GE to sell real estate for $30billion
General Electric Co. said it would sell the bulk of its real estate portfolio to investors including Blackstone Group and Wells Fargo & Co. for $26.5-billion, in the biggest commercial real estate deal since 2007. According to the Globe and Mail, the company, which has been refocusing on its industrial businesses, also said its board had authorized a share repurchase program of up to $50-billion. The plan allows GE to buy back nearly 2 billion of its outstanding shares, based on Thursday’s close. GE’s shares rose 2.2 per cent to $26.30 in premarket trading on Friday. The stock rose nearly 2 per cent on Thursday after the Wall Street Journal first reported that the company was close to selling its real estate holdings. GE has been selling off its property investments globally as it focuses on improving earnings from sales of products such as jet engines, generators, electric grid gear and oil field equipment.
Fixed rate dips to 1.49, upping the ante for real estate market
A Toronto-based credit union has upped the ante in the spring mortgage market rate wars, a development that is likely to make the country’s most expensive markets even hotter. According to the Financial Post, though the term is only for 18 months, Meridian, Ontario’s largest credit union, has offered what appears to be one of the lowest rates ever on a fixed term at 1.49 per cent. Rob McLister, the founder of ratespy.com, said he thought the new promotion from Meridian might have been a misprint at first. “Now we can say spring market is officially underway,” he said. “This is interest rate insanity.” McLister says over 18 months, based on the difference between the current five-year fixed rate mortgage, consumers will save $1,609 of interest per $100,000 of mortgage. He says that’s enough money to make people stop and think about signing up for the unusual term.
Spring welcoming buyers to market in Toronto
As lively as Toronto’s real estate market has been so far in 2015, this is the week that activity really starts to intensify.
With Easter, Passover and March break all behind them, prospective buyers have more properties to look at in every price segment – from downtown condos to a 16,000-square- According to the Globe and Mail, not only are listings swelling, but the number of buyers is increasing too, says real estate agent Boris Kholodov of Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd., Johnston and Daniel Division. Families with school-aged kids begin to plan their buying and selling strategies around now because they typically want their moves to coincide with the end of the school year. “They are home from March break and they feel energized,” he says of house hunters. “The kids are back in school and they start looking.” The Toronto Real Estate Board reported this week that sales in the Greater Toronto Area last month jumped 11 per cent compared with March, 2014. The average selling price in the GTA rose 10 per cent in March compared with the same month last year. Read more here