Later this week, Ontario will be conducting a lottery to
determine the recipients of one of the province’s 25 available
cannabis store licences.
However, while the set-up might provide the fairest chance for
those vying for the coveted spots, independent companies and
retailers – which account for a large portion of the province’s
commercial tenants – will almost certainly take on much of the
risks and possible penalties, whereas larger organizations won’t
have too much trouble.
“[The lottery is] definitely designed for larger operators who
are prepared to go out on a limb and go ahead and spend significant
amounts of money without knowing whether they’re one of the 25,”
Brazeau Seller partner Trina Fraser told BNN Bloomberg.
“We’re not thinking through all the possible things that could
go wrong here.”
asset class remains Toronto’s powerhouse segment
Among the heavier penalties are tens of thousands of dollars –
even as much as $50,000 in the worst-case scenarios – should a
licence recipient fail to begin operations by the end of April.
“It’s not been ideal, obviously, but it’s difficult to criticize
too strongly, either, because we do have a supply issue,” Fraser
“I understand that the provincial government has made a
commitment to stores
Calgary might begin offering lower costs for commercial tenants
this year due to a significant 32% decline in the downtown area’s
office building values in 2019, but observers argued that this
would not necessarily lead to improved occupancy.
As of the end of 2018, Calgary’s vacancy stood at 26.4%.
While lower rents could magnetize more tenants, employers in
Calgary will still have to find a way to replace the thousands of
petroleum industry workers who lost their jobs in the wake of the
oil price crashes of recent years.
“The disease is unemployment, it’s not property values,” CBRE
Alberta managing director Greg Kwong told BNN
Bloomberg.“It’s not going to change dramatically until we get
people back to work.”
Read more:Investment in Alberta not all it appears to
Moreover, the lower office building property assessment might
lead to even higher business taxes, according to Mark Cooper of the
Calgary Chamber of Commerce.
“We’ve seen the vibrancy stripped from the downtown core due to
the rising vacancy rates because of the downturn and now we risk
losing businesses outside of the core that are being weighed down
by these unsustainable tax increases and other regulatory burdens,”
Cooper explained, adding that these factors should also be
Owing to some of the lowest vacancy rates in North America along
with a breakneck pace of development and a sustained pace of price
growth, B.C.’s industrial market is promising to be one of the best
investment destinations in Canada at the start of this year.
In particular, Metro Vancouver would become the epicentre of
this market strength, according to Avison Young.
“It is a historical time for Metro Vancouver’s commercial real
estate,” Avison Young Vancouver market analyst Andrew Petrozzi told
During Q3 2018, around 1.5 million square feet of new industrial
space was added to Metro Vancouver’s supply.Absorption was
incredibly strong in the same time frame;approximately 1.4 million
square feet was either sold or leased during the period, leading to
a near record-low vacancy rate of 1.46%.
reports extremely positive outlook for the industrial
Richmond and Delta will also remain powerhouse industrial hubs
well into 2019, according to Avison Young.
Richmond’s vacancy increased to 2.3% in fall 2018, and it now
comprises Metro Vancouver’s single largest industrial market at
37.7 million square feet.Meanwhile, Delta vacancy fell to 1.9% in
its approximately 25 million square feet of industrial space.
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End-of-2018 data from the Calgary Real Estate Board pointed at a
year characterized by unusual weakness.
The numbers showed that overall residential sales in 2018 shrunk
by 14.5% compared to 2017, a development that was exacerbated by
the significant 21% year-over-year decline in December’s sales.
Benchmark prices also went down by 1.5% in 2018, and 3.4%
annually in December.
CREB chief economist Ann-Marie Lurie said that these results are
a natural outgrowth of the provinces multiple struggles during the
year, including subpar job growth, a lack of pipelines, multiple
interest rate hikes, and stricter mortgage qualification
“[The recovery] was supposed to be driven by economic
improvements, which we just didn’t have,” Lurie told Global
News.“In fact, we just had more troubles happening in the latter
part of the year.”
oil price weakness is hurting Alberta, but…
Weaker employment numbers also exerted pressure upon the city’s
home sales activity.
