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Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing   June 02, 2019 44   0   0   0   0   0
Investing in healthcare sector assets might be a potent, if unconventional, buffer against the worst effects of housing market weakness, according to The Motley Fool columnist Andrew Button. This is largely because of the industry’s evergreen nature, Button noted. “The healthcare sector is noted for its stability.In Canada, it is largely government funded, and what isn’t funded is usually covered by private insurance, which makes the healthcare industry very reliable in terms of income and, by extension, demand for office/clinic space,” the markets analyst said. Such alternative investment avenues have become more important in the wake of news pointing to a 17-year low in Canadian mortgage growth rates, Button added. A leading player in this investment space is Northwest Healthcare Properties REIT, which has a portfolio of 149 income-producing healthcare facilities.These include hospitals, offices, and medical clinics. “This highly specialized niche provides a kind of moat, as the company is one of the few in Canada that focuses specifically on healthcare,” Button explained.“The company’s high geographic diversification also provides a buffer against losses in any one market:it owns properties in Canada, Brazil, Germany, Australia and New Zealand.” Moreover, the avenue
 
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Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing   May 30, 2019 106   0   0   0   0   0
Brick and mortar shopfronts have been e-commerce’s greatest casualty—there have already been more store closures in 2019 than all of 2018 combined—but an innovative technology company is reversing the trend and, in the process, taking North America by storm. FrontRunner Technologies installs content reels on vacant commercial unit windows as a way to generate interest in the property, but also to help landlords and brokerages determine who their target tenant should be.Nathan Elliot, founder of FrontRunner, says that by installing its WindowFront Matrix and sharing 5% of the advertising revenue with landlords or brokerages, his company in effect partners with them. “We arm brokers and landlords with new real time data where they can log into the storefront dashboard and they can see, in locomotion, outside of said space,” said Elliot.“We use Impression Data:About 85% of people walk around us with their WiFi enabled on their cell phones and we can use that to determine the number of people walking by that installation or empty space.Secondly, we use Computer Vision, which is a pinhole camera that remains anonymous and that allows us to do a demographic profile, traffic counts and an array of different variables that arm the real estate group with data they didn’t previously have.We augment our value proposition through the analytics and the creation
 
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Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing   May 30, 2019 79   0   0   0   0   0
Minto Apartment REIT now offers more inroads in Montreal’s thriving multi-residential market. Earlier this month, the company announced its acquisition of a 50% interest in Rockhill, a six-building multi-residential property at 4850-4874 Côte-des-Neiges Road in Montreal. “It is with great enthusiasm and pride that we are entering the strong Montreal rental market for the first time with the purchase of Rockhill,” Minto Apartment REIT CEO Michael Waters said. Built in 1967-68, the 7.6-acre property brings with it 1,004 housing units.It is located near the University of Montreal and Mount Royal Park.It is also situated closely to several hospitals and the Côte-des-Neiges Metro Station. “Rockhill has the right foundation to become an even better place to live:an iconic property and a great community that we want to build on.” Altus Group stated recently that foreign investment in Montreal real estate went up by a massive 183% year-over-year in 2018. The market owes much of the acceleration to foreigner-targeted policies in other large markets like Toronto and Vancouver. “It’s not a coincidence that after the foreign investor taxes in Toronto and Vancouver, interest moved to the Montreal market,” Vincent Shirley of the Altus Group explained. “Foreign investors originally looked at the Vancouver and Toronto markets but they also
 
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Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing   May 30, 2019 83   0   0   0   0   0
Real estate development and investment firm Brivia Group has revealed its initial concepts of a residential tower slated to become Montreal’s tallest. Designed for 61 storeys and 220 metres above sea level, the major project will be situated at the area surrounding Phillips Square in the downtown core.The tower will be comprised of over 500 units. Among its notable features is its nine-cornered architectural geometry, which will allow the tower to offer a significant number of highly-desired corner units. The announcement earlier this week marked the project’s first phase, which comes with an investment of about $400 million.Overall, the project is estimated to cost upwards of $1 billion. “Downtown Montreal is being transformed, with a focus on residential real estate development, and Brivia Group is pleased to be a part of this process.More than ever, Montrealers are keen to live in this district,” Brivia founder, president, and CEO Kheng Ly said. “We are targeting local, business and foreign buyers.We believe we can offer them a product that meets their expectations and specific needs.It’s a unique project, and we’ll go all out to ensure it is our best achievement so far.” The massive project is expected to be the shot in the arm that the downtown Montreal housing market needs, especially since Airbnb-style
 
