The pandemic has blurred the line between recreational real estate and primary residences, with the former catching the incredible upturn in prices being seen by the latter.
On the Sunshine Coast, a recreational region a BC Ferries ride from West Vancouver, the median price of a detached house increased 34.6 per cent in March, compared to a year earlier. This was the second- highest increase of any market, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, second only to Bowen Island, and twice as high as the average price increase in Greater Vancouver.
Across Canada, average property prices in the recreational regions will increase 15 per cent in 2021 to crest over $500,000, according to Royal LePage, which has upwardly revised its November 2020 price forecast to reflect a shortage of inventory and soaring demand.
“From coast to coast, the line between primary residence and recreational property is blurring,” said Phil Soper, president and CEO, Royal LePage. “The trend began last summer when the option of traveling abroad was taken away, and continued to gain popularity as it became clear that with access to high-speed internet, many people can do their jobs from just about anywhere.”
In 2020, the average price of a house in Canada’s recreational property regions increased 16 per cent year-over-year to $437,156 in 2020 compared to 2019. During the same period, the aggregate price of a waterfront property increased 9.8 per cent to $813,385 and the aggregate price of a condominium rose 10.5 per cent to $310,257.
A survey of 190 Royal LePage recreational real estate professionals across the country, found that 91 per cent said that their market has less inventory than typical for their region, including 72 per cent that reported significantly less inventory available.
Houses in the recreational regions of Ontario and Atlantic Canada are forecast to see the highest price appreciation in the country this year, set to increase 17 per cent, while prices in Quebec and British Columbia are forecast to increase 15 per cent and 13 per cent, respectively.
In B.C., 52 per cent of agents said a shortage of listings and rising demand is forcing buyers into multiple-offer situations, which often result in properties selling above the asking price. As in Atlantic Canada, two-thirds of B.C. agents say they have seen an influx of buyers from out-of-province during the pandemic, Soper added, and many of them are young buyers.
A Royal LePage survey released in February found that 47 per cent of Canadians aged 25 to 35 said they would choose to small town or country living over living in a city if given a choice. Fifty-two per cent said the availability of remote work has increased their likelihood to move further from their current or future place of work. Overall, 39 per cent of this cohort are considering a move from their current home to a less dense area as a result of the pandemic, the study said.
” Access to high-speed internet and the ability to work remotely are among the top criteria for those seeking properties in recreational regions, followed closely by four-season usability,” Soper said.
The average price of a house in B.C.’s recreational regions is forecast to increase 13 per cent in 2021 to $781,918. In 2020, the aggregate price of a house in the province’s recreational markets increased 12.9 per cent year-over-year to $691,963 compared to 2019. During the same period, the average price of a waterfront property increased 2.7 per cent to $1.74 million, according to Royal LePage.
Despite its 34 per cent price surge, year-over-year, the benchmark price of a Sunshine Coast house in March was $765,000, compared to a Greater Vancouver benchmark of $1.7 million.
In the central Okanagan, where the B.C. Real Estate Association reports that detached house prices increased 12 per cent in 2020, compared to 2019, to $588,000, local agents are bracing for a record-setting year.
“Our biggest challenge right now is extremely low inventory and increased buyer demand,” said Francis Braam, broker, Royal LePage Kelowna. “I expect we’ll see double digit price gains this spring.”
In Whistler and Pemberton, remote work and low borrowing costs remain a driving force behind increasing prices, agents say.
On the Sunshine Coast region, a BC Ferries trip from West Vancouver,
In Alberta, the average price of a detached house in recreational markets, such as in the Rockies or Sylvan Lake, is expected to increase 6 per cent this year to $942,881.
“Canmore is seeing unparalleled demand from people,” said Brad Hawker, managing broker, Royal LePage Rocky Mountain Realty. “A growing segment of young and middle-aged buyers are seeking primary residences in the area.”
On the Prairies, recreational real estate prices are forecast to increase 9 per cent in 2021 to $260,862. Top areas are Manitoba’s interlake regions close to Winnipeg, agents say.
Forest Gate buys Niagara Falls shopping centre | RENX – Real Estate News EXchange
Forest Gate Financial Corp. has acquired a Niagara Falls shopping centre as the newly formed investment firm begins building a portfolio and executing on its strategy to acquire a diverse range of properties.
The Mount Carmel Centre was purchased from a private investment group for $37 million. The 30-acre site at 3930 Montrose Rd. is occupied by a shopping centre with tenants that include Food Basics, The Sleep Factory, Tim Hortons, Swiss Chalet and Harvey’s, among several other retailers and food, beverage and service providers.
