The Kootenay real estate market is still strong, says the latest report from the Kootenay Association of Realtors, but it has fallen off the torrid pace of a year ago.
Residential sales units were off 23.2 per cent from July 2020, but average prices were up 20 per cent, which means the total sales dollar volume in July was only 7.8 per cent less than the previous year.
KAR President Chuck Bennett says demand remains high, and as it has been for the past year or so, inventory shortage remains a concern.
“Our sales last month were close to what we had in June 2021, and I believe that the demand for homes in the Kootenay region is very much intact,” he said. “Rising average prices, on the other hand, can be correlated to the shortage of inventory that we’ve been facing for quite some time now. It is important to consider that sellers in the market are still benefiting from the multiple offer scenarios, even as the numbers suggest a fall in units sold. I expect active inventory numbers to improve as we approach fall. But as demand continues, we may be hitting record lows before that time. That being said there is no doubt that we’ll be having a record-setting year sales-wise.”
The number of new listings added in July were down and Bennett says that recent fires have had an impact.
“As our province is yet to recover fully from external factors that can affect buying and selling decisions, I can understand why the market performance was slow last month. However, as demand continues and with strong financial growth expected in the province, I see sellers being more confident about making real estate decisions in the days to come. The imbalance of supply and demand will eventually fade away, but we can’t deny that much needs to be done supply-wise.”
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Forest Gate buys Niagara Falls shopping centre | RENX – Real Estate News EXchange
Forest Gate Financial Corp. has acquired a Niagara Falls shopping centre as the newly formed investment firm begins building a portfolio and executing on its strategy to acquire a diverse range of properties.
The Mount Carmel Centre was purchased from a private investment group for $37 million. The 30-acre site at 3930 Montrose Rd. is occupied by a shopping centre with tenants that include Food Basics, The Sleep Factory, Tim Hortons, Swiss Chalet and Harvey’s, among several other retailers and food, beverage and service providers.
“We really believe in the Niagara Falls market and think this is an excellent opportunity for us,” Forest Gate chief executive officer and managing partner Dan Marinovic told RENX. “We like the site because it’s a very large property that we feel we can add value to.”
Forest Gate will manage the property, which is in close proximity to a residential neighbourhood and Mount Carmel Park. Niagara Falls has natural attractions, a strong tourism industry and a manufacturing base.
The city will benefit from improved GO Transit service, which Marinovic believes will make it an attractive location for people looking to work remotely while seeking a more affordable and relaxed lifestyle than can be found in larger markets.
Forest Gate seeks variety of asset classes
While there are no immediate plans for redevelopment, the Mount Carmel Centre site is large enough to accommodate future multifamily and mixed-use development.
Forest Gate is establishing a stand-alone purpose-built rental apartment vertical and Marinovic said it has close to 500 units under management or in its acquisition pipeline.
The company is looking to add at least 1,000 units annually over the next several years. It’s targeting value-add opportunities in Southern Ontario communities like Niagara Falls where there’s access to public transit and pleasant environments for living and working from home.
Forest Gate is also seeking income-producing industrial and retail properties, as well as development and redevelopment opportunities.
The Vaughan-headquartered boutique real estate private equity, private debt and advisory investment firm was launched in March by Marinovic and partner and chief financial officer Frank DelZotto to deliver premium risk-adjusted returns on its own and in partnerships with developers, builders, investors and capital providers.
Forest Gate can be nimble in making acquisitions and Marinovic is excited by the momentum the company has achieved in its first six months.
“We’re big believers in the Canadian real estate landscape, especially as things start to normalize and we get immigration back to pre-pandemic levels,” said Marinovic. “We’re looking at very significant growth over the next 12 months.”
The Forest Gate team
Marinovic was most recently chief development officer of Dream Unlimited, where his responsibilities covered finance, development, construction and operations. Before joining Dream in 2013 he was vice-president of finance for First Gulf, the commercial real estate arm of Great Gulf, for seven years.
DelZotto was previously a partner at BDO Canada LLP for 19 years.
Forest Gate just hired Justin Hawkins, formerly First Gulf’s senior manager of development and planning, as director of development. Hawkins worked for RioCan REIT, Dream and SmartCentres REIT before that.
Vaughan-based home-builder Treasure Hill Homes is a partner in Forest Gate. Forest Gate’s advisory board is comprised of Marinovic, DelZotto, Treasure Hill president Nicholas Fidei and Treasure Hill CFO Mark Caruso.
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