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The Daily Chase: Toronto real estate broker laughs at housing pledges; Fed decision day – BNN

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Toronto real estate broker John Pasalis laughed at Greg when asked about campaign housing pledges and whether any of them make sense for addressing affordability. Check out that refreshingly candid reaction, and why Pasalis (like many other guests we’ve spoken with) fears the Liberals’ strategy will backfire and actually drive up prices. Mattamy Homes Founder Peter Gilgan was even more blunt, telling us “we need to declare that we’re at war with affordability.” We’ll have plenty more insight in the days ahead about what to expect in Justin Trudeau’s third mandate, including this afternoon when CAPREIT CEO Mark Kenney joins Greg to discuss the Liberals’ targeting of real estate investment trusts. We’ll note here that the Prime Minister’s Office released a readout yesterday evening from Trudeau’s call with U.S. President Joe Biden; the two “committed to getting together in person soon.”

FED DAY

Markets will find out this afternoon if the U.S. Federal Reserve is prepared to fine-tune its language about taper timing. Last we heard from Chair Jerome Powell in his Jackson Hole speech, he confirmed that the central bank thinks it will be in a position to scale back asset purchases before the end of this year, but signaled “considerable” progress was still needed to attain maximum employment. Since then, we saw August non-farm payrolls that fell way short of expectations. The policy statement and updated forecasts land at 2 p.m.; followed by Powell’s news conference a half hour later.

EVERGRANDE WATCH

The debt-laden Chinese property developer that’s captured the financial world’s attention amid concern (seemingly misplaced, at least for now) that it could be heading toward a Lehman moment has managed to assuage some immediate fear, while simultaneously stirring confusion. China Evergrande Group said in a regulatory filing that it “resolved” an interest payment coming due tomorrow, without providing many details. Meanwhile, less than 24 hours ago, Bloomberg Intelligence Analyst Damian Sassower told us the big question surrounding Evergrande was what the People’s Bank of China was prepared to do about it. Overnight, it pumped additional liquidity into the financial system in a reverse repo operation. That all added up to a steady session in Asia, where the Shanghai Composite closed flat after a two-day holiday.

OTHER NOTABLE STORIES

  • FedEx had a rough fiscal first quarter as profit fell year-over-year amid supply chain woes and a US$450-million jump in costs due to what the company calls a “constrained labour market.” The parcel shipper cut its full-year profit forecast as a result. Shares have been down more than five per cent in pre-market trading.
  • The U.S. House of Representatives cleared the SAFE Banking Act last night, meaning the U.S. cannabis industry is one step closer to freer access to banking services.
  • Celestica announced last night that it’s paying US$306 million to acquire Singapore-based electronics manufacturer PCI Limited. Celestica, which also raised its profit forecast, said the deal will add more than 20 “blue-chip” customers to its business. CEO Rob Mionis is on The Open at 10:10 a.m.
  • Telus International announced a secondary offering of 12 million shares after yesterday’s closing bell. None of the proceeds are flowing to the company. TIXT shares have surged almost 22 per cent since their first day of trading in February.
  • Walt Disney Co. shares have steadied in pre-market trading after an abrupt five per cent plunge yesterday afternoon on the heels of a management warning about Disney+ subscriber additions this quarter.
  • Reminder that Ontario’s COVID vaccine passport program takes effect today, forcing venues including restaurants, bars, and movie theatres to screen patrons for full vaccination.

NOTABLE RELEASES/EVENTS

  • Notable data: Canadian manufacturing sales flash estimate, U.S. existing home sales
  • Notable earnings: BlackBerry, General Mills
  • 8:30: Wheaton Precious Metals investor day
  • 9:10: Suncor Energy East Coast Vice-President Josee Tremblay addresses Newfoundland and Labrador Oil and Gas Industries Association conference
  • 10:00: Ontario Superior Court resumes hearing Cineworld-Cineplex case
  • 11:00: U.S. President Joe Biden convenes virtual COVID summit on sidelines of United Nations General Assembly
  • 14:00: U.S. Federal Reserve releases interest rate decision and updated forecasts (plus 14:30 news conference)
  • Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business hosts virtual conference on rebuilding the Indigenous economy. Speakers include Suncor Energy CEO Mark Little (12:45)

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Over A Quarter of Toronto Real Estate Is Bought By Investors With Multiple Properties – Better Dwelling

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Over A Quarter of Toronto Real Estate Is Bought By Investors With Multiple Properties  Better Dwelling



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Staying Competitive- How The Power And Voice Of The Real Estate Industry Are Changing – Forbes

