The number of residential real-estate transactions last month remained 7.3 percent below the 10-year average for January, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.
But sales last month were still a whopping 42.4 percent above the figure recorded in January 2019, when the housing market was in the doldrums.
“We’ve begun 2020 with steady home buyer demand that tracks close to the region’s long-term average,” REBGV president Ashley Smith said in a news release. “Looking at supply, we’re seeing fewer homes listed for sale than is typical for this time of year. As we approach the traditionally more active spring market, we’ll keep a close eye on supply to see if the number of homes being listed is keeping pace with demand.”
The number of new listings was 17.4 percent beneath the 10-year average for January. And the number of homes listed for sale through the multiple-listing service last month was 13.7 percent below the 10-year average.
Meanwhile, the benchmark price for all residential real estate in January was $1,009,700. That’s 1.2 percent below the figure recorded a year ago, but 0.8 percent higher than in December.
The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver’s territory includes Whistler and the Sea to Sky corridor.
White Rock, North Delta, Surrey, and Langley are part of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board’s territory.
Saint John tenants nervous about Historica real estate deal – CBC.ca
A major real estate transaction in uptown Saint John has many tenants concerned.
Hazen Property Investments has sold 20 of its buildings to Historica Developments.
They include the McArthur on Germain Street and another 12-unit building on the west side to name just a couple.
“My gut feeling was anxiety — stress,” said Jeff Arbeau, who has been renting from Hazen for years.
Hazen is known for good-quality units at reasonable prices.
Historica is known for fixing up older buildings and turning them into luxury units.
We kind of realize there’s probably too many high-end expensive units that most people, we understand, can’t afford.– Keitch Brideau, Historica
Their prices “far exceed” Arbeau’s price range.
Historica rents typically range from $1,200 to $2,000 a month, while Hazen’s are $400 to $700.
“It would have a massive impact ability on my ability to live,” said Arbeau.
Many of his neighbours are also worried.
The information package they received from the new owner asked for debit pre-authorizations for rent payments and promised continued “exceptional” service but didn’t make any assurances about future rental fees.
“They don’t have to worry about it,” said Keith Brideau, president and founder of Historica.
Brideau said his company is not planning to increase rents for any current tenants or to change fees for parking, heat or lights.
That’s because he won’t have to recoup investments for any major upgrades.
“They’ve done an excellent job of taking care of their properties,” said Brideau. “Some of them are real gems.”
As tenants move out, he said, units will get things like fresh paint, refinished floors, and new countertops.
Future tenants, might be charged $50 to $150 a month more than the current rates.
“We definitely aren’t going to be pricing people out of the market,” said Brideau.
Historica is looking to expand into the “middle market,” he said, where rents range from $500 to $1,000 a month.
“We kind of realize there’s probably too many high-end expensive units that most people, we understand, can’t afford.”
Arbeau said another concern of his is about losing the “mom and pop” service he had from Hazen.
“You can contact them with a need, and they’ll get to you right away,” he said. “They know your name. They help you any way they can.”
Brideau said his company is aiming to match or improve the level of service.
“I’ve spent many a Christmas Day in a furnace room trying to get a furnace going with my dad,” said John Hazen, general manager of Hazen Property Investments.
Hazen’s grandfather bought the company’s first building 100 years ago.
Hazen said he had a heavy heart about the sale, but it was a good business opportunity and the right choice for his family.
Hazen had 13 employees. That’s being reduced to about seven.
Some of the people losing their jobs were close to retirement, he said, and all are receiving severance packages based on their years of service.
Hazen still has 270 units, including Regency Towers on the east side, some on Coldbrook Crescent, and one on the west side.
Municipal leaders have been inundated with messages about the Hazen sell-off.
Their buildings are “little micro-communities,” said Coun. Donna Reardon, who represents Ward 3, which includes the uptown and central peninsula.
“Those neighbours will look after each other,” Reardon said. “People who are in them are there for a long time. … If you’re there seven or eight years, you’re one of the newbies in a lot of Hazen’s buildings.
“So, that is upsetting to think that your neighbours may have to move, or you may have to move out.”
Everyone’s “major concern,” she said, “is that rent will go up extraordinarily.”
There aren’t any rent control mechanisms available to the city, but Reardon said she expects the market will control itself to some degree.
“He can skyrocket the rents, I suppose,” said Reardon, “but what will the market bear in Saint John?”
Reardon said she’d be interested in exploring best practices across the country on rent controls, but she is reluctant to do anything that would stifle development and growth.
