2020 - WHAT A WORLD WE LIVE IN
First, the worldwide crisis of climate change
Second, the railway blockades
Third, the oil war and oil crash
Fourth, the stock market crash
And now Coronavirus….
Time to head for the hills? Real Estate markets are poised to tank? We are all going to die?
We have been there before, and we have had worse! Worse crashes in stocks, worse crashes in oil, and worse pandemics. Each time we are in a deep crisis, some of us panic, some jump out of the window, some cry, some blame leaders … but mostly, the world goes on, we go on, we adapt … somehow, we muddle through. No matter how bad the crisis … we survive.
In the past, in the middle of darkness, we reviewed and recommitted ourselves to our principles; we studied our responses. We thoughtfully took action and we refused to cow under … to any circumstance – no matter how many cried: “It’s over, it's different this time.”
Today, clearly times are tough. One can argue that governments are overreacting, (Heal the virus - crash the world economies. Heal the virus – create unconscionable debt loads – keep people at home – crash retail properties. Heal the virus – crash employment as we know it.)
Actually, the more ‘solutions’ we come up with, the longer it will likely take to get thru it! To work it out, to go down the odd blind alley. But there is no doubt in my mind that:
GETTING THROUGH IT WE WILL!
But to survive any crisis, you must understand the environment you are in and take appropriate action – MOSTLY, go your own road.
THINGS WE MUST DO:
- Stiff upper lip…no excuses, no whining, we will survive.
- Control your panic – do what you can – repeat positive messages … constantly!
- Consciously keep your spirits up – people can smell how you feel in your voice, your bearing. Work on yourself, stand while talking on the phone, have a positive message right by your phone:
- an outline on why real estate will recover
- why it is good to buy/sell now
- and yes, keep other spirits up too like – wine
- support your government, not your party
- On the virus: listen and keep social distance, follow all the advice given
- On stock crashes? look at previous crashes below
- On stock performance after previous big crashes: look below
- On government actions: watch the news, listen! understand … what is being said and what is being done. The FED and Canada are all in. ALL IN!
If you are concerned about the economic crises (deflation) and the asset crises (real estate inflation) read 39, 40, 41, 42 - INFLATION/DEFLATION, TREND, DEMAND AND SUPPLY, CYCLES. ozbuzz.ca
Then measure what you hear and see against past crises. They seemed just as bad; some were actually very bad … yet here you are today. What do the news tell you? We are printing money, we are lowering bank reserve requirements, we have zero interest rates – all that means? QE is back. In fact, the mother of all QEs. More than all other QEs together! It means INFLATION (of hard assets).
Today we are creating more money than at any other time in history… Well researched, well selected real estate (all hard assets) benefits inflation … not today, maybe not this year … but there will be a deal of a lifetime … for the action takers. Deals? It's your call … but there will be deals in…
- well selected stocks, b) in oil and c) well selected (stink bids necessary) deals of a lifetime in real estate.
Finally: In 1987 at that famous crash I ran a real estate company with 10,000 employees and was advised by the best economists in the world that we were going into a depression. Based on that, I laid of 1,000 people, that – in retrospect – I did not need to lay off, as the crisis was over in 7 months. In fact, the crisis helped real estate in that pension funds increased their real estate holdings.
In the early nineties the Savings and Loan crisis was supposed to sink banking and all normal bank transactions. A special trust was formed that forced banks to dispose all non-core assets. I bought a 3,000-man strong real estate company from that trust (Resolution Trust) for a song.
In 2009 and 2010 I was on the radio every week telling people to buy the USA and my investors and I bought hundreds of units in Phoenix for a song.
In the middle of each crisis, fear grabs us by the throat, the naysayers seem ‘oh, so right’ and yet … I am with Warren Buffet: “when everyone is crying you should be buying”.
Of course, Mr. Buffet also has principles that he guides himself and his company by. Well researched companies, a plan of action, a time horizon, not a gamble. So, should we real estate investors.
It very much applies to us in real estate as well. Not all real estate is good (hotels, quarter share, timeshare etc.,) but well researched, well selected and well bid real estate has weathered ALL crisis and did so WORLDWIDE.
Today, things look dark, but they did look dark throughout history … each time … too! The chart below stops at 2001. Since then we had a major crisis in the Savings and Loan crisis, the subprime mortgage crisis, the US real estate market collapse crisis (2009-2011), the major stock crash of 2008, the major economic crisis of 2008 and 2009, the ‘tax and stress test crisis of 2016/2017. And so on.
OK, Ozzie, I hear you. but this is a health crisis, with thousands of possible deaths. This is different. Yes, indeed, yet we have been there before also…
We could go back to the pest, the black plague or added the hundreds of pandemics of previous centuries. Yet, only since 1918 had we these major ones (there were 22 more smaller ones).
1918 H1N1 Pandemic (50 million deaths worldwide, 75,000 in the US)
1930 – till now – History of FLU Pandemic – (Every year over 50,000 deaths)
1957-1958 H2N2 Virus (1.1 million deaths globally, with about 116,000 in the U.S.)
1970 Swine Flu
1968 H3N2 Pandemic
2009 H1N1 Pandemic
(Then there were SARS, EBOLA)
I know it is not the same, but remember: The flu has sickened 36 million Americans since September and killed an estimated 22,000, according to the CDC, but those deaths are largely unreported.
It is also clear that China (Wuhan) had a massive event for 3 weeks. It peaked and now they only have cases originating from outside. If the US and Canada follow that pattern, we could be peaking first week in April, then go down and we could be out of this much sooner than anyone is predicting. Our RELENTLESS media IS causing panic by CONSTANTLY REPORTING new number of cases and quoting this or that ‘expert’ – for the end of the world.
When we in NA focus on a problem we will solve it. The head of the Ebola crisis solver is running this crisis fight now, The FED and to a lesser degree Canada went ALL IN by throwing every last available dollar into the mix
Major, Major Point:
Of course, I am concerned, and so much more could be said. Points: We have immense demand destruction and our future is a kaleidoscope of possibilities, both up and down. The nature of the news is very confusing, we have peak uncertainty. In fact, anyone that tells you with absolute certainty what is going to happen next week – run! No one knows! Ask me what will happen in 2 or 3 years. I remain certain that real estate and out world will be just fine.
In our Real Estate Action Group meeting, I will discuss/recommend action on the multitude of things that will face owners:
Mortgage payment deferrals, no evictions, rising (yes, rising) interest rates, closing pre-sales and much, much more…
I did not say it was easy, I said it was manageable. I bet on optimism. We will come out all right!
MORE STUFF TO DO
While I am at, forget the virus for a minute:
- YOU MUST change your open variable rate to a closed variable rate. NOW!
- Expect your HELOC to rise maybe to prime plus 1… even if the BOC drops a rate
- If you are about to be laid off, refinance NOW. You will not be approved if you have no job!
- Even if sales are down expect a long wait … since refinance is booming! Get yourself ready: Ask your broker, what docs he needs. Ask now, get ready, apply. Expect still 14 days for approval. If you don’t have docs ready wait 4 weeks.
WHAT OF CANADIAN GOVERNMENT HELP?
The BC Government has just announced some support services for people and businesses affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Click on the following link for more information