Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Real Estate

If you can hold off, don't buy real estate (this is particularly targeted to people I know in their early to late twenties who are thinking of buying their first house). Why?
  • Although the US real estate crisis hasn't hit us as hard (and probably won't) we still have yet to feel some of the effects
  • There is an aging population which has a disproportionally high amount of equity built into their homes who will be liquidating their houses within the next few years (downgrading / down sizing, releasing equity, retiring etc) but no one will want to buy them (old article, but the fundamentals remain the same).
  • Over capacity in real estate can't just be "scaled back". There are currently more houses than the market can absorb and you can't just halt development projects and watch construction companies close shop. The market reaction will be a much faster reaction than the development reaction (i.e. Housing starts seems to be dropping across the board)
Wait... 1 to 2 years for the market to bottom and get a good mortgage rate and price for housing. Check out the reports published by the CMHC for more info on the outlook of the Canadian Housing market.

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