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Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing November 17, 2017 680   0   0   0   0   0
The cost of investing in Toronto is rising and some investors are beginning to look elsewhere, but are ROIs in Canada’s largest city really that paltry? Brad Lamb, owner of Brad J.Lamb Realty Inc.and Lamb Development Corp., says Toronto condo investments proffer diminishing returns. “It’s getting harder and harder in places like Toronto and Vancouver to buy a home, like a condo, and rent it and have it make any sense as an investment because you’re paying $1,000 per square foot,” he said.“You’re paying $500,000 for a one-bedroom condo apartment that’s 500 square feet and you’re going to rent it for $2,000 a month, but when you add up your mortgage, your condo fees and taxes, it doesn’t cover it.” Lamb says Hamilton is becoming increasingly attractive to investors. “Toronto’s real estate unaffordability shines a nice light on Hamilton, so investors are looking at alternate places to invest and prospective homeowners are looking for other places to live, where they can have a decent life in a nice home,” said Lamb. However, Akshay Dev, a sales agent with REMAX Realty One disagrees with that assessment.Not only do Toronto condominiums appreciate faster than Hamilton’s, they can still be had on the cheap when compared to other international cities. “You have to look at
Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing November 17, 2017 813   0   0   0   0   0
by Paolo Taruc First National Financial announced Wednesday its mortgage investment fund will be terminated by next month. Unitholders are not required to take any action, according to the fund’s manager, Stone Asset Management.Instead, the fund will pay them a special distribution before termination.The payout will be based on the amount necessary to eliminate the fund's liability for non-refundable income tax under the Income Tax Act. The move comes as the favourable tax treatment for the forward purchase and sale agreement (“Forward Agreement”) – an integral part of the fund’s portfolio – is set to expire on 19 December. First National said it will no longer be possible for the fund to provide its unitholders with exposure to the Portfolio on the originally intended tax-advantaged basis. “As a result of the upcoming Forward Termination Date, loss of the intended favourable tax treatment and reduction in the size of the Fund's assets as a result of redemptions over the past number of years, the Manager [Stone Asset] has determined to terminate the Fund on or about the Forward Termination Date,” it added.  Stone Asset will apply to delist the units of the fund from the Toronto Stock Exchange.It is expected that the units will be delisted at the close of
Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing November 15, 2017 658   0   0   0   0   0
October sales indicate the housing market is bouncing back, and the Greater Toronto and Vancouver areas are leading the way. Sales last month were up 0.9% over September, even though listings declined 0.8%, which is in stark contrast to the August-to-September increase of 5%. The Canadian Real Estate Association compiled the data, and another key finding was that October’s sales-to-new-listings ratio of 56.7% was up 1% from September, indicating the market is balancing. Year-over-year sales in October decreased 4.3%, but the national average sale price of $505,937 was up 5%.However, the average sale price dropped to $383,000 when the GTA and GVA were removed from the equation. REMAX Integra CEO Pamela Alexander says inventory is still tight in Canada’s two largest housing markets, but that signifies a return to a stable and predictable market.Fortunately, she says, it will be nothing like the beginning of 2016, when there was unusually high activity and homes sold well over value. “It looks like it’s heading back to a normal market, like the one we’ve been experiencing for the last 10 years,” she said.“The market is trying to find its balance across the country, especially in its two biggest markets.” Looking ahead through the remainder of 2017 and into next year’s first quarter, Alexander expects stable
Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing November 15, 2017 677   0   0   0   0   0
by Paolo Taruc The Urban Development Institute (UDI) has criticized the decision of Vancouver authorities last week to deny the Beedie Living mixed-used condo project in Chinatown. “This ruling creates significant uncertainty because our members don’t know if they can rely on zoning, urban area plans, advice of city staff or recommendations of the Urban Design Panel,” said UDI president and CEO Anne McMullin in a statement. She described the move as a “surprise decision,” as the proposal was revised five times over four years and received the support of expert city staff, the city’s Urban Design Panel of design professionals. McMullin warned that the denials sends a “negative chill” throughout the industry at a time when when housing supply in market, rental and affordable homes has reached historic lows. “Our members, and the thousands of individuals represented in all facets of development and building, are concerned this decision undermines the integrity and reliability of the City’s rigorous planning regime, and puts into question future projects, not only in Chinatown, but across the City,” she added. Opponents of the development believe its construction would gentrify the area and price out the community’s marginalized residents.“In the neighbouring 189 Keefer building, we have seen 1 bedroom condos being sold for just under half
Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing November 06, 2017 791   0   0   0   0   0
According to The Conference Board of Canada’s latest report titled Compensation Planning Outlook 2018, Canadians should not expect a substantial addition to their households’ coffers in 2018. The study revealed that non-unionized employees across the country will see only a 2.4% increase in their salary next year, just slightly higher than the 2017 growth of 2.2%.Projected increases are highest in the pharmaceutical and chemical products industry at 2.7%, and lowest in the health sector at 1.6%. Increases of 2.6% are expected in the real estate industry, along with organizations in construction, finance, and insurance. Read more:Canadian debt-to-disposable income load rises in Q2[1] The highest-demand postings remain IT specialists, management, accounting/finance, engineering, and skilled trades. On a regional basis, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec lead the way in terms of projected increases, with wage gains ranging from 2.6% to 2.5%.Meanwhile, the lowest average base pay increases are expected in Alberta and Saskatchewan, at 2.1%. “While the Canadian economy is firing on all cylinders this year, growth projections for next year and beyond show a slowing down of the economy.As a result, business leaders continue to exercise caution, keeping a cap on organizational spending and, by extension, salary increases,” according to Allison Cowan, director of Total Rewards Research, The Conference Board of Canada.
Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing November 06, 2017 700   0   0   0   0   0
In what came as a shock to observers and authorities alike, the nation’s gross domestic product contracted in August after a flat reading in July, Statistics Canada reported last week. The latest disappointment is another sign that the process of cooling is well underway from the blistering pace of growth in the 12 months through June, according to fiscal sector players. “The run of amazing Canadian economic data is officially over, with growth coming back to reality in hurry,” Bank of Montreal chief economist Doug Porter stated in a note to investors, as quoted by Bloomberg.“The two-month lull in activity pounds home the point that the frothy growth of the past year is over and done.” If the economy fails to expand in September, third-quarter annualized growth would be on pace for a sub-2% increase, after a gain of 4.5% in the second quarter.The Bank of Canada projected growth of 1.8% in the third quarter.Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News forecast an average 2.1% expansion in the second half. Read more:Ontario’s vicious cycle of sluggish income growth and sustained real estate strength[1] The nation’s currency dropped as much as 0.6% to C$1.2915 against the U.S.dollar as of November 1, which may fuel concern the Bank of Canada’s caution about raising interest rates
Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing November 06, 2017 737   0   0   0   0   0
Markham is in the midst of a boom.The city’s downtown is home to a slew of residential and commercial development, but most notably it’s become the centre of Canada’s tech industry. According to Sunny Sharma, president of Century 21 Leading Edge VIP Realty Inc.Brokerage, Markham’s diverse population and thriving technology industry make purchasing a condo there a sure bet to appreciate. “They have the most bio tech companies there,” said Sharma.“York University is putting a new campus in downtown Markham, and it is tied in on a new bus lane that goes straight through to Vaughan along Hwy 7.They’re looping everything to make sure there’s better connectivity.” The dedicated bus lane is a straight shot to the new TTC subway station at Vaughan Metropolitan Centre that’s scheduled to open next month.Better transit connectivity – and by extension, employment – says Sharma, is one of the keys to buying an investment property. “Basic employment will give local residents jobs and create secondary levels of employment, which brings in more restaurants, uber drivers, transportation, and different layers of employment,” he said.“Downtown Markham is being urbanized and intensified.” Additionally, Sharma says the downtown core is as hot as ever, particularly in the entertainment and financial districts, and in the East Bayfront, a burgeoning neighbourhood that’s comprises a large
Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing November 03, 2017 775   0   0   0   0   0
Average annual prices of Toronto residential properties remain stable due to sustained gains in the condo segment, and the further tightening of mortgage rules could add a temporary boost this autumn, observers argued. The decision by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions to impose more stringent stress tests could lead to a scramble as the rules, which take effect on January, might slash a family’s purchasing power by as much as 21%. “The recent changes announced by OSFI might actually result in a short-term rush as those that are impacted by these changes rush to buy,” president John Pasalis told BNN.“What happens after [the Jan.1 deadline] is anyone’s guess right now, but I expect the spring market in 2018 to be cooler that it has been in recent years.” This is despite the overall market being “more balanced” than it was a year ago, Pasalis said.The executive noted the growing evidence of “stark divergences” in the market between condos and freeholds. “Average prices are up 2% over last year, but this is due to the condo market which saw prices rise 17%,” Pasalis explained.“Freehold prices were flat over last year.” Read more:Toronto condo prices could slow[1] The divergences are even more obvious when one examines
Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing November 03, 2017 844   0   0   0   0   0
According to the latest property transfer data released by the British Columbia government, the proportion of sales involving foreign nationals in Metro Vancouver inched up between April and September. The data showed that 5% of the 6,105 property transfers in September involved foreign nationals, up from 2.5% in April. This remained far below the percentage of foreign nationals buying homes before the former Liberal government implemented a 15% foreign buyers’ tax in August 2016 in an effort to cool the hot housing market, The Canadian Press reported. The B.C.Finance Ministry previously reported that from June 10 to August 1, 2016, 13.2% of all property transfer transactions in Metro Vancouver involved foreign buyers. Despite attempts to improve housing affordability, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver said in August this year that the typical price of a home in Metro Vancouver had surpassed $1 million. Read more:Vancouver condo market in demand[1] The New Democrat government has said that it is reviewing transaction data along with the foreign buyers’ tax and an interest-free loan program for first-time homebuyers in an effort to decide whether such measures should be kept, revised, or scrapped altogether. Among municipalities, Richmond saw the highest rate of foreign buyers between April and September this year at 8%,
Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing November 03, 2017 722   0   0   0   0   0
Canadian real estate attracts interest from around the world, and now American company Zillow has announced that it plans to add Canadian listings early next year.However, that could ruffle feathers with the country’s largest real estate board. Zillow publishes properties’ sold data, which has been at the heart of litigation between the Toronto Real Estate Board and the federal competition bureau, who sued the former over anti-competitive practice. John Pasalis, president of Realosophy, a key competition bureau witness during the years-long litigation, says Zillow might not have any problems entering the Toronto market, however, that would be contingent upon its data’s provenance. “I’d be surprised if they can do it if TREB wins the appeal,” he said.“If TREB loses, then it might be easier for them to do it, because they’ll have a right to, but I still think there might potentially be some issues.But it does depend on where they get their data from. If they’ve signed an agreement with Teranet or some other source, it’s going to be a lot different than if they get their data from the real estate board.” Pasalis believes that TREB’s efforts are in vain.Although Realosophy has been prominent in the conflict with TREB, Pasalis says fighting data accessibility is pointless in this day and age. “They’re waging
Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing November 02, 2017 641   0   0   0   0   0
Commercial real estate in Canada’s six major markets is, by and large, healthy, but Alberta continues reeling from the aftershocks of the oil sector’s plummet a few years ago, according to the National Dashboard Report by Colliers. Robust office space absorption in Vancouver is being largely driven by the technology, advertising, media and information industries, accounting for 40%, while education institutions are expanding throughout the metropolitan area and comprises 12% of the absorption.Colliers reported the vacancy rate dropped from 6.3% in Q2 to 6% in Q3.Education tenants, which figure transit access into location planning, rose from 35,000 square feet in 2016 to 300,000 Q3 of 2017.The National Dashboard Report also noted that Vancouver’s Broadway Corridor/Mount Pleasant area is flourishing with over half a million square feet of office space under construction or pre-leasing. Vancouver’s industrial demand is in strong demand, and the third-quarter vacancy rate in Metro Vancouver is 1.8%, down slightly from Q2’s 1.9%, and remains below the five-year average of 3.1%.Between the third quarters of 2015 to 2017, the vacancy rate has been under 2.5%, in part, because of restricted new supply. The Greater Toronto Area’s vacancy rate during Q3 was 5.3%, while the availability rate was 7.7%, both of which decreased from the second quarter.The average asking net and gross rates also decreased from the previous
Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing November 01, 2017 717   0   0   0   0   0
