‘CMHC seeking to hide foreclosure information from home buyers’ – “CMHC just told us that pricing will stay strong and now they want to keep information about foreclosure secret. Where there is smoke there is fire.”

“Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. has been asking realtors for months to keep consumers in the dark about whether the properties it sells are part of a foreclosure, according to a document obtained by The Financial Post.
The move, said to be part of CMHC national policy, upset Quebec realtors who refused to play ball, worried about an ethical breach. …
Some real estate industry insiders wonder whether the Crown corporation is simply being prudent, not letting potential buyers know a property is part of a distressed sell so they can put in a low-ball bid.
Others question whether the Crown corporation is just getting things in order in case home prices collapse and they are forced to sell properties that are backed by government insurance. …
“Look at what is going on right now in financial institutions and everybody is ratcheting up their loan-loss provisions,” said Ben Rabidoux, a Canadian analyst for California-based Hanson Advisors, a market research firm whose clients are institutional investors. “Everybody expects loan losses to rise. I can’t imagine CMHC is in the dark on that. My suspicion is they want to limit any loss on that hits their books.”
By limiting the information on whether a property is part of foreclosure, the Crown corporation would potentially avoid a situation in which a buyer knows it has to sell. In the United States, foreclosed properties have sold at huge discounts.
“CMHC is trying to get the better price,” said Don Lawby, chief executive of Century 21 Canada, who had not heard of the new policy. “You know something is repossessed, you low-ball the offer. You know you are not dealing with a homeowner but an investor.”

– from ‘CMHC seeking to hide foreclosure information from home buyers’, Financial Post, 27 Feb 2013
[hat-tip Reader #4]

“If the price of a house is good or someone is putting a low ball price and the seller is ok with that…I call it the market. CMHC just told us that pricing will stay strong and now they want to keep information about foreclosure secret….When you have smoke…fire is not very far…” – ‘luckyluc’, commenting on the above article at the FP site

Is it within the CMHC mandate to take active measures to hide information from the public?
Aside from that, the need for deception is massively telling – the market is at risk from normal price discovery processes, and the CMHC obviously now sees that.
– vreaa

68 responses to “‘CMHC seeking to hide foreclosure information from home buyers’ – “CMHC just told us that pricing will stay strong and now they want to keep information about foreclosure secret. Where there is smoke there is fire.”

  1. Buyers should assume that every property sold by the CMHC is a foreclosure.

    • lol … or, buyers should just lowball everything that lists … for spite

      • Ralph Cramdown

        “My client doesn’t HAVE to sell.”

        “And I don’t have to buy, lady. I don’t have to buy.”

    • I am a private guy and just want to put an offer on a property which is sold by court order. I apply and get the mortgage. Have a down payment of 5 % and suddenly CMHC refuses to insure the mortgage. The house has for sure a higher market value than the 3 or 4 bidders are offering. I don’t get it! Can anybody explain me that strange behavior. I live in Alberta

  2. Dimitri Tishchenko

    This is infuriating.

  3. Real Estate Tsunami

    “Look now what’s going on in financial institutions and everybody is ratcheting up their loan loss provisions” Ben Rabidoux.
    Our banks have not been so prudent after all.
    Time to have a second look at your bank stocks.
    Governor Carney did see this coming.

  4. I would question if this even legal. Can the buyer subsequently sue CMHC for misrepresentation to recoupe any loss in the transaction?

    • What’s your loss? An FC isn’t a stigma in the sense that when you resell the place ten years down the road, the buyer might discover that you bought it as an FC and then he wouldn’t be willing to pay as much. You look at the house, see how much land you’re getting and the price, and you make an offer.

      It’s usually pretty easy to tell, anyway. When you see a disclaimer like “Seller makes no representation as to property size, taxes or the rental status of appliances. Buyers to satisfy themselves.” it’s a pretty good clue. What kind of seller doesn’t know what the taxes are or whether the water heater is a rental? The bank, or CMHC, that’s who.

    • But what might you recoup in a fair value transaction, Lee?

