When comparing investment opportunities, the time frame for holding the investments and the rate of return during that time are the primary considerations. This is where real estate can significantly outperform bonds, corporate or government:
- Bonds are safe, but the safer the bond investment, the lower the interest rate of return.
- Real estate, properly valued and carefully selected, can be just as safe as bonds.
- Bonds pay a fixed rate of interest over the life of the investment, thus purchasing power with that interest drops with inflation over time.
- Rental property can generate higher rentals in periods of inflation. Higher costs of materials and labor generally translate into higher housing costs, and thus higher rents. Purchasing power doesn't erode in this scenario.
- The value of the bond is static, while real estate can increase in value through appreciation.
When considered along with the other ways in which rental property can generate returns, it would appear that real estate investment is superior in many respects to investing in bonds.