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Can you afford a vacation home? Here’s what it takes across Canada – Global News

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One of the wildest real estate bidding wars Markham, Ont.-based real estate agent Dayle Carmody has seen recently involved a home listed at $499,000 that sold for $300,000 over asking after just a couple of days and some 25 offers later.

The home wasn’t in one of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) suburbs that have attracted scores of urban buyers looking for more space and greenery amid the pandemic. It was in Hunstville, Ont. in the coveted Muskoka region, one of the province’s most popular vacation destinations.

READ MORE: What you can buy in housing markets across Canada for $500K, $1M and $1.5M

“Anything at that entry-level price point is getting multiple offers within a day,” says Carmody, who is a sales representative at Ferrow Real Estate.

But bidding wars are hardly unique to Ontario’s cottage country amid Canada’s pandemic-fuelled real estate boom. Whether you call it cottage, cabin, chalet or camp, if you’re hoping to snap up a vacation home this year, get ready for bare-knuckle competition.

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“From coast to coast, the line between primary residence and recreational property is blurring,” Phil Soper, president and CEO of Royal LePage said in a statement.


Click to play video: 'Money123: Owning a vacation home without breaking the bank'



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Money123: Owning a vacation home without breaking the bank


Money123: Owning a vacation home without breaking the bank – Aug 3, 2019

The result is a country-wide buying frenzy made worse by supply shortages that are often even more severe for recreational properties than they are in the overall real estate market, according to real estate agents. The trend began last summer and has continued to gain momentum, Soper said.

READ MORE: A better kind of timeshare? Why millennials are choosing co-ownership for vacation homes

Overall, Royal LePage expects the aggregate price of a home in Canada’s recreational markets to soar 15 per cent in 2021, to just over $500,000, the real estate company said in a forecast released Tuesday. That appreciation would come on top of an average price increase of 16 per cent in 2020, according to the report.

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Here’s what to expect across Canada in 2021:

Atlantic Canada


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Average price increase in 2021: 17 per cent.

Average price expected at the end of 2021: just under $227,000.

Along with Ontario, Atlantic Canada’s recreational market is poised to see the sharpest appreciation this year, with plenty of demand from out-of-province buyers from Ontario, Quebec and B.C., according to the report.

In Shediac, N.B., which claims to be the “lobster capital of the world,” sight-unseen home purchases are becoming “more prevalent,” says Heather FitzGerald at Royal LePage Atlantic in Moncton. Some of the out-of-town buyers are retirees returning home or “fulfilling the dream of a vacation home in the Maritimes,” while others are young professionals who can work remotely and have chosen to relocate to a waterfront cottage, he says.

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Forty per cent of surveyed real estate professionals representing buyers in the region said their clients are making four to seven offers on average before closing a sale, according to the report.

Quebec


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Average price increase: 15 per cent.

Average price expected at the end of 2021: just over $290,000.

In Quebec, Éric Léger,  a real estate broker at Royal LePage Humania sees a demographic clash between young buyers craving more space both indoors and outdoors, and older owners who are reluctant to sell because of concerns related to COVID-19, and a record housing supply crunch that makes it difficult for potential sellers to buy elsewhere.

“Eventually, the progress in the vaccination rollout should lead to increased [housing] inventory,” he says.

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Ontario


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Average price increase: 17 per cent.

Average price expected at the end of 2021: around $547,000.

In Ontario, Royal LePage sees average home prices in the recreational market climbing 17 per cent on top of a nearly 20 per cent increase in 2020.

At Ferrow Real Estate, Carmody says that while she is starting to detect bidding-war fatigue among some Ontario buyers looking to purchase at the edges of the GTA, in cottage country she expects multiple offers to continue to be the norm through the summer.

“There’s just so much demand,” she says. “Everybody’s trying to scoop up a cottage or recreational property.”

Prairies


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Average price increase: 9 per cent.

Average price expected at the end of 2021: just under $261,000.

While average home-price growth is expected to come in just shy of double-digit territory this year, the forecast increase comes after recreational property values soared by nearly 22 per cent in 2020, according to Royal LePage.

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While the region isn’t seeing an onslaught of buyers from out of province, local snowbirds are helping to drive up demand.

“I’ve had many clients trade their U.S. properties for waterfront cottages closer to home,” Rolf Hitzer of Royal LePage Top Producers Real Estate, says of properties in properties in Lac du Bonnet, near Winnipeg.

Alberta


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Average price increase: 6 per cent.

Average price expected at the end of 2021: just under $943,000.

Alberta is expected to see a — relatively speaking — tame average price increase of six per cent this year, according to the report. But the province already has Canada’s priciest recreational market with the aggregate price of a vacation home expected to come in just shy of $1 million by the end of 2021. The average is skewed by Canmore, a sought-after destination for its proximity to Banff National Park and luxury mountain properties.

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A growing segment of buyers comes from young and middle-aged Albertans wanting to relocate to the areas, says Brad Hawker of Royal LePage Rocky Mountain Realty.