      Does it matter that a home is in foreclosure? How much discount should accrue to a buyer on that basis? I have to be honest but I don’t see it as a problem that a foreclosed home is not identified as such.

      Lets look at it another way. If there were a flood of foreclosed homes would those not attract most of the bids? If they did would that not crash the price of all other homes?

      What is the purpose of crashing the market? For whom is that good?

      While I agree houses are overpriced I do not relish the idea of a home price collapse nor the collateral impacts on millions of Canadian homeowners. What about the retail sector? What about a sharp spike in unemployment that would follow.

      What about the impact on tax revenues and plans to slay the deficit?

      Let us screw our heads back on here. Like I said at the beginning….I will be honest with you……I do not think it is material to buyers to know that a home is in foreclosure because I happen to believe that the potential damage to the national market far outweighs the benefits that accrue to individual purchasers.

      We need to keep or perspective in this regard and not allow ourselves to be so insistant on so-called “honesty” when doing so could be seriously detrimental to small business and the broader economy.

      I side with CMHC. You should too if you love your country.

      • >What about the retail sector? What about a sharp spike in unemployment that would follow.

        That’s going to happen anyway. Canadians are borrowing money to stay afloat because they are sinking too much into putting a roof over their head. When the debt taps slow the downturn will come.

        Hope and pray all you want, the chickens gotta roost sometime.

      • really? what do you think would happen to the now faltering retail sector if for some crazy reason we didn’t have to spend our last dime on a roof over our head? retail is struggling despite high home prices or maybe it’s because of that. think about it, just for a sec,…… just to be honest.
        why is it that we need to keep home prices at these heights? who benefits?. retail was doing well over the last decade on borrowed time and the ever rising levels of dept. every party has to come to an end. it’s only natural. party is over…..!

      • pffft … http://tinyurl.com/bf9gwnh
        “Roosts: Do not use roosts for meat-type chickens. Roosts cause breast blisters, crooked keels, bruises and lameness in heavy meat birds.” … sorry, misplaced analagous doc re:debtor flock from my overlord kit if you meant people

      • Real Estate Tsunami

        Farmer,
        I think what you are advocating is a Japan-like lost 2 decades, with no government wanting to make the tough decisions, notably not to bail out the banks and irresponsible borrowers.

      • re: jp … what is truly evil is that they did not spend 30 yrs rebalancing the distortions … it has been 30 yrs of denial and can kicking … now, they have run out of young people to support old people … something’s gotta give and it will … if you are young (or have kids), the present situation doesn’t benefit you (them) … can kicking shifts the burden for past mistakes onto you (them) … it is obvious, imo, that the less one removes or distributes the consequences for mistakes away from the responsible parties, the better … this means taking the punishment now, in cash, in full, no backstops, no bailouts … behaviors won’t change otherwise … just take a good look around … instead you get nonsense like deficits don’t matter … until they do

      • De La Riva Guard

        re: rod_jonsson

        I couldn’t agree more with your comments. Bang on.
        We HAVE TO focus like a laser on moral hazard in the “big money” sectors. Caveat Emptor is easy to say, but nowadays there are so many vested interest groups working to prevent transparency in financial transactions. Transparency is the economist’s “complete information” (supposedly available to all who make efforts to get it) that allows for the smooth functioning of capitalist markets.

        Behaviors won’t change unless bitter reform medicines are forced on the Big Hand sectors of our economy. Deficits are obviously starting to matter. And there’s really only one, taxpaying wallet that will be opened to foot the bills when the can can be kicked no further down the road. And, we’ve let it happen on our watch! Not looking forward to what my kids will have to say to me about that when they’re taxpaying adults.

      • Not to slam the idea, but that is the “hide your head in the sand” and pretend things are fine way of thinking that allows continued misallocation of savings.

        Conversely, you could say – If you love your country, let the true nature come out and let`s not have a market based on the obfuscation of the truth.

        Think of it more as money most flow somewhere and eventually imbalances will right themselves whether we want it or not. Would you rather have a painful but short pain or mind numbing long term pain.

        The more we try to hide problems the worst things will get.

