The ability to see into the future would be a wonderful gift in the housing market.
Being able to buy property in exactly the right up-and-coming location, just as the tanning salons and thrift shops make way for trendy coffee bars and boutiques, would be a wonderful talent for someone wanting to work their way up the housing ladder.
In terms of investment, it would be great to know when to sell that property just as the market hits a peak and either move on to the next hotspot or sit out market drops in a rented property until it’s safe to buy again.
Unfortunately, for most of us such decisions are more down to luck and necessity than planning, as has been shown by a recent survey which saw home buying top a poll of Brits’ best and worst financial decisions.
The nation’s obsession with home ownership has been a costly experience for some and a savvy investment for others.
Over the last 30 years, some owners have seen the value of their property soar while others have found themselves in negative equity as prices have stagnated or even declined.
More than 2,000 adults named their best and worst financial decisions with property coming top of both, in research commissioned by online investment firm True Potential Investor.
Opening a savings account or ISA, investing in stocks, paying off debts and contributing to a pension were also listed as the best decisions people have made.
Meanwhile, getting into debt, poor performing investments, overspending and even getting married were among the worst financial decisions.
True Potential Investor says whether property turns out to be the best or worst decision depends on timing, location and several other factors that are often outside of an individual’s control.
The firm also points to its 30-year study that compares the returns investors have seen from property and stocks.
The results show that a £100,000 investment in equities in 1985, with dividends reinvested, would now be worth almost £900,000.
A £100,000 investment into property in 1985 would have grown to over £540,000 but would have provided a home for three decades, which is sometimes priceless.