Toronto, CA, Nov. 24, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Many people consider dropping out of university to be a failure, but not Manny Brar. He’s not embarrassed to say he’s a dropout. In fact, he leads with it and wants people to know that there are many paths to success — and not just for tech creators like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg.
Brar entered York University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in 2014 to study finance. He was an above-average student and had all good intentions of graduating with his peers in the class of 2018. But by his junior year, he was miserable in his non-elective courses. “I couldn’t force myself to pay attention, and my marks would suffer,” said Brar. “I began rethinking my entire post-secondary journey — if I don’t like this, how will I survive a career? I have been interested in commerce and investing since I was young, but this wasn’t the stuff I was learning as a finance student.”
University isn’t for everyone.
Brar left York University and began selling real estate for RE/MAX at the age of 20. He was an assiduous saver, and after a year, he accrued enough capital to purchase his first property, a condo in Etobicoke, Ontario. Condos appealed to him in a big way, and he began to envision an elite business. In 2019, Brar and longtime friend and fellow realtor/investor, Jad Sandhu, founded their own real estate company, Platinum Condo Broker, which allows buyers and investors to get in on the ground floor of premier condos before they are even built.
“We founded the company to bring only the best development projects to our clients,” said Brar. “We want to show people how we have been able to build wealth through investing in real estate. A lot of people think home ownership is a goal that they will never attain, PlatinumCondoBroker.com is here to change that.”
Brar continues to be fascinated by the rise of Toronto, the home of many of his properties, although he is branching out to other Canadian provinces. “Eventually, I would love to expand into working internationally,” he said. “I love real estate and know there are great investment opportunities across the world. We just have to find them.”
At the age of 23, he has accumulated a portfolio of several properties and consistently achieves a high value of sales, making him one of the youngest realtors/investors in Canada to do so.
At the heart of Brar’s professional ethic is his desire to create opportunities for his clients. “My business is unique because I focus on helping investors find the best properties — whether they are first-time or experienced investors,” he said. “My job is to make sure my clients get the best property at the best price.”
The properties we purchase are the same ones we sell to our investors. “I think this is a reason why our clients trust us, because they know we won’t bring anything to the table that we wouldn’t invest in ourselves. We have a responsibility to our investors,” he said.
Despite his youthful age, Brar is always thinking of the future.
“My business philosophy is to always think for the long term. Whether that’s an investment, hiring someone to work with me, or taking on a new development. I don’t care to make a quick buck in the short term if my relationship or business will suffer in the grand scheme of things,” he said.
“The long term is where all the value is, I am a student of Warren Buffett and compound interest. I believe that if we take care of things properly in the short-term and look out for our client’s best interests, we will succeed tenfold in the future. Good business compounds into great business in the future.”
For more information, go to Manny Brar’s website, www.platinumcondobroker.com, or follow him on Instagram : Torontocondobrokers.
Media Contact: 416-505-8108
Canadian pension funds hunt for pandemic real estate bargains – TheChronicleHerald.ca
By Maiya Keidan
TORONTO (Reuters) – Canadian pension funds are seeking to boost their real estate investments, betting the slumping property market will recover as the COVID-19 pandemic recedes and office workers and city dwellers return to downtown properties.
Canadian pension funds held $278.7 billion in property assets in 2019, up 4% from 2018, according to the Pension Investment Association of Canada, making them the country’s largest real estate owners.
In a world of slower economic growth, very low interest rates, volatility in equity markets, real estate offers an attractive opportunity for pension funds, which take a long-term investment horizon, say market participants.
“We’re looking for buying opportunities,” said Hilary Spann, Head of Americas, Real Estate at CPP Investments, which manages $456.7 billion. CPP’s real estate portfolio generated 5.1% return for the year ended March 2020.
CPP announced a U.S. joint venture with Greystar Real Estate Portfolio to build multiple separate housing units this month, a deal that was initiated pre-pandemic.
In November, it signed an agreement with Hudson Pacific Properties to acquire an office tower in Seattle. Spann said a lot of buyers that would have been competitive in the Seattle deal were temporarily on the sidelines. “So we were able to step in and pick up that asset at yields that we thought were quite attractive.”
OFFICE VACANCIES CLIMB
As the pandemic forced many staff to work from home, the office vacancy rate in Canada hit a 16-year high of 13.4% in 2020, according to data from broker CBRE. Downtown offices were hit harder.
“I think pension funds are very well aware that…there are times when values dip a bit and vacancies go up but overallreal estate assets are a great part of any pension fund portfolio,” Paul Morassutti, CBRE Canada Vice Chairman said.
