The annual inflation rate in Canada is currently around 5.1%—the highest it’s been in 30 years.1 It doesn’t matter if you’re a cashier, lawyer, plumber, or retiree; if you spend Canadian dollars, inflation impacts you.

 

Economists expect the effects of inflation, like a higher cost of goods, to continue.2 Luckily, an investment in real estate can ease some of the financial strain.

 

Here’s what you need to know about inflation, how it impacts you, and how an investment in real estate can help.

 

 

WHAT IS INFLATION AND HOW DOES IT IMPACT ME?

 

Inflation is a decline in the value of money. When the rate of inflation rises, prices for goods and services go up. Therefore, a dollar buys you a little bit less with every passing day.

 

The consumer price index, or CPI, is a standard measure of inflation. Based on the latest CPI data, prices increased 5.1% from January 2021 to January 2022. In comparison, the CPI increased 1.0% from January 2020 to January 2021.3

 

How does inflation affect your life? Here are a few of the negative impacts:

 

      Decreased Purchasing Power

We touched on this already, but as prices rise, your dollar won’t stretch as far as it used to. That means you’ll be able to purchase fewer goods and services with a limited budget.

 

      Increased Borrowing Costs

In an effort to curb inflation, the Bank of Canada is expected to raise interest rates.4 Therefore, consumers are likely to pay more to borrow money for things like mortgages and credit cards.

 

      Lower Standard of Living

Wage growth tends to lag behind price increases. Even as labour shortages persist in Canada—which would typically trigger pay raises—wages are not increasing at the same pace of inflation.5 As such, life is becoming less affordable for everyone. For example, inflation can force those on a fixed income, like retirees, to make lifestyle changes and prioritize essentials.

 

      Eroded Savings

If you store all your savings in a bank account, inflation is even more damaging. As of February, the national average deposit interest rate for a savings account was around 0.067%, not nearly enough to keep up with inflation.6

 

One of the best ways to mitigate these effects is to find a place to invest your money other than the bank. Even though interest rates are expected to rise, they’re unlikely to get high enough to beat inflation. If you hoard cash, the value of your money will decrease every year and more rapidly in years with elevated inflation.

 

 

REAL ESTATE: A PROVEN HEDGE AGAINST INFLATION

 

So where is a good place to invest your money to protect (hedge) against the impacts of inflation? There are several investment vehicles that financial advisors traditionally recommend, including:

 

      Stocks

Some people invest in stocks as their primary inflation hedge. However, the stock market can become volatile during inflationary times, as we’ve seen in recent months.7

 

      Commodities

Commodities are tangible assets, like gold, oil, and livestock. The theory is that the price of commodities should climb alongside inflation. But studies show that this correlation doesn’t always occur.8

 

      Inflation-Protected Bonds

Real Return Bonds (RRBs) are inflation-protected bonds issued by the Canadian government that are indexed to the inflation rate. Bonds are considered low risk, but returns have not been rising at the same rate of inflation, making them suboptimal investments.9

      Real Estate
Real estate prices across the board tend to rise along with inflation, which is why so much Canadian capital is flowing into real estate right now.10

 

We believe real estate is the best hedge against inflation. Owning real estate does more than protect your wealth—it can actually make you money. For example, home prices rose 20% from 2021 to 2022, nearly 15% ahead of the 5.1% inflation that occurred in the same timeframe.11

 

Plus, certain types of real estate investments can help you generate a stream of passive income. In the past year, property owners didn’t just avoid the erosion of purchasing power caused by inflation; they got ahead.

 

 

TYPES OF REAL ESTATE INVESTMENTS

 

Though there are a myriad of ways to invest in real estate, there are three basic investment types that we recommend for beginner and intermediate investors. Remember that we can help you determine which options are best for your financial goals and budget.

 

      Primary Residence

 

If you own your home, you’re already ahead. The advantages of homeownership become even more apparent in inflationary times. As inflation raises prices throughout the economy, the value of your home is likely to go up concurrently.

 

If you don’t already own your primary residence, homeownership is a worthwhile goal to pursue.

Though the task of saving enough for a down payment may seem daunting, there are several strategies that can make homeownership easier to achieve. If you’re not sure how to get started with the home buying process, contact us. Our team can help you find the strategy and property that fits your needs and budget.

 

Whether you already own a primary residence or are still renting, now is a good time to also start thinking about an investment property. The types of investment properties you’ll buy as a solo investor generally fall into two categories: long-term rentals and short-term rentals.

 

      Long-Term (Traditional) Rentals

 

A long-term or traditional rental is a dwelling that’s leased out for an extended period. An example of this is a single-family home where a tenant signs a one-year lease and brings all their own furniture.

