Garth is the best

Photo from the

Welcome to everyone who is clicking over from Garth Turner’s blog, the GreaterFool, but a special good morning to Garth himself who will be looking in periodically to get the latest info on the Calgary housing market. Garth had this to say about me… “Some realtors, like this one in Calgary, can’t function without worrying about me, reacting to me or trashing me.”

Well, Gartho, I function just fine without you, and I’ve never trashed you. That’s your preserve. As I’ve said before, if you stop telling lies about me, I’ll stop telling the truth about you.

For this special occasion when I have hundreds of Garth’s readers  looking in, I thought it would be appropriate to honour him with this online poll:  Garth Turner’s crack.

Garth is crazy about my blog

Be sure to check these pages which Garth is anxious for you to see I like Garth and Predictions.

Garth, thanks for following my blog so closely. I see you’ve logged in 14 times in the past few days. When you logged in tonight at 5:56 pm(MDT), you spent 22 minutes of your precious time reading my blog. You certainly know where to find accurate information on the Calgary housing market, but I can’t believe you’re still using that tired and worn out Vista operating system. It looks like you used your HTC Panache Android smartphone, though, when you checked my blog before you went to bed at 9:48 pm(MDT). You’re up to 28 times on that one. If you had stayed up a few minutes longer, you would have seen this post.

Despite his protestations, Garth is an avid reader of my blog. This is how he gets his day started.

With such intense interest in my blog, do you think it’s possible that Garth is considering Moving to Calgary?

Thanks, Garth, for posting the link to my blog. I hope you’ll continue to do it often. The blawg dogs will be better informed because of it, and I know that’s your main goal, to make people aware of the truth. I hope you continue to enjoy reading my blog, and we’re looking forward to seeing you in Calgary and hearing your scary predictions, which never seem to come true. For example, how did these turn out:

  •  Neighbourhood food shortages as just-in-time delivery systems are disrupted
  • Real estate prices in Calgary, Edmonton, Fort Mac at 50% of 2006 levels
  • Scaling back of 2010 Olympics in Vancouver
  • Failure of a major Canadian bank, leading to emergency merger.
  • Banks ordered temporarily shut and restrictions on cash withdrawals.

I won’t go into your Nortel predictions.

If you’re hoping to buy a house here, you’ll need to be quick on the draw. Look at this recent listing:

The above house was listed in the morning and had a conditional sale by sundown


11 responses to “Garth is the best

  1. Yes, Calgary seems different. Why? I have no idea. I just know one thing. For me personally and my level of income, Calgary real estate was too high.

    I am glad we were able to sell the acreage and move to Europe. Not all is rosy here either, but in the sum of all things (weather being a big part of the total sum) life here is good.

    Rivières, Poitou-charentes is a nice place, but the weather is one of the main reasons why I live in Alberta -Bob

  2. What kind of drugs are you on? I want some…

    I thought you had the best stuff out there in Vernon? I heard growing conditions were perfect this summer. -Bob

  3. Sweet job, Bob.
    At least someone can stand up to him.
    BTW This is your best post and you remained objective, unlike him.
    Very factual I would say.

    Garth is the ultimate bully. He likes to dish it out, but gets all upset when someone gives him a dose of his own medicine. For example, here’s an email which he sent me back on April 20 after I asked him to delete a defamatory comment from his blog:


    It has been deleted.

    Now, how about you ending your insulting references to me?

    Only seems fair.


    I post facts, not insults. -Bob

  4. Bob, again, despite the fact that we obviously don’t disagree on everything, I do enjoy your site. Its great, but much like I’ve mentioned before, why sink down to his childish level and go back and forth with garth? Stick to your stats and opinions.

    We all have our character flaws. Garth has a burning need for adulation from his doomers, nihilists, conspiracists, nutbars and survivalists(Garth’s words). I have a burning desire to stand up to bullies.
    Read Dame Edna’s comment. It’s a rare occasion when Garth’s readers can learn the truth about him. Besides, it’s fun. Thanks, though.-Bob

  5. How many times a day do you check The Greater Fool Blog?

    Once is too many, but I only go there to look at the pictures and read SmokingMan’s comments. -Bob

  6. Your rebuttal as usual is another immature rant. The best part is that you actually think that getting a mention in the Greater Fool is an endorsement.

    It’s not. It’s a warning to anyone who might be influenced by your short-sighted and potentially financially harmful beliefs and message about the RE market in Calgary.

    You can’t seem to get your head around the fact that they’re not my beliefs. They’re the facts based on actual data. That’s what I report here. You have a bad case of shooting the messenger. -Bob

  7. Prices in West side Van and Richmond are tanking. Most are selling below assessment. Some are up to 25% below assessment. Moi for sfh in Richmond is 22. Markets are flooded.

    I said it would happen long before Garth had a blog. Good thing we’re in Calgary. By the way, assessment is immaterial when evaluating a home’s value. – Bob

    • U have a point, but…….. When prices were higher last year, homes were selling at or above assessment.