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Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing   May 28, 2019 86   0   0   0   0   0
Salaries in Ottawa are turning the city into a veritably profitable real estate market for all involved. “We’re seeing a lot of the tech companies hiring and, for the most part, their employees are above-average income earners, or they’re people with average incomes but who also have a lot of stock benefits, which means they have money for larger down payments,” said DLC Smart Debt mortgage broker Chris Allard.“There are so many tech companies in Ottawa right now and they’re all making it so that people have lager down payments because of how they’re structured at work.” Tech isn’t the only game in town, as most Canadians know.The federal government is also one of Ottawa’s biggest employers and, unsurprisingly, the salaries are competitive.Allard noted that the average salary in Ottawa is in the neighbourhood of $70,000. “The government seems to be offering more permanent jobs than contract work like they had been, and that’s a huge plus if you’re trying to put a down payment down on a home,” he said.“Most government employees are in the range of $50,000 to $120,000—which is a big range—but most of them are above-average income earners.If you’re a government worker, you qualify for more than the average person in Ottawa.” Well-paying jobs aren’t the only things
 
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Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing   May 28, 2019 100   0   0   0   0   0
A new Royal LePage study has found that travel distance is not a factor for many Canadians, considering the growing popularity of exurbs. These secondary municipalities, some of which are located as far as dozens and even hundreds of kilometres from the large urban markets, have become more viable purchase destinations amid high housing costs. “If they choose community and lifestyle over ‘urban excitement’ and access to certain jobs, many of them are skipping the suburbs right now and going farther afield,” Royal LePage CEO Phil Soper told The Canadian Press. A census analysis by Queens University supported these observations:As of 2016, fully three-quarters of Canadians are living in suburban communities.From 2006 to that year, exurbs saw 20% population growth, while auto-dependent suburbs had 17%. A vast majority (eight out of the top 10) of the fastest appreciating exurbs nationwide are in Ontario, specifically in areas surrounding Windsor, London, Kingston, Hamilton, Guelph, and the Tri-Cities, among others. In BC, secondary municipalities in the Hope Valley and Kamloops regions enjoyed greater traffic. A 2018 analysis by the Angus Reid Institute found that elevated prices weigh the most upon the minds of young and first-time buyers.A large proportion confessed that their experiences in the hottest housing markets were “uncomfortable” to “miserable”. “It
 
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Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing   May 26, 2019 154   0   0   0   0   0
The impact of the Fair Housing Plan, introduced by the Ontario government in 2017, has been felt hardest in the areas north of Toronto. According to a Zoocasa study, York Region saw the most pronounced drop in prices.The Fair Housing Plan immediately cooled the housing market, albeit for psychological reasons, but that was enough to affect pricing in what’s been one of the more expensive parts of the Greater Toronto Area. Between April 2017 and 2019, sale prices in Newmarket—where homes often sold for over $1 million—fell 30%, hitting $725,710, as a result of sales volume falling 31%.In the time since the Fair Housing Plan was introduced in April 2017, the market has continued contracting and listings also declined 42%, putting the sales-to-new-listings ratio at 45%, representing a balanced market and considerable improvement over the 37% in 2017. Aurora followed suit, as prices decreased 30% but still averaged $888,387.Sales also disappeared by 35%, as did new listings by 34%, which put the sales-to-new-listings ratio at 42%.In Richmond Hill, prices fell 27%, however, at $1,016,216 home equity is still abundant.The 25% sales drop outpaced the 21% decline in new listings, suggesting that, at a 38% sales-to-new-listings ratio, it’s a buyers’ market. It wasn’t all bad news, though.Southern Ontario bore witness to sale price increases, although
 
