Over the last year, the property sector has undergone major transformations, including the acceleration of technology adoption. These changes have put a brighter spotlight on proptech startups looking to innovate in the sector.
A new report reveals details on the Canadian PropTech landscape, examining the key players, emerging trends, and insights into how the Canadian real estate industry is transforming.
Out of 300 startups surveyed, approximately 60 percent are in the early stages of their growth.
The report comes from Proptech Collective, a group of real estate professionals, technologists, and entrepreneurs, with partners including PwC, the Business Development Bank of Canada, and Alate Partners. The data in the report is based on several sources including Pitchbook, Crunchbase, Alate Partners, and interviews conducted by the Proptech Collective.
According to a 2020 report from PwC, the real estate industry was on the verge of “widespread proptech adoption” prior to the pandemic. A similar report from KPMG identified digitization as a key trend in the real estate industry.
“One of the biggest legacies of this pandemic will be the acceleration of digital transformation,” KPMG said. “The impact of digitization on asset classes such as office, retail and leisure space cannot be underestimated.”
Proptech Collective’s report also noted that COVID-19 has accelerated the adoption of technology in both the real estate and construction industries, meaning Proptech startups are playing a key role in the future of the “physical space.”
CEOs the group spoke to indicated the effects of the pandemic are here to stay, and that startups have the opportunity to simplify and digitize existing processes.
According to the study, out of 300 startups surveyed, approximately 60 percent are in the early stages of their growth. Sixty-seven percent of proptech startups in Canada were founded after 2014, and of the startups studied, 59 percent are at the pre-seed, angel, or seed stage of their growth.
The report noted that these early-stage companies are drawing capital from large investors in both Canada and the United States, including FJ Labs, which has invested in Properly and Tread. Some of the most notable Canadian proptech investors include Alate Partners, Groundbreak Ventures, and Greensoil PropTech Ventures.
Four out of five Canadian proptech startups are located in what the report called Canada’s top five hubs: Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Kitchener-Waterloo. Notably, nearly half (46 percent) of all Canadian proptech companies are based in the Greater Toronto Area.
Among the most-funded proptech startups in Canada is Sonder, which has raised $698 million CAD to date, Ecobee with $203 million to date, Properly with $118 million to date, and Breather with $162 million to date, the latter notably among a certain type of proptech startups that have been negatively affected by the pandemic.
PwC’s report noted that although equity funding in proptech is projected to fall slightly to $8.4 billion USD, industry digitization has truly accelerated amid COVID-19.
Last year, Clinton Robinson, CEO of proptech startup Lane, which offers an office space communication platform and is backed by Alate Partners, told BetaKit Lane saw demand for its services double since the pandemic hit.
Proptech Collective also noted some key areas within proptech that Canadian companies are looking to innovate. These categories include building automation and IoT, with startups in these areas including ThoughtWire and BrainBox AI, and co-working space, with Breather and Flexday being notable startups.
Other notable categories include energy management (startups in this category include Parity and Ecobee) and construction tech (startups in this category include Bridgit and Indus.ai).
Real estate companies that Proptech Collective spoke to indicated there is a strong demand for analytics and platform-as-a-service as they look to keep up with the acceleration of the industry.
Venture capital investors that participated in this report noted that though the demand for tech solutions to help address issues in real estate is there, startups will require industry expertise and will need to leverage Canada’s deep talent pool in order to meet the moment.
Image source Unsplash. Photo by Tierra Mallorca.
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Vancouver real estate: homes with killer views command premium prices, and here's why they sell well in summer – The Georgia Straight
Most people simply want a roof over their heads.
Others with deep pockets look for something extra that may seem somewhat abstract to some.
They want views, and they’re willing to pay more.
“What’s in a view?” longtime Vancouver realtor David Hutchinson asked.
Well, it seems that it means a lot.
“In Vancouver we are spoilt. We love the views. Many people that leave Vancouver come back and say they missed the mountains,” Hutchinson told the Straight.
But how do you put a cost on a view?
“I had a client once, the house was overpriced, and whenever I brought up a price reduction, the seller would say, ‘But what about the view?’,” Hutchinson related.
