Property investors looking for bright spots in Western Canada should place their bets in cities such as Kelowna, Prince George, Chilliwack, Lethbridge, and Moose Jaw.
According to an analysis by Western Investor, British Columbia's Kelowna is the best city to invest in next year.The city is currently experiencing a development boom, making it a viable spot for property investment.
The city's residential vacancy rate is at 1.9%, with rents costing over $2 per square foot for apartments.Kelowna's office vacancy rate is just as promising, with a vacancy rate of 4.9%, down from 6.5% a year ago.Class A spaces lease for up to $26 per square foot.
"It's gratifying to see the city's long-term vision for this area becoming a reality.The mixture of commercial, industrial and residential properties create a dynamic and attractive hub of development where people can work, live and enjoy leisure time all in one spot," Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran told Western Investor.
Prince George, another British Columbia city, also boasts positive investment prospects.The city is expected to post economic growth of 1.5% this year and 1.7% next year.
The Conference Board of Canada named Prince George
Canadians are becoming more undecided about their homebuying intentions, according to the latest study by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).
Overall, 42% of buyers this year said they felt concerned or were uncertain about the process of buying a home.This is a noticeable jump from the 37% of buyers who said the same in 2018.
Of those who expressed uncertainty, almost half said the triggers included unforeseen housing costs, living with home expenditures, and paying too much for a home.
Also read: Is investing in Canadian real estate still viable?
Due to this uncertainty, 78% of buyers interacted with a real estate agent, up from the 61% who consulted a professional in 2018.
"There was a strong increase in buyers' perceptions of the value of working with a real estate agent," the study said.
In fact, the proportion of homebuyers who recognized the value of using an agent rose from 28% in 2018 to 35% this year.
"Some of the key reasons buyers highlighted for this trend were an appreciation for the advice they received from their agent and their agent's attentiveness to their specific needs,"
What is it?
A term far better known in the US, where regulations are different around what can be retained on a credit file and for how long
Debt that has gone into collections status
Maximum time periods items in collections can stay on somebody’s credit file and affect their credit rating
Limit in Canada is 6 years
But can “come back to life” when debt is sold by one collection agency to another
Regulations govern how long negative information can stay on a credit file (late payments, bankruptcies) so they don’t follow them around forever
Maximum time before an item can be removed;
“Ten years later, nobody should be able to see that you’ve declared bankruptcy.”
“What tends to happen with items that are in a collections status, “What collections agencies sometimes do is they play around with the dates that they are reporting to the credit bureau in order to extend the amount of time that the particular item stays on a person’s credit file.
But those debts still exist;“You do technically still have to
Oxford Properties Group has unveiled plans to establish Canada's first large-bay multi-level industrial property, which will be built at its Riverbend Business Park located in Burnaby.
The project, which will be constructed on the site of a former paperboard milling operation, will comprise 707,000 square feet over two levels:The ground floor will span 437,000 square feet with 32-foot clear heights, while the second storey will consist of 270,000 square feet, 28-foot clear heights, and a 130-foot truck court.The second level is accessible to full-size transport trailers via a heated ramp.
Slated to start construction by the second quarter of 2020, the property can provide a single customer 707,000 square feet of contiguous space, making it the largest available industrial property in the Greater Vancouver Area.It could also be operated and occupied independently and further demised to accommodate multiple customers as small as 70,000 square feet.
There is a current demand for multi-storey industrial concepts worldwide as the e-commerce revolution drives an increased need for supply-chain and logistics innovations amongst traditional and online retailers, said Oxford Properties head of industrial Jeff Miller.
"Vancouver is one of the tightest industrial markets in the world and space
Canadian housing markets remained busy in October, with sales holding steady on a month-on-month basis, according to the latest figures from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).
On an annual basis, actual sales activity was up 12.9%.Activity is now almost 20% above the six-year low reached early this year.However, it remains 7% below the record high reached in 2017.
In regional terms, the higher sales in Greater Vancouver (GVA), Fraser Valley, and Ottawa offset the weak activity in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and Hamilton Burlington.
The steady figures in the month seem to camouflage how the mortgage stress-test is affecting many local housing markets, said CREA president Jason Stephen.
"That said, all real estate is local, so market balance varies depending on location, housing type, and price segment," he said.
Also read:Home sales remain in a “holding pattern” says CREA
As sales activity grew, listings remained on a decline, falling by 1.8% in the month.Almost one-third of all housing markets posted a monthly decrease of at least 5%, while about a fifth recorded an increase of 5%.GTA and Ottawa posted the largest declines in the month.
On October 15, Ontario’s Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) concluded an appeal of Toronto’s short-term rental rules brought forth by landlords who charged that the almost two-year-old guidelines restrict their rights as property owners.
