A Balanced Look at the Real Estate Market with Scott Ingram

Talking real estate isn’t a first for the Debt Free in 30 podcast. We’ve had many experts like Hilliard Macbeth, Ben Rabidoux, and Alex Avery provide their insight on whether renting is better than buying and vice versa.

But, we’ve never had the most obvious guest to talk real estate: an actual realtor. On today’s show, recorded on February 15, 2018 and released on March 3, 2018 (so if you are listening in the future, the statistics will have changed) we’re chatting with Scott Ingram. Scott’s not just a realtor, though. He’s also a Chartered Professional Accountant. But what really sets him apart is that he likes to empower his buyers by educating them.

When it comes to understanding the current housing market in Ontario, and more specifically, Toronto, where he specializes, Scott thinks we benefit from focusing on context. That’s why on his blog, he provides readers with charts of data spanning 7 years. For example, when he wrote about January 2018 stats, he displayed listing activity going back to 2012.

To me, you should be paying attention to all the numbers. I think it’s important to pull back and look with a longer term context with some of the things.

Scott also says looking at the months of inventory (MOI) statistic is key. MOI is the measure of how many months it would take for a current inventory of homes on the market to sell. For example, if there were 300 active homes on the market at the end of April and there were 100 sales during April, it would take 3 months for all those homes on the market to sell, assuming there are no new listings. We divide 300 active listings by 100 sales in the month, which gives us 3 months.

And what people say is: a balanced market, so it doesn’t favour the seller or the buyer, is somewhere in the four to six [month] range.

According to Scott, it’s also important to realize that real estate is a very local industry.

When Canadian real estate stats come out, CREA, Canadian Real Estate Association, they say ‘oh, the average price of a home in Canada is up 5% or down 5%,’ – In my head I always think that’s about as relevant as what is the average temperature in Canada right now.

For example, selling activity in Toronto could be very different than in Windsor or Sault Ste. Marie.

There’s other parts in the GTA, specifically, the worst areas right now where things are moving more slowly are Richmond Hill, Markham where your months of inventory could be seven or eight.

In Scott’s view, before purchasing a home, have a balanced look at the market. Don’t assume that a few months of strong selling activity will last the entire year. After all, real estate activity is seasonal.

For a more detailed analysis of how to better understand real estate, including the difference in sale activity between condos and detached homes in the Greater Toronto Area, tune in to today’s podcast or read the complete transcript below.

Other Resources Mentioned in the Show

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FULL TRANSCRIPT –  Show 183 A Balanced Look at the Real Estate Market with Scott Ingram

Scott Ingram and Doug Hoyes

Doug Hoyes:    This is episode 183 of Debt Free in 30. I’ve been doing this show every week for the last three and a half years and over that time I’ve had lots of real estate experts on the show like Hilliard Macbeth, Ben Rabidoux and Alex Avery, but in all of those shows I’ve never had the most obvious type of expert on to talk about real estate. I’ve never had a real estate agent as a guest here on Debt Free in 30. Why not? Well, the job of a realtor is to help you either buy or sell real estate. They don’t make any money not to telling you to buy or sell so in my experience they tend to have a one sided view of the world.

There’s nothing wrong with that, I’m a licensed insolvency trustee, I have a different view of the world than most other people. That’s life and there’s nothing wrong with buying or selling a house. I live in a house, my wife owns it. We live there, we raised our kids there. I’m not against real estate, but in this podcast I want to present useful information to you the listener. I don’t want this show to be nothing more than a sales pitch.

Well, today for the first time ever my guest is a realtor. Why now? Because I think I found a guest who’s a realtor and he has lots of opinions but his opinions are backed up by a lot of facts. Like me, he’s a chartered accountant, what we now call a CPA. And he’s an MBA so you know he’s good with the numbers. He does a lot of epic threads on Twitter which is where I first discovered him. And the tag line he uses for some of his seminars is an educated buyer is an empowered buyer. I like that. He’s quoted all the time in the media so let’s get started. Who are you and what do you do?

Scott Ingram:    Hello, I am Scott Ingram I think you just said what I did, which is I’m a realtor with a background in accounting.

