A Toronto homebuyer takes his frustrations to the blogosphere

FML Listings is a place to rage against overpriced homes


Last week, we wrote about whether Canada’s real estate market is on the cusp of a painful though not disastrous pop or an all-out meltdown like the ones that hit the U.S. and Ireland. Econowatch would like to kick off this week by drawing your attention to FML Listings, an anonymous blog launched by a self-described frustrated Toronto homebuyer. It’s based on a simple, brilliant idea: Pick a modest house or condo with an outrageous price tag, and rail against it in 50-100 words. Here’s today’s gem about a one-bedroom, one-bathroom going for $548,000:


“Aaand, here’s a 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom super tiny condo at Yonge and College for almost $600,000.00!!   After looking at so many listings, it appears to me that adding pot lights to your house or condo ups the value about $100,000.00. And when I say value, I obviously don’t really mean value.

Happy Monday everyone.”

The folks at real estate blog Move Smartly interviewed the anonymous writer behind FML Listings, who described the origins of the site’s name:

“Urban dictionary defines FML as, ‘When one is in a bad situation and needs to fill that aggravated “sigh” with a word,’ which is exactly how I feel about the whole situation. I’m not a first time buyer, I’m married, we both have great jobs, and have what we think is a safe down payment. But even with all that, we still can’t buy a reasonably priced house in the city we grew up in.”

It’s a feeling scores of Torontonians and Vancouverites can surely identify with.


A Toronto homebuyer takes his frustrations to the blogosphere

  1. I love it!

    I’m tired of sellers putting in “investor grade” renovations for  40k,
    then upping the selling price at least 100k.  Note to buyers: It’s
    cheaper for you to do the renovations with your own contractors, than it
    is for you to pay 100k for the seller to do them, considering that 100k
    is now on your mortgage for the next 25 years for renovations you
    didn’t even do, possibly didn’t want, and are most likely not done to
    the best standards since they were just done to make a quick profit on
    the house.

    So true.

    And apparently there was a 31 person bidding way for a run-down house in Mimico. Wow.

    • Are you complaining about free markets? At any given time realestate is worth what the market will pay. 

      • If real estate wasn’t an exceptionally interfered-with market, it would be a free market with clear cost and price signals. Though I’m not opposed to government backing of residential mortgages, building codes, and zoning laws in principle, they don’t exactly create a free and open market with clear signals of value. 

      • First of all, I’m not complaining, and I don’t know why you would conclude that I was. I am not in the housing market in Toronto or anywhere else.

        I agree with CR.  If real estate was a free market, there would not be a problem.  God knows the developers in Toronto are making a killing that they don’t deserve.  There are also home-owners in Toronto selling their houses and making a killing that they don’t deserve. Some home-owner in Mimico just sold their house for 200k over list price, which is basically like winning the lottery.

        I completely disagree with the anonymous blogger who is claiming that realtors are the problem.  That’s completely ridiculous.  You can’t blame a person for taking what they can get, and you can’t blame a realtor for selling at the highest price. 

        Basically, there are two groups that deserve the blame.  One group is the various zoning commissions, who are obviously preventing developers from building enough (if not, you would see more developers and more building considering the absolute killing that they can make right now).

        The other group that deserves blame are the buyers in Toronto, who appear to have no clue just what kind of pain they are setting themselves up for, who will all be spending the next 30 years in debt to the hilt, and many who will be completely up the creek if the market drops and they end up underwater in their mortgages.  Many of them are speculators to be sure.  It’s no different than the herd mentality in the US that went on from about 1998 until 2008.  The only thing a sensible buyer can do is wait for the bubble to pop, which can take years.  It’s most likely that this is a huge bubble fueled by idiot buyers who can’t do math. Also to blame, to a smaller degree, are the greedy banks offering insane 7% cash back mortgages and other mortgage products that could cause them to implode when the bubble pops, and most of all the central bank of Canada with their insane federal rate that is allowing the bubble to expand.

        In a free market, supply will meet demand. In a free market, you can’t borrow money for less than the inflation rate (which is basically being paid to borrow). Toronto real estate is not a free market.

        In a short time, or perhaps a while, whenever the bubble pops, Toronto will be filled with people who owe 600k for a house worth 300k, and they won’t be able to get out. They will either have to spend half their adult lives paying the extra 300K for nothing, or they will have to walk away, which will kill their credit rating and the bank that lent them the money.

  2. Love that blog.  Particularly because I AM in the process of trying to buy.  And I said to my realtor, “do these people get the same comparables as I do?” because what they are asking–heck even what they”come down” to when I make a perfectly good offer, is so out of touch with reality that I feel like I’m missing something.  Like maybe a gold mine under the parking lot.

  3. This makes me feel a bit better about the sustainability of my two bedroom Toronto (OK, Scarborough) condo maintaining it’s value of around $250,000, lol.