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Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing April 16, 2019 333   0   0   0   0   0
In an effort to curtail money laundering through real estate in British Columbia—a well-documented problem—a group of organizations are lobbying the provincial and federal governments with the appropriate steps to take. The British Columbia Real Estate Association, the Appraisal Institute of Canada-B.C.Association, B.C.Notaries Association, Canadian Mortgage Brokers Association-British Columbia and the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver collaborated on how to tackle the problem and also released their joint recommendations to the media. Given that multiple parties are involved in real estate transactions, the group says that it will require a coordinated effort to ensure that unscrupulous forces are kept at bay and prevented from washing dirty money through the province’s real estate. “A real estate transaction involves multiple professionals.It will take a coordinated effort by all involved, working in collaboration with government, to stop money laundering.The joint recommendations and best practices submitted by these organizations reflect their commitment to the professionals and consumers they serve,” read a media statement. A major barrier for would-be money launderers is insistence upon only accepting verified funds, and the group recommends all sectors of real estate align on that point. Additionally, mandatory anti-money laundering education is recommended for all real estate professionals so that they can identify suspicious activity and accordingly report it. “FINTRAC [Financial Transactions and
 
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Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing April 16, 2019 294   0   0   0   0   0
Major developer Cortel Group is spearheading multiple high-rise condo projects in Ontario. The Towers 3 and 4 luxury condo buildings, representing the final phase in the much-anticipated Oak &Co.luxury condominium complex, are scheduled to officially launch on April 27, 2019. Towers 1 and 2 are already being build, while Towers 3 and 4 will be entering the Toronto market starting at the $300s, Cortel Group said in its announcement. “Located at Trafalgar and Dundas East in the Uptown Core, Oak &Co.will be pivotal in shaping the area’s visual landscape while providing countless amenities and creating its own identity,” the developer added. “Situated right in between Morrison Creek Natural Heritage Park and the Uptown Core community, Oak &Co.is a wonderful synthesis of the natural and urban setting that defines all of Oakville as a whole.Most units overlook the leafy landscape by means of generous balconies and large glazed openings.” Meanwhile, the newly announced 60-storey CG Tower is expected to become the tallest building in Vaughan, as well as the tallest structure in Cortel Group’s Expo City development. “Making its mark on the City of Vaughan was Cortel Group’s intention and overall aim.The tower will emerge as a landmark to the Vaughan skyline - anchoring an active urban community complemented by Edgeley
 
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Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing April 16, 2019 302   0   0   0   0   0
Vancouver’s tenants are in a mad scramble for usable office space amid a tight and competitive environment, according to Avison Young’s Tenant Profile Report Q1 2019. Supply scarcity and record-low vacancies are driving a steady increase in the city’s rental rates, which will go on to fuel future office price growth. “Rising rental rates and highly limited availability may start forcing tenants to consider locating outside of Downtown Vancouver in order to fulfill their office requirements.With limited relief until at least 2021 in terms of new development and vacancy expected to remain historically low through 2019 and 2020, upward pressure on rents is likely to continue for all tenant sizes,” Avison Young explained. Tight availability rates are forcing large-scale tenants (those with size requirements exceeding 30,000 square feet) to “plan much farther ahead than typical and explore future opportunities through preleasing or backfilling space that may become available in the future,” the report noted.“They will need to be proactive and flexible well in advance of their lease expiry simply to find an option that suits their existing needs, let alone improve on their current office space.” Meanwhile, tenants looking for space sizes of 10,000 - 15,000 sf are faced with punishing scarcity.From Q3 2018, the availability of such spaces declined by more than
 
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Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing April 15, 2019 165   0   0   0   0   0
The spring season is a mixed one for Canada’s housing markets with some showing gains while others remain under pressure. More than a year on from the introduction of mortgage stress tests, the impacts are still being felt and new measures to help buyers have not yet taken effect. Despite some positive economic conditions, the Canadian Real Estate Association reports that activity remains at some of the lowest levels in years. Home sales via Canadian MLS® Systems edged up 0.9% in March 2019 following a sharp drop in February while actual (not seasonally adjusted) sales activity fell 4.6% year-over-year to the weakest level for the month since 2013;and was also almost 12% below the 10-year average for March. "March results suggest local market trends are largely in a holding pattern," said Gregory Klump, CREA's Chief Economist."While the mortgage stress test has made access to home financing more challenging, the good news is that continuing job growth remains supportive for housing demand and should eventually translate into stronger home sales activity pending a reduction in household indebtedness.” Mixed markets There are some areas where things are improving. While sales in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan were more than 20% below their 10-year average for March, activity is running well above-average in
 
