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Real estate enters the data age

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Mary Teresa Bitti
POSTMEDIA NEWS

Proptech is the big buzzword in real estate and for good reason: It’s disrupting just about every aspect of the industry and interest is at a fever pitch. Global investment in proptech companies has grown from US$1B in 2012 to US$18B in 2018, according to the latest numbers by Statista.

So exactly what is proptech? It’s a broad term that includes everything from data, AI, machine learning, mobile apps and robots to flex office space and co-living residences. At the core of any proptech company, information technology is being used to disrupt the way buildings are designed, constructed, managed, used, purchased, leased and sold.

“Proptech is the intersection of technology and real estate to solve real estate issues,” says Fred Cassano, partner and national lead of PwC, Canada’s real estate tax practice. “The level of attention in the space is incredible. In the last four years, we’ve seen the acceleration in deal volume and also dollars being put into the space globally.”

Why now? Cassano says a convergence of events is fuelling real estate, which has been late to the adoption of emerging technologies, to catch up. Namely, the need for affordable housing, the lack of skilled labour, climate change and the global applicability of technology.

“Innovations developed in Europe, for example, can also work in Canada. In the past, real estate solutions were dedicated to local markets,” says Cassano. “As well, providers of innovations that have taken hold in other markets, such as finance and health care, are bringing those solutions into real estate.”

Here’s a brief look at the technologies transforming real estate broken out into three key categories:

Place Tech

This includes technologies such as online platforms, AI, data optimization, machine learning, cloud and blockchain that are being used to list, search, buy and sell homes, facilitate peer-to-peer rentals, co-living and co-working, automate interior design, transfer deeds and broker mortgages electronically.

Looking to the future, Cassano says co-living and co-working are here to stay and real estate as a service is emerging. “If you follow someone’s life, you will see an evolution in the types of space they need. Rather than buying and selling properties, you subscribe to an organization that will find you the space you need where and when you need it,” he says.

As for real estate brokers: “They will need to redefine their role. It may not be about the transaction, but after-care services.”

One area that’s ripe for the taking, according to Cassano: The tokenization of real estate transactions, such as mortgage approvals, for example. “This will be the next big transformation.”

Construction tech

This includes everything that touches the design build aspect of real estate. Again the range of technologies is wide, from software to immersive virtualization, to three-dimensional modelling and printing, to drones.

Many types of robotics are also poised to revolutionize the largely unautomated construction industry. For example, 3D printing and industrial robots recently built a 3D printed bridge in The Netherlands. Demolition robots, machines that can lay bricks, remote-controlled and autonomous vehicles are other examples of construction robots.

Tenant engagement tools

Amenity and tenant experience apps, operations and property management platforms, IoT (Internet of Things) devices and sensors, AI applications — these are examples of real estate technologies being used to meet consumer demands, strengthen relationships between landlord and tenant, optimize the use of space and equipment and improve energy efficiency. For example, IoT sensors are being used to detect the movement of people in a building to optimize when systems are used, to identify malfunctions in equipment and even to monitor wellness.

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A Large Canadian Real Estate Brokerage Has Forecast Prices Will Rise Up To 20% – Better Dwelling

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  1. A Large Canadian Real Estate Brokerage Has Forecast Prices Will Rise Up To 20%  Better Dwelling
  2. House prices in Canada will rise higher in 2022, real-estate report says  CTV News
  3. Canada’s Real Estate Prices are Expected to Rise 9.2% in 2022: RE/MAX  Storeys
  4. Housing prices in Ottawa will rise five per cent in 2022, Remax estimates  CTV News Ottawa
  5. 2 Factors That May Impact the Real Estate Market in 2022  Real Simple
  6. View Full coverage on Google News



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Why real estate agents are urging Canadians not to wait for spring to sell their house – Ottawa Sun

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Rising mortgage rates could mean a spring slowdown for Canada’s housing market

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The pandemic-triggered housing boom has shredded a number of long-standing assumptions Canadians have about real estate.

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Distance from, not nearness to, downtown cores is now a key buyer desire. Communities that were unpopular with buyers two years ago because of a lack of jobs or amenities are some of today’s most active markets. Even taking out a gargantuan mortgage in the midst of a crushing global recession went from “undeniably risky” to “par for the course” seemingly overnight.

And this Great Real Estate Rethink continues: A new survey by real estate brokerage Royal LePage finds that 79 per cent of real estate professionals think sellers should list their homes this winter rather than waiting until spring 2022.

Winter is traditionally the slowest season for home sales in Canada. But buyers have already tossed aside so many real estate traditions. What’s one more?

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Survey says…

The pro-winter listing sentiment is strong across all regions.

