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Buying Bitcoin or Real Estate?

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Bitcoin is surging again. Last week, BTC was priced at $9,200. Today, it’s above US$11,000. Enthusiasts believe the move above US$10,000 is a major bullish signal, portending another massive run.

What’s fueled this sudden rise? There are countless factors, but massive fiscal stimulus is certainly a tailwind.

Hitting new highs

“Governments worldwide have already spent over $8 trillion to help economies cope with the coronavirus pandemic,” reported Decrypt. “Experts believe that such massive cash injections could have negative long-term consequences. Combined with the upcoming halving, this creates advantageous conditions for Bitcoin.”

One of Bitcoin’s major advantages is that it has a pre-determined inflation rate, one that falls over time. Eventually, no more BTC will be created. If adoption continues higher, the ultimate effect is deflationary.

Fiat money like the U.S. and Canadian dollar possess no such advantage. Due to the unprecedented fiscal stimulus programs to combat the coronavirus challenge, there could be heavy long-term inflation to come, or at least decreased confidence in nation-backed currencies, which only drives value to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

But there’s another way to protect your capital from rampant inflation: real estate.

Diversify with real estate

Real estate is a more popular inflation hedge, as it’s been around for thousands of years. As the saying goes, it’s the only thing they’re not making more of. And due to the COVID-19 crisis, many property stocks are trading at crazy valuations.

Consider Brookfield Property Partners (TSX:BPY.UN)(NASDAQ:BPY). This company owns dozens of irreplaceable assets. Locations include First Canadian Place in Toronto, Canary Wharf in London, Potsdamer Platz in Berlin, and Brookfield Place in New York City.

Despite owning these crown jewels, shares trade at a 70% discount to book value.

In some ways, this discount is warranted. Around 80% of Brookfield’s portfolio is classified as office or retail. Work-from-home setups are hindering demand of physical office space. Meanwhile, rolling shutdowns and lower consumer spending are hitting physical retail locations.

In a decade, however, these properties will likely regain their former values. By investing now, you can triple your money. Plus, because real estate is a fantastic inflation hedge, you can mitigate the damage from multi-trillion-dollar stimulus packages.

Property or Bitcoin?

If you’re looking to protect your dollars from inflation, both real estate and Bitcoin can do the trick.

“This is a fantastic fundamental hedge and store of value against autocratic regimes and banking infrastructure that we know is corrosive to how the world needs to work properly,” said Chamath Palihapitiya, the head of Social Capital. “You cannot have central banks infinitely printing currency.” He thinks everyone should invest 1% of their net worth in the cryptocurrency.

Of course, Bitcoin is still a speculative bet when compared to the tried-and-true hedge of owning real estate. But if you truly want to insulate your portfolio from long-tail risks, consider investing in both.

If you’re looking for maximum upside, however, Bitcoin is certainly the way to go. Just don’t think that stocks can’t keep up. Some small-cap tech stocks have even more potential.

 

Source: – The Motley Fool Canada

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Adventures in Real Estate: “I left Toronto, found the love of my life and bought 14 goats” – Toronto Life

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Adventures in Real Estate: “I left Toronto, found the love of my life and bought 14 goats”

Marli Seheult, 31

Operations coordinator at a downtown spa, now living in Arthur

In February, I met a guy online named Jeff who lives on a 72-acre hobby farm in Arthur, about 40 kilometres north of Guelph, with his parents. At the time, I was living in a two-bedroom apartment at Church and Adelaide with a roommate and my three dogs.

Jeff and I were talking a lot, and I could tell he was very family oriented, especially from the way he talked about his four-year-old son. I lived on a farm in Stratford as a young kid, and we bonded over our shared love of rural life.

I wanted to go and meet him, but I was really busy with work. Plus, I have three dogs, so how would I bring them up to Arthur for a date?  Then Covid happened. I told Jeff I’d put myself in a two-week quarantine and then go visit him in Arthur.

He’s got his own space there, a suite attached to the main house, so we had privacy. After three days of hanging out together, we both knew it was love. Three days turned into a month, which turned into two months. I was able to work remotely, and it felt irresponsible to be going back and forth to Toronto anyway. I kept saying, “Okay, I’ll go home next week,” but we kept pushing it back. Then, at the end of July, we drove to Toronto, packed up my stuff and I moved to the farm for good.

Jeff and his parents only recently got Internet (he didn’t know what Netflix was, which I found cute), so I’ve been showing them all about it. Jeff’s mom loves Kijiji—we just went crazy and bought 14 goats online.

I’m breeding for other breeders, not for meat, so my males will be sold for a high price—roughly $400 each.

We’re living in the in-law suite, and it’s nice and private. I’ve gotten to know Jeff’s four-year-old son, so in addition to becoming a goat breeder, I have a four-year-old best friend, too.

I call my partner’s parents my in-laws.

It was a pretty sudden transition, but I’m spontaneous by nature. There was some shock from some friends and family, but then they saw how in love we are and how excited I was about starting something with him.

