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August 30, 2016 | The Landing

A best-selling Canadian author of 14 books on economic trends, real estate, the financial crisis, personal finance strategies, taxation and politics. Nationally-known speaker and lecturer on macroeconomics, the housing market and investment techniques. He is a licensed Investment Advisor with a fee-based, no-commission Toronto-based practice serving clients across Canada.

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So what’s your fav topic? You, of course. And if you ever doubt it, look at yesterday’s torrent of information spilled all over this pathetic blog by the better part of a thousand readers. Because the Amazons were so busy scanning comments for buried links to white power, porno or (the worst) cat sites, no exhaustive analysis has been done of the data dump.

Actually, none will be done, either. At least not by me. The point of asking about you was not to sell the list to Porsche dealers or Investors’ Group carnivores, but rather so we could share some insight into each other. A random scan tells me a majority of people own, rather than rent. The average family income level is at least three times the norm. There are a truly scary number of millionaires reading this, so watch your language. The range of occupations is vast. Some people, shockingly, do not own dogs. Plus, you’re generally young and horny.

“I grabbed some age data from the “Who Are You” post just for fun,” blog dog Dan wrote me.  “I took this from posts 1 thought 709.  It was fairly easy to parse out age data using automatic tools but ‘net worth’ and other info was too much work to extract in the time I was willing to spend.  I used 400 data points. They are a combination of the ages of respondents and their spouses. Most of them are between 25 & 50 with a peak in the mid 30’s.”

The minimum reported age was 25 while the max was 74, which yields an average of just under 42 and a median of 39 (almost exactly the national number). Here’s Dan’s chart:


If anyone with a particularly empty, vacuous life cares to comb through this heaping pile of info, organize it, parse it and chart it for us, then proceed. The results will be joyfully published here because, as you know, your fav topic is you.

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Time for a quick update on the rolling-over real estate market, which is germane to the bloated net worth of puffed-up readers who list property in YVR and vicinity as a big hunk of their net worth. You might want to rethink that in the coming months. Or, better, bail.

Among the latest developments:

  • Former Lehman Brothers exec Jared Dillian is urging investors to short the Canadian dolarette since we have a massive housing bubble that (he believes) will blow up and take the country with it. “Debt to disposable income for consumers is 165 per cent which is much higher than it was in the U.S. at the top of our housing bubble,” he says. Dillian also debunks the myth that rich Chinese dudes have been responsible for the housing gasbag, saying instead it’s obvious from debt levels that Canadians themselves have been “stretching” to buy houses they actually can’t afford.
  • The sales number out of Vancouver continue to suck. They were down 51% in the first two weeks of August. Tomorrow we should know more. Will be ugly.
  • Canadians, slowly, are starting to realize this real estate romp may be coming to an end, suggests the latest survey from pollster Nik Nanos. The number of people in his Bloomberg-sponsored sweep who expect prices to decline has spiked by 8.5%, the most since this polling began three years ago. So 20.5% of people now think housing is pooched while 41% expect gains and 36 believe there will be no material change.
  • Alberta continues to suffer. CMHC is reporting a 52% increase in mortgage arrears compared to a year ago – loans on which no payments have been made for at least three months. The absolute numbers are still small, but the trend isn’t.
  • And housing analyst Ross Kay continues to beat the Drum of Doom. “There are transformative months in all housing markets and August will probably go down (unless interest rates are dropped) as the most transformative in Canadian history,” he said on Tuesday “Already $1.3 Billion is now pending removal from Vancouver’s market on transactions recorded the last 60 days. Mortgage debt has now reached our May forecast levels for July 30th closings, at a record 1.4 Trillion.” If realtors did not continuously mislead us with their stats, Kay argues, people would be seeing a 20% price decline.

Yup – balanced, diversified and liquid. The father, the son, the Holy Ghost. Soon everyone will know why.

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August 30th, 2016

Posted In: The Greater Fool

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