Realtors in British Columbia led the way, with 93 per cent of respondents in the province saying they would advise their clients to sell this winter; 87 per cent of agents in Quebec and 85 per cent of those in Atlantic Canada shared the same view.

The proportion of agents in favour of winter listings were lower in Ontario (72 per cent), Alberta (73 per cent) and the remaining prairie provinces, Manitoba and Saskatchewan (75 per cent).

While those numbers are all high, many of the real estate agents surveyed — at least half in every area of the country — were advising their clients to list in the winter even before the pandemic. The reason then is the same as it is today: A painfully low number of homes for sale has created a seller’s market so rabid that weather is the last thing desperate buyers are worried about.

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“Typically we see a seasonal adjustment in real estate activity,” says Adil Dinani of Royal LePage West Real Estate Services in Vancouver. “However, last year, we saw one of the busiest winter markets in our history. Even if there are fewer buyers in the winter, it is unlikely there will be enough inventory on the market to satisfy demand.”

That could be especially true in Toronto, where there were only 7,750 homes left on the market at the end of October.

“That’s versus 17,000 last year,” says Cameron Forbes, general manager and broker at RE/MAX Realtron Realty in Toronto.

But Forbes still believes that a spring listing is better for sellers, pointing out that since 1999 there have, on average, been more homes on the market in the winter in the GTA than in the spring. If selling in a low-supply market is the goal, why not wait until the spring, when the market will be even more depleted?

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“All things being equal, that’s a better time to sell your home,” he says. “That’s why agents will generally recommend that you wait to list in the spring market, when your home shows well and, frankly, when buyers are out looking to buy.”

Low supply vs. the harsh Canadian winter

You may have noticed that the areas where the preference for winter listings were lowest are in parts of the country where winter can be especially brutal. (Ontario’s placement in this category may have more to do with fears around what an extra three or four months might do to the province’s already sky-high prices.)

And this one could be particularly messy. Both The Weather Network and the Farmer’s Almanac are preparing Canadians for a potentially long, storm-filled winter.

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Article content

Can sellers in hard-hit markets really plan on buyers being hungry enough to brave the elements and view properties when winter’s at its most miserable?

Regina-based Royal LePage agent Shayla Ackerman, no stranger to extreme winter weather, says listing in the winter is not something she would recommend unless a seller has no other choice.

“Our winter market slows right down,” she says.

But in Montreal, which also receives its fair share of colossal snow-dumps, Century 21 Immo-Plus agent Angela Langtry expects buyers to be out in droves.

“We are still in a low-inventory market, especially for houses,” Langtry says. “I always say that the serious buyers come out in the snow storms.”

A spring housing slowdown?

Capitalizing on raging buyer demand is not the only reason to list your home this winter.

Advertisement

Article content

The Bank of Canada announced in late October that it is ending a key pandemic emergency measure: buying billions of dollars in bonds to keep interest rates low, including those attached to mortgages.

If mortgage rates begin rising, and mortgage amounts begin shrinking, buyers may have less buying power in the spring. Listing now may give sellers one last shot at enticing buyers while they have more money to play with.

But Paul Taylor, president and CEO of trade association Mortgage Professionals Canada, isn’t sure a rise in interest rates will impact buyers’ budgets in the next few months.

“Almost everyone is qualifying at a 5.25 per cent stress test rate today,” Taylor says, referring to the benchmark interest rate lenders use to evaluate mortgage applicants’ ability to repay their loans.

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Article content

Even if the Bank of Canada were to raise interest rates by 100 basis points, or one per cent, over the next 12 months, Taylor says buyers who qualified at 5.25 per cent would still have at least 200 basis points worth of breathing room, meaning their mortgage budget “will be effectively unchanged.”

Taylor expects a 0.25 per cent increase in the BoC’s overnight rate, which should trigger a rise in variable mortgage rates, in the spring. He says two additional increases could occur before the end of 2022.

“I expect the media coverage of the tiny rate increases will scare many and slow the market, which is likely very good for everyone, but I don’t think we’ll see enough of a slowdown to erode prices,” Taylor says.

This article provides information only and should not be construed as advice. It is provided without warranty of any kind.

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Why real estate agents are urging Canadians not to wait for spring to sell their house – Financial Post

Published

 on


Rising mortgage rates could mean a spring slowdown for Canada’s housing market

Article content

The pandemic-triggered housing boom has shredded a number of long-standing assumptions Canadians have about real estate.

Advertisement

Article content

Distance from, not nearness to, downtown cores is now a key buyer desire. Communities that were unpopular with buyers two years ago because of a lack of jobs or amenities are some of today’s most active markets. Even taking out a gargantuan mortgage in the midst of a crushing global recession went from “undeniably risky” to “par for the course” seemingly overnight.