I think we’re just at that age where we’re ready to settle down. Ours is a family farm, so eventually, when his parents get older, we’ll take over all the chores and duties. What started as a three-day date has turned into the rest of my life.

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The Winnipeg Real Estate Market Continues to Grow – RE/MAX News

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Could Winnipeg attract homebuyers from other major Canadian cities? Winnipeg has always been on the cusp of a major economic breakout. With the recent economic diversification initiatives of the past few years, the city has witnessed growth, but the path has been slow and long. Could the post-coronavirus economy speed up the momentum for this prairie city?

The Manitoba Real Estate Association (MREA) was blunt in its assessment that Winnipeg and the broader province have seen the housing market blossom in the aftermath of the COVID-19 public health crisis. MREA president Glen Tosh called it an “extraordinary rebound,” particularly after it seemed like residential sales would plummet for a lot longer than just the March-to-April period.

Although the city appears to be playing catch-up, the Winnipeg real estate market has generally had a good 2020. In fact, despite the pandemic, this year is shaping up to be better than in 2019.

“Overall, 2019 was a good year for residential sales in Manitoba, and considering the ongoing challenges of COVID-19, catching up to and surpassing last year’s totals at this time is quite an achievement,” said Tosh in a statement. “While there are more challenges to come in fighting the global pandemic, we believe owning a home in Manitoba can offer a safe haven in an uncertain world.”

So, what do the numbers say?

The Winnipeg Real Estate Market Continues to Grow

According to the Canadian Real Estate Association’s (CREA) Winnipeg REALTORS, Winnipeg recently enjoyed its best month on record. In August, sales surged 28 per cent from the same time a year ago and above the five-year average.

New listings failed to keep up with rising sales. Last month, 2,374 new listings were added to the Winnipeg real estate market, which is down one per cent from the same time a year ago. It is also down nine per cent from July. Overall, the present supply stands at 4,232 listings, down 30 per cent from last August, and the number of sales that account for the current inventory is 44 per cent.

Put simply, demand is ballooning, but there is a shortage of listings to match buyers. This has created a situation of bidding wars and multiple offers.

What may surprise some market observers is that there has been an incredible increase in the move-up market as Winnipeg households seek more space. In fact, the highest sale price ever occurred in August: $3.9 million.

“A work from home trend is changing the way one thinks about the kind and extent of space and has definitely garnered more thought and attention,” said Catherine Schellenberg, RE/MAX Professionals, president of WinnipegREALTORS®, in a news release. “This coupled with historically low mortgage rates are motivating factors for a number of sellers and buyers to make a change during this pandemic.”

Since there is plenty of uncertainty in the broader economy with the cold and flu season on the horizon, homebuyers and sellers are wondering if Winnipeg can maintain the upward trajectory in housing. The consensus appears to be a resounding “yes”.

Can Winnipeg Sustain the Momentum in the Fall?

The Canadian real estate market is expected to benefit from ultra-low borrowing costs. Rates are at historical lows, and they could remain this way for several more years. The Bank of Canada (BoC) has all but confirmed that low interest rates are here to stay for a few more years. As part of the central bank’s efforts to cushion the economic blow from the virus outbreak, rates across-the-board will remain lower for longer. The five-year benchmark mortgage rate, for example, was lowered to below five per cent.

When borrowing is this low, it allows homebuyers to consider other options, like relocating to another city or upgrading their residences. Winnipeg could see an inflow of capital over the next couple of years, particularly as more people become concerned over hyperdense urban centres. The same trend is playing out in other Canadian urban markets like Halifax, which is in the beginning stages of a population boom and a capital influx.

Winnipeg is still recovering from the coronavirus-induced economic downturn, and its housing sector will play a role in its recovery. As pent-up demand and low inventory levels impact the real estate market, you can anticipate that prices will sustain their upward trajectory. According to the RE/MAX Winnipeg Housing Market Outlook (Fall 2020), real estate prices are forecast to rise two per cent for all property types for the remainder of 2020.

What better way to emerge from an unprecedented public heath crisis than seeing housing valuations climb! The future looks promising for this dynamic prairie city.

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Royal LePage launches Canada's most powerful AI-driven real estate platform – Canada NewsWire

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rlpSPHERE maximizes brokerage, team and agent productivity and profitability

TORONTO, Sept. 23, 2020 /CNW/ – Royal LePage, Canada’s largest real estate company, has launched its widely anticipated new digital brokerage ecosystem, rlpSPHERE. The technology drives brokerage, team and agent businesses struggling with unwieldy traditional tools through powerful websites, superior lead generation, compelling client insight, and an automated client nurturing system, which has natural and intuitive features that delight consumers and experienced professionals alike. With an AI-powered Smart CRM and analytics to track both overall business status and specific opportunities, brokers and agents are freed to be more strategic and increasingly efficient, optimizing their time with active clients while converting prospects in their sphere of influence into satisfied customers.

