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This asset class is one of the strongest performers in the national commercial market
Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing September 18, 2017 530   0   0   0   0   0
If current trends are any indication, Canada’s hotel segment is now ready for intensified expansion to accommodate strong demand, according to market observers. The recently released Q2 2017 Cap Rate Report by Cushman and Wakefield revealed that the hotel sector is outstripping the performance of other commercial asset classes across Canada, with an 11.3-per-cent year-to-date growth in total room revenue nationwide as of June. Vancouver, Montreal, and Toronto’s room revenues have seen the greatest increases, rising by 7.2 per cent, 11.4 per cent, and 11.8 per cent respectively.All three cities also had a 3.7-per-cent increase in occupancy rates in the first half of the year. “We’ve seen a significant pick-up in room demand and in the average rates … based on the strength of the Canadian economy in general, and also the strength of tourism,” Cushman and Wakefield’s  Brian Flood stated, as quoted by the Vancouver Sun. Flood noted that the current robustness of tourism is being helped along by tailwinds from political factors, with the country’s adherence to principles of openness towards international visitors. “We’ve seen very significant gains in tourism from the U.S.over the past three years, and more recently we’re seeing an uptick in international tourism as well,” Flood explained, adding that domestic travel has seen similar increases with Canadians opting
B.C. economy to slow down, but real estate expected to maintain activity levels
Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing September 18, 2017 680   0   0   0   0   0
In its annual economic report released last week, the Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia (CPABC) predicted a provincial GDP decline from 3.7 per cent in 2016 to 2.9 per cent in 2017, and further down to 2.0 per cent in 2018. Among the leading drivers of this development would be trade and investment uncertainty, along with the recent wildfires.The report quickly added, however, that “the construction industry and other real estate related industries will remain busy” for the rest of this year and through 2018. “B.C.’s strong economy continued to attract residents last year, and the population expanded by almost 60,000 residents to reach 4.75 million.The majority of these new residents were either from other provinces or outside of Canada,” CPABC president and CEO Lori Mathison said. “Most of them settled in [the Lower Mainland], fuelling growth in the service sector.Population growth is expected to continue in that region and will increase housing demand,” Mathison added.“B.C.’s economy is still based on sound economics and the projected 2.9 per cent GDP growth rate will place it amongst one of the top performing provinces.” B.C.exports have also been forecasted to continue posting robust numbers due to steadily improving commodity prices and minimal Canadian dollar appreciation.As of the end of July 2017, the value of the province’s exports
Publisher of Canadian Real Estate Wealth hits Profit 500 List for fifth year running
Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing September 15, 2017 529   0   0   0   0   0
The remarkable success story of Key Media International (KMI) keeps gathering pace.After a spectacular five-year revenue growth rate of 169%, KMI has been included on the 2017 PROFIT 500 ranking of Canada’s fastest growing companies by Canadian Business. Now in its 29th year, PROFIT 500 is a joint venture between Canada’s premier business and current affairs media brands, aiming to profile the nation’s most successful growth companies.KMI – a global publishing and events company with a huge stable of influential industry publications – has now made the list for five consecutive years. “We’re massively excited – once again – to be part of the PROFIT 500 line-up,” says Tim Duce, CEO, KMI.“To be included among such powerhouse contemporaries is proof that KMI is fast becoming one of the biggest names in the business.I’ve no doubt that this is down to our great range of products, our wonderful readers, our roster of valued clients, and – of course – the hard work of our dedicated team.As we go from strength to strength, here’s to celebrating our PROFIT 500 inclusion next year!” “It’s never easy to earn a spot on the PROFIT 500, but this year’s applicant pool was the most competitive yet,” explains Deborah Aarts, PROFIT 500 program manager.“This year’s winners demonstrate the resilience, innovation and
Saskatoon remains a strong buyer’s market—association
Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing September 15, 2017 609   0   0   0   0   0
Despite a slight 5-per-cent annual drop in home sales, Saskatoon continues to be a strong buyer’s market with its stable inventory levels, along with low interest rates and steady property prices. In its latest market report, the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® stated that 2,183 listings were active in its jurisdiction as of the end of August. The Association cautioned, however, that “it is only a matter of time before the market shifts as it always does.” “In the coming months, home buyers will look back with hindsight and realize how opportune the market was with all of these elements in place,” CEO Jason Yochim said. “The concern is that buyers waiting for the bottom of the market in order to make a purchase, may end up paying more when buying on the upswing,” the Association added.   The average price year-to-date fell by 1 per cent, down to $347,414.Meanwhile, the median price declined by 1.5 per cent, down to $329,950.The total dollar volume for the region was 9% lower compared to a year earlier, at $1.139 billion. Related stories: New mortgage data released[1] Saskatoon apartment vacancy reaches record levels[2]   Are you looking to invest in property?If you like, we can get one of our mortgage