 

Long-term rentals are a form of housing. For most tenants, the rental serves as their primary residence, which means it’s a necessary expense. This unique quality of long-term rentals can help to provide stable returns in uncertain times, especially when we have high inflation.

 

To invest in a long-term rental, you’ll need to budget for maintenance, repairs, property taxes, and insurance. You’ll also need to have a plan for managing the property. But a well-chosen investment property should pay for itself through rental income, and you’ll benefit from appreciation as the property rises in value.

 

We can help you find an ideal long-term rental property to suit your budget and investment goals. Reach out to talk about your needs and our local market opportunities.

 

      Short-Term (Vacation) Rentals

 

Short-term or vacation rentals function more like hotels in that they offer temporary accommodations. A short-term rental is defined as a residential dwelling that is rented for 30 days or less. The furniture and other amenities are provided by the property owner, and today many short-term rentals are listed on websites like Airbnb and Vrbo.

 

A short-term rental can potentially earn you a higher return than a long-term rental, but this comes at the cost of daily, hands-on management. With a short-term rental, you’re not just entering the real estate business; you’re entering the hospitality business, too.

 

Done right, short-term rentals can be both a hedge against inflation and a profitable source of income. As a bonus, when the home isn’t being rented you have an affordable vacation spot for yourself and your family!

 

Contact us today if you’re interested in exploring options in either the long-term or short-term rental market. Since mortgage rates are expected to rise, you’ll want to act fast to maximize your investment return.

 

 

WE’RE INVESTED IN HELPING YOU

 

Inflation is a fact of life in the Canadian economy. Luckily, you can prepare for inflation with a carefully managed investment portfolio that includes real estate. Owning a primary residence or investing in a short-term or long-term rental will help you both mitigate the effects of inflation and grow your net worth, which makes it a strategic move in our current financial environment.

 

If you’re ready to invest in real estate to build wealth and protect yourself from rising inflation, contact us. Our team can help you find a primary residence or investment property that meets your financial goals.

 

 

The above references an opinion and is for informational purposes only.  It is not intended to be financial advice. Consult the appropriate professionals for advice regarding your individual needs.

 

 

Sources:

 

1.     Reuters -
https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/canadas-annual-inflation-rate-hits-51-january-2022-02-16/

2.     MacLeans -
https://www.macleans.ca/economy/inflation-worsening-2022-canada/

3.     Statistics Canada -
https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/220216/dq220216a-eng.htm

4.     Bloomberg -
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-01-25/canada-set-to-raise-rates-in-inflation-fight-decision-guide

5.     The Globe & Mail -
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/article-the-stealth-pay-cut-wages-arent-keeping-up-with-inflation/

6.     Trading Economics -
https://tradingeconomics.com/canada/deposit-interest-rate

7.     Reuters -
https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/canada-stocks-tsx-down-after-hot-inflation-data-dismal-shopify-forecast

8.     Research Gate -
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/350016324_Gold_and_Inflation_in_Canada_A_Time-Varying_Perspective

9.     Maple Money -
https://maplemoney.com/inflation-protection-are-real-return-bonds-or-tips-the-answer/

10.   Storeys -
https://storeys.com/canadians-using-real-estate-outrun-inflation/

11.   WOWA -

https://wowa.ca/reports/canada-housing-market

 

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There’s a lot to consider when selling your home, from market conditions and appraisals to where you’ll go next. Don’t forget, however, the importance of design. It’s often one of the first things buyers notice when they walk into a home, and it’s also a detail that you, as a seller, can easily control.


According to Realtor.ca’s 2022 housing market forecast, October of 2021 saw record home sales.1 Even with the pandemic igniting new restrictions in some provinces, the Canadian housing market is expected to remain hot. This means, if you’re looking to sell in the near future, now is the time to consider how you can stand out.


Updating your home design is one way to do that. Changes like eco-friendly fixtures or upgraded siding can add value to your home now and be highlighted when you market it for sale later. To get the most out of your updates, focus on these popular home design features that will wow buyers in 2022.


Keep in mind, not all of these will work well in every house. If you plan to buy, list, or renovate a property, give us a call. We can help you realize your vision and maximize the impact of your investment.


Eco-Friendly Fixtures


Canada’s largest demographic, millennials, has been a driving force in the country’s real estate market for the past few years. One thing that remains top of mind for this cohort is sustainable living features. A recent Deloitte survey found that one-third of millennials initiate or deepen their consumer investment in products or services that help the environment—this also includes the houses they choose to live in.2


Here are a few eco-friendly design features that will be attractive to these millennial buyers in 2022. Bonus: they can net a significant return on investment (ROI) for you, as a seller, too. 

