FFFA! The middle class Canadian consumer bubble

Hey! You made it to the end of another week!

And do you know what that means?

Friday-free-for-all time!

This is our regular end of the week news round-up and open topic discussion thread for the weekend, here are a few links to kick off the chat:

What a housing bubble bust looks like?
Half of Canadians want to buy property
..But 33% are living paycheck to paycheck
Worst May in more than a decade?
Economy shouldn’t rely on consumer debt
150,000 real estate jobs will be lost
How to profit as Canadian bubble bursts
Keep your skills up to date
Sentimental sentiment of anecdotes
Van $1.5 mil vs Carmel Cali $1.5 mil
Flaherty saves us from a housing bubble!
What does the middle class look like?
Broker says don’t worry, buy now

So what are YOU seeing out there? Post your news links, thoughts and anecdotes here and have an excellent weekend!

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@Real Estate Pimp “Agree, never understood the fascination with the number of bathrooms. Probably just another marketing ploy, like the granite counter tops which I hate.” Granite countertops are definitely not what they’re hyped up to be. But the bathroom thing… it’s just part of a trend of changing tastes and lifestyles. Houses used to be chopped up into little rooms, the kitchen was in the back of the house, closets were the size of a door, and there was one bathroom for the whole house. Basements were for storage and workshops, and attics for keeping old pictures and xmas decorations. Now we have walk in closets, ensuites, half-baths for guests and entertainment areas. Basements are for man caves and “mortgage helpers”. Attics are for master bedrooms and home offices. Open floor plans are preferred. The trend is now to… Read more »


@Turkey “There’s also a tendency for otherwise sane landlords to consult Craigslist for comparables when pricing new rentals; they get stuck in the same trap. When an asking price is reduced to match market rates, it becomes occupied, and invisible.” Over long term, Craigslist is a repository of units that have NOT rented, like MLS is a repository of houses that have not sold, so by definition everything there is overpriced relative to market. However, it is difficult as a potential renter to know what the market price is. There are stats from Stats Canada and Sauder and the like that show aggregate rents for the region, but no granular data. Then you have landlords not raising rents on existing long term tenants as quickly as new rentals; and why should they, they’re renting a depreciating asset. In the end,… Read more »


Richmond Hill…
I remember mayor Duffy from the early 80s, sold farmland to developer friends for huge profits, it used to be a sleepy hamlet, then they started rezoning farmland and eventually environmentally sensitive areas.

I know BC gets a bad rap but what I saw there was worse than anything I’ve seen in Vcr


“Canadians have no sense on humour when it comes to talking about different races and cultures.
Must not offend anyone.”

Except Americans, of course. It’s OK to make fun of our original colonial masters too.

Real Estate Pimp

Thanks for the clarification.
Do they have a 4th floor, though?


REP # 149:

I don’t think it was a lack of sense of humour so much as not being able to identify anything funny in the original statement.


@Real Estate Pimp #143

It’s the only the older buildings that don’t have a 13th floor. All the new condo towers include a 13th floor.

Real Estate Pimp

Forgot the :).
Canadians have no sense on humour when it comes to talking about different races and cultures.
Must not offend anyone. We are nice Canadians.


“let’s ban all these numbers please.”

While we are at it, ban all languages too. Feels so discriminatory every time I don’t understand what another person says.



Are you serious….then what are they?


“The Chinese word for death sounds similar to the number 4.”

I can respect that.

While we’re at it, there are many Christians that live here.
3 is sacred to Catholics — it represents the Holy Trinity. So let’s respect that by keeping it out of addresses too please.

40 has recurring significance in the Holy Bible. That one is now off limits too please.

Jesus Christ had 12 apostles. So it is offensive to see the number 12 used anywhere but in the holiest of places.

Equal rights for everyone, let’s ban all these numbers please.

Real Estate Pimp

Pavel Datsyuk is Russian.
I don’t think the Russians are considered Caucasians.
Even though the Caucasus region is in Russia.


Damn right. Wearing no. 13 is killing Pavel Datsyuk…it’s just killing him!


Vote Down The Facts

Or we could just tell people who are superstitious for any reason to grow up, and that they should stop expecting others to cater to their stupidity.

Real Estate Pimp

VMD # 137
Those superstitious Caucasians should be able to change their house numbers with a 13 in it. For a fee, of course.
Also, superstitious Chinese should be able buy extra 8s.
This extra income should help the cash starved municipalities.


VMD….thanks for the post #137. Richmond Hill…that’s my old ‘hood. And by the way, my old Ward 5 City Councillor Nick Papa is an illiterate idiot.

I used to get his incoherent ramblings in my mailbox at regular intervals. Wrote him a letter once to ask his position on a particular issue (about my Municipal taxes being re-directed from York Region to the coffers of the GTA) and of course I didn’t receive a reply. Probably couldn’t comprehend the message….

Did I mention he’s a REALTOR™….?



Called a guy today about a house he has for rent. Turns out he’s only renting the upper (for more than what the market will pay, I think, considering I’ve seen it advertised for awhile). Since we really don’t want to rent half a house and live in fear about who lives in the basement (and share laundry), we asked why he doesn’t just rent the whole house. He said he can’t, it wouldn’t cover his mortgage-he’ll get more to rent it out as two suites. These new landlords are hilarious, thinking that rent will cover their mortgage! By running the numbers, it looks to me like he put $400k down (he told us how much his mortgage payment is). I also think it’s a failed flip-I’ve been watching it awhile and when I googled the address two weeks ago,… Read more »


““Lots of bankruptcies and low returns because…….wait for it…..


Applies to Real Estate as well?”

Yes, and that’s why RE prices always go back to equilibrium, however the bulls like to dream otherwise.

Btw, the cupcake business makes me think of Beard Papa, the cream puff business. In the beginning, it has one store at aberdeen centre and there was half-hour lineups for their stuff. Now several stores have sprung up in several prime locations (metrotown, denman, etc) and there’s no line and little business.


Coming to Richmond BC in 3,2… [Richmond Hill approves policy to avoid street number 4] May 15, 2013 If you don’t like the number 4, you don’t have to live with it. That’s the decision of Richmond Hill councillors, who this week agreed that no new number 4s will be used in street addressing and those with a current 4 can apply to change it with a letter suffix such as 4B, with costs borne by the resident or business owner. The Chinese word for death sounds similar to the number 4. This has led to superstitions surrounding that digit (known as tetraphobia). In China, for example, floor numbers often skip the number 4. Ward 3 Councillor Castro Liu seconded his motion, saying he has received “non-stop calls and e-mails” on the issue. One resident, who bought a home 20… Read more »


For about 300K you can own your own cupcake franchise. How many cupcakes would you need to sell to cover overhead and pay that off? It makes buying a condo in Vancouver look like a shrewd investment.



“Lots of bankruptcies and low returns because…….wait for it…..


Applies to Real Estate as well?

Van Coffee

Re: Cupcakes (and amateur landlords)

Lots of bankruptcies and low returns because…….wait for it…..