  5. Real Estate Tsunami

    There is more consumer information on the label of a $1 can of soup, than there is on a purchase agreement of a $ 1 million house.
    This is ridiculous.

    • The buyer is free to ask anything he wants, demand the answers in writing and forming part of the contract, make his satisfaction in his sole discretion a condition precedent, and so on. The seller is free to tell the buyer to go fish. A real estate deal is not a take-it-or-leave it affair, it’s a negotiated meeting of minds between a buyer and a seller. You can ask for anything you want which is in the seller’s power to provide.

      • Real Estate Tsunami

        It’s not that easy.
        In my case, I purchased a property with an old buried oil tank, that the seller did not disclose on the purchase agreement.
        When I sold, the buyer’s inspector discovered the tank, and I was on the hook for the removal. I tried to recover, but the seller had long left the country.

      • Could be worse, RET. I once bought a house on top of an old abandoned coal mine. Of course nobody ever warns you about that. Who in their right freaking mind even thinks there might be a coal seam and old tunnels under the property? I sure did not. It cost me thousands to get survey reports and consultants assurances all was OK just so I could warn off the municipal inspectors and finally give me clearance to do some building. Worst nightmare ever. It might have been cheaper to just sink a shaft and start digging coal myself for crying out loud.

      • Ralph Cramdown

        I didn’t say it was EASY, RET. Your seller might not have even known about the tank, or maybe he lied. There’s always something in real estate. I just wanted to let people know that when the realtor whips out the “standard forms,” just putting in a price and a signature isn’t the way to go. Most people should consult their lawyers BEFORE they put in an offer.

        I sold a property for relatives last year. Oil heat with an inside tank as the property hadn’t been updated in decades. My idiot lawyer had the oil company fill the tank to make calculating adjustments easy, because that’s how it’s always been done, even though most buyers typically switch to gas when available. The buyer had to pay for the oil and pay an environmental company to pump it out and take it away. What a PITA.

      • Real Estate Tsunami

        Farmer, you got dealt a lump of coal, but could have been a gold mine.
        RE ownership can be full of adventures, that’s why I prefer to rent now, after 30 years of owning.

      • Real Estate Tsunami

        Ralph,
        Both of us were relatively lucky, that the tank had not leaked.
        Otherwise, the removal cost would have been astronomical.
        I heard of one case where it cost 150 K.

  6. It’s been all fun and games for a decade while prices rise based on a mob mentality of speculation and overdone frenzy. Now the whole RE industry is unravelling as the craps game ends.

  7. My contention is that information is needed for a healthy market. The greater the extent that information is hidden or difficult to obtain, the more abnormal the market and unusual characteristics exhibited from it. In RE, this desire to protect the market by hiding bad information will in the end result in excaberated troughs and falling demand more than would have otherwise have occurred. In short, when prices become suspect in a falling market, buyers will become more cautious – not trusting the given information, will en masse tend to demand an otherwise lower price to compensate for the risk. The best thing the RE groups, stats providers and especially government organizations such as CMHC could do is provide clear transparent information, then the let marketplace adjust as it will do in any event. Doing so will make the adjustment more orderly.

    CanAmerican

    • Real Estate Tsunami

      Agreed. Transparency decreases the likelyhood of insider trading and levels the playing field and may I say is a cornerstone of democracy.

    • Well that is an excellent point, CanAmerican. You see I agree with that view despite just writing that I don’t disagree with suppressing some information. Transparency is great blah, blah, blah….but sometimes it can be very damaging and while we all know a correction is due (it is here) we do not all think think that opening the wound and pouring on salt is necessarily the best approach. Frankly I prefer CMHC keep its cards close to its chest.

      Remember, we really do prefer a slow deflation. Not a wholesale crash.

      • Cyril Tourneur

        When is less transparency ever beneficial to the proper functioning of a free market? By this logic sales prices should also be suppressed so as to not cause a panic.

      • You may prefer a slow deflation Farmer but I don’t. I want a hard, fast crash. I want it to play out as quickly as possible. Not because I love pain but because I don’t want to extend the pain. We’re going to get the same amount of pain whatever so better to get it over with quick, prevent further misallocation of resources and move on. A slow deflation a la Japan is not in the least bit attractive to me.

