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Poll: Real estate prices a problem for more than half of Canadians – Toronto Sun

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Grousing (or gloating) about high real estate prices is no longer confined to Vancouver and Toronto.

Real estate prices are shooting up across the country.

As COVID hit, predictions were that real estate would fall by 18%. Instead, house prices across the country rose by 25%, starting a boom that has not subsided for the last year.

The national average home price reached a record $678,091 in February; prices are expected to rise more than 16% again this year.

The ability to work from home has changed people’s ideas about the three main rules of real estate — location, location, location — and now property prices in suburban areas, small towns, and cottage country are rising fast.

A new Angus Reid poll on home ownership and attitudes toward the housing market shows a widening chasm between the haves and the have-nots.

(And more reason to hate baby boomers.)

The housing market is prompting Canadians to take sides, with about 40% of those polled hoping real estate prices will continue to rise and around the same — 39% — hoping prices will fall.

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One in five people polled (22%) are hoping for an actual crash, with prices falling 30% or more; that this would blow up the entire economy is either lost on these people or they don’t care.

However, as the poll noted, this is an undeniable indicator “of the amount of housing pain people are experiencing coast to coast, in large communities and small.”

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Given those findings, the Angus Reid cross-Canada poll created a Housing Pain Index to illustrate what Canadians are going through, dividing people into four groups: The Happy, The Comfortable, The Uncomfortable and The Miserable.

All four groups are well represented across Canada. Income counts, but age is a more predictive indicator of a person’s placement in the Housing Pain Index than any other demographic.

The small group — 13% of the populace — known as The Happy are older, higher income, likely to own a home, and likely to have owned that home for more than 15 years.

Three quarters (73%) of that crowd no longer pays a mortgage.

The Comfortable, about 26% of the population, are also older and higher income;70% are homeowners, of which 62% have paid off their mortgage. Renters in this group say their rent is reasonable.

The Uncomfortable, interestingly enough, span every income and age group and are found in every province at around the 35% mark.

More than half own homes (60%) and more than 82% of those homeowners have a mortgage. Only half say mortgage payments are handled fairly easily.

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The Miserable, who are 24% of the population, are younger, have lower incomes, and are 42% renters. Eight in 10 who don’t own a house say they’d like one but can’t afford it.

The homeowners among them have mortgages (97%); only 10% can afford their payments easily.

Timing counts. The Happy and the Comfortable are more likely (90%) to have entered the market more than 15 years ago.

Half in the Uncomfortable or Miserable category bought in the last two to five years; that rises to 72% when one includes buyers who purchased in the last 12 months.

Sadly, at least 55% of residents canvassed in every province are either Uncomfortable or Miserable.

On average, 50% of Canadians, regardless of where they live, think housing in their area is too expensive.

Income matters, obviously, but every income level appears in each of the four Housing Pain Index categories.

About 14% of the Happy earn less than $25,000 a year, for example, while 19% of those in the Miserable bracket earn $100,000 or more and 9% earn $150,000 or more.

Canadians are united in their disdain for how officials have handled runaway real estate prices. An overwhelming majority in every province criticized their provincial government’s handling of housing affordability.

Angus Reid polled 5,004 Canadians who answered a series of questions on their current personal finances and housing situation.

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Forest Gate buys Niagara Falls shopping centre | RENX – Real Estate News EXchange

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IMAGE: The Mount Carmel Centre, a retail facility in Niagara Falls which has been acquired by Forest Gate Financial. (Courtesy Forest Gate)

The Mount Carmel Centre, a retail facility in Niagara Falls which has been acquired by Forest Gate Financial. (Courtesy Forest Gate)

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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Blackwood family donates $10M to Va. Tech real estate program – Virginia Business Magazine

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Blackwood family donates $10M to Va. Tech real estate program  Virginia Business Magazine



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Podcast: What triggered a record-breaking Ottawa real estate deal – Ottawa Business Journal

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A record-setting residential real estate deal takes centre stage in the latest episode of Behind the Headlines.

To hear the full podcast with OBJ publisher Michael Curran and editor David Sali, please watch the video above. Prefer an audio version of this podcast? Listen to it on SoundCloud or Spotify.

MC: We know the business audience likes big numbers, and this is a big number: a quarter of a billion dollars. This is a three-building rental apartment complex in Westboro, and it sold for $267 million. We think it’s the largest residential real estate deal in Ottawa history. Dave, tell us about it.

DS: CBRE brokered this historic deal. It actually took three of their offices – Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal – working together to get this deal done. That’s how big it was. The buyer is Homestead Land Holdings out of Kingston. They already own a couple of dozen properties in Ottawa along with dozens more across the province. As Nico Zentil of CBRE’s Ottawa office told me, it is just very rare that you would see a property of this scale ever come on the market in Ottawa because we have a pretty tightly controlled market here. This is part of Homestead’s play to expand its footprint here – they also recently filed an application to build a 25-storey apartment tower with 235 units near Baseline and Greenbank. Clearly, they’re wanting to go big in what they think is going to be a big bounceback for the Ottawa rental market. Zentil said the properties were hotly pursued and got multiple bidders. That’s a testament to the strength of the Ottawa residential market right now.

As you know, last year wasn’t great for the rental market in Ottawa. With the pandemic, two big groups that are normally pretty steady, reliable renters – students and new immigrants – well, there weren’t many of those coming to the capital last year, so that caused a little bit of a dip in the rental market for sure. But the general consensus seems to be that things are ready to bounce back.

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