The title of this piece definitely makes the words I am about to write quite predictable, and very biased coming from your local broker right? WRONG. As Will Rogers once said, “Don’t wait to buy real estate, buy real estate and wait”.
This quote rings true in this market for two absolute reasons, and that’s what I want to address in this week’s article, not so much why you should buy real estate, but why you should stop hesitating, or believing or waiting on a market crash. The two following reasons are why I believe this, and in all honesty I think I do not need any other reason as to why you should always buy real estate. The first reason is simple supply and demand, the second is the real estate market vs. any other type of market (i.e. Stocks, crypto etc.)
1. Supply & Demand
Today’s market is on fire and at record highs, not due to covid nor the low interest rates but rather simple supply and demand. In Quebec, there are typically just over 120,000 properties for sale, right now? just under 40,000. Yes, you read correctly. So why is the market on fire? The typical real estate market has 25,000 buyers (ex), and we still do today, but they usually have a choice of 120,000 properties and not only 40,000. Why is this important to understand? Because It is affecting your decision making. – If you are waiting for “inventory to correct itself” you won’t even see it happen. It will take months before the inventory drives itself upwards. To enter the start of a balanced market (less bidding wars/stabilizing prices) we need at least an additional 60,000 properties to come for sale, to get that to happen in a rush, we would need to completely and utterly hault buying in the province for at least 60-90 days (which obviously won’t happen). If this does correct itself, it will be a gradual correction where it slowly settles over the course of 6-12 months, so you will never actually wake up one day in a balanced market, the same way this sellers market started late 2019 and turned red hot towards the start of 2021.
2. Real Estate Market vs. Other Markets
One important factor people tend to forget is that there is a major difference between real estate and it’s investment counterparts (i.e. stocks, crypto’s) it is a tangible. Meaning it is physical, you can see real estate, touch it, renovate it, make it better etc. You cannot do that with stocks or cryptocurrencies. The volatility you see in the stock market and crypto market is not impossible in real estate, but will not happen the same way because the real estate market is not dictated by any one specific factor. A lot of my buyers have seen the rates jump from 2.69% in early September 2021 to 3.29% today in March 2022 and think “The crash is coming!! Let’s wait” That is not how it works.
First of all the difference in that mortgage rate represents at least $150-200 difference in monthly payments, so even though you would save on the home you are buying (which you probably won’t) you will be paying it back in interest.
Secondly, the mortgage rate affects your affordability, meaning if you could get approved for 500,000$ at 2.69% you will only get $480,000 at 3.29%. So you will not be able to buy more if rates continue to rise.
Third and final point, real estate does not fluctuate as quickly as other investments, even if the rates rise quickly, it never happens in the course of days or even two months, it will happen over the course of one year. or even two. That being said, it will not have a sudden effect on the market, and if prices climb even 3-6% (normal increase in value year over year) you will end up paying more money by the time your “wait” is over.
The point of all this, that saying really does ring true… Do not wait to buy real estate based on today’s market, tomorrow’s market or yesterday’s market. If you are looking for a home, you will always need a place to live, fall in love and buy with your head and your heart, talk to your broker and make sure it is a sane investment.. but do not wait for the market to crash, it simply almost never does. It can, but it’s not probable.