      • You were not around in the early Eighties were you?

      • Slow deflation like in Japan? No, thanks…

      • Farmer, your contention seems to be that market trends can be engineered if only the wise powers that be would parse information in just the right way. A variation of the “soft landing” theory. If this were possible, we wouldn’t have market crashes.

      • Or we could parse it your way and have a crash?

      • Ralph Cramdown

        Farmer, I honestly don’t know the right answer on this one. Generally I eschew the Schumpeter doctrine of creative destruction exemplified by Andrew Mellon’s “Liquefy labor, liquefy stocks, liquefy the farmers, liquefy real estate. It will purge the recession out of the system. People will have work and live a better life.” But with a residential real estate bubble? A slow melt just means five years of young families either overpaying or underliving, five years of zombie banks hoarding cash and dribbling out foreclosures, five years of other countries eating our lunch while we continue to focus on the wrong things. I just don’t know.

        But I don’t think it matters much anyway what would be ideal. I think this market has enough hot money and speculation in it that a slow melt is highly unlikely.

      • Yep. Been around for several downturns now. I expect (hope!) I’ll see a few more before shuffling off this mortal coil. I understand that sharp downturns are very painful but I find long, slow ones even more so. or me, five to ten years of ‘blah’ is worse than two years of ‘OMFG!!!’ followed by a recovery. I also find that, like Japan, long slow resets are less likely to clear out inefficiencies than short sharp ones.

        I say tear off that Band aid and let’s get on with our lives.

      • That’s some great baby boomer logic. Speaking for everyone who has at least 30 years of working life ahead of them, go rot in a nursing home.

      • Realtor behavior

        To be honest, the current property price level can not sustain!

        However, keep referring the elders or the boomers as the problems are despicable and disgusting, just like Garth Turner have been doing these days. Previously, it was the people hidden in the basement were at fault; then, it was the Gf or horny newly-wed wife or the smittened hubby being the idiot; and now the elders! What kind of new low people can come to believe all boomers should be rich and leave heaps of wealth to their youngsters or be gone? Not only these boomers didn’t got anything from their parents, they also got to take care of their parents and their kids in their prime time. If they have decided to buy a house instead of paying people to take care of their money, so called investement, they have their right and not be turfed by the young people who believe their degrees should make their more deserving for the location of the house. BTW, tell me how many “smart investors” have already been duped by the “professional investors / investment consultants” and got their nest-eggs cleaned out! The boomers saved their cash for decades, which worth 5-10 or more times of today’s cash value, So, tell me why shouldn’t their house worth more? If you want it, pay for what they ask or be gone!

        If people want to blame, blame the banks who took people’s money without giving out even any interests; and speculate in resourses, staple foods and make life unsustanable for all working families. There comes the inflation, and the bankers believe everybody should pay them for their taking care of your own money, or your money should be depreciated even these “professionals” basically did nothing other than shovelling your money between markets and got paid. When the market crashed, you take the loss. And the government actually endorse them as “professional” and corrobarate by raising tax and tax rate too!

        According to wikipedia, GTA has an area of 7125 sq. km while GVRD has only 2877 while includes even abbotsford. The toronto subway covers the vast urban area of Toronto, which is also connected by both bus and express railway around the whole GTA and beyond to Hamilton. Our Vancoucer; however, keep bluffing about their green and bike-lanes and acessible by transit, the translink only covers the 114 sq. km area. When people are stuck in that 114 sq. km BPOE, what else can you expect?

        BTW, tell me why my pennies has become worth nothing!

  8. Honestly i don’t see foreclosure in the same category as grow-up, asbestos, etc that poses a real health or life affecting risk to the buyer. I don’t even place it in the same category as that a crime – domestic abuse, murder, etc – that has taken in the house. So I don’t think this is one of the requirement info that sellers are required to disclose. And yes, it does decreases seller’s bargaining power. However, let’s phrase it another way, if a homeowner tries to sell before they get foreclosed on, should they be required to disclose that they are about to be foreclosed on and therefore is desparate to sell? I think most people here would say no. So why is CMHC any different? In fact, being a government agency, they should be doing what they can to minimize taxpayer loss.

