Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Prices: Up? Down? Sideways?

I know. I'm always writing "expert" opinions that amount to "Beats me".  In these times, that seems to be what our expertise amounts to: "We know enough to know that we don't know".  Might make that our new slogan.

This Globe and Mail piece, despite the headline, seems to capture it well.  The Royal Bank report triggering the article takes an "on balance everything nets out and we're ok" position.  If I had to pick, this is probably the position I would take. 

But there remains a part of me that worries that I am just be averaging out more extreme possibilities.  If one doctor says you're fine and will live to 100, and another says you are terminally ill and will be gone at 50, it is not smart to decide that it all means you will live to 75 ... "on average".

The article leads with the Royal report.  But it also notes other predictions that are all currently on the table from knowledgable experts.  One group predicts a 25% slide in housing prices due to bubble indicators, rising rates and high personal debt. (disturbingly, our own financial advisor loiters around some of this thinking)

Another industry group predicts continued price increases in a healthy market and economy.

The Royal decides that an improving economy will balance rising rates and we just chug along about where we are now.  What do you think?

No comments: