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Roughly one-third of Liberal cabinet ministers own rental, investment real estate: records – Global News

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Roughly one-third of ministers sitting around the Liberal cabinet table own rental or investment real estate assets, according to their filings with the federal conflict of interest commissioner.

While fully legal, real estate experts say the holdings reflect the degree to which Canadians increasingly view real estate as a financial asset, rather than a place to live.

It also comes as recent data from Canadian financial institutions has demonstrated the growing role of investors in fuelling price growth — a trend Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland billed this week as an issue of “intergenerational injustice.”

Read more:

Sky-high home prices in Canada are ‘intergenerational injustice,’ Freeland says

“One of the things that I am most concerned about as someone who — it shocks me to say this — is 53 years old, is the intergenerational injustice,” Freeland told reporters on Monday.

“We had a better shot at buying a home and starting a family than young people today, and we cannot have a Canada where the rising generation is shut out of the dream of homeownership.”

She was speaking at an event touting measures in the federal budget that the government says will tackle the sky-high prices pushing young Canadians out of homes, by both increasing supply and also cracking down on the financialization of real estate.

Financialization is a term increasingly being used in reference to investors buying up real estate — typically residential real estate that could otherwise serve as starter homes or affordable rental units — and then treating those as financial assets to generate profit, either through resale or raising rents.

According to a Bank of Canada analysis earlier this year, home purchases by investors have outpaced those of first-time homebuyers or even repeat homebuyers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Investors account for one-fifth of home purchases in Canada, that analysis found, while the share of purchases by first-time homebuyers hit a new low last year.

Who owns what?

According to the disclosures filed with the federal conflict of interest commissioner, 12 of the 39 cabinet ministers — 31 per cent — hold real estate assets described by them in those filings as being either for “rental” or “investment” purposes.

That number does not include ministers who hold mortgages unrelated to rental or investment purposes.

Based on conversations with multiple government officials, those declared rental and investment assets range from homes being rented out as well as vacant land, properties used for tourism and properties purchased with the intent to move into them later.

All of that is legal and all of the ministers have fulfilled their duties under Canadian conflict of interest laws to report those assets to the federal conflict of interest commissioner.

Housing Minister Ahmed Hussen, tasked with implementing the government’s promised measures to tackle housing unaffordability, is among those who own a rental property.

His disclosure form states he is the sole owner of a rental property in Ottawa.

Read more:

Federal budget needs more targeted support on housing, advocates say

Freeland does not own domestic rental or investment property in Canada but does own two rental properties with her spouse in London, U.K. She also co-owns a residential property in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Innovation Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne owns two rental properties in the U.K. as well, while nine other cabinet ministers own properties domestically that are described by them in the conflict of interest disclosures as for rental or investment purposes.

Veterans Minister Lawrence MacAulay co-owns a farm rental property located in St-Peter’s Cable Head, Prince Edward Island.


Click to play video: 'No conditions, offers over asking, homes snatched up fast: Edmonton’s real estate market heating up'



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No conditions, offers over asking, homes snatched up fast: Edmonton’s real estate market heating up


No conditions, offers over asking, homes snatched up fast: Edmonton’s real estate market heating up – Mar 3, 2022

Tourism Minister Randy Boissonnault holds what he described as a “nominal interest” in an investment property in Edmonton, Alta. A government official said the property is a condo that Boissonnault co-owns with a friend, and that he holds roughly one per cent of the ownership but doesn’t receive an income from the property.

Indigenous Services Minister Patty Hajdu is the sole owner of a rental property in Thunder Bay, Ont.

The most recent disclosure form for Gudie Hutchings, minister for rural economic development, lists her as jointly owning a real estate holding company in Little Rapids, Nfld., which one official said was related to her past work in the tourism industry before becoming an MP.

Minister for Seniors Kamal Khera is listed as the sole owner of an investment property in Caledon, Ont., and Justice Minister David Lametti is listed as the sole owner of a triplex described as a rental property in Verdun, Que. His office said he lives in one of the units, and rents out the others.

Read more:

Around 40% of parents of young Ontario homeowners helped children with purchase: poll

Minister of National Revenue Diane Lebouthillier stated in her forms that she holds a “significant interest” in a Quebec general partnership that rents out cottages in Sainte-Thérèse-de-Gaspé.

Harjit Sajjan, international development minister, owned a rental property in Osoyoos, B.C., until last year but recently sold that. He now jointly owns one investment property in Whistler, B.C., that an official said is a personal tourist accommodation in a commercial, not residential, facility.

As well, Fisheries Minister Joyce Murray disclosed ownership of two properties in her forms: one rental property in Riondel, a village in B.C.’s Kootenay region, as well as a parcel of vacant land in the region described as being held for investment purposes.


Click to play video: '‘Can’t afford a home? Have you tried finding richer parents?’: MPs debate affordable housing in Canada'



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‘Can’t afford a home? Have you tried finding richer parents?’: MPs debate affordable housing in Canada


‘Can’t afford a home? Have you tried finding richer parents?’: MPs debate affordable housing in Canada – Apr 4, 2022

Parliamentarians owning property isn’t a factor unique to the federal cabinet — MPs from the Conservative Party, NDP and Bloc Quebecois all own real estate assets listed in their disclosure forms as for rental or investment purposes.

But as members of the cabinet, ministers are uniquely positioned in their ability to drive and implement policy change that could aim to lower prices.

“In an ideal world, one’s financial interest doesn’t bias their decisions, but people are human and obviously there is some bias there,” said John Pasalis, president of Realosophy Realty, a Toronto brokerage.

“No one wants to see their financial assets or their retirement plan drop in value, and I think we saw that in the housing minister’s argument several months ago about protecting the financial interests of mom and pop investors.”

Hussen told The Globe and Mail in February that the government didn’t want to take actions that would “negatively affect them because they are actually providing a rental service to a lot of people.”

He said in that interview those investors add to the housing stock by renting out their properties.


Click to play video: 'Real estate market: A look at tactics meant give buyers competitive edge'



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Real estate market: A look at tactics meant give buyers competitive edge


Real estate market: A look at tactics meant give buyers competitive edge – Feb 3, 2022

Pasalis, though, suggested they actually contribute to the challenge.

“If mom and pop investors were not rushing out and buying all of these pre-construction homes because they’re wealthier and they have assets and they have the income, they’d probably be more affordable for households who want to raise their family there long term,” he added.

Paul Kershaw, founder of Generation Squeeze, added that the cabinet minister’s real estate holdings reflect one of the core challenges fuelling sky-high prices in Canadian real estate: the deeply ingrained cultural view among Canadians of real estate as an investment.

“I think it reflects a broader cultural blindness to how we are literally addicted to high and rising home values in a range of ways as we plan our financial savings strategies for down the road,” said Kershaw, an associate professor studying generational equity at the University of British Columbia.

“I don’t want anyone to think these politicians are anything but hardworking. But they also are encultured, which gives us blind spots to see that housing has become this strategy to become wealthy and not just a place to call home,” he added.

“We’re at a moment where we need to choose between those two things.”

How should Canada tackle investment in real estate?

Data released by Statistics Canada on Tuesday showed that between 2019 and 2020, 31 per cent of Ontario’s residential and recreational housing stock was held by people who owned multiple properties.

In Nova Scotia, that number rose to 41 per cent while in New Brunswick and B.C., it sat at 39 per cent and 29 per cent respectively. That data also showed that in all four provinces, the top 10 per cent of property owners earned more than the bottom 50 per cent put together.

Read more:

Upwards of 41% of housing in some provinces held by multiple-property owners

The data did not account for the white-hot surge in homebuying during the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic or the start of this year, which have both seen prices soar to record levels as frustration festers among a growing number of younger as well as middle-class Canadians who are priced out.

Fierce competition has sparked many to routinely waive home inspections or financing requirements, practices real estate experts have warned can put buyers at risk. In the budget, tabled last week, Freeland vowed to make good on a Liberal campaign promise to introduce a bill of rights for homebuyers.

That is expected to include a promised ban on waiving inspections.

Read more:

Budget 2022 — Tax-free savings account coming for first-time homebuyers

While the budget contained a number of new measures targeting housing unaffordability, there remain questions over whether their proposals, including a two-year ban on most foreign buyers and a one-year tightening of the tax rules around flipping residential properties, will make enough of a difference.

Countries like Singapore, for example, have over the last year changed their tax system to put a heavier burden on those who buy up multiple residential properties: a 25 per cent transfer tax on the purchase of secondary homes, and 30 per cent on third or subsequent homes.

For foreign buyers, the purchase tax on residential properties in that country went up from 20 per cent to 30.


Click to play video: 'How interest rates impact the housing market'



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How interest rates impact the housing market


How interest rates impact the housing market – Jan 27, 2022

Some have suggested a longer ban on flipping homes, or tougher down payment requirements for either non-resident buyers or investors, which New Zealand has done recently, should be part of the range of measures needed to bring the unaffordability crisis under control.

“This is not a solution for all of our housing problems. Because at the end of the day, we still have this imbalance between supply and demand,” Pasalis said.