    The reason I see realtor complaining is greed more than anything else. The inability to give the good deals to themselves or their big clients who would likely turn around and re-sell at normal market price above their low ball price.

    Also, foreclosure are public records, you can search for the court records yourself! If you want to get a good deal, do some leg work yourself rather than expecting everything to be handed to you on a silver plate.

    • Agree, Space99. The buyer should inquire. As you rightly pointed out….does every vendor who NEEDS to sell tell you that the sale is urgent thus cutting off their own legs in the bargaining process?

      Of course not. Who hobbles themselves going into a negotiation that way?

  9. Isn’t the process of buying a foreclosed property different than a normal sale?

    A foreclosure should fetch a lower price: the owners would typically have struggled to pay for maintenance, and there will be little reliable information/history about the house, requiring extra effort/cost to inspect. If CMHC becomes known as a “sleazy” seller, buyers will steer away from them and that’s not going to help prices in the long run.

  10. Audio of Cameron McNeill speech/apology at Georgie awards: https://anonfiles.com/file/c39c18308239dfd31a03f40a6b5b3cb8

  11. Got to be honest, although I was quoted in the story, I actually told Gary that I thought it was less of an issue than he was making it out to be. My exact words were “non-story”. The timing may be interesting, but that would be it. Mike Fotiou (another good, honest realtor) has written about this and he has some decent thoughts. For the most part, I agree with him:

    http://calgaryrealestatereview.com/2013/02/27/is-cmhc-seeking-to-hide-foreclosures/

    Also of interest is that CMHC has put out a press release rebutting the article:

    http://www.cmhc.ca/en/corp/nero/2013-02-27.cfm?WT.mc_id=TWT2013_53

    • I find it very interesting how the media seems to be turning against the RE-Debt industrial complex. I can’t recall many articles from 2002-2011 that questioned the RE boards or CHMC but starting last year and continuing this year there has been much more negative press.

      I guess that is reflective of a broader realization that the RE/debt party has gone on too long and then hangover is going to be severe. Maybe the media is just reporting it as they see it but it goes feel like RE has gone from being the ‘blue-eyed boy’ to ‘red-headed step child’ in a very short space of time.

      • We talked about this last month. There are no bears or bulls in the media, only dogs. Bear or bull commentary is added or subtracted as it relates to selling advertising or subscriptions.

    • I’d like to see Mike Fotiou find properties owned by investors/trustees (company name) that CMHC is an agent to. Realtors know nothing about securitization and what happens with the titles after a property is sold.

  12. I think the big issue is that it makes it more difficult to track the total number of foreclosures in the market through use of MLS data. CMHC ought to be gathering and publishing that data as a matter of course, but they do not. However, if you want to know the average square footage of Nunavut’s new apartments…they’ve got it.

    At a moment when they are seeing a rise in foreclosures, they are sweeping more foreclosure data under the rug. WHY have they done this? I am almost sure it will come back to some RE big wheels that have the ear of the minister or the CMHC and are seeking commercial advantage.

    • Dude, the RE big wheels are on the board at CMHC.

      If you want forward looking estimates, though, there’s always the banks’ loan loss provisions released with their quarterly reports. I’d say they’re likely to be a bit more accurate than the sunny predictions (or maybe partly cloudy) emanating from the banks’ economists.

      • Real Estate Tsunami

        Agreed, Ralph.
        Having worked for a bank for 30 years, I can report that the loan loss provisions is the number most closely monitored by senior management.

  13. Normally I agree with Ben Rabidoux and most of the other posters on this site. However on the failure to disclose foreclosure on MLS I disagree completely.

    There are two reasons. First purchasing a foreclosed property is entirely different from purchasing an non foreclosed property. In a nutshell if foreclosed you have to make an unconditional offer to court for cash. You can be rejected, outbid, in court, or told to come back another day etc. By not disclosing up front on MLS a prospective purchaser could waste time and energy on a property that he or she could not possibly buy because of the specialized requirements attaching to foreclosed properties.

