*to Hanlon's razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Torontonians, Toronto; apple, tree: delusional.

The Bank of Canada's recently announced that Canadian real estate is 10-30% over valued.  National banks do not tend to exaggerate these things: the contrary.  I can buy a middle-class house as close to downtown Tokyo as I live in Toronto for a third the price.*  My brother, who's been on Wall Street, and has an important enough position that I can neither name him nor the position, said over Christmas dinner:
I don't see thirty-percent happening; however, I did just unload my other property.  You can read between the lines.
And yet... and yet... banker friend-of-a-friend today insisted that we're not in a bubble, because 'if you compare Toronto to other international cities...'

Fuck me.  I am a bad guest.  I'm afraid I shouted the refrain nobody native to Toronto will hear:
For fuck's sake, Toronto is NOT an INTERNATIONAL CITY.
Looking at its size and economy, it's the lesser Great Lake city to Chicago by half.  It's Houston.  Kita-Kyushu/Fukuoka.  Birmingham.  And like all of these places, not integral to it's home economy.  The Canadian economy has long lost its sovereignty: Toronto's is regional.

And there's this:
Toronto in '88...  I went off to McGill University when the economy was humming, aiming for a BA that wasn't yet the entirely idiotic idea it turned out to be not half a decade later when I had it in hand.  Oh yeah, my father was soon out of work too, as happens with a trend like Toronto's '88-'96.

What's more, as I pointed out to the banker, the only thing that fueled the (inflation adjusted) growth in house prices for the Boomers, so that any but the most brain-dead made out like bandits on real estate, ain't going to happen again unless we send our children to the salt mines: a second income from women joining the workforce.  But I'm just a fucking teacher and he's the banker.  God help us all.

*Though Japan's having it's own economic issues, Tokyo largely isn't: the hinterland's gangrenous, but the core won't die for a while.

1 comment:

  1. I consider myself as a lucky person because I don't own or wish to own. And I have somehow managed to survive, thus far, unscathed by a layoff. The hubs wasn't so lucky but with the kid in the house now, he probably counts himself lucky 'the wife' actually has a steady job with a steady income. Though I am getting a little anxious of late, the writing's on the wall and I see a move out of state within the next couple of years. Possible out of country as soon as the son is of age to either fend for himself or make the sorry mistake of thinking the mom will be able to support him.