“But what it does is it takes some of the demand out of the market, at least the investor demand, and potentially makes those homes a little bit more available and affordable for people who want to buy them and occupy them themselves. And I think that’s a step forward that we should be moving towards.”

Hussen said in a statement on Wednesday that the measures announced in the budget aim to curb “speculation” and boost supply.

“By putting Canada on the path to double our target to build more homes over the next decade, in partnership with provinces, municipalities, and the private sector, we’re addressing the housing supply shortage across the country,” he said.

“These measures come in addition to crucial programs that will create more jobs, help house those most vulnerable in our communities, and help cool the market as we work to ensure that all Canadians have a safe and affordable place to call home.”

A government official who spoke with Global News said the budget shouldn’t be viewed as ruling out any measures that were not in the plan this year, and that a number of options remain on the table.

The government’s goal, that person said, is to take a “progressive” approach that could yet see more measures layered on top of those in the budget, depending on how well they work.

Economists from BMO and RBC both warned about the brewing risk of letting the overheated market continue unabated in notes to investors last year.

In the separate notes, economists emphasized the need for action that “immediately breaks market psychology and the belief that prices will only rise further,” noting the frenzy threatened to “destabilize the economy down the road if or when a correction occurs, with possible heavy costs for governments.”

Inflation is currently running at 30-year highs, prompting the Bank of Canada to raise rates in a bid to tamp down on the cheap lending rates that helped spur consumer spending during the pandemic.

On Wednesday, citing the need to bring consumer expectations back under control, the Bank of Canada again raised rates in what economists called an “oversized” hike of half a percentage point.

How — and if — that will work to begin cooling the housing market fire remains to be seen.


Click to play video: 'Canadian home prices soar to new heights, averaging $800K'



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Canadian home prices soar to new heights, averaging $800K


Canadian home prices soar to new heights, averaging $800K – Mar 16, 2022

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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UK says energy bill support package must not deter investment – Financial Post

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LONDON — Britain must pay for increased support to households in a way that does not deter investment, Cabinet Office minister Steve Barclay said on Thursday ahead of an expected announcement of new measures to cope with rising energy bills.

Facing intense political pressure to provide more support for billpayers coping with what opponents and campaigners have called a cost-of-living crisis, finance minister Rishi Sunak will give a statement to parliament setting out details of the government’s response.

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“In terms of paying for that, as we look at the balance between how much is done through debt, and how much is done through revenue raising, we need to do that in a way that doesn’t deter investment,” Barclay told Sky News.

Sunak’s announcement is expected to include a 10 billion pound ($12.6 billion) package of support, an energy industry source said, funded in part by a windfall tax on oil and gas producers companies.

Barclay said the government had decided to act after an announcement by the energy regulator earlier this week that a cap on gas and electricity bills was set to rise by another 40% in October.

“What we do recognize … is the government needs to have targeted support, particularly for those most affected by those higher bills,” Barclay told the BBC.

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Global gas prices soared last year when the reopening of world economies from pandemic lockdowns caused demand to return sharply and supply could not keep up. The war in Ukraine has pushed up prices further in 2022.

The government has previously said it is opposed to a windfall tax on energy suppliers because it would deter them from investing in new energy projects.

But that position has shifted as political pressure for action has mounted, with the highest inflation among G7 nations and rising bills pushing many household budgets to the limit.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is also keen to move the conversation away from a damning report detailing a series of illegal lockdown parties at his Downing Street office.

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The opposition Labour Party has campaigned for a windfall tax on oil and gas companies to raise around 2 billion pounds ($2.5 billion), with opinion polls showing public support for such a move.

Asked about a windfall tax, Barclay said he disagreed with the Labour proposal, but declined to give any further details of the government’s new plan, saying it was for Sunak to set out the package to parliament later.

Sunak is expected to speak around 1115 GMT.

INFLATION RISK

Inflation reached a 40-year peak of 9% in April and is projected to rise further, while government forecasts last month showed living standards were set to see their biggest fall since records began in the late 1950s.

In February, the government announced a 9 billion pound support package, including a targeted tax rebate worth 150 pounds per year for 80% of households in England and a 200 pound discount on electricity bills, repayable over five years.

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Media reports said that discount could be increased in Sunak’s package, and the need to repay it dropped.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) economic think tank said any support needed to be aimed at the poorest households, warning that a universal giveaway, including for those who did not need the extra cash, could fuel inflation.

