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Lower Mainland rental, real estate markets hold steady amid COVID-19 – CityNews Vancouver

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PORT MOODY (NEWS 1130) — Amid unemployment and upheaval due to the pandemic, the rental and real estate markets in the Lower Mainland are maintaining stability.

Kevin Axford has both a property management company and a real estate firm, and began bracing himself for a blow to the rental market when he saw the economic toll wrought by the virus.

But he says, so far, things have remained surprisingly stable.

“I was expecting when April 1 rolled around there would be some turmoil. Then, when I was expecting May 1 to roll around I was expecting there to be more or less chaos. But we’re still collecting the rent, the rents are still strong, we’re still renting out our places. So it’s doing, right now in the short run, much better than I hoped,” he says, adding he’s hearing the same from other management companies.

“We’ve had almost all of our tenants paty the rent, very few that haven’t. And then all the government help has been able to make this kind of go smoothly so far.”

The changes he’s noticed have been small. Vacancy rates have only gone up one-tenth of a per cent (from 1 per cent to about 1.1) since mid-March.

Rental rates are down less than 5 per cent.

“So, if something was renting for $2,000 it’s still going to rent for $1,900 plus.”

It’s taking about a week longer to rent out a unit than it used to, but spaces are still being snapped up in less than a month.

“That’s just less people out looking is what I would feel is the reason for that, but still the prices haven’t been affected too much.”

Axford says it’s too soon to tell what the long-term effects on the market will be.

“I wish I had the crystal ball, everybody does,” he says.

He does think instability could begin to take hold if the shutdowns last through the summer and into the fall.

He also notes real estate prices have only dropped about 2 or 3 per cent, although official data from April hasn’t been released yet.

“We were expecting it to soften drastically. When it first got announced that businesses were going to be shut down, things were going to start to be controlled a little bit there was an initial ever so slight softening in prices,” he explains.

The number of transactions has plummetted, with sales volume down 70 per cent.

He attributes this to people’s hesitation to buy in a time where’s there’s an overall sense of uncertainty about the future.

Ultimately, Axford says prices are steady because supply and demand are in sync.

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Bridgemarq Real Estate Services Announces Annual Meeting of Shareholders – Canada NewsWire

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TORONTO, June 1, 2020 /CNW/ – Bridgemarq Real Estate Services Inc. (“Bridgemarq” or the “Company”) (TSX: BRE), a leading provider of residential real estate services to brokers and their REALTORS®1, today announced that the Company will hold its annual meeting of shareholders on August 7, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. eastern time

The Company’s shareholders’ meeting will be a virtual only, live audio webcast. Shareholders of record as at June 26, 2020 and their proxyholders will be permitted to vote and ask questions during the online event.

Additional information about the meeting, including how to access and participate in the meeting, will be made available in the Company’s Notice of Meeting and Management Information Circular, which is expected to be filed on or about June 26, 2020.

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This news release contains forward-looking information and other “forward-looking statements”. Words such as “will”, “expected”, and other expressions that are predictions of or could indicate future events and trends and that do not relate to historical matters, identify forward-looking statements. Reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements because they involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to differ materially from anticipated future results, performance or achievement expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements include: the duration and effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the impact of COVID-19 on the economy, the Company’s business and its ability to conduct the meeting of shareholders on the planned date, the impact of government or other regulatory initiatives to address the impact of the spread of COVID-19 on the Canadian economy, changes in government policy, laws or regulations which could reasonably affect the housing markets in Canada, consumer response to any changes in the housing markets in Canada or any changes in government policy, laws or regulations, changes in general economic conditions (including interest rates, consumer confidence and other general economic factors or indicators), technology matters which could affect a shareholder’s ability to access the virtual meeting or vote at the meeting, and other risks detailed in the Company’s annual information form, which is filed with securities commissions and posted on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Forward-looking information is based on various material factors or assumptions, which are based on information currently available to management. Material factors or assumptions that were applied in drawing conclusions or making estimates set out in the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to: anticipated impact of government policies, the successful execution of the Company’s business strategies and recent regulatory developments, including as the foregoing relate to COVID-19. The factors underlying current expectations are dynamic and subject to change. Although the forward-looking statements contained in this release are based upon what management believes are reasonable assumptions, the Company cannot assure readers that actual results will be consistent with these forward-looking statements. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.

About Bridgemarq Real Estate Services

Bridgemarq is a leading provider of services to residential real estate brokers and a network of over 19,000 REALTORS®1. We operate in Canada under the Royal LePage, Via Capitale and Johnston & Daniel brands. For more information, go to bridgemarq.com.

Bridgemarq is an affiliate of Brookfield Business Partners, a business services and industrials company focused on owning and operating high-quality businesses that benefit from barriers to entry and/or low production costs. Brookfield Business Partners is listed on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges. Further information is available at bbu.brookfield.com

_________________________

1 The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA.

SOURCE Bridgemarq Real Estate Services Inc.

For further information: Sarah Louise Gardiner, Director of Investor Relations, Bridgemarq Real Estate Services, [email protected], Tel: 416-510-5783

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www.brookfieldres.com

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This Week’s Top Stories: Canadian Real Estate Prices Expected To Fall, and Banks Set Aside Billions For Losses – Better Dwelling

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Time for your cheat sheet on this week’s most important stories.