CPP’s Spann said while both rental markets and office may suffer in the short-term, it was expected that both markets would return when the pandemic comes to an end.
“Office may fall in the short term but in the long term, as everybody does start coming back to the office, I think it’s fair to say you may see a reversal,” she said, adding that the things that made places like New York and San Francisco vibrant will remain.
Kristopher Wojtecki, Managing Director, Real Estate at PSP Investments, told Reuters the fund had been increasing exposure in select sectors including single family rental and production studio real estate during the pandemic.
However, Canada’s second-largest pension fund, Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, is taking a contrarian approach. A spokeswoman for Ivanhoé Cambridge, the real estate subsidiary of Caisse, said the fund is cutting exposure in traditional asset classes and prioritising opportunities in growth sectors which include logistics and residential office buildings among others.
Grant McGlaughlin, partner at law firm Fasken, said he did not see any drastic moves on pension funds getting rid of their real estate portfolios.
“I think that’s the right thesis that there is no point selling into a low,” he said.
(Reporting by Maiya Keidan; Editing by Denny Thomas and David Gregorio)
Avison Young launches real estate and infrastructure offering – Consulting.ca
Commercial real estate services firm Avison Young (AY) has launched a new real estate and infrastructure consulting offering in Canada. The offering will be led by new addition Scott Pickles, a seasoned real estate and infrastructure consultant who joins AY from Colliers.
Toronto-headquartered AY has continued to expand its professional services practice as the firm diversifies beyond its traditional domain of commercial real estate management and brokerage – which have been negatively impacted by the pandemic.
Since founding its Americas professional services practice in April 2020 under the leadership of former Deloitte partner Sheila Botting, AY has been working to bolster its capabilities in corporate real estate and workplace consulting, infrastructure consulting, valuation and advisory services, and project management.
“Through growing our distinct service offerings, we are able to deliver on increasingly complex business imperatives our occupier, owner, and investor clients have as they evaluate real estate for their service needs and identify their capital investment requirements,” Botting said.
To this end, the company strengthened its valuation advisory offering in Western Canada earlier this month with the hire of three valuation experts in Edmonton from rival firm Colliers.
AY has now added a new real estate and infrastructure consulting offering in Canada, peeling off another Alberta-based leader from Colliers to head it.
Scott Pickles brings 17+ years of experience providing strategic advisory and infrastructure consulting to the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors. The registered architect has worked as a strategic advisor, sustainable real estate developer, and in various roles within municipal government.
Pickles previously spent two years at Colliers as a senior manager of infrastructure advisory, supporting public and private sector clients across Canada. His consulting work included strategy development, best use analysis, project management, and service and capital planning for a broad range of services – including affordable housing, utilities, and recreation.
Before that, he spent 11 years in the Calgary municipal government, where he was latterly program lead for corporate investment strategy & infrastructure planning. He was also previously the leader of strategic planning for community services.
Before joining the municipal government, he was a development manager at Windmill Development Group, where he managed the development of several residential, retail, and mixed-use projects. Pickles started his career as a project architect at Busby Perkins + Will.
He holds an MBA from the University of Colorado at Denver, a master’s degree in architecture from the University of Calgary, and a BA from The University of Lethbridge.
“Scott’s broad experience and leadership as an architect, developer, and public servant have led him to become a trusted strategic advisor across Canada, and he’s a perfect fit as we grow our professional services consulting across the country,” Botting said.
Canadian home prices rise again in December: Teranet
By Julie Gordon
OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canadian home prices rose 0.6% in December from November, the strongest increase for a December since 2009, led by gains in Victoria, Halifax and Ottawa-Gatineau, data showed on Wednesday.
The Teranet-National Bank Composite House Price Index, which tracks data collected from public land registries to measure changes for repeat sales of single-family homes, showed price gains in 10 of the 11 major metropolitan markets.
Prices rose 1.3% in Victoria, 1.2% in Halifax and 1.2% in the national capital region of Ottawa-Gatineau. The index was down 1.1% in Quebec City, the first major market to show a decline in four months.
On an annual basis, the index was up 9.4% in December, the fifth consecutive acceleration and the strongest 12-month gain since November 2017.
Ottawa-Gatineau led year-over-year gains, up 19.7% from December 2019, followed by Halifax at 16.3% and Hamilton at 15.1%. Calgary home prices are down 1.5% on the year.
(Reporting by Julie Gordon in Ottawa; Editing by Mark Heinrich)
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