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Canada real estate: TD Economics report boosts forecast of seven percent drop in home prices in 2021 – The Georgia Straight



On September 28, Bloomberg News reported that Canadian households are increasingly optimistic about the real-estate market.

Citing a survey by Nanos Research for the news agency, the report stated that around 44 percent of respondents expect home prices to go up over the next six months.

According to the report, that’s the highest percentage since around mid-March, before the COVID-19 shutdowns began.

Meanwhile, the share of Canadian households who expect a fall in housing prices dropped to 27 percent, the lowest since the middle of March.

The report came five days after Moody’s Analytics released its forecast about the Canadian residential market.

In its report on September 23, Abhilasha Singh, an economist with the financial research firm, predicted that home prices will drop seven percent in 2021.

The forecast cited higher unemployment and lower incomes as basis for the outlook.

Two days earlier, the chief economist of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Bob Dugan, reiterated an earlier and grim prediction by the federal agency.

In June this year, CMHC forecast that average prices of homes would drop anywhere between nine percent and 18 percent.

“When I say I stand by our forecasts, it’s really with respect to what are the broad trends we expect moving forward,” Dugan said on a conference call with media on September 21. “When I look at the housing market there are a tremendous number of risks.”

Rishi Sondhi is an economist with TD Economics, and he has his own outlook about the housing market.

In a report on October 8, Sondhi wrote that “some easing” of prices may take place.

“However, unlike sales, an immediate fourth quarter pullback is unlikely,” Sondhi stated. “In fact, another (modest) gain could be in the cards.”

According to the TD bank economist, this is “largely a function of extreme market tightness heading into the fourth quarter, and the shift in sales towards larger, more expensive units in Toronto and Vancouver, as well in as other areas like Montreal”.

“After the fourth quarter,” Sondhi predicted, “Canadian prices will likely drop through the first half of 2021 by around 7%, before regaining some traction later next year.”

Sondhi stated that bigger declines are expected in oil producing provinces, where there were a lot of mortgage deferrals and population growth is anticipated to be “comparatively weak”.

“Meanwhile, lesser drops are expected elsewhere, reflecting tighter conditions, a smaller share of deferred mortgages, and a shallower drop off in sales,” Sondhi wrote.

Although official numbers have not been released, Sondhi believes that the housing market across Canada posted a record high in the third quarter of 2020.

Initial reports indicate this is the case.

For example, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reported that sales in the region totalled 3,643 in September 2020.

The sales represent a 56.2 percent increase from the 2,333 sales in September 2019, and a 19.6 percent increase from the 3,047 homes sold in August 2020.

September 2020 sales were 44.8 percent above the 10-year September sales average, and according to the REBGV, it is the highest total on record for the month.

Meanwhile, the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) reported 2,231 sales in September.

The sales constitute a 66.1 percent increase compared to the same month in 2019, and an increase of 9.4 percent over August 2020.

According to the FVREB, last month’s sales were the highest recorded sales for September in the history of the real-estate board.

In his October 8 report, TD Economics’ Sondhi wrote that the strength of the home resale market is “unlikely” to be sustained.

“A wide disconnect between housing, the economy and/or job markets doesn’t tend to be sustained,” Sondhi wrote.

What’s likely to happen, according to him, is that “housing moderates than job fundamentals improve sharply from here, given the lasting impacts of the pandemic”.

“We see an orderly moderation in housing activity taking place over the next couple of quarters, as sales levels normalize from their outsized third quarter pace,” Sondhi wrote.


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Hudson's Bay Company Launches Division to Redevelop Real Estate Assets – Toronto Storeys



Following months of uncertainty in the retail sector brought on by COVID-19, Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) is looking to capitalize on its assets with the launch of a real estate and investment arm.

The 350-year-old retailer announced the new venture on Monday, called HBC Properties and Investments (HBCPI), which will look to convert some of Hudson’s Bay’s real estate into mixed-use developments.

The company currently owns or controls — either entirely or with joint venture partners — about 40 million square feet of gross leasable area across North America.

Among its portfolio of companies are three distinguished retailers: Saks Fifth Avenue, a premier luxury retailer, Hudson’s Bay, Canada’s preeminent multi-category retailer, and Saks OFF 5TH, a leading off-price retailer.