“We do need to be careful,” IFS director Paul Johnson told BBC radio. “Putting … tens of billions into the economy at a time of high inflation could stoke additional demand and make the inflation much more permanent.” ($1 = 0.7963 pounds) (Reporting by Muvija M, writing by William James, editing by Hugh Lawson and Frank Jack Daniel)

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Julien Roman: The Personal Investment Specialist | Mint – Mint

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Julien Roman is a specialist in the field of personal investment. Over the years, he has helped countless people grow their wealth and reach their financial goals. His experience in crafting investment and risk management strategies is second to none, and he has the track record to back it up. From short-term investments to long-term opportunities, Julien provides unique strategies that suit the needs and goals of his followers. But where did it all begin for Julien? Here’s his story.

 

Starting young

Julien’s interest in investment started at a young age.  When he was just a teenager, he invested his own money in the stock market. He quickly learned about the ins and outs of the market and made a name for himself as a successful investor. Since then, Julien has continued to grow his knowledge of the investment world, and he now shares his expertise with others through his YouTube channel.

 

With more than 215,000 subscribers, Julien’s channel is one of the most popular investment-focused channels on YouTube. On this platform, Julien provides analysis of potential investments, discusses current events in the world of finance, and offers tips and advice for those looking to increase their ROI successfully.

 

Becoming an investment specialist

Julien became an investment specialist by reading books, watching tutorial videos, and following the news. He is now responsible for providing analysis of potential investments and advising clients on how to grow their portfolios best. In his role, Julien often meets with senior executives from companies to better understand their business strategies and financial goals. He then uses this information to recommend which investments will be most beneficial for his clients. Julien has been successful in his career thus far, and he plans to continue to help his clients achieve their financial goals in the future.

 

Working as a personal investment consultant

His stint as a personal investment consultant started years ago. Equipped with unparalleled experience, he has already managed to help individuals and families save for their future. He provides customized investment plans based on each client’s unique goals and circumstances, and he takes pride in helping his clients grow their wealth over time. Julien has worked with clients of all ages and levels of experience, and he feels passionate about helping everyone make money. Julien enjoys spending time with his wife and young children in his free time. He is also an avid traveler and enjoys exploring new places.

 

Julien Roman offers some valuable tips to get you started on the right track. First, he emphasizes the importance of setting realistic goals. It’s essential to have a clear idea of what you want to achieve financially, whether saving for retirement or buying a new home. He also recommends creating a budget and sticking to it. This will help you keep track of your spending and ensure that you’re putting your money towards your goals.

 

The personal investment specialist recommends investing in yourself by learning about financial planning. By educating yourself about personal finance, you’ll be better equipped to make intelligent decisions with your money and grow your wealth over time.

 

Disclaimer: This article is a paid publication and does not have journalistic/editorial involvement of Hindustan Times. Hindustan Times does not endorse/subscribe to the content(s) of the article/advertisement and/or view(s) expressed herein. Hindustan Times shall not in any manner, be responsible and/or liable in any manner whatsoever for all that is stated in the article and/or also with regard to the view(s), opinion(s), announcement(s), declaration(s), affirmation(s) etc., stated/featured in the same.

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Westboro Mortgage Investment Fund Announces Bonus Distribution to Unitholders – GlobeNewswire

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TORONTO, May 25, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Westboro Mortgage Investment Fund has paid a bonus distribution of $0.065 per eligible Class F unit. The bonus distribution equals the excess income earned by the fund for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021. The total distribution per unit for the 2021 fiscal year, inclusive of this bonus distribution, was $0.65/unit on a monthly basis, or an annualized return of 6.7%, on a monthly compounded basis. The strong performance of the Westboro Mortgage Investment Fund is a direct result of the following: a) long standing and strong broker client relationships b) best in class staff; and c) conservative and thorough underwriting practices.

“It was a record breaking year filled with a unique set of challenges posed by the pandemic. We will continue to be conservative in our underwriting and portfolio management while being competitive on interest rates and terms offered to our longstanding broker client network. In 2021 and early in 2022 we were fortunate to attract top industry talent to join our already dynamic team. We want to fund the best mortgages, not the most mortgages. Our focus is, and always will be, the preservation of investor capital and providing consistent risk adjusted returns to our mortgage fund investors,” said Nick Christopoulos, CEO of Westboro Mortgage Investment Fund.

About Westboro Mortgage Investment Fund

Westboro Mortgage Investment Fund was established in 2004 as a Mortgage Investment Corporation in the Ottawa region. Throughout the years, the fund has strategically expanded its lending region to include Central and Southwestern Ontario and the Gatineau regional area of Quebec. Today, the fund manages assets in excess of $300 million all while maintaining the primary objective of providing investors with a consistent and stable fixed income solution for their investment portfolio.

To learn more about the Westboro Mortgage Investment Fund, including investment opportunities and qualification criteria please visit www.westboromic.com or contact the Vice President of Fund Sales, Scott Roberts at sroberts@westboromic.com.

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