“They were key for us for our acquisition strategy,” Montreal-based Groupe Quint president and founder Ian Quint told RENX. “They’re great properties for what our goals are.”
Industrial real estate has become “the flavour of the month,” Quint noted. “Part of our strategy moving forward is to focus on acquiring more existing industrial properties and building new ground-up industrial properties.”
Quint declined to provide the selling prices for the two properties. The transactions closed on Aug. 14.
The 411,419-square-foot property in Saint-Hyacinthe – about 50 kilometres east of Montreal – is located at 3000 Cartier St. at the corner of Vanier Avenue and sits on 1.13 million square feet of land.
Built in 1958, the industrial complex is fully leased to RONA, Baxter Foods and Bitfarms, a blockchain infrastructure company that operates a large cryptocurrency mining operation.
Excess land in Saint-Hyacinthe
The Montreal property, at 9175 Langelier Blvd. in the borough of Saint-Léonard in the city’s east-end, is a 145,000- square-foot multi-tenant class-A industrial building built in 2004 on 270,000 square feet of land.
Its major tenants are the Quebec government’s Société québécoise des Infrastructures and the federal government’s Measurement Canada.
Groupe Quint plans to expand the Saint-Hyacinthe building on the site’s excess land, “depending on what happens with RONA,” which is using the space for storage.
“We feel that the rents are below market, so there is a lot of value for us to create there,” Quint said. “We feel that the extra land is not being exploited to its maximum potential.
“We feel that we can get rents of between $6.50 and $7 net (per month),” he said, noting current rents are about 30 per cent below those rates.
The building has a large power entry which would be of interest to many tenants. It also has rail access, which is not being used by any of the current tenants, he said.
The Montreal building, which has a 24-foot clearance, does not require major capital expenditures: “We’ll just re-tenant it and have it as an income property.”
During the due diligence period on the property, which lasted from June to August, Groupe Quint was able to rent about half of the 55,000 square feet of vacant space to new tenants in the distribution sector.
Groupe Quint is seeking monthly rent of about $8 net per square foot for the remaining space.
Quint grows industrial portfolio
Since its founding in 2015, Groupe Quint has acquired and developed more than eight million square feet of retail, industrial and office space in Canada and the United States.
About 40 to 50 per cent of that space is industrial and that percentage should increase, Quint said.
“We want to be primarily industrial,” while continuing to do office acquisitions as well as buying retail “opportunistically.”
“(If) there’s still opportunities in retail where we feel that we can create value, then we will continue to buy retail.”
Groupe Quint dubs itself the fastest-growing real estate developer in Quebec, as it is acquiring between two and four million square feet of real estate annually, depending on opportunities.
“We’re very active in acquisitions.” As opposed to when he started the company, when most growth was through new construction, “most of our growth is through acquisitions and redevelopments of existing properties,” Quint said.
Acquired Montreal’s Holt Renfrew building
In late June, Groupe Quint purchased the iconic former Holt Renfrew building at 1300 Sherbrooke St. W. in downtown Montreal.
Groupe Quint plans to invest about $20 million to transform the vacant site into a mixed-use retail and office development.
Most of Groupe Quint’s industrial properties are in Quebec, but the company is under contract for an industrial building in Ontario, at a site he declined to name.
Groupe Quint also has growing percentage of its industrial space in the U.S. in cities such as Memphis and Tampa Bay.
“We’re actively pursuing deals (in the U.S.) and we’re under contract and due diligence on a large square footage of primarily industrial properties,” Quint said.
“I anticipate by the end of this year that we would have in excess of 2 to 2.5 million square feet in the U.S.”
Groupe Quint is looking at properties across Texas, Atlanta and St. Louis, markets it previously identified as having opportunities.
“We wanted to beef up our knowledge” of these markets for several years before pursuing any offers on properties, Quint said.
LACKIE: There are signs of a softening real-estate market – Toronto Sun
Article content continued
How could house-poor Canadians, already saddled with alarming levels of consumer debt, manage their way through this, let alone out the other side?
But they did. And it was, quite frankly, astonishing.
According to CMHC, Canadians deferred $1 billion worth of mortgages per month during the pandemic, while the Canadian Bankers Association reports that more than 760,000 Canadians either skipped a mortgage payment or took advantage of a deferral program.
As of Sept. 13, more than $78 billion had been paid out to Canadians in the form of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.
Yet, by the time the emergency lockdown restrictions started to relax, the real estate market was in full swing.
The June and July sales figures broke records set a year earlier, and the Toronto market spread its heat to the suburban and rural markets. In cottage country, properties were selling with multiple offers just hours after hitting the market.
Could this really just be the result of pent-up demand? Of fundamental changes in consumer appetites? A hunger for more space, more land, less density?
There were tons of theories.
Maybe all along we haven’t fully appreciated the level of demand, I wondered.
Maybe people weren’t as hurt by lost earnings as one might have expected?
Maybe the busy summer was the combined effect of insatiable demand met with people hustling to get set up to more comfortably ride out the fall’s all but guaranteed second wave.
Why real estate prices continue to rise despite the pandemic – CBC.ca
Last May, I wrote an opinion piece titled Time to buy? What the pandemic means for Vancouver’s real estate market where I explained that historically for every one per cent rise in unemployment there is a four per cent decrease in housing prices.
