How much would you pay to have somebody line up overnight and potentially sleep on the pavement in order to hold your place in line?
Alternatively, how much would you need to be paid by somebody else to line up overnight in order to hold somebody else’s place in line?
Then again, maybe you just do it yourself?
The “OG” in this regard is none other than Riff Randell.
Friend of Kate Rambeau, nemesis of Principal Togar, and Ramones super-fan.
Raise your hand if you’ve seen the movie “Rock ‘n Roll High School?”
This was a staple of my childhood as we had a dubbed copy on beta cassette and we seemingly watched it every weekend.
It’s a classic 80’s movie, although it was actually made in 1979.
Riff Randell is a teenager obsessed with The Ramones, but is a terrible student and attends a high school where the students love Rock n Roll and have behavioural problems. A new principal, the evil and tyrannical Principal Togar, instills her iron on the student will with the help of her hall monitors, and eventually steals Riff’s tickets to The Ramones concert! So what does Riff do? She and her friends overthrow the administration, take over the school, and with the help of The Ramones, they literally rock the roof off.
But how in the world did Riff get all those tickets to The Ramones’ concert?
She slept on the street for three days to be the first in line!
Remember this clip?
Geez, I just watched like ten minutes of this movie and it would not be acceptable in 2023. But then again, what is?
Riff Randell slept in the street for three days so she could get tickets for herself and her friends. She bought 100 tickets for $1,000, if you remember the movie like I do, and she went back to school and handed them out to the entire student body as well as the music teacher, Mr. McGree.
Well, I know what I’m watching this Saturday night…
Sleeping in the street to beat the line is not an event reserved for 1979, it would seem, since this is happening in 2023.
I don’t regularly cruise Reddit for real estate news, just as I’m not a part of all those insane Facebook groups, but a few people sent me a link to a recent pre-construction launch in Pickering by well-known builder, Mattamy Homes.
I don’t see Riff Randell in the line outside, but nevertheless…
That’s the night before the sales centre opened.
And according to the folks on Reddit (so take that at face value…) the going rate for hiring somebody to stand in line overnight was $2,500 – $5,000.
Is this a good representation of where our real estate market is right now?
What would the economists from RBC and Desjardins say now?
So what are people lining up for?
Something called “Seaton Mulberry in Pickering.”
From the Mattamy Homes website:
Mattamy Homes has returned to the thriving and family-friendly Pickering once more. With endless opportunities for new adventures across the breathtaking landscape, it’s easy to see why. Almost completely surrounded by the picturesque Natural Heritage System, this community of exclusive detached homes offers you the chance to explore the nearby trails regularly. Meanwhile, your family will also enjoy the convenience of having urban amenities and highly rated schools only a short drive away. With a range of beautifully designed detached homes with spacious backyards, you’re sure to have all the room your family needs for at-home entertaining, quiet nights in, and everything in between. Seaton Mulberry is your chance to live nestled in nature.
Nestled in nature.
Like, literally nestled in nature, since this development is north of north north Pickering:
Please excuse the clarity of that map, but this is how far the site is from Pickering, and thus why I had to crop such a large area!
If you go to Google Maps, you see what this looked like a few years ago:
“Nestled in nature,” the advertisement reads.
You’re literally in nature. On what used to be a dirt road in the forest.
Google Earth shows us a cool look at how this little town was carved out of nothingness:
But this is how a city is built!
Er, a town.
Er, a sub-division that eventually becomes annexed to an existing residential neighbourhood once the “middle” is filled in with houses and infrastructure.
This isn’t the first phase of the development, by the way, but it still had people lining up overnight.
More to the point, they were taking to Facebook to express their disappointment and frustration with not being able to buy!
Just look at the comments:
And all the while, I couldn’t help but wonder: will these people be picketing outside the sales centre in a few years?
Will these people go crying to the media?
Man, people have a really short memory.
When was February 5th, 2023?
Oh, wait, it was thirty-six days ago.
From the article:
Dozens of people who thought they were buying their dream homes in two Oakville housing projects early last year, when the real estate market was still riding high, say they never expected home values would fall so low or that interest rates would rise so fast.
And now they’re unhappy.
But this isn’t the first time we’ve heard this story!
Planned homes in a new Whitby subdivision are on sale for up to $90,000 less than similar homes in the same development were a year ago. Good news if you’re house hunting now. Bad news if you bought into the development a year ago.
That’s five years ago, and it’s like people forgot.
Or, it’s like Google is broken.
Or, it’s like people just don’t care.
So I ask again:
Will the buyers who are lining up outside the Mattamy Homes sales centre, and will the buyers who are posting angry comments on Mattamy’s Facebook page, be complaining to the media in 2026 like these folks did in 2018 and 2023?
But for now, they’re lining up in the cold overnight or paying line-sitters cash to hold their place in line, all so they can increase their chances of being given the privilege of buying a townhouse in this development.
What does this say about the market?