Waterloo sales up 36 per cent
Sales of investment properties in Waterloo Region topped $1 billion last year, driven largely by the sale of Sun Life and BlackBerry properties. That's a 36 per cent increase from the spending on investment properties in 2013, according to commercial real estate firm Colliers International. According to the Waterloo Record, Spear Street Capital of San Francisco paid $305 million for a majority of BlackBerry's Canadian real estate. Concert Real Estate Corp. paid about $147 million for the 745,247-square-foot Sun Life building, which the financial services company is now leasing back.
Sales in the office sector alone totalled $470 million last year. Read story here
Time to sell snowbird properties?
A Globe and Mail article asks the pivotal question, with the dollar at a multiyear low is it time to sell snowbird properties in the U.S.? Since the bottom of the market in 2011, real estate prices have risen across the United States, including the states most popular with Canadian snowbirds – Florida, Arizona, California and Texas. Canadian clients who are opting to sell are either pocketing the profit or reinvesting by upgrading to a bigger home, Diane Olson, a realtor in Phoenix said. Then there are the people who bought 15 or 20 properties for investment purposes. “Some will keep holding, because their return on investment is unbelievable,” she said in the Globe and Mail article. “Where are you going to go to get a return like that? Others are saying, we’re going to free up our money, take it while it’s good and not get greedy.
Housing market stable in Canada but concerns remain: BMO
Canada’s housing market is expected to remain stable through this year, despite the winter chill that has settled over the Prairies and hot spots in Toronto and Vancouver. That’s according to a report issued Wednesday by the Bank of Montreal’s BMO Capital Markets. “Outside Vancouver and Toronto, valuations appear reasonable, reducing the chance of a severe nationwide correction,” senior economist Sal Guatieri wrote in the report. “Low interest rates should support steady sales and prices in 2015, though Alberta can expect a bumpier landing.” According to an article from Metroland, concerns however still remain.
Valuations and affordability are a greater concern in Toronto, Guatieri added, particularly when it comes to detached homes. “It’s a market that is vulnerable if we slip into recession and people lose their jobs or if interest rates rise rapidly,” he said. “We will see a correction in this region.”