However, this is not what has happened during the last several months. Between February and August this year the unemployment rate doubled while the Canadian housing market hit all-time highs.
Homeowners who lost their jobs due to the pandemic were able to keep their homes thanks to various government income replacement programs and banks offering the option to defer mortgage payments. These initiatives bought struggling homeowners some time and allowed them to keep their homes off the market.
At the same time, interest rates dropped.
This lowered the cost of borrowing for buyers and increased the amount of “house” they could qualify for. The lower rates increased demand at a time when supply was relatively low and, as a result, despite unemployment numbers doubling, the prices of real estate hit new highs.
Several factors will affect upward trend
Whether the upward trend in real estate sales and prices continues will depend on several factors, such as: the severity of future waves of COVID-19; how quickly the economy can recover; and when our borders will reopen to immigration. However, what will have the most impact will be government action and the policies they implement to keep Canadians and the economy afloat. As long as government aid is flowing — which I think will continue until we have a vaccine and/or the economy is back on track — asset prices can keep rising.
Financially, on average, Canadians are in better shape now than they were pre-pandemic. Household spending has dropped by 13 per cent, which has increased our savings rate by 28 per cent. The government income replacement programs were effective, but it appears they overshot a bit as for every dollar in salary lost due to the pandemic, the government replaced it with approximately $2.50.
Now that these programs are being dialled back, it will be interesting to see how the changes will affect the economy and housing market.
As for the seven per cent of B.C. mortgage holders who deferred their payments, I don’t think many will default on their mortgages. Some deferred not because they needed to, but because it was an option and they felt it prudent to save money just in case things turned really bad.
Others deferred due to temporary job loss, but then the government programs helped fill their income gap until they could return to work.
In both these cases, most of these mortgage holders should be able to resume their payments.
Homeowners at risk
Unfortunately, there are some homeowners who remain unemployed and may have to sell their homes once their mortgage payment deferral option comes to an end.
For those forced to sell there is at least a silver lining in that real estate prices have gone up, putting them in a better position today than six months ago.
The group I consider most at risk are condo speculators.
There has been a fundamental shift in what is deemed desirable in real estate. Now that the work-from-home movement is no longer a trend but a necessity, living close to your workplace isn’t as important as it used to be. The items that are on top of today’s buyers’ wish lists include a backyard and an extra room for a home office.
Many people are selling their downtown condos and purchasing houses in the suburbs.
As a result, we have a tight detached home market while new listings for condos are surging — a trend that I can see not only continuing but accelerating in the near term.
This column is part of CBC’s Opinion section. For more information about this section, please read our FAQ.
United Property Resource Corporation unlocks value of real estate assets held by Canada's largest land owners – Canada NewsWire
The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is providing UPRC with a $20 million line of credit through the Affordable Housing Innovation Fund to be accessed for pre-development and pre-construction costs as it builds affordable housing across Canada. UPRC is committed to building a minimum of 5,000 new affordable housing units across the country over the next 15 years. This creates significant opportunity to repurpose assets and build sustainable communities.
UPRC has committed to ‘be building’ 1500 affordable units by 2025 and 5000 affordable units by 2035. That translates into approximately 20,000 new rental units within the same time period as many of these developments will be mixed income and mixed use ensuring much need community space will be incorporated.
“This is one of the largest opportunities to reimagine what our neighbourhoods could look like over the next 15 years and the common good that repurposing real estate can have on communities,” said Tim Blair, CEO, United Property Resource Corporation. “UPRC represents an exciting opportunity to fill a gap in the housing market across the country and advocate for progressive real estate models that are inclusive, environmentally and financially sustainable. None of this would be possible without the support from our partners; we are grateful to the Federal Government, and The United Church of Canada for their vision and commitment.”
UPRC will focus on providing affordable housing for Canadians in a range of housing types including housing for families. Many of UPRC’s projects will broaden housing choices, creating a unique opportunity to fill the “missing middle”, a range of housing types between single-detached houses and high-rise buildings that have gone ‘missing‘ from many of our cities in the last 60 to 70 years. As cities struggle to find ways to broaden housing choices, create walkable communities, and remain economically competitive, the ‘missing middle‘ is increasingly part of the discussion about intensification, complete communities, housing choices, and housing affordability.
The UCC undertook a national property inventory, in partnership with the CMHC, to assess the total real estate portfolio and create a strategy. The creation of a development corporation – UPRC – was a key tenet of the strategy.
“It’s incredible to see this vision come to fruition in the UPRC and to see the tremendous value it will bring to communities of faith across Canada,” said Nora Sanders, General Secretary of The United Church of Canada. “In the language that communities of faith would use, ‘this is the abundance that is available to create the world that we want to see'”.
The team of experts that make up UPRC today bring expertise in planning, development, investment banking, and business development. It has established partnerships with CMHC and The United Church of Canada.
Founded in 2019, UPRC brings professional real estate development and management expertise to communities of faith and non-profits to assist them in making astute decisions about their real estate while making lasting contributions to their communities. The development corporation collaborates with both public and private partners. To find out more, visit www.uprc.ca.
SOURCE United Church of Canada
For further information: For more information, Backgrounder, Facts & Figures and Bios, please contact: Laura Currie Ryder, 416-317-9447, [email protected]
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