Kelowna to become multi-family housing hub?

In its latest study, real estate team HM Commercial Group found that Kelowna is poised to distinguish itself in the B.C. housing market through its accelerated pace of building in the residential segment.

“Demand for all forms of housing remains exceptionally strong and the City of Kelowna favours a policy towards densification in the urban town centres, which also bodes well for more affordable forms of multi-family development,” according to the Fall 2017 HM Commercial Report.

Most notably, “the Downtown Core is experiencing a boom of high density development, with projects like the 21-storey tower at 1151 Sunset Drive (now 85% pre-sold before occupancy in Spring/Summer 2018),” the report added. “New projects like One Water Street and Live at Ella are anticipated to achieve average sales of more than $600 per square foot with the upper floors expected to reach more than $900 per square foot.”

As of the third quarter of this year, the value of multi-family building permits in Kelowna totalled $95.5M, compared to the $76.9M for the whole of 2016.

The study results indicated that up to 95% of condo buyers in Kelowna will be occupying their purchases instead of using these for investment purposes—a much different situation from 10 years ago, “when up to 70% were speculative investors.”

“[This] is an excellent sign of continued strength in the market and means more people living in the urban centres and increased vibrancy,” the report stated.

The city will also benefit from an influx of wealthy elderly Canadians, HM Commercial predicted.

“As baby boomers retire, they continue to look to the Okanagan. With fewer properties available in Vancouver, Kelowna and Victoria are benefiting,” the report said, adding that the demographic shift will also be apparent in the younger generations.

“The overflow from Vancouver, combined with all of the things Kelowna has to offer, is bringing a significantly younger demographic to the City, one that is fuelling a $1.3 Billion tech sector. 262 tech companies call Kelowna home and this number is growing every day.”

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Toronto area housing prices, sales volume soar in September: real estate board

By David Paddon

TORONTO _ Housing sales in the Toronto area continued to soar last month, with the average price rising 20.4 per cent from September last year to $755,755, the Toronto Real Estate Board reported Wednesday.

The price increases came as the number of transactions in the Greater Toronto Area rose 21.5 per cent, a stark contrast to a big drop in the number of transactions last month in Vancouver’s residential real estate market.

The real estate board said Wednesday there was strong growth in sales transactions for all major home types in the area but a lack of supply limited growth in the City of Toronto itself.

By comparison, figures released Tuesday by Vancouver’s real estate board showed a 32.6 per cent drop in sales transactions compared with September 2015 _ prior to a new 15 per cent provincial tax on foreign buyers that came into effect in August.

Vancouver prices continued to rise but some analysts expect a prolonged decline in demand will lower the sky-high cost of housing in Canada’s most expensive real estate market.

There’s also been anecdotal evidence that some foreign buyers have shifted their focus from Vancouver to other cities, including Toronto. On Monday, the federal government unveiled measures to tighten rules for prospective buyers and lenders.

“The Toronto Real Estate Board will be closely monitoring how the recent changes to federal mortgage lending guidelines and capital gains tax exemption rules impact the housing market in the Greater Toronto Area,” Jason Mercer, the board’s director of market analysis, said in a statement Wednesday.

“While these changes are pointed at the demand for ownership housing, it is important to note that much of the upward pressure on home prices in the GTA has been based on the declining inventory of homes available for sale.”

The real estate board’s benchmark price index was up 18 per cent from September 2015, after adjusting to various types of housing..

The average sale price for detached houses in Toronto proper rose to $1.29 million, up 23 per cent from a year earlier. The comparable price for detached houses in surrounding areas was $928,414, up 26.6 per cent.

By contrast, prices for condos in Toronto proper grew only 6.5 per cent to $446,729. Condo prices in other parts of the Greater Toronto Area were up 19.4 per cent to $367,260.

THE CANADIAN PRESS

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The Toronto market investors may want to target

Many investors have been priced out of Toronto, but one neighbourhood is poised to see impressive price growth – and those who buy in now could make a fortune.

“Regent Park is an area under complete renewal and rebirth. It’s a terrific opportunity to be a part of that in the downtown market,” Brent Binions, president and CEO of Chartwell Retirement Residents, told Canadian Real Estate Wealth. “I have no doubt [prices] will continue to rise. Everything will have doubled or more compared to the original prices [prior to revitalization].”

That bullish outlook inspired Chartwell to establish a retirement residence in the up-and-coming neighbourhood.
What drew the company to the area was the revitalization efforts – which is apparent in the number of condos and parks being developed – as well as the affordability of the land.

“It’s very difficult to do senior living in Toronto because the cost of land is very, very high. You need pretty good density to make this work,” Binions said. “This is a multi-generational is great. And in the downtown core there just isn’t much down there for seniors, so this is great. And it’s a renewing area.”