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Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing April 15, 2019 305   0   0   0   0   0
A digital challenger to Canadian banks has announced a merger than will help it accelerate its growth. Vancouver-based Mogo Finance Technology will combine with Difference Capital Financial with the combined entity expected to be named Mogo Inc. It will focus on its aim to become the leading fintech platform in Canada, offering a range of banking and financial products including a digital mortgage experience. "This transaction enables Mogo to continue to invest in new products and innovation, building on our leadership position in the Canadian fintech space," said David Feller, Mogo's Founder and CEO."We are excited by the opportunity that the Transaction presents for shareholders of Mogo and Difference and are very pleased to have the support of the Difference board.We look forward to working closely with the leadership team at Difference to complete the Transaction." Additional resources The combination will give Mogo immediate access to approximately $9 - $10 million in cash, which reflects proceeds from Difference's two recently announced monetizations. "The merger with Difference strengthens our financial position and represents a significant opportunity to create value for shareholders of the combined entity," added Greg Feller, Mogo's President."Difference has invested in many of Canada's leading technology companies and Mogo has built a valuable distribution platform.Shareholders of both companies will benefit from improved financial
 
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Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing April 15, 2019 139   0   0   0   0   0
While home sales in Canada’s two largest markets continue to lag their year-ago levels, Quebec is gathering strength. The province saw 23,667 sales in the first three months of 2019, a rise of 8% year-over-year;with the Montreal CMA gaining 6% to 13,028. The Québec Federation of Real Estate Boards (QFREB) says that 16,010 single-family homes (+7%), 5,866 condominiums (+12%) and 1,694 plexes (+1%) changed hands in Québec in the first quarter of the year. "The demand for properties remains very strong, as we can see by the widespread increase in sales across the province," said Yanick Desnoyers, Manager of the QFREB's Market Analysis Department."The solid performance of Québec's real estate market is all the more impressive because it comes at a time when markets in Canada's other provinces are declining.” Trois-Rivières registered the largest increase in sales at 24%, followed by Saguenay at 17% and the Gatineau CMA at 16%. Transactions in the Québec City, Montréal and Sherbrooke CMAs also held their ground with respective sales increases of 8%, 6% and 5%. The median price of single-family homes rose by 3% to reach $255,000. Montreal supply under pressure In the Montreal CMA, sales were up despite tighter supply of homes for sale. Active listings fell for a
 
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Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing April 14, 2019 316   0   0   0   0   0
According to Statistics Canada’s New Housing Price Index for February, Vancouver tumbled backwards. Year-over-year, prices fell 0.6% in Canada’s third-largest city, while Toronto fell considerably harder, down 1%.Montreal, however, rose 2.4%. “Vancouver saw a massive run up in prices and they brought in some significant change,” said Chris Slightham, president of Royal LePage Signature Realty.“With the foreign buyer tax and vacant property tax, the B.C.’s provincial government has tried to make some changes to make housing more accessible in their marketplace and I guess you could say it’s slowed down further investment, but I don’t know if it’s the desired effect.” In particular, the slew of regulatory changes brought in by the government to curb rapid price escalation in Vancouver’s housing market has created slower construction cycles, and Slightham says that comes with its own set of problems. “There will be less building, and with no new product coming in you end up constricting your supply,” he said.“But this story hasn’t finished;ultimately, people will become comfortable with the changes that have been made—and that will take time because we’re all human—but activity will restart and we’ll find a new level where people start buying houses again.” Toronto might be down between February 2018 and 2019, however, the city’s market fundamentals are so
 
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Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing April 14, 2019 299   0   0   0   0   0
Halifax home prices enjoyed modest growth during Q1 2019, according to the latest Royal LePage House Price Survey released earlier this month. The aggregate price of a home in the market went up by a respectable 1.6% year-over-year during the first quarter of the year, reaching $318,733.Going into the second quarter, this aggregate price is expected to expand by a further 1.2% to end up at $322,667. Much of this could be attributed to the multi-family sector.The value of Halifax bungalows increased by 2.6% annually to $266,078, while condos enjoyed an even greater 2.9% growth to $362,397. Meanwhile, two-storey homes in the market had a 1.2% year-over-year rise to reach $333,307. “Activity remains steady with modest price increases,” Royal LePage Atlantic broker of record Marc Doucet said.“Our excellent selection of affordable properties continues to attract the attention of both interprovincial and foreign buyers.” “Halifax is still very much a seller’s market.We expect a busy spring with more showings and a decrease in inventory.Though a number of apartment-style units are scheduled to be built, most are poised to be rentals.” The city’s home sales might get propelled by the federal government’s recently announced incentives for first-time buyers, according to Doucet. “Unlike cities in Canada where the shared mortgage plan won’t enable
 