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Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing   May 26, 2019 87   0   0   0   0   0
Investors are gravitating towards large mixed-use developments situated near rapid transit lines in Metro Vancouver, according to a new analysis by Avison Young. The trend is being spurred on by the city’s political borders and geographic limitations – factors that have led to a consistently severe shortage of developable land. “As land prices have risen and the availability of development sites declined, investor interest has grown exponentially in the redevelopment of typical low-rise shopping centres and the adjacent surface parking lots that form a substantial part of most traditional car-centred regional malls,” Avison Young stated. The latest mixed-use complexes – which the commercial real estate services firm classified as “urban enclaves” – offer extensive opportunities across multiple asset classes along with various community amenities, all readily accessible via existing public transport routes. “Metro Vancouver and its constituent municipalities have encouraged developers to build along transit corridors and allowed higher densities at development sites that had long been established as commercial retail nodes such as regional malls,” Avison Young explained. Authorities on the municipal and provincial levels should take care not to scare off investors, however.A mid-April analysis by CBRE Ltd.noted that Vancouver’s successive introduction of several foreigner-aimed regulations is pushing capital away towards Toronto. The speculation tax and the Landowner Transparency Act, in particular,
 
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Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing   May 26, 2019 77   0   0   0   0   0
Amid an overall trend of moderation nationwide, condo sales continue to exhibit significant regional variances, according to the latest Altus Group Housing Report. Throughout Canada, a little over 48,500 condo apartment sales took place last year, with the volume significantly falling by 21% from the nearly 62,000 deals completed in 2017. Much of this slowdown stemmed from significant weakening in the GTA market, which suffered a 38% year-over-year decline to approximately 21,400 transactions. Despite this flaw, GTA still accounted for almost half of all sales in the areas covered by Altus.These locales include other major Ontario markets in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region. In Vancouver, declines in condo market sales performance have eased, from a massive 31% year-over-year drop in 2017 to just a 7% shrinkage in 2018. According to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, overall residential sales fell by 29.1% year-over-year in April, down to 1,829 homes sold. Inventory saw the addition of 5,742 new for-sale listings last month, up by 16% from the 4,949 new listings in March.Overall supply in Greater Vancouver stood at 14,357 homes for sale, around 46% larger than the availability on April 2018. Meanwhile, Montreal enjoyed its third straight year of growth in condo deals, having seen a 19% annual
 
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Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing   May 23, 2019 96   0   0   0   0   0
Wood frame buildings are not only bringing dynamism to Ontario’s landscape, they’re being touted as a way to develop “missing middle” housing in Toronto. “Wood frame is a gentle-density option,” said Joe Vaccaro, CEO of the Ontario’s Home Builders’ Association.“It’s that missing middle piece that you can bring into the right location to help people find a home where they can work, live and play.In our mind, it’s a great option as a new supply chain.There are also lots of transit areas with constraints on putting up 15-storey buildings, so this product is somewhere in between and it works for everyone.” The building code was amended a few years ago to allow wood frame buildings as high as six storeys, and they fit the bill for so-called missing middle housing—mid-density abodes that fall between the high-rises that keep dotting the Toronto skyline and ground-related housing. However, the reason Torontonians aren’t likely to see too many of these developments is because of the city’s exorbitant land costs.While wood frame buildings are produced in factories, then assembled on site in the half the time it takes to construct a concrete building—thus saving money—developers seldom regard mid-rise buildings as a way to optimize their investments. But there are some sites in Toronto, ones that require infill, upon
 
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Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing   May 23, 2019 103   0   0   0   0   0
The overall value of real estate in Metro Vancouver has seen a significant nosedive with the advent of extremely tight policies such as school and speculation taxes, according to a recent analysis by non-partisan group STEPUP Now. The study estimated that on average, each home in Vancouver suffered a loss of $153,873 in value.Said declines have led to as much as $90 billion in losses throughout the region. Paul Sullivan, senior partner with Burgess, Cawley, Sullivan and Associates Ltd., stated that of the Metro area’s markets, the worst hit by this trend were West Vancouver (with 14.68% loss in value) and Vancouver (13%). Sullivan, who collated the data for STEPUP Now, said that these trends should be a wake-up call for provincial authorities to begin reconsidering the misguided legislation governing real estate in B.C. “While the government’s goal may indeed be to bottom out the housing market in an attempt to somehow address the complex issue of affordability, they are simply removing billions of dollars from the B.C.economy, to everyone’s detriment,” he told CTV News Vancouver. Feeble activity continued to characterize the regional market, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. Overall sales fell by 29.1% annually in April, down to 1,829 transactions.This is despite a gain
 