Despite its close proximity to the downtown core, prices in the area are still affordable due to the poor reputation Regent Park is quickly shedding.

“Absolutely, [investors should be targeting this area]. I look at what they’ve done there and it had to take quite a vision at the beginning of this process,” Binions said. “And I’m not sure if they had come to me on day one, before they had begun the renewal, and said ‘this is what we’re going to do – we’re going to turn this neighbourhood around and this is going to be an area in demand’ I’m not sure 100% what I would have said back then.”

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Condo investors: Fear not

Renewed interest in purpose-built rental apartments may scare off potential condo investors but one industry veteran argues those fears are overblow.

“Right now the number of (purpose built rentals) will continue to be overwhelmed by the number of condo acquisitions and rentals,” Scott Chandler, senior vice president, advisory and investments sales for Colliers International, told Canadian Real Estate Wealth. “It’s a small segment that really isn’t growing as fast as condo investment.

“It’s still early days to be worrying.”

In Toronto, one of the country’s hottest condo markets, purpose-built rental construction increased to a 25-year high of 3,476 units last year; double the national annual average since 1990.

Still, condo rentals also saw a boom last year.

According to Urbanation’s Q4 statistics, the number of condo apartments rented through the MLS system last year in the GTA spiked 19%, reaching 27,166. That trend picked up steam to close out the year, as well. Total lease volume in the fourth quarter increased 26% year-over-year to 5,628 units.

For now it seems condo investors can continue to rely on strong rental prospects, especially with Ontario’s job creation – much of which has centred in Toronto – as well as continued immigration to the Hog Town.

Ontario added 23,000 jobs in December.

Toronto is expected to reach a population of 9.4 million by 2041.

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Should investors have cause for worry in T.O.?

Condo rentals have been booming in Toronto, especially in 2015 but that doesn’t mean investors don’t have cause to be skeptical of the future of that market, according to one industry professional.

“I don’t know if the trend will continue, but obviously I hope so; there are a lot of trends competing against (single condo investments in Toronto),” Brendan Powell, a real estate broker with the BREL Team Sage Real Estate in Toronto, told CREW. “A lot of rental-only buildings are now going up and that market could expand.”

Still, there is no argument that market has been a lucrative one for investors heretofore.

According to Urbanation’s Q4 statistics, the number of condo apartments rented through the MLS system last year in the GTA spiked 19%, reaching 27,166. That trend picked up steam to close out the year, as well. Total lease volume in the fourth quarter increased 26% year-over-year to 5,628 units.

However, the purpose-built rental construction increased to a 25-year high of 3,476 units last year; double the national annual average since 1990.

And that trend is one that may cause concern for area investors.

“Who knows how much that will put pressure on the market,” Powell said. “I think it’s smart to be cautious.”

Nevertheless, the long-term outlook for Toronto real estate remains strong, according to Powell. And that argument is only strengthened by the renewed interest in purpose-built buildings which, for many years, remained mostly untapped.

“The long-term vision is solid; a lot of people want to live in Toronto,” he said. “People will continue to move here.”

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Surging market putting more and more Vancouver homes out of reach

2015 has seen modest or negative real estate price growth in all but two Canadian markets – namely, Vancouver and Toronto. Taking these two areas into account, average resale home price across Canada went up by 10.2 per cent.

In particular, the latest official figures showed that the MLS home price index (the rate of price changes over time) for the Vancouver market as of December 2015 was up by 18.9 per cent from 2014. Also, the benchmark for detached-house properties went up by 24.3 per cent over the same period, representing a price of $1,248,000.

This trend has prompted the increased popularity of the #DontHaveAMillion hashtag among disgruntled would-be owners, highlighting the invisible barrier that looms over a growing fraction of the purchasing population. This is in conjunction with the number of Vancouver homes listed for sale last year, which was among the area’s lowest historically.

Compounding the situation for prospective buyers are the latest mortgage rule changes that will saddle consumers going for properties worth more than $500,000 with larger down payments.

Despite rumbling discontent, however, the burgeoning market is showing no signs of stopping as 2015 home sales went up by almost 28 per cent, translating to 42,326 transactions in that year alone. Vancouver property assessments have seen a corresponding increase to 30 per cent.

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A sign of things to come for investors in Canada’s hottest markets?

The vacancy rate in November was 2.87 percent, up from 2.31 percent a year earlier and the highest since August 2006, according to a report Thursday by appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate. Landlords eager to fill empty units lured tenants with the most concessions since 2011.