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Last week, Warburg Realty* became part of Coldwell Banker’s Global Luxury Group. Warburg is just the latest in a series of mergers and acquisitions which is gradually shrinking the pool of independent luxury brokerages in New York City. With CORE’s 50 percent sale to The Related Companies, followed by the sale of Stribling to Compass in 2018, and now Warburg, the landscape of New York’s luxury firms echoes the brand consolidation which has swept almost all industries in recent years. And the rest of the country fares no differently. For most brokerage CEOs, this decision is being spurred by an awareness of how profoundly the business of real estate has changed in the last decades. Here is the how and why:

Through the early 1980s the residential sales business in New York, as in most of the rest of the country, was a family affair. Most brokerages were run by founders or long-time owners. Douglas Elliman was the exception, having already had more than one corporate owner. The firms were small, as was the entire business. Property listings were written on file cards and were given non-exclusively to a handful of firms. Agents worked hard to acquire those listings, making cold calls and walking the avenues chatting up and tipping doormen. No one co-broked listings, since none were given exclusively to agents. There was no central listing repository. The only advertising was columns of listing ads in the New York Times Real Estate section and the occasional display ad in the Times Magazine or, as time went on, Quest Magazine. No firm had more than 60 or 70 residential agents; L.B. Kaye, where I (along with a number of other industry executives) started my career, had fewer than 50.

There were no condominiums at that time and a limited number of co-ops. Artists actually lived in Soho, in unimproved or barely improved loft spaces. Alphabet City was not a safe place to venture, and the Lower East Side was not much better. The Bowery was still inhabited by winos. 

The mid-80s brought a cascade of rental-to-co-operative conversions to New York. Landlords saw an opportunity to cash out of buildings. At the same time, they maintained cash flow by creating wraparound mortgages at high interest rates which they imposed on these conversions. Because of this trend, the number of apartments for sale probably tripled between 1980 and 1988, until the market crashed and conversions and sales both ran aground. 

During the early 1990s, multiple changes shook the market. First, we were forced to acknowledge that, as the number of co-op buildings exponentially increased, the old way of handling listings no longer worked. File cards gave way to the first clunky computer listing systems. Exclusive listings and co-broking came to Manhattan, championed by a small company led by Susan Byrd; her work transformed the way we sell property here (the superbroker Sharon Baum is one of the few remaining Susan Byrd veterans still plying her trade among us). Equally significant, the brilliant innovator Barbara Corcoran forced upon her reluctant colleagues the twin ideas of branding and marketing, which many of us were slow to understand were NOT the same thing as advertising. 

And so, as the millennium turned, the industry was poised on the cusp of a sea change: technology, branding, and capital pushing their way to center stage of our formerly tame backwater of a business. Over the past 20 years, the goalposts which enabled small firms to continue to succeed kept moving.  Cendant (now Realogy) acquired Corcoran and then Sotheby’s Realty, Douglas Elliman changed hands to become a part of the Vector Group portfolio, Terra Holdings took over Brown Harris Stevens and Halstead, Town Residential came and went in New York to be replaced by its vastly better capitalized and more sophisticated sibling Compass, which spread throughout the country like a wildfire fed by a seemingly bottomless pit of capital. The worst excesses of the finance and tech industries came to the real estate brokerage market, as huge companies offered six-figure signing bonuses as well as multiple assistants and vast marketing budgets to agents, all in the belief that today’s loss leader would somehow morph into tomorrow’s profitable company. 

In such an environment, a small residential company faces the ultimate challenge: not how to be profitable but how to provide competitive, best-in-class technology, customer relationship management, and seller engagement tools to its agents. In the end, these considerations drive many small and mid-sized brokerage owners into the arms of big national firms. These national players connect agents with like-minded agents in every major city and town in the country and often throughout the world. In addition, they provide their agents with the ability to match any tools a competitor may offer to win client business. The power and voice of the industry have thus gradually moved from the many to the few. With so many issues critical to real estate at stake before the Department of Justice and other government agencies, we all trust that these few have the deep understanding of the industry required to create a best-case outcome for us all. 

*Disclaimer: Frederick Warburg Peters is the CEO of Warburg Realty, which he sold to Coldwell Banker. Warburg Realty, of which Peters will remain CEO, will operate under the name Coldwell Banker Warburg starting in January 2022.

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Real estate secrets; Family blindsided after others profit off obituary; CBC's Marketplace Cheat Sheet – CBC.ca

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Miss something this week? Don’t panic. CBC’s Marketplace rounds up the consumer and health news you need.

