Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Desperate Real Estate Industry Says Now The Time To Buy...

Canada's battered real estate market got a jolt of good "news" today, in the form of a press release from least that's the spin they're putting on recent industry numbers to boost confidence, suggesting the current market is ideal for 1st time home buyers to get off the fence. I heard about it this morning while driving into work and listening to 680 News.

Included in the radio report was the fact that home listings have jumped 17% in the GTA, and while listings are great for agents...they're not much good if there aren't sufficient buyers to soak up the supply. With all the recently reported job losses it stands to reason that there could very well be a glut of properties on the market in the coming months. And if the economy and job market are forcing people to sell, its reasonable to expect prices to dip significantly.

Talk to a broker and its always a perfect time to get into stocks, ask a hair stylist or barber if you need a trim and you'll likely be told 'definitely'...and ask a Real Estate agent if 'now' is the time to buy a house and the answer will almost assuredly be yes, whether the market is up or down.

Self serving "news" from industry insiders should be taken with a huge grain of salt. The same radio station has been airing Public Service Announcements proclaiming that the automotive industry employs thousands...and they're all saying 'now is the time to buy a new car'.
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Garth Turner, a former maverick MP as well as an author and market commentator has published a new book called "After The Crash". He was interviewed recently on TVO and had some interesting insights on the real estate market...insights that fly in the face of today's Remax "news". He actually says renting might be the best strategy for some, given the uncertainty in the overall economy.

Landlords are offering substantial incentives to entice potential renters, including free rent for a month or more, as well as paint jobs and renovations. For people concerned with sinking a substantial amount of cash into a shaky housing market this strikes me as good advice. The consensus opinion on the overall economy is that we're nowhere near the bottom yet, dissenting opinions from certain parties with vested interests notwithstanding.

The interview lasts about a half hour, I suggest giving it a listen when you have the time:

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