,000


Market update Aug 1 – 14, 2013

Inventory vs sales and price2

18% of sales have been for list price or higher in August.

Canada’s house price index reached an all-time high in July according to Teranet, an independent reporting concern. Calgary real estate review –  Teranet

Free to choose

Andrew gets ready to read my blog

Andrew gets ready to read my blog

I have been repeatedly harassed with threatening and abusive comments from a guy named Andrew(also using numerous other names). He was the subject of my previous post. He continually posts derogatory comments about me on Garth Turner’s I am posting the latest of his diatribes here, with my replies, with the purpose of giving insight into the behavior and mindset of a fanatical Garth Turner minion and control freak(I’ve sanitized some language to make it family-friendly):

Andrew says: You clearly get your information from real industry industry only sources, which are hardly the most reliable information sources out there, but you cling to the “stats” as some kind of gospel truth. 

Can you suggest a more reliable source for information? I was the first realtor in Calgary to post daily statistics in order to show transparency, but more so, to give buyers and sellers relevant data. Buying or selling real estate entails huge financial consequences. That’s why I felt it was necessary to give the people of Calgary better, more complete, timely information. No one is forced to log in and read here. Everyone can decide for themselves who has the most credibility. I never had any intention of exposing the charlatans like Garth Turner until he and other bubble bloggers started to post misleading, inaccurate information. As a matter of fact, back in the early days of Garth’s blog, I posted his dire warnings verbatim on my blog. Garth may have misjudged the consequences when he started making personal attacks against me. 

Your diatribes are a reinforcement of the old saying, “no good deed goes unpunished.” When you use the word “gospel,” it creeps me out, and tells me you are possessed by religious fanaticism.

Directions to Andrew's house

Directions to Andrew’s house

Andrew says: You are not the bearer of the truth of any kind, for there is no single truth
because every man defines their own.

Very good. Please heed that. Live and let live.

Andrew says: Because you blog, you put your views out in a public forum, and you are therefore leaving yourself open to critical evaluation of your message. You  mock and criticize credentialed industry sources because they simply see this situation differently than you and if you engage in this, you will get as good as you give.  

Control freak symptom #1: “You are very dominating, and want every small thing to be done as per your thinking.” 

Fair enough. Because Garth Turner blogs, and puts his views in a public forum, he is leaving himself open to critical evaluation of his message. He deletes dissenting comments, and my blog is a forum to present some of the views which he will not publish. Fine and dandy. His track record is relevant because it allows readers to make decisions with all the facts. When Garth Turner has been consistently incorrect about Calgary real estate prices for six years, I believe this is something that a buyer or seller would be interested in, especially in light of the fact that CREB has been unerringly accurate. His criticism of real estate boards wears thin after six years of being wrong. 

Andrew says: The best remedy for you if can’t handle criticism is to stop blogging.

Symptom #2: “You want everyone to listen only to what you say.”

I welcome constructive criticism and am always eager to learn the error of my ways. There’s no shame in admitting a mistake. In fact it builds credibility. Why do bubble bloggers always try to silence me? What are you scared of hearing? The truth?  Garth Turner’s blog advocates “lining up and shooting realtors,” reminiscent of burning witches who dared to question the authorities. I’ve had bubble bloggers threaten to “cut my arms and legs off, or better yet, kill me.” Accurate information seems to be threatening to you. I’ve never advocated for any blog to be shut down as I’m a believer in the free exchange of ideas, and readers have enough intelligence to sort out the wheat from the chaff. I might be crazy but I’m not violent.

Don't gambleAndrew says: I’ll revisit the casino analogy one more time in hopes you will somehow get the picture.   A casino is set-up so that most people who enter will lose their money.  Sure many people enter and often find themselves winning money… for a time.  Invariably, as is human nature, they stay too long and find that not only have they lost their apparent “winnings”, they have lost everything they came with and in worst cases borrow money and lose that as well.

Symptom #3: “You know best so everyone has to abide by your opinion.”