Doug Hoyes:    So, okay let’s talk about this accounting thing. You’re a CA, a CPA, how did you go from that to being a realtor?

Scott Ingram:    Well, yeah I’m a chartered accountant from Ernst and Young back in the day, went into industry after that. The last job I had was just terrible, my last office job. And at that point I considered well, do you really want to be 9-5, which isn’t really 9-5, it’s 9-8 or 9 till whatever for the rest of your work career or do you want to do something that is you’re in the driver’s seat more, you’ve got more flexibility?

And real estate was something I’ve always had an interest in when I’d come across articles I’d read it. I kept in touch with the daily listings in my neighbourhood just to kind of keep my finger on the pulse of things and it’s after I left that last terrible job I went and said you know what, I’m just going to take the first course on the way to becoming a realtor and see if I like it. And I did and I kept with it and here I am.

Doug Hoyes:    And so how long have you been a realtor for?

Scott Ingram:    I’m into my third year as being a realtor.

Doug Hoyes:    So it’s relatively recent then, okay. So, how many realtors are there in the GTA?

Scott Ingram:    Well, that’s an interesting question actually. As of December, TREB, the Toronto Real Estate Board has 50,510 members, yeah. And just to give you some context, which is something I always like to do, so in Toronto 50,000, or GTA I should say, 50,000 realtors in OREA, Ontario Real Estate Association, there’s 70,000, so basically 50 in Toronto, 20 outside of Toronto. In all of Canada, CREA, the Canadian Real Estate Association, there’s 120. So, if you look at it that means there’s – if there’s 70,000 in Ontario that means there’s 50,000 in the rest of Canada. So there’s as many realtors in the GTA as there are in the rest of Canada outside of Ontario.

Doug Hoyes:    Wow. That’s a huge number.

Scott Ingram:    Yeah and so the GTA is about 17% of the population but we have 41% of the country’s realtors.

Doug Hoyes:    Wow. And so, how hard is it to become a realtor then?

Scott Ingram:    Well I think that’s part of the reason there’s so many. There are fairly low barriers to entry. So you need a high school diploma and then you have to take some courses. So when I started, just like I said just a couple of years ago, you had to take three courses and then you need a 75% to pass each one, three courses and then you can sign up with a brokerage and then you can trade just as much as somebody that’s been in the industry 20 years.

But in the next two years you have to have sort of an articling thing you have to take three more courses. So a total of six courses and then you’re in. But now they’ve tried to make it slightly harder and instead of doing three and three they’ve made you take five upfront before you can start trading and then one after.

Doug Hoyes:    So if I want to become like – I want to follow your path. I’m a CA, You’re a CA. Now I want to become a real estate guy. So, from today how long – what’s the quickest I can actually, you know, have my name on a listing for a house?

Scott Ingram:    It’s you can – there’s places right across from where you take all the exams up in Don Mills it’s like fast track I think. So you could probably take a course a month, you could take – you could do it in a book like you can do it at home. You can take textbook and just take the test. You can do an online course so you can do it at your own pace.

So if you really fast tracked, yeah you could, you know, bang off a course every couple of weeks if that’s all you did. So you could probably three months, I mean six months I would say is probably maybe a course a month. Sign up, get some business cards, there you go. Yeah I’d say probably you could start trading within zero to trading in six months on an accelerated pace.

Doug Hoyes:    Wow. Yeah and I guess if I really wanted to get into the business I’d go get a job working for a real estate agent or a brokerage or something here. I’ll be the guy who goes and bangs the signs in and measures the rooms and does other kinds of grunt work. Okay, so it can be relatively quickly so obviously there are not huge barriers to entry which is why you say there’s 50,000 real estate agents in the GTA.

Scott Ingram:    Yeah and I should say in that 50,000 I’ve never seen any published stats on what’s part-time and what’s fulltime. So I mean you could have people that are, you know, it’s your aunt that’s 70 years old just kind of kept her licence and once or twice a year she does something for –

Doug Hoyes:    A friend of hers.

Scott Ingram:    Friends of family.

