Real estate a better bet than Canadian stocks

Return on investment averages 10% per year since 2000

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Someone who bought a house in Canada in the past three years has proved a more astute investor than the stock market gurus of Bay Street, home of the Toronto Stock Exchange. And, studies have found, investors in virtually any type of Canadian real estate would have seen their appreciation outstrip most of the TSE equity plays since 2000. "With losses in the stock market in the past few years, many pension funds, as well as private investors in Canada, have taken some comfort in the diversification offered by their real estate investments," notes Patricia Arsenault, senior vice president of Clayton Research Associates Ltd., Toronto. Arsenault represents Investment Property Databank in Canada. Canada-wide, returns to direct investment in real estate property have averaged close to 10 percent per year in the past three years. This compares with about 8 percent for bonds and an average loss of 11 percent per year for equities, according to data from the IPD Canadian Property Index, A...