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From New York to Houston, flood risk for real estate hubs ramps up – The Journal Pioneer

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By Kate Duguid and Ally Levine

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The number of properties in the United States in danger of flooding this year is 70% higher than government data estimates, research released on Monday shows, with at-risk hot spots in Houston, New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.

The higher risk identified could have implications for property values as well as insurance rates, municipal bonds and mortgage-backed securities, according to investors and researchers at First Street Foundation, which released the data. (http://www.floodfactor.com)

“This could change the calculus on whether a given property is resalable, or what price you sell it at,” said Tom Graff, head of fixed income at Brown Advisory.

The data, which covers the contiguous United States, found that around 14.6 million properties, or 10.3%, are at a substantial risk of flooding this year versus the 8.7 million mapped by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

(For a graphic showing the increased risk: https://graphics.reuters.com/USA-FLOODS/REALESTATE/yxmpjlrklpr/USA-FLOODS-REALESTATE.jpg)

FEMA maps are currently used to determine rates on government flood insurance and underpin risk assessments done by mortgage lenders, investors and home buyers. The maps, however, only account for coastal flooding – not rain or rivers – and do not incorporate the ways climate change has made storms worse.

A FEMA spokesperson said that First Street’s maps build on those created by the agency and the two are not incompatible.

Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, New York and Cape Coral, Florida top First Street’s list of cities with the most number of properties at risk. At the state level, Florida, Texas, California, New York and Pennsylvania have the most to lose. Florida and Texas also top FEMA’s list, but with significantly fewer properties estimated to be at risk.

Washington, D.C., has the greatest deviation from FEMA’s numbers, 438.4% more properties at risk, because First Street accounts for potential flooding from the Potomac and Anacostia rivers and a drainage basin under the city. Utah, Wyoming, Montana and Idaho have the next highest deviations, all between three to four times greater than FEMA estimates.

Commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS), investments that pool loans for office buildings, hotels, shopping centers and more, are among the securities most exposed to flood risk because of the concentration of cities on the U.S. coasts.

“There is a moral hazard within the investment community of not pricing in the risk of something like this happening,” said Scott Burg, chief investment officer at hedge fund Deer Park Road.

Nearly 20% of all U.S. commercial real estate value is located in Houston, Miami and New York, according to CoStar data, each of which has been hit by hurricanes in the last decade.

Hurricane Harvey, which slammed Houston in 2017 and caused $131 billion damage, affected over 1,300 CMBS loans, 3% of the CMBS market in 2017, according to BlackRock research. Hurricane Irma in 2017 affected 2%.

The BlackRock report concluded that 80% of the commercial property damaged by those two storms was outside of FEMA flood zones, indicating that many of the buildings hit may not have been appropriately insured.

Any floods this year could compound the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, which has sent more than $32 billion of commercial loans into special servicing – negotiations for relief in the event of a default – according to Moody’s.

“For property owners that’s like getting your arm amputated and then your head lopped off,” said Jacob Hagi a professor of finance at the University of North Carolina and a First Street research partner.

(Reporting by Kate Duguid; editing by Megan Davies and Steve Orlofsky)

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Powell River real estate sales strong in June – Powell River Peak

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Total real estate sales during the month of June 2020 for the Powell River area amounted to $14,259,400, considerably more than June 2019’s total of $10,133,400.

Powell River-Sunshine Coast Real Estate Board president Neil Frost said the 2020 to 2019 comparison was not only healthy in volume, it was healthy in variety.

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“There are sales all across the board,” said Frost. “May was a solid month but if you look at the residential sales, we’ve done almost twice as much dollar volume from June over May 2020.

“That impacts the average price of the residential market. We are up considerably over 2019 if you compare June to June.”

In terms of the benchmark pricing, Frost said the average home is still listing in the $399,000 range and selling up to $430,000.

In the single-family homes category in June 2020, there were 25 homes sold, valued at $11,421,700, compared to 20 homes in June 2019, valued at $7,769,900.

For mobiles and manufactured homes, two sold in both June 2020 and 2019. In 2020, the value was $245,000, compared to $360,500 in 2019.

In the condos, apartments and duplexes category, there were four units sold, valued at $1,280,900 in June 2020, compared to five units, valued at $1,342,000 in June 2019.

Total number of residential units sold in June 2020 were 31, compared to 27 in June 2019.

In non-residential, there were 10 parcels of vacant land sold, valued at $1,311,800 in June 2020, compared to four parcels of land, valued at $661,000 in June 2019.

Frost said realtors are still seeing competing offers for properties and there are still a lot of out-of-town buyers.

He said July 2020 has started off “decent” so it will be interesting to see how summer sales go.

“It was nice to see not only the number of sales in June, but some higher-end sales, and the low-end is still very active. There are sales on Texada and Savary islands, plus lots. There has been a good mix of single-family homes, to waterfront homes, right down to condos and manufactured homes.”

