In Montreal, the decline was attributed to a “historically low inventory and a more typical summer season.” Quebec City also saw a drop.
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The Quebec Professional Association of Real Estate Brokers (QPAREB) on Tuesday made public the residential real estate market statistics in August for the Montreal and Quebec City areas, recording a drop in the number of transactions in both regions.
In Montreal, the decline was attributed to a “historically low inventory of properties for sale and a more typical summer season in terms of sales (as opposed to last year when sales were exceptionally high due to the fact that the market was on pause during the spring).”
According to Charles Brant, director of the QPAREB’s market analysis department, “The overheated market is well established, with price increases that remain substantial compared to last year, (but) the proportion of sales concluded above the asking price is weakening. This reflects the shrinking pool of buyers with the financial capacity to buy in this market and explains the current stabilization of prices, particularly for single-family homes.”
The Montreal area recorded a total of 3,372 residential sales transactions in August, a 30-per-cent decrease compared with August 2020. Sales on the island of Montreal fell by 27 per cent compared with August 2020 and for a third consecutive month, single-family homes registered the largest decrease in sales, dropping 39 per cent.
The decline was also felt in the Montreal region’s outlying areas in August, with single family home sales in Vaudreuil-Soulanges down by 43 per cent; down 34 per cent on the South Shore and North Shore; down 27 per cent in Laval and down 13 per cent in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu.
All three main property categories registered a drop in sales compared with August of last year. Sales of single-family homes fell by 37 per cent, while sales of condominiums decreased by 28 per cent. Plexes were less affected by the August slowdown, as transactions fell by only 4 per cent.
Median prices continued to rise sharply in August, reaching $500,000 for single-family homes (up 17 per cent), $375,000 for condominiums, an increase of 20 per cent, and $679,750 for plexes, a jump of 13 per cent.
The report notes that “the Montreal real estate market is still showing significant overheating conditions, but the proportion of sales concluded above the asking price has weakened over the past four months.”
Meanwhile in Quebec City and for the third consecutive month, the number of transactions concluded in the region fell in August by 29 per cent, with 589 sales concluded through the real estate brokers’ Centris system.
In the first eight months of the year, sales in the Quebec City region grew by only 5 per cent compared with the 2020 period. In August, the South Shore of Quebec City experienced the most significant slowdown in the region (down 47 per cent), while the northern periphery and the agglomeration of Quebec City also registered notable decreases in sales, respectively recording drops in sales transactions of 40 and 20 per cent.
(Bloomberg) — A historic shift in how Swedish property firms fund themselves was already underway before a little-known private company revealed a $10.7 billion acquisition that will put the trend firmly on the map.
Heimstaden Bostad AB — owned by Ivar Tollefsen’s Fredensborg AS and pension funds — says it will use debt capital markets to refinance a jumbo bridge facility for the largest ever private property transaction in the Nordic region.
The deal highlights a shift by real estate companies in the biggest Nordic economy into both bonds and euros. The trend is driven by a quantitative easing-fueled property boom that’s allowing companies to raise more money than is available in the local market.
“The real estate sector has grown so much because companies have replaced secured bank financing with unsecured bond financing,” said Max Berger at DWS Investment GmBH. More broadly, Europe’s property industry has become “the fastest growing in euro investment grade in the last couple of years.”
Since 2010, the number of real estate issuers in the euro investment grade market has increased to 69 from five, according to Berger, who manages 6 billion euros ($7 billion) of bonds. Euros have now overtaken Swedish krona as the main funding currency for outstanding bonds sold by the country’s property companies.
Heimstaden Bostad’s bridge loan “will clearly be refinanced mainly in euro bonds,” said Anders Holmlund, head of bond origination at Svenska Handelsbanken. The banker adds that the domestic krona market “isn’t a realistic alternative” given the short time frame.
The boom in real estate bonds can be seen in its dominance of the Swedish central bank’s balance sheet, where more than half of the Riksbank’s corporate bond holdings come from property companies.
The European Central Bank’s bond-buying program is adding further fuel to the market, according to Holmlund.
