As a company focused on investment properties, we are driven by numbers. I almost fell off my chair when I saw a statistic of an area in Toronto where I invest and play; Humewood-Cedarvale in the St. Clair West area. Real estate prices in the area were down by 6%. Had this been the case, our clients would have acquired properties below market value with strong rental income figures.
Prices have been increasing steadily since early 2009. I have kept a close eye and tracked real estate prices in this area for many years and have not seen a dip since early 2009. I further researched the data and reviewed Josie Stern's semi annual report, a real estate agent who specializes in this area. The data showed prices in Cedarvale were up by 12.2% and HillCrest Village was up by 15.5%. That's an 18-21% swing between the 2 reports!
Sometimes numbers don't tell the full story or are incorrect and it's best to further investigate. The "Humewood-Cedarvale" area in the Globe and Mail article is a large area and is broken in 3 sub areas: Cedarvale, HillCrest Village and Wychwood. Analyzing the 3 sub-geographic areas provides a clearer picture. Bottom line, it is prudent to inquire further since incorrect data could lead to bad decisions.
A good example is researching rental prices for one bedroom basement suites. We see listings on Kijiji, Craigslist and MLS for $700-$850 but we know they can be rented for $1150-$1250. An additional $400 in rental income is helpful when analyzing an investment property's potential.
Align yourself with a knowledgeable team to help you make the appropriate decisions whether it is a home or an investment property and ask lots of questions.