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B.C. real estate industry braces for postpandemic immigration boom – The Globe and Mail

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Vishey Singh in Surrey, B.C., on Feb. 25, 2021.

DARRYL DYCK/The Globe and Mail

Metro Vancouver housing builders and the real estate industry are bracing for a big surge of immigrants to wash into the region once travel is allowed again, with some possible extra pushes coming from Hong Kong, India, the Philippines and even Indonesia.

That new wave is likely to include a significant proportion of relatively well-off, middle-class people with assets to bring to Canada that will give them home-buying power when they get here.

“A lot of would-be immigrants are preplanning,” said Vishey Singh, a realtor with Team 3000 who sells primarily in the southern suburbs of Surrey, Delta and Langley, where house prices have been shooting up in recent months.

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“The Indian investors and immigrants are following the exact same path as the Chinese 10 years ago,” said Mr. Singh, whose most recent trip to India before the pandemic was to speak to 150 interested investors and immigrants in New Delhi. “And the Filipino and Indonesian ones, they are not far behind.”

He and many others say the increasing numbers of those new, middle-class immigrants, combined with pent-up demand from those prevented from moving to a new country because of pandemic restrictions along with Canada’s aggressive new federal targets for immigration, will produce even more pressure on local housing.

“They don’t like to rent for very long. They’ll pool resources to buy,” said Michael Ferreira, whose Vancouver-based company Urban Analytics tracks new building and forecasts real estate trends.

Mr. Ferreira said that, while builders are starting to roll out new projects this spring for what they expect to be increased demand over the next couple of years, it’s unclear whether city governments are equally prepared.

“Is anybody telling the municipal planning departments what’s happening?” he wondered. “Because their projections can’t be based on historic growth rates.”

The federal government has increased its immigration targets for the next three years, upping them from the previous goal of slightly more than one million for 2020-2022 to 1.233-million for 2021-2023.

Although Canada admitted only 185,000 immigrants last year during the pandemic slowdown, compared with 340,000 in 2019, the Immigration Minister has recently said it is on target to admit 400,000 in 2021.

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In the past three years, B.C. typically saw 60,000 new immigrants a year arrive in the province. While the top country of origin was China 10 years ago, that’s been replaced by India.

The Lower Mainland, which receives the bulk of new arrivals from both inside and outside Canada, is likely to be affected by political or demographic changes in particular countries, such as China, India and the Philippines.

Many are trying to understand how the political turmoil in Hong Kong, where more than 300,000 residents hold Canadian passports, will play out in the immigration picture of the next few years.

The former British colony has been rocked by protests, especially by younger people, over China’s increasing control over democratic processes and civil rights, starting with what was called the Umbrella Movement in 2014.

They are wondering how many people there might be like Jenny Liu, who grew up in Vancouver after her parents immigrated in the 1990s, worked in Hong Kong and the U.S. for 20 years and then decided five years ago to come back to Vancouver.

“Politics was the immediate factor to accelerate the move back to Vancouver,” said Ms. Liu, who works in human resources. Among her friends, “I know some already moved back [to Canada] because of the Umbrella Movement. Some to Toronto, especially last year, late 2019, because of the protests.”

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Some real estate experts say they believe the impact of people from Hong Kong moving to the region will be muted, nothing like the Vancouver-altering boom of the 1990s.

“The ones with Canadian passports are wealthy and they already have a beachhead here or in Toronto. The impact is going to be less than in 1997,” said Dan Scarrow, the president of Macdonald Realty. Mr. Scarrow and his company have developed expertise in China, and he moved there for several years because of the real estate demand.

“There is still going to be an impact on the market but it will be very subtle.”

A University of B.C. professor who has been studying exactly this demographic is also seeing signs that the Hong Kong effect won’t be the same as it was in the 1990s.

“This won’t be a huge jump. The impact will be two or three years from now,” said Miu Chung Yan, a professor of social work who has been interviewing recent Hong Kong returnees.

He is expecting that there will be three types of Hong Kong residents who come to Canada in the next several years.

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The first group is the Canadian passport holders, of which about 50,000 will likely slowly shift back to Canada over the next five years. (About 20,000 of those are likely to come to the Vancouver region.) They may buy homes or reoccupy places they have been renting out, which will produce ripple effects.

The second is regular immigrants, likely to be a small group because those people will have multiple choices, including going to Britain, which has offered passports to residents who have pre-1997 roots. The third is those coming on an open work permit, which Prof. Yan also says won’t be large.

Those in real estate say that, for the most part, those people aren’t buying huge amounts of property yet. But local investors who expect that the new wave of immigrants will be arriving soon are bidding up properties, they say, with the expectation they’ll make a profit when those newcomers arrive and buy. The proportion of investors completing sales has risen to 20 per cent instead of the usual 10 per cent, some Surrey realtors say.

“There is the anticipation of the migration from India,” said Jag Sidhu, a realtor specializing in Surrey. “People are thinking what happens next year with the vaccines done. You are going to get that mass migration. People are positioning themselves.”

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Black Press Media introduces one of Western Canada's best real estate platforms helping home buyers Find. Love. Live. that new home – Aldergrove Star

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Need an agent who knows the community?

Or, is it time to look for a new place to live, but you don’t know what’s on the market?

Whatever the real estate need is for residents in the communities of British Columbia, Yukon & Alberta, there’s a new way to do that one-stop shopping – by visiting Today’s Home.

The slogan for the site is “Find. Love. Live.”

“We want people to find their dream home, love it, and live in it,” said group publisher Lisa Farquharson.