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Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing April 11, 2019 140   0   0   0   0   0
The announcement of Toronto’s new subway line should perk up real estate investors. The “Ontario” subway line, which is a more comprehensive version of the downtown relief line, will run 15 kilometres from Ontario Place to the Ontario Science Centre and cost $10.9 billion.The government says it will be completed by 2027. Overall, the Progressive Conservative government is committing $28.5b to a transit plan that will also include additional stations on the Scarborough subway extension, extend the Yonge line into Richmond Hill, and add more Eglinton LRT stops. “It will open up opportunity to have housing built around those lines, hopefully affordable housing too, that will be of benefit to future homebuyers,” said Tim Syrianos, principal broker of record and owner of REMAX Ultimate Realty Inc.in Toronto.“It’s a very positive step for the real estate market.It gets more cars off the road but it also promotes development around new transit lines.” Last week, the Real Estate Intelligence Network released the Toronto Transportation Effect Report in which investors are apprised of how to capitalize on transit infrastructure projects, and which also elucidates how impactful transit is on real estate as an asset. “Transportation infrastructure delivers 10-20% of the value within 800 metres of access to rail or highway,” said Jennifer Hunt, REIN’s vice president
 
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Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing April 11, 2019 171   0   0   0   0   0
The number of new homes in Canada last month helped offset the major slowdown experienced by markets nationwide in February. Latest numbers from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation showed that on a seasonally adjusted basis, national starts went up to 192,527 units in March, far outstripping the 166,290 units the month prior. Although the March data did not reach the 196,500 annual pace earlier predicted by economists, as polled by Thomson Reuters Eikon, the six-month moving average was at 202,279 (compared to February’s 202,039). Multi-residential buildings like apartments, condominiums, and townhouses gave massive boosts to new construction volume, with urban multiple-unit starts increasing by 18.6% in March to reach 135,894 units. Meanwhile, single-detached urban starts grew by 12.1% to 42,139 units.Rural starts were measured at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 14,494 units. “There’s no doubt the Canadian housing market has slowed in the past year, but the latest data on construction suggests the downward trend is stabilizing,” BMO Capital Markers senior economist Sal Guatieri stated earlier this week, as quoted by The Canadian Press. “We still see starts hovering around, or even just above, 200,000 this year, marking a small step back from last year while remaining historically high.” Are you looking to invest in property?If you like,
 
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Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing April 09, 2019 154   0   0   0   0   0
Toronto, with its myriad condominiums, is short on a very particular kind of layout that could yield incredible returns for investors—that is, if they’re lucky enough to find one of these units. Units with two master bedrooms could reap premium rents for investors because no longer will the tenant with the larger bedroom carry the larger share of the monthly rent. “These units have tremendous potential because, very often, if you’re an investor and your unit has a typical layout, one of the tenants has to get the master bedroom and probably pay more, but here you have two master bedrooms, so the two people sharing the apartment are treated equally with two master suites,” said Baker Real Estate President and CEO Barbara Lawlor.“You’ll get more money because of it, so these units are terrific investments.” M2M, a master-planned community in North York features two master bedroom units, and while it’s largely targeting ethnic communities that prize multigenerational living, Lawlor noted that investors, too, could get in on the action.The units with two master bedrooms also have flex space and dens, meaning that a third tenant could live in the unit, albeit at a cheaper monthly rate than the occupants of the larger bedrooms. In the T1 building of M2M, both master
 