On Monday, LPAT delivered its decision.The city’s rules regulating short-term rentals will remain in place.
LPAT found that Toronto’s regulations provide a reasonable balance between the needs of the city’s tourist population and its cohort of renters.During the appeal, arguments against the regulations were made on the grounds that short-term rentals help fill an important gap where Toronto hotels, no longer able to handle the surging number of guests visiting the city, fall short.
The ruling comes as a blow to Toronto-area Airbnb entrepreneurs, who have been using short-term rentals as a way to greatly increase cash flow.Landlords renting out their entire properties on a nightly or weekly basis will now have to limit their short-term stays to no more than 180 days per year.Individual rooms in a landlord’s residence can be rented out with no limit.
Advocates for more stringent regulation of Airbnb have to be pleased.The ruling comes down definitively on the side of city’s residents, who have,
A new study by FortisBC found that upgrading older apartment buildings and making them sustainable will not only contribute to the reduction of carbon emissions, but also help owners reduce maintenance costs.
Based on the estimates of the study, simple energy-efficiency upgrades have the potential to reduce carbon emissions in British Columbia by about 200,000 tonnes annually, which is equivalent to removing 43,000 gasoline-powered cars from the road.
Around four in five rental apartments in BC were built more than three decades ago to lower efficiency standards, said FortisBC director of conservation and energy management Danielle Wensink.
"Lowering energy use in these buildings is critical.Building owners already face so many maintenance concerns that we worked to simplify what can be a complex and overwhelming process," she said.
Also read:Canada’s land use must address sustainability challenges
In 2015, FortisBC began its Rental Apartment Program to help owners in the province upgrade their apartment buildings.The program helps replace ageing and less-efficient boiler systems.Since its launch, it has helped more than 800 buildings across the province receive upgrades like energy-efficient taps, faucets and showerheads that reduce water consumption and energy usage.
The demand for flexible working spaces in Halifax is expected to increase next year, making it crucial for local landlords to consider jumping the co-working trend.
In a speech during CBRE's Halifax Market Outlook Breakfast, CBRE vice president for Atlantic Region Andrew Bergen said businesses seeking to succeed must look at adopting flexible real estate models.
"A realistic assessment of office tenant needs should include flexible workplace options, and local landlords will be forced to think outside the box in 2020.Co-working is coming and it's only a matter of when," he said.
Also read: There's still growth ahead for coworking space
Bergen said 60% of Halifax's population is the result of immigration, making the city a global destination for residents looking for jobs.As more start-ups and tech incubators start their businesses in the city, more office spaces would be needed.
However, the traditional office set-up might not be enough for these groups, whose culture thrives in flexibility.Furthermore, some tech incubators might not have an upfront capital to invest in long-term office solutions, spurring the need for flexible office options.
"Locking into a long-term lease with significant upfront construction costs
On November 7, after roughly sixteen months of a trade war that has spread its stink across the global economy, the US and China announced a potential breath of fresh air:Progress was being made toward a “phase one trade deal”.Such a deal, when completed, would reportedly lead to a rollback in the colossal tariffs each combatant had imposed on billions of dollars’ worth of the other’s goods, subsequently paving the way to a broader agreement and increased stability in the global economy.
Predictably, the message coming out of Washington was both confused and confusing.White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told Bloomberg, “If there’s a phase one trade deal, there are going to be tariff agreements and concessions,” but in the week following the announcement, President Trump repeatedly refused to commit to any tariff rollbacks.
Adding to the uncertainty, the US held back on increasing tariffs from 25 to 30% on $250 billion of Chinese goods on October 15 but is still scheduled to levy 15% tarrifs on an additional $156 billion in Chinese goods, including cellphones, laptops and toys, on December 15.
The uncertainty injected by the US-China clash into the global economy has limited
When a series of tax and mortgage rules was introduced in Canada in 2016 to prevent a housing market bubble, activity slowed down significantly in the years that followed.Given the current circumstances, is it still viable to invest in property?
In a think piece in Macleans, market watcher Romana King said even with fears of a global recession, real estate is still a smart way to invest.
"For investors, the key to making strategically smart decisions is to consider the underlying economic factors that impact your investment," she said.
Also read: Housing, economic risks remain heightened – BoC
King said the housing market could climb out of negative growth forecasts this year.Citing figures from the Canadian Real Estate Association, she said the national sales activity was on target to increase by 5% in 2019 and could expand further by 7.5% in 2020.
"Canada boasts strong population growth, and government budgetary decisions are acting as stimulants for the national housing market, all of which point to a healthy future for Canada's real estate market," she said.
Investing in real estate, however, is not without risks.For investors, it is
British Columbia's rental market crisis appears to be rooted to the lack of affordable homes, and not just because of the proliferation of short-term rentals, an expert said.