    The second reason is that it does appear that the banks, CMHC, perhaps all levels of government and the realtors themselves want to hide the extent of the collapse of the real estate market. In the Comox Valley there are approximately 850 properties listed on MLS, only one of which, to the best of my knowledge, is shown in foreclosure. But by searching lists of foreclosed properties, which are out of date and “spotty” I established that there are at least 40 properties for sale, including some of the most expensive properties in this area. Thus at least 5% of the properties are foreclosed and it could easily be twice that number. This information would be essential to anyone wishing to make an informed decision when purchasing real estate. And it would be readily available if the “Mis-leading Listing Service” had a box for every property noting foreclosure (or not).

  14. Wow, when REALTORs are raising issues of ethics breach, you know it’s BAD!

  15. exactly to the right of the ‘leave a reply’ box, is the Georgia Straights magazine “real estate liftoff’. Keep in mind we have a very strong and very long, Bear flag that has formed off the top. When it fails… the rocket ship crashes as spectacularly as the successful launch.

    • – think you’re charting is upside down – a bear flag is a rising price pattern against a major downtrend which often signals another leg down in prices. In fact, the price chart of Vancouver RE prices more resembles a bull flag signalling a fifth (and final) leg up in prices.

      A likely catalyst for this potential final leg up is a Chinese banking and credit crisis that results in a massive wave of hot money looking for an easy home. And you thought Vancouver was unaffordable now! Canada (and Vancouver in particular) will see more than its fair share of this tidal wave since HK, Singapore, and Australia are better prepared having already placed restrictions on foreign capital directed toward RE.

      When the Chinese economy implodes, I don’t believe we’ll see much impact of increased foreclosure activity on the banks or CMHC as the wave of foreign money will swamp the trickle of bad RE loans (I still don’t like the bank stocks though). In the meantime, Canada’s resource-based economy could be completely gutted however and this should eventually be followed by another spectacular collapse in CAD$ denominated assets including RE. Good times!

  16. Sounds like a roundabout way of finding out a property is REO or foreclosure sale. Is this the same as the US?

  17. Garth discusses CMHC lack of disclosure:
    http://www.greaterfool.ca/2013/02/27/oh-canada/

    • This was sure to be a contentious issue.

      It is contrary to the beliefs of the real estate bear camp to come out in support of an idea of not having full disclosure on the issue of foreclosures. I will admit I have a problem with that too.

      My concern though is that as Real Estate is sentiment driven and emotional it will move harder on fear than optimism. It certainly is possible to see a crash in Canada if fear ever really takes hold.

      After watching how prices collapsed in the US and noting the level of anxiety and revulsion that arose as foreclosures began to pile up like cord wood I came to a conclusion that this particular sentiment reading could have devastating impacts on the market.

      Announcing foreclosure rates as they did in the US seems more akin to shouting “Fire” in a crowded theater than just bringing us the daily news roundup.

      The media were all over the data down there and swarms of panic driven bloggers were writing obituaries on the death of America itself. Soup lines were sure to be coming as stories of the homeless living in tents and travel trailers filled the headlines.

      It was a feeding frenzy that pushed prices lower at a rapid clip. Twenty five percent declines over 18 months is no joking matter and as the fear rose the layoffs began in earnest all over the country which just magnified an existing correction.

      Hotels were filled with the brimming numbers of wayward and dispossed as social service agencies contracted shelter with anyone who could provide beds. A lot of these kinds of stories were over-dramatized. Nevertheless, you could not escape the basic narrative that evolved which was that housing lay at the core of what seemed an epochal economic collapse not unlike the Great Depression of the 1930’s.

      Fear mounted by the day…gold shot up in price. People on the edge lost hope and stores shuttered as consumption dropped rapidly. The negative stories poured into newsrooms across the country (and the world) and the housing drama became a national obsession of self examination and internalized angst amongst those seeking to fault or blame those who had allowed such as situation to evolve.

