“It is better to spend money like there’s no tomorrow than to spend tonight like there’s no money.” -Irish saying
THIS WEEK IN FACTS BY EMAIL (FBE)
- QUESTIONS, QUESTIONS
- HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY: WHY DUBLIN IS EUROPE’S BEST LANDLORD MARKET
- MOUNT PLEASANT HOT FOR MORE THAN CONDOS
- ALBERTA: SAFE IN THE BIG CITIES; BLOOD IN THE OILPATCH – OR WHY CALGARY IS A GOOD BUY NOW
- LENDING LOOSENS FOR LAS VEGAS INVESTORS
- FURTHER UPDATE ON CANADA’S MULTI-FAMILY MARKET
- WILL NEW SUPPLY WEAKEN RETURNS IN OLDER RENTALS
- SMASHING NEW CONDO DEALS
- VICTORIA – NOT ALL ROSES – BUT GOOD FOR INVESTING
I N T E R N A T I O N A L: Happy St. Patrick’s Day: Why Dublin Is Europe’s Best Landlord Market
As your faithful servant reported to you last summer (I was in Europe) real estate values in London and Dublin and other European nations were soaring at
the time. Now, Toronto-based Canadian Apartment Property Real Estate Investment Trust (CAPREIT) has become the biggest and only significant player in the Irish multi-family rental market. From the fall of 2013 when the REIT bought a four-building, 308-suite
Dublin apartment complex at auction, it has raised (CAN)$285 million and acquired more than 1,200 apartments in 10 buildings – nearly all in Dublin – under
its I-RES banner.
CAPREIT was smart on its timing, sure, but there are solid reasons why Dublin has become and could remain the best European market for landlords.
Here are the top reasons why:
– Tougher mortgage rules for homebuyers
: Ireland’s Central Bank has changed mortgage lending. Since January 1, most buyers now require a minimum 20% down payment. (The stated
aim is that only 15% of new Irish mortgages should have a LTV of more than 80 %.) In addition, it has also decided that only 20% of new mortgages should be
issued above a level of three and a half times income. The Central Bank said it is trying to avoid another property crash andcool the recent rise in prices (up 40% since 2013)!!! All this means is that more young people will be renting rather than buying because few have 20% down and virtually no one can find a home
worth only 3 times their income.
– Ireland has no rent controls. CAPREIT has been able to increase rents between 10% and 15% depending on turnover or renewal. Most
rentals are under one-year leases and landlords are allowed to raise rents “to market value” every year.
– There is, currently, a huge supply: One source is the government-led “bad bank” auctions (I-RES have won all three auctions
carried out to date by that organization) and future commitments are for them to sell off CAN$356 million of property each quarter. There are about 13,000
units in total to be sold. Irish and foreign banks are also sitting on thousands of condo apartment units that need to be unloaded over time, and some
portfolios – and buildings – are selling below peak prices.
– High quality properties. Many of the Dublin rental buildings are newer and were originally completed as condominiums before and
after the 2008 crash.
– The Irish government is encouraging larger buyers of apartment buildings to bring stability to what has been a wild-west style
market. “It is a very, very fragmented market there. There has never been professional management there before,” said an I-RES consultant.
– Looming shortage. Irish new home construction has been stalled for nearly a decade. Studies estimate that between 2014 and 2021,
8,000 housing units a year are needed to be built to satisfy demand (either single-family or apartments). Instead, fewer than 1,000 on average are being
– Lower operating costs. I-RES attributes high operating margins at the REIT (NOI margins over 80%) due to lower property taxes in
Ireland versus Canada, separate metering in all units in Ireland, and lower expenses as the REIT adds scale, plus robust rental rate growth.
So how much are Dublin apartment buildings selling for? Last August I-RES bought 761 quality apartments in four Dublin buildings for the equivalent of
CAN$283 million. This pencils out to $371,800 per door, not cheap, even by Vancouver standards.
Major Point: This may well become the model for what Mr. Poloz is contemplating! If you are ready to enter the real estate market or if you wish to
refinance this year … do it now. The whole ball game is about to change!!! We do not need higher interest rates to drive out buyers, but with
the stated government position (that we are 30% overvalued) there is no option but to hit qualification criteria.