Short-term rentals, like Airbnb, are just part of the affordability crisis that has worsened after decades of underfunding housing initiatives, said Brian Clifford, policy manager at BC Non-Profit Housing Association.
"We know that short-term rentals contribute to affordability problems.I'd say that there is a lot of focus on Airbnb, but it is not the silver bullet causing the affordability crisis.It is a contributing factor.It's not the sole problem that we have," he said in a Canadian Press report.
Also read: Quebec’s short-term rental operators could be fined up to $25,000
Clifford said 21% of BC renters spend more than half of their income on rent and utilities, higher than the Canadian average of 18%.
"One in five renters is in a crisis level of spending too much on rent.It places households at risk of homelessness.If you are spending half of your income, what are you sacrificing?" he said.
Despite this, BC government's housing initiatives seem to have yet to
When it was released to the public in October, the Office of the Auditor General of Ontario’s Special Audit of the Tarion Warranty Corporation surprised few when it called out the non-profit for its ongoing failure in assisting homeowners in their warranty disputes with the province’s homebuilders.
The audit called Tarion to task over several areas of concern, from the corporation’s close relationship with the Ontario Home Builders Association to its unnecessarily tight schedule of deadlines, which have led to the denial of thousands of homeowner requests for help.Among some of the more damning information contained in the report, the Auditor General found that builders failed to fix defects under warranty in 65% of cases between 2014 and 2018, and that the compensation of Tarion’s senior management team depended on reducing operating costs – like those related to running Tarion’s call center.
The audit culminated in 32 recommended changes for Tarion, including:
Discontinuing Tarion’s monetary sponsorship to the Ontario Home Builders Association
Providing homebuyers more direct information on the importance of Pre-Delivery Inspections
Conducting random audits of builders to ensure compliance
Redefining “finished house” so
Toronto’s luxury housing sector has enjoyed a marked upswing in activity this year, according to a new analysis by RE/MAX.
Accelerated sales came about as a result of a stronger economy and record-low unemployment levels, along with more relaxed interest rates and generous returns in the stock market.
“The fog has lifted – buoyed by solid economic factors, but also by the belief that the worst is behind us,” RE/MAX of Ontario-Atlantic Canada executive vice president and regional director Christopher Alexander explained.
“The housing market has shifted into recovery mode.Luxury home sales are climbing, prices are stabilizing, and demand is on the upswing for upscale product.”
Transaction numbers in the highest-end sector exceeded 2018 levels, with sales of freehold and condo properties valued at more than $5 million reaching 100 units from January to October.This represented an 8.5% annual increase.
Freehold properties in this price bracket now fetch an average value of $6,517,143.This is in contrast to the 3% year-over-year decline seen in the city’s single-detached housing market.
“The one consistency in Toronto’s real estate market throughout 2019 has been value – and it’s evident from the bottom end of the market
With the missed payments rate at a level more than three times higher than the national average, Saskatchewan is the worst in Canada when it comes to paying mortgages on time, according to the Canadian Bankers Association.
As of mid-year 2019, the province’s arrears rate stood at 0.86%, which was the highest nationwide.This translated to 1,118 mortgages in arrears for three or more months, out of the 130,106 total mortgages in Saskatchewan at the time.
To compare, the national average arrears rate in this period was 0.23%.The rate was just 0.14% in BC, 0.35% in Manitoba, and 0.5% in Alberta.
This is because many Saskatchewan home owners fell into the trap of excessive borrowing, University of Regina economics professor Jason Childs stated.
“If you are at your maximum carrying capacity for mortgage debt, but your wage stops rising and all of these other things go up, you can get yourself into trouble really fast,” Childs told CKOM.com.
The phenomenon stemmed from sustained low interest rates in the years after the 2008-09 financial crisis.
“That made borrowing really, really attractive.So it made people take on a lot of consumer debt and a lot
A slight decline in Toronto’s condo apartment listings during the third quarter of the year might have led to fewer investor-owned units, according to the city’s real estate board.
“Condominium apartments are obviously a popular choice amongst first-time home-buyers.Moreover, it is also important to remember that condominium apartments owned by investors represent a huge component of the GTA rental stock and certainly account for most additions to the rental stock, on net, over the past decade,” TREB chief market analyst Jason Mercer stated in a news release.
During Q3 2019, a total of 9,538 new listings were added to the region’s condo inventory.This represented a comparatively muted 1% annual drop.
This lower number may be attributed to lower condo apartment completions year-to-date through August, per figures from the CMHC.The phenomenon could have “translated into fewer investor-owned units being listed for sale in Q3 2019 compared to Q3 2018,” Mercer explained.
“With this in mind, a well-supplied condo segment will be important moving forward to ensure that we can keep up with population growth driven by a strong and diverse regional economy,” he added.
Reflecting this consistent demand, the region’s average price for condos