Garth Turner misleads his readers about Calgary

Do not read

Turner said on his blog: It is different in Calgary. It’s worse. Year/year prices are up a startling 9%, but sales have just turned negative compared to last Spring. SFH sales are down 6%, and listings have crashed 22%…The nation’s most American city risks getting a wee taste of Vegas.

For someone who prides himself on accurate and up-to-date data, this is quite an astonishing deception which he’s trying to pull. How about using data from April? You know, current, updated, relevant numbers?  We know that Gartho has a bookmark to these latest numbers CREB statistics. Sales for the city of Calgary are actually up 14% compared to last year, and new listings have turned the corner this month and are up 13%. It’s no secret that sales have been low because inventory is down 30% compared to historical averages. There just hasn’t been anything to buy.

When you quote statistics that are outdated to prove your point, it makes one wonder if you have an agenda. As it is, seems so intent on having Alberta join the ranks of falling markets in Toronto and Vancouver that he is willing to mislead his readers. Calgary’s stable market has been a source of severe irritation for Turner. Maybe he’s so blinded by his dislike of anything Calgary that he believes his own chicanery and deceptions.

Transparency? Let’s see how forthcoming he is about Calgary’s numbers at the end of the month when sales are up. I predict silence. The greater tragedy, however, is that most of his docile followers don’t even question him.


21 responses to “Garth Turner misleads his readers about Calgary

  1. Turner hating Calgary ? He probably hates anything west of Kenora and up to and including Kamloops. He might know something about Toronto -maybe. Maybe some of the smaller towns in Ontario.I pretty well ignore him about the rest of Canada though.

  2. Bob,

    You are right…things look very stable rather strong in real estate front here in Calgary. I myself am an engineer and work with an EPC company…and was wondering that for the last year…there has been no new projects..rather we have to face cancellations of the porjects and are in the processes of laying off professionals. This year would be tough for oil sector…now keeping this in perespective what do u foresee?

    I foresee a continuation of inaccurate statistics and insults being posted on Turner’s blog. -Bob

  3. and Garth Turder complains about realtors fudging the numbers.

  4. Guys …let’s leave Garth on a side…he has been wrong for the 6 years…

    The question is this that what we think as how the market will respond with the diminishing of oil jobs …It is a fact that if EPC companies manpower has been reduced to 80% of their peak in 2012…and is expected to go at least 50% by the end of this year. Things can trun around due to decisions on pipelines or if there is another war in the middle east.

    What do you think?

  5. Stats on this blog state:
    Sales in Mar 2012 – 1576
    Sales in Mar 2013 – 1480

    But your blog posts said that sales were actually up.
    Same thing for Feb. Down from 1290 to 1209.

    Am I missing something?

    Yes. Sales in March were up COMPARED TO THE 3-YEAR AVERAGE. I always state the criteria I’m using, so make sure you read thoroughly. -Bob

  6. Turner used YOY, so was he really misleading anyone? 3 year averages aren’t common, after all, what good is a 3 year average price of Gold etc?

    Please read thoroughly, “Sales for the city of Calgary are actually up 14% compared to last year, and new listings have turned the corner this month and are up 13%.” I did not use a 3-year average in that example, so to answer your question, yes, Turner was misleading his readers. Furthermore, Turner uses outdated stats.

    What good is a 3-year average you ask? A single year can be an aberration, an outlier, and have extenuating circumstances peculiar to that one year. For example, look at Jan 2010 sales when they were 762. That was up 39% over 2009. Sounds impressive(but it’s very misleading). Compared to the 3-year average, sales were actually down 27%, which is much more indicative of the state of the market.

    Comparisons to only one year can be very misleading, but I wanted to compare apples to apples in the Turner example. You’re trying way too hard to defend him. -Bob

  7. Not really. I don’t care if he or you are right or wrong. I read these types of blogs to draw my own conclusions, but I see spin on both sides.
    You said he was misleading people about March stats, but your blog shows the numbers and they are in line with what he said.
    You quoted 3 year averages to show how healthy the market is and how wrong Turner was. Why 3 year average? Some might say that you are out to mislead people too.
    Would be nice to see what a 3 year average was in Florida in 2009? Would that stat do anyone any good?

    Truth is that Feb and Mar posted less sales YOY. Don’t see that reported on your blog.

    You are blatantly wrong. They’re right here on the main menu

    A 3-year average for Florida won’t do anyone in Calgary any good, I agree, but we’re not talking about Florida. No spin here, just the truth. Remember to read thoroughly. It’s difficult to make informed decisions when you only have half the facts.-Bob

  8. 3 year average can be seen as the spin. What are the 3 year numbers for Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal etc? It’s obvious that the 3 year average comparisons would hide their downward trends we’ve seen the last few months.
    I guess I question validity of such formula. It got me, large fonts showed sales up and I completely missed the small print on the bottom.

    I post accurate raw numbers and allow you to (mis)interpret them as you will, so no, it’s not spin. Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal are sadly lacking in comprehensive and relevant real estate statistics, to the detriment of their residents. Why do you think Calgary has had such a stable market compared to those other cities? It’s because Calgarians have more and better information. A 3-year average will give a more realistic view of the trend whether upwards or downwards, it works efficiently in both directions. You’re free to question the validity of such a formula, and you’re free to not read it. I have thousands of readers who do appreciate a unique and helpful comparison. It’s another tool for buyers and sellers to help make an informed decision. Why would you question that, or call it spin?

