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Hedge Against Inflation With These 3 Real Estate Investment Types
The annual inflation rate in Canada is currently around 5.1%—the highest it’s been in 30 years.1 It doesn’t matter if you’re a cashier, lawyer, plumber, or retiree; if you spend Canadian dollars, inflation impacts you.
Economists expect the effects of inflation, like a higher cost of goods, to continue.2 Luckily, an investment in real estate can ease some of the financial strain. Here’s what you need to know about inflation, how it impacts you, and how an investment in real estate can help.
WHAT IS INFLATION AND HOW DOES IT IMPACT ME?
Inflation is a decline in the value of money. When the rate of inflation rises, prices for goods and services go up. Therefore, a dollar buys you a little bit less with every passing day.
The consumer price index, or CPI, is a standard measure of inflation. Based on the latest CPI data, prices increased 5.1% from January 2021 to January 2022. In comparison, the CPI increased 1.0% from January 2020 to January 2021.3
How does inflation affect your life? Here are a few of the negative impacts:
- Decreased Purchasing Power
We touched on this already, but as prices rise, your dollar won’t stretch as far as it used to. That means you’ll be able to purchase fewer goods and services with a limited budget.
2. Increased Borrowing Costs
In an effort to curb inflation, the Bank of Canada is expected to raise interest rates.4 Therefore, consumers are likely to pay more to borrow money for things like mortgages and credit cards.
3. Lower Standard of Living
Wage growth tends to lag behind price increases. Even as labour shortages persist in Canada—which would typically trigger pay raises—wages are not increasing at the same pace as inflation.5 As such, life is becoming less affordable for everyone. For example, inflation can force those on a fixed income, like retirees, to make lifestyle changes and prioritize essentials.
4. Eroded Savings
If you store all your savings in a bank account, inflation is even more damaging. As of February, the national average deposit interest rate for a savings account was around 0.067%, not nearly enough to keep up with inflation.6
One of the best ways to mitigate these effects is to find a place to invest your money other than the bank. Even though interest rates are expected to rise, they’re unlikely to get high enough to beat inflation. If you hoard cash, the value of your money will decrease every year and more rapidly in years with elevated inflation.
REAL ESTATE: A PROVEN HEDGE AGAINST INFLATION
So where is a good place to invest your money to protect (hedge) against the impacts of inflation? There are several investment vehicles that financial advisors traditionally recommend, including:
Some people invest in stocks as their primary inflation hedge. However, the stock market can become volatile during inflationary times, as we’ve seen in recent months.
Commodities are tangible assets, like gold, oil, and livestock. The theory is that the price of commodities should climb alongside inflation. But studies show that this correlation doesn’t always occur.8
3. Inflation-Protected Bonds
Real Return Bonds (RRBs) are inflation-protected bonds issued by the Canadian government that is indexed to the inflation rate. Bonds are considered low risk, but returns have not been rising at the same rate of inflation, making them suboptimal investments.
4. Real Estate
Real estate prices across the board tend to rise along with inflation, which is why so much Canadian capital is flowing into real estate right now.10
We believe real estate is the best hedge against inflation. Owning real estate does more than protect your wealth—it can actually make you money. For example, home prices rose 20% from 2021 to 2022, nearly 15% ahead of the 5.1% inflation that occurred in the same timeframe.11
Plus, certain types of real estate investments can help you generate a stream of passive income. In the past year, property owners didn’t just avoid the erosion of purchasing power caused by inflation; they got ahead.
TYPES OF REAL ESTATE INVESTMENTS
Though there is a myriad of ways to invest in real estate, there are three basic investment types that we recommend for beginner and intermediate investors. Remember that we can help you determine which options are best for your financial goals and budget.
- Primary Residence
If you own your home, you’re already ahead. The advantages of homeownership become even more apparent in inflationary times. As inflation raises prices throughout the economy, the value of your home is likely to go up concurrently.