And the broader buyer base is allowing Swedish property companies to expand massively. Samhallsbyggnadsbolaget i Norden AB, for example, announced a plan recently to nearly triple its property portfolio size to 300 billion kronor ($34.4 billion) by 2026.
“We will focus more on euro in the future,” Marika Dimming, a spokesperson, said in an interview. “It’s a natural progression for us,” she said, adding that “the trend is also to set up a subsidiary in the euro area so that the bonds can be bought by the ECB in their QE program,” she said.
But a summer rally in Swedish house prices, warnings of excessive valuations in share prices and concerns about a withdrawal of central bank stimulus have stoked concern among politicians and analysts alike.
Equity analysts at Svenska Handelsbanken said they have “a clear negative tilt towards the sector universe,” citing “disturbances in the increasingly important capital markets” triggered by QE tapering as a possible downside catalyst.
Still, euro bond investors are attracted to Swedish residential firms’ risk-return profile compared with western European office companies, said DWS’s Berger.
“Nordic players have provided us with interesting sub-sectors that have defensive characteristics, but trade in line with the wider sector,” the Frankfurt-based portfolio manager said, adding that sub-sector selection within real estate is key to making profitable investments.
“The pandemic has been a good stress test for real estate companies’ balance sheets,” he said. “Even hotel and retail focused companies have weathered the pandemic.”
Diane Hoskins is co-CEO of Gensler. The opinions expressed in this commentary are her own.
Extreme weather events — including heat waves, droughts and floods — have unfolded all over the world this summer. The grave impact of climate change is upon us and will continue to have a profound impact on human life. But there are still largely untapped actions we can take to reduce the damage.
Achieving global policy ambitions like the ones set in the 2015 Paris Agreement will require leadership from the private sector, but individual companies with strong internal climate commitments can’t go at it alone. They are hamstrung unless other businesses in their ecosystem follow through with similar pledges. To accomplish this, companies need policies that require the cooperation of external stakeholders at every step of the value chain.
For those of us in the real estate sector, the concern always seemed to be less about the cause of our manmade carbon footprint and more about cost. For years, we have seen rising sea levels and extreme weather events happening around us, putting property portfolios at risk. The economic and physical changes have affected insurance industry volatility, impacting construction and long-term investment prospects.
However, many in the industry have yet to admit that buildings are as responsible for carbon as cars. The real estate industry makes up 49% of global carbon emissions when accounting for construction and building performance. Most carbon reduction efforts in the building sector have focused on operational efficiency — energy sources for keeping buildings at an ideal temperature, lighted, ventilated and powered — so that properties consume as little energy as possible. And while these efforts have furthered the industry’s goal of getting buildings closer to net zero operationally, we can no longer ignore that building materials account for half of a building’s total lifetime carbon footprint.
We are out of time. And the real estate industry’s wait-and-see approach is no longer acceptable. Embodied carbon — emissions associated with the manufacturing, transport, construction and disposal of building materials — must become a priority for the entire industry value chain.
With commercial buildings, concrete and steel have traditionally been used for construction, along with other frequently used carbon-intensive materials like foam insulation, plastics and aluminum. However, building with structural wood has increasingly gained traction as an alternative, given that it sequesters more carbon than it emits. Developers are becoming aware of its versatility and sustainability, and if adopted on a global scale, mass timber could challenge steel and cement as the preferred materials for construction. Additionally, structural engineers have already successfully used recycled steel and low-carbon cement consisting of alternative mixtures. This, combined with using more unpolished and salvaged materials, has already proven to lower buildings’ carbon footprints.
And since nearly 75% of all raw materials in the US are used for the construction of buildings, the conscious decisions about the sourcing, construction and finishing of our development projects will have a lasting environmental impact.
