A young couple in Toronto starts house-hunting with a $450, 000 budget and ends up with a $700, 000 home, after losing fifteen bidding wars. In Vancouver the average bungalow soars past $900, 000. In Saskatoon, house values rock higher 56 per cent in one year. At the same time, real estate values in the US plunge for the first time since the Great Depression. Millions of families are forced out of their homes. Canadians are told it can't happen here, while first-time buyers outside Toronto sign up for monster houses with virtually no down payment and 40-year mortgages for 98 per cent of the cost. When the average family can no longer afford the average home, how can so many people be deluded into believing a boom will last forever'when none has before? How could we have put so much money into something we might never be able to sell, except to a greater fool? Truth is, homeowners and homebuyers have been seduced by a cabal made up of real estate marketers, builders, lenders and bankers, along with a pliant media, to buy, buy, buy. Canada has its own, hidden debt crisis just as dire as the subprime mortgage fiasco, and the same self-dealing industry tactics have led us to put more than 80 per cent of our net worth into a single asset, ignoring the obvious threats and repeating the disastrous mistakes of others. Are we next? Yes.How could we have put so much money into something we might never be able to sell, except to a greater fool?