By Fuquan Bilal
Can investors really time the real estate market, or is it wiser to just consistently invest, and hold?
We all know that there can be fluctuations in real estate prices, even if values are constantly going up over time. So, is it possible to time the market? If so, what does it take? What’s the best way to do it?
Why Try to Time the Market
Trying to time the market is critical in publicly traded stocks. Stocks are now believed to be 70% or more overvalued. It can take a decade or more to recover from that, just to get back to par. There isn’t anything you can personally do about the stock prices. You just have to wait. Worse, there is no downside protection. If it goes too deep, there is a PR scandal or the industry changes, all capital may be lost. It is vital to sell before the market begins to dip, and buy again before it begins to go up, if you want to avoid negative returns.
Real estate is a little different. You can absolutely find greater bargains during tougher times, and sell high in bullish times. This strategy can absolutely help to maximize returns.
However, real estate is a tangible, hard asset, that will be there no matter what. It can also produce income, which doesn’t vary much as asset prices fluctuate. Plus, you can control the value of your real estate assets with improvements and repositioning.
Reasons Not to Try and Time the Real Estate Market
There are two main reasons that most individuals and investors shouldn’t try to time the property market. The first is that investors are notoriously bad at it. Most almost invariably wait too long to sell, and end up folding at the bottom of the market. Then they wait far too long to buy, and miss all the gains.
The second reason is that transaction costs can be high. Between time spent on due diligence and hard closing costs, you stand to lose a decent chunk of change if you sell and rebuy the same property in an effort to time it. Depending on where you are, and the fluctuation, this may be more of loss than if you just held, and received income from the property in the meantime.
Factors Involved in Timing the Market
There are an enormous amount of data points and factors to watch when trying to time the market, including:
- Interest rates
- Treasury bond yields
- Building costs
- Seasonal fluctuations
- Supply and new constructions
- Default rates and bank balance sheets
- Days on market
- Population growth and migration patterns
- Jobs and wages
- Local economic trends
There is a lot to know, learn, master and monitor to effectively time the market. If you are epically good, you can do far better than most in timing the market. Even then, you may not want to sell all your holdings, as you’ll probably want to reacquire them within 48 months or so.
At NNG, we leverage a strong research team, deep data that is way ahead of what the public sees, and maintain a strong mix of assets and strategies, so that some are being turned at their ideal timing, while others are held for consistent yields
Find out more about investing in secured debt and real estate, go to NNG Capital Fund