Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Where Are We At In The Real Estate Cycle?

We seem to be going thru a real estate cycle very similar to 2000-2007 right now. Affordability of real estate due to the current very low interest rates is impressive. This was the same situation in 2000-2002.

The Canadian government can not raise rates significantly until the US does. The US is a long ways away from raising rates. A minority Canadian government can not raise rates in large increments without massively hurting Ontario. Very high Canadian interest rates compared to US interest rates would cause the Canadian dollar to spike, in turn crushing Ontario manufacturing. This would be political suicide.

A lot of savvy people are starting to understand that now is a good time to acquire real estate. In many markets we already see a sellers market. This has happened in Vancouver and many parts of BC. It is starting to happen in Calgary. Real estate agents are beginning to complain about a lack of listings in many jurisdictions. Throughout Canada, the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is predicting a record year.

At this juncture, the major risk is a double dip recession. World leaders and regulatory authorities with their hands on the money and power levers are absolutely committed to avoiding this possibility. The lessons of 2008 and 2009 are fresh in everybody’s mind.

The rule in real estate is to buy and wait, not wait to buy. It is difficult to time the cycle perfectly. However, this may be the absolute best buying opportunity you will have for real estate for the foreseeable future.