If you don’t already own your primary residence, homeownership is a worthwhile goal to pursue.
Though the task of saving enough for a down payment may seem daunting, there are several strategies that can make homeownership easier to achieve. If you’re not sure how to get started with the home buying process, contact us. Our team can help you find the strategy and property that fits your needs and budget.
Whether you already own a primary residence or are still renting, now is a good time to also start thinking about an investment property. The types of investment properties you’ll buy as a solo investor generally fall into two categories: long-term rentals and short-term rentals.
2. Long-Term (Traditional) Rentals
A long-term or traditional rental is a dwelling that’s leased out for an extended period. An example of this is a single-family home where a tenant signs a one-year lease and brings all their own furniture.
Long-term rentals are a form of housing. For most tenants, the rental serves as their primary residence, which means it’s a necessary expense. This unique quality of long-term rentals can help to provide stable returns in uncertain times, especially when we have high inflation.
To invest in a long-term rental, you’ll need to budget for maintenance, repairs, property taxes, and insurance. You’ll also need to have a plan for managing the property. But a well-chosen investment property should pay for itself through rental income, and you’ll benefit from appreciation as the property rises in value.
We can help you find an ideal long-term rental property to suit your budget and investment goals. Reach out to talk about your needs and our local market opportunities.
3. Short-Term (Vacation) Rentals
Short-term or vacation rentals function more like hotels in that they offer temporary accommodations. A short-term rental is defined as a residential dwelling that is rented for 30 days or less. The furniture and other amenities are provided by the property owner, and today many short-term rentals are listed on websites like Airbnb and Vrbo.
A short-term rental can potentially earn you a higher return than a long-term rental, but this comes at the cost of daily, hands-on management. With a short-term rental, you’re not just entering the real estate business; you’re entering the hospitality business, too.
Done right, short-term rentals can be both a hedge against inflation and a profitable source of income. As a bonus, when the home isn’t being rented you have an affordable vacation spot for yourself and your family!
Contact us today if you’re interested in exploring options in either the long-term or short-term rental market. Since mortgage rates are expected to rise, you’ll want to act fast to maximize your investment return.
WE’RE INVESTED IN HELPING YOU
Inflation is a fact of life in the Canadian economy. Luckily, you can prepare for inflation with a carefully managed investment portfolio that includes real estate. Owning a primary residence or investing in a short-term or long-term rental will help you both mitigate the effects of inflation and grow your net worth, which makes it a strategic move in our current financial environment.
If you’re ready to invest in real estate to build wealth and protect yourself from rising inflation, contact us. Our team can help you find a primary residence or investment property that meets your financial goals.
The above references an opinion and is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be financial advice. Consult the appropriate professionals for advice regarding your individual needs.
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Our nation is in the midst of a shifting real estate market. But even as the buying frenzy begins to slow, many properties are still receiving multiple offers.1
So what’s the best way to compete as a buyer–especially if you’re wary about overpaying?
While a high offer price gets attention, most sellers consider a variety of factors when evaluating an offer. With that in mind, here are five tactics you can utilize to sweeten your proposal and outshine your competition.
We can help you weigh the risks and benefits of each tactic and craft a compelling offer designed to get you your dream home—without giving away the farm.
1. Demonstrate Solid Financing
The reality is, that no one gets paid if a home sale falls through. That’s why sellers (and their listing agents) favour offers with a high probability of closing
Sellers particularly love all-cash offers because there’s no chance of financing issues cropping up at the last moment. But all-cash offers are rare, and if sellers are assured that financing will come through, buying with a mortgage doesn’t have to be a disadvantage.
The most important step you can take as a buyer is to get preapproved before you start looking for homes. A preapproval letter shows sellers that you are serious about buying and that you will be able to make good on your offer.2
It’s also important to consider the reputation of your lender. While sellers may not know or care about a lender’s reputation, their agents often do. Some lenders are much easier to work with than others. If you’re unsure who to choose, we are happy to refer you to reputable lenders known for their ease of doing business.