This analogy is a symptom of your thinking that you know what is best for other people(aka control freakism). This is where a large difference in our philosophies is manifested. I believe that all adults have the freedom to make their own decisions, and have the responsibility to take the best course of action based on their priorities, finances, and needs. You are free to promote your philosophy. I believe in putting all the information in front of people and letting them decide for themselves.  You are free to promote your philosophy and you can choose to spend your days standing outside the casino, warning gamblers of their impending doom. In this country, we are able to co-exist with differing philosophies. I don’t force my views on anyone. People come to this blog and my website of their own free will. In Canada, you have the freedom and the right to be creative and prosper, or to be stupid and screw up. Free to choose, as Milton Friedman would say. 

Andrew's only friend

Andrew’s only friend

Andrew says: This real estate market is not much different.  It is clearly in its last throes of prosperity, and those who stay too long  are at serious risk of losing their gains or what is most likely, become underwater when they cannot find buyers for the price they originally paid. There is no need for predictions, like the casino, this is a foregone conclusion.

Symptom #4: “You try to control the behavior of everyone.”

You are advocating that people sell their real estate. What would you say to the people who are buying it? If the sellers are guaranteed to profit, do you not have any empathy for the buyers who will see their values drop? You can’t have it both ways. Garth Turner was saying six years ago that Calgary homes would drop in average price to $200,000(They are now at $500,000+). What would you say to the person who waited and inconvenienced their lives believing this? Please give me your irrefutable evidence that “this is a foregone conclusion.” People buy and sell houses for a myriad of reasons; changing jobs, marriage, divorce, needing a bigger house for the kids, wanting a place where you can have pets, desiring a different neighbourhood. Are you advocating that people put their life on hold because the value of their real estate might drop? You are an example of someone whose life is controlled by money, and are solely looking at a house as an investment.

Andrew has a warning for all realtors(and gamblers)

Andrew has a warning for all realtors(and gamblers)

Andrew says: In this real estate climate there will be a (very) few winners, some who break even, but many will lose.  So the only message moving forward regarding real estate should be sell if you can and diversify. Wait, if you are thinking of buying and definitely take what realtors say with a huge grain of salt, because their sole reason for existence is to sell real estate.  Once that transaction is completed the relationship ends, pretty fast friends don’t you think?

Symptom #5: “You keep interfering with other people, and try to correct and direct them in everything they do.”

It’s presumptuous(and completely wrong) of you to suggest that my clients are “fast friends.” You know nothing about my relationship with clients. It is neither appropriate nor advisable to become intimate with clients, and I will not compromise my ability to perform my fiduciary duty with considerable care, attention, and most of all, objectivity. I remain in contact with numerous former clients. I was recently invited for dinner at Charlene and Lionel’s house which they purchased when prices were at their lowest. They looked at homes for two years. They are thankful for my advice when I suggested some of the homes they were considering were not appropriate, or were in poor locations. The value of their property has risen by $300,000. Imagine if they had listened to you or Garth. Many clients have taken the time to leave comments such as this from Judy and Allan: “We have already recommended Bob to several friends for his expertise, common sense and easy-going demeanor. We will continue to do so.”

Andrew's latest billboard

Andrew’s latest billboard

Andrew says: I’ll repeat, it doesn’t matter when the crash or melt or whatever you want to call it occurs. For this reason any kind of correction, nevermind
a crash is going to crush a lot of people financially. Not you or any other
real estate agents pixie dust wishes is going to prevent this from happening.

Congratulations on realizing that you nor I have any control over the market. This was one of your rare lucid moments. I post the statistics regardless of dropping or increasing prices, and have for 7 years. 

Andrew says: Almost no one comments on your blog.

If no one is reading my blog, why are you so bent about it? You undermine yourself. In any event, more does not necessarily mean right. I can give you many examples of charismatic leaders who, in retrospect, were very disastrous and fatal for their followers. 

Andrew says: As for skiing, you are wrong again.  This world has many climates and if you so choose, you can go skiing somewhere in the world anytime of year, not to mention other types of skiing known as water skiing.  So find a way.  Stop.  go skiing.

Symptom #6: “Anything that doesn’t level up with your expectations disturbs you, leaving you with major disappointment, anger and frustration.”

Bizarre. Telling me to go skiing in the middle of summer is another of your “control freak” attitudes. It’s a well known fact that come October, I will leave real estate behind and go to my other job. No amount of cajoling or whining from you will make me diverge from that.