Canadian Real Estate

CMHC’s Canadian Real Estate Price Forecast Shows Big Drops In Ontario And BCCanada’s national housing agency gave a detailed breakdown of its real estate price forecast. Prices are expected to fall later this year, and continue into 2021. The forecast ends 2022 not quite recovered across the country. Different markets are expected to be impacted differently, with Ontario and BC projected to take big hits. Less overvalued markets like Quebec are expected to see much smaller price declines.
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Canada’s Big Six Banks Set Aside Over $10 Billion For Bad Loans, Up Over 300%
Canada’s Big Six banks are expecting billions of loans to go bad soon. Provisions for credit losses (PCLs) hit $10.92 billion at the Big Six, up 346.42% from the year before. PCLs are cash set aside for loans the bank believes have become unrecoverable. The sudden spike of increase implies banks see delinquencies to rise sharply soon.
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TransUnion Warns A “Severe” Scenario Likely In Canada, Mortgage Defaults To Jump
TransUnion, one of North America’s “Big Three” credit rating agencies, expects the mortgage market to deteriorate. Analysts from the firm look at over 40 metrics, including forbearance and credit. At this point of the pandemic, the firm sees a “severe” scenario playing out, with mortgage originations dropping, balances swelling, and delinquencies doubling. That’s the trifecta of bad news when it comes to mortgages.
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CIBC: Challenges To Canadian Real Estate Will Be “Coming In 12-18 Months”
One of Canada’s biggest banks sees the real estate market getting hit, but doesn’t expect issues for 12 to 18 months. The bank notes unemployment from 5.5% pre-crisis, to 13% currently. They expect unemployment to fall back to 8% next year, but that’s still at recessionary levels. This should lead to reduced real estate activity, with anticipated declines of 5 to 10 percent. The bank’s analysts further added, “high cost units in the high-rise segment of the market seeing the most notable price declines.”
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Most Of Canada’s Insured Mortgages On Deferrals Projected To Be Underwater Soon
Using the CMHC’s forecast, most of Canada’s recently insured mortgages are projected to be underwater. The CMHC estimates 12% of insured mortgages are now on payment deferral, and they expect this to rise to 20% by the end of the summer. The CMHC is forecasting price declines between 9 and 18% over the next 12 months. This would leave a considerable portion of insured mortgages with less than 1% equity in the next few months.
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Toronto Real Estate

Only 5% Of Greater Toronto’s New Homes Sold Last Month
The pandemic finally put the breaks on Toronto’s new home sales, which seemed previously untouched. There were just 771 units in April, down 80% from last year. This is a whopping 78% below the 10 year average. While the slowdown is expected, the decline in sales is much faster than the decline in inventory. This will lead to downward pressure on prices if it persists.
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Birds that come by looking for real-estate (8 photos) – BradfordToday

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As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago in a story here, I am fortunate to live on a farm property a little north of Alliston, where there is a mix of open land, a stand of mature conifers, smaller trees and bushes. It is a wonderful bird habitat. 

In the past couple of months some of those birds have been searching for suitable living quarters. I was fortunate to be able to purchase an Eastern Bluebird Nesting Box from friends of mine who made boxes and donated the proceeds from sales to a local food bank. 

I was pleased to have this personal connection to the builders of the potential home, and pleased at the prospect of having a nesting pair of these birds of happiness as neighbours. I have had them in the ‘hood other years and thus was hopeful they may chose to move into a home built with them in mind. 

I was very excited one day in April when I spied a pair in nearby trees. And, as you may well imagine, even more so when I saw them checking out the house. The male sat on it and went in, no virtual tour was available online. He seemed to like what he saw and called his mate to check it out. They came back a couple of days in a row. To me, it seemed like an easy sale. Alas, I was mistaken. 

The bluebirds moved out of the picture and a pair of Tree Swallows followed pretty much the same procedure. By this time, I was hoping to double my chances with a second nesting box. The Tree Swallow couple went from box to box for about a week. It seemed to me they were testing out flight patterns from the two locations. They were very tolerant of my presence and stayed in place even when I was near. I thought – hey, they like me. 

They are splendid aerialist and fun to watch. They also eat such things as mosquitoes on the fly – an impressive and appreciated skill. 

After the week, however, they moved down the fence-line to a more established neighbourhood and took up residence there. There is more open field thus more comfortable room for free flying. 

I was feeling a little dejected. As is the norm in my way of thinking, it was all because I did something wrong. 

After wallowing in self-pity for a couple of days, I was amazed to see a male bluebird back at the box. I was cautious of being hopeful. When he was back the next day with his mate and they checked out both boxes, the stirring of excitement was hard to suppress. 

I can now announce with great satisfaction and happiness, the pair chose one of these homes, moved furniture in, and have been very joyful neighbours for nearly two weeks. 

It’s so great to look out my office window to see the male sitting on the nearby fence, or in the tree. He is more visible than the more muted coloured female. He is also very protective of the nest. 

They are such charming little neighbours. I am delighted by their presence, and it is a privilege to have them so close. 

As the weeks go by, I will share some of my experiences of bird visitors with readers. In the meantime, keep your eye to the sky and look for birds that may come by. 

A note: Ed and Bryan Osborne sold 120 nesting boxes, and raised $4110.00 for the Tottenham Foodbank. They have another 20 or so to sell.

Email: marylouosborne@live.ca

Rosaleen Egan is a freelance journalist, a storyteller, and a playwright. She blogs on her website rosiewrites.com

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