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Warren Buffett Would Love This Canadian Real Estate Pick – The Motley Fool Canada

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Real estate is a very difficult asset class to gauge these days. The coronavirus pandemic as fundamentally changed how society uses real estate. Digitization has rapidly increased in importance compared to the past.

In this context, in the past, I have been bearish on Brookfield Property Partners (TSX:BPY.UN). This article is going to outline the contrarian perspective on why BPY could turn out to be a good investment right now. After all, Warren Buffet would love this pick.

Real estate and risk

Much ado has been made of Brookfield Property Partners’ exposure to retail and office space. These assets are likely to be hit hard due to the previously mentioned digitization trend. That said, a majority of this company’s revenue (around 55%) is generated from BPY’s portfolio of multifamily and commercial real estate.

On one hand, the company has a little less than half of its business tied to office and retail real estate assets. These are risky. On the other hand, revenues are likely to continue to be stickier than investors and analysts expect due to the quality of BPY’s assets and its diversified holdings.

The company’s assets are widely considered to be among the best in class across the board. This supports a bull case that cash flows in the future may be more stable than strained in the coming quarters. Also, there is definitely potential for share price appreciation from these levels.

Value and income investors take note

From a valuation perspective, Brookfield Property Partners hasn’t been this cheap in quite some time, which makes the value argument very intriguing for long-term investors. The share price decline of Brookfield Property Partners in recent months has resulted in a dividend yield of approximately 11%, at the time of writing. This is much higher than the company’s traditional range of 7-8% in recent years.

From an income perspective, this dividend is too juicy to ignore. Of course, investors may have concerns around the payout ratio of Brookfield Property Partners. However, delinquencies and non-payment of rent are materializing at a slower clip than expected. Market sentiment could shift positively in the near-term. Thus, income investors may regret not picking up shares in hindsight with an 11% yield.

Further, Brookfield Asset Management (TSX:BAM.A)(NYSE:BAM) fully backs Brookfield Property Partners. BAM is the company’s largest shareholder, further boosting the argument BPY’s dividend yield could be maintained. Brookfield Asset Management recently put forward a substantial issuer bid to increase its ownership up to 60% in respect to the value it sees in Brookfield Property Partners.

This bid has stoked bets that BAM may choose to fully acquire and integrate BPY back into the parent company if the stock price gets too cheap. This theoretically puts a floor beneath BPY’s share price in the near-term.

BAM and its incredibly talented management team would love nothing more than to take advantage of negative market sentiment. They may plan to re-acquire BPY at dirt cheap levels, spinning out these assets in the future at much higher prices when things cool down.

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Fool contributor Chris MacDonald has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Brookfield Asset Management. The Motley Fool recommends BROOKFIELD ASSET MANAGEMENT INC. CL.A LV and Brookfield Property Partners LP.

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30 businesses in 30 days: Fort McMurray real estate agent pushes shop local campaign for Christmas – CBC.ca

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A Fort McMurray real estate agent is encouraging people shop local by creating a video series called 30 businesses in 30 days. 

This month, Melanie Galea started posting videos showcasing small businesses in Fort McMurray. From pet stores, to coffee roasters and spas, Galea has been trying to remind locals about what businesses they could be shopping from. 

“It just seemed like it was needed more than ever,” said Galea. 

“These business owners are ready for Christmas.” 

She said there are concerns that businesses are going to be shut down and several businesses have already closed during the pandemic and flood. 

“People are staying home, they’re maybe not spending quite as much money. Some businesses are doing well, but I’ve seen businesses shut down because of what’s happening right now.” 

Galea did a similar promotion in 2015, making videos to showcase 30 businesses. Thirteen of those stores have since closed. 

Galea put a call out for businesses to contact her about making a video, and she was even surprised to find out about companies she had never heard of before. 

“It’s great to see there are new businesses,” said Galea. 

“The reaction has been fantastic.”

Galea said her videos have even inspired former McMurrayites. She said a former Fort McMurray resident, now living in Edmonton, reached out to Galea to ask about buying gift cards from Fort McMurray shops. 

Carley Johnson sold her first bag of coffee in February. She’s seen an uptick in customers since Melanie Galea posted a video about the coffee company. (Submitted by Carley Johnson)

The entire series took about 100 hours to create. She charged $50 per business to do the video, but it’s costing her more than $250 per episode. 

“This is my give to the community,” said Galea. She started filming the series in the beginning of October. 

Carley Johnson, owner of Firebag Coffee Company, started selling coffee and coffee accessories in February. She roasts coffee at her home in Fort McMurray and sells it online and at local markets. 

Since her video went live, she’s had people reach out to her saying they didn’t know her business existed and says her sales have increased. 

