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Hating the mortgage-free

This is a weird story.

Guy buys a house in Toronto and pays off the mortgage in 3 years by working all of the time, living in his basement and spending little to no money.

And people are angry?

But after CBC News reported Cooper’s story late last year, reader comments flooded the internet, either praising or reviling the 30-year-old’s financial achievement.

“What is he going to do next, buy a car and sell one of his kidneys to pay for it?” snarled one reader.

An era of cheap interest rates has helped ignite an escalating and troubling household debt binge. The topic has become such a touchy one it can spark polarized opinions, finger pointing and even contempt.

Read the full article here.

Canadian Stocks and Oil Slides Further

On the plus side, gas prices are cheaper.

On the negative the side the Canadian economy is getting whacked by the slide in oil prices.

It’s been nine straight days of losses in the S&P/TSX, which is down 7.4% in that time.

Analysts at Morgan Stanley projected Brent oil may slump to as low as $20 a barrel on strength in the dollar. Brent dropped 6.7 percent to $31.32 a barrel in London. Bank of America Corp. cut its average 2016 Brent forecast to $46 a barrel from $50.

“Risk appetite will not return until we start to see crude carve out a bottom,” said David Rosenberg, chief economist and strategist at Gluskin Sheff & Associates Inc., in a note to clients.

The S&P/TSX fell 1 percent to 12,319.25 at 4 p.m. in Toronto. The gauge capped a 20 percent plunge from its September 2014 record on Jan. 7, hitting a magnitude in declines commonly defined as a bear market. Canada was the second Group of 7 country to see its benchmark enter a bear market, after Germany’s DAX Index did in August.

Are you selling, buying or staying put?

Read the full article here.

Friday Free-for-all! Lucky January 8th 2016

You’re about a week into a brand new year, how does it feel?

It feels pretty good.

It’s also the end of another work week and that means it’s time for another Friday Free-for-all! This is our regular end of the week news roundup and open topic discussion thread for the weekend.  Here are a few recent links to kick off the chat:

It’s that time of the year again
The ideal housing economy
China stocks down, prices up?
Taxes might limit house profits
Expect mortgage rate hikes
Lack of market regulation
Money flows like water
Benefits of a weak dollar

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

What would be the ideal housing economy?

What’s ‘fair’ when it comes to housing?

Should you be able to purchase a home in the town where you were born using only income from an average local job? Or would efforts to bring a level of equality to the buying side unfairly take gains from those wise or lucky enough to have bought at the right time in the right place?

A recent report from San Francisco says that the average millennial can only afford 135 square feet of housing, the lowest buying power in the country.

We’re assuming numbers for Vancouver wouldn’t be a whole lot more hopeful for millennials wanting to buy a home.

But these are numbers for San Francisco and Vancouver – there are a huge number of cities in the world that have better options for most any subjective criteria you could name: culture, food, climate, etc.

If you’re priced out, what’s so horrible about moving and exploring new options?

In the first world, we’ve had the right conditions for a rising housing market for more than a decade now – prices have gone up all over, in some place more than others.

Is this ‘fair’ to those left out, who didn’t have the ability at the right time to buy?

On the flip side is it fair to those who stretched and saved every dime to purchase a home to have people wishing for it’s value to drop?

If you were king of the universe and could control the market what would be the best case scenario not just for you, but for society and the economy as a whole?

 

Happy New Year! Friday Free-for-all 2016!

Huh, will you look at that… Looks like another year has come and gone.

Here in Vancouver we wrapped up the the year with super-low inventory of 6993 and likely some happy realtors. For comparison 2014 ended with a total inventory of 11,242.

For those of you looking for larger friendly family condos at affordable prices there’s some good news, this one starts at right around $1000 per square foot.

Prices like those might not be helping Canadians with their first priority, which is apparently paying down debt.

So who’s buying and who’s leaving?

One thing you can count on in the new year, Ted will never move. That guy loves this city.

Happy New Year to all of you!