Real Estate

In light of recent erroneous claims from the real estate industry that real estate has averaged an 11% return over the last 25 years (it has actually averaged 5.3% before accounting for inflation), we thought we should provide a little more information about real estate as an investment. Especially since, for most people, their home is their largest single asset.

The links, below, show that if you invested in real estate 17 years ago during the 1990 real estate bubble, your returns are barely breaking even. The US housing market is even scarier. As with the other markets, timing is important.

We certainly believe in owning your own home, for security and for peace of mind. But please don’t think of it as an investment or growth vehicle. It is a place to live. The theoretical return you get on it is the rent you would otherwise pay to live in a comparable property (less the interest costs on your mortgage, of course). While your home's value can yield about 3% after adjusting for inflation, your costs of home improvements, annual taxes, insurance and other expenses generally exceed 3% a year. This makes the MERs on your mutual funds begin to look like a bargain, especially in light of the higher returns over 10, 15 and 25 year time horizons.

Now some would say in light of this, that you should clearly borrow against your home to invest in the markets. You could even make your mortgage tax deductible. We don’t necessarily share that view due to the increased leverage and risk involved. However, we do suggest that saving in your RRSP is a higher priority than paying down your mortgage, and we would be pleased to look at the pros and cons of investing outside your RRSP if you want to look at higher growth vehicles like some of our real estate mutual funds.

More on real estate

Real Estate Funds Available Through ScotiaMcLeod & Their Performance

Mutual Fund






Risk *



CIBC Canadian Real Estate-0.892.982.024.395.988.105002.65
Counsel Global Real Estate Sr A-0.43-0.79-0.325.61na9.65na2.79
DFA Global Real Estate Securities Cl A-2.68-0.431.228.585.3613.09na1.56
Dynamic Global Real Estate2.262.352.377.586.399.565002.43
Dynamic Global Real Estate Series T2.262.292.337.546.369.61na2.46
Fidelity Global Real Estate Class Sr A1.921.071.598.254.4312.37na2.58
Fidelity Global Real Estate Class Sr B2.131.291.828.514.6512.37na2.37
Fidelity Global Real Estate Series A2.011.141.658.304.4712.365002.56
Fidelity Global Real Estate Series B2.171.311.838.504.6712.365002.37
First Asset REIT Income A Ccy Hdg3.968.877.909.04na7.14na2.63
Invesco Global Real Estate-1.45-0.74-0.656.403.3512.27na2.96
iShares Global Real Estate ETF Comm-0.571.201.778.60na12.01na0.70
iShares S&P/TSX Capped REIT ETF6.788.154.384.478.109.17na0.61
Middlefield Real Estate Class A12.636.913.758.31na10.92na2.20
Renaissance Glbl Real Estate Ccy Netrl A2.632.240.634.92na10.61na2.55
Renaissance Global Real Estate Cl A2.412.342.328.51na12.18na2.51
Sentry Global REIT A3.623.501.704.925.378.615002.42
United Real Estate Investment Corp Cl A1.681.812.017.564.5011.55na3.30
United Real Estate Investment Pool Cl A2.

19 Funds Returned    For Periods Ending: 3/31/2018


Click on a fund name for more information on that fund.


* Risk is the volatility of returns, see risk calculations.

All these funds are available through ScotiaMcLeod. Certain funds may have large minimum investments, sales charges, loads or administrative fees etc, or may not be available for PAC plans, SWP plans or payroll deduction. F-class funds are available for purchase in our Fee Based account platforms where a separate portfolio fee is billed quarterly to your account to cover our investment management, financial planning and due diligence services. Please contact us for details and recommendations regarding the right funds for your portfolio.

Commissions, trailing commissions, management fees and expenses all may be associated with mutual fund investments. Please read the prospectus before investing. The indicated rate(s) of return is (are) the historical annual compounded total return(s) including changes in (share or unit) value and reinvestment of all (dividends or distributions) and does (do) not take into account sales, redemption, distribution or optional charges or income taxes payable by any security holder that would have reduced returns. Mutual funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated. See more disclaimers ...


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