From left to right, Catharine Vangen, Michael Langille, Kimberly-Ann McGregor and Brandon Kelloway. Langille stands with the employees of his pet store; he says some people don’t even know his shop is still open after the April flood. (Submitted by Michael Langille)

The company does free delivery in town, and she says they do about 25-30 orders a day. 

“Since the video’s run I’ve probably had at least 5 to 10 new people contact me every day.”

“It’s wonderful,” said Johnson. 

Michael Langille’s video hasn’t gone public yet — it’s slated for Dec. 9. He’s the owner of The Little Pet Company, which is in the midst of expanding.

“Some people think that we’re still shut down since the flood,” said Langille. “It’s about broadcasting that we’re here.” 

He said many people thought the flood destroyed the shop, which it didn’t. 

The store was “busier than ever” for the first few months of the pandemic, but recently noticed a “sgnificant change” in the number of customers coming in.

Langille said he doubled his store’s inventory with the expansion, but “we’re not seeing double the sales by any means.”

“We might’ve seen a ten per cent increase, which is not what you want to see when you’re expanding your business.” 

He’s hoping the video gets people coming into the store, and spending their dollars in town, rather than online. 

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JPMorgan's Pil Sees Quick Return to Office Boosting Real Estate – BNN

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(Bloomberg) — People will likely return to the office more quickly than expected and that will help boost the price of some commercial real estate, according to J.P. Morgan Asset Management.

Investors may be making a mistake by extrapolating the future from the current situation with lots of working from home due to Covid-19, according to Anton Pil, global head of alternatives at J.P. Morgan Asset Management, part of JPMorgan Chase & Co. Top malls worldwide should see a faster-than-expected rebound in traffic, he said, and there’s an overshoot in expectations about how many people will want the status quo versus returning to the office.

“I’m expecting a pretty significant rebound in valuation,” Pil said in a phone interview Wednesday. “Financing terms are at some of the lowest levels that we’ve ever seen, and the income generation continues to be quite strong, at least if you own top-notch offices in strong locations.”

Urban centers have been able to survive previous pandemics and will do so again this time, Pil said. He pointed to the co-working trend as evidence that even when people could work from home they found there was value in being around others.

However, investors are taking things slowly at this point, with commercial real estate dealmaking in the third quarter far below pre-pandemic levels, according to data from CBRE Group Inc. and Real Capital Analytics Inc.

Pil also said that easy monetary policy and available financing means that it’s harder to tell which companies have simply been hurt by the pandemic and which have business models that just aren’t viable. J.P. Morgan Asset Management has stuck to a relatively conservative approach that’s focused on the actual assets companies own, he said, to avoid potential trouble on that front.

Venture capital will be a very robust market over the next year or two, Pil added. Lots of new businesses will be started by people who were laid off or had salaries reduced during the pandemic, he said, plus the efficiency of working from home and broader adoption of cloud computing has made starting a business cheaper and easier around the globe.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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Toronto’s Real Estate Board Tells Brokers Stop Showing More Than 2 Years of Sold Data – Better Dwelling

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Toronto’s golden age of real estate brokerage innovation is coming to an abrupt end. Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) sent a memo this week, on sold data. The board informed brokers they will only be allowed to show two years of data going forward.

TRREB Ordered To Allow Brokerages To Show Sold Data

The board formerly known as TREB was sued by the competition bureau in 2011. The bureau argued it was anti-competitive to prevent real estate brokers from sharing sold information. This dispute went on for years, until the supreme court finally rejected any appeals in 2018. Shortly after, the board provided member brokers with a data feed, complete with sold data. Almost immediately, this brought Toronto real estate out of the dark ages.

Release of Sold Data Drove Brokerage Innovation

Allowing the display of sold data led brokerages to build a number of Zillow-like products. Some brokers began providing sold data to clients going back over a decade. Toronto’s formerly dated, agent-driven model, was suddenly refreshed. Buyers were able to research, without an agent acting as a direct barrier to information. Unfortunately, that wasn’t TRREB’s intention.

TRREB Memo Demands Halt On Displaying Data Over 2 Years Old

TRREB sent member brokers a reminder this week that included a restriction that was previously unclear. The board notes several restrictions, but the biggest one is how much sold data can be shown. The memo reads, “Only two (2) years of sold data can be displayed or accessed at any time on the VOW, Website, or App.” 

The updated interpretation of the bureau ruling is going to have a big impact. Starting soon, brokerages will restrict sold data to just 2 years. Much of the innovation that allowed people to research on their own will disappear. Instead Toronto will return back to it’s agent-driven model, where individuals have to request details from agents. This coincidentally will also conceal readily available sold data from the 2017 detached frenzy.

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