      One of the ideas that struck me most though was how potent the internet and annoymous bloggers became. On sites like this we often minimize what impact our words can have on public perceptions but I now believe we need to rethink that position.

      The media certainly does follow the best sites (like this one). They are a tremendous source of new material and fresh ideas. So even though attribution is rarely given to the sources I do not think anyone here is unaware of how narratives that circulated on this very site went public within days and became national stories.

      Some of you might be surprised to hear me say that we need to turn down the rhetoric a little. The bear case on housing is already a success (if that is what was desired). What concerns me now is that it may be too much of a success as we see story after damning story hit the front pages and as we note a significant shift in negative sentiment materialize.

      Responsible bloggers here cannot possibly desire that we see a price collapse as was witnessed in America. Who would that serve? So while I am repulsed by the idea of less than full disclosure where foreclosures of homes are concerned I am even more repulsed by the idea that promoting said facts can lead to a very damaging outcome on the whole economy.

      I only ask other bloggers to consider that point of view before jumping on this issue as though it were some form of breach of public trust. A lot of you genuinely had your hearts in the right place as you worried aloud about how housing might damage the economy. I don’t think it behooves us to push the case to the point of crisis though.

      So let sleeping dogs lie, friends. This one really does bite.

      • Disagree on the main point and all that follows from it – that Real Estate is sentiment driven. IMHO the sentiment is only an icing on a top of the cake that fundamentals form. HAM related activities drive sentiment but all the market moves are made possible by the fundamentals. If there is no fuel in a car tank you may fire the ignition all you want and nothing happens.
        The other thing is that fundamentals can change too when new players became active and if Singapore protects its housing market from the outside money to keep it affordable for the locals (was discussed today on BBC), Canada does not. Intentionally as they already have no slightest idea what to do with the falling job market.

      • A worthy sentiment, Farmer… albeit, I would always advocate for the Truth… however unpleasant the immediate consequences.. if for no better reason than that LittleLies have an uncanny knack of morphing into BigLies…

        …and as any historian could tell ya, BigLies and their consequences (both anticipated and unintended) are frequently synonymous with FatalOutcomes.

        As classically defined, “EfficientMarkets” are predicated upon “perfect information/competition”, absent those… dominant players are essentially LicensedToSwindle.

        Accordingly, put me in the “FullDisclosure and LetTheChips FallWhereTheyMay” camp.

        Hmmm… how about a parable!

        [NoteToEd: ‘Quick’ painful experiences are infinitely preferable to the interminable.]

      • Speaking of BigLies…

        [CBC] – Leaked Liberal plan to win ethnic vote ‘won’t work’

        …”The documents leaked by the NDP yesterday reveal a wide-ranging plan with links to senior officials in Premier Christy Clark’s office to win ethnic votes in the upcoming British Columbia election.

        The January 2012 documents outline a proposed outreach plan involving the premier’s office, the multiculturalism ministry, the government caucus and the B.C. Liberal Party.”…

        http://tinyurl.com/ch2grpo

        [NoteToEd: Evidently, some voting blocks are more ‘important’ than others.]

    • Damn…Nemesis….your Roboredactor got me again too!

  18. Sorry for the late comment but in BC if you read the offer sheet there should literally be no way that you can miss that a property you are purchasing is a foreclosure sale. Foreclosures are distinguished by the seller not being the owner of the house but rather a third party that has a court order saying that it can sell the house. This is usually referred to as a court ordered “conduct of sale” or “power of sale” and would be noted in the schedule to the offer sheet. The party with conduct of sale is usually the foreclosing lender or a court-appointed receiver. The vast majority of foreclosure sales of residential properties are also subject to court approval after acceptance by the sellor.

  19. FWIW, my sister-in-law just informed me that “something” changed over at CMHC last week. An unusual number of applications (that normally would have been rubber stamped just the week earlier) were subjected to increased scrutiny while many of them were flat out declined for completely “nonsensical” reasons. All of those applications were then resubmitted to Genworth, with each and every one of them getting the automatic green light.

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