Frost said there was pent-up demand because people were holding back or waiting to see what would happen with the market and the economy with COVID-19.

“People are still interested in real estate in Powell River,” said Frost. “There’s still a lot of market strength. It’s a good time to sell. The market is active.”

Total number of units sold in June 2020 amounted to 41, compared to 31 in June 2019.

The number of all active listings for the end of June 2020 was 222.

The average monthly selling price in June 2020 was $456,868 and the average days on the market were 56. The average selling price in June 2019 was $388,495, with average days on the market being 36.

Frost said people working in the real estate industry are taking COVID-19 precautions, following protocols, and adhering to WorkSafeBC standards and clients’ comfort levels.

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Firm Capital announces its Special Situation Finance Group | RENX – Real Estate News EXchange

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Firm Capital Corporation, a leading non-bank lender since 1988, is pleased to announce its Special Situation Finance Group that will provide “tailor made” structuring to real estate companies impacted by COVID-19. The program will provide liquidity, restructuring of existing loans, bridge financing and debtor-in-possession funding (DIP).

See below for more details.

Special Situation Finance Group

The Special Situation Finance Group was created to focus on structured real estate finance across Canada, for unique transactions that require “tailor made” structuring for; debt purchases; debtor-in-possession or DIP lending; margin loans secured by stock ownership; re-capitalization of special situation transactions and all other non-traditional real estate lending situations.

Firm Capital offers fast execution on:

* Performing and non-performing debt purchases;

* DIP lending;

* Restructuring finance;

* Lending against partial ownership interests;

* Re-capitalization of balance sheet & special situation transactions;

* Margin loans secured by stock ownership;

* Bridge financing for leveraged buyouts;

* All other non-traditional real estate lending situations;

– Bridge and transitional lending solutions: In a tightening financing environment, Firm Capital will assist borrowers on new acquisitions and refinancing, offering a mix of senior, mezzanine and junior loans;

– Acquisition and restructuring of loans: Working with lenders facing impaired performing and non-performing loans and securities to purchase and restructure; and

– Flexible liquidity solutions for sponsors: Firm Capital will use preferred equity to help recapitalize and stabilize balance sheets where existing debt or equity is constrained.

About Firm Capital’s mortgage operations:

As part of the Firm Capital Organization, Firm Capital Corporation, a leading non-bank lender since 1988, provides creative and innovative solutions to real estate finance. Firm Capital is the mortgage banker for various capital pools, including Firm Capital Mortgage Investment Corporation (TSX: FC), Firm Capital Mortgage Investors Corporation (a private mortgage fund since 1994), Firm Capital Private Mortgage Trust and Firm Capital Private Partners Inc.

Tailored mortgage engineering by Firm Capital®

To learn more, contact Michael today:

Michael Carragher
Vice President, Mortgage Investments
Tel.: (416) 635-0221 x 245
Email: mcarragher@firmcapital.com

www.FirmCapital.com

Ontario Mortgage Brokerage, Lenders and Administrators Act License #10164, Administrators License #11442

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Toronto's real estate market is rebounding fast as pandemic restrictions lift – blogTO

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Home sales are surging in Toronto once again this summer after a brief yet steep drop due to COVID-19, and prices are following suit despite holding steady (if not increasing in most parts of the city) amid the pandemic.

The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB)’s latest Market Watch Report, released on Tuesday, indicates that GTA realtors made 8,701 residential sales in June of 2020 — a whopping 89 per cent jump from the previous month’s figures.

“This result represented a very substantial increase over the May 2020 sales result, both on an actual (+89 per cent) and seasonally adjusted basis (+84 per cent), and was only down by 1.4 per cent compared to June 2019,” the report reads.

Considering that sales were down 53.7 per cent year over year in May, and 69 per cent in April, that’s not a bad data point at all.

Some GTA market segments and regions even saw growth in June, most notably detached homes and townhouses in parts of the GTA “surrounding the City of Toronto.”

Detached and townhouse sales were up 10.4 per cent and 7.8 per cent respectively in the 905, according to TRREB. Home prices were up across the board for all market segments and parts of the GTA.

“The average selling price for all home types combined was $930,869 – up by 11.9 per cent compared to June 2019,” reads the report. “The actual and seasonally-adjusted average selling price was also up substantially compared to May 2020, by 7.8 per cent and 9.8 per cent respectively.”

New listings are up slightly, year over year, by 2.1 per cent, but TRREB reports that “active listings” are down by about 28.8 per cent.

“It will be important to closely monitor housing market conditions as economic recovery continues in the second half of 2020 and into 2021,” said TRREB CEO John DiMichele.

“The persistent lack of listing inventory in the GTA understandably took a back seat to COVID-related issues in the short term, but supply should once again be top-of-mind once the recovery takes hold, in order to ensure long-term affordability in the GTA.”

Hey, at least rent prices are down.

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