      What did I just say? City assessments are irrelevant and you’ve proven my point. -Bob

  8. Andrew should read this

    A relevant comment was posted on Garth’s blog that Andrew would do well to take note of:

    “The real estate agents today do not owe their clients an education in economics. Most real estate agents are not qualified to provide such lessons. The warning signs of the real estate crash are all around us–the warnings are even in the mainstream media right now. If buyers chose to ignore all the warning signs they have no one to blame but themselves. I wouldn’t blame the real estate agents because they are in business to make money, not to be financial counsellors or friends with their clients. Buyers need to learn to take responsibility for their own purchase decisions.”

  9. Thanks for all the comments today. If anyone leaves a comment henceforth, I won’t get to it until this evening, so be patient.

    I think it’s a shame that Garth’s style is so sensationalistic and confrontational. I’ve always maintained he has an important message, but encouraging people to move to the country and start raising chickens dilutes his credibility. He suggested four years ago that we’d have a run on a major bank. This scaremongering may appeal to the impressionable, but the mentally well-adjusted people will see it for what it is. I’ve basically been on the same page as Garth, warning of a correction, so it puzzles me and makes me wonder what Garth’s motives are when he trashes me.

    I do have a theory. It’s obvious to anyone that Garth is an attention-seeker and has a huge ego which thrives on flattery and adulation, and that’s the real motivation for what he’s doing. He hates it that I can see through him so clearly, so he trashes me. As he himself likes to say, “PATHETIC.”

  10. Bob,
    The correction that started in 2008/09 was delayed due to loose monetary/fiscal policy would you not agree? If you do not agree, where are prices in Calgary today if we have 6% mortgages versus 4% ones?

    You are a realtor so you must be familiar with supply and demand. As down payment requirements are decreased and amortization periods are increased does this increase demand, ie enable buyers that would have otherwise remained on the sidelines?

    In your opinion have real incomes, inflation adjusted, increased substantially in Canada, or Calgary for that matter since 2003?

    The following is a great chronology of our Govt/CMHC shell game – from Sask Housing Bubble:

    1954-1990- Somewhere along this time, 10% became minimum down payment.
    1990- 5% was introduced as a trial run, then officially accepted in 1999.
    2001 – Genworth (GE Capital) enters the Canadian mortgage insurance market
    2001 – CIBC offered below-prime mortgages.
    Pre-2003 – CMHC: 5% down with price limit depending on area, 25 yr amortizations, no price limit if 10% or more down
    Sep 2003 – CMHC: 5% down, 25 yr amortizations, removed all price ceiling limitations. Now any mortgage would be insured regardless of the cost.
    Mar 2004 – CMHC: Flex-Down product allows 5% down to be borrowed and 1.5% closing costs to be borrowed (essentially zero down, but 95% insured)
    Mar 2006 – AIG enters the Canadian mortgage insurance market
    Mar 2006 – CMHC: 0% down, 30 yr amortizations (Genworth announces 35 yr amortizations)
    Jun 2006 – CMHC: 0% down, 35 yr amortizations, interest only payments allowed for 10 years
    Nov 2006 – CMHC: 0% down, 40 yr amortizations, interest only payments allowed for 10 years
    Oct 2008 – CMHC: 5% down, 35 yr amortizations, investors need 5% down.
    April 2010- CMHC did some minor tightening of their guidelines, investors need 20% down.
    March 2011- CMHC only allows 30 yr amortizations, restrictions on pulling equity out
    2012 – CMHC only allows 25 yr amortizations, insured mortgages limited to $1 million, home equity refinance drops from 85% to 80%.

    When you see a chart of home prices in Canada taking off in 2003 to 2008 is it any wonder why? If that is the major reason (remember incomes are not rising at that pace) then it stands to reason that reversing those loosening tools will have prices revert back to the mean – correct? When we enter the next phase of interest rates rising over the near term (probably awhile yet) that will be additional erosion of price support, lower demand. Which scenario are you seeing that is going to increase demand over the next 10 years. There are many people that have bought homes/condos with too much borrowed money that need 5% annual increases in property values to stay solvent.

    I sold a home in Kincora for $620K in 2006. Inflation adjusted that number is equivalent to over $680 today. There are no homes even listed in Kincora for $680 today. Someone in Kincora that bought a home in 2006 for 620K and put 200K down (keep in mind most mortgages lately are 10% down not 32%) and took a mortgage for 420K has paid over 120K in interest/prop tax over that time period putting the adjusted cost base for that home at over 800K – has that person made an investment? If that person has not made an investment, how bad of shape is the home owner that used CMHC on that deal? I built that house in 2003 for 350K, I shuddered because tar paper and chip board within 8 feet of another home isn’t worth that much, but I had to live here and I had 50% down.

    I read Garth’s blog often, I think most people understand he is a sensationalist and a doomer, he provides a great read on a topic I am very interested in. I don’t recall reading your blog before, (perhaps you will let me know by searching my IP address), until seeing today’s link on the greater fool blog.

    He is a satirist, ever see those funny cartoons in the old papers?

    What Garth is learning the hard way is that a market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent.

    Who knows where things are going, 10 years of flat prices will ruin a lot of people when interest rates normalize, every market adjust in its own manner.

    I will check back and see if you have more pertinent real estate musings in the future as its nice to see a Calgary blog. I like how your single family stats are historically summarized.

    Thanks for your time.

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