Doug Hoyes:    Right or maybe I’ve got a fulltime job and that’s what I do on the weekends or something. But still, that could be the case in the rest of the country as well and yet it’s still a huge number. Okay, so that’s some good background now let’s get to the point of this interview and the question I want to ask you is who am I supposed to believe? So, some people say that the market is booming, some say it’s crashing and everyone makes their point by picking out numbers that support their point of view.

So, I’ll let you give me your predictions at the end of the show but first what numbers should I be paying attention to? And for today’s show we’re going to concentrate a lot more on the GTA market because that’s where you’re embedded. But okay so in terms of numbers of things like, you know, sales volume, sales price, are those the kinds of things I should be watching for? How can I analyze what’s happening in the market?

Scott Ingram:    To me you should be paying attention to all the numbers. I don’t think there’s one. If you look at baseball for example and for a long time batting average was the big thing. This guy’s got a good batting average. But as people become more enlightened over recent years with a lot more analytics in the game people talk about people that have an empty batting average like they never walk or they don’t hit with power. So you used to have someone like a light hitting short stop could hit for a high batting average but now people see beyond that.

So I don’t think there’s one magic stat to watch that’s why it’s good to take in a balance of things. That’s what when I publish monthly stats I look at several different stats because to me they’re all an indicator that it’s not one magic

Doug Hoyes:    And we’ll mention this at the end of the show but you do. I mean I’ll hold it up to the microphone here, which is really great radio. But so every month you publish a whole bunch, I mean there’s I don’t know 20 pages here of charts and graphs and everything.

Scott Ingram:    It looks like 10 pages.

Doug Hoyes:    10 pages. And where can people find this?

Scott Ingram:    They can find it through my website.

Doug Hoyes:    Which is?

Scott Ingram:    Which is well they can go to areacode416homes.ca or sorry, .com or if they just Google me Scott Ingram and Century 20 they’ll find my website and they can click through to blog, I do a blog entry every month. Or find me on Twitter, my handle’s @areacode416 I’ll always post up when I release these every month and I’ll usually pin that post for the rest of the month.

Doug Hoyes:    Yeah and that’s a good way to do it. That’s how I see them because you will often, not just publish okay, you can go here, but here you go boom, boom, boom and you’ll highlight all the main things.

So, okay so I get what you’re saying with the baseball analogy. There’s batting average but there’s a whole bunch of other things that I can look at too. So, when I’m looking at how the market is doing, what are the kind of things I should be looking for? So, it’s not just one metric it’s many so give me a few that you pay close attention to?

Scott Ingram:    Well, sales, volume, so –

Doug Hoyes:    Which is the number of units sold in the particular period.

Scott Ingram:    Right, which is generally a month. So we’ll compare January’s sales versus January’s last year. And that’s one of the things that I always stress in my charts I show the last seven years and then an average of the seven years. Because I think people lack context often because when the stats are released monthly by TREB, Toronto Real Estate Board, the media or people just tend to concentrate on versus last year. So, but was last year a record year, was last year a terrible year? So when you’re just comparing to one particular year you sort of lose sight of –

Doug Hoyes:    The context.

Scott Ingram:    Yeah. So that’s why I think it’s important to kind of pull back and look with a longer term context with some of the things. So sales volume which is basically demand and then I look at active listings, which is a snapshot of how many houses were for sale or condos at the end of the month. So, the January active listings number would be a snapshot on January 31st of how many properties were available for sale.

Doug Hoyes:    They don’t do an average for the month?

Scott Ingram:    No.

Doug Hoyes:    Okay, so obviously that’s I guess prone to a little bit of fluctuation but if you’re looking at the same period of, you know, it’s the end of the month it’s always the same thing. And obviously that would be supply then.

Scott Ingram:    Yeah, exactly. And then the next stat, which I really like, which marries both of those, is called months of inventory. And that’s one of my favourite indicators I would say and it’s good to watch the trend on that up or down. So, when prices were falling after the peak craziness at the March madness last year or the spring period, when the prices were falling months of inventory was going up at the same time and it’s usually an indicator for that. But it’s also good to watch relative again to prior periods is this – because real estate is very seasonal. So December, January very slow months, April May are –

Doug Hoyes:    Yeah you can’t compare May to December, that’s just silly.

