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July 4, 2019 | Unleashed

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.

In a moment, some voices from below. Overnight, industrious little members of this pathetic blog’s steerage section took up the challenge to send me their thoughts on the nation, and life. During the coming week or so a number of them will be published, then the rest of you can sit back in snarky, self-absorbed judgement, jump on them from the weeds or just nibble on their ankles until completely demoralized. As you do with me.

First, a word on the latest stats. They pose a stark lesson on the morass of socialism, if anyone needs reminding.

So in the GTA sales are up 10% over the disaster of last June, with detached houses dipping in value but overall prices rising slightly thanks to condos. Inner-city apartment sales slumped while house deals have jumped. Given that inflation is 2.5%, the 3% growth in the average price paid by sellers over last year means real estate in the nation’s largest market is flat. Perhaps stable. Maybe this is the new normal. No crash. No boom. But values stay elevated until the next recession rolls in. Of course, given the collapse in mortgage rates and the fact real estate’s best-before date was two years ago, you could argue this is but a pause in a long-term downward trajectory. Credit is cheap, but people are tapped out. FOMO is zero.

In Van, a disaster. As predicted here, Comrade Premier Horgan’s war on real estate is having almost the effect that the socialists wanted to engineer. ‘Wealthy’ homeowners are seeing equity sucked away. Non-local investors have been punted. High-end hoods are being hardest hit. Prices have fallen another 10% in the past year. Listings have swollen by 25%. Condo sales have plopped 24%. Detached houses have lost 11% of their value in a year. The benchmark price is south of $1 million, and back to 2017 levels. In a town where 64% of people own real estate, this is a huge hit to personal net worth. But, as stated, it’s the result the NDP wanted. And there’s more to come.

The problem with socialism, as usual, is that it’s all dogma and no common sense. What’s the point of forcing prices lower with a bevy of new taxes if people stop buying? Sales have crashed to a 20-year low as sentiment grows darker. And this is supposed to be the hottest time of the year! Just imagine the summer doldrums, then the soggy winter months. Market guru Dane Eitel is musing the current average detached price of $1.4 million could tumble through the support level of $1.225 million in 2020.

So, to conclude: the government has removed millions in family net worth (but no debt), driven off investment capital with a stick, kneecapped an industry making up a quarter of BC’s economy and yet moisters still can’t afford a house. Good job, Dippers. Folks might remember this come October 21st.

      

As mentioned above, over the coming days (starting now) Blog Dogs will be unleashed. First up is Jasmine, from magical Surrey:

“I am one of the lurkers on your sight and decided to come out of hiding to share a bit of my two cents.

“I’m a female millennial raised in BC just outside of Vancouver (Surrey) to immigrant South Asian parents during the 90’s. My life goal was to become successful enough to achieve financial independence so I don’t have to get an arranged marriage or even belong to the community I grew up in. I managed to achieve this by age 30 but went through hell in my 20’s as my family and community didn’t make it very easy for me. Now when I look back I am baffled why I am one of the few that felt this way. As hard as it was this country is full of so many opportunities for people to thrive if you are able to work through the hurdles and stay focused. It makes my heart sink to see how the South Asian community is thriving in this country yet failing to truly assimilate now that it has reached so much success. Wasn’t that the end goal?

“We have rich and the poor within us too and suffer from all the same social problems every other ethnic group does. Yet from the outside all people seem to think is we are still minorities in this country and are given special treatment. It’s the same disease affecting the LGBTQ+ (sorry not sure what the correct term is these days) community and the First Nations population.

“I wish the PC nonsense in this world would stop surrounding minorities which is what our policies focus on in government and the corporate world. We need to start focusing on creating a truly equitable country where the only determining factor on who thrives is those that have the determination, stamina and capabilities to make it through the hoops that take you to the top. Call me an idealist but I live to see the day this happens. I think Canada has the backbone to make it happen but we need a leader that will take us there.

“Keep up the great work. I would love to see more posts focused on money issues concerning woman – how women should be investing their money as they live longer, may have children on their own and make less money overall.”

Now, here’s Robert, who sends along a fetching picture of his dog, Shadow. “He just wandered in one day and decided to stay. He was a Street Stray – best behaved Dog I ever had… He has no collar, and complete Freedom of Movement.”

  “In terms of Subject matter, I would like to initiate a discussion on MacroEconomics, as it relates to Secular Stagnation theory. I feel the last 10 years and the foreseeable future, will make this potential change in thought away from Classical Economic Theory, quite relevant today. Recent stats that show world population growth, may be stalled as Women embrace more personal choices, may negatively impact the race for more participants.

“The Perpetual Low Interest rate Policies, Lack of Hard Work Ethics, Productivity Declines, Short term Corporate Profit objectives, are causing a lot of Problems. The Steerage section is angry and confused. Corporations, are seemingly not reinvesting, in Plant and Equipment. The world seems, to lack Leadership. It is a wide topic, but important as Global Growth, is precarious, if Developed Countries, can’t get Fiscal or Monetary policy right. How do we increase Aggregate demand… etc…  Hope you consider this an interesting subject.”

Finally, for today, here’s Mark. Count your blessings. He is.

  “I will keep it short. I am 45 years old, and very close to death. Since being diagnosed with ALS, I realized that we don’t need much to live, but we want things. I find myself just wanting to get rid of stuff, and don’t feel the need for anything. Just things to survive.

“If people lived more simple instead of keeping up with what others have, we would be much happier. I don’t care for much, and I am happy and thankful just to be alive.”

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July 4th, 2019

Posted In: The Greater Fool

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