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What's the future of real estate? – Toronto Sun

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‘Crystal ball is quite murky right now,’ says forecast

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Wondering how the real estate industry will emerge from the pandemic? So does everyone else.

Even a highly-respected industry forecast has decided “the crystal ball is quite murky right now” thanks to disruptive forces that have created both opportunities and challenges.

Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2022, an annual report undertaken jointly by PwC and the Urban Land Institute (ULI), says housing affordability is a key issue running through many trends, the most significant of which are the impacts of a changing world of work.

“Environmental, social and governance, digital accelerations and workforce shifts are all mega-trends that will continue to have a transformative impact on the industry,” says ULI executive director Richard Joy. “Working together to find creative solutions to these challenges will enable real estate leaders to shape the future and uncover new opportunities.”

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CHANGING WORLD OF WORK

There’s little doubt the workplace will emerge from the pandemic almost unrecognizable. “Most employees continue to be hesitant to return to the office, indicating a preferred hybrid-arrangement even in a post-pandemic world,” says Frank Magliocco, PwC Canada’s national real estate leader.

“When PwC Canada asked Canadian workers about their ideal work arrangement, the most popular option, selected by 36 per cent of respondents, was to have an even split between face-to-face and remote working, while just 10 per cent chose a traditional in-person environment,” he says.

As that shift takes hold, property owners must address the purposes a physical workplace will serve and make their spaces more attractive for workers. Though Canada still has some of the tightest office markets in North America, plenty of uncertainty remains.

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Some property owners are hedging their bets by incorporating residential components into office developments to create mixed-use sites, according to the report. Some employers are upgrading their spaces while others are reconfiguring their offices to create spaces like ‘huddle areas’ to allow for collaboration and team meetings.

MIXED-USE COMMUNITIES

The changing world of work is also having major impacts on the housing market. As has been widely documented, remote working created opportunities for many Canadians to move out of major city downtown centres where offices have typically been located in favour of the suburbs or even another province.

The implications of a changing world of work are hardly just about where people choose to live but the types of communities that they want to call home. If more employees want jobs that let them either work from home or have shorter commute times, real estate players must pay even greater attention to the trend toward building mixed-use communities with retail services and offices nearby.

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That goes beyond transit-oriented communities, which are being embraced by municipalities across Canada and typically include mixed-use considerations from the start. Those considerations must also be applied to single-family neighbourhoods in major urban centres, suburban communities and secondary cities that have typically incorporated less diverse uses.

The concern about housing affordability across the country, meanwhile, continues to grow and not just in larger cities like Toronto and Vancouver but smaller centres too.

NEW APPROACHES

The time is ripe for new approaches to the housing market. Changing the rules to allow for more than one unit or kitchen in a single-family rental home or permitting smaller lot sizes could improve affordability.

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Medium-density housing options like mid-rise buildings and townhouses on major urban boulevards – widely described as the ’missing middle’ – could also offer more affordable options, according to the report.

Industry players are calling on various levels of government to work together to come up with solutions. On the one hand, the federal government is helping boost housing demand by increasing immigration.

On the other hand, provincial and municipal policies hinder the construction of new homes. Industry players also want to see better incentives for developers to set aside more low-cost units.

Single-family rental housing is being bandied about with no clear consensus on whether this trend from south of the border could take off in Canada. Some believe land costs here are just too high to make the numbers work, while others think it’s an option in some regions to address the desire for more living space while offering more affordable alternatives to buying a single-family home – particularly when those rental homes incorporate more than one unit.

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And what about condominiums in a post-pandemic world? Initial fears that people would avoid the condo market as a result of the impact of the pandemic appear unfounded, as the market continues to grow in Canada. Though some developers are unsure about whether to start new projects, multifamily housing is widely recognized as a strong category within the industry.

How will shopping change?

The retail sector may never be the same, the Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2022 report predicts. Temporary outdoor dining will become a permanent feature.

People will continue picking up groceries and other items they purchase online, so retail centres need to be refigured to provide more space for pickup.

Some retail landlords are ramping up efforts to bring in different types of tenants, from fitness centres and health-care clinics to seasonal pop-up stores, as well as events and entertainment.

In a bid to further increase foot traffic for retailers, some are even seeking zoning changes to incorporate other uses into the mix, such as condominiums instead of parking lots.

Best bets in the Canadian real estate market include warehousing and fulfillment, rental housing, and uses related to health care and life sciences.

