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Real estate market hits new heights in the National Capital Region – CBC.ca

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The number of house sales, along with property property prices, soared in the National Capital Region last year and isn’t showing any signs of slowing down.

The trend looks set to continue in 2020, but comes at a time when the region is grappling with a lack of affordable housing.

“Each quarter, the properties have increased in value,” said Angelo Toscano, a real estate agent based in Orléans.

One of the biggest factors driving the increase is market demand.

“We started the year fairly stable. We were looking at about three buyers for each property. Now we have eight buyers per property,” said Toscano. 

This demand often results in bidding wars between buyers, with the winner often paying above the list price.

Real estate agent Angelo Toscano said that high demand for Ottawa houses often leads to bidding wars. (Radio-Canada)

A similar trend is also happening in Gatineau, Que., according to the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

Last year was the fifth straight year that sales grew in the city, according to Lukas Jasmin-Tucci, a spokesperson for the corporation.

The forecast for 2020 is similar, with prices expected to increase 10 to 12 per cent, he said.

That’s putting strain on first-time home buyers who can find themselves priced out of the market.

Young people are less likely to enter the real estate market these days, according to the CMHC. Instead, many of them continue renting. 

As real estate continues to become more expensive, this trend will continue, said Jasmin-Tucci. 

Affordable housing shortage

While the real estate market is going strong, the region is also struggling with a lack of affordable housing.

Many organizations have been sounding the alarm for months. The CMHC estimates that Ottawa’s rental housing vacancy rate was at 1.6 per cent in 2018, the last year for which there is data.

Across the Ottawa River, the vacancy rate in Gatineau, Que., sits at 1.2 per cent, the lowest in the province. The Quebec government has put in place an emergency assistance program to help people who are homeless, as well as to assist cities that are coping with a housing shortage. 

House prices are expected to jump between 10 and 12 per cent in 2020. (Trevor Pritchard/CBC)

While the price of homes in the region continues to grow, advocacy groups persist in their push for investments in affordable housing. 

There are approximately 10,000 people on the waiting list for social housing in Ottawa, according to data from the City of Ottawa.

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Business report: Real estate market 'overheating' in the GTHA – CityNews

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3 Solid Real Estate Stocks for Your TFSA | The Motley Fool Canada – The Motley Fool Canada

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Real estate has always been attractive to investors. One of the major reasons is that it’s one of the few investments that are backed by hard assets. But the problem comes with the capital. Even a small apartment in the suburbs will require substantial capital for investment — something not many investors have. And taking out a mortgage to fund your investment might backfire if the market takes a nosedive.

But there is an alternative: invest in REITs and other real estate companies. You can start with much smaller capital and expect decent returns. And another benefit is that investing in real estate stocks will be passive, and you won’t be exposed to the many responsibilities of a land/property owner.

Industrial real estate

WPT Industrial REIT (TSX:WIR.U) is a Toronto-based company with 75 properties (74 industrial and one office) across 18 U.S. states. The total area of these properties covers 22.3 million sq. ft., and they are worth about $1.5 billion. Currently, almost all of the company’s properties are occupied. Long-term industrial tenants mean that WPT Industrial REIT has relatively dependable cash flows.

The company offers a juicy yield of 5.23%, and it has increased monthly payouts just once in the past five years. The payout yield is very stable at 48.24%. The market value of the company is $14.52 per share, which is a result of 23.8% growth in the past five years, resulting in a CAGR of 4.36%. The company seems highly profitable, with a profit margin of 77.7%.

Industrial and logistics real estate

The tried-and-tested Dividend Aristocrat, Granite REIT (TSX:GRT.UN), is one of the major players in the industrial and logistics properties in the country. The company has a diversified portfolio, with 90 properties in nine countries — mostly in Canada, the U.S., and Germany. The rest of the properties are in European countries. Most of the tenants in Granite properties are established businesses and blue-chip companies.

Granite is offering a decent yield of almost 4% at the time of writing, at the minimal payout ratio of 34.79%. A much better number that the company is offering is its CAGR of 10.53%. The company has seen steady growth in the past five years, with market value increased by 65%. Currently, the company is trading at $73 per share.

Residential real estate

This might seem like a risky option, but the substantial dividend yield and growth potential earns Wall Financial (TSX:WFC) a place on this list. It’s a residential property manager. It develops and sells residential properties and manages rental and hotel properties.

The company is unique in the sense that it pays annual dividends. It’s only been at it for four years and has increased the payouts by $1 per share for three consecutive years. Currently, it’s offering a monstrous yield of 8.74%. But the best part about Wall Financial is its growth and CAGR. The company has grown its market value by 185% in the past five years, which comes out to a CAGR of 23.36%. Currently, the company is trading at $35 per share.