Lending Loosens For Las Vegas Investors
This just in from ace Las Vegas real estate agent and property manager Manny Cordova of CanAm Real Estate Services
(Speaker at Landrush 2015).
“We just received notice that Canadian financing along with other non-US resident financing will be available on April 3, 2015. The loans will be up to
75% Loan to Value with rates ranging from 4% to 6% based on Canadian credit ratings. This is good news. As the Canadian dollar continues to slip behind
the US dollar it makes buying investment properties in the US that much more difficult as the cost of moving money is no longer in Canadians favor. Now
Canadians have the ability to finance residential property in Las Vegas, Nevada. This is something we have all been waiting for”
Cordova wrote in an email.
Should anyone have any questions or wish to discuss further, contact Manny Cordova at 702-897-9553; email: email@example.com
C A N A D A: Questions And Comments
Received several questions on my comment “just saying” in my last FBE, comments on the last hotline, the Westwood Plateau golf course sale and 8 emails
concerning ‘deflation in Europe, Harry Dent and Jim Rickards’.
A: (Just saying)
I made the comments to on ‘just saying’ that the last time we moved to unexpected and irrational exuberant heights in land prices, there came a day of
reckoning (for developers). It did not necessarily affect the rest of the market … or at least not for long. Look at Olympic Village
and many projects in the Fraser Valley that stalled because of high land prices resulting in high condo prices, which drove buyers away.
A: Westwood Plateau. Subscriber wondered when I previously discussed trailer parks, golf courses, mini storage, and warehouse purchases. I have been at every Landrush and
Outlook conference as well as continuously on our website and in our Facts by E-mail. We made the point over and over that it is always the highest and
best use of the land that will drive prices (as the rezoning of the land on the eastside featured in this issue demonstrates). We thought trailer parks
were not only an income and real estate bets but also could be strata-titled for maximum resale value. We thought the same for industrial warehouses and
I fully understand why some of you think that deflation will be the outcome. Jim Rickards: Has been negative for years (wrongly) and his
constant exhorting to buy this or that “dramatic secret” puts me off. Harry Dent – who I like – wrote in 2008 the book “The Depression of
2010”. Had you listened to him and stayed (as a Canadian) out of the US real estate or out of real estate altogether – you would have lost the opportunity
of a lifetime. People have thought deflation for 50 years (please revisit a hundred articles I wrote and posted on deflation/inflation on your password
However, CLEARLY these are difficult times and confusing. We are watching the world carefully … Thus our recommendation from last January to have
and stay 50% in cash. For now however, our position remains that inflation is and will be the winner for all hard assets.
The official number stands at 1.6%, but if you take out lower gas prices 7 out of 8 reported items are in a much higher rate of inflation. As of March 20:
Food (in general) is up 4, 8%, meat 12.8%, vegetables 8.8%, fruit 3.5%, metered gas 11%, electricity 5% … and imagine you added house prices or rent
increases, hah? So the official ‘core rate’ stays below 2%… but hello, whatever you and I spend money on – just to live – is rising at much faster rates.
Real estate around the world is rising as the slushing around of money is looking for yield and safety. Imagine getting .17% of 1% for German Bunds (bonds)
or negative interest rates now prevalent in 25% of the countries of the world!
Mount Pleasant Hot For More Than Condos
Mount Pleasant in East Vancouver has been trending for condominium sales, but a City of Vancouver zoning change has made the commercial
market even hotter.
Last year the City changed the zoning in the area to allow a 3 FSR and mixing of office space with industrial. Since the change was
Mount Pleasant industrial real estate prices have hit the highest level in Metro Vancouver, at $384 per square foot, up 34% in the past year, reports Avison Young.
Some recent sales are already well above that average: old, one-storey industrial buildings close to West 2nd Avenue are selling for $500 per
The density change has transformed what would typically be considered industrial transactions into land deals, says Avison Young, which
has been tracking action in the area. “The higher pricing has essentially rendered retaining the existing structures as an inefficient use.”
