The continuous price increases in the high-demand housing markets of Vancouver and Toronto might be attractive to those who are looking to sell at a profit later down the line, but a prominent financial advisor cautioned against putting all of one’s eggs on the real estate basket.
In a contribution piece for HuffPost Business Canada
, finance blogger and author Garth Turner described the dire situation faced by many young adults who are considering investing in Vancouver and Toronto homes.
“The liquid assets among 35-year-olds who have been working for seven or eight years is breathtaking. There aren't any. Instead, all the cash has gone into lifestyle, a soul-sucking condo or repaying student debt,” Turner wrote.
Turner noted that the case of real estate bloggers Firecracker and Wanderer—who many youngsters have celebrated as examples of “digital nomads” (i.e., millennials making it big in continuously reselling homes)—should be viewed as the exception rather than the norm.
“All kinds of people from all kinds of places were in touch with me because (of course) I can double people's money without any risk while they sleep. Piece of cake,” Turner lamented.
“Missing from the [reports] was the fevered level of saving these two crazed beavers exhibited as I worked with them, the way they Hoovered up every scrap of cash from every source and jammed them into their portfolio ETFs, the insane budgeting they engaged in and the fact they lived on less than the average lichen,” he added.
The financial advisor emphasized that as with any other sector, real estate is subject to market forces that can make it either surge or crash in the flicker of just one key development—even more so nowadays, as housing is now one of the major engines of the Canadian economy.
“In an age of peak house, shoveling your cash into a dead-end condo or staggering under an epic mortgage for a slanty semi held together with bug spit, is not a strategy. It's a financial death sentence,” Turner warned. “Once markets turn (and they are), real estate can become illiquid and depreciating while the debt placed upon them doesn't shrink by a single dollar.”
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