As part of the HBCPI initiative, the company is utilizing the 40-year-old large-scale US-based property development company Streetworks Development, which HBC acquired last year, to create “transformative multi-use environments” that marks the latest milestone in the Hudson’s Bay Company’s shift to a holding company structure with distinct portfolio businesses that operate “at the intersection of retail and real estate.”

READ: Amazon Opening Two New Fulfillment Centres, Creating 2,500 Jobs in GTHA

“This is an exciting phase of our company’s transformation and provides us with a significant opportunity to unleash the full potential of our real estate and investments business,” Richard Baker, HBC’s Executive Chairman and CEO said in a statement.

“Under this new organization, we will build upon our strong foundation of valuable real estate assets in key demographic areas. We will also continue our strong track record of maximizing our portfolio and generating value from these assets, as we did through the sales of the Lord + Taylor flagship building and our interest in European real estate assets. With the team’s deep expertise and forward-thinking approach to capitalizing on the intersection of retail and real estate, HBCPI is well-equipped to further elevate and increase the value of our portfolio.”

Ian Putnam has been appointed as President and CEO of HBC Properties and Investments — he previously served as President, Real Estate and Chief Corporate Development Officer of HBC. Putnam will lead the real estate portfolio and investments including Streetworks Developments.

Real estate veteran, Kenneth Narva, Chairman and Chief Development Officer at HBC, will direct the Streetworks Development team in the planning and execution of projects that modernize properties to “unlock value-enhancing opportunities across the company’s real estate assets”.

The new real estate division will focus on creating multi-use spaces that feature a range of services and experiences across the workplace, retail, residential and entertainment categories.

Putnam said, “With HBC’s valuable portfolio of real estate and investments, including marquee flagship properties in prime metropolitan markets, coupled with Streetworks Development expertise, HBC Properties and Investments is well-positioned to succeed in today’s landscape.”

“As consumers continue to change the way they live, shop, and work, we are committed to capitalizing on these shifts while maximizing the productivity of our properties, including the physical locations of HBC’s retail operating companies,” added Putnam.

This comes at a time when the retail sector has been facing unprecedented losses due to COVID-19, with Hudson’s Bay as no exception. The coronavirus pandemic contributed to HBC’s decisions earlier this year to close their stores in downtown Edmonton and in downtown Winnipeg.

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E-commerce drives demand for warehouse real estate in Edmonton –



The rise in online shopping during the pandemic, coupled with consumers who want to get purchases in their hands quickly, is giving a bump to warehousing real estate in Edmonton.

Commercial Realtors are seeing an increased demand for the buildings required to store and distribute online purchases, and that demand is only predicted to increase, Zeshan Qureshi, associate partner at Cushman and Wakefield, told CBC Radio’s Edmonton AM.

“Consumer trends have been shifting for the last number of years to more online, and we’re seeing that COVID may have sped up some of those processes,” Qureshi said.

A Statistics Canada report found that overall retail sales declined by 17.9 per cent between February and May, while online shopping doubled during that same time period.

The pandemic created a new demand for products people would not normally have purchased online, said Qureshi.

Examples include tools to tackle home renovation projects, gym equipment when fitness facilities closed, and boxed meal delivery when restaurant dining is off the table.

Edmonton AM5:35Edmonton’s booming demand for warehouse space

The rise of Amazon hasn’t helped most businesses, except for one industry. We’ll talk about Edmonton’s growing demand for warehouse space. 5:35

There’s also been a boost in more direct pandemic supplies, which require warehousing, he said.

“There was a huge rush for producers to make cleaning supplies and PPE, COVID testing, future vaccines, all those things need to get housed somewhere and, eventually, make their way to consumers,” said Qureshi.

Part of the increased demand for warehouse space in Edmonton is fuelled by the promise of quick delivery. You need a warehouse nearby to do that, Qureshi said.

“The consumer expectation is not only is it going to get delivered to me, but we know how it is, a week or two weeks seems like a long time. I’d prefer to have it in two days,” Qureshi said.

Filling the energy gap

Amazon’s fulfillment centre in Leduc County. (Nate Gross/CBC)

The demand for warehousing in Edmonton and area comes as demand from other commercial tenants, such as restaurants, offices and retail, drops off.

Office vacancy remains high in Edmonton, hovering around 19 per cent, according to a recent report from commercial real estate company CBRE Canada.

Kris Augustson, vice-president of leasing and land sales for Remington Development Corporation, said the increased demand for warehouse space related to e-commerce could help to fill some of the light industrial real estate vacancies left by shuttered energy companies.  