  • Energy-Efficient Windows: Windows and doors account for up to 25 percent of home heat loss, according to nrcan.gc.ca.3 Therefore, upgrading to energy-efficient windows can help homeowners save money. 
  • Low-Flow Water Fixtures: National Resources Canada also recommends replacing your water-consuming fixtures like showerheads, toilets, and faucets with ones that have flow rates of about 7.6 L/minute, 4.8L/flush, and 4L/minute, respectively.4 If you want to take it a step further, ENERGY STAR® certified appliances like dishwashers and washing machines will also make a dramatic difference in water bill savings. 
  • Native Landscaping: Perhaps unexpectedly, another eco-friendly ‘fixture’ is native flora. Local greenery helps combat biodiversity loss, creates a better habitat for wildlife, and has a greater resistance to pests, according to HGTV.5 These benefits of native plants add to the eco-friendly appeal of your home. 

Wellness Retreat Nooks


As many of our homes became “all-purpose” territory for the entire family, interior zoning efforts were in full effect. From designated offices to closed-door playrooms, everyone needed their own space. Add in mental health concerns, competing schedules, and reduced access to health and wellness facilities, and the result is a huge prioritization of personal care spaces.  


At-home wellness amenities, which were once viewed as luxuries, are now on many homeowners’ must-have lists. Intrigue buyers and improve your quality of life in your home with reading nooks, spa-inspired bathrooms, and exercise or meditation spaces. Even if your house doesn’t have the square footage to section off an entire room for relaxation, making simple tweaks to natural light, air purifiers, and indoor plants can help you feel better in your home now, while enabling future buyers to see the opportunity for their own space.


Calming Paint Colours


Paint colors that produce a calming atmosphere will also be a key selling point in 2022. Soft earth tones and natural hues will prevail this year, including various shades of blue, green, brown, and beige. Recent research suggests steering clear of trendy paint colors in favor of a more classic palette to bring the feel of nature indoors in a subtle and soothing way.6 


A survey of American homebuyers found that a certain paint colour was able to increase a home’s value by 1.6%.6 If we Canadians see even a 1% increase, that’s $7,208 more for the average home, which is priced at $720,850, according to the Financial Post.7 


A crowd-pleasing hue to refresh the walls with is BEHR’s 2022 paint colour of the year, known as Breezeway.8 This shade of green with silver undertones was created to mimic sea glass. As the BEHR website describes it, Breezeway “evokes feelings of coolness and peace, while representing a desire to move forward and discover newfound passions.”  


Outdoor Living Updates


Don’t forget to think about your yard when considering design changes for your home. As interiors become more productive, many Canadians are looking to the outdoors for a break. HGTV predicts the “exterior living room” trend will continue in 2022, so making outdoor upgrades in the spring when the ground thaws could reap serious benefits.9 Whether your exterior square footage looks like a balcony, small patio, or expansive yard, it only takes some imagination and effort to turn it into a comforting oasis. 


Front porches, in particular, are seeing a big revival, says Greenhouse Canada.10 Power-washing your siding; adding a fresh coat of paint on the door, brick, or floorboards; and finishing it off with some exterior lighting will go a long way in upping the curb appeal.11 Don’t forget to add window boxes, big planters, and young trees that require minimal maintenance but add more life to the space. 


Finish off the space with some comfortable outdoor furniture to make the outdoors as well-designed as the indoors. If you need help deciding how to update your outdoor area, let us guide you.


Designated Work Spaces


It may come as no surprise that after the pandemic is over, 80 percent of new teleworkers want to continue to work at least half of their hours from home, according to Statistics Canada.12 However, this desire needs to be weighed against the availability of space in a home. 


If you can, try turning a bedroom or den into a work-from-home office. When designing the space, make it both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Position a desk near the window for natural light, install a bookshelf unit, arrange a few succulents on the work surface, and hang a few framed posters or a cork bulletin board on the wall. You want the space to foster productivity as well as be a place in your home you enjoy spending time.


When you get ready to sell, we can help you highlight your designated workspace. Given the high demand for this design feature, it can help you interest more buyers and attract more competitive offers—if marketed creatively. 


Plus, Canadians who transitioned to working from home because of the pandemic may be eligible to claim a $500 deduction for home office expenses—making this renovation that much more feasible.13


Luxury Kitchen Retouches


The kitchen has always been a main focal point of interior design, and that’s no different in 2022. Families will always need this space to come together in their own homes. 


This year’s buyers want a kitchen with new upgrades and retouches, but you don’t have to renovate the entire kitchen to make an impact. If you’re not sure where to start, here are a few tips on how to create a kitchen that buyers will love without spending too much money on renovations:

  • Repaint the kitchen, keeping the calm and nature-inspired colours in mind that are most popular right now. Taking a kitchen from dark to light by painting cabinets and walls can make all the difference.
  • Update the hardware. These kitchen “accessories” stand out and add personality to an otherwise standard kitchen. 
  • Update light fixtures to bring in more light while also adding a fresh look and feel in the space. 


