Stuff… and more stuff

Figured I’d point out some of the stories making the rounds.

– The February employment numbers are out, and they are dismal. 23,700 jobs lost just in Alberta, leaving unemployment at it’s highest rate is almost six years. 82,600 lost across the country. The federal and provincial governments seem almost in denial as their cheerleading efforts are quickly exposed as just that.

This will just apply that much more downward pressure on housing prices, as increasing numbers of people with homes will be forced into default, and the consumer confidence of even those looking will be effected. Fewer people looking to buy, and in all likely hood, more looking to sell.

– An interesting article in the Globe and Mail, Canada’s dirty subprime secret. They were here, and prominent… and we’re not just talking about effective subprime lending like zero-down/40 year amortizations offered by the main banks.

– A series of small articles also appears in the Toronto Star today. Nothing earth-shattering, but perhaps worth noting as we’re starting to see more and more of this being reported rather then just the industry shilling we’ve been getting regularly fed of late.

– RE/MAX issues a press release saying it’s time to, surprise surprise…. buy, buy, buy. Seemingly based on anecdotal at best “reports”… the big papers of course ran with it as if it was actual news rather then the blatant marketing ploy it was… I guess if you plaster your name all over their tv and print media outlets, eventually they just throw you a free-be.

As the Vancouver Condo Info site points out, these very same kinds of reports were all too common south of the border in the early days of decline of what would become their housing crisis.

– Not to be outdone, Royal LePage and their resident mouthpiece Phil Soper were all over the news telling all that would listen that the housing slump is already half over, prices and sales will start rebounding by next year and you should go out and buy, buy, buy.

Of course these are the same guys that said, “Canada’s housing market in 2008 should continue to thrive,” and continued to deny a slowdown of any kind until just recently, when he said it was just Alberta’s problem… now apparently it’s a national phenomenon and has been going on since the third quarter of’07, which begs the question why it took them until now to notice. Of course we know the answer to that.

It is interesting to watch their time table for recovery continue to expand… in 2008 there were no problems what-so-ever… then a couple months ago it was all going to be over by summer, 6 months tops… now it’s next year….

– LATE ADDITION – Looks like Marc “We Don’t Do Spin” Carney is already backing off the Bank of Canada’s laughable outlook made a month ago.

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