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Pattie Lovett-Reid: From first time buyers to luxury homes, Canada's real estate market is on fire – CTV News



If you need evidence that the rich are getting richer, look no further than Sotheby’s luxury real estate report highlights for 2021 so far.

By way of reference, luxury real estate is typically a home that is valued within the top 10 ​per cent of a given market, which varies across the country. They range from detached homes to condos, located in key markets, finished with top of the line materials, and are often in close proximity to high-end amenities.

Real estate in general has been on fire so far this year, and luxury real estate is no exception.

To illustrate how hot the high-end market is, take the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) for example. Over the first two months of 2021, the GTA witnessed residential real estate sales spiking 157 per cent year over year, and of those, five ultra-luxury properties sold over $10 million compared to the same period a year ago. While luxury sales of condos priced at $4 million and above showed a decline from six to two units year over year, early signs show resiliency as the GTA’s $1 million-plus market shows growth of 110 per cent year-over -year in March.

Vancouver is also seeing signs of pent-up demand with sales of luxury attached homes priced between $1-2 million and $2-4 million up year-over-year, with 169 and 15 homes sold respectively in the first two months of the year. Calgary and Montreal were not left behind with impressive gains.


It has been year since COVID-19 hit, driving a dramatic real estate rebound. According to Sotheby’s, demand continues across multiple generations of homeowners and buyers, with a significant build up of cash accumulation, easy access to borrowing in a rock bottom interest rate environment, and pent-up local and international demand, all breathing new life into the market as a whole.

“The scenario that we are seeing with price gains and housing affordability are due to the fact that demand and supply are critically out of balance,” CEO and President of Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, Don Kottick, said.

“We are facing unprecedented levels of consumer demand brought on by the pandemic and population growth, encouraged by low interest rates and pent-up cash savings. We have been in an acute shortage of housing for years in cities like Toronto and Vancouver.”

With travel restrictions​ still in place, low rates and continued savings, there is every reason to believe this will continue into the spring.

But buyer beware.

Real estate has been a clear winner over the past year and is starting to raise serious concerns of overvaluation.

A recent poll by Nano Research indicated that 63 per cent of respondents believe the value of real estate in their neighbourhood will continue to rise. The Canada Housing and Mortgage Corporation has been ringing the alarm bells, suggesting signs of overheating at a national leveller happening. In fact, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland also recently weighed in, saying the affordability issues plaguing Canada’s housing market are on the government’s radar.

​With the Federal Budget set to be unveiled April 19, there are whispers that we could see changes in an effort to slow things down, such as changes to the principal residence tax exemption, increased requirements for down payments, or even changes to refinancing levels.

“It’s absolutely imperative that all levels of government address the supply side of this equation, and bring new housing across the spectrum – rental, vertical, low-density– to market as quickly as possible. Trying to tackle the demand side through taxation is not getting to the root of the issue and will bring about unintended consequences,” Kottick said.

“It puts the financial plans and the financial security of millions of Canadians at risk, and it also risks reducing housing supply even further, if people are discouraged from selling their homes.”

One thing is certain; in many pockets across the country there is a disconnect between income and property levels, and some Bay Street economists, like David Rosenberg, fear that the Canadian housing market is in the midst of “one of the biggest bubbles of all time.”

Others, like former Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz, acknowledged on BNN Bloomberg that yes indeed, there’s some heat, and we could see signs of speculation, “but we have to accept that because otherwise we’d have a really, really bad recession.”

The question is where do you stand? And that response could differ depending on whether you are a buyer or seller.  


This story has been corrected to reflect the federal budget date of April 19, 2021.

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Hot real estate market sparks warnings to potential buyers as complaints to regulator double



As home sales in the province continue on a dizzying trajectory, the province’s real estate watchdog and regulator are warning buyers to be wary of what they may be getting into.

The Real Estate Council of B.C. (RECBC) and the Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate said that in the first three months of 2021, they have seen an increase in inquiries and complaints.

Calls to the regulator were up 42 per cent over the previous year, while complaints, such as how offers were made and accepted, were double the number received in the same period in 2020.

“Buying a home is one of life’s biggest financial decisions. There are potential risks at the best of times, but with the added pressure and stress of the current market conditions, those risks are amplified,” Micheal Noseworthy, superintendent of real estate, said in a statement.



The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver says sales in the region have continued at a record-setting pace.

Residential home sales covered by the board totalled 5,708 in March 2021, up 126.1 per cent from March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and up 53.2 per cent from February of this year.

Rural and suburban areas have experienced the biggest spikes.

For the past two weeks, Jay Park has been in the middle of the buying frenzy.

He and his partner are trying to upgrade from their one-bedroom apartment to a two-bedroom condo or townhouse in Vancouver.

“I wish we had done this a month or two ago,” he said.


A condo tower under construction is pictured in downtown Vancouver in February 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)


Park put an offer on a $1-million condo, $4,000 above asking price.

“To entice the [seller], we put in a subject-free offer, but it wasn’t successful,” he said. “They accepted $110,000 over asking price that was also subject-free.”

The hot market has led to bidding wars. Some would-be buyers have even lined up outside for days to try to get a jump on a property.

Erin Seeley, the CEO of the council, is warning buyers to do their research and be aware of risks before making an offer.

“It’s really important that buyers have engaged with their lender before they’re making offers so they know how to stay within a reasonable budget,” she said.