Canadian residential segment’s growth to grind to a crawl—Moody’s
Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing September 15, 2017 531   0   0   0   0   0
The growth of residential property prices nationwide will weaken significantly in the next half decade as cooling policies in the hottest markets will make themselves felt, according to the latest study by Moody’s Analytics. Canadians need to prepare for “several years of retrenchment” with 1.3 per cent annual price growth per year at most over the next 5 years, Moody’s said. “Exact turning points are difficult to predict, but the combination of restricted mortgage lending, taxes on foreign purchases in the largest metro areas, and the expectation of higher mortgage rates means that house prices are likely to experience a slowdown in the next few years,” according to report author Andres Carbacho-Burgos, as quoted by the Financial Post. “Affordability as measured by the median dwelling price to median family income ratio is also close to a record low, so it is hard to see house prices maintaining the same momentum as before,” the study added. Moody’s also cautioned that further measures to curb speculation in Toronto and Vancouver will exacerbate the slowdown.Current trends in these markets will continue to hold, however. “Greater Toronto is likely to maintain moderate house price growth, while the more policy-restricted market in Vancouver will lead to prices holding steady in coming years,” the report stated. Related stories:
BC market sees sluggish end of summer stats
Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing September 15, 2017 630   0   0   0   0   0
Prices may be recovering, but buyers in British Columbia just aren’t as enthusiastic as they once were. “BC home sales in August remained unchanged from July, on a seasonally adjusted basis,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist.“Strong economic conditions are underpinning demand. However, rising home prices combined with upward pressure on mortgage interest rates is expected to temper demand over the balance of the year.” Unit sales are down year-to-date in 67% of British Columbia’s markets, according to the British Columbia Real Estate Association, with Vancouver seeing the most precipitous decline at -20.3% YTD. Overall, the province has seen a total of 73,267 sales this year, down 15% YTD.  The average price of a home in the province -- $706,839 -- is also down this year by 1.1% YTD. Dollar volume is also down. “Year-to-date, BC residential sales dollar volume was down 15.9% to $51.8 billion, when compared with the same period in 2016,” BCREA said in a release.“Residential unit sales declined 15.0 % to 73,267units, while the average MLS residential price was down 1.1%to $706,839.” The silver lining, however, is that the average price is up in 11 of 12 of BC markets, with Vancouver experiencing the only drop in average price. It should be noted that
Province to unlock additional land for housing
Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing September 13, 2017 668   0   0   0   0   0
The Ontario government has addressed the province’s housing supply issue by vowing to unlock provincial land for the use of housing. Toronto Mayor John Tory and Peter Milczyn, Minister of Housing and Minister Responsible for the Poverty Reduction Strategy, made the announcement in Toronto Wednesday morning. The plan is to allow for the creation of 2,000 new affordable housing units in Toronto as part of the province’s Fair Housing Plan. “Our communities are at their strongest when they make room for everyone,” Milczyn said.“By freeing up underused land to build a mix of market and affordable rental housing, more people in Ontario will be able to find an affordable home in neighbourhoods they love.” The province has earmarked three sites for building;two lots in West Don Lands and one, which is currently a multi-level parking structure, in the downtown core between Bay and Yonge Streets south of Wellesley. “This is a unique and innovative strategy to transform surplus provincial lands into much-needed rental housing units for individuals and families, a key part of our Fair Housing Plan,” Bob Chiarelli, minister of infrastructure, said. This new program is one of 16 measures announced by the Ontario government earlier this year to address affordable housing in the province. “The province is leveraging the value
New report laments lack of development
Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing September 13, 2017 631   0   0   0   0   0
Vancouver is experiencing a constrained supply in the multi-family housing market, according to a new report by the Urban Development Institute. “Any home seeker knows we don’t have enough choices for them, in either new homes or resales. Various independent and academic studies have proven supply is being throttled by restrictive single family zoning policy and delays in permitting,” UDI President &CEO Anne McMullin said.“Just this month, a developer had to cancel a building project due to permit delays that led to financing cancellation.If municipalities need more resources to process building applications faster, let’s make that happen.I can’t find any good news in this report.” UDI released its quarterly State of the Market report Tuesday, which focuses on Vancouver’s housing market. In it, the Institute found the percentage of new housing starts to new residents is falling. “The current ratio of new Metro Vancouver residents to housing starts is 1.3, which is identical to last quarter as well as Q2-2016.However, the current ratio is down from the 2.2 housing starts per new residents in Q2-2015 and is below the five-year average of 2.1,” CDI said in the report.“The number of housing starts have trended upwards since the last quarter of 2016 and while the ratio of 1.3 should be considered favourable to buyers/tenants it’s important to note the overwhelming majority of multi-family housing starts have already been pre-sold.Strong demand for new
