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Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing October 02, 2017 480   0   0   0   0   0
Halifax has joined a list of suitors vying to be the second North America headquarters (“HQ2”) of Amazon. It might be a tough goal for the Nova Scotia capital.Dozens of large cities across the US and Canada – including Chicago, Toronto, and Vancouver – are seeking to be picked.But Halifax Mayor Mike Savage believes that several key economic trends make the city stand out, apart from its lobsters and beer. “Lobsters and fiddles and bagpipes are really cool but they’re not a value proposition,” Savage told Bloomberg. “There’s no better place in the world to have a drink than Halifax at our many bars and restaurants, but it doesn’t pay the bills.So we’ve been trying to add to that over the last number of years.” According to Savage, affordable housing has been a boon:The average price of a property in Halifax was $288,000 in August, about one-third of Toronto’s and a fraction of the equivalent $852,000 in Amazon’s Seattle headquarters, Bloomberg reported.  Apartments and condos are going up to match the population influx, with housing starts rising 37% in the first half of 2017. The city has reversed an ageing demographic trend.Last year the 25-to-39-year-old age group rose by a record 3,800 people.The city has also stepped up on immigration – international students comprise about
Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing October 02, 2017 513   0   0   0   0   0
Wasim Elafech of Century 21 Bravo Realty in Calgary is among the banner brokerage’s top sales agents in the world.Century 21 operates in 78 countries with over 100,000 agents, and Elafech managed to become their number one unit producer in 2015 and number three in Canada last year, so he knows a thing or two about getting the best bang for your buck out of a rental property.He shared some of those tips with us. 1.Maintain the property Elafech says some he’s sold properties to clients who in turn rented them out, but without putting in the necessary work.“The work you do doesn’t have to be expensive, but it has to be brand new,” he said.“It will be liveable but it won’t look good.The floors will be cracked or peeling, and when people walk in they get the impression it’s a rundown property, but they won’t if you do the work.Make sure all the fixtures work, that they’re not broken;make sure door handles are loose or need to be replaced.If the place is well-maintained, 100% of the time you’ll get more money for your rental.” Elafech added that properties are often reflections of the people who live in them. “A really good tenant won’t look for a rundown place, first of all, so they wouldn’t
Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing September 29, 2017 717   0   0   0   0   0
Although showing signs of moderation, sales of new construction homes in the Greater Toronto Area remained strong on a year-to-date basis, according to latest data from the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD). August sales were down 69% from August 2016 and 62% below the 10-year average, while year-to-date sales kept ahead of last year at this point and 28% above the 10-year average. The majority of the 31,749 new homes purchased so far this year were multi-family units, condo apartments in high-rise and mid-rise buildings, and stacked townhomes, while 20% of year- to-date sales were low-rise single-family homes. A total of 795 new homes were sold in August, with low-rise single-family homes accounting for 114 transactions, while the remaining 681 sales were those of multi-family homes, condo apartments in high-rise and mid-rise buildings, and stacked townhomes. BILD President and CEO Bryan Tuckey cautioned against reading too much into the decline, saying that August is typically a slow month. “One month does not a trend make.Late summer is a quiet time for real estate, and most builders wait until September to launch developments and bring new product to market,” Tuckey explained.“We are expecting fall to be very busy, and 2017 could still be a record year of new home sales driven by the
Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing September 29, 2017 613   0   0   0   0   0
The provincial government today announced its plan to eradicate systemic issues plaguing the construction industry – issues that ultimately affect some of Toronto’s most vulnerable citizens. The formation of the Housing Delivery Group fulfills a Fair Housing Plan recommendation intended to cut through red tape and other impediments to timely construction developments.Helmed by Paula Dill, an experienced urban planner with around 30 years of experience, the Group will intervene should developers run into obstacles with permits, zoning, site plans or anything else. In particular, the Housing Delivery Group will dedicate its efforts to increasing the supply of rental units and affordable housing.Part of that plan is to build those housing types near transit, like subways, GO Trains and LRTs. “Part of the mix of affordable housing is making sure people have the ability to get to work and school, or wherever they need to go, because not everybody can afford a car,” said the provincial Minister of Housing, Peter Milczyn.“Securing affordable housing around (transit) is part of the overall need to make life more affordable, certainly for vulnerable populations by making their lives easier in every respect, not just housing, but their mobility and their community.” The aforesaid vulnerable communities include families and seniors. The building industry welcomed the announcement because, in Toronto specifically, development hurdles
Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing September 29, 2017 593   0   0   0   0   0
In its latest study, real estate team HM Commercial Group found that Kelowna is poised to distinguish itself in the B.C.housing market through its accelerated pace of building in the residential segment. “Demand for all forms of housing remains exceptionally strong and the City of Kelowna favours a policy towards densification in the urban town centres, which also bodes well for more affordable forms of multi-family development,” according to the Fall 2017 HM Commercial Report. Most notably, “the Downtown Core is experiencing a boom of high density development, with projects like the 21-storey tower at 1151 Sunset Drive (now 85% pre-sold before occupancy in Spring/Summer 2018),” the report added.“New projects like One Water Street and Live at Ella are anticipated to achieve average sales of more than $600 per square foot with the upper floors expected to reach more than $900 per square foot.” As of the third quarter of this year, the value of multi-family building permits in Kelowna totalled $95.5M, compared to the $76.9M for the whole of 2016. The study results indicated that up to 95% of condo buyers in Kelowna will be occupying their purchases instead of using these for investment purposes—a much different situation from 10 years ago, “when up to 70% were speculative investors.” “[This] is an excellent
Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing September 27, 2017 559   0   0   0   0   0
In a recent analysis on the broker network’s online portal, Dominion Lending Centres chief economist Dr.Sherry Cooper stated that the August numbers from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) revealed a national housing market still performing well below its potential. The CREA data indicated a slight 1.3-per-cent growth in sales last month, which ended four consecutive months of declines.This was mainly driven by a significant 14.3-per-cent increase in Greater Toronto Area sales. Cooper noted that lopsided performance on a national scale was evident in flat sales growth in all other Canadian markets apart from the GTA—and that even Toronto’s recent rally was just the “first monthly rise since the April announcement of the Ontario Fair Housing Policy.” National activity remained 13.8 per cent below the record set in March 2017.In Ontario, the number of sales remained 36 per cent below the peak (reached in March as well) and 32 per cent below the levels a year ago.   “Actual (not seasonally adjusted) sales activity was down nearly 10% year-over-year in August.Sales were down from year-ago levels in about 60% of all local markets, led by the GTA and surrounding housing markets,” Cooper wrote. Related stories: Are you looking to invest in property?If you like, we can get one of our mortgage experts to tell
Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing September 27, 2017 623   0   0   0   0   0
Montreal might not be doing bad relative to other major Canadian cities, but contrary to numerous praises by media outlets and industry professionals alike, the city is nowhere near the front-runners in becoming the next red-hot housing market. This according to Better Dwelling’s latest analysis, which argued that the numbers from the CREA and the GMREB showed that Montreal’s real estate sector is showing signs of “narrative crafting”. “This is when the industry uses observations that can't be proven to drive FOMO from buyers.Buy now, or a mysterious person from the East will lock you out of homeownership in your own city!” “Once this fear hits, domestic speculators will start driving prices – attracting global speculators.This is when it turns from a healthy market, to a speculative one.They’ll play against each other, until growth tapers.They leave as quickly as they come, and locals are usually left with nothing more than a pile of debt,” Better Dwelling explained. Framing price growth in terms of dollar value without further context might appear remarkable, Better Dwelling added, but the percentages represented by these figures reveal a far different story. “The benchmark price, which is the price of a typical home, rose to $326,400.That’s up a whopping 0.06 per cent from the month before, which works out to $200.Compared
Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing September 27, 2017 516   0   0   0   0   0
In spite of recent scares regarding their values, detached houses remain the strongest real estate investment to be had in the GTA. Government intervention contributed to the cooling effect experienced by the recently searing detached market segment, but by no means is the market headed for a crash, say industry insiders.While the market was unquestionably overheated, all indications are that it has stabilized. According to Richard Lyall, President of the Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON), conditions for buying real estate remain highly conducive. “The economy is doing relatively well and interest rates have moved up a bit, but they’re still very, very low relative to years gone by,” said Lyall.“In 2008, there was a steep drop in the market, but things settled and the market recovered very quickly.Given the fact that the economy is okay and we’re not in a recession, and everybody needs a house, it’s a good time to buy.” Lyall also says the recent scare impelled by the drop in home values is overblown, and that it’s obvious a market correction was long overdue.However, he warned about confusing a correction with a crash. “I’m not terribly concerned with where we’re at right now,” he said.“When you have prices accelerate, you know there’s going to be some kind of correction because it’s
Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing September 25, 2017 732   0   0   0   0   0
Although rent control appears to be here to stay, a new report proposes meeting halfway with a rolling exemption of 10 to 15 years, before reintroducing rent control for the same period of time, and then scaling it back again. The Federation of Rental-Housing Providers of Ontario (FRPO) and Urbanation joint report shed light on some of the pressures placed upon the rental market that’s resulting in short supply and high demand, and posits that, unless rectified, renting could be rendered as unaffordable as owning. It also warns there’s an annual 6,250-unit shortfall, which is exacerbated by the absence of new purpose-built rental buildings, and that most of the new rental stock on the market are impermanent secondary units in condominiums proffered by investors. A major reason for the dearth of new purpose-built rental buildings is -- in spite of industry-wide acknowledgement that there’s an appetite for them -- the provincial government’s reintroduction of rent control this past spring. Jim Murphy, President and CEO of FRPO, says vacancy rates throughout the GTA are dangerously low, and that in Toronto, in particular, it risks falling below 1% -- which could have devastating consequences. “The vacancy rate is 1.3% in Toronto and 1% in the city’s condo rentals, so there’s a need for government to
Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing September 25, 2017 666   0   0   0   0   0
by Neil Sharma The downtown Toronto core is where investors can expect to fetch the best return on their condo investments, because of better crafted suites, the core’s myriad amenities and its swift access to underground transit. TheRedPin put together a list of the city’s 25 best intersections at which to buy, and not surprisingly the majority fall within the core, bounded by Spadina to the west, Jarvis to the East, Bloor to the North and Front to the south. According to Hyder Owainati, TheRedPin’s communication manager, the Yonge-University subway line is replete with sound investment opportunities.“Around those intersections, (condos) carry a premium,” he said.“Yonge and Dundas, Carlton and Gerrard carry a premium on the market.” Conversely, condos around Spadina and King, while still strong investments because of surrounding amenities, aren’t directly connected to the city’s underground transit system and, therefore, fetch slightly lower ROIs than units around the Yonge-University line. “Direct subway access is always big for investors, but even if you’re a little east but along the streetcar line, you still have triple-A transit access for your ROI,” continued Owainati. While the Yonge corridor carries Toronto’s safest investment properties, ROIs decrease north of Bloor St.because subway stations are scarce.However, uptown in the bustling Yonge and Eglinton neighbourhood, investment returns begin experiencing gains. “For
Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing September 25, 2017 480   0   0   0   0   0
The recent influx of tenants and investors in New Westminster’s commercial properties might be a good indicator of the city’s prospects as a strong contributor to the national market. In the first half of 2017 alone, total commercial building permits in New Westminster amounted to $6 million, and more commercial building construction is incoming, according to Blair Fryer, the Royal City’s communications and economic development manager. “Much of the commercial under construction is ground-level shopping at the bottom of mixed use towers, which are dominated by the residential component,” Fryer told Western Investor. Fryer stated that Westminster Toyota has already submitted applications to build a new dealership in Queensborough, with the old Keg building being renovated into new Kelly O’Bryan’s/Carlos O’Bryan’s location.Applications for a new banquet hall and a new entertainment complex under the banner of Extreme Air Park are also pending. Other upcoming projects involve a $2 million application to expand a liquor store and increase commercial space, along with a five residential units, on Front Street;as well as a mixed-use development that will add nearly 11,000 square feet of retail and offices with two new residential buildings. One notable transaction was the sale of the 8-storey Anvil Centre office tower in downtown New Westminster.Gambling firm Evolution Gaming is set to take one floor of
Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing September 25, 2017 589   0   0   0   0   0
