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Pandemic-induced demand for more space pushing up cottage prices, real estate firm says – CBC.ca

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Home prices are increasing in Canada’s cottage country as more buyers look to move there full-time, according to a report released Monday by Royal LePage.

Prices of single-family recreational homes rose 11.5 per cent to an aggregate of $453,046 in the first nine months of the year, the real estate brokerage said.

The data from Royal LePage comes amid an overall uptick in home prices this year, after COVID-19 lockdowns stymied the spring buying season.

A rush of demand and a limited supply as the economy reopened this summer and fall meant that home prices were up 15.2 per cent last month in Canada compared to a year ago, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association.

Royal LePage chief executive Phil Soper says the number of cottages, cabins, chalets and farmhouses on the market have also dwindled amid the increased demand, at least through September.

“Inventory levels are the lowest I’ve seen in 15 years,” said Heather FitzGerald, a Royal LePage agent in Moncton, NB, in the report.

While local buyers have moved away from cities and closer to nature, FitzGerald also noted an increase in buyers from Ontario and Quebec.

Corey Huskilson, another Royal LePage agent quoted in the report and based in Halifax, said buyers from outside of the Maritimes, “who expect to be working remotely for the foreseeable future, are flocking to the area.”

Real estate agents in 54 per cent of regions told the brokerage that there was a significant increase in buyers looking to work remotely at a cottage as a primary residence.

Eric Leger, a Laurentians-based agent, said in the report that Quebec’s lockdown periods “sparked an urgent desire for many city dwellers, in need of more living space, to relocate to the suburbs and cottage country.”

Retirees a factor, too

Agents in other provinces noted similar trends, with one agent noting that Alberta-based buyers are competing with people across the country for properties in Canmore.

“Highway developments have reduced the drive from Saskatoon to 1.5 hours, which makes working remotely more possible for those who still have to go into the office a few days a week,” said broker Lou Doderai in the report.

The report says retirees have also bid up cottage prices, with agents in 68 per cent of regions saying more retirees are buying cottages this year compared to last year.

“Retiring baby boomers have been putting upward pressure on prices and reducing inventory for the last few years. Retirees are now finding themselves competing against remote workers,” said Bob Clarke, an agent in Ontario’s Muskoka region, in the report.

“The most common question used to be ‘is the property West-facing?’ Now my clients’ biggest concern is internet quality.”

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LACKIE: Toronto real estate defying all conceivable expectations amid pandemic – Toronto Sun

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Article content continued

It was a perfect storm.

By the end of 2020, rental transactions in Toronto were down 20% from the year before. Average rent, down 5% across the GTA, fell a full 15% in the downtown core alone.

Notwithstanding the broader social and economic concerns of this moment we’re in, it is finally a good time to be an apartment hunter.

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Now, prospective tenants considering a move have options — units without thoughtful floor plans, outdoor space, a great view and daytime sun will languish. So would-be landlords are doing all they can to sweeten the deal — everything from signing incentives to rent rebates, to free parking, cable and Wi-Fi — anything to be competitive.

The question is then, how low can it go and how much longer can we expect this to last?

Given that the current state of things is a direct result of the fallout of the pandemic economy, it’s a safe bet that recovery will depend on how long it takes for life to return to some semblance of normal.

Simply put: this is a COVID problem – not a standalone crisis of the rental market. Once vaccines are widely distributed, universities and workplaces reopen, and Toronto reclaims its position as a hub for business, culture, and nightlife, it is a certainty that things will stabilize. And when it does, we will be reminded of the looming crisis we were bracing for prior to the pandemic — a housing supply falling well behind keeping pace with population growth and new immigration.

@brynnlackie

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With the real estate market still growing, here's how to invest this year – Financial Post

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This article was created by StackCommerce. While Postmedia may collect a commission on sales through the links on this page, we are not being paid by the brands mentioned.

Investing in real estate has always been considered a smart move, and with so many Canadians in search of better housing thanks to the pandemic, the moment is right to strike. RBC estimates home resales in Canada increased by 13 per cent last year and predicts sales will hit an even higher level in 2021. Clearly, there is money to be made, but understanding the real estate market requires skill and know-how.

Every good investor takes time to study their intended market before making a move. Investing in a home for your entire family is considerably different from nailing down the perfect time for buying a building to flip when the demand is high. If you have ever considered purchasing an investment property, you’ve probably struggled with deciding which type of home is the right one to pour your money into. Not to mention all the other important questions you’ll need to answer for an endeavour as big as this one.

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'Enamoured with the Hammer': Toronto real estate agent rhymes about downtown Hamilton loft – TheSpec.com

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The career trajectory of Arty Basinski is a somewhat head-spinning affair. First he was a musician, writing his own songs and playing in bands. This didn’t pay the bills, though, so he went into real estate.

Early in his newfound profession, after struggling for a few months, he had a breakthrough — why not advertise the properties using the power of song?

The plan worked. Now, Basinski’s listings go viral online on a semi-regular basis, thanks to the music videos he makes for his clients.

First it was “Lil Yellow House,” a duet he performed with the owner of a semi-detached bungalow in Toronto’s east end. The video amassed over 66,000 views on YouTube and the house sold for just under asking price within a week.

His latest work is a promotional video for a mixed-use building in downtown Hamilton, which includes two apartments above a recently-abandoned vape store.

In “Loft Mi Casa,” which had just over 1,000 views on YouTube as of Jan. 22, Basinski makes the case for buying real estate in Hamilton.

www.LoftMiCasa.com for all the details on this Hamilton Storefront Property

It opens with a shot of Basinski standing before the Toronto skyline, CN Tower in the distance, evidently down on his luck. A man in a leopard-print onesie kicks him in the stomach for slapstick effect.

“Leaving T.O., I’ve got nothing left to give. The bills are piling up, I can’t afford to live,” he tells us.

So off he goes to Hamilton, westbound along the QEW, to the land of cheaper real estate.

“I’m enamoured with the Hammer,” the Torontonian rhymes. “Luxury condos are advertising; watch construction from your patio — quite mesmerizing.”

Basinski’s musical background has been a boon for his real estate career. “I’ve wanted to do this for a long time, being a musician myself,” he told The Spectator. “Oddly enough, I didn’t make it as a musician, but the real estate game turned me back into one, I guess.”

He composes most of the music himself with help from his clients, many of whom have musical hobbies. The chorus in “Loft Mi Casa” — seemingly salsa-inspired, impressively catchy — was recorded in his client’s home studio. The client sings the hook.

When he’s not selling property or rapping about it, Basinski is part of a roving circus act. He drums, he juggles, he spins sticks lit on fire and he walks around on stilts — sometimes all at once.

His novel approach to advertising lends itself to commercial property especially, which can take between six months and a year to sell, he said. “It takes so long to sell commercial storefronts, so you have to keep the property at the forefront of people’s minds. You have to come up with new ways to get people to remember these properties.”

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In addition to two apartments and storefront, the Loft Mi Casa building, at 17 John St. N., includes a storage room and an outdoor patio. Its namesake loft boasts a 25-foot-high ceiling and mezzanine bedroom with a walk-in closet.

A “ROI guarantee,” said Basinski. That’s return on investment.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made properties harder to sell, so Basinski has also offered a few incentives. If you find the hidden cat in the 3D walk-through posted to his website, he’ll shave off $5,000.

Jacob Lorinc

Jacob Lorinc is a Hamilton-based reporter covering business for The Spectator. The funding allows him to report on stories about education.

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