“Job growth in this city remains a concern, as unemployment
levels remain well above levels expected for this year.Rising costs
of ownership also continue to weigh on housing demand,” Lurie said
Are you looking to invest in property?If you like, we can get
one of our mortgage experts to tell you exactly how
Access to affordable housing dominated the conversation in
British Columbia in 2018, with residents aged 18 to 34 beginning to
doubt the ability of elected officials to get a grip on the
According to a recent report by local BC media outlet Burnaby
Now, BC residents favoured increasing the availability of rental
units, but took on a more subdued view when it came to new
construction projects.The report indicated that it was vital for
the provincial government to show where the funds from new housing
taxes were going, and how these actions will benefit residents.
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Burnaby Now also reported that transportation and
traffic gridlock were also issues that BC residents were concerned
with in 2018.In a survey conducted in November, two-thirds of
residents in the Greater Vancouver Area favoured a cap on drivers
to ensure that congestion does not increase, and that a majority
wanted ride-hailing services to employ drivers who hold a
commercial Class 4 licence, instead of the standard Class 5 licence
that most motorists rely on.
According to Burnaby Now, signs indicate that BC is heading
towards a made-in-BC solution,
This year, real estate professionals will increasingly find
themselves using online services and apps to facilitate
According to CTV News, the industry will see growing
usage of technology in a bid to target increasingly tech-savvy
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New proptech online services allow professionals to remotely
conduct presentations, digitized documents, and close transactions
online.“Now our clients can open their phone up, push a few buttons
and the (offer) papers are signed,” Shawn Zigelstein, a real estate
agent in Ontario, told CTV News.
“The agents that are not adapting to this change are going to
see their business drop considerably because they can't adapt fast
The real estate industry has been historically been slow to
embrace technology, Frank Magliocco, a partner at PwC Canada who
specializes in the housing market, told CTV News.
“But I think what you're going to see now is a fairly
significant ramp up in embracing that technology once it becomes
“It'll be increasingly important to remain and be competitive in
the marketplace.Once you see these technologies prove out, you'll
see more and
Buying US real estate has proven to be a very
good investment for Canadians over time.There aren’t typically any
particular tax advantages for Canadians investing in the American
real estate market, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to
reduce that financial burden.
Nearly a decade ago when the United States’
market was in shambles and the Canadian dollar was robust,
Canadians enjoyed bargains on American real estate.Those days are
long gone, and making matters worse, Canadian investors have to be
cognizant of avoiding double taxation or tax pitfalls.
That’s not an easy task without speaking to
the right advisor.It is commonly suggested to Canadians to create a
limited liability corporation (LLC) in order to keep the structure
simple and enjoy the historically low individual tax rates when
investing in the United States, according to Shlomi Steve Levy,
partner at Levy Salis LLP, a cross-border tax and estate planning
firm in Montreal.
“An LLC is vehicle, an ownership structure,
under U.S.tax rules that in layman terms provide liability
protection a little bit like a corporation, but from a tax
perspective will be ignored or considered a flow or pass-through
entity,” Levy told CREW.“The individual member is the tax payer, so
you are taking advantage of corporate protection while maintaining
individual tax rates, which are very low.”
As Vancouver’s vacancy rate for office space remains among North
America’s lowest, there’s growing appetite for strata office
developments in the city.
Driven primarily by low downtown vacancies and, consequently,
surging rents—and compounded by large companies like Amazon, Apple
and Deloitte buying hundreds of thousands of square feet of office
space—Vancouver has become inhospitable to smaller businesses
looking to set up shop.Not surprisingly, savvy investors have taken
note and are beginning to fulfill this need in the marketplace.
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“There is great opportunity for investors looking to purchase
space, particularly when you consider the many strong, local
businesses looking to lease space in a AAA building,” said Matt
Carlson, vice president of Colliers International.“These businesses
are often unable to find a landlord who is willing to lease less
than 10,000 square feet, or in some cases less than 20,000 square
feet.Investors purchasing smaller units will have many tenants
interested in renting space from them at historically high rental
Chard Development has capitalized on the demand and built The
Yukon in the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood, with strata units
designed for creative or light industrial ventures and for
Nominations are now open for the 2019 Canadian
Mortgage Awards, which will be held at
the Liberty Grand in Toronto on April 26, 2019.