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Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing   May 23, 2019 96   0   0   0   0   0
Saskatoon’s downtown office vacancy rate might see a sustained upward trend over the next few years, despite the construction of a high-end riverside tower designed to attract choice clientele, according to ICR Commercial. A major factor working in the market is the fact that there’s just not enough new blood. “The demand for new Class A inventory is coming from users already present,” ICR Commercial managing partner Barry Stuart explained, as quoted by CBC News.“There are not enough new tenants entering the market and the flight to quality is projected to continue.” In its latest analysis, ICR said that this would mark the latest in the path set almost two years ago, when the area’s vacancy rate stood at 15.6%.Currently, it sits at 16.7%, translating to more than 400,000 square feet of unoccupied downtown office space. However, the current rate has yet to include the 120,000 sq.ft.in the River Landing North Tower, which is still in the earliest stages of construction. “Once that additional vacancy is accounted for, we will be reporting core area vacancy in excess of 20%,” Stuart noted. Excess supply is a similar problem that Toronto and Vancouver will likely encounter in the near future, according to CoStar Group Inc. Office vacancy levels
 
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Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing   May 21, 2019 54   0   0   0   0   0
The 10-year fixed mortgage offered by HSBC—which goes as low as 2.94%—could prove to be just what investors need in markets, like Toronto, that provide diminishing returns. “As an investor, I would strongly consider this,” said Tom Storey, who’s also a Royal LePage Signature Realty team leader.“The penalties aren’t so bad, either.If this catches on, every lender will have a 10-year fixed mortgage product because I believe this is the lowest one ever.” It is, indeed, the lowest rate on a decade-long fixed rate mortgage that a lender has ever offered in Canada, and the penalty for breaking the it in the first half is whichever of 90 days interest or the rate differential is greater.If it is broken during the latter half, a prepayment charge of 90 days interest will be attached. Barry Gollom, HSBC’s senior vice president of products and propositions with retail banking and wealth management, is confident offering this product to a real estate investor because the yield curve between five- and 10-year fixed mortgage money is short, but he does note that everyone has different appetites for risk. “It depends on upon the particular investor’s situation and what they’re trying to achieve,” he said.“The same rate for a long period of time makes great sense for them, but
 
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Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing   May 21, 2019 49   0   0   0   0   0
The 10-year fixed mortgage offered by HSBC—which goes as low as 2.99%—could prove to be just what investors need in markets, like Toronto, that provide diminishing returns. “As an investor, I would strongly consider this,” said Tom Storey, who’s also a Royal LePage Signature Realty team leader.“The penalties aren’t so bad, either.If this catches on, every lender will have a 10-year fixed mortgage product because I believe this is the lowest one ever.” It is, indeed, the lowest rate on a decade-long fixed rate mortgage that a lender has ever offered in Canada, and the penalty for breaking the it in the first half is whichever of 90 days interest or the rate differential is greater.If it is broken during the latter half, a prepayment charge of 90 days interest will be attached. Barry Gollom, HSBC’s senior vice president of products and propositions with retail banking and wealth management, is confident offering this product to a real estate investor because the yield curve between five- and 10-year fixed mortgage money is short, but he does note that everyone has different appetites for risk. “It depends on upon the particular investor’s situation and what they’re trying to achieve,” he said.“The same rate for a long period of time makes great sense for them, but
 
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Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing   May 21, 2019 53   0   0   0   0   0
Recent sales activity might indicate that the national market has already acclimated to the largest impacts of B-20, according to Bank of Montreal chief economist Doug Porter. “Canadian housing activity appears to be broadly stabilizing, as there are signs that the market has largely digested the many policy changes,” Porter wrote in a report, as quoted by The Canadian Press. “And while the regional divide is wide, fundamentals look to be a bit more supportive in the year ahead, with the policy tightening likely having run its course, job growth surprisingly solid and borrowing costs ebbing.” This is despite the policy regime’s dampening effect, which was most visible in the country’s most in-demand markets.Earlier this month, Toronto-Dominion economists estimated that B-20 led to around 40,000 fewer transactions nationwide (on a year-over-year basis) during Q4 2018. The BMO analysis came in the wake of the latest numbers from the Canadian Real Estate Association, which indicated that overall sales activity increased by 3.6% month-over-month in April. Canada’s residential sales volume also enjoyed its first annual increase (at 4.2%) since December 2017.During the same time last year, activity declined to a seven-year low for the month. The CREA report added that Toronto and Montreal numbers compensated for somewhat lacklustre activity in B.C.last month.
 
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