Worry over the validity of currencies (how much is being printed? what's backing same?), plus concern over the health of banks/financial institutions, in the wake of the subprime fiasco/resulting credit crunch, and fear that the volatility of the stock markets could spell losses, all melding with a huge concern over rampant inflation, is perhaps a reason why safe haven investment is turning buyers back to good real estate investing? A buyer looking to preserve capital is interested in good property, something with a unique edge, in an area that offers some envelope of protection (perhaps it can't grow much, topographically, or maybe there are strict zoning/density controls in place?), and a purchase is about preservation of capital, and not about short-term appreciation. This kind of a buyer could be an international purchaser, and the downturn in the U.S. Dollar, coupled with substantial price reductions in some key areas, could mean that such a purchaser is already in your neighbourhood. In secondary home/discretionary venues, in Canada, this buyer profile is also suddenly active. What did someone say...fear and greed are strong motivators? Perhaps the fear of the unknown, and the concern of capital loss, is a driver in some areas, in some real estate categories. Are you finding that the "high end" (luxury or trophy homes or property) is where the action is right now? Welcome your thoughts!
Li Read, RE/MAX Salt Spring, B.C., Canada
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