In Vancouver, there are detached homes, townhouses, and condos that feature wonderful views, and the Sutton Group-West Coast Realty agent noted that they “all come with a price tag”.
What is the premium for a view?
Hutchinson noted that it can be tricky to peg a standard price.
He cited by way of example the pricing of outdoor patios, where one can soak in view.
Let’s say there’s a 1,000-square-foot condo priced at $1,000 a square foot. The condo unit has an 800-square-foot patio. How much is the patio?
“One realtor once told me that he prices it at half the price of the square foot price of the interior space, so $500 per square foot in this case,” Hutchinson said.
Again, how do you price a view?
“Some buyers will insist on a view, and will sacrifice a smaller home for expansive space that a view can sometimes give,” Hutchinson said.
The Sutton Group-West Coast Realty agent once had a retired client, who sold his home in Langley, and bought a condo in New Westminster.
“He asked me, ‘Do you know why I wanted a condo here?’ I said ‘no’, and he told me he wanted a view of the Fraser River. It’s a working river, he said. There is always something to see,” Hutchinson recalled.
There is one thing to consider though, the realtor pointed out.
“It rains a lot in Vancouver, and that expensive view can disappear for the much of the year,” Hutchinson said.
That’s why it’s always easier to sell on sunny days, he said.
“It’s like a completely different city during summer” Hutchinson said.
There are areas in Vancouver that offer a lot of views.
One is False Creek.
“Why do people like False Creek? Because you get the water and view of the city from just across the water. When you’re in the city, you don’t get a view of the city, but from False Creek you get the full view of the city, water and mountains,” Hutchinson said.
“Yaletown has great views, and you pay for them,” Hutchinson said.
He once had a client who loved Yaletown, and the proximity to shops, parks and restaurants.
“I showed him many condos, but he insisted on facing west. He wanted the sunset view,” Hutchinson said.
The Sutton Group-West Coast Realty agent noted that in the downtown peninsula, Coal Harbour has “always been the preferred view destination, especially for those new to the city”.
“The views of the water and mountains always impress them. In Yaletown and West End, there are some very lovely water views, but Coal Harbour gets the ocean views with the backdrop of the mountains. It’s a picture-perfect postcard,” Hutchinson said.
So for those new to Vancouver and who came from places without the mountain ranges, Coal Harbour properties are “sold”.
“In my opinion, that is why Coal Harbour can demand an extra 10 percent in pricing compared to Yaletown,” Hutchinson said.
Vatican Owns Over 5,000 Properties Worldwide, It Reveals In First Disclosures On Its Real Estate Holdings – Forbes
The Vatican owns more than 5,000 church and investment properties around the world, a central office at the Catholic Church revealed for the first time Saturday, according to several news outlets — but the church is struggling with a budget deficit, plus years of alleged mismanagement tied to its investment strategy.
Most of the Vatican’s real estate holdings (4,051) are in Italy, the majority of which are used by church-affiliated groups or rented out at reduced prices instead of getting leased at market rate, according to a report from the church-run Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See (APSA) obtained by Reuters, Catholic News Service and other outlets.
APSA also reportedly holds over 1,000 properties in London, Geneva, Paris and other cities outside Italy, including a London real estate investment the Vatican controversially sank more than $400 million into nearly a decade ago.
Forbes has reached out to the Vatican for comment.
The Roman Curia — the Catholic Church’s central administrative body — ran a $76.3 million operating deficit in 2020, down from a $93.2 million deficit in 2019, according to a budget statement obtained Saturday by the Jesuit America magazine. In an interview with the church-run Vatican News, church official Father Juan Antonio Guerrero Alves called the Curia’s 2020 performance “better than what we expected,” partly because the church slashed expenses during the coronavirus pandemic. The church reported a larger overall deficit in 2020 than 2019, however, largely due to a drop in unrealized financial gains.
The Vatican’s financial practices — and particularly its real estate holdings — have drawn scandal and scrutiny for years. Pope Francis reorganized how the church’s real estate investments are overseen last year, following years of sometimes fraught attempts to reform the Curia amid claims of embezzlement and endemic financial mismanagement. Several people are on trial for allegedly scamming the church out of millions of dollars in connection with its London real estate investment nearly a decade ago.
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