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How Toronto’s retail real estate is faring in the new year

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What we see in this quarter is a return of some of the larger players in our market. This is a good opportunity for private investors who may be sitting on some cash to take the risk and jump in now while the investment pool is not being hogged by the big players. In this quick review, here’s how the respective sectors fared over the past three months.

Keeping with the distress sale theme, we turn to 263 Adelaide St. W., acquired by Lanterra Developments from the courts for $69 million. The 0.335-acre site was approved for a 47-storey, 347,147-square-foot development. Based upon the approved development, the selling price provides for a value of $199 per square foot. 

Freed Developments purchased an assembly of properties from various owners which includes 224, 230, 236 and 240 Adelaide St. W. for a total land area of 0.300 acres. The selling price was $67 million.  At the time of writing, no development application for the site had been submitted. 

John Nelson Holdings Inc. and Camwood Properties Ltd. sold their properties at 241 Richmond St. W. and 137 John St. to Tridel for $59 million. In return for this consideration, Tridel received 0.431 acres of land. No application for development has been submitted at this time. 

The Well development on the former Globe and Mail site at Front Street and Spadina Avenue sees RioCan selling the air rights for  residential rental development above the  commercial development of this mixed-use site. Two towers of 16 storeys each with a total development of 339,451 square feet was approved in 2019, resulting in a value of $170 per square foot buildable. The purchaser was Woodburne Capital Management and the offering pertains to parcels A and B of the development. 

Our last high dollar sale is also a distress  sale and is part of a two-building portfolio acquired by MEC or Mountain Equipment Coop, the sole occupant in each of the  properties. The sales were necessitated when MEC became insolvent in September. The company was subsequently sold to U.S.-based private equity firm Kingswood Capital Management.

The first property was located at 784 Sheppard Ave. E. and sold for $11,400,000 or $298 per square foot. The building measures 38,200 square feet. The  second transaction occurred at 1040 Brant St. and 1428, 1430 Leighland Rd. in  Burlington. This property was improved with  a 22,950-square-foot building, selling for $4,800,000 or $209 per square foot. Both stores continue to be occupied by MEC at the time of writing.  

With our distress sales out of the way, we report Mac’s Convenience Stores Inc. milking the last dollar out of 241 Church St., selling the 0.333-acre site to Graywood for $73 million. At the time of writing, no development application had  been submitted for the site. 

Closing Remarks

This quarter felt like a walk down memory lane, reminders of days of old with a robust commercial real estate market. Is this an adaption to the pandemic and that we’ve learned to live with it or is the approval of vaccines the panacea the market needed to go kick tires again? 

Inasmuch as we saw a bull market in this and the third quarters, is it still too soon to be jumping in? Lockdowns continue, you’re eating in the basement of your home to pretend that you’re out at a new, trendy restaurant and, by the way, your home office attire actually does need to be washed from time to time.  

There is an imaginary fence that exists at this time. Those sitting on one side are happy to count their pennies and watch from the  sidelines while the other side is aggressively  investing. This writer predicts that the momentum will continue into 2021 as there is a growing comfort that the sky isn’t falling. That can all change if lenders pack up and leave town but there is nothing showing that this in fact is happening or about to happen. Keeping in touch with your friendly banker might be your best guide of any potential correction as they literally hold the keys.  

Source:- Post City

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Worry, buyer's remorse high as real estate market slowdown materializes – Ottawa Business Journal

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A wave of buyer’s remorse is taking shape in several heated real estate markets, after housing prices started dropping and the number of sales slowed over the last two months.

Realtors and lawyers in Toronto and Vancouver say they have noticed buyers looking at what options they have to get out of a purchase and sellers hoping to ensure one goes through because conditions have shifted dramatically from the previous highs and frenzied pace.

The country experienced a 25.7 per cent drop in the number of homes sold over the last year and a 3.8 per cent slide in housing prices between March and April, the Canadian Real Estate Association said Monday. The average home price last month totalled $741,517.

Such numbers have prompted some sellers to explore lawsuits to ensure transactions move forward and other purchasers to worry about the value of pre-sale properties they bought years ago but have yet to take possession of.

“With today’s real estate prices, there’s really no option but to go all in and if you’re going all in, and then suddenly you’re realizing that perhaps you made a bad bet and there’s a way out of that bet, you’re going to do whatever you can to get out,” said Mark Morris, a Toronto real estate lawyer.

In recent weeks, he has seen nine cases where buyers want to back out of deals but on Monday alone was approached by three sellers keen to use legal channels to keep purchasers from walking away.

Morris doesn’t call the encounters a trend because it’s unclear how many other lawyers are seeing the same spate, but three queries in a day is his new record. He used to see one case of that nature every few months.

“Purchasers are looking at the existing crisis, and in the best of times, they feel they overpaid, but now they have objective proof that they’ve done so because markets have started to pummel and fall and really shows no signs of slowing down,” said Morris.

“Many of those buyers are faced with the option of moving forward or upping and walking.”

