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Ready Or Not, Real Estate Industry Undergoing High-Tech Makeover – Forbes

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Covid-19 is the agent of change driving advances – and acquisitions – in a sector long-resistant to tech.

By Troy Hooper, Xinyi Jiang and Rachel Stone

Property technology deals are expected to accelerate this year as Covid-19 forces the digital transformation of an industry historically resistant to change, executives and others say. 

Automated apartment matching, virtual home tours, renter portals, site management and contactless solutions across home loans, payments, title insurance and escrow services are reshaping how real estate is bought, sold, leased, and managed. Similar trends are taking place in commercial real estate, where measuring air quality and other health variables are doubly important.

“What Covid-19 has done is shine a bright light on the opportunities in real estate to automate a wide variety of policies and procedures,” said Daniel Cunningham, founder and CEO of Leonardo247, a Redondo Beach, California-based real estate management software startup. “It’s on everyone’s radar.”

Thoma Bravo’s pending $10.2 billion acquisition of RealPage

RP
 demonstrates the premium investors are placing on so-called proptech, said Cunningham. The purchase price represents a 36.5% premium over RealPage’s volume-weighted average cost in the 30 days leading up to the deal announcement. Cunningham also pointed to last year’s deals for Opendoor and Porch Group to further demonstrate his point. Both of those proptech players went public via mergers with special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) at lofty valuations that he said investors validated by buying their respective stocks at even higher prices on the open market. 

Multiple SPACs have shown interest in proptech businesses, including San Francisco-based rental marketplace Apartment List, Atlanta-based home-buying platform Knock, and El Segundo, California-based PeerStreet, according to their executives, who all told Mergermarket their businesses are on public market trajectories.

Lionheart Acquisition Corporation II and Property Solutions Acquisition are among the blank-check companies scouting for targets.

New York-based co-working space provider WeWork, which has made technology a hallmark of its office buildings, is reportedly considering going public through a SPAC after pulling its initial public offering in 2019.

Last month, Compass, a New York-based real estate brokerage startup that heavily markets its technological prowess, filed paperwork to launch an IPO of its own.

Other disruptors like Chattanooga, Tennessee-based tech-enabled moving company Bellhop and San Francisco-based residential real estate marketplace Sundae plan to raise more private capital before pursuing public listings, according to their CEOs. Although nothing is imminent, co-founder Gregor Watson said Oakland-based home rental marketplace RoofStock could eventually go public or sell to a large strategic like Amazon

AMZN
, Zillow

Z
 or Airbnb.

Carmel, Indiana-based Realync could also be an acquisition target after raising capital in 2020, according to co-founder and CEO Matt Weirich, who named RealPage and Santa Barbara, California-based Yardi Systems as logical buyers for its virtual leasing and engagement platform for multi-family residences.

Other attractive startups to watch, according to a sector advisor, include three-dimensional virtual home tour provider Matterport and “iBuyer” Offerpad, which raised capital in 2020 and 2019, respectively.

In addition to Airbnb, RealPage, Yardi, Zillow and Amazon, the latter of which entered the property management space in September with “Alexa for Residential,” the advisor pointed to Appfolio

APPF
, Costar Group

CSGP
, Redfin

RDFN
, Lehi, Utah-based Entrata and Cleveland-based MRI Software as potential consolidators.

It’s not just startups that have targets on their backs. Some incumbents in the space could consolidate too, as Zillow and Trulia did in 2015, he added.

Based in Los Angeles, Troy Hooper (troy.hooper@acuris.com) oversees IPO and SPAC content for Mergermarket, while Xinyi Jiang (Xinyi.jiang@acuris.com) and Rachel Stone (rachel.stone@acuris.com) report on financial services and technology out of Mergermarket’s news bureau in Charlottesville, Virginia.

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These are the cheapest real estate listings in Calgary right now | Urbanized – Daily Hive

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Good news for YYC house-hunters – you don’t have to break the bank to purchase your own home.

In this month’s roundup of Zoocasa’s cheapest real estate listings in Calgary, affordable properties can be found throughout the city for under $300,000.

A lower budget doesn’t mean you have to compromise your standards, as most of these properties offer updated kitchens and bathrooms, recently replaced flooring, and state-of-the-art appliances.

If you’re in the market for a new home, take a peek at these Calgary real estate listings.

5. $299,992: 6420 26th Avenue NE

Courtesy of Zoocasa

Listing details: 

  • Three bedrooms
  • One bathroom
  • 826 sq ft

This Pineridge home is close to schools, playgrounds, and shopping, making it a convenient location for anyone. The property offers a detached garage and a fully-fenced yard.

4. $274,900: 21 Copperstone Villas SE

Courtesy of Zoocasa

Listing details: 

  • Four bedrooms
  • Two bathroom
  • 1,132 sq ft

Located in Copperfield, this townhome features a fully developed basement, spacious tiled front entryway, and upgraded appliances in the kitchen. This is an end-unit property boasting tons of natural light and electric fireplaces.

