Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Bad Consumer... Bad!

We couldn't help but laugh Monday as we scanned the global newspapers.

Seems the consumer is being faulted for not getting on board with all the 'recession is over' hype.

First it was the London Telegraph.

Bank of England warns of the consequences of thrift, screams the headline. "An attempt by British consumers to rein in spending after the harsh lessons of the recession could limit growth and therefore depress household income further," scolded the British central bank.

Meanwhile the L.A. Times bellowed that Savers need to resume buying habits to aid recovery. "The continuing refusal or inability of millions of American consumers to spend money the way they did before the financial crisis casts a potentially dark shadow over the nation's economic future."

Take note... it's the 'refusal' or 'inability' of savers to spend the way they did before.

Baaad consumer. Get your ass into more debt and do your part.

Not to be left out, CNBC jumped on the blame-the-consumer bandwagon as well. Apparently this winter will feature that old holiday favorite: the Consumer-Who-Stole-Christmas as the outlook for 'US Holiday Spending is Seen as Flat'.

Bah humbug.

Even the battered Japanese consumer doesn't escape unscathed as the New York Times notes that 'Once Slaves to Luxury, Japan Catches Thrift Bug'.

So now we have to ask the most important question. Is there something fundamentally wrong with an economy where more than 70% of all activity comes from personal consumption? Perhaps it's not the consumer that is the problem, but the fundamentals of the economy itself.

Bwahahahaha... what a silly notion.

Now do your part.

Roll up a newspaper, smack yourself over the head and go drop a 'mil on a Vancouver crack shack.

It's the least you can do.

Bonus Feature: Million Dollar Dump of the Day

Won't be an everyday feature, but let's let our eastern cousins see just how whacked-out we are here on the 'wet' coast.

Look at what your missing out on.

Here's a 1900 sq ft. 4 bedroom, 3 bath beauty built in 1951. It's located on the west side of Vancouver at 1030 West 49th Avenue. Asking price: $1,038,000

From the listing description:

"Priced to sell!!! Large lot 55.4 x 119. Completely renovated new roof, double glazed window, new stove & washer. Seller spent 80,000 for updates. Good for holding or build a new home."

I'll leave it to you to try and figure out where the $80,000 in updates was spent.

Just think, a million bucks for a tear-down with a carport.

Here's the mls link.


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  1. As and added bonus, it's basically at the intersection of Oak & 49th so you can enjoy the constant background noise of traffic and the sweet smells of internal combustion. Neighbours are gas stations and alleyways, I'll go 1.2 mil.

  2. I looked at some other listings on mls in the general vicinity and holy.effing.crap.

    I can't believe the dumps that are going for almost a million dollars! There's one nearby that's one of those tiny 50s post-war houses. They call it a 'four bedroom', which mystified me as it's a bungalow, but there are two on the ground floor and two in the basement.

    Where I am in Ontario, when it comes to counting bedrooms and calculating square footage, ONLY the main floors are allowed to be included - attics and basements are NOT.

    For example, although my house has three bedrooms, it's technically a two-bedroom house because one of the rooms is in the basement.

    Do they count balcony and garage space too??

    One other question - where are people getting the money - there's only so many 'rich Asians' to go around and only so many DINKS earning over 150K.

    Is it drug money? Or a bunch of people setting up a giant house of cards, using each property as 'collateral' to borrow even more?

    I find it baffling at any rate.

    Also, as Garth Turner mentioned - fixed mortgage rates are set by the bond market, which is decided by foreign investors who couldn't give a crap about the stability of the Cdn housing market. And there's nothing the Central bank here can do if those investors suddenly decide they want higher yields.

  3. When you're charging a million bucks, every bedroom counts.

    As for what will people do when investors decide they want higher yields?... can you say "fawked"?

    Sure you can.