Monday, July 16, 2012

A few random thoughts...

Some interesting stats sent to me today.

There are currently:

1030 Detached homes for sale in the Westside of Vancouver
697 Detached homes for sale in the Eastside of Vancouver
1164 Detached homes for sale in Richmond


Reading the newspapers on the weekend, I couldn't help but wonder how many of those detached homeowners with houses languishing on the market are seniors?

Particularly since, as the Province newspaper notes, the fastest-growing segment of society going broke in Canada is people over the age of 55. They have acquired the nickname grandpa debtors.

According to the article the number of debtors 55 and over has grown to the point where BC's largest bankruptcy trustee, who focuses exclusively on consumer and small-business insolvency, says that the number of grandpa debtors in the Lower Mainland has exploded.

Debtors aged 65 and older who are working on bankruptcy or consumer proposals has soared by 217% from 2009 to 2011.

The numbers are almost as high for those over 50: age 60 and up jumped 193%; 50 and over climbed 166%.

These people are just the tip of the grandpa debtor iceberg, the firm says. The numbers of older insolvents will continue to grow, fuelled by easy credit and misfortune.

So you have to wonder? How many are desperate to sell their house to address their financial situation?

It's an interesting backdrop to the current market.

And here's another backdrop from the weekend papers.

The Globe and Mail ran an intriguing story on Federal Defence Minister Peter MacKay's Iranian born wife.

She is frustrated with the Toronto-Dominion Bank for abruptly closing bank accounts and cutting off mortgages that belong to Iranians who live in Canada.

Apparently TD was complying with the federal Special Economic Measures (Iran) Regulations that prohibit the provision of any financial or financial-related service to or for the benefit of a person who is in Iran, or is a national of Iran who does not ordinarily reside in Canada.

Over the past few months, TD has mailed many letters to people who fit this bill – whether or not they are full Canadian citizens or residents – informing them that their accounts must be closed immediately and that their mortgages must be quickly repaid.

The item that caught me attention here is how TD was basically calling in home mortgages... demanding immediate payment in full.

Now there's a concept that should send a chill down the spine of every mortgage holder in the country.

I couldn't help but ruminate on the juxtaposition of these three separate items.

A stagnating market, waves of seniors in serious financial trouble, and evidence that banks can still - and will - turn mortgages into demand loans.

The storm clouds gather.

And the potential for catastrophe grows.


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  1. Consumer bankruptcies have been steadily trending lower:

    But I'm sure you wont let data get in the way of a good story.

    1. An analogy to your comment would be me making the statement that we had a very wet June in Vancouver and you coming back with a chart showing that worldwide rainfall was down so I must be wrong.

      Do you even understand why your comment is dumb?

    2. I think you need to look up the word analogy.

  2. Umm, they are up 11% in both consumer and business in BC. Sectors seeing large rises: Construction, Retail, Restaurants and Accommodations.

    BC Total Insolvencies
    2007: 8 634
    2008: 9 422
    2009: 13 614
    2010: 13 006
    2011: 11 919
    Jan 2012: 888
    Feb 2012: 1,110
    March 2012: 1,105
    April 2012: 1,129
    Hypothetical Total 2012: 1058(mean)x12months = 12696

  3. Regrettably the saying 'There's no fool like an old fool' will be proven true in the next few years, than ever before in history. The Boomer generation only spent their lives in hedonistic pursuits and in accumulation of things, most of them unnecessary to truly value and enjoy life. They kept themselves willfully ignorant and bothered not to understand the SYSTEM, the very SYSTEM that gave them undeserved wealth far out of proportion to the labor they put into the generation of their wealth. The SYSTEM giveth and the SYSTEM taketh away. Ecclesiastes 3:1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:6 A time to get, and a time to lose...
    The time for losing has now arrived, and because they did not understand how and why they got what they had, they themselves will lose badly but sadly they have also trained their offspring to follow in their footsteps. Not only will they lose what they had gotten through the miracle of DEBT, which they confused for prosperity, they have also destroyed the inheritance of the next generation. So yes, I fully expect legions of seniors and juniors to be bankrupted in the next few years! Bye Bye Middle Class - it was fun and games while it lasted!!!