People get “spooked” every time the market turns and explore what they can do about deals they signed, but few end up walking away because it’s hard to get out of such transactions, said Phil Soper, CEO of Royal LePage.

He thinks the exception to this pattern came in 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out and people wanting out of transactions had so many unknowns on their side.

Most buyers trying to end a deal this year won’t be successful because there is no legal way out, but such cases are also impractical for sellers, Morris said.

“Is a seller really willing to pursue a buyer that has no assets? Is the seller really going to go through three years of courts only to find that they have a judgment that can’t be pursued?” he pondered. “Are they really ready to put up the amount of money that it will take to pursue this to the ends of the earth if they’re able to resell? Perhaps not.”

In cases where the buyer has put money into a seller’s trust account, that money can only be released with a court action, the closing of the deal or a mutual agreement not to pursue the sale, said Morris. He’s seen buyers agree to give the seller the money, if the seller mutually agrees to end the deal.

If a deal ends, brokers can sue for their lost commission but not many explore this avenue because it’s “not a good look” to take legal action against a client, who might still turn to you when they try to sell the home from the failed transaction again, said Morris.

While Tirajeh Mazaheri hasn’t seen legal action in Vancouver, the Coldwell Banker Prestige Realty agent has seen buyer’s remorse and worry crop up among investors who purchased pre-construction homes a few years ago but have yet to take possession of them.

“A lot of those people are thinking, ‘Is the market going to be able to justify this price or keep up with the price I paid and can I get this money back if I want to sell in a year?'” she said.

The people who purchased in early rounds of pre-construction sales for a building are already ahead of the curve, but those who bought later will have to wait longer to break even or make a profit, she said.

Even though worry is at a high, Mazaheri and Soper agree the markets do rebound and homes are still a valuable investment.

“Anyone who bought a home in 2021 in this country, if they bought anywhere near market price, their home is going to be worth more in 2021,” said Soper.

“Will it be worth more one year from now? That’s harder to predict ? but even a year from now the likelihood of that home being worth less than it is today is smaller.”

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Vancouver real estate: 'Plush' new build for $7.5M | CTV News – CTV News Vancouver

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It’s new, it’s near the beach and it costs millions more than the benchmark for the area.

A newly built home for sale in Vancouver is listed at $7.5 million.

The sellers of the house on West 12th Avenue are asking more than $5 million more than the current benchmark in its neighbourhood of Point Grey.

They say it’s somewhat of a rarity for the tony region of the city, but it’s priced higher than some of the neighbouring homes because it’s brand new, and because of its features.

According to those behind the listing, the four-bedroom home has a total floor space of 4,189 square feet over two storeys and a basement.

It has a 564-square-foot rooftop deck with city, water and mountain views, the listing from realtor Faith Wilson with Christie’s International Real Estate says.

The home has “luxurious, high-end finishes, including a spa ensuite richly appointed in calacatta stone.”

It has a “spa-inspired dry sauna” on the ground floor, and its recreation and media rooms each have wet bars.

The grounds are landscaped and there’s a three-car garage past its gated entry.

The kitchen is described as “gourmet,” and the family room “boasts coffered ceilings (and an) exquisite waterfall Caesar stone cooking centre.”

Its future buyer would find themselves in walking distance of Jericho and Spanish Banks beaches.

Its property taxes are not for the faint of heart at an estimated $13,962. That estimate, however, is from 2020, before the new house was built.

Recent reports suggest Vancouver’s luxury real estate market is seeing a decrease in sales, but prices continue to climb.

The price is far out of reach for many, including most of those who live in the area.

Still, according to census data for the area, more than one-quarter of Point Grey residents have a total household income in the highest category – $200,000 and over.

The median for households of two or more people is $135,680, much higher than in many Vancouver neighbourhoods.

A quarter of those who live in the area work in “professional, scientific and technical services,” and nearly a quarter are in educational services, the data from Statistics Canada suggests.

Three-quarters of adults have at least some level of university education, from a bachelor’s degree to a doctorate.

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Canmore real estate developments back on after tribunal ruling | CTV News – CTV News Calgary

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A contentious proposed real estate development in Canmore got new life Tuesday.

One year ago, Canmore town council rejected the Smith Creek development and decided the Three Sisters Village proposal needed significant changes.

Three Sisters Mountain Village Properties Ltd., the project developer, appealed the decision to a municipal tribunal, and Tuesday the town was ordered to allow the projects to proceed.

Conservation groups fought the proposal, saying it didn’t provide enough space for wildlife to travel through the valley.

“Unless overturned, this decision will cause harm to the lands, and wildlife movement and habitat of an important part of the Yellowstone to Yukon region,” said a statement issued by Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative on Twitter. “Keeping these lands connected and intact is in the best interest of Albertans now and into the future. Connectivity provides the best chance for some of our most cherished and threatened wildlife to thrive.”

There was no word from the Town of Canmore on whether it will appeal the decision.

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