Scott Ingram:    Right. So if you just looked at yeah, sales, volume in those two months it’s weird. Or if you just look at the number of listings in that month you would go oh wow, May has way more listings than December so the supply is too high but it’s because a lot of people are buying at that time so it’s very seasonal.

So the thing that kind of equalizes that a bit takes into account supply and demand is months of inventory. And what that is, is I like to think of it in terms of a car lot. So, if I told you this car lot has 200 yeah at the end of January there was 200 cars on the lot, is that a lot, is that a little? I don’t know but if I told you that in the month they sold 100 cars you would go, okay and if I told you they sold 20 cars –

Doug Hoyes:    You would maybe have a lot of inventory.

Scott Ingram:    Right so if it’s a downtown lot they sold 100 cars that month they’re carrying 200 that would be two months of inventory because at last month’s velocity 100 cars were sold in a month, it would take two months to empty that lot. Whereas the other case where they only sold 20 in the month, say at some rural dealership for some reason have 200 cars on the lot, and they sell 20 a month, that would take 10 months to sell all that inventory. And what people say is a balanced market, so it doesn’t favour the seller or the buyer, is somewhere in the four to six range.

Doug Hoyes:    Four to six months?

Scott Ingram:    Four to six months, correct. So, I guess five being the midpoint. So, Toronto is has had has been in a, by that measure, has been a seller’s market for basically 20 years expect for a little blip in the 2008, 2009.

Doug Hoyes:    Meaning below four to six months worth of inventory?

Scott Ingram:    Yeah, it’s been consistently below four to six months of inventory basically for the last 20 years. Now and this is where you can see the differences regionally now so TREB, Toronto Real Estate Board, carries listings for a wide area of not just Toronto but it’s greater Toronto area and even a little extended. So, Toronto 416, which is where I concentrate on, meaning the city of Toronto your postal begins with M as in Mary, that is only 38% of the sales transactions of TREB. So, 62% come from the surrounding areas, the 905.

So, these – real estate is a very local industry so different part – that’s like when Canadian real estate stats come out, CREA, Canadian Real Estate Association, they – when they say oh, the average price of a home in Canada is up 5% or down 5%, I think that’s always – in my head I always think that’s about as relevant as what is the average temperature in Canada right now.

Doug Hoyes:    Yeah, it means nothing

Scott Ingram:    In Vancouver or Yellow Knife or whatever. So, real estate’s very local and even if you take Ontario stats, Toronto could be very different than Windsor or Sault Saint Marie. And even within Toronto different neighbourhoods are acting different than other neighbourhoods.

So, what we’re seeing right now in the GTA is that Toronto months of inventory for houses, and the housing market can act very differently from the condo market, in January was 3.1 which is actually the highest it’s been in awhile for January but it’s still considered, you know, using that four to six months as balance, it’s still in seller’s market territory. But there’s other parts in the GTA specifically the worst areas right now where things are moving more slowly are Richmond Hill, Markham where your months of inventory could be seven or eight. So into buyer’s market territory.

Doug Hoyes:    So it does fluctuate around. So, and this is one of the things that always, you know, ticks me off about when you read the stats in the newspaper because they’ll say oh, sales are up this much from last month well. Well, it doesn’t mean anything because if last month was December or last month was January as you move through the year the numbers change considerably. So, I guess one of the key points you’re making is if you’re going to look at stats, make sure you’re comparing apples to apples.

Scott Ingram:    Exactly, yeah, There’s a lot of mixed problem when you start looking at overall average stats.

Doug Hoyes:    Yeah and I think your example of what’s the average temperature in Canada is an excellent example because that is a totally meaningless number.

Scott Ingram:    Yeah.

Doug Hoyes:    Like it’s totally meaningless. So I mean maybe if you look at that number over a course of a thousand years maybe there’d be a trend that would cause us some alarm but, you know, it’s ridiculous.

Scott Ingram:    And I guess if you compared the average temperature in Canada to the average temperate in Honduras it would tell you something.