Cranes crowd the Montreal skyline these days as a strong economy and political stability are fuelling a construction frenzy throughout the downtown core and beyond. Although tame by Toronto and Vancouver standards, developers in Canada’s second-largest city are investing billions of dollars in new condominium and office complexes, along with retrofitting older buildings. “Since 1976, this is one of the greatest times,” Mayor Denis Coderre told The Canadian Press.The mayor was alluding to the year when the election of the separatist Parti Quebecois prompted an exodus of residents and businesses. “There [are] right now 150 cranes representing $25 billion of investment in Montreal,” he said at the official launch of the second phase of the YUL twin tower and townhouse project that is sponsored by Chinese investors. Project developer Kheng Ly of Brivia Group Real Estate, who has partnered with China’s Tianco Group, said relatively low condo prices and the lack of a foreign buyers tax make Montreal an attractive place to invest. Ly, who arrived in Canada 29 years ago, said the downtown landscape has changed significantly in the past five years.The recent addition of direct flights between China and Montreal have attracted Asian investors who comprise 35% to 40% of condo owners at the project’s first phase, he said. Further evidence
Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing November 01, 2017 713   0   0   0   0   0
The latest census data revealed that condominium units are fast becoming the residence type of choice among Canadians, with fully one in five households in the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) residing in condos. This development is especially pronounced among first-time millennial buyers, the census results showed.Among members of this demographic, condos have become a popular ownership choice amid ever-rising prices, a trend that doesn’t appear to be waning any time soon. “The proportion of households living in condominium units is likely to rise,” City Planning’s Michael Wright told the Toronto Star. “The bulk of the city’s potential housing supply includes condominium units.For the five-year period ending June 30, 51% of the proposed development projects in the city’s pipeline involve at least one condominium application, and these projects represent 85% of the residential units proposed, under construction or recently built,” he added. According to Royal LePage CEO Phil Soper, condos stand as solid evidence of Toronto’s world-class status. “One third of housing stock we’ve added since 2011 is condominium.When I was a kid (in 1980) it was 6%.That’s a dramatic change.Clearly we’re adjusting the product people buy into.It’s clear we’ve joined other global cities in a changing social norm where many people don’t expect the white picket fence,” Soper said. But condos can only go
Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing November 01, 2017 509   0   0   0   0   0
An Urbanation report predicts a balanced condo market moving into next year – and with it a moderation of investor activity. “We’re coming off unsustainable rates of growth,” said Shaun Hildebrand, Urbanation’s senior vice president.“It’s not healthy for a market to see these rates of appreciation.If we did, the ramifications would be more severe than expected, so expect the market to transition more quickly away from rapid rate of growth and record level of sales as we move into 2018. “That will come as there will be less aggressive investor demand, who have been the largest buyers of new condominiums.” Hildebrand says that while investors have cashed in on high condo rents – prices hit $2.98 per square foot during the third quarter of 2017 – and capital appreciation, there are sobering risks they won’t be able to ignore going into next year. “You have to take into consideration that rents have been growing strongly, but not growing anywhere near as quickly as prices, so that puts at risk holding costs for investors being higher than achievable rent levels when the units come into completion,” said Hildebrand. The report forecasts a possible injection of supply somewhere in the neighbourhood of 12,000 units during the fourth quarter, and that should boost annual sales
Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing October 30, 2017 584   0   0   0   0   0
A massive residential complex in Hamilton will be opening its units for sale on November 4, 2017, its developer announced. The $360-million Television City project, which was the brainchild of Lamb Development partnership with Movengo Developments, is the first phase of the company’s investment in Hamilton, with several more projects worth over $1 billion scheduled further down the line. Two connected 40-storey and 30-storey towers will house approximately 618 units.Upon completion, Television City will offer 474,080 sq.ft.for residential units and 11,344 sq.ft.for retail space. The complex is designed with a wide variety of luxury amenities, including an outdoor infinity pool, fitness centre, and skyclub, along with a co-op tech workspace, a children’s play centre, a private dog walk, and a pet-washing station. Units ranging from studios to penthouses start at $220,000.Move-ins are slated for 2021. “As a developer, my main interest lies in building communities.Hamilton is a vibrant, evolving city, made even greater by its people,” Lamb Development Corp.CEO Brad Lamb said in a news release. “From homeowners to councillors to entrepreneurs, we have had the opportunity to sit down with Hamilton citizens who are excited to see the city’s potential come to life.We are happy to be a part of this stage in its history.” Interested parties can learn more
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