As Toronto housing cools, A-Rod, Pitbull bring wealth ‘cheerleading’
BNN Bloomberg, March 16, 2018 • A video of rapper Pitbull jumping and dancing on stage, surrounded by six dancers, isn’t an image one would typically associate with the property market.
But that’s the first item showcased on the website of the Real Estate Wealth Expo, which will have thousands flocking to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre – one of the city’s biggest event venues – in early April.
This year’s real estate spectacular has a celebrity speaker roster that includes actor Sylvester Stallone, former baseball star Alex Rodriguez and Dragons’ Den’s Manjit Minhas, while last year’s lineup featured well-known life coach Tony Robbins. A ticket for this year’s event costs anywhere between $149 to $5,995.
“It’s your time to become a millionaire!,” the expo’s website says, with flashy promises that attendees can learn how to flip properties, become top earners, hone a “millionaire mindset” and even find out how to “use other people’s money to fund YOUR deals… regardless of your credit score.”
Yet while the massive event promotes real estate – and this year, even bitcoin and cannabis investments – as ways to get rich, it comes at an inflection point in Canada’s largest housing market. Greater Toronto Area home sales plummeted 34.9 per cent year-over-year in February in the wake of several regulatory changes, according to the Toronto Real Estate Board.
“I think the purpose of those seminars is more for entertainment than for anything else,” said Hilliard MacBeth, an Edmonton-based financial advisor and author of the book When the Bubble Bursts: Surviving the Canadian Real Estate Crash.
“This is to keep people’s spirits up, and given how sales of single-family homes in Toronto are down, cheerleading might be a difficult task this year and so people are choosing to concentrate on bitcoin.”