The rise in vacancies suggests tenants are reaching the upper limits of what they’re able to pay after more than four years of almost continuous rent growth, according to Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel. In November, the median monthly apartment rent climbed 3.9 percent from a year earlier to $3,361. Leasing costs have jumped more than 18 percent since the end of the recession in June 2009.

“We’re reaching the point where things can’t go up as much,” Miller said in an interview. “The economics don’t make much sense anymore.”

New York’s improving job market since the end of the recession is luring people to Manhattan. The newcomers have competed for housing in a market already crowded with would-be homebuyers who are lingering in their apartments because the cost of purchasing has become increasingly out of reach. New York City added 94,000 private-sector jobs in the 12 months through October, according to the state Labor Department.

“The conditions that are driving rents higher haven’t changed,” Miller said. “What’s changed is the acceptance of it, the affordability of it.”

Landlord Concessions

The number of newly signed leases climbed 7.7 percent in November to 3,082, Miller Samuel and Douglas Elliman said. Fourteen percent of those deals came with some kind of sweetener, such as a month’s free rent or the landlord’s payment of the broker fee — the biggest share since March 2011. Last November, only 4.8 percent of new leases came with concessions.

Manhattan landlords are facing increased competition from new luxury towers in Brooklyn and Queens that offer similar amenities, such as doormen and fitness centers, at a lower price. In Brooklyn, the number of new leases jumped 10 percent last month to 640, the firms said. The median rent was $2,935, down 0.4 percent from a year earlier, according to the report, which measures the neighborhoods in the north, northwest and eastern parts of the borough.

In northwest Queens, including the neighborhoods of Long Island Island City and Astoria, new rental agreements surged 95 percent, while the median monthly price climbed 8.3 percent to $2,735.

Less Luxurious

Manhattan renters are seeking smaller, less luxurious units. That’s pushing up prices for apartments in buildings without doormen more than in buildings that have lobby attendants. The median rent for a unit in a non-doorman building climbed 3 percent last month from a year earlier to $2,727, while the median for buildings with doormen rose only 0.4 percent to $3,836, Miller Samuel and Douglas Elliman said.

The luxury-apartment market, the top 10 percent of all rentals by price, was the only category with a decline in prices. The median rent in November fell 1.4 percent to $8,537.

“Complaining about high rents in Manhattan is nothing new, but now it’s becoming more visceral to tenants,” said Miller, who’s been tracking the apartment market since 1991. “We’re hitting the point where affordability is really becoming a much bigger issue than it has been in the past.

Bloomberg News
Oshrat Carmiel

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Quiet and clean in Plateau.

Fully Furnished Studios from $910-$1200/month, $500-$550/week, $800-$850 /two weeks, $75-150/day
Located on the Plateau, at the hub of a multitude of neighbourhood amenities
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shops on Avenue Mont-Royal and St-Denis, Parc Lafontaine,
and numerous cafés and restaurants.

Amenities include:
• High-speed cable Internet WI-FI
• Cable TV
• Terrace
• Radio
• CD Player
• Phone with unlimited calls anywhere in Canada
• Close to Metro Mont-Royal and Metro Sherbrooke bus routes
• Washing machine and dryer in the building ($$)

Each Studio also equipped with:
• Fully equipped kitchens
• Sheets and towels
• Pillows
• Duvet
• Coffee maker
• Refrigerator
• Toaster
• Microwave
• Dishes
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• Utensils
• Pots and pans

If you are interested, please send us an email with the following information:
Your name:
Number of People:
Date of arrival:
Date of departure:

Katherine 514-553-9128 French 514 583 0823 Kimberley

Des studios entièrement meublés à partir de 910 -1200$ / mois
Des studios entièrement meublés à partir de 500$-550$/ semaine, 800$-850$/ deux semaines.
Des studios entièrement meublés à partir de 75-150 $ / jour

Situé sur le Plateau, au centre d’une multitude de services de quartier
– Nous sommes à quelques pas du métro Mont-Royal et de métro Sherbrooke,
commerces sur l’avenue du Mont-Royal et St-Denis, Parc Lafontaine,
et de nombreux cafés et restaurants.

Les équipements incluent:
• haut débit à Internet par câble WI-FI
• Télévision par câble
• Terrasse
• Radio
• lecteur CD
• Téléphone avec appels illimités partout au Canada
• Près de lignes des métros Mont-Royal et Sherbrooke et de lignes d’autobus
• Lessiveuse et sécheuse dans le bâtiment ($$)

Chaque studio dispose également:
• Cuisines équipées
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Si vous êtes intéressé, s’il vous plaît envoyez-nous un courriel avec les informations suivantes:
Votre nom:
Nombre de personnes:
Date d’arrivée:
Date de départ:

Katherine 514-553-9128 et en français 514 560 0823 Josephine.

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