Nova Scotia is Canada’s economic laggard—study
Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing September 13, 2017 712   0   0   0   0   0
In its latest outlook, RBC Economics stated that Nova Scotia continues to lag behind the rest of Canada in terms of economic growth for the first half of 2017. The provincial economy is expected to grow by 1.3 per cent by the end of this year, and employment growth numbers are projected to reach their highest since 2012, but the “impact of job gains on retail sales and wider economic activity will be muted by a rising share of part-time workers and still sluggish growth in employee compensation,” according to the bank’s report, as quoted by The Chronicle Herald. The RBC study added that non-residential investment in Nova Scotia continued to experience declines, although the construction segment is reaping a windfall from a heightened pace of residential building. RBC Economics noted that much of the growth for the first two quarters of the year was attributable to gains in Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, and Prince Edward Island.As a whole, the Canadian economy is on course for GDP growth of 3.1 per cent for 2017, a trend impelled by consumer and government spending as well as by business investment. “Canada’s economy continues to hit it out of the park,” RBC chief economist and senior vice-president Craig Wright said.“For the fourth consecutive quarter, we’ve seen above-potential
Industry association pens letter to OSFI
Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing September 11, 2017 795   0   0   0   0   0
The industry continues to fight against further mortgage rule tightening. The Canadian Mortgage Brokers Association (CMBA) has sent a letter to the regulator with its suggestions for the B-20 update. The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Services (OSFI) announced in July it will be increasing its supervisory efforts for residential mortgage underwriting – specifically focusing on Guideline B-20, which it also announced potential changes to. Those changes include; Requiring a qualifying stress test for all uninsured mortgages; Requiring that Loan-to-Value (LTV) measurements remain dynamic and adjust for local market conditions where they are used as a risk control, such as for qualifying borrowers; Expressly prohibiting co-lending arrangements that are designed, or appear to be designed to circumvent regulatory requirements. CMBA, however, recently sent a letter to OSFI with its suggestions around how the regulator could best tweak B-20. They include;allowing lenders to continue to bundle first and second mortgages, exempting all mortgages with principal amounts of $499,000 or less from the requirement to qualify borrowers at a qualifying rate, and permit qualification at the true contract rate associated with a 5 year fixed term, allowing the same qualifying rate be used for insured mortgages that is prescribed for non-insured mortgages, and amending underwriting criteria for rental properties. “Minister Morneau
‘Millionaire cities’ attest to ever-growing household wealth—report
Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing September 11, 2017 685   0   0   0   0   0
Along with the meteoric rise in the national economic growth rate, and increasing proportion of Canadians are now gaining access to significant wealth via their residential properties. This, according to the latest edition of the “Wealthscapes” report from Toronto-based firm Environics Analytics.Among the study’s most noteworthy findings was that nationwide net worth went up by 12 per cent in 2016 compared to the previous year, with house values accounting for much of the rise. The study also found that nearly 20 per cent of the nation’s homes are now located at neighbourhoods with average net worth of above $1 million, attesting to the increased wealth that Canadians are enjoying amid a vibrant economy and exciting prospects of further growth. “For the most part, 2016 was a good-news financial story,” Environics Analytics vice president of demographic and economic data Peter Miron said.“Strong performance in the stock market buoyed Canadian investments.The biggest housing markets experienced strong real estate appreciation.And many Canadians increased their saving rates.This is the wealthiest Canadians as a whole have ever been.” Vancouver’s net worth stood at $1,217,630, representing a 19.4-per-cent growth rate from 2015 to 2016.Meanwhile, Toronto households gained 17-per-cent net worth in the same time frame (up to $1,154,107), and Victoria saw a 15.4-per-cent increase (up to $1,055,468). Also, despite the oil industry
Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing September 11, 2017 591   0   0   0   0   0