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Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing April 09, 2019 164   0   0   0   0   0
Montreal’s overall price growth during the first quarter of the year significantly outstrips that of Toronto and Vancouver, according to the Royal LePage House Price Survey released last week. The median home value in Montreal Centre enjoyed an 8.1% year-over-year increase to reach $406,332.This is far above the movements observed in the Greater Toronto Area (3.4% growth to $836,425) and Greater Vancouver (1.5% shrinkage to end up at $1,239,306). “Greater Montreal kept up its momentum with the eleventh consecutive year-over-year price increase, rising above four per cent in the first quarter of the year,” Royal LePage for the Quebec Region president and director Dominic St.Pierre said. “Unlike many other Canadian markets, which saw a slowdown in activity and prices, the Greater Montreal Area market remained tireless this quarter, despite the harsh winter weather.In the fourth quarter of 2018, we believed that price and sales growth would decline by the start of 2019, but the area once again defied the odds.As a result, 2019 began with a very successful quarter, gradually shrinking the gap between the Montreal and Toronto markets.” A robust economy – especially apparent in low residual unemployment rates of 5.3% in Quebec as a whole and 7.3% in the city – proved to be a major boost for the Montreal market.
 
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Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing April 09, 2019 178   0   0   0   0   0
Amid steady growth in prices and activity, the Ontario Tri-Cities would likely see even more active sales next quarter, according to Royal LePage Grand Valley Realty broker and owner Keith Church. The average home price in Kitchener/Waterloo/Cambridge grew by 8.9% annually during Q1 2019 to reach $517,370, Royal LePage research indicated.This growth rate has made the region’s pace among the strongest nationwide. In particular, two-storey homes magnetized a lot of attention, with prices going up by 9.6% to $551,042.Bungalows were not far behind with a 6% increase in median values, up to $461,336. “Activity has been mostly flat, but we cannot discount how the weather impacts the market,” Church explained.“January was relatively active but sales dropped off in February.However, we are expecting a busy spring this year.” The region’s gains were much larger than those of the GTA, which had 3.4% growth during the first quarter of the year to reach $836,425. However, the federal government’s new home buyer incentives introduced last month are unlikely to have a significant impact on the Tri-Cities. “While all measures that help qualified buyers to become homeowners are welcomed, it won’t be a game-changer for the region,” Church explained.“First-time homebuyers are already doing quite well here as the down payment on an average house is $25,000.”
 
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Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing April 07, 2019 411   0   0   0   0   0
It’s no secret that investing in property near transit will yield promising ROIs, but according to the Real Estate Intelligence Network, there are precise calculations investors can make to optimize rental prices. “Transportation infrastructure delivers 10-20% of the value within 800 metres of access to rail or highway,” said Jennifer Hunt, REIN’s vice president of research and events, and co-author of the Toronto Transportation Effect Report.“Multifamily properties are between 27% and 99% more valuable when they’re within 1,600 metres than those beyond.The greatest premium is within 400 metres. “Ultimately, accessibility to transit—an LRT, subway, commuter rail and highway access—create more property value, as well as rent.” The commercial sector, too, greatly benefits from nearby transit.According to the report, offices within 500 metres of rapid transit stations have 34% fewer vacancies and value enhancement of up to 28%. Another key consideration for real estate investors is timing a property purchase if it’s near a transit infrastructure project.There are four tiers of which to be cognizant, according to REIN:The first is when the project is under construction;the second tier means construction hasn’t begun, but the project has been funded;the third tier is for planned, but unfunded, projects;and the fourth refers to projects in their most inchoate phase, meaning they’re far from finalized. Hunt noted that each tier
 
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Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing April 07, 2019 183   0   0   0   0   0
Real estate developer Davpart has announced the development of the United Building in Toronto, a 55-storey commercial and residential high-rise that highlights the restored heritage structure of the former Maclean Publishing Company/Maclean-Hunter Building. The project is slated to be North America’s tallest architectural heritage retention development and will have commercial and retail space from the ground floor to the 10th floor, as well as new residences above the historic structure. Read more:Toronto and Montreal luxury condos surge in value[1] "From 1910 to the 1980s, 481 [University Avenue] was the location of Maclean Publishing and later Maclean-Hunter with several buildings added to become one of the most recognized structures on University Avenue," said David Hofstedter, president and CEO of Davpart. "The existing structure is an example of a commercial building from the interwar era and is the result of many bold design influences, from Beaux-Arts to Modern Classical. While restoring the exterior, we will complete the interior to the highest standard of contemporary office and retail available today, so their current uses can continue.” "The United is a realization of our vision," said Hofstedter."It's a massive undertaking which started within the context of preserving and restoring the existing building. The complexities are enormous and it has taken lots of teamwork and patience to make it happen."
 
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