Want this in your inbox? Get the Marketplace newsletter every Friday.

Real estate agents caught on hidden camera breaking the law, steering buyers from low-commission homes

Marketplace’s latest investigation is uncovering some shady real estate practices.

Posing as homebuyers and sellers, Marketplace tested if real estate agents are engaging in steering, an anti-competitive practice that steers potential homebuyers away from properties that offer agents lower commission. The team’s hidden cameras found some agents deceiving the buyers they are supposed to represent in an effort to pad their own bottom line.

Experts and industry insiders say what Marketplace has uncovered is indicative of an industry working for the benefit of real estate agents at a cost to home sellers and buyers.

“There’s a huge inertia, and maintaining the status quo, it absolutely benefits existing realtors 100 per cent,” said broker and real estate agent Michael Walsh, one of the few speaking out on this issue.

After learning about our findings, the Real Estate Council of Ontario issued a notice about steering to more than 93,000 real estate agents, brokers and brokerages under its purview, noting that such behaviour breaches their code of ethics. Read more

Real Estate Secrets

2 days ago

Investigation catches real estate agents breaking the law to keep commissions high, hamper competition and block private sellers. 22:30

Family blindsided after marketing company, funeral home cash in on father’s obituary

Before pancreatic cancer took his life in April, John Rothwell made his dying wishes clear: if mourners wanted to donate to a cause in his name, the money should go to an educational fund he and his family set up.

Instead, family and friends unwittingly paid for a product that puts money into the pockets of companies profiting from grief, says son Nathan Rothwell

Rothwell told Go Public that while he knew the obituary would be on the website of the Mackey Funeral Home in Lindsay, Ont., he made sure it included a request for mourners to consider donating to the educational fund, in lieu of flowers. 

What no one told his family is that Frontrunner — a Kingston, Ont.-based marketing company that runs the funeral home’s website and many others across the country — uses obituaries to sell what it calls “memorial” trees and other products.

The obituary included links that said, “Plant a tree in the memory of John Rothwell” and led to a different website where mourners paid for products the family knew nothing about, said Rothwell. 

“Family and friends spent money out of their own pockets for what they thought were my dad’s wishes,” Rothwell said.

After Rothwell complained and got a lawyer involved, Frontrunner doubled what mourners paid for the trees, and donated that money — more than $2,000 — to the educational fund. The company maintains that it did nothing wrong. Read more

Nathan Rothwell says his dad wanted memorial donations to go to an educational fund. Instead, some money went to private companies using obituaries to sell memorial-themed tree plantings. (Robert Krbavac/CBC)

The U.S. land border is reopening, but Canadians with mixed vaccines are still in limbo

While it’s welcome news that the U.S. will reopen its shared land border with Canada to non-essential travel on Nov. 8, some Canadians with mixed vaccine doses aren’t celebrating just yet.

That’s because at the same time the U.S. reopens the land border, it will start requiring that foreign land and air travellers entering the country be fully vaccinated. 

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) currently doesn’t recognize mixed COVID-19 vaccines — such as one dose of AstraZeneca and one dose of Pfizer or Moderna — and hasn’t yet said if travellers with two different doses will be blocked from entry when the vaccine requirement kicks in. 

“CDC will release additional guidance and information as the travel requirements are finalized later this month,” spokesperson Jade Fulce said in an email on Wednesday. Read more

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent directs vehicles re-entering the United States from Canada at the Ambassador Bridge in Detroit on Aug. 9. Starting in early November, Canadians entering the U.S. by land and air will have to be fully vaccinated, but there’s uncertainty over whether two doses of different vaccines will count. (Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images)

What else is going on?

What we know about kids and COVID-19 vaccines
If parents feel heard and understood, they’re in a much better position to make decisions, say pediatricians

Zellers returns — kind of — but the lowest price isn’t quite the law 
Discount store brand reappears months after HBC appears to lose trademark registration.

Sweatpants forever? Why the ‘athleisure’ fashion trend may outlast the pandemic
The pandemic has changed fashion trends — and experts say our desire for comfort is here to stay.

Canada seeks to claw back $25M in COVID relief from thousands of fishers 
More than half of the harvesters affected by the repayment request are in Nova Scotia.

Specialized Tarmac SL7 Bicycles recalled due to fall hazard
Consumers should immediately stop using the bicycles and contact an authorized Specialized retailer.

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Watch this week’s episode of Marketplace and catch up on past episodes any time on CBC Gem.

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