“We really believe in the Niagara Falls market and think this is an excellent opportunity for us,” Forest Gate chief executive officer and managing partner Dan Marinovic told RENX. “We like the site because it’s a very large property that we feel we can add value to.”
Forest Gate will manage the property, which is in close proximity to a residential neighbourhood and Mount Carmel Park. Niagara Falls has natural attractions, a strong tourism industry and a manufacturing base.
The city will benefit from improved GO Transit service, which Marinovic believes will make it an attractive location for people looking to work remotely while seeking a more affordable and relaxed lifestyle than can be found in larger markets.
Forest Gate seeks variety of asset classes
While there are no immediate plans for redevelopment, the Mount Carmel Centre site is large enough to accommodate future multifamily and mixed-use development.
Forest Gate is establishing a stand-alone purpose-built rental apartment vertical and Marinovic said it has close to 500 units under management or in its acquisition pipeline.
The company is looking to add at least 1,000 units annually over the next several years. It’s targeting value-add opportunities in Southern Ontario communities like Niagara Falls where there’s access to public transit and pleasant environments for living and working from home.
Forest Gate is also seeking income-producing industrial and retail properties, as well as development and redevelopment opportunities.
The Vaughan-headquartered boutique real estate private equity, private debt and advisory investment firm was launched in March by Marinovic and partner and chief financial officer Frank DelZotto to deliver premium risk-adjusted returns on its own and in partnerships with developers, builders, investors and capital providers.
Forest Gate can be nimble in making acquisitions and Marinovic is excited by the momentum the company has achieved in its first six months.
“We’re big believers in the Canadian real estate landscape, especially as things start to normalize and we get immigration back to pre-pandemic levels,” said Marinovic. “We’re looking at very significant growth over the next 12 months.”
The Forest Gate team
Marinovic was most recently chief development officer of Dream Unlimited, where his responsibilities covered finance, development, construction and operations. Before joining Dream in 2013 he was vice-president of finance for First Gulf, the commercial real estate arm of Great Gulf, for seven years.
DelZotto was previously a partner at BDO Canada LLP for 19 years.
Forest Gate just hired Justin Hawkins, formerly First Gulf’s senior manager of development and planning, as director of development. Hawkins worked for RioCan REIT, Dream and SmartCentres REIT before that.
Vaughan-based home-builder Treasure Hill Homes is a partner in Forest Gate. Forest Gate’s advisory board is comprised of Marinovic, DelZotto, Treasure Hill president Nicholas Fidei and Treasure Hill CFO Mark Caruso.
Blackwood family donates $10M to Va. Tech real estate program – Virginia Business Magazine
Podcast: What triggered a record-breaking Ottawa real estate deal – Ottawa Business Journal
A record-setting residential real estate deal takes centre stage in the latest episode of Behind the Headlines.
To hear the full podcast with OBJ publisher Michael Curran and editor David Sali, please watch the video above. Prefer an audio version of this podcast? Listen to it on SoundCloud or Spotify.
MC: We know the business audience likes big numbers, and this is a big number: a quarter of a billion dollars. This is a three-building rental apartment complex in Westboro, and it sold for $267 million. We think it’s the largest residential real estate deal in Ottawa history. Dave, tell us about it.
DS: CBRE brokered this historic deal. It actually took three of their offices – Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal – working together to get this deal done. That’s how big it was. The buyer is Homestead Land Holdings out of Kingston. They already own a couple of dozen properties in Ottawa along with dozens more across the province. As Nico Zentil of CBRE’s Ottawa office told me, it is just very rare that you would see a property of this scale ever come on the market in Ottawa because we have a pretty tightly controlled market here. This is part of Homestead’s play to expand its footprint here – they also recently filed an application to build a 25-storey apartment tower with 235 units near Baseline and Greenbank. Clearly, they’re wanting to go big in what they think is going to be a big bounceback for the Ottawa rental market. Zentil said the properties were hotly pursued and got multiple bidders. That’s a testament to the strength of the Ottawa residential market right now.
As you know, last year wasn’t great for the rental market in Ottawa. With the pandemic, two big groups that are normally pretty steady, reliable renters – students and new immigrants – well, there weren’t many of those coming to the capital last year, so that caused a little bit of a dip in the rental market for sure. But the general consensus seems to be that things are ready to bounce back.
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