Is Vancouver Real Estate a good investment?

Vancouverites are obsessed with real estate. And for good reason. Vancouver real estate has increased 175% since 2005. But is it a good investment? Let’s compare with a low cost ETF such as the S&P 500 ETF XSP.TO.

Capital gains

Vancouver real estate has increased 175% since 2005, which is an annual increase of 8.1%. However, this includes almost insane gains since 2015 that seem in some part related to foreign investment. Will these gains continue?

XSP.TO has risen 99% in the same time, an annual increase of 5.5%. However, this includes the prior 2008-09 which was a financial crisis. Since 2009 the gains have been much higher. Normal gains are more like 7%.

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Dividends

XSP.TO pays a dividend of around 1.5%.

Real estate dividend is harder to calculate, but let’s try. A one bed apartment in Kitsilano costs around $500,000. Rent is around $1,600/mo. Strata fees are $200/mo. Heat and cable and $100/mo. Repair costs are $200/mo. Occupancy is 95%. That’s an annual net income of around $12,240, or 2.4%.

Liquidity

I can sell an almost unlimited amount of XSP.TO in a minute for $9.99.

It would take months to prepare and sell a property, with realtor costs of maybe $10K and taxes of $9K.

Risk

Hard to assess the risk of Vancouver real estate investment. Rising interest rates. Capital outflow from oversees. Government lending regulations. The risk seems medium-high.

The S&P 500 is high diversified but is also dependent on macro-economics, US government policy, inflation. The risk feels lower but not low. Let’s call it medium.

Summary

Real estate beats the S&P 500 for capital gains and dividends. Historically. Hard to predict the future.

The S&P definately wins on liquidity and perhaps on risk.

Pick your poison!

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Portfolio Update – Up 1.53% in November 2017

My portfolio balances at close of trading on 30th November were:

Ticker

Price (C$)

Price Change

Percentage

XMW $‎ 39.00

2.52%

22.4%

XIU $‎ 23.87

0.00%

22.7%

XSP $‎ 30.34

3.06%

36.2%

XBB $‎ 31.17

0.68%

17.5%

Cash

1.2%

Total

100.0%

Overall my portfolio is up 1.53% since last month. For comparison my TI Index is up 1.47%, the DOW is up 3.83% and the TSX is up 0.26%. My investments are up and performed well against the TSX and TI Index, less well against the DOW.

My S&P500 index (XSP.TO) and the Global Fund (XMW.TO) are winners this month.

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Portfolio Update – Up 0.05% in September 2017

My portfolio balances at close of trading on 29th September were:

Ticker

Price (C$)

Price Change

Percentage

XMU $‎ 42.63

0.90%

0.0%

XMW $‎ 36.24

0.86%

22.2%

ZAG $‎ 15.35

-0.39%

0.0%

XMI $‎ 34.00

0.80%

0.0%

XIU $‎ 23.15 n/a

23.4%

XSP $‎ 28.74 n/a

35.6%

XBB $‎ 30.56 n/a

18.3%

Cash

0.5%

Total

100.0%

Overall my portfolio is up 0.05% since last month. For comparison my TI Index is up 1.22%, the DOW is up 2.08% and the TSX is up 2.78%. My investments are up but performed poorly against the TSX, DOW and TI Index.

During the month I sold my low volatility US (XMU.TO) and EAFE (XMI.TO) funds, replacing with a TSX index fund (XIU.TO) and an S&P500 index fund (XSP.TO). I also swapper out the ZAG bond ETF for XBB. The low volatility funds were underperforming. I kept the low volatility Global fund (XMW.TO) to provide diversity.

No real winners or losers this month. Flat.

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Portfolio Update – Down 2.58% in January 2016

My portfolio balances at close of trading on 29th January were:

Ticker

Price (C$)

Price Change

Percentage

XSP $‎ 22.22

-5.20%

36.0%

XIU $‎ 18.92

-1.56%

23.6%

XIN $‎ 21.65

-4.71%

9.9%

ZQQ $‎ 32.76

-7.27%

8.7%

XBB $‎ 31.57

-0.06%

20.5%

Cash

1.3%

Total

100.0%

Overall my portfolio is down 2.58% since last month. There were no cash contributions. For comparison my TI Index is down 2.20%, the DOW is down 5.50% and the TSX is down 1.44%. My investments are down and performed reasonable against most indexes.

Losers this month include my S&P Fund (XSP.TO) down 5.20%, EAFE Fund (XIN.TO) down 4.71% and my Nasdaq Fund (ZQQ.TO) down 7.27%.

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Portfolio Update – Up 4.46% in October 2015

My portfolio balances at close of trading on 31st October were:

Ticker

Price (C$)

Price Change

Percentage

XSP $‎ 24.02

8.10%

36.3%

XIU $‎ 20.00

1.42%

23.8%

XEM $‎ 25.77

4.25%

0.0%

XIN $‎ 23.37

6.71%

10.2%

ZQQ $‎ 35.95 n/a

9.1%

XBB $‎ 31.32

-0.60%

19.4%

Cash

1.1%

Total

100.0%

Overall my portfolio is up 4.46% since last month. There were no cash contributions. For comparison my TI Index is up 3.75%, the DOW is up 8.47% and the TSX is up 1.67%. My investments are up and performed moderately against the indexes.

Winners this month are all of the equities funds and especially the S&P 500 fund (XSP.TO).

The only loser was my Bond Fund (XBB.TO) down 0.60%.

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Reducing Exposure to Canada

Screen Shot 2013-04-11 at 12.35.53 PMCanadian stocks have not fared well recently.  The TSX is down 2.5% in the last month.  US markets are doing much better by comparison.  I’m concerned about the Canadian banking sector.  Also, oil prices (especially oil sands prices) are under pressure.  I think it’s time to reduce my exposure to the TSX, and increase exposure to the roaring US market.

  • Sell XIU.TO @ $17.92
  • Buy XSP.TO @ $18.28