Doug Hoyes:    Yeah it would tell you something but it’s kind of a ridiculous number. So, okay, so in terms of stats, and I know in your publication every month you’ve got a whole lot more but I think you’ve kind of given us the big overview, so there’s the demand stat, which is sales volume, the demand stat which is active listings and kind of merge them all together the months of inventory which kind of marries it up.

So if I’m thinking of buying a house does any of that matter? Like should I – you know, who cares what the rest of the market is doing? Is that something I should worry about or is it really my own personal circumstances that are much more important?

Scott Ingram:    Well definitely your personal circumstances are the most important thing. You know, one thing we didn’t talk about which is important to monitor as well are prices, average prices, median prices and how those are trending. The reason I look at when I’m meeting prospective buyer clients, for the first time I usually walk them through my monthly stats just so A, they can talk to things when I mention them after and B, well, what I was saying about I think an educated buyer is an empowered buyer.

But C, so they know what kind of market they’re getting into. So, if I had met someone for the first time last March and I showed them how the stats were going at that time they should be bracing themselves to be in a very competitive market. Where if we look at days on market, which is how long from when a listing hits the MLS to the day it’s sold, you know, things were flying off the shelves back then. Months of inventory was crazy low, like had historical lows so that’s – those are just to tell you what kind of market you’re stepping into.

Doug Hoyes:    So, it’s important to know what the big picture is before you start diving into something I guess.

Scott Ingram:    Yeah.

Doug Hoyes:    It would be almost like if I wanted to invest in the stock market okay so is the stock market at record highs or is it at record lows right now? I mean maybe that would help give me a little bit of context as to what potentially could happen in the future.

Scott Ingram:    Yeah. I guess one of the differences in houses though if you want to put in an order to buy 100 shares of X, you could –

Doug Hoyes:    It could be filled in 10 seconds.

Scott Ingram:    Right. Whereas if you want to buy 123 Main Street there could be seven other offers and you’re in a competitive bidding situation.

Doug Hoyes:    So there’s an infinite supply of stocks but there’s only one of those houses that I want to buy. So, you got to be a little bit more narrowed in on it.

Okay so that’s kind of the big picture. And you’ve kind of touched on a bit where the market is now. So, we’re recording this in February, 2018 and it’ll be released around March 3 just to give me time to have a full transcript and everything for everyone to read so if you’re listening to this podcast in the distant future the market may have changed. Where are we now? And I want to kind of ask two questions related to this. The first one is about the new mortgage rules and I think we’ve talked about this on the show before, the mortgage rules have changed a couple of times over the last two or three years.

The last change was on January the 1st where the stress test is now applied pretty much to everything and I’m grossly over simplifying it but it’s a little harder now to get a mortgage now than it used to be in the past. So, in real simple terms and again I’m over simplifying this but you pretty much have to qualify it at an interest rate a couple of points higher than what you’re actually paying. Is that a, I realize that’s not a perfect summary but am I pretty close there?

Scott Ingram:    Yeah, that’s pretty much it. I will say though there was a stress test already in place for people that were putting down less than 20% and now what they’ve done is just also implement a stress test of a couple of points on the people that were putting down 20%.

Doug Hoyes:    Right. So, the insured mortgages were already subject to the stress test, now pretty much everyone is. So has that had, and I realize we’re into February now, the end of February, so it’s, you know, you don’t have six months of history to answer this question but have you seen it make any difference at all or not?

Scott Ingram:    I think in the last few months yes, I have seen a difference so first thing is I would say there seems to have been a pull forward of demand into last year say November, December. So, people that wanted to beat the stress test. And so what we’re seeing is volume sales, volumes dropped after the craziness of the spring and they were going anywhere call it 20% below prior year levels. Whereas November, December they were more like 5 to 10% below prior year levels where again before it was sort of call it 20 to 30% range.

So, it got closer to prior year levels and I think – but they were still down but I think that was probably – they would have been down worse if people hadn’t pulled for it. And then this year drop versus last year. It’s hard to separate the affect of this versus, you know, buyer psychology blah, blah, blah. But I think one of the things was probably some people that would have bought maybe earlier this year sort of accelerated the process. Bought last year so sales volumes were a little bit slower at the beginning of this month. And yeah I think definitely it’s harder to get credit now. People are qualifying for less so yeah I think that’s –

Doug Hoyes:    It has had some impact. And I guess in the fullness of time we’ll really know the answer.

