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In bet on retail recovery, Slate buys U.S. real estate unit for $2.3-billion – The Globe and Mail



A Walmart department store in West Haven, Conn., on Feb. 17, 2021.


Slate Asset Management is investing US$2.33-billion on the prospects of an expected recovery in U.S. retail, office and hotel sectors by acquiring the commercial real estate division of New York-based Annaly Capital Management Inc.

Toronto-based Slate, which currently manages approximately $6.5-billion of property assets for clients, is purchasing real estate loans and properties from Annaly, and hiring the team that ran the portfolio.

The largest portion of Annaly’s holdings is a US$400-million portfolio of grocery store-anchored properties, which will be acquired by Slate Grocery REIT, a Toronto Stock Exchange-listed division of the parent company. Slate Grocery REIT already owns US$1.3-billion of U.S. properties, with tenants that include Walmart, Kroger and Publix.

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A third of Annaly’s properties are U.S. office buildings, and 8 per cent of the portfolio is invested in hotels, sectors where tenants have struggled during the pandemic. Slate said all loans in the Annaly portfolio are performing. Annaly also has significant interests in health care-related real estate and apartment buildings. The acquisition is expected to close in mid-2021.

Slate previously acquired property portfolios in Ontario and Alberta during economic downturns in those regions. The company was founded in 2005 by brothers Blair and Brady Welch, who previously both worked at a leading U.S. real estate investment company, Fortress Investment Group.

“We believe this transaction is another example of Slate’s ability to find value for our partners and investors at an opportune time in the market cycle,” said Blair Welch. In addition to its current portfolio, Slate has bought and sold more than $13-billion worth of properties in the past 15 years.

New York Stock Exchange-listed Annaly is selling one of its four divisions to focus on a far larger mortgage business. The company has US$102-billion of assets under management. In a press release, Annaly chief executive David Finkelstein said exiting commercial real estate “will provide additional capacity to further expand our leadership and operational capabilities across all aspects of the residential mortgage finance market.”

Along with its U.S. grocery-store properties, run from an office in Chicago, Slate currently owns office buildings, retail and residential real estate in Canada – it is redeveloping a neighbourhood at a crossroad in midtown Toronto. It also owns a portfolio of 200 grocery-store properties in Germany. In addition, the company has a division that invests in real estate securities, including mortgages and other debt instruments.

Slate hired BMO Capital Markets as its financial adviser and law firms Goodwin Procter LLP and McCarthy Tétrault LLP. Annaly used investment bank Evercore and law firm Ropes & Gray LLP.

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Number of Sarnia-area real estate listings drops in July – Woodstock Sentinel Review



Many homes were still selling above asking prices in the Sarnia area in July but that statistic eased slightly from the previous month, according to the Sarnia-Lambton Real Estate Board.

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Many homes were still selling above their asking prices in the Sarnia area in July, but that statistic eased slightly from the previous month, according to the Sarnia-Lambton Real Estate Board.

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The local market’s sales-to-list-price ratio was 104 per cent in July, compared to 108 per cent in June, the board said in its monthly release of local market statistics

“We’re definitely starting to see it shift a little bit,” said board president Rob Longo. “Not monumental shifts, just nice and steady.”

The Sarnia-area market has been seeing homes sell above the list price for some time now, and the median selling price has also been growing.

But the year-to-date median house price in the market remained at $435,000 in July, the same level as June.

“I think we’re going to start to see prices stabilize themselves rather than the huge gains we’ve had over the last couple of years,” Longo said.

“We’re still seeing a busy market.”

There has been a total of 1,223 home sales locally since the beginning of the year, for a total year-to-date sales volume of nearly $606.8 million.

But the year-to-date number of homes listed for sale dropped to 136 in July, which is a record low for that month, Longo said.

The number sat at 217 in July 2020.

The number of active listings had been moving up earlier this year, “but we’ve seen that taper off,” he said.

The easing of pandemic restrictions may be one reason, Longo said.

“People are getting out more. They can travel, they can do different things. … Maybe their focus has shifted a little bit towards that after being cooped for so long,” he said.

But the lack of homes on the market is “a complex problem to solve,” Longo added.

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“It really comes down to supply. It is not enough housing supply.”

That is a widespread issue across Ontario and not just in the Sarnia area, Longo noted.

