Friday, March 9, 2007

Real Estate Investment

The Winnipeg Sun quoted a Statistics Canada report:

"A housing price report released by Statistics Canada yesterday show new house prices jumped 10.1% from January 2006 to January 2007. But the national figures were skewed by a 40% increase in the oil-boom cities of Calgary and Edmonton. Almost all other major centres showed much more modest gains with Toronto and Ottawa at less than 3%, Winnipeg at 7.8% and London at 4.1%. "

When I look back at my investments, there is no doubt that owning real estate was one of the best investments I ever made. Owning our home, mortgage free, was one of the major parts of my early retirement plan. I can't take credit for the timing because it is tied back to my date of birth and having the dumb luck of being one of the "boomers".

One of the things I discovered recently is that there are mutual funds that invest broadly in Canadian Real Estate. In things like rental properties, shopping center construction and so on.

This means that you can live in a province like Manitoba or Newfoundland where the prices may not be going up much but still invest indirectly in the real estate booms occurring in provinces like Alberta or British Columbia.

My favourite fund at this time is CIBC Canadian Real Estate Fund. The performance history chart of this fund can be seen on the Globefund site (link below).

One of the features I like about real estate as an investment, unlike stocks, is that when prices drop people don't all panic and sell. People tend to stay where they are because you can always live in the house as long as you can afford the mortgage payments.

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