“Our traditional energy sector users are starting to scale back. We’re seeing a decline in demand in that market,” Augustson said. “However, we’ve been able to fill that with users who might not have been in the market over the last three years, by going to the e-commerce side of things.”

Remington Development Corporation’s biggest project is Discovery Business Park, on Highway 2 just north of the Edmonton International Airport. It offers a mix of light industrial, commercial and business park space.

Amazon is one of the biggest tenants in Discovery Business Park, with a 115,000 square-foot building on 21 acres, said Augustson. While the Amazon deal was finalized before the pandemic, in February 2020, Amazon started operations there in August.

Amazon also opened its fulfilment centre in Nisku in August, a massive one-million-square-foot facility, where staff pick and ship orders.

Lots of companies are circling the market, looking at available real estate, but lacking confidence to do deals, Augustson said.

However, he thinks industrial real estate, buoyed in part by the growing e-commerce sector, might be in a better position than other sectors in the years to come.

“It will be an interesting couple years,” he said. “No one has a crystal ball, for sure, but I do think industrial, long term, will weather the storm fairly well.” 

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Real Estate Token Contracoin to List on ProBit Exchange – The Tokenizer



Global real estate token project Contracoin has announced that it will be listing its native token CTCN on popular global digital asset trading platform ProBit.

“We are happy to onboard the Contracoin token (CTCN) to the ProBit trading platform,” says Ronald Chan, CEO of ProBit Exchange. “It is exciting to see blockchain technology being used in real estate and we are happy to support Contracoin in an emerging industry for which we see huge upside potential.”


Disrupting a USD 228 Trillion Global Real Estate Market

Real estate is one of the largest alternative asset classes with the total global real estate market estimated to be about USD 228 trillion. The past couple of years has seen the concept of real estate token is gaining momentum in many regions around the world.

“Raising capital by utilizing blockchain technology to issue tokens democratizes the whole process of buying and selling real estate,” states Barry Lipscombe, CEO of Contracoin. “Removing traditionally high barriers to entry as well as intermediary fees for real estate, tokenization is an extremely attractive concept. We are happy that ProBit, a fast-growing crypto exchange that garners a Top 10 ranking in Korea, is supporting Contracoin and look forward to a successful listing partnership!”

Designed to Streamline Overseas Property Transactions

Contracoin is a global real estate blockchain platform which allows property investors anywhere in the world to invest and benefit from the international real estate market.

The ERC-20 Contracoin token (CTCN) is designed to streamline overseas property transactions and overcome challenges in cross-border remittances. Eliminating complicated banking processes and excessive fees, CTCN transactions will speed up fund transfers, reduce costs and remove restrictions associated with cross border transfers. The ultimate aim is to empower Contracoin investors by enabling them to purchase real estate globally using CTCN for up to 100% of the selling price.

Leveraging blockchain technology and smart contracts to get rid of manual errors, Contracoin ensures that transactions will be secure, transparent and immutable.

Backed by a Global Barter Network and a Team of World-Class Professionals

The strength of the Contracoin marketplace lies in its extensive database of more than 200,000 global merchants through Contracoin’s parent company, Contracard and its Virtual Barter network. 65% of Fortune 500 companies are included in Contracard’s global trade exchange network, which will aid in the drive to mass adoption of the Contracoin tokens.

Furthermore, the team of Contracoin consists of world-class professionals who specialize in real estate, blockchain technology, finance, legal, marketing and IT development.

Trading on ProBit Exchange Soon

Currently trading on crypto exchanges CoinBene and P2PB2B, CTCN will soon be available on ProBit.

Launched in 2018, the ProBit platform presently provides four hundred tokens for trading in seven hundred markets with 800,000 monthly active users. ProBit has 50 million combined monthly visitors on Coingecko and Coinmarketcap, a testament to why the exchange features amongst the most popular global digital trading platforms in terms of real website traffic and volume.

The details for the CTCN token listing on ProBit Exchange are as follows:

Deposits: 13:00 (KST), October 21, 2020
Trading: 13:00 (KST), October 22, 2020
Withdrawal: 13:00 (KST), October 21, 2020
Trading Pair: CTCN/USDT

With more trading promos and other details on the way, the community should stay tuned to Contracoin’s official social channels for the latest announcements of the CTCN token listing on ProBit.

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