With uncertainty spreading through traditional investment markets, more investors are seeking out alternative vehicles in which to place their funds.Historically, when people thought about investment opportunities, their options were limited to stocks, bonds and real estate, but with returns increasingly difficult to find in traditional places, the alternative investment space is one of the fastest growing segments across the globe. Included in the alternative space are REITs, Mortgage Investment Corporations (MICs) and individual mortgage investments. “The alternative space has become especially important for people over the last decade as they look for something that is not correlated to the stock and bond markets,” explains Bryan Jaskolka, VP of Canadian Mortgages Inc.(CMI).“Although this space can have correlation to the real estate market, it does not move in the same patterns as other liquid financial investments that people have historically been buying.” With a large proportion of the boomer generation reaching retirement, concerns around pensions funds are front of mind for many Canadian families.It’s a definite challenge, particularly when considering that people are living longer than ever before and traditional fixed income vehicles are not yielding the returns they did previously. “Because of quantitative easing and other loosening measures worldwide in the past decade, people are seeing incredibly low returns on their GICs, certificates of deposit, and corporate bonds,” Jaskolka
Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing September 07, 2017 693   0   0   0   0   0
The Hamilton market is showing some signs being impacted by Ontario’s Fair Housing Plan, according to recently released statistics. There were 1,638 residential home listings in August, up 6% year-over-year from 2016’s mark of 1,546.Those listings are 4.2% higher than the 10-year average.Sales, meanwhile, were down 18.2% with a total of 1,086 last month. That didn’t stop price growth, though, with the median residential home selling for $485,450 – up 14% year-over-year from $426,000. All of these stats together point to a balanced market, according to the Realtors Association of Hamilton-Burlington. “The tendency toward a more balanced market that we have seen over the last few months has continued into August,” RAHB CEO George O’Neill said.“The sales to new listings ratio is at just over 65 per cent, which is still in the low end of a seller’s market, but much closer to balance than earlier this year.”    The median freehold home price jumped 13.2% year-over-year and the median condo home price increased 20.9%. “The median and average prices continued to rise,” O’Neill said.“There had been speculation that with more listings on the market and fewer sales, prices would decrease as a result.That is not the experience in our market area – at least not so far.” The average days on
Resurgent London-St. Thomas housing segment posts record numbers
Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing September 07, 2017 984   0   0   0   0   0
The London-St.Thomas housing market of southwest Ontario has posted its best numbers in over a decade, according to the region’s real estate professionals’ organization. “If you look at the historical data, last month turns out to be the best August for our members since 2005,” according to Jim Smith, 2017 president of the London and St.Thomas Association of REALTORS® (LSTAR). Data collated by the group indicated that 892 homes have been sold in the region in August 2017 alone.The number of listings declined by 9.3 per cent year-over-year last month, as well. Average home sales price in the area stood at $326,122, down 1.4 per cent on a monthly basis.However, the average year-to-date price was $329,745, representing an 18.2-per-cent increase from the 2016 average of $279,057. “Overall, 2017 remains an incredible year for real estate across London and St.Thomas and we expect sales activity to stay fairly strong for the remainder of 2017,” Smith said.“With real estate impacting so many areas of our community, such as contractors, trades, home stores and small businesses, it plays a significant role to building the local economy.” The best-selling asset class last month in LSTAR’s jurisdiction continued to be the two-storey building, followed by the bungalow. “Interestingly, last month the number of sold units was the
Ontario condo-living organization launched
Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing September 07, 2017 900   0   0   0   0   0
Late last week, the Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO)[1] officially introduced itself as the first organization specifically intended to support condominium living across the province. The group “will play a pivotal role in addressing the growing needs of condo communities in Ontario so that people who call a condo their home can enjoy peace of mind,” according to Tracy MacCharles, Minister of Government and Consumer Services.“I would like to thank the Condominium Authority of Ontario's board and team for their efforts in helping to build more sustainable communities across our province now, and for years to come.” Among others, the administrative authority’s tasks will be providing information about condo ownership and condo living information (including a guide for condo buyers), as well as free online training for condo directors to ensure that condo boards run smoothly. Also, the organization will be responsible for a new online dispute resolution tribunal “that will include online guided negotiation, mediation and adjudication to help resolve issues and settle disputes,” along with self-help tools for those who have questions or want to resolve disputes on their own. CAO’s initial version of the online dispute resolution services is slated to be launched on November 1. “As the first designated authority for the condominium sector in Ontario, the CAO
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