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‘This year is the record’: Okanagan real estate sales hit new high in 2020 – Global News

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Real estate sales in the Okanagan Valley hit an all-time high in 2020.

Despite a slowdown when the COVID-19 pandemic first hit, residential sales picked up again and surpassed previous years.

“We expected the opposite, just like everybody else,” Interior Real Estate Association president Kim Heizmann said.

“We had no idea that this pandemic would create this kind of a perfect storm in real estate.”

Read more:
Home values ‘moderately increase’ in Thompson, Okanagan region

According to the Interior Real Estate Association, the previous biggest year for the region stretching from Revelstoke to Peachland was 2016, which saw $4.7 billion in sales.

However, 2020 had reached that number by October and went on to surpass the annual record by $1.2 billion.

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The final tally for 2020 was $5.9 billion in sales, Heizmann said.

Read more:
BC Assessment: $10.7M waterfront home tops list of 10 most expensive Okanagan properties

“This valley is becoming a big draw. It’s a large magnet that is pulling so many people from other areas,” realtor John Deak said.

Deak believes COVID has changed people’s spending habits, helping them save for down payments.

Low interest rates are also fueling the market, he added.

Read more:
Demand for Okanagan residential sales still strong

“I’m seeing first-time buyers who are local. I’m seeing people who were renting in the Lower Mainland finally able to purchase a home and able to do it here in the Okanagan,” Deak said.

“I’m seeing see Calgary retirees purchase their dream home.”

In the South Okanagan, the average sales price for single family homes surged 37 per cent, according to the real estate board’s statistics.

Read more:
Coronavirus: Real estate agents say pandemic playing role in red-hot Okanagan market

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“Whenever we see any kind of double digit price increases, month over or year over year in any kind of stats, those are big numbers,” Heizmann said.

However, Deak noted that despite the big demand, there is still little supply.

“Inventory is frightful,” he said. “Typically, in the spring is when you see an increase in inventory, but you’ll also see an increase in buyers, so it’s a double-edged sword.”


Click to play video 'Real estate experts in the Okanagan believe COVID-19 is pushing home sales up as people re-examine the kinds of homes they want to live in'



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Real estate experts in the Okanagan believe COVID-19 is pushing home sales up as people re-examine the kinds of homes they want to live in


Real estate experts in the Okanagan believe COVID-19 is pushing home sales up as people re-examine the kinds of homes they want to live in – Nov 4, 2020

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Neuberger Arm Commits $320 Million to Asia Capital Real Estate – BNN

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(Bloomberg) — Almanac Realty Investors, an arm of Neuberger Berman, has committed $320 million to Asia Capital Real Estate, a private equity firm focused on workforce housing.

The investment, led by Almanac managing director Justin Hakimian, is set to anchor ACRE debt and equity funds that target multifamily properties catering to tenants who don’t qualify for subsidized housing but don’t earn enough to afford homes where they live and work.

It’s a corner of real estate that, unlike hotels and malls, hasn’t been adversely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, the firms said Tuesday.

“The uncertainty of the current economic climate has had acute effects for commercial real estate, which is causing many investors to seek out funds with a more secure risk-return profile,” ACRE founding partner Michael Van Der Poel said in a statement.

Since the onset of the pandemic, ACRE has made loans to borrowers such as City Club Apartments for properties in Detroit, Michigan and Cincinnati, Ohio, and to Sovereign Properties for a multifamily project in North Richland Hills, Texas. It has also sold buildings in Atlanta and Athens, Georgia, to Fillmore Capital Partners, among other exits.

“Middle-market multifamily assets offer a more stable long-term outlook than many other areas of the market,” said Van Der Poel, who leads ACRE alongside founding partners Les Menkes and Blake Olafson.

ACRE, which manages more than $1.8 billion, has more than 20,000 apartments in its portfolio. Almanac will own a minority stake in ACRE and anchor its fourth equity fund, which will make bets on multifamily properties in the Southeast, Midwest and Texas.

Other institutional investors have also stepped up their bets on workforce housing. Bobby Turner’s Turner Impact Capital in December said it raised more than $350 million for its second fund, garnering backing from billionaire Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Foundation, among others.

Neuberger last year acquired Almanac, which spun out of Rothschild in 2007, to bolster its real estate efforts. The firm has backed dozens of real estate owners and operators including Mack Real Estate Group, RXR Realty, Slate Asset Management and ReNew Senior Living.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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Companies Are Shedding Their Real Estate Footprint In Droves – Forbes

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The data does not lie. The great real estate contraction is upon us. 

Wherever you look on the planet, companies are shedding their real estate square footage. There is irrefutable proof that the pandemic is shifting the way of work right before our eyes.