The 13th annual edition of the CMAs promises to be a good time
where peers from coast-to-coast can network and, most importantly
of all, enjoy themselves.Without a doubt, last year’s winners will
be eager to defend their awards.
Clinton Wilkins of the Clinton Wilkins Mortgage Team with CENTUM
Home Lenders Ltd.won the Award for Mortgage Broker of the Year
(Fewer Than 25 Employees) for his 230 transactions in 2017 that
totaled $50 million.The Halifax-based Wilkins says that since
winning and advertising the award, business has surged.
“Since the win, I’ve had the best year ever in the 12 years I’ve
been in the industry,” said Wilkins.“This year, I’m up 80% over
last year and I attribute that to the momentum that I’ve had and
winning a CMA is justification for what I’m doing in the
industry.Winning a CMA has 100% helped me increase business,
especially as broker of the year.It really speaks to the good
things going on in Halifax and it’s put me on the map on a national
Upon winning the award, the Wilkins Team immediately put out a
Fresh data from the Canadian Real Estate Association pointed to
one of Ontario’s most promising markets in terms of
consistency:Hamilton, which saw its prices dramatically shoot up by
70% over the past 5 years.
This considerably outstripped the 58.5% price growth in the GTA
since 2013, as well as the 43% national average.
The trend was especially apparent in Hamilton-Burlington, where
the average price stood at $581,900 — the fourth highest in
Said numbers should be seen in light of a general slowing down
of sales activity, however, as the number of transactions fell
annually in 3 out of 4 markets across the country last month, the
forecasts Canadian markets in 2019
Nationwide sales volume shrank by 12.65 year-over-year in
November, ending up below the 10-year average for the month.
“The decline in home ownership affordability caused by this
year’s new mortgage stress-test remains very much in evidence,”
CREA chief economist Gregory Klump stated, as quoted by CBC
“Despite supportive economic and demographic fundamentals,
national home sales have begun trending lower.While national home
sales were anticipated to recover in the wake of a large drop in
activity earlier this year due to the introduction of the
stress-test, the rebound appears to have
Toronto landlords with vacant units could enjoy as much as an
11% hike in rent next year.
That’s according to Rentals.ca’s National Rent Report, which
only studied empty units and also forecasted that rents nationwide
would increase 6% in 2019.
Ben Myers, president of Bullpen Research &Consulting Inc.,
notes that the breakdown in Toronto is pretty evenly split between
purpose-built rental apartments, which skew older, and newer
condominium rental units.He also says that Toronto chronically
under-delivers the number of units needed every year, and it’s
contributing to rising rents.
“There’s probably demand for about 25,000 new rental units a year,
and we’re delivering somewhere in the neighbourhood of 2,000 new
purpose-built rentals and 18,000 to 22,000 condo rentals,” he said,
“which means we’re under-delivering by 3-5,000 units every
The preference remains for newer, lavish units, which typify
“Renters like a higher level of finish and newer amenities, and
some of the older buildings might be larger but they’re not
providing the lifestyle some of these renters are looking for,”
The preponderant reason for the double-digit market rental hike
in Toronto has to do with the economics of purchasing a condo unit
in the city.In downtown Toronto, investors are buying in at between
$1,000 and $1,200 per square
New data from the Toronto Real Estate Board showed that the
market’s sales volume fell by 14.7% year-over-year in November,
while new listings declined by 26.1% during the same period.
Coupled with average sales price growth of 3.5% annually (up to
$788,345), the trend points to a vicious cycle in the very near
future, TREB president Garry Bhaura wrote in a thought piece for
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“These numbers reflect a tighter marketplace, which will
translate into increasing competition between buyers and also
likely provide the foundation for renewed price growth,” Bhaura
He added that among the major contributing factors to this
possible crunch would be the stricter mortgage qualification rules
introduced earlier this year, which are steadily becoming more of a
burden than a boon to the market.
“We’re seeing strong rates of price growth on homes with lower
average price points, such as condos and semi-detached homes.This
is largely due to the impact of the OSFI-mandated mortgage stress
test and higher borrowing costs, which have impacted affordability
and pushed many consumers to consider a lower-priced home.”
Read more:After a
relatively sedate 2018, Toronto is heating up again