Vancouver and Toronto luxury property sales should accelerate this fall after a period of relative sluggishness, according to a new report from Sotheby’s International Realty Canada. This is in sharp contrast to the situation in Montreal, which was touted by the report “as a strong leader on Canada’s luxury real estate landscape this fall.” The variance in the markets’ performances came amid expected sustained strength in the Canadian economy.The Sotheby’s report predicted “a brisk and active” market for luxury real estate in Toronto this fall and for Vancouver to regain momentum. The rosy outlook stemmed from a slew of policy changes—including some from Ottawa and a couple provincial governments—designed to cool the country’s hot housing markets.   “The psychological confidence that people had in the marketplace was shaken by all of the different factors that were put in there,” Sotheby’s International Realty Canada CEO Brad Henderson said, as quoted by The Canadian Press. In July and August, sales of condominiums and houses over $1 million in Toronto fell 27 per cent compared to the same months the year before.Transactions of properties over $4 million in the city fell by nearly the same amount (28 per cent), according to the Sotheby’s report. Part of that drop came as buyers and sellers in Ontario
Investors tapping unique housing inventory
Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing September 22, 2017 683   0   0   0   0   0
by Neil Sharma Montreal is Canada’s next investors’ paradise. A city of multiplexes — which continue to yield high returns for investors — Montreal’s burgeoning condo market is also attracting international attention.In particular, the southwest neighbourhoods of Griffintown and neighbouring St.Henri, the latter of which has rehabilitated its rough and tumble image through gentrification, are the surest bets, according to Fred Serrecchia, Partner, Broker of Record and Head of Real Estate at Montreal-based NestReady. “Things are changing quite rapidly,” he said.“The condo market has seen absorption, and new developments like the ones in Griffintown and St.Henri have made them unrecognizable.A lot of inventory has gone up there and it’s all being absorbed incredibly well.” Griffintown’s proximity to Montreal and the Lachine Canal, where waterside condos are sprouting with state-of-the-art amenities, has made it the hottest neighbourhood in town.From an investor’s standpoint, because most buildings are very new, they’re exempt from the rent control that applies to builds more than five years old. “Griffintown is not entirely subject to rent control because of the new buildings, so rent is increasing faster there than anywhere else” making it ripe for investment, added Serrecchia.“It has a demographic that consists mostly of young professionals, so it’s lively — they prefer Griffintown.It’s also on the water by the Lachine Canal, which
Saskatoon market performance to dominate Western Canada—report
Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing September 22, 2017 664   0   0   0   0   0
Saskatoon’s housing market performance should readily outpace that of other Western Canadian markets in the next few years, according to a report released earlier this week by the Real Estate Investment Network. “Understand that if North Korea fires off some missiles and things, all bets are off,” REIN founder Don Campbell told CBC News.“But Saskatoon, and Saskatchewan as a whole, has food, fuel, fertilizer and farmers.Those four Fs definitely are going to be needed in the future.” However, Campbell cautioned potential buyers to avoid acquiring until the right property enters the market. “The next 18 months probably aren’t going to be pretty in the housing market anywhere in Saskatchewan,” Campbell said.“But the stability and the diversity and the age of the population are all indicating it's going to be one of the outperformers.” REIN data indicated that with its lower-than-average GDP decrease of just 1 per cent in 2016, Saskatoon is in stark contrast to current market trends in other Western Canadian cities. The expectation of steady growth is supported by numbers from the Royal Bank of Canada, which projected that Saskatchewan’s real GDP growth will be 1.8 per cent in 2017 and 2.3 per cent in 2018. Still, potential weak points abound, as Saskatoon’s unemployment rate is now sitting at 8.4
Almost all Canadians favour accessible green spaces—poll
Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing September 22, 2017 726   0   0   0   0   0
Fully 95 per cent of Canadians believe that easy access to green spaces near their domiciles plays a crucial role in enhancing their quality of life, according to the results of a fresh survey conducted by TD Bank. Meanwhile, 77 per cent of those polled said that there is much room for improvement like more picnic areas, natural playgrounds, and solar lighting in local green spaces. Proximity to green space is a central factor in deciding where to live for a significant proportion of Canadians, with 18 per cent ranking it a high priority, behind proximity to close schools and public transport. According to 40 per cent of respondents, commercial development should not impact green space.24 per cent said that housing developments should not come at the expense of existing green space. “Canadians agree, community green spaces are an integral part of our identity,” TD Bank Group chief environment officer Karen Clarke-Whistler said.“As the pace of life around us intensifies, Canadians value outdoor spaces in their communities where they can find common ground.” Most importantly, Canadians treasure environmentally sustainable community green spaces, regardless of cost to themselves.94 per cent of those surveyed stated that natural sustainable playground equipment would be important for their local community green space. “Sensory-rich community green spaces are the rare
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