We figured it was time to share a list of resources that you may find interesting.

You can find the usual interest rate stuff with some quick Google ninja searches.

This list is more a set of resources that hopefully really raise the bar in your real estate mastery and are designed around getting a handle on how the Canadian economy works.

This isn’t your typical “top real estate tools” or “top real estate techniques” list. We like those too and we’ll save that for another time!

Ready?

Let’s get busy…

1. Real Estate Appreciation Data & Trends:

Here’s one of the best places to get historical appreciation rates for the year, trends and predictions of the next year’s appreciation for residential real estate. This is a free resource available to all of us: CMHC’s Housing Now Reports. You can get them for Canada, by Province or even by major city. These are also the reports journalists use to write articles about real estate in all the major papers.

2. The media often just repeats information that is released by Statistics Canada and it’s neat to read the reports before the media actual releases them.  

It’s also a very instructive way to watch how the media does its reporting.  You can find everything from Consumer Price Index reports (inflation reports) to Canadian Income Trends to Greenhouse emissions to Canadian Export activity at: The Daily by Statistics Canada.  You can even sign up for daily emails on specific topics that interest you.

3. Should You Go Variable or Lock In Your Rate? 

Isn’t that the question on top of every investor’s mind?  There’s a pretty famous study by a York University professor, Moshe A. Milevsky, Ph.D., that did some thorough analysis on this. You can read a summary of his findings here.

4. Bottom Line Of The Above Mentioned Reports? 

Don’t want to read all those reports we just linked to? Variable rate mortgages have proven to be better than fixed rate mortgages with exceptions in the early 80’s and 90’s when rates went into the teens. RBC has a summarizes this with a nice little chart on page 3 of this report here.

5. Want to Know Where Mortgage Professionals & The Media Get Their Smarts? 

The Mortgage Professionals Canada does a solid job of mortgage data gathering. For example, did you know 68% of Canadians use fixed rate mortgages or that 18% of mortgage holders took out equity from their homes this year or that 80% of Canadian mortgage holders have 20% or more equity in their homes or that Ontario is responsible for 41% of all mortgage approvals in Canada or that Alberta has the highest mortgage arrear rate in Canada? Well now you know, here’s where you can download the latest reports and market digests.

6. The Tools The Bank of Canada Uses To Control The Canadian Economy. 

Look, we know we’re monetary policy geeks – but we love this stuff! And as a sophisticated investor, you should too!  We really can’t believe how open the Bank of Canada is with the way it tries to guide the economy.  It’s kind of cool (and scary).  Check out the Monetary Policy page and from there learn about inflation, find the latest reports, and more.

7. This is an “unusual list” so we didn’t want to share a standard mortgage calculator.  

Instead, here’s the coolest calculator around.  It’s the Bank of Canada’s Inflation Calculator.  Here’s a test:  Enter in the amount of money you were making per year 10 years ago, 15 years ago, 20 years ago etc. in the “Basket of goods” box and then hit CALCULATE.  Is your income keeping up with inflation?  It should be if you want to enjoy those Mexican Beach of Florida Disney vacations we Canadians love!

8. Want To Know Where Interests Rates are Headed?  

Watch the value of the U.S. dollar.  If the U.S. Dollar stays low or keeps falling rates in Canada will likely stay low – even in Canada – unless Canada does a major monetary policy about face.  Simple as that!  Here’s a handy chart you can refer to.

9. How Is The Rest Of The World Viewing Canada?  

It’s so easy for us to get self-absorbed.  To keep proper perspective you’ll want to take a look at what the rest of the world is saying about Canada every once in a while.  We are always monitoring what the International Monetary Fund is saying about Canada. – their comments often dictate the Bank of Canada’s actions and it’s one of the ways we forecast the future of interest rates and real estate appreciation in Canada.

One more! Why not, it’s our list and we can do what we want 🙂

 

10. Best Blog to Keep You Thinking Outside Of The Box and not always focused on Real Estate.

You need balance, right?  The Blog of Tim Ferriss, it seems to be losing a bit of its pizazz but there’s more good information about life, health, cash and travel in there than any other blog we’ve come across. Pick up his pick while you’re at it, 4-Hour Work Week, fun read.
 
Until next time… Your Life! Your Terms!