“We’re not seeing enough new housing coming on to meet the demand, which creates a domino effect,” he said.

Issues include “red tape” required for housing projects and the high cost of construction materials, Longo said.

“Sarnia-Lambton specifically, we could easily handle a significant bump in the number of new homes or new units per year,” he said.

As of July, Sarnia had issued 68 single-family home building permits for 2021. That’s already better than the total of 65 issued for all of last year.

Currently, there is just a 24-day inventory of homes listed for sale locally.

“Typically, we would like to see a 30 to 60-day inventory … and we’re just nowhere near that now,” Longo said.

Those higher levels would indicate the Sarnia area was returning to a more traditional and balanced market, he said.

The median number of days listings are on the local market sat at eight in July, compared to 14 days in July 2019.

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Metro Vancouver real estate market levelling out, demand remains high – News 1130



VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — It’s been a hot stretch for home sales in Metro Vancouver during the pandemic but the latest numbers point to a more moderate market.

Sales in July dropped off 12 percent compared with June, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV)

“Moderation was the name of the game in July. Home sales and listings fell in line with typical seasonal patterns as summer got going in earnest in July. On top of moderating market activity, price growth has leveled off in most areas and home types,” says Keith Stewart, REBGV economist in a statement.

RELATED: B.C. demand for detached homes driving up prices across province: expert

It was by no means a slow month, however, with more than 3000 sales — which is well above the 10-year average.

“Low housing supply remains a fundamental factor in Metro Vancouver’s housing market,” Stewart continues.

“Home sales remain above average and we’re starting to see price increases relent as well. Going forward, the supply of homes for sale will be among the most critical factors to watch. This will determine the next direction for house price trends.”

The composite benchmark price for residential properties in the region was $1,175,500, which was up 13.8 per cent compared to July 2020 but the same as in June of 2021. Townhouses sold the swiftest, with properties being on the market for an average of 20 days. For detached homes, the average was 30.

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Reserve Real Estate: Wine-Centric Homes Around The World Starting At $6 Million – Forbes



As the harvest season approaches, it’s worth looking at homes that wine lovers—from the person who likes to relax with a glass of chilled Chardonnay to the most skilled sommelier—could appreciate. 

Winery with former Catalan monastery in the South of France

Location: Perpignan, Pyrenees Orientales—Occitanie, France

Price: $6.482 million  (EUR 5.3 million)

Once a Catalan monastery in the 19th century, this property sits in the middle of full-production vineyards. It also has views of both the sea and the mountains. The renovated main residence has more than 7,534 square feet of living space, including, of course, a state-of-the-art wine cellar.

Represented by: William Pillons of Groupe Mercure

Happy Canyon home in Southern California wine country

Location: Santa Ynez, California

Price: $12.25 million

This classic Mediterranean-style five-bedroom home, along with a guest and foreman’s house, is located on 106 acres in Happy Canyon, an American Viticultural Area in the Santa Ynez Valley. The idyllic property is surrounded by olive orchards and roughly 40 acres of south-facing land primed to nurture Rhone and Bordeaux grapes.

Represented by: Carey Kendall of Village Properties

Beverly Hills mid-century home with wine storage

Location: Los Angeles, California

Price: $15.499 million 

This four-bedroom home in prestigious Trousdale Estates is more modern Mad Men than monoculture, but along with walls of windows and a home theater is a sleek wet bar and plenty of wine storage. Enjoy a glass of California Pinot Noir while taking in the views of downtown and the Pacific Ocean.

Represented by: Jeff Hyland of Hilton & Hyland

Contemporary hacienda with its own wine production in Spain 

Location: Malaga, Spain

Price: $5.88 million (EUR 4.95 million)

This modern estate is surrounded by the nearly 500-acre La Melonera winery, which produces hundreds of bottles of high-scoring vintages. The four-bedroom hacienda features two lounges, a formal dining room and four en-suite bedrooms, including a master with a sauna and a dressing room.

Represented by: José Ribes Bas of Inmobiliaria Rimontgo

Groupe Mercure, Hilton & Hyland, Inmobiliaria Rimontgo and Village Properties are exclusive members of Forbes Global Properties, a consumer marketplace and membership network of elite brokerages selling the world’s most luxurious homes.

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