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Montreal real estate prices soar 21% amid lower listings, sales in November – Global News

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The Quebec Professional Association of Real Estate Brokers says November home sales and new listings fell in Montreal as prices soared by more than 20 per cent compared with a year ago.

The association says sales for the month totalled 4,402, a 17 per cent drop from 5,296 in November 2020.

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New listings amounted to 5,056, down 14 per cent from 5,848 last November.

The median price of a single-family home soared by 21 per cent compared with a year ago to reach $525,000, while condos went up by 18 per cent to hit $374,000 and plexes with two to five units had a 15 per cent spike pushing them to $725,000.

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Apart from condominiums, which saw a slight decline, the association says the median prices were also up from October 2021.

Charles Brant, the association’s director of market analysis, says he noticed a lack of supply and persistently high demand last month that placed pressure on prices and encouraged potential sellers to get into the market.

“The announcement of an earlier-than-expected rise in interest rates no doubt motivated potential sellers to advance their project in order to benefit from the sustained activity and the opportunity to sell at the best price,” he said in a statement.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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Montreal real estate prices soar 21% amid lower listings in Nov.: brokers group – moosejawtoday.com

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MONTREAL — The Quebec Professional Association of Real Estate Brokers says November home sales and new listings fell in Montreal as prices soared by more than 20 per cent compared with a year ago.

The association says sales for the month totalled 4,402, a 17 per cent drop from 5,296 in November 2020.

New listings amounted to 5,056, down 14 per cent from 5,848 last November.

The median price of a single-family soared by 21 per cent compared with a year ago to reach $525,000, while condos went up by 18 per cent to hit $374,000 and plexes with two to five units had a 15 per cent spike pushing them to $725,000. 

Apart from condominiums, which saw a slight decline, the association says the median prices were also up from October 2021.

Charles Brant, the association’s director of market analysis, says he noticed a lack of supply and persistently high demand last month that placed pressure on prices and encouraged potential sellers to get into the market. 

“The announcement of an earlier-than-expected rise in interest rates no doubt motivated potential sellers to advance their project in order to benefit from the sustained activity and the opportunity to sell at the best price,” he said in a statement.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 7, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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Ottawa home prices rose 19% year-over-year in November: real estate board – Globalnews.ca

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Ottawa housing prices continue to climb as 2021 draws to a close. It’s a trend real estate experts expect to continue in 2022.

The Ottawa Real Estate Board said that November’s average sale price for a condo was $432,099, while the typical residential-class home sold for $716,922. Both represented increases of 19 per cent over average sale prices in November 2020.

Though those figures represent significant jumps year-over-year, OREB President Debra Wright says that the month-to-month prices from October to November were relatively steady in the residential market and up seven percent for condos.


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“This is a far better situation than the monthly price escalations we had seen in the first quarter of 2021,” Wright said in a statement. “However, there is no question that supply constraints will continue to place upward pressure on prices until that is remedied.”

RE/MAX said in its 2022 Canadian housing market outlook last week that Ottawa average home price is expected to rise a further five per cent next year. That’s below estimates for other large markets in Ontario, such as Mississauga (14 per cent), Toronto (10 per cent) and Brampton (eight per cent).

In Ottawa as well as those other cities, RE/MAX said home prices could feel pressure as increased immigration levels further constrain supply levels.

Read more:

Canadian homebuyers facing weeks of move-in delays tied to supply chain snags

The OREB projects housing inventory in Ottawa is currently at a one-month supply, with the 1,430 units added to the market last month representing a 27 per cent drop from October and a 13 per cent decline from levels in November 2020.

While sales sit at “30 or so units over the five-year listing average, this is simply not sustainable and is taking us further away from the balanced market that will bring much-needed relief to potential buyers,” Wright said.

OREB members meanwhile sold 1,459 properties in November, a drop from the 1,605 seen in the same month last year. Sales figures were unseasonably high during this period in 2020, however, as more homes were sold in the fall because pandemic-driven lockdowns and general economic anxiety pushed demand from the usually busy spring and summer to later in the year.

November 2021’s sales volumes were still above the five-year average of 1,348 total units sold in November.

Realtors with the OREB have also gotten more involved with rentals in the past year, helping nearly 4,500 tenants find new units so far in 2021 compared with 3,120 such deals this time last year.


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Cost of housing biggest crisis outside the pandemic: Singh – Nov 28, 2021

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

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