I came across this article in the Globe and Mail today regarding several economists and economic authorities expressing concern about the amount of economic data available to the public and policy makers in order to make more accurate assessments of where the market is at.
This is quite an interesting article and raises some valid concerns. I personally would be in favour of anything that makes an assessment of market conditions more visible and transparent. However, one thing I take issue with is what the article implies, and leads the reader to assume, which is that the real estate market has some kind of hidden skeletons that would be exposed with greater economic data.
While it is always fair to be cautious about the housing market in the face of the US economic collapse in 2008, more housing data could reveal even more positive news about the market than was known before, or at least maybe a mixed bag of good and bad that would allow policy makers to more accurately target policy changes that will address any concerns in the market.
Jeff Evans, a mortgage broker with Centum Innovative Financial, has continuously addressed the issues of the macroeconomic decision making of the Ministry of Finance, CMHC and OFSI, which has been done to attempt to protect the market, but has also made it more difficult for lower to middle income earners to get into the real estate market.
It should also be clear that the housing market DOES have a lot of market data currently. This is not a case of being totally blind to market conditions.
I know doom and gloom and controversy are major elements that help sell newspapers and draw draffic, but to anyone that reads the article on the Globe and Mail and is getting cold feet about owning a home, keep in mind that they ARE trying to sell newspapers, and the medium is not exempt from bias. Take a deep breath, relax, and do what is right for you. Shelter is a basic expense of living that no one can avoid, and if you are renting, than you are paying someone else for a place to live except with no increase in equity that a mortgage will provide.
Bobby Bisla is a realtor with Century 21 Coastal Realty in Surrey, BC. He regularly posts on his real estate blog.
Photo by Stewart Butterfield