Scott Ingram:    But I do think the largest impact is probably just psychologically because people read about – like if you go back to last spring when the Ontario government announced that Ontario fair housing plan, which is when they brought in the foreign buyers tax or the non-residency speculation tax was the official names. But that just cooled things right down. If you look at the teeth of what was in there, the two biggest things were that foreign buyers tax and the putting back rent controls for buildings built in 1991 or later.

But if you look at like the substance of that they weren’t that big a deal. They should have affected the market as much as they have. But I think psychologically it just sort of splashed water on the face of buyers. And they’re like whoa, what are we doing here? Give your head a shake. And I think also just from reading about a stress test, stress test, stress test, so much hearing about in the media, I think buyers have been affected by that and I sense a lot more caution coming into this year.

Doug Hoyes:    Yeah and that makes sense because every market is psychology. I mean it’s – it can’t all be based on pure fact. It’s got to be based on what I think. Now you made another comment that I want to ask you about and that was that there are really two different markets, the condo market and the what do you call it, the detached house or the standalone house.

Scott Ingram:    Freeholds.

Doug Hoyes:    Freehold or whatever, something that isn’t a condo. Freehold I guess would be the opposite of a condo.

Scott Ingram:    The other type of ownership.

Doug Hoyes:    Right. So is it true that those are two different markets in the GTA and if so, what are we seeing in those two different markets? Because my perception is that, and this again just anecdotally talking to clients, that condos are still pretty hot but freeholds, detached houses or whatever have eased off. Is that true or am I wrong?

Scott Ingram:    You are right on the money on that. And I think so condo prices have remained elevated versus prior year levels. But that to me is being driven by low supply. So, if I looked at January’s numbers there was 1,846 condos available for sale at the end of the month and that was 40% below the average of the previous seven years. So, it started dropping actually. I’m pointing to Doug here to show him the seasonal averages month by month of how many condos are generally for sale. And it’s sort of around the 5,000 level fluctuates seasonally. But then in 2016 the numbers broke away from the norms and got a lot lower and through 2017 last year when things got really crazy the inventory levels were just crazy low historically and they’ve stayed down that low right now. So there’s less stuff on the market.

Doug Hoyes:    Which is going to support prices then.

Scott Ingram:    And there’s I believe there’s more eyes on this space now because people have been priced out of freeholds or houses and I think there’s more eyes looking at the condo space. So you’ve got more people looking and less properties available for sale.

Doug Hoyes:    It’s going to make the prices go up.

Scott Ingram:    Exactly.

Doug Hoyes:    That’s supply and demand. Okay so let’s talk about the future then. And, you know, here’s my perception of conventional wisdom in Toronto today. The market has pulled back a bit but the real estate market according to many real estate agents it’s going to keep doing great going forward because you’ve got continued population growth in the GTA. There’s something like over 100,000 people a year who are coming into the market. You’ve got continued economic growth Toronto of course is a major business centre. And there’s a supply shortage of homes and condos. Well, you just said that. I mean you just said that condos are at a historically low level if you look back over the last few years.

Now I can make the opposite case and I can say yeah well the prices are already really high, you already also said that people are being priced out of the market. When I drive around Toronto or walk around you see cranes everywhere so it looks to me like there’s a ton of new condos being built. Interest rates are higher, they’ve gone up three times in July, September of 2017 then again in January 2018 so that’s going to make things more expensive going forward, which I think would reduce demand. And then I’m not hearing all the stories about the crazy bidding wars like I used to.

What do you think 2018 and beyond is going to look like? And you can separate the condo and the freehold market if you want, but what do you see going forward? What’s the future, tell me the future, tell me from your crystal ball what’s going to happen?

Scott Ingram:    Well, I wish I had a crystal ball but I think psychologically like I said it seems buyers are a lot more cautious now which is probably good. And I think like what we’re in for in that correction we saw last year I think was a regression to the mean. And this still might need more regressing, if you look at the last couple of years going into the last year the price of houses increased 12%. If I look at December average house price versus December of the year before in 2015 it was 12% higher. Actually go back to 2013, 2013 was 17% higher, 2014, 7% higher, 2015 12% higher, 2016 22% higher. So it can’t keep going in double digits.