“We recognized that the quantity of technology being purchased by agents and brokerages was vast and ungovernable. These tools were islands, adding some value in a narrow, functional way but unable to communicate across the enterprise or to positively impact the professional life of a real estate professional,” said Phil Soper, president and CEO, Royal LePage. “We saw the unique opportunity to create a fully integrated solution built with AI programming that rapidly adapts to our professionals’ needs so that they can succeed in the fast-changing, unpredictable world of real estate brokerage. To be fair to our large national team, we knew it had to work on any platform, mobile or desktop. And, it had to be cloud-based so that our people could be productive anywhere, anytime. rlpSPHERE fulfills this audacious vision.”

At its heart, the rlpSPHERE system boasts extensive Canadianization and brand customization of the highly sought after kvCORE platform, creating a powerful all-in-one solution uniquely tailored to the needs of Canadian brokerages, REALTORS®1 and teams. rlpSPHERE is deeply imbued with Royal LePage’s marketing expertise and integrated into Royal LePage’s internal systems providing a seamless experience for agents, teams and brokers to run every aspect of their business.

“As the leader in real estate technology in Canada, we are providing our network with a competitive advantage, leveraging best-in-class consumer and agent technology, optimized to achieve meaningful business outcomes. In early results, energized sales teams are sharing that they’ve established a dominant online presence, engaged with new customers and re-engaged with existing ones. They foresee that they will increase their overall business and consumer service levels whether they are new or experienced agents,” said Carolyn Cheng, COO, Royal LePage.

rlpSPHERE includes cutting-edge productivity tools in a mobile-ready environment. Standout features include:

  • Fully customizable brokerage, team and agent websites with the latest consumer search options including polygon map search, search by school catchment area, filtering by lifestyle data, search by travel time as well as recommended listings based on your search criteria.
  • A robust Lead Engine featuring unlimited custom landing pages and IDX squeeze pages as well as built-in paid Google and Facebook advertising options via an integrated Marketplace.
  • Intelligent, customizable lead routing and accountability options at the brokerage and team levels to optimize lead conversion.
  • A Smart CRM and native mobile app with dynamic lead follow up and automated nurturing campaigns to engage more leads and sphere of influence contacts.
  • Integrated and branded digital, print and social media marketing templates and options.

The rlpSPHERE platform also provides powerful options for team leaders, empowering Royal LePage teams to manage their business complete with their own branding, full database ownership and privacy as well as lead routing that is independent yet still leverages their brokerage’s services and Royal LePage national systems.

We’re honoured to be the long-term technology partner, powering Canada’s leading real estate brand,” said Joe Skousen, president of Inside Real Estate. “Working with the talented and forward-thinking leadership team at Royal LePage to successfully customize our kvCORE platform, has been incredibly rewarding. One of our goals as a technology partner is to empower greater success and profitability for the agent, team and brokerage, with a brand-customized experience.  It’s provided us another great opportunity to demonstrate not only the robust capabilities but also the flexibility of our platform. We’re thrilled to see the launch of rlpSPHERE to Royal LePage brokers, teams and agents to help drive bottom-line results – especially at a time when real estate professionals are relying on their technology more than ever.”

The rollout of rlpSPHERE began in spring 2020 and will continue through the coming months. Available in both English and French, the core solution will be provided at no cost to the company’s agents and brokerages. Early response has been overwhelmingly positive.

“It’s a career changing system! It gives me the data, organization and structure to stay engaged and focused on what needs to be done on a day-to-day basis,” said Carlo De Castris, sales representative, Royal LePage Royal City Realty, Brokerage. “The automated nurturing and behavioural automation is surprisingly natural, human and personalized. I’ve closed 3 sales, secured an additional listing and have a steady flow of leads that I might not have otherwise had this summer.”

To learn more about rlpSPHERE, please visit rlp.ca/rlpsphere_video.

About Royal LePage
Serving Canadians since 1913, Royal LePage is the country’s leading provider of services to real estate brokerages, with a network of approximately 18,000 real estate professionals in over 600 locations nationwide. Royal LePage is the only Canadian real estate company to have its own charitable foundation, the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation, dedicated to supporting women’s and children’s shelters and educational programs aimed at ending domestic violence. Royal LePage is a Bridgemarq Real Estate Services Inc. company, a TSX-listed corporation trading under the symbolTSX:BRE. For more information, please visit royallepage.ca.

About Inside Real Estate: Inside Real Estate is a fast growing, independently-owned real estate software firm that serves as a trusted technology partner to over 200,000 top brokerages, agents and teams. Their flagship product, kvCORE Platform, is the most modern and comprehensive solution in the industry known for delivering profitable growth at every level of a brokerage organization. Built on a modern, scalable and flexible architecture, kvCORE enables every brokerage to create their own unique technology ecosystem through custom branding, robust integrations and high-quality add-on solutions. With an accomplished leadership team and over 175 employees, Inside Real Estate brings the resources, scale and vision to deliver ongoing innovation and success to their growing customer base.




























1 The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA.

SOURCE Royal LePage Real Estate Services

For further information: Media Contacts: Royal LePage, Sarah Louise Gardiner, Director, Communications and Investor Relations, (647) 961-2260, [email protected]; Inside Real Estate, Media Contact: 801-407-9833

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