Another zoning-fueled area for land speculation is the Kingsway Avenue area south of King Edward Avenue. Spurred by a city plan that encourages a shift towards multi-family development, land prices have increased an average of $46 per square foot
over the past year.
Third Properties Ltd., for instance, paid $8.3 million for less than half an acre in the 2400-2600 block of Kingsway; and Intracorp Developments Ltd. paid
$314 per square foot for small lot in the same area.
Major Point: As an investor, look for view corridors in Mount Pleasant and the Kingsway area: even a two-storey building in the right
area can catch impressive city and mountain views, worth a lot for both condos and office space.
Alberta: Safe In The Big Cities, Blood In The Oilpatch – Why Calgary Is A Good Buy Now
The drop in oil prices has yet to fully play out in Alberta but it is our belief that real estate investors will be safe – could even be rewarded – if they
buy into Calgary and Edmonton this year. But it is a different story in the smaller towns and cities closer to ground zero: the vulnerable oil sands
markets without the critical mass or diversification to handle a prolonged slump.
Calgary: Completed and unsold housing units fell to their lowest level in more than 25 years in the Calgary CMA in 2014, with just one unsold new condominium, according to CMHC (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.) The oil price decline has put the
brakes on, but during the last five major oil price declines since 1985, Calgary new home prices fell in just two of those instances.
was during the last oil price slide – November 2008 to September 2009 – cr ude oil prices fell 49%, on average (yes, we have been there before!), and average Calgary resale price fell 10% but Calgary new house
prices declined just 2% (both from record highs). But this was during a world financial crisis: credit was cut off, the U.S. was in terrible financial
shape and Calgary itself was coming off bubble-like housing conditions. By 2011, Calgary house prices had recovered and a year later were posting new
highs. We expect a housing price correction this year – but a recovery eventually. CMHC is even forecasting a 2.9% increase in Calgary new detached house
prices this year, to $555,660.
Calgary rental investors should also be safe. The vacancy rate is in the 2% range and average rents are forecast to rise 3% next year to $1,350. A slowdown
in housing sales will drive or keep more people in the rental market.
biggest city is not a one-industry town: non-energy related areas such as agriculture, forestry and tourism, manufacturing and high-tech are expected to do
well this year, all benefitting from lower fuel prices, lower interest rates and a lower Canadian dollar. Construction costs for both labour and material
will also be lower, which could encourage public capital spending and help private developers.
– Edmonton: There are $5.2 billion in construction projects underway in downtown Edmonton, including a new arena, which will keep
construction jobs in the city. Also, fewer jobs will likely be lost than expected due to lower oil prices. A recent survey showed that just 16% of oil and
gas industry organizations in North America are considering layoffs. Also, as the Jurock Land Rush conference heard,
Edmonton housing is not in an overbuilt situation and continues to attract newcomers. “Edmonton is still doing fine,” said Robert McLeod,
CEO of McLeod Project Marketing Ltd. Housing sales and prices will moderate this year, but the rental vacancy will remain tight and
housing is already affordable in comparison with other major Canadian cities.
Now for the bad news.
Fort McMurray: Fort McMurray is at the front line of the oil price plunge and casualties are being taken. MLS sales fell 66% in February from February 2014 and are down 30% in the first two months of this year. So far, prices have held, with a
detached house price at $746,202 last month, down 5.5% from a year ago. If sales continue to track down, expect house prices to follow. Realtors are
advertising reductions of from 10% to 20% on some existing listings. Total active listings are up 11%.
Fort Mac’s rental apartment vacancy rate has spiked to 12.8%, the highest in Alberta, and the rental rate, at $2,100 per month for a
two-bedroom, could be set for a correction, On the upside, the unemployment rate remains at 4.8% and, barring any further job cuts, more people may opt to
rent this year than buy.
A survey of retailers confirmed that traffic and sales have slowed. Work camps are being scaled back or shutdown. Fort McMurray’s great
strength – hordes of young well-paid workers – is also its problem: many young people are likely to leave if the downturn persists.