Building on the success of Black Press Media’s niche digital platforms – Today’s Home brings the same wealth of knowledge and local expertise to the search for a home, be it buying, selling, or even just daydreaming about what changes you can make in the future.

Search hundreds of listings that local real estate agents have available.

The listings cover properties around the region, from a one-bedroom, one-bath condo for $339,900 to million-dollar acreages throughout the province of BC, Yukon, Central Alberta and beyond.

Click on a listing, and see not only the realtor handling the property sale, but links to his or her other listings and social media feeds. With the click of a mouse, take a virtual tour of the property, find the property’s walking score, and learn about nearby amenities.

There are links available to schedule a showing, or send the agent a comment or question.

Want to share a listing? When you click on the share button, you’ll actually send an attractive digital flyer of the prospective property, not just a link.

There’s even a button to help determine how much you have to spend, courtesy of the convenient mortgage calculator.

Plus, scroll down the page on Today’s Home and find a list of expert local real estate professionals who can answer questions or help with that home sale, Farquharson explained.

Today’s Home offers the advantage of the massive reach that Black Press Media has built throughout Western Canada with its network of community newspapers and online products. That allows the public to tailor real estate searches based on location, price, and other key factors while allowing real estate professionals to gain unprecedented audience reach with their listings.

Today’s Home will dovetail into the media company’s existing print real estate publications.

“Black Press Media has real estate solutions in print and now we can add in the digital component,” Farquharson said.

Watch for expansion of the Today’s Home platform in the near future, she added. That will come as Black Press Media adds a new component – the development community. Developers will be able to reach a huge audience when their projects are ready for presentation.

For information on Today’s Home, contact group publisher Lisa Farquharson at 604-994-1020 or via email.

Happy house hunting!

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PGIM Real Estate, Revera Affiliate Target UK Market in Newly Formed JV

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Real Estate Sales In September

PGIM Real Estate has been active in recent months providing capital to facilitate blockbuster senior housing acquisitions. Now the firm is looking to capitalize on demand for senior housing in the United Kingdom.

The Madison, New Jersey-based real estate investor and lender announced this week it is entering into a joint venture with Signature Senior Lifestyle, an affiliate of Revera, to develop and operate senior housing communities around greater London

Mississauga, Ontario-based Revera serves 20,000 older adults in long-term care homes and retirement residences in Canada. It is also the majority shareholder of Sunrise Senior Living, one of the largest senior housing providers in the U.S. The company operates a portfolio of 12 communities in the U.K. under the Signature Senior Lifestyle brand, with one community in development that is slated to open in autumn 2021.

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The JV has one development underway — a senior housing community, or “prime care” home, in southwest London. PGIM worked with Elevation Partners, a London-based investor and asset manager in U.K. health care real estate, in sourcing, structuring and executing the venture. Additionally, PGIM will retain the firm to leverage its expertise.

PGIM and Revera did not respond to requests for comment from Senior Housing News regarding details about its development pipeline.

London is emerging as a future hotbed of senior housing development, spurred by favorable demographic growth trends and a lack of available supply, and the PGIM-Revera venture will find competition.

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Maplewood Senior Living CEO Gregory Smith told SHN last month that demand for U.K. senior housing is comparable to major U.S. markets such as New York and San Francisco, where supply has historically been constrained.

Maplewood and its investment partner, Omega Healthcare Investors (NYSE: OHI) are looking to expand its luxury Inspir brand to the U.K., and identified five suburban markets around London with high barriers to entry that are favorable for the brand’s growth.

Revera CEO Tom Wellner sees similar untapped upside potential for senior housing in the U.K.

Source: – Senior Housing News

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Where in Canada are house prices increasing the most? Maybe not where you think – CTV News

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TORONTO —
Canada saw a surge in housing prices over the past year due to COVID-19, a market trend experts say is caused by people working from home more often and moving to rural and suburban areas.

Data released by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) shows that when comparing the average market prices from February 2020 to February 2021, Canada had a 25 per cent year-over-year increase. The average price rose from $542,484 to $678,091.

“One factor is that with work-from-home even more generalized, many people don’t have to live within commuting distance from their jobs,” Shaun Cathcart, senior economist at CREA, told CTVNews.ca. “That means that folks who own condos and smaller homes can take out built-up equity and move to a property that better meets their needs – as over the past year, home is not only where you eat a few meals and sleep, but also the office, your kids’ school, playground, gym, etc.”

The largest year-over-year percentage changes came from the Northwest Territories (48.1%), Nova Scotia (30.4%), Ontario (24.5%), Quebec (22.5%), and New Brunswick (20.9%).

Cathcart noted that the higher percentage change in Northwest Territories is likely due to the fact that in both February 2020 and February 2021, six homes were sold throughout the entire territory and the ones that were sold in 2021 were marked at a higher price.

When looking at the provinces and territories that had the largest upsurge in terms of price difference, Ontario sits at the top of the list with an increase of over $170,000. Northwest Territories came next, followed by British Columbia, Nova Scotia, and Quebec.

The data also shows that prices in suburban and rural areas were impacted the most and saw the biggest changes, with regions like Rideau-St. Lawrence and Sarnia-Lambton in Ontario averaging about a 50 per cent increase from the previous year.

“With people no longer having to live within commuting distance to their jobs, as long as suburban and rural areas have decent internet, they become even more attractive to families looking for more space,” said Cathcart.

Find your region and the year-over-year price and percentage change below.

Cathcart says that Canadians can expect to see sales and prices increase this year, but forecasts sales to slow down in 2022 while prices remain high.

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