And this Great Real Estate Rethink continues: A new survey by real estate brokerage Royal LePage finds that 79 per cent of real estate professionals think sellers should list their homes this winter rather than waiting until spring 2022.

Winter is traditionally the slowest season for home sales in Canada. But buyers have already tossed aside so many real estate traditions. What’s one more?

Advertisement

Article content

Survey says…

The pro-winter listing sentiment is strong across all regions.

Realtors in British Columbia led the way, with 93 per cent of respondents in the province saying they would advise their clients to sell this winter; 87 per cent of agents in Quebec and 85 per cent of those in Atlantic Canada shared the same view.

The proportion of agents in favour of winter listings were lower in Ontario (72 per cent), Alberta (73 per cent) and the remaining prairie provinces, Manitoba and Saskatchewan (75 per cent).

While those numbers are all high, many of the real estate agents surveyed — at least half in every area of the country — were advising their clients to list in the winter even before the pandemic. The reason then is the same as it is today: A painfully low number of homes for sale has created a seller’s market so rabid that weather is the last thing desperate buyers are worried about.

Advertisement

Article content

“Typically we see a seasonal adjustment in real estate activity,” says Adil Dinani of Royal LePage West Real Estate Services in Vancouver. “However, last year, we saw one of the busiest winter markets in our history. Even if there are fewer buyers in the winter, it is unlikely there will be enough inventory on the market to satisfy demand.”

That could be especially true in Toronto, where there were only 7,750 homes left on the market at the end of October.

“That’s versus 17,000 last year,” says Cameron Forbes, general manager and broker at RE/MAX Realtron Realty in Toronto.

But Forbes still believes that a spring listing is better for sellers, pointing out that since 1999 there have, on average, been more homes on the market in the winter in the GTA than in the spring. If selling in a low-supply market is the goal, why not wait until the spring, when the market will be even more depleted?

Advertisement

Article content

“All things being equal, that’s a better time to sell your home,” he says. “That’s why agents will generally recommend that you wait to list in the spring market, when your home shows well and, frankly, when buyers are out looking to buy.”

Low supply vs. the harsh Canadian winter

You may have noticed that the areas where the preference for winter listings were lowest are in parts of the country where winter can be especially brutal. (Ontario’s placement in this category may have more to do with fears around what an extra three or four months might do to the province’s already sky-high prices.)

And this one could be particularly messy. Both The Weather Network and the Farmer’s Almanac are preparing Canadians for a potentially long, storm-filled winter.

Advertisement

Article content

Can sellers in hard-hit markets really plan on buyers being hungry enough to brave the elements and view properties when winter’s at its most miserable?

Regina-based Royal LePage agent Shayla Ackerman, no stranger to extreme winter weather, says listing in the winter is not something she would recommend unless a seller has no other choice.

“Our winter market slows right down,” she says.

But in Montreal, which also receives its fair share of colossal snow-dumps, Century 21 Immo-Plus agent Angela Langtry expects buyers to be out in droves.

“We are still in a low-inventory market, especially for houses,” Langtry says. “I always say that the serious buyers come out in the snow storms.”

A spring housing slowdown?

Capitalizing on raging buyer demand is not the only reason to list your home this winter.

Advertisement

Article content

The Bank of Canada announced in late October that it is ending a key pandemic emergency measure: buying billions of dollars in bonds to keep interest rates low, including those attached to mortgages.

If mortgage rates begin rising, and mortgage amounts begin shrinking, buyers may have less buying power in the spring. Listing now may give sellers one last shot at enticing buyers while they have more money to play with.

But Paul Taylor, president and CEO of trade association Mortgage Professionals Canada, isn’t sure a rise in interest rates will impact buyers’ budgets in the next few months.

“Almost everyone is qualifying at a 5.25 per cent stress test rate today,” Taylor says, referring to the benchmark interest rate lenders use to evaluate mortgage applicants’ ability to repay their loans.

Advertisement

Article content

Even if the Bank of Canada were to raise interest rates by 100 basis points, or one per cent, over the next 12 months, Taylor says buyers who qualified at 5.25 per cent would still have at least 200 basis points worth of breathing room, meaning their mortgage budget “will be effectively unchanged.”

Taylor expects a 0.25 per cent increase in the BoC’s overnight rate, which should trigger a rise in variable mortgage rates, in the spring. He says two additional increases could occur before the end of 2022.

“I expect the media coverage of the tiny rate increases will scare many and slow the market, which is likely very good for everyone, but I don’t think we’ll see enough of a slowdown to erode prices,” Taylor says.

This article provides information only and should not be construed as advice. It is provided without warranty of any kind.

Advertisement

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

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