Foolish takeaway

$10,000 apiece in the three real estate companies might earn you over $9,000 in dividends and $27,000 in capital gains, essentially well over doubling up your starting capital. If the companies keep growing the same way, you will have a sizable enough nest egg sitting in your TFSA through the three real estate companies.


Fool contributor Adam Othman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

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REAL ESTATE: The affordability crisis within the BC land market – Agassiz-Harrison Observer

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The ugly truth is that the continual rising benchmarks in private property prices are harming the balance of the real estate market across the province. The high prices are not prized by a very large segment of B.C.’s citizens, including young families, singles and seniors. Yes, higher prices are a big help to existing homeowners with equity in their landholdings whose return will see them have ample monies to relocate for lifestyle and other opportunities. It is nice to see average people get ahead, and actually see some return on investment for their hard earned dollars spent paying down years of their mortgages.

But the flip side to our ever-increasing high market prices is the exclusion of a whole segment that used to be a part of the market equation – the new buyer. Single mothers and fathers, and individual title holders that seek mortgages are having to make cutting sacrifices to achieve home ownership. No longer can you count on that if you must sell your home and relocate that you can even afford to get back into the market in the location you want or need to live in.

The property ownership truth these citizens are facing in 2020 is summed up by the word: unaffordable.

Unaffordable housing in this province has reached critical in many regions and is one of the biggest market issues facing B.C. We have outgrown our available private land base and the pressure building behind these growing pains has also caused an affordability crisis in rental housing markets province-wide. The provincial & federal government implemented shortsighted policies that further exacerbated the issue. The foreign buyers speculation tax was implemented with loophole jumping geographical boundaries that put pressure on unprotected sensitive areas of agricultural land that was carelessly excluded in their planning.

The increasing demand for land coupled with low interest rates, 25-year amortization mortgages coupled with household debt load, and the low market inventory is actually further diminishing the capacity for the market to correct by reducing the amount of new buyers and buyers who need to move or upgrade. New buyers are desperately needed to keep the market balanced and the economy stable; they historically bought into a low-priced starter home to enter the market.

Starter home prices really don’t exist anymore. Everything we consume and use has also risen in price over the last several years, but wages have not. The real estate market is fundamentally built and balances itself on the supply and demand. Our domestic demand combined with foreign demand all competing in an ever-diminishing pool of available listings has but one predictable outcome – that prices will continue to rise!

In my 20’s, there was never a doubt in my mind that I would graduate post-secondary and then go on to a job that would allow me to own my own home, where I would marry and raise my family. I had envisioned that my children would be able to do the same. The reality is far from that as we prepare to turn the page into March 2020. The least affordable markets in Canada are in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland, Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley. An article released in October 2019 by New Geography journalist Wendell Cox stated that statistics show young families are faced with saving for over 40 years to come up with a down payment to purchase condo, semi-detached and single family homes, providing they can find a mortgage provider that will qualify them through the B20 Stress Testing. That paints a very hopeless and frustrating picture for the next generation.

Where will our young families have to go to be able to afford a home where they have good-paying jobs and access to schools? Will the next generation of children never experience the freedom and healthy lifestyle a private home with a safe yard affords? And we wonder, why socialism as an ideology is gaining interest amongst millennials and young adults? The equality gap has not just widened – it is now a gaping canyon that needs some immediate attention to bridge.

In my opinion, the number-one option would be to release one- to two-per cent of specifically chosen crown land holdings into the private market, to first and foremost balance the inventory available. This would immediately have an effect on the rising costs due to low inventory counts. A large portion of this released crown land should be legislated for use by only by domestic low income, multi-family and semi-detached dwelling projects. Release the land, create jobs to bolster the economy build the affordability back into the housing market across the province. Of BC’s total land base, only 5% is private saleable land, over 90 per cent of the provinces crown owned landholdings are not in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) or have Indigenous Land Claims. The land that is set aside in the ALR could then be saved from residential and commercial construction pressure and put to its best use which is growing our food supply. Removing too much of the provinces best agricultural land in the upper Fraser Valley could impact future ability for food production for the growing population.

This is a viable solution to the issue that doesn’t include band-aids that ultimately create more tax revenue for the government than they do actual good for the citizens they represent.

In summation, the most immediate federal, provincial and municipal cooperation in process is needed to take action and correct the real issues of what is pricing our own young out of living in this province. What are we ultimately building? A healthy prosperous society or a healthy bank account for the already wealthy banks and corporations?

Freddy Marks, together with his daughter Linda Marks, runs Agassiz’s 3A Group Sutton Showcase Realty. He has been a Realtor in Canada and Germany for more than 30 years, and currently lives in Harrison Hot Springs.

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