Doug Hoyes:    It’s impossible.

Scott Ingram:    Yeah the long term – if I take for houses the last 20 years, the average growth rate has been 6.7% that’s a kegger compound average growth rate, so, 6.7% for houses, 4.7% for condos. And that’s been a good 20 year run. But when you’ve got – and so it’s not to say that the next 20 years are going to be 7% and 5% because that was a good 20 years there. In the last 20 years there’s only been three negative years for houses and two negative years for condos, so 17 out of 20 years has been a positive price growth.

But when you’ve had recent run ups like that, 10, 20% I don’t think it can keep going at that so you’ve got to have a couple of years at 0, -5, whatever it is I think to kind of pull back to that long term average. So whether last year’s correction sort of reset it to that or if there’s still a couple of more slow years to grow, of growth, maybe.

But I still believe in the long term and it’s not just because of my profession. I try to be unbiased, as you said like we talked I’m newer to the profession but also because I’m accountant. The numbers are what the numbers are. I guess you can kind of spin things to support a point of view. But I try to take a more balanced approach because I’m here to give to me, to give my clients the best advice to me the best advice is unbiased.

Doug Hoyes:    And so you’re not expecting a crash, you’re not expecting house prices to go down 50%.

Scott Ingram:    No, I think all those reasons you mentioned the continued population growth, that it’s a major business centre and art centre really for the whole country that – and they’re not making any more houses.

Doug Hoyes:    Yeah well not making any more land.

Scott Ingram:    Definitely not making any more land. So, I think long term Toronto is a great place to buy. So, yeah anybody that has a longer term view they’re – you know, I wouldn’t – it’s a lot different right now for flippers. There’s a lot more risk now of people where I think buying, fixing up properties and selling them and think they’re so smart because they made $200,000 profit but also like if they just bought it and did nothing they might have made $100,000 profit or $150,000. They weren’t so smart it’s just like the market made them look smart.

Doug Hoyes:    It’s just that the timing was perfect, yeah. I mean everyone’s a genius in a bull market and everyone’s wrong in a correction I guess.

So last question then, what is the general advice you give people then if they’re thinking of buying or selling a home?

Scott Ingram:    Well, as you were saying sort of personal circumstances will dictate. But I always ask people what’s your timeframe on this? Is this a place you want to live for 20 years, is this a five to seven year thing? So, you know, know what your timeframe is and like I said I believe still in the long term prospects in this market are strong.

Doug Hoyes:    Being a flipper is probably not a great idea at this point.

Scott Ingram:    Yeah it’s risky. And this is the other thing that I was struggling to think of there just know that there is risk like prices can go down, we’ve seen it last year. There’s a few unhappy buyers that bought in March. But if you look at that as in terms of what percent all of Toronto would be unhappy buyers it’s probably 1%. So, but know that there is some risk like anything you buy but I think the longer your timeframe is the – you’ll be reducing that risk drastically.

Doug Hoyes:    Excellent. Well I think that’s a great place to end it on. Knowing your time frame is obviously an important thing to know how much risk you want to take on. So, Scott, reiterate again for people how they can find you. So on Twitter your Twitter handle is?

Scott Ingram:    @areacode416.

Doug Hoyes:    Okay. And that’s an easy way to find him because if you go there there’s obviously profile links to his website and everything. Your main website is same thing, area code –

Scott Ingram:    It’s areacodehomes.com.

Doug Hoyes:    Areacode416homes, with an s, .com. I will put links to everything in the show notes. So, Scott, thanks very much for being here.

Scott Ingram:    My pleasure, thanks for having me.

Doug Hoyes:    Thank you, that was Scott Ingram in his first every podcast appearance. I think it went great. So, that’s our show for today. Full show notes including transcript and links to Scott’s website and everything we talked about today including all the research that he’s talked about can be found at hoyes.com. Thanks for listening. Until next week, I’m Doug Hoyes. That was Debt Free in 30.

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