At Gensler, a global architecture and design firm, we recently issued letters to our structural engineers, vendors, suppliers, construction and general contracting leaders asking for their partnership in shaping their policy to change the value chain. Together, we are developing an agreed-upon approach for specifying quality products that align with our company’s carbon neutrality promise. In early 2022, Gensler is launching new green specifications that focus on reducing high-carbon materials, using the most efficient structural solutions to reduce material quantities, sourcing materials that are extracted and manufactured locally, and minimizing waste. These specifications will be used on all of our projects. From then on, we will prioritize working with partners who meet those specifications and use materials that significantly reduce construction-related emissions, such as low-carbon concrete, steel, cross-laminated timber and alternative materials that absorb rather than emit carbon. With Gensler’s design impact and its global scale, this change in demand for sustainable materials will have an immediate ripple effect across the building sector.
If all parts of the real estate ecosystem — including architects, owners, developers, investors, constructors and material suppliers — move toward a net zero ambition, together, they could save 10 billion tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere. This is the equivalent of removing nearly 2.2 billion gas-powered cars from the road for an entire year. There must be global net zero building standards across major market participants, investors, developers, designers and occupiers to drive demand. We must also create policies that demand energy suppliers provide access to low-carbon alternatives.
This era of reducing the embodied carbon in building materials will change construction and real estate development. We have entered a critical period for humanity. Carbon-neutral statements, science-based targets, and promises at international forums like the UN Climate Change conference will not suffice. Tangible and immediate action is the only solution.
Real estate, like any industry, is based on the foundation of supply and demand. Sellers are seeing premium prices for their homes due to low-interest rates and even lower inventory; which makes for a very competitive environment from a buyer’s perspective.
If you’re considering selling or simply want to know what your home may be worth in today’s market, I am offering confidential, complimentary, and no-strings-attached home value analyses to anyone interested. If you have any real estate questions, please give me a call directly at 401-241-1851 or email me at TylerB@remaxnewportri.com.
In the meantime, here’s what sold in Newport County last week.
26 Brown and Howard #201 sold for $2,275,000 on September 24. This 2,556 sq. ft home has 2 beds and 3 baths.
11 Harrison Avenue #D4 sold for $2,295,000 on September 23. This 2,446 sq. ft home has 3 beds and 3 baths.
529 Bellevue Avenue sold for $6,600,000 on September 24. This 7,624 sq. ft home has 5 beds and 8 baths.
14 Homer Street sold for $611,000 on September 24. This 1,573 sq. ft home has 3 beds and 2 baths.
15 Hammersmith Road #14A sold for $775,000 on September 24. This 1,956 sq. ft home has 3 beds and 3 baths.
31 Bowery Street sold for $5,200,000 on September 22. This 6,613 sq. ft home has 11 beds and 10 baths.
11 S Baptist Street sold for $690,000 on September 21. This 1,536 sq. ft home has 4 beds and 2 baths.
13 Holland Street #2 or B sold for $415,000 on September 20. This 1,018 sq. ft home has 2 beds and 2 baths.
14 Brinley Street #1 sold for $300,000 on September 20. This 631 sq. ft home has 1 bed and 1 bath.
154 Eustis Avenue sold for $1,200,000 on September 20. This 2,160 sq. ft home has 3 beds and 2 baths.
11 Sagamore Street sold for $459,000 on September 20. This 1,852 sq. ft home has 3 beds and 3 baths.
109 Wolcott Avenue sold for $1,060,000 on September 23. This 3,800 sq. ft home has 6 beds and 6 baths.
3 Fox Run sold for $399,000 on September 22. This 1,600 sq. ft home has 2 beds and 3 baths.
30 Moitoza Lane sold for $650,000 on September 21. This 1,026 sq. ft home has 2 beds and 1 bath.
297 Glen Road sold for $1,105,000 on September 21. This 2,402 sq. ft home has 4 beds and 3 baths.
66 Rebels Way #BH 26 sold for $586,000 on September 21. This 2,321 sq. ft home has 2 beds and 3 baths.
26 Cherokee Drive sold for $530,000 on September 21. This 2,194 sq. ft home has 3 beds and 3 baths.
12 Ann Avenue sold for $413,000 on September 20. This 1,908 sq. ft home has 3 beds and 2 baths.
Nothing to report.
2156 Main Road sold for $379,000 on September 20. This 1,008 sq. ft home has 2 beds and 1 bath.
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