In lecturing and writing about real estate, Albert J. Lowry usually takes a positive approach.

But the self-described multimillionaire also states flatly that a leveling needs to take place in real estate prices. He said that unusual turnover and panic buying have forced prices up in recent years.

"We've been talking about prices levelling off for 18 months," he said during a recent visit here. "This may finally be the time for some adjustment of the upward spiral."

Lowry is the author of How You Can Become Financially Independent by Investing in Real Estate, a Simon & Schuster book that is in its seventh printing. A native of Canada who now lives at South Lake Tahoe, Calif., Lowry brought his first property, in Oakland, Calif., 14 years ago while working as a butcher.

He studied real estate in his spare time and now is an investor in 70 properties nationwide. Lowrey spends much of his time lecturing.

His advice to would-be real estate investors:

Invest in income-producing property and avoid land investments.

Get the maximum loan available.

Make certain the building is sound - physically and financially.

Improve the building; then raise the rent.

Exchange one property for another property rather than sell to make a profit - taxes can be deferred legally.

Look at 20 properties before buying one.

Get the best terms for you, the buyer. The seller's terms are usually right for him.

Lowry continues to preach that it is possible to become financially independant by investing in real estate.

"Not everyone can do it or should try to do it," he cautioned. "But I insist that it can be done if you have the desire and make the effort. I did it with little formal education. Now I have a doctorate in business and finance from California Western University.