The red-hot real estate market in Greater Saint John showed no signs of cooling off in November.
A total of 225 homes were sold last month which, according to the Saint John Real Estate Board, set a new monthly record.
That is an increase of just over 30 per cent compared with the same month last year.
Year-to-date home sales are now more than 10 per cent higher than this time a year ago.
Corey Breau, president of the real estate board, said home sales continue to defy expectations.
“I think it is safe to say that when the pandemic started back in the spring, very few people could have predicted that this would turn out to be the best year for sales our region has ever recorded,” said Breau in a news release.
“Yet with just one month left to go, we have already surpassed the full 2019 sales total.”
Despite the record-breaking home sales, new listings have struggled to keep pace with sales, with only 204 new listings in November.
The number of active residential listings now stands at 733 units — levels not seen in more than 15 years.
Months of inventory — the number of months it would take to sell current inventories at the current rate of sales activity — numbered 3.3 at the end of November, well below the long-run average of 12 months for this time of year.
Those low levels have pushed the year-to-date average home sale price to $198,035, up eight per cent year-over-year.
The Saint John Real Estate Board covers the southern part of New Brunswick to the U.S. border in St. Stephen and includes the counties of Saint John, Kings, Charlotte and portions of Queens.
Canadian commercial real estate services firm acknowledges cyberattack – Saskatoon StarPhoenix
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The spokesperson was mum when asked to confirm if the attack was ransomware, that files had been copied, whether the information affected was corporate or personal, and, if personal, did it involve current and former employees.
In its most recent quarterly financial statement for the period ending September 30, 2020, Colliers said it had a net income of just under $32 million on revenues of just over US$692 million. According to its 2019 financial results at the beginning of last year, it had about 15,000 employees.
Colliers performs a number of services for real estate firms including property management, sales and appraisals as well as tenant representation.
The Netfilim website entry for Colliers has the headline “Part 1,” suggesting the two files it has posted proves the firm was compromised and could be followed by more trouble.
According to Brett Callow, a British Columbia-based threat researcher for Emsisoft, Nefilim was first noticed in the spring of last year and has since racked up a string of enterprise-space victims including Whirlpool, MAS Holdings, Luxottica and Australian logistics company Toll Group. “Unlike most other big game-hunting groups, Nefilim appears to be a closed shop rather than a ransomware-as-a-service provider, which may explain why the group is less active others,” he said in an email. “The group typically uses Microsoft RDP (remote desk protocol) and other public-facing applications for initial access of victims. Frequently, it also exploits unpatched versions of Citrix’s Application Delivery Controller going after CVE-2019-19781.”
Local firm anticipates Spring surge in Fort Saskatchewan real estate market – Mayerthorpe Freelancer
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“Looking at the cyclical nature of the real estate industry, combined with suppressed demand during lockdown, we’re going to see an uncapped demand. People are antsy and they want to get looking for their new home.”
Revere Real Estate is a local real estate firm, tracking market trends in order to give their clients the best home-buying experience possible.
Records have been set in real estate throughout COVID, including in November 2020, which Blais pointed to as an “historical month,” with an increase in sales of 27 per cent over the same timeframe in 2019.
Similarly, October 2020 home sales in the Edmonton region grew by 26 per cent compared to the same month in 2019. “The numbers we saw were unheard of for the fall,” he said. “November is typically the month that things really cool off, but sales remained steady.”
The new surge could prove hugely beneficial for Fort Saskatchewan, specifically, Blais said, as suburbs and more rural areas surrounding Edmonton could see significant real estate gains through COVID.
“Anecdotally, I was helping a client out in St. Albert look for a home in the range of $450,000, and every home we identified had offers accepted within three days of going to market,” he said. “It was crazy, and I think we’ll see that again in certain areas in and around the city.”
Noting that similar experiences are being had in Fort Saskatchewan, Blais pointed to anticipated growth in the Fort come the spring. “There’s quite a bit of development that continues outside of the City of Edmonton, and we’re also seeing what I call ‘perpetual urban sprawl’ in Edmonton,” he explained. “Developers have met that demand pretty well, expanding into regions that used to be farmland, so you can now get into single-family homes for under $425,000 just west of the city.
Canadian pension funds hunt for pandemic real estate bargains – CTV News
Canadian pension funds are seeking to boost their real estate investments, betting the slumping property market will recover as the COVID-19 pandemic recedes and office workers and city dwellers return to downtown properties.
Canadian pension funds held $278.7 billion in property assets in 2019, up 4% from 2018, according to the Pension Investment Association of Canada, making them the country’s largest real estate owners.
In a world of slower economic growth, very low interest rates, volatility in equity markets, real estate offers an attractive opportunity for pension funds, which take a long-term investment horizon, say market participants.
“We’re looking for buying opportunities,” said Hilary Spann, head of Americas real estate at CPP Investments, which manages $456.7 billion. CPP’s real estate portfolio generated 5.1% return for the year ended March 2020.
CPP announced a U.S. joint venture with Greystar Real Estate Portfolio to build multiple separate housing units this month, a deal that was initiated pre-pandemic.
In November, it signed an agreement with Hudson Pacific Properties to acquire an office tower in Seattle. Spann said a lot of buyers that would have been competitive in the Seattle deal were temporarily on the sidelines. “So we were able to step in and pick up that asset at yields that we thought were quite attractive.”
OFFICE VACANCIES CLIMB
As the pandemic forced many staff to work from home, the office vacancy rate in Canada hit a 16-year high of 13.4% in 2020, according to data from broker CBRE. Downtown offices were hit harder.
“I think pension funds are very well aware that…there are times when values dip a bit and vacancies go up but overall real estate assets are a great part of any pension fund portfolio,” Paul Morassutti, CBRE Canada vice-chairman said.
CPP’s Spann said while both rental markets and office may suffer in the short-term, it was expected that both markets would return when the pandemic comes to an end.
“Office may fall in the short term but in the long term, as everybody does start coming back to the office, I think it’s fair to say you may see a reversal,” she said, adding that the things that made places like New York and San Francisco vibrant will remain.
Kristopher Wojtecki, managing director for real estate at PSP Investments, told Reuters the fund had been increasing exposure in select sectors including single family rental and production studio real estate during the pandemic.
However, Canada’s second-largest pension fund, Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, is taking a contrarian approach. A spokeswoman for Ivanhoé Cambridge, the real estate subsidiary of Caisse, said the fund is cutting exposure in traditional asset classes and prioritizing opportunities in growth sectors which include logistics and residential office buildings among others.
Grant McGlaughlin, partner at law firm Fasken, said he did not see any drastic moves on pension funds getting rid of their real estate portfolios.
“I think that’s the right thesis that there is no point selling into a low,” he said.
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