    It’s an astonishing admission that you’ve been reading my market updates(with the criteria posted on every one) for two years and never bothered to read the criteria. It explains a lot. -Bob

  9. YYC it’s pretty clear to me that you are simply upset because Bob called out Garth on his frankenumbers. Bob, keep up the good work and I for one am appreciative of your insight and statistics which we don’t get anyehere else.

  10. Hi Bob, I think your SFH Daily/Monthly Summaries is very informative. In it the March/2012 inventory shows 3367 while CREB website shows the active listings are 3401. Does inventory mean active listings? You use 30 days to record The rest. Is this the reason the sales(1576 via 1575) and average price($472465 via $472697) are slightly different from those shown in CREB website?

    Thanks, Howe. Yes, inventory is the same as active listings. I usually post my stats before the official CREB stats are released which will occasionally contain some minor adjustments.

    The final month-end stats are for however many days are in that particular month. Mid-month stats are 30 days. -Bob

  11. Hi Bob, your SFH Daily/Monthly numbers is very informative. My son-in-law taking your data and extrapolating a polynomial trendline (ie: x2 + y2 = z2) shows that we’re past bottom and coming back on the up-curve (based on 30 day sales). Does it make sense?

  12. Excellent blog here! I just clicked over from the greaterfool. Good to see someone is holding Turder accountable for his misinformation and bad predictions. Amazing that he would even threaten you!!!

  13. obviously you are on top of the calgary market and your stats and analysis are much better than garth can do located in toronto as he is. i read his blog mostly for the entretainment value but he does have some good financial advice once in a while.

    I’ve always agreed with his recommendation to have a “balanced portfolio.” When it comes to real estate in Calgary, however, CREB has a much better track record with their predictions. As my post illustrates, he’ll jump through hoops and go through all manner of contortion to try and prove he was correct. -Bob

  14. Calgary, in addition to being selected as the best place to live in Canada, now has the distinction of being the best place to raise your kids.

  15. Re: Moneysense’s ‘Best City to Live In’. I checked the 2012 overall list too. Calgary went from 14th place to first, St. Albert from 12th to second,Strathcona from 11th to fourth,Lacombe from 26th place to eigth and Lethbridge from 25th to ninth place.Edmonton slipped a bit from 8th to now eleven place. A few Ontario cities like Stratford,Marham and London moved up but it’s clearly Alberta that’s on the move. Toronto is at 28th place,so there are at least 27 other cities in Canada that are better to live in – so take that Garth Turner ! Anyway..congratulations Bob for living in The Best City in Canada !

  16. The trend in all of Alberta is lower sales and lower house prices. Canada is slipping back into recession, commodity prices are falling the stock market is a complete house of cards with the biggest crash ever on the near horizon. Everything in the future points to lower house prices all across Canada.

    Not in all of alberta. The trend this year in Calgary has been higher prices. Compared to the 3-year average, sales are higher. Good luck with your fantasy life. -Bob

  17. Tony is surely living in a fantasy world …. lower housing prices?! is he talking current… if he is, he should ship off to fantasy island.

    • Current, the trend is lower real estate prices and higher inventory. As Garth says get used to it.

      Everywhere except Calgary. -Bob

  18. Jarome Iginla home sold for full list price of $3.995 million

    Sale after only one day listed on the market

  19. Wow Bob if anybody is misleading readers it is you using 3 year averages.
    Sales in Calgary are down and that is a fact.
    You only wish you had a fraction of the followers Garth has and BTW you’re just another RE spinner , do you also sell RE?

    I’m all for transparency and accurate data, so please give us your evidence that sales are down in Calgary.

    I clearly show the criteria I’m using for my statistics, so no one is being misled. Let me ask you a question: If the 3-year average showed sales were down(which will inevitably happen some day), would you be complaining?

    Garth “I didn’t say crash” Turner is a terrific writer. Combine that with his penchant for sensationalism and a propensity to impress people with photos of scantily clad women, you’re sure to get lots of readers, even if his predictions have been wrong and his posts misleading. I’d rather be a purveyor of the truth, presented in a way that doesn’t insult the intelligence of my readers. I go for quality, not quantity.

    I haven’t sold any real estate for a couple years, but I’ve helped many people buy and sell their own properties by giving them the best market information possible, and being a strong negotiator on their behalf. -Bob

  20. Brad in Cowtown

    Garth Turner is a despicable hypocrite. He mocks realtors for cherry picking or distorting statistics, and then turns around and does the exact same thing.

    I’ve been telling him for years on his blog that his efforts to lump Calgary in with Vancouver and Toronto are only going to end up making him look foolish. He now looks beyond foolish as Calgary’s market continues to rise and make new highs every month.

    When any of us point it out in his blog comments, he blocks us, no matter how respectful we are. All we want to do is point out how wrong he’s been about Calgary. People have a right to know!!! By taking his advice, he has cost Calgarians THOUSANDS upon THOUSANDS of dollars over the past several years. In my opinion, he has zero integrity.

    As we’ve seen from his recent blame the victim(ie, “waiting was your decision”) comment, he doesn’t care so much for the welfare of his readers, as he does for his own need for attention and adulation. The term egomania is often used to describe an individual who is intolerably self-centred.

    As Ben Rabidoux says, “Evidently, my grievous error was to view his site as a discussion board where people post articles related to the real estate bubble here in Canada.” -Bob

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