2. Put Down a Sizeable Deposit
Buyers can show sellers that they’re serious about their offer and have “skin in the game” by putting down a large deposit. This, however, is not the same as a down payment.
The deposit is typically held in a trust account by the seller’s brokerage or lawyer.3 If the purchase goes through, it is applied to the down payment and closing costs. If the sale falls through, however, the buyer could lose some or all of that deposit, depending on the contract terms.
Deposit amounts vary, but offering a higher deposit can help demonstrate to the buyer that you are serious about the property. We can help you determine an appropriate deposit to offer based on your specific circumstances.
3. Ask for Few (or No) Conditions
Most real estate offers include conditions, which are clauses that allow one or both parties to back out of the agreement if certain requirements are not met. These conditions appear in the purchase agreement and must be accepted by both the buyer and seller to be legally binding.
Two of the most common conditions are:4
- Financing: A financing condition gives the buyer a window of time in which to secure a mortgage. If they are unable to do so, they can withdraw from the purchase and the seller can move on to other buyers.
- Inspection: An inspection condition gives the buyer the opportunity to have the home professionally inspected for issues with the structure, wiring, plumbing, etc. Typically, the seller may choose whether or not to remediate those issues; if they do not, the buyer may withdraw from the contract.
Since conditions reduce the likelihood that a sale will go through, they generally make an offer less desirable to the seller. The more conditions that are included, the weaker the offer becomes. Therefore, buyers in a competitive market often volunteer to waive or exclude certain conditions.
However, it’s very important to make this decision carefully and recognize the risks of doing so. For example, a buyer who chooses to waive a home inspection condition may find out too late that the home requires extensive renovations. If you back out of a home purchase without the protection of a condition, you could lose your deposit.5 We can help you assess the risks and benefits involved.
4. Offer a Flexible Closing Date
When it comes to selling a house, money isn’t everything. People sell their homes for a wide variety of reasons, and flexible terms that work with their personal situations can sometimes make all the difference. For example, if a seller is in the process of planning a significant move, they may appreciate an option to advance or postpone their closing date.
This flexibility can provide a powerful advantage for first-time homebuyers. If you have a month-to-month or easily transferable lease, for example, you may be able to offer a more flexible timeline than a buyer who is simultaneously selling their existing home.
Of course, the value of these terms depends on the seller’s situation. We can reach out to the listing agent to find out the seller’s preferred terms and then collaborate with you to write a compelling offer that works for both parties.
5. Work With a Skilled Buyer’s Agent
In this real estate market, one of the greatest advantages you can give yourself is to work with a skilled and trustworthy real estate professional. We will make sure you fully understand the process and help you submit an appealing offer without taking on too much risk.
Plus, we know how to write offers that are designed to win over both the seller and their listing agent. The truth is, listing agents play a huge role in helping sellers evaluate offers, and they want to work with skilled buyer agents who are professional, communicative, and courteous.
Once your offer is accepted, we’ll also handle any further negotiations and coordinate all the paperwork and other details involved in your home purchase. The best part is, that you’ll have a knowledgeable, licensed advocate on your side who is watching out for your best interests every step of the way.
Helping You Get the Right Offer
In many cases, a competitive offer doesn’t need to be condition-free or significantly above the asking price. But if you’re serious about buying a home in today’s market, it’s important to consider what you can do to sweeten the deal.
If you’re a buyer, we can help you compete in today’s market without getting steamrolled. And if you’re a seller, we can help you evaluate offers by taking all the relevant factors into account. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation at 250.704.6970. ISLAND HOME MARKETING of RE/MAX GENERATION in beautiful Victoria, BC... we are "Redefining Real Estate"
- Bloomberg - https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-04-12/home-prices-could-start-to-cool-in-canada-s-hot-housing-market
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