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Governments have poor record intervening in hot real estate markets: Interior Realtor – iNFOnews



An RBC report calls for more "Missing Middle" housing to be built in cities to help cool the overheated real estate market.

An RBC report calls for more “Missing Middle” housing to be built in cities to help cool the overheated real estate market.

Image Credit: Submitted by the City of Kelowna

Since single-family home prices have jumped by $100,000 in Canada since last August, some are calling for governments to step in and try to cool things down.

One of those voices is an RBC Economics report posted March 24, which suggests everything from making it easier to build new housing to making it harder to borrow money.

“My initial comment is that the government has tried about 10 different initiatives in the last several years to try to slow the market down – everything from the vacancy tax to the speculation tax to higher stress tests,” Wendy Runge, president of the Kamloops and District Real Estate Association, told “None of those seem to have done what they were intended to do. I think it would be a pretty hard sell to the public.”

One RBC suggestion is that the government doesn’t make it any easier for first-time home buyers to get into the market in order to keep the demand down.

It also suggests that, if people are stretching their finances too far, tougher “stress” tests be put in place to make it harder for them to borrow the big dollars needed to buy a home these days.

Runge sees a lot of people, some of whom have been saving for years, trying to get into the market before it’s too late, which creates a different kind of problem and one that government is not well placed to solve.

“The concern seems to be, mostly, the speed of the market and are people purchasing feeling the pressure that they have to make these decisions too quickly and they’re not having the proper subjects to protect their interests?” Runge said. “I think that’s the realtor’s job to do.

“There’s a lot of pressure out there, for sure, when you’re involved in many multiple offers and your buyers have lost out several times. Are there things we can do as a profession to make sure our people are well qualified so they know what they’re getting into? For sure, that’s our job. Whether it’s the government’s job to mandate certain things to cool off the market, until I know what they’re talking about, I’m hesitant to jump on that bandwagon.”

The demand for housing in Canada was running ahead of supply before COVID-19 hit last year, the RBC report says. The pandemic just accelerated that and the trend has been compounded by very low interest rates.

In an earlier report, RBC said the average single-family home price in Canada jumped $100,000 from August 2020 to February 2021. In Vancouver that gain was $139,000 and it was $145,000 in the Fraser Valley, the report says.

During that time period, the average price for a single family in Kamloops jumped almost $59,000 to $604,000, based on the real estate board’s figures.

The Association of Interior Realtors that covers the Okanagan uses a benchmark price for a typical single family home. That surged by $83,500 in the Central Okanagan to $776,300 in February.

The benchmark price is generally lower than the average price because it doesn’t include things like multi-million dollar properties.

RBC points to a number of problems with soaring real estate values.

Among them is the fact that it makes it harder to buy the land needed to build affordable housing. It’s also taking money out of the economy that is not, therefore, “going to more productive purposes in our economy.”

It calls on government to discourage speculative buying but the only speculation Runge is seeing in her market are people buying homes that they don’t expect to move into for another two or three years.

Kim Heizmann, president of the Association of Interior Realtors, was not available to comment.

While many of the policy changes suggested in the RBC report need to come from senior governments, it also calls on local governments to make it easier for developers to build more homes and suggests they “allow more medium-density, family-friendly housing in large urban areas (the so-called ‘missing middle’).”

It also suggests local governments should actively encourage and support construction of more rental housing.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submitphotos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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Hot real estate market sparks warnings to potential buyers as complaints to regulator double



As home sales in the province continue on a dizzying trajectory, the province’s real estate watchdog and regulator are warning buyers to be wary of what they may be getting into.

The Real Estate Council of B.C. (RECBC) and the Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate said that in the first three months of 2021, they have seen an increase in inquiries and complaints.

Calls to the regulator were up 42 per cent over the previous year, while complaints, such as how offers were made and accepted, were double the number received in the same period in 2020.

“Buying a home is one of life’s biggest financial decisions. There are potential risks at the best of times, but with the added pressure and stress of the current market conditions, those risks are amplified,” Micheal Noseworthy, superintendent of real estate, said in a statement.



The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver says sales in the region have continued at a record-setting pace.

Residential home sales covered by the board totalled 5,708 in March 2021, up 126.1 per cent from March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and up 53.2 per cent from February of this year.

Rural and suburban areas have experienced the biggest spikes.

For the past two weeks, Jay Park has been in the middle of the buying frenzy.

He and his partner are trying to upgrade from their one-bedroom apartment to a two-bedroom condo or townhouse in Vancouver.

“I wish we had done this a month or two ago,” he said.


A condo tower under construction is pictured in downtown Vancouver in February 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)


Park put an offer on a $1-million condo, $4,000 above asking price.

“To entice the [seller], we put in a subject-free offer, but it wasn’t successful,” he said. “They accepted $110,000 over asking price that was also subject-free.”

The hot market has led to bidding wars. Some would-be buyers have even lined up outside for days to try to get a jump on a property.

Erin Seeley, the CEO of the council, is warning buyers to do their research and be aware of risks before making an offer.

“It’s really important that buyers have engaged with their lender before they’re making offers so they know how to stay within a reasonable budget,” she said.

Seeley said some of the complaints the council has heard from buyers is that they weren’t aware the seller has a right to take an early offer.

“And the seller was really in the driver’s seat about setting the pricing,” she said.


Demand continues to outstrip supply for housing in cities like Vancouver. (Rafferty Baker/CBC)


Aaron Jasper, a Vancouver realtor, advises clients to avoid cash offers and to include finance clauses even if it may mean they lose a deal.

“There’s a lot of frustration among buyers, feeling pressure to take some risk,” he said.

“You’re better to be delayed perhaps a year getting into the market as opposed to being completely financially ruined.”

Jasper also says realtors are limited in the advice they can give to clients on legal matters, home inspections, potential deficiencies with homes, and financing.

‘Caught up in the craziness’

Other tips from the council include seeking professional advice before making a subject-free offer or proceeding without a home inspection, and speaking to a professional to determine how market conditions may be affecting prices.

Meantime, people like Jay Park say they are still keen to buy. Park has more viewings scheduled and is optimistic.

“It’s a very exciting time for us, but I also don’t want to get caught up in the craziness and make a purchase that’s above our means.”

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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



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



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.


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.


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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