Not only are downtown centers currently mimicking more of a ghost town than a bustling hive of entrepreneurialism, but they also won’t look anything like what they did pre-pandemic once the virus has been adequately neutralized.

We may never go back to the way it was. If that is the case, senior leaders should be preparing for dramatically different workplace practices post-pandemic.

Cast your eyes to Asia, and you’ll find a similar pattern to that of North America. In Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), grade A office buildings’ vacancy rate increased to over 18 percent by the end of 2020 from 4 percent pre-pandemic. Worse, rents have plummeted by roughly 50 percent in terms of the per square meter per month cost. According to reports, the Metro Manila office vacancy is forecast to increase to 14 percent this year. 

In the US, epicentres of high-tech are feeling the real estate pinch. The Greater Boston region has witnessed sublease space nearly double since the onset of the pandemic. More than 3.5 million square feet of prime office space has been put back on the market. Like Manila and Ho Chi Minh, the regional vacancy rate has also risen, from 12.3 percent to 15 percent across Boston. San Francisco—the hub of high-tech—is no better. That city’s office vacancy rate reached 16.7 percent by the end of 2020, with no signs of it letting up in 2021.

Cities across the US are feeling the hit, even if they’re not known for high-tech. In Phoenix, the vacancy rate has risen to 13 percent. In Salt Lake City, it’s 15.7 percent. And Manhattan? It’s somewhat nerve-wracking to know that the vacancy rate increased from 10 percent in 2019 to 14.2 percent in 2020, a 420-basis point surge. 

My home country of Canada has both bright spots and outright horror shows. Vancouver is in somewhat good shape with a modest vacancy rate increase to now sit at 5.7 percent. Toronto has seen its availability shift from 3 percent in 2018 to 4.7 percent in September, 2020 to 7.2 percent by the end of the year. 

But the real horror is in Alberta, where Calgary saw its vacancy rate balloon to 29.5 percent and the capital city of Edmonton to 20.1 percent. Across the country, Canada’s downtown average office vacancy increased to 13 percent in 2020, compared to 9.8 percent a year earlier.

There are at least two rather apparent reasons companies are shedding their square footage footprint. The first is depressingly sad; some firms let go of employees due to economic issues, so the space is no longer required in the short or long-term. 

Second, CFOs have taken the opportunity of the pandemic to sharpen their pencils and find significant cost savings from their real estate portfolios. If employees can work from home productively, many finance leaders are using it—and the fortuities of the pandemic—to trim millions off of existing leases. Some companies are even seeking to sell the buildings they own.

What to make of it all?

I see no reason for the real estate office space collapse to discontinue in 2021. I reckon that by the end of the year, the majority of big cities will witness vacancy rates in the high teens through the high 20’s.

That’s not the problem. Savings are a good thing for CFOs to commandeer off of their real estate portfolios.

The challenge that I’m concerned about, however, is not about square footage, rather a) what that square footage looks like post-pandemic, b) how the real estate footprint is used in a ‘new hybrid way of working,’ and c) how organizations are preparing now for a post-pandemic world of work.

Too many leaders are simply trying to survive. But what has to be happening in parallel is an all hands on deck approach to re-engineering how work will be performed once offices are once again safe to work from.

The culture is going to change. The way people collaborate is going to change. The manner in which we think, create, converse, meet, action, respond, and deliver will change.

The real estate footprint point from above is a harbinger; it’s the canary in the coalmine. 

My next few columns will tackle what organizations and leaders should be doing now to get ahead of the coming workplace and work-operations calamity. 

_______

My 4th book, “Lead. Care. Win. How to Become a Leader Who Matters” recently published. Amy. C. Edmondson of Harvard Business School calls it “an invaluable roadmap.” 16+ hour, self-paced online leadership development program is also available.

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New president, executive for Victoria Real Estate Board – Times Colonist

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David Langlois is the new president of the Victoria Real Estate Board, succeeding Sandi-Jo Ayers.

Langlois is from Macdonald Realty Victoria and served several years on the business standards committee of the real estate board, which enters its centennial year in 2021.

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“I am honoured to be ­ leading the Victoria Real Estate Board into our centennial year,” ­Langlois said in a ­statement.

“As we enter our 100th year we look forward to not just ­celebrating our history, but at how to position ourselves for the next 100 years. As a board, we will continue to focus on delivering high level services to our members and advocating for our ­profession on a local, provincial and national level.”

Joining Langlois around the board table in the coming year will be Ayers, president-elect Karen Dinnie-Smyth, treasurer Patrick Novotny, and directors Sheila Aujla, Robert Cole, Laurie Lidstone, Jackie Ngai and Graden Sol.

The Victoria Real Estate Board represents 1,400 real estate agents.

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