3. $225,000: 14625 Shawnee Hill SW

Courtesy of Zoocasa

Listing details: 

  • Two bedrooms
  • Two bathrooms
  • 1,174 sq ft

This bungalow-style condo is located in The Highbury building in Evergreen Estates-Shawnee Slopes. The unit was recently updated and has stainless steel appliances, a spacious master bedroom, a walk-through closet, and luxury vinyl plank flooring throughout. Condo fees include everything except electricity.

2. $219,900: 3 – 812 McNeill Road NE

cheapest real estate Calgary

Courtesy of Zoocasa

Listing details: 

  • Two bedrooms
  • One bathroom
  • 441 sq ft

In this Mayland Heights bi-level home, house-hunters will find large windows, a dining area with a cozy built-in bench, and a spacious balcony with downtown and mountain views. The unit has been freshly painted and boasts new laminate floors.

1. $179,000: 32 – 3800 Fonda Way SE

cheapest real estate Calgary

Courtesy of Zoocasa

Listing details: 

  • Three bedrooms
  • One bathroom
  • 1,099 sq ft

Live in this new Fonda condo, featuring a renovated kitchen with stainless steel appliances, a main floor office, and laminate-engineered hardwood flooring throughout. The upper level is home to a spacious master bedroom and recently renovated four-piece bathroom.

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Real estate company says demand for housing in Niagara will continue to grow – NiagaraFallsReview.ca

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A Hamilton-based real estate company says Niagara’s economy as well as its real estate market are poised for continued growth.

After placing a renovated 12-unit apartment on Drummond Road on the market, Crescendo Equity secured a total sale of $2.9 million. That translates to $247,000 per unit, compared to a previous benchmark of $176,000 for units in the area.

The company predicts demand for housing in Niagara will continue to grow through 2021.

”Market conditions are being strengthened by interprovincial migration, as home buyers and renters from the Greater Toronto Area, Peel and Halton regions look to Niagara for more space and better affordability,” said Mathew Moxness, Crescendo Equity’s founder.

The Drummond Road property is part of the company’s larger strategy to take older, underperforming stock and reposition properties for maximum occupancy and potential.

“With growing demand for multi-family housing throughout Ontario, repositioning aging and underperforming assets will help to supply the segment and provide housing for those who need it,” Moxness said.

The company, which offers opportunities to private and group investors, purchased a shuttered retirement home in Niagara Falls last year, and plans to convert the property into apartments.

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BCREA: BC Government Proposes Changes to Real Estate Services Act Paving Path for Single Regulator – Business Examiner

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BRTISH COLUMBIA – On March 2, Bill 8: Finance Statutes Amendment Act, 2021 was introduced in the BC Legislature. With its introduction, the BC Government’s intention to create a single financial services regulator, including real estate, announced in September 2019, was finally made clear.

The bill creates the path for the Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate (OSRE) and the Real Estate Council of British Columbia (RECBC) to become part of the BC Financial Services Authority (BCFSA). According to the government’s news release, this is expected to happen “later in 2021.”

BCREA reaction:

We welcome a more cohesive regulatory structure, which is something we asked for early in 2019. Unfortunately, the legislative changes introduced yesterday don’t include the creation of the Professional Standing Committee BCREA proposed more than a year ago.

When the BCFSA becomes the real estate regulator, administration of the Real Estate Services Act (RESA), Real Estate Development Marketing Act and parts of the Strata Property Act will be added to the BCFSA’s current regulatory responsibilities, which include credit unions, mortgage brokers and insurance. BCFSA’s Chief Executive Officer will become the new Superintendent of Real Estate.

As a result of the omission of the Professional Standing Committee, BCREA is concerned that real estate licensees will have fewer opportunities to provide input into rules and policies that impact the practice of real estate. Although the Professional Standing Committee isn’t included in the proposed amendments to RESA, we hope it will be implemented in the practical application of the new regulatory structure. We will continue to work with the BCFSA, OSRE and RECBC to this end. Our goal is to ensure a consistent, meaningful process for practitioner input.

Other Changes:

At a high level, the government also proposes the following changes, among others:

  • expanding the administrative penalty system, including the option of requiring further education and doubling the maximum penalty (currently $50,000),
  • eliminating discipline committees, and
  • strengthening the new superintendent’s options for handling urgent circumstances.

Next steps

BCREA is carefully reviewing the proposed changes to RESA, including seeking legal analysis and meeting with government staff.

This bill – like all bills – will be debated in the legislature and subject to further changes as part of that process. Once it’s passed, it won’t take effect right away. Instead, the government will implement it at a later date by regulation.

As BCREA learns more about the proposed changes to RESA, we’ll provide updates in future blog posts. If you have any concerns, please contact Senior Policy Analyst Norma Miller.

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