Andrew says: That’s why message is so wrong and that’s why I post comments on this blog. Your message is dangerous financially to a lot of people. So I’m not going to stop criticizing until you stop blogging because you are the loudest voice with the worst message… we can hash this out like real men. Real men don’t hide behind delete.

Symptom #7: “Control freaks can go to the extent of physically hurting someone”

Above, you said no one comments, yet you say I have the loudest voice? Which is it? You give me a lot more credit than I deserve. Your persistence is admirable, but it begs the question, why are you scared to give your contact information? Do you not want to stand behind what you write on the internet? Do you continue to have malicious intent, as you have previously suggested? I have had repeated threats and abuse from you, and I want to ensure the safety of myself and my family. Being willing to identify yourself would lend more credibility to what you say and would probably help you control your destructive impulses. Real men don’t hide behind anonymity. Cowards do.

Andrew says: Go skiing. Soon. (Submitted on 2013/08/11 at 4:11 pm)

Andrew says: Marketing on the backs of flood victims. Disgusting. I think you really need a sale. good luck. Or Better still, Stop. go skiing. (Submitted on 2013/07/20 at 8:32 pm)

Andrew says:

The main reason I have come back to comment here is your disgusting attempt, like other Calgary realtors, to capitalize on the tragic Calgary flooding situation as a marketing opportunity. Disgusting. (Submitted on 2013/07/20 at 3:27 pm)

I have barely mentioned the flood situation, except to express concern for the victims. You are the one who chose to use the name “CalgaryFloodBoom.” I have taken some time off this summer to care-give, therefore your words are misguided and wrong.

I would have absolutely no issue talking to you face to face (Submitted on 2013/07/20 at 2:38 pm).

Sales falling are they Blob,? Here’s my prediction: I see some tough times ahead for you I’m afraid. Remedy for you? Stop. Go skiing (Submitted on 2013/07/20 at 10:56 am)

How would that remedy falling sales? Duh! (BTW, sales are up this year). 

Note to Bob, The best thing for you to do is give up and go skiing early. (Submitted on 2013/07/19 at 9:40 am)

Andrew is wildly(or is that wild-eyed?) enthusiastic about my blog. On no less than 15 occasions yesterday, he took time out from reading the to read here. He is undoubtedly excited and aroused by real estate, but Andrew, we don’t cater to the house-horny here. That’s a term coined by Garth Turner and used frequently on that blog. You fit the description. The fact that you live in Edmonton and are so wound up about a Calgary real estate blog tells me that you have a severe case of Control freakism. I don’t expect you to read it, however, because control freaks rarely know that they are one.

Symptom #8: “You think people should live their lives according to your whims and fancies.”  

I believe people should be Free to Choose

The end isn't near

Terminally obsessed

Bubble bloggers hate accurate statistics

Bubble bloggers hate accurate statistics

On the subject of crazed, attention-seeking bubble bloggers, there’s a troll who frequently leaves nasty, sometimes threatening comments on this blog but you never see them. He is too much of a coward to leave an authentic email address where he can be contacted, so his comments automatically go in the trash. I know that publishing one of his comments will no doubt titillate and arouse him, but this is an example of a zealous Garth follower gone terminal. I’ve reluctantly indulged the miscreant by publishing  this comment.

Garth Turner has no problem giving him space however, and he posts there under the name CalgaryFloodBoom. His modus operandi is that he’ll leave a comment on Garth’s blog which refers to me in some derogatory way, then he spends the remainder of the day checking my blog, hoping for a reaction(up to 18 times a day, which breaks squidly’s record of 17).

Last year, he had grand plans of starting his own blog with an anonymous IP address so he could post malicious, defamatory statements without being traced.  I guess he realized that he can be traced regardless, and  didn’t want to end up like others who are being sued for defamation, so his proposed blog appears to have been all talk and no action.

The troll logs in from the University of Alberta and occasionally from the Edmonton Public Library. It’s unfortunate that taxpayers are funding this creep’s troubling and threatening behavior. It’s discouraging that Garth is so willing to encourage him. It shouldn’t surprise anyone, however, since Garth Turner approves comments that condone violence, such as the following:

Garth comment