Seeley said some of the complaints the council has heard from buyers is that they weren’t aware the seller has a right to take an early offer.

“And the seller was really in the driver’s seat about setting the pricing,” she said.


Demand continues to outstrip supply for housing in cities like Vancouver. (Rafferty Baker/CBC)


Aaron Jasper, a Vancouver realtor, advises clients to avoid cash offers and to include finance clauses even if it may mean they lose a deal.

“There’s a lot of frustration among buyers, feeling pressure to take some risk,” he said.

“You’re better to be delayed perhaps a year getting into the market as opposed to being completely financially ruined.”

Jasper also says realtors are limited in the advice they can give to clients on legal matters, home inspections, potential deficiencies with homes, and financing.

‘Caught up in the craziness’

Other tips from the council include seeking professional advice before making a subject-free offer or proceeding without a home inspection, and speaking to a professional to determine how market conditions may be affecting prices.

Meantime, people like Jay Park say they are still keen to buy. Park has more viewings scheduled and is optimistic.

“It’s a very exciting time for us, but I also don’t want to get caught up in the craziness and make a purchase that’s above our means.”

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Black Press Media introduces one of Western Canada's best real estate platforms helping home buyers Find. Love. Live. that new home – Aldergrove Star



Need an agent who knows the community?

Or, is it time to look for a new place to live, but you don’t know what’s on the market?

Whatever the real estate need is for residents in the communities of British Columbia, Yukon & Alberta, there’s a new way to do that one-stop shopping – by visiting Today’s Home.

The slogan for the site is “Find. Love. Live.”

“We want people to find their dream home, love it, and live in it,” said group publisher Lisa Farquharson.

Building on the success of Black Press Media’s niche digital platforms – Today’s Home brings the same wealth of knowledge and local expertise to the search for a home, be it buying, selling, or even just daydreaming about what changes you can make in the future.

Search hundreds of listings that local real estate agents have available.

The listings cover properties around the region, from a one-bedroom, one-bath condo for $339,900 to million-dollar acreages throughout the province of BC, Yukon, Central Alberta and beyond.

Click on a listing, and see not only the realtor handling the property sale, but links to his or her other listings and social media feeds. With the click of a mouse, take a virtual tour of the property, find the property’s walking score, and learn about nearby amenities.

There are links available to schedule a showing, or send the agent a comment or question.

Want to share a listing? When you click on the share button, you’ll actually send an attractive digital flyer of the prospective property, not just a link.

There’s even a button to help determine how much you have to spend, courtesy of the convenient mortgage calculator.

Plus, scroll down the page on Today’s Home and find a list of expert local real estate professionals who can answer questions or help with that home sale, Farquharson explained.

Today’s Home offers the advantage of the massive reach that Black Press Media has built throughout Western Canada with its network of community newspapers and online products. That allows the public to tailor real estate searches based on location, price, and other key factors while allowing real estate professionals to gain unprecedented audience reach with their listings.

Today’s Home will dovetail into the media company’s existing print real estate publications.

“Black Press Media has real estate solutions in print and now we can add in the digital component,” Farquharson said.

Watch for expansion of the Today’s Home platform in the near future, she added. That will come as Black Press Media adds a new component – the development community. Developers will be able to reach a huge audience when their projects are ready for presentation.

For information on Today’s Home, contact group publisher Lisa Farquharson at 604-994-1020 or via email.

Happy house hunting!

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PGIM Real Estate, Revera Affiliate Target UK Market in Newly Formed JV



Real Estate Sales In September

PGIM Real Estate has been active in recent months providing capital to facilitate blockbuster senior housing acquisitions. Now the firm is looking to capitalize on demand for senior housing in the United Kingdom.

The Madison, New Jersey-based real estate investor and lender announced this week it is entering into a joint venture with Signature Senior Lifestyle, an affiliate of Revera, to develop and operate senior housing communities around greater London

Mississauga, Ontario-based Revera serves 20,000 older adults in long-term care homes and retirement residences in Canada. It is also the majority shareholder of Sunrise Senior Living, one of the largest senior housing providers in the U.S. The company operates a portfolio of 12 communities in the U.K. under the Signature Senior Lifestyle brand, with one community in development that is slated to open in autumn 2021.


The JV has one development underway — a senior housing community, or “prime care” home, in southwest London. PGIM worked with Elevation Partners, a London-based investor and asset manager in U.K. health care real estate, in sourcing, structuring and executing the venture. Additionally, PGIM will retain the firm to leverage its expertise.

PGIM and Revera did not respond to requests for comment from Senior Housing News regarding details about its development pipeline.

London is emerging as a future hotbed of senior housing development, spurred by favorable demographic growth trends and a lack of available supply, and the PGIM-Revera venture will find competition.


Maplewood Senior Living CEO Gregory Smith told SHN last month that demand for U.K. senior housing is comparable to major U.S. markets such as New York and San Francisco, where supply has historically been constrained.

Maplewood and its investment partner, Omega Healthcare Investors (NYSE: OHI) are looking to expand its luxury Inspir brand to the U.K., and identified five suburban markets around London with high barriers to entry that are favorable for the brand’s growth.

Revera CEO Tom Wellner sees similar untapped upside potential for senior housing in the U.K.

Source: – Senior Housing News

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