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property values

 
bruce Fine
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was speaking with an economics expert the other day and he was saying if the covid induced recession were in and more than 50 million unemployed in US could very well turn into a depression and property values would most likely plummet. My first though is might want to buckle up for the ride and learn further frugality.
any thoughts
 
John F Dean
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I think you are speaking to the choir.  I suspect everyone on this site is  pretty frugal compared to the general population.
 
Catie George
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Yes, especially here in southern Ontario where the prices are asinine -  you cant afford a starter house here making the AVERAGE household income with a 20-30% down payment in most places within 2-3 hours drive of the city. It already dropped here a significant amount (more than what is being reflected in the news, as people seem to be spending the same amount as before, but buying a nicer house for their money). I was in the process of buying a house in February/March, finally got an accepted offer, and crashed it due to covid worries/a poor inspection, and then stopped looking. Now, my realtor is emailing that the prices are going back up and bidding wars have started again.... and I am still holding off. I anticipate this fall is going to be hard.

They have been predicting a depression since this spring, and even last fall.... stock values are meaningless, cost of living rising, underemployment (different than unemployment) extremely high, etc. Likely food shortages in the fall, famines in Africa....

Nothing we can do but grow a big garden.
 
S Bengi
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As long as rental prices dont go down, depressed property resale value isn't too bad.
And if one wasn't planning to rent out their property, then they wouldn't even care about rental/resale prices.

If anything they might be happy that they are paying less taxes and that they can buy their 1st or 2nd/etc property for cheaper.

I do understand that for someone who has lost their income due to the lockdown/covid, they might be forced to sell/foreclose on their property and lose some prior projected value.
 
John Wolfram
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One thing about real estate is that is super-local, and broad statements may not be applicable.

For example, the statement that "real estate prices plummeted during the Great Recession" can be true or false depending on where you are located. Phoenix, AZ prices may have plummeted, but prices in Washington, DC rose a bit.

For a Covid recession, things might be even more local. I could see prices dropping in cities, but rising in the far suburbs as people mainly work from home (and want more space) but need to be able to get down to the office from time to time.

EDIT: In my little community 90 minutes from the heart of Chicago, houses have been selling fast at prices that are at least 20-30% higher than they were a few years ago.
 
Jack Edmondson
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The single biggest driver for property prices is interest rate.  One might think it is supply and demand.  However, the ease of lending in a financialized world is what drives demand.  So whether the coming crisis creates deflation through destruction of capital or inflation from 'printing money', the deciding factor will be the cost of borrowing money and what one can qualify for at a given interest rate.  So will a recession crater property prices?  It hasn't in Japan for the past 20 years because of interest rate stimulus.  

I thnk your advisor is right about the recession, but I think he is over simplifying the cause and effect in the market place for lending.  Banks must continue lending to keep cash flow high.  If they were wise they would quit lending at low rates to questionable buyers.  However, that is not what they did running up to or after the 2008 crash.  That is a good indicator of what they will try to do (and have been doing since.)  The real question is will the taxpayers be forced to bail them out again when the train hits the next wall?  
 
bruce Fine
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right now property values seem to be up and its very difficult to find cheap property around here that's any good to do anything with without huge investment in excavation and improvement. I have very close friend with about $20000 burning a hole in his pocket wanting to buy some land somewhere near where I'm at at the edge of the smokies and we have been looking for 4 months now and have yet to find any raw acreage with water on it that is in that price range. just a few years ago much more was available
 
Jack Edmondson
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You are asking strangers for advise, so here goes...

I think cash will be king for property in the near to mid term.  I see the real possiblity of another credit market seizure as worsening economic conditions reduce the number of willing and able borrowers.  Banks can do what they have done and just reduce their threshold standards for lending, but that always ends badly.  At some point we will reach a 2008 moment again when no one wants to lend to anyone else for fear of capital loss.  A credit contraction (or spike in rates to manage risk) will reduce the buyer pool.  Reduced pool will leave a lot of property on the market aging.  Prices will fall.  That is when cash will be your best ally.  You will not have to be in the credit market that forces outside of your control set prices.  People who need to sell will deal.  Cash is always king in a depression scenario.  "Free Money" lending has thwarted that correction for a long time.  Once that breaks price discovery will become normalized, prices will come down; and those in a cash position are going to find bargains.

If your friend can hold off buying another year or two, I think he will get much more for his money; but only if interest rates rise sharply, or banks quit lending to anyone whom can fog a mirror.  The problem is the length of time all this will take to unwind may be a few years and not months.  It was very hard for me to be patient, so I can relate.  
 
S Bengi
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Land is available but alot most folks aren't investing the time to post it. You would have to talk to folks on the informal,friend of a friend of a cousin network.
 
William Bronson
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My own house has been worth less than the purchase price since at least the 2008 crash.
Having locked in a payment I can afford has meant never having to move due to rent increases.
Having my mortgage held by a local bank has meant leeway during times when we were up against the wall.

That I am not building much  equity sucks,  but it's part of living in one of the worst parts of town.
For context,  a $120,000 house would be in a relatively nice part of Cincinnati.
These housing prices are part of what draws locals back home after they leave town for work or school.
 
Anita Martin
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William Bronson wrote:
That I am not building much  equity sucks,  but it's part of living in one of the worst parts of town.
For context,  a $120,000 house would be in a relatively nice part of Cincinnati.
These housing prices are part of what draws locals back home after they leave town for work or school.


You mean you can get the plot with the built house for 120,000 USD? That is really cheap. Around here you wouldn't even get a decent flat for that price, maybe a tiny apartment far off the city. I haven't seen a decrease in estate prices yet but I have seen that some offers have been online for quite some time and some at a cheaper price than before. Maybe that's an indicator already?
But most of the offers around here start at 600,000 and go up to 1.2 million Euros (1 million Euro would be around 1.175 million USD)

If prices go down considerably we might buy something (for retirement, for the kids etc. because bank savings do not work in these times).
 
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