Real estate investments are back in news, and I don't mean real estate stocks but buying actual real estate purely as an investment. However, the experience of the last two years means that any prospective investor must re-examine the basics of real estate investments afresh. There are a number of developers who are advertising their wares purely as investments and target at would-be investors. There are entire projects being launched-some of them by former high fliers of the sector-which depend entirely on finding enough investors for individual units to enable them to take off.
But things have changed since the heady days of 2006 and 2007. At that time, one of the selling points that developers used to lure HNI investors was the supposed safety and stability of real estate investments
vis-à-vis stocks. The developers' story basically was that real estate never really lost value and the price that you got in at didn't matter because prices were going to be headed only one way for years and years to come.
Today, this story lies in tatters. The last two years have been a nightmare for many of investors. These claimed special characteristics of real estate investments turned out to be largely fictional.