Unique Accent Walls


An accent wall gives a home character while balancing it with the calming feel of natural- and neutral-coloured walls. But, we’ve seen accent walls before, so bolder moves are expected for 2022. Here are some on-trend options that go above and beyond a solid-colour accent wall:

  • Jewel or metallic tones
  • Textured wallpaper
  • Painted ceilings
  • Built-in shelves
  • Wood paneling14
  • Sprawling wall tiles 15


If you’re planning to sell in the next year, talk to us before adding an accent wall. Depending on your target buyer, it may be a design feature that actually hurts your home’s value. We can run a free Comparative Market Analysis on your home to help you understand what would resell best in your neighbourhood.


Exterior Siding Updates


An exterior siding refresh can make an old home feel entirely new and have a big impact on its resale value. This primarily affects curb appeal, but it’s also an important factor in keeping interiors warm and protected from Canada’s harsh winters. The average cost for new siding ranges from $4.80 - $51.60 per square foot.16 That variation depends on which of the many siding materials you choose, from fiber-cement to brick, wood, vinyl, metal, or stone. 


While all these options can infuse the exterior with character and curb appeal, there are a few other factors to consider before taking on this kind of project. While brick adds more sophistication, it is on the pricier end and is susceptible to salt erosion, making it a less enticing option for those on the coasts. On the other end of the cost spectrum, vinyl is a very popular option that does not fade, is easy to maintain, and comes in many colour options.17 However, vinyl will crack over time after facing harsh Canadian winters. 


Give your home this simple and attractive facelift before putting it on the market. If you’re not sure how to get started yourself, our team can connect you with a trusted vendor to guide you through the process. 


Keep These Home Design Features on Your Radar in 2022


These design features can infuse personality into your home while helping to close the deal if you plan to sell in 2022. The average buyer knows just what they’re looking for in a space they plan to call home, so with some investment and foresight, you can give your house an edge over the competition—and boost resale value in the process. 


However, you don’t need to make all these changes to attract more buyers. We can help you determine which design features you should add to your home by sharing insights and tips on how to maximize the return on your investment. We can also run a Comparative Market Analysis on your home to find out how it compares to others in the area, which will help us decide what changes need to be made. Contact us to schedule a free consultation!


Sources:

  1. Realtor.ca –

https://www.realtor.ca/blog/what-2021s-housing-market-looked-like-and-whats-to-come/23723/1361 

  1. Deloitte – 

https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/global/Documents/2021-deloitte-global-millennial-survey-report.pdf

  1. NRCAN – 

https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/energy-efficiency/homes/make-your-home-more-energy-efficient/keeping-the-heat/section-8-upgrading-windows-and-exterior-doors/15643

  1. National Resources Canada – 

https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/energy-efficiency/homes/make-small-changes-add/21850  

  1. HGTV – 

https://www.hgtv.ca/green-living/photos/native-plants-in-canada-by-province-1938068/ 

  1. Zillow
    http://zillow.mediaroom.com/2021-07-15-Homes-With-Light-Blue-Bathrooms,-Dark-Blue-Bedrooms-Could-Sell-for-Up-to-4,698-More-Than-Expected
  2. Financial Post – 

https://financialpost.com/real-estate/average-home-price-in-canada-hits-all-time-high-of-720850 

  1. Behr -
    https://www.behr.com/colorfullybehr/behr-announces-2022-color-of-the-year-and-trends-palette/
  2. HGTV – 

https://www.hgtv.ca/decorating/photos/biggest-home-decor-trends-

2022-1952424/#currentSlide=4 

  1. Greenhouse Canada - 

https://www.greenhousecanada.com/garden-trends-report-sees-a-definite-shift-in-consumer-

tastes/ 

  1. Toronto Sun – 

https://torontosun.com/life/homes/front-porches-make-a-comeback

  1. Statistics Canada – 

https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/45-28-0001/2021001/article/00012-eng.htm 

  1. Government of Canada – 

https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/topics/about-your-tax-return/tax-return/completing-a-tax-return/deductions-credits-expenses/line-22900-other-employment-expenses/work-space-home-expenses.html 

  1. Accent Walls – 

https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/ideas-how-to/decor/diy-wall-panelling.html 

  1. Accent walls 

https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/ideas-how-to/decor/accent-wall-ideas.html 

  1. Reno Assistance -  

https://www.renoassistance.ca/en/siding/house-siding-costs/ 

  1. D’Angelo and Sons – 

https://dangeloandsons.com/best-exterior-siding-for-canadian-winter/

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