I'm a little late with the formal introduction (sorry!), but here we go
1) Age / Location / Occupation
2) What real estate do you own?
3) What's your view on the market going forward? Buyer or seller? Which parts of the market?
4) Anything else?
1) I'm 30 & currently reside in Ontario.
2) 5 SFH houses, 3 duplexes, and 3 condos... mostly located in smaller markets in Ontario. Property values are very low compared to Vancouver. In fact, bachelor apartments in downtown Vancouver are probably worth more. Started buying at least one property a year for the last 7 years - buy & hold, never "flipped" anything (but I must confess to secretly enjoying all those "flip" shows). Cashflow positive on all of them, properties are located in good areas so it attracts quality tenants. However the problem is, I have a little cashflow but not much capital appreciation (pick your battles right? Finding quality in high appreciation areas that cashflow with small downpayment is rare!). Mortgages are being paid down, but I keep a close eye on Vancouver as it is a fascinating market and if the crash occurs like many here anticipate, that would be my opportunity to close up shop in frigid Ontario and look for some buying opportunities in Vancouver.
3) Not sure where the market in Vancouver is going. Can't deny that real estate is cyclical and this up part of the cycle has played out a long, long time now. That being said, business is booming in Vancouver, interest rates are increadibly low (for variable) and are going lower. People are all working there - unemployment is at what near all time low or something? By far Vancouver is the most desirable place to live in all of Canada and Canadians want to live there... Hard to see a crash with all of those factors, but the rise has been fast and furious so its equally as hard to see prices continue to rise like they have. Enough rambling, I'm going with 5-8% per year until 2011... That's what I think, but I'd certainly welcome a crash to allow me the window of opportunity to be a buyer in Vancouver.
4) Anything else? Well, I've lurked here for years and collected a lot of wisdom from both the bears and the bulls, especially the regulars so thanks for sharing all your valuable insight. Only started posting Jan 2007, but watched the forum way before then.
Finally, some people I know who have lived in Vancouver a long time sold their family home two years ago & loaded their family into a house to rent & now rent from a landlord whom they distrust and dislike. They plan on buying their exact same home or a similar home on the same street when "the crash" comes. At the same time, for the last two years they go on and on about how ridiculous it is for these random people buying "pre-sale condos" and how risky it is and how these pre-sale buyers are speculating with their hard earned dollars and how it won't work out well for them... I can't help but ask myself, who's taking on the more risk? These friends of mine or the random pre-sale buyer?