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Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing November 15, 2017 738   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 795   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 06, 2017 765   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 851   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 03, 2017 781   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 03, 2017 894   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 828   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,” Realosophy.com 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 02, 2017 696   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 554   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 November 01, 2017 767   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 768   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 October 30, 2017 674   0   0   0   0   0
Housing affordability continues to dominate the conversation in the Greater Toronto Area’s housing market.A new report released by the Urban Land Institute in conjunction with PwC, called Emerging Trends in Real Estate described governmental regulation as likely to exacerbate the affordability problem. The laws of supply and demand lie at the heart of surging housing prices.Not only are single-family detached homes in high demand and low supply, but the condo market, too, is beginning to see signs of strain, as priced-out buyers realize they have no other choice to settle for skyward balconies over backyards. The foreign buyer tax cooled the Vancouver and Toronto markets, where prices grew astronomically, but the report makes mention of suspicious players within the real estate industry, one of whom believes growth will continue with or without the tax because of natural growth.The report also noted that prices cooled temporally before rebounding and pushing condo prices upwards. Those interviewed by the report parroted the need for government to stay out of the market, except to address the need for increased supply.It’s unanimously believed that the approvals process is one reason supply isn’t keeping up with demand. Affordability will catalyze a growing trend:co-living.As the number of single people among the millennial cohort in expensive markets like, Toronto and Vancouver, continue rising,
Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing October 30, 2017 634   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 Corp.in 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
Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing October 27, 2017 762   0   0   0   0   0
This week’s census data revealed Canadians’ changing living habits – and the trickle-down effect that’s affecting the rental market and its existing stock in Toronto. Only 50.2% of Millenials own their own homes, compared with 56% of boomers who owned when they were that age, according to the Census.However, Phil Soper, president and CEO of Royal LePage referred CREW to a summer study the organization commissioned on peak Millenials (aged 25 to 30) that found 87% believed homeownership was a positive thing and intended to someday own a home, and in which 69% said they intended to buy a home within five years. “If you compare that to Stats Can data, it shows people are leaving their parents’ homes later, staying in school later, and essentially growing up at a slower rate than their parents, which makes perfect sense,” said Soper.“With technology and increasing lifespans, the old standard of when we got married and left the house got stretched, so it makes perfect sense to me.” Housing affordability has also contributed to more millennial-aged Torontonians renting than their parents did at their ages.The city is experiencing inventory shortages on the ownership and rental fronts, and Soper says condo rentals will likely comprise a large part of the incoming supply. “I think one of the things
Jarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE InvestingJarek Bucholc ||Street Smart RE Investing October 27, 2017 742   0   0   0   0   0
As Canadian cities continue to crack down on online home-rental platforms, Airbnb maintains it’s open to regulation provided new rules don’t penalize casual users and recognize not every host runs a full-fledged business. “There are still a lot of misperceptions about what home-sharing is all about,” according to Alex Dagg, Airbnb’s director of Canadian public policy, who also warned about unintended consequences from rushed regulations. “That’s the concern – that you come up with something that you think makes sense.And without understanding really what your community is looking like and how they’re using the platform and how they’re benefiting from it, you can really design something that isn’t helpful,” Dagg explained, as quoted by The Canadian Press. Many homeowners or tenants use the platform to rent out a portion of or their entire home to earn some extra cash.Airbnb’s critics argue that it has created additional housing problems in cities with low vacancy rates and high home ownership costs. The Vancouver and Toronto governments have indicated that they are weighing the possibility of imposing a number of restrictions on users. Dagg is in Vancouver to argue the American company’s case in front of a city council holding public hearings into a proposed home-sharing bylaw.If approved, it would take effect in April and require hosts to
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