British Columbia


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Average price increase in 2021: 13 per cent.

Average price expected at the end of 2021: just under $782,000.

Real estate agents in the province are expecting another torrid spring real estate markets ahead of another summer without the possibility of travel.

“Our biggest challenge right now is extremely low inventory and increased buyer demand,” says Francis Braam of Royal LePage Kelowna. “I expect we’ll see double-digit price gains in Central Okanagan this spring.”

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Citigroup lawyer says another bank made bigger payment error than Revlon

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NEW YORK (Reuters) – A lawyer for Citigroup Inc told a U.S. judge on Friday he was aware of another large bank that recently made a bigger payment error than Citigroup made last August when it sent $894 million of its own money to Revlon Inc lenders.

Neal Katyal, the lawyer, made the disclosure at a hearing in Manhattan federal court, where Citigroup urged U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman to extend a freeze on $504 million that it has been unable to recoup from the Revlon lenders.

Katyal did not identify the bank, the size of the payment error, or whether the error was fixed.

Citigroup is appealing Furman’s Feb. 16 decision that 10 asset managers, whose clients include Revlon lenders, could keep its mistaken payments.

Furman accepted the asset managers’ argument that Citigroup, as Revlon’s loan agent, paid what they were owed, and they had no reason to think a sophisticated bank would blunder so badly.

Citigroup has said the lenders received a “windfall,” and Furman’s decision could steer banks away from doing wire transfers in a “finders, keepers” marketplace.

Katyal is a partner at Hogan Lovells and former Acting U.S. Solicitor General. Citigroup hired him for its appeal.

 

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; editing by Diane Craft)

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Canada aims to raise safety along notorious “Highway of Tears” with cell phone service

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By Moira Warburton

VANCOUVER (Reuters) – Canadian authorities will help fund mobile phone service to increase safety along a remote stretch of highway in British Columbia known as the “Highway of Tears” for the number of women who have gone missing on the route, most of them indigenous.

Indigenous groups recommended the move in 2006 in a report on disappearances and murders of women along the highway between the cities of Prince Rupert and Prince George, roughly 800 km (500 miles) north of Vancouver.

The recommendation was endorsed by a provincial government-mandated commission several years later.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police are investigating 13 cases of murdered women and five who disappeared on or near the Highway of Tears, although no new cases have been added since 2007. Advocates believe the number of homicides and missing is significantly higher.

Lisa Beare, British Columbia’s minister of citizens’ services, called the project “a critical milestone in helping prevent future tragedies along this route.”

Cell phone plans in Canada are among the most expensive in the world, according to government data, and the cost and lack of coverage in rural areas was a top issue in the last election.

The provincial and federal governments will contribute C$4.5 million towards the C$11.6 million ($9.24 million) cost for Rogers Communications to install 12 cell phone towers, the British Columbia government said on Wednesday.

Lorraine Whitman, president of the Native Women’s Association of Canada, applauded the plan but said it was only one step in making the area safer for indigenous women.

“This truly is a blessing for the women,” she said. “But not all women have a phone. These towers are being put up, but it makes no use to the person that has no cell phone.”

($1 = 1.2558 Canadian dollars)

 

(Reporting by Moira Warburton in Vancouver; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

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Canadian fertilizer producer Nutrien to cut greenhouse gas emissions 30% by 2030

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By Rod Nickel and Rithika Krishna

(Reuters) –Canada‘s Nutrien Ltd, the world’s largest fertilizer producer by capacity, said on Thursday it aimed to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 30% by 2030, in a plan costing the company up to $700 million.

Agricultural companies, including Mosaic and Corteva, have set carbon emissions targets as climate-conscious investors push firms to become more environmentally friendly.

Nutrien plans to spend $500 million to $700 million to meet the carbon emissions target, which includes cutting emissions from nitrogen production by 1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent annually by the end of 2023.

“We’re in a really unique spot to address two big societal challenges – food security, and in a way that reduces our environmental footprint,” said Mark Thompson, Nutrien’s chief corporate development and strategy officer, in an interview.

Synthetic fertilizers account for 12% of global emissions from agriculture, according to a 2016 United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization report.

Nutrien’s target includes Scope 1 and 2 emissions, which reflect direct operations and electricity use. Nutrien is addressing Scope 3 emissions – those related to on-farm activity – with a program that encourages growers to adopt sustainable practices that generate monetary credits.

The Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based company plans to deploy wind and solar energy at four potash plants by the end of 2025, replacing electricity generated by coal and natural gas.

It also plans to expand its sequestration of carbon emissions from nitrogen fertilizer production and to invest in technology to capture nitrous oxide gas from its facilities.

Nutrien estimates that its carbon credit program could directly amount to $10 to $20 per acre for farmers, and it expects to benefit financially itself as well.

“If we can provide agronomic value and the value of the carbon credit over time, we’ll have customer loyalty – we anticipate that we’ll be a preferred supplier,” Thompson said.

(Reporting by Rithika Krishna in Bengaluru and Rod Nickel in Winnipeg; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Steve Orlofsky)

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