Information Morning – Saint John22:06Historica developer pledges no rent hikes
Some are worried that Historica may own too big a share of the local housing market and that this will give it monopoly-like power over prices and availability of apartments.
Historica now owns nearly 40 buildings containing a total of about 400 units.
Brideau estimated that represents five per cent or less of the rental market.
Julia Woodhall Melnik’s big concern is potential gentrification — the displacement of people who live uptown because it’s affordable.
“Where are they displaced into?” asked the assistant professor and director of the laboratory for housing and mental health at UNB Saint John.
The north end is one possibility, said Woodhall Melnik, but deficiencies in the public transit system would make it difficult for vulnerable populations to get to uptown services.
Saint John promotes itself as having relatively low housing prices when it comes to buying, she noted, but limited rental stock means rents are less affordable.
Woodhall-Melnik is hoping developers and landlords will take advantage of government funding available for rent subsidies and affordable housing developments.
Information Morning – Saint John15:33We continue the conversation on affordable housing
Brideau agreed affordable housing is a big issue and said he “would like to be part of that solution.”
He said Historica might announce something on that front within the next year.
Brideau said more construction is happening now in Saint John than he’s seen in the last 20 years. He noted one non-profit building is going up now on Wellington Row.
Reardon said affordable housing is “on everybody’s radar.”
She noted there are still many vacant lots in peninsula neighbourhoods.
Toronto's hot real estate market may cool down in coming months – Toronto Sun
A new survey shows the aggregate price of a home in the GTA increased by 11% year-over-year to $922,421 in the third quarter of 2020.
This Royal LePage House Price Survey says the median price of an average two-story home increased 12.2% year-over-year to $1,082,502 in the third quarter of this year.
The price of a bungalow jumped 10.6% year-over-year to $887,156.
During the same period, condominiums in the GTA saw prices rise 6.8% year-over-year to $599,826.
Strong home price gains were seen in Toronto where the price of a home rose 11.1% year-over-year to $975,980.
The median price of a standard two-story home rose 15.5% year-over-year to $1,483,510. And the price of a bungalow increased 11.3% year-over-year to $974,295.
The average price of a condominium increased 4.9% year-over-year to $644,903 during the same time frame.
“Demand from the delayed spring market has continued through the third quarter,” said Debra Harris, vice president for Royal LePage Real Estate Services Limited. “The seasonal slowdown is expected in the coming months, but given the recent strength of September, we will likely see a more brisk fourth-quarter market than the previous year.”
Cape Breton University to honour physician and real estate tycoon – TheChronicleHerald.ca
SYDNEY, N.S. —
An oncologist and a real estate mogul will be this year’s recipients of honourary degrees from Cape Breton University.
Dr. Ronald MacCormick, oncologist, and Louis J. Maroun, real estate, will be presented with their honourary degrees during the university’s fall convocation set for Nov. 7.
“Both Dr. MacCormick and Louis J. Maroun have represented our island in their respective careers and they have impacted thousands of Cape Bretoners; one in life-saving cancer care and one in international business and philanthropy,” said David Dingwall, university president and vice-chancellor.
MacCormick is the chief medical oncologist at the Cape Breton Cancer Centre.
He completed his medical training at Dalhousie University and his specialty training at the Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto. His highly-reputable medical practice and his role in developing the state-of-the-art regional cancer center has impacted patients from across Cape Breton Island and parts of mainland Nova Scotia.
“Although I was not born in Cape Breton, both my parents are from here and I have spent the vast majority of my career here and raised a family here. My connections to Cape Breton Island and the people I care for are deep and I am a proud promoter of Cape Breton,” said MacCormick.
Maroun was born and raised in Sydney and holds a bachelor of arts degree from the University of New Brunswick and is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
Considered one of the most prolific executives in national and international real estate transactions, Maroun first began his career in real estate in 1982 after seven years with the Nova Scotia provincial government.
He has built a highly-notable career and has been dedicated to his philanthropic work with such charitable organizations as the Cape Breton Regional Hospital Foundation, the Canadian MS Society, Casting for Recovery Canada and Cape Breton University’s Shannon School of Business.
“I credit my Cape Breton roots with giving me the drive, ingenuity and determination to succeed in my business career. It also taught me the value of caring for each other during adverse times, which led to my desire to give back to my community,” said Maroun.
Cape Breton University has been awarding honorary degrees since 1989.
The fall convocation will be celebrated through a virtual platform and to view the ceremony, visit www.CBUConovcation2020.ca.
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