Cold Lake: A $43 million jump in federal funding for the Cold Lake 4 Wing military air base, announced last month, is likely not enough to calm
concerns in this oil town. While most of the oil action is in-situ (oil is pumped rather than mined like in the oil sands) and major production continues,
the downturn has been felt. Total building permits through the first two months of this year plunged to $1.7 million, down from $8.9 million in the same
period a year ago and home builders nearly disappeared. For example, only two new single-family permits were issued in the first two months of 2015,
compared to 20 in the same period a year earlier.
In the past two years, Cold Lake has been handing grants of from $5,000 to $7,500 per suite to rental developers to encourage new rentals:
the result is an 8.7% vacancy rate and flat lining rental increases.
Major Point: As we said in our outlook issue, we like both Calgary and Edmonton. If you live and work there, buy there! Investors can stay on the sidelines but should
note that developers are open to low-ball offers – especially in Edmonton’s new condo market. Also in the used home market there may be
deals … people get scared and overreact to downturns, so long-term investors have an edge. Don’t be scared to make offers. Remember you make the best buys in tough markets.
For now, stay out of Fort McMurray, Cold Lake and the Bonnyville regions. Prices got too high and will fall further, and stay down longer, than in the
diversified big markets. Rental markets are also shaky in the smaller towns.
Further Update On Canada’s Multi-family Market
WILL NEW SUPPLY WEAKEN RETURNS IN OLDER RENTALS?
For years, multi-family rental has been a stable money spinner, and a key reason is a lack of competition since few new rental buildings were being built. That is changing: in 2014, starts of purpose-built rental apartments in Canada jumped 52.2% from the five-year average. More than 15,800 units were started across Canada,
10,872 of these in Canada’s six largest cities. Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal have seen most of them.
Vancouver, which has a relatively low rental universe – 106,111 units or about one-third of that of Toronto and one-fifth of Montreal – could be the most
affected if new rental construction ramps up from the 2,800 apartments started last year and if more condos are pushed into the rental stream.
But, as CBRE Research notes, with the high housing prices in Vancouver, “demand for rental real estate is almost certain to be further
Victoria In Recovery Mode … But Not Recovered Yet!
We chatted with ace Realtor and Author Rick Hoogendoorn (firstname.lastname@example.org) and he gave us 3 examples of what your money can buy
you in Victoria and how that relates to what the same properties sold for previously:
Least Expensive Fully-Rentable Downtown Victoria 2 bedroom condo
302-1026 Johnson St, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 1,116 square feet, steel & concrete building, $391/mo strata fee
stainless steel appliances, in-suite laundry. Listed now at $289,900 (bought in 2009 for $282,500)
Least Expensive Rancher in Greater Victoria
2833 Knotty Pine Rd,3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom,1,200 square feet,7,841 sq. ft. lot, new stainless steel appliances
attached garage with workshop. First listed in July 2013 at $369,900, Reduced to $359,900 in August 2013, Reduced to $349,900 in October
2013,Reduced to $339,900 in November 2013, Listing expired in December 2013, Relisted for $325,000 in July 2014, Reduced to $319,000 in July 2014, Listing
expired January 2015. Relisted for the current price of $299,500 February 2015
Least expensive LEGAL duplex in City of Victoria
1169/1171 Balmoral Rd, Up / Down duplex, upper suite 945 sq. ft., 2 bedrooms / 1 bathroom, currently rented at $1,300/mo, lower suite 952 sq. ft., 2
bedrooms / 1 bathroom, currently rented at $1,050/mo, 1st listed in June 2012 for $560,000. Reduced to $534,900 in July 2012. Listed –
expired in October 2012. Relisted February 2015 at current price of $509,900.
1. Edmonton, downtown,
brand new reconstruction (concrete & steel).
1 bedroom. Price: $196,900 projected rent – $1,425;
2. Edmonton, brand new reconstruction downtown (walk to everywhere),
1 bedroom plus Den. Price: $232,400 projected rent $1,595. You can secure both these units with 10% until July 2016. This works out to be a 12% return.
Anyone can submit a deal to be offered here. There are no guarantees, you must do your own due diligence. For contact info go to your password protected website.
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