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Toronto due for double-digit market rent increase in 2019





Toronto landlords with vacant units could enjoy as much as an 11% hike in rent next year.

That’s according to’s National Rent Report, which only studied empty units and also forecasted that rents nationwide would increase 6% in 2019.

Ben Myers, president of Bullpen Research & Consulting Inc., notes that the breakdown in Toronto is pretty evenly split between purpose-built rental apartments, which skew older, and newer condominium rental units. He also says that Toronto chronically under-delivers the number of units needed every year, and it’s contributing to rising rents.

“There’s probably demand for about 25,000 new rental units a year, and we’re delivering somewhere in the neighbourhood of 2,000 new purpose-built rentals and 18,000 to 22,000 condo rentals,” he said, “which means we’re under-delivering by 3-5,000 units every year.”

The preference remains for newer, lavish units, which typify condo rentals.

“Renters like a higher level of finish and newer amenities, and some of the older buildings might be larger but they’re not providing the lifestyle some of these renters are looking for,” added Myers.

The preponderant reason for the double-digit market rental hike in Toronto has to do with the economics of purchasing a condo unit in the city. In downtown Toronto, investors are buying in at between $1,000 and $1,200 per square foot, and in order to stay cash flow positive they will need to increase rents considerably.

Of course, that’s compounded by a growth in the number of renters. Since the B-20 mortgage stress test was introduced in January, many people are precluded from homeownership. Making matters worse for would-be purchasers, Canada has officially entered a rising interest rate environment.

“It’s reducing credit availability in the market and people can’t afford the home they wanted, so people are choosing to rent longer to afford the home they want instead of the home they don’t want, and that they’d sell three to four years down the road,” said Myers.

Davelle Morrison, an investor-landlord and sales representative with Bosley Real Estate, says her biggest challenge in 2018 has been keeping up with the number of prospective tenants who contact her for rentals, whether her own or her clients’.

“There was a one-bedroom in Leslieville that had over 90 inquiries,” she said. “Another property, a two-bedroom condo at Yonge and Summerhill, had over 30 people show up at an open house. The challenge for landlords right now is keeping up with demand because so many people are looking.”

After Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal government, voted out of office earlier this year, introduced rent control, many landlords sold their units to end-user purchasers, and that flooded the marketplace with even more tenants looking for rentals, says Morrison.

“It’s good for landlords if they’re in a good neighbourhood,” she said. “They need to be in a downtown neighbourhood to command that demand. For landlords north of the 401, the demand isn’t quite as high, but the demand is high in the central core—Midtown, Leslieville, the West End.”


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Victoria real estate agent disciplined for false advertising, encouraging cash deal to avoid taxes





A Victoria real estate agent is facing $9,000 in fines and a 60-day licence suspension after breaking several professional rules during the sale of her father’s half-million-dollar property, according to a decision by the Real Estate Council of B.C. 

Whitney Garside’s missteps — outlined this week in a disciplinary decision posted on the council’s website — included falsely advertising the property as being almost twice its actual size and advising the buyer they could avoid the property transfer tax if they paid cash directly to the seller.

The property on Burnett Road in Victoria was being sold in 2016 by the real estate agent’s father. That relationship was disclosed and isn’t among the reasons she has been disciplined.

According to the disciplinary consent order, Garside told the buyer — whose name is redacted — that by paying $42,000 cash on the side, the value of the property could be reduced to avoid paying the property transfer tax.

That cash arrangement was not shared with Garside’s brokerage, Re/Max Camosun, a failure that contravened the Real Estate Services Act.

The council also ruled that she “failed to act honestly and with reasonable care and skill” when she advised the buyer the property transfer tax could be avoided by paying cash directly to the seller. 

The council’s discipline committee also found that Garside committed professional misconduct when she failed to recommend the seller and buyer seek independent legal advice, specifically regarding the property transfer tax and the cash agreement.

Another issue the council considered professional misconduct involved the size of the property in question.

The council ruled that Garside published false and misleading advertising and failed to act with reasonable care and skill when the property was advertised as 8,712 square feet, when in fact a portion of the lot belonged to the Ministry of Transportation, and the actual size was just 4,711 square feet.

The discipline committee ordered Garside’s licence be suspended for 60 days, which will be completed Jan. 3, 2021.

She has also been ordered to complete real estate ethics and remedial classes at her own expense.

Garside was also fined $7,500 as a disciplinary penalty and $1,500 in enforcement expenses.

She agreed to waive her right to appeal the council’s discipline committee’s decision in September.

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Frisco apartment community sells to Canadian investor





A Canada-based investor has purchased a Frisco apartment community as part of a larger Texas deal.

The 330-unit Satori Frisco apartments opened last year on Research Road in Frisco.

BSR Real Estate Investment Trust bought the four-story rental community that was built by Atlanta-based Davis Development.

Satori Frisco was more than 90% leased at the time of sale. The property includes a two-story fitness center, a car care center, a dog park and a resort-style swimming pool.

The Frisco property sold along with Houston’s Vale luxury apartments in a deal valued at $129 million.

“BSR recently exited the smaller Beaumont and Longview, Texas, markets and also sold noncore properties in other markets,” John Bailey, BSR’s chief executive officer, said in a statement. “We are now using our strong liquidity position to invest in Vale and Satori Frisco, modern communities in core growth markets with the amenities our residents desire.”

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House prices on Prince Edward Island continue steady climb





Residential real estate prices on Prince Edward Island continue to climb at a rate higher than the national average, according to the latest report from a national organization. 

The Canadian Real Estate Association released monthly figures for November 2020 on Tuesday.

They show that the average price for a resale home on P.E.I. is about 21 per cent higher than it was a year earlier. 

Only Quebec had a bigger year-over-year increase, at about 23 per cent. Overall across Canada, prices were up 13.8 per cent year over year in the ninth month of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“For the fifth straight month, year-over-year sales activity was up in almost all Canadian housing markets compared to the same month in 2019,” the report noted.

“Meanwhile, an ongoing shortage of supply of homes available for purchase across most of Ontario, Quebec and the Maritime provinces means sellers there hold the upper hand in sales negotiations.”

That lack of houses coming onto the market compared to the demand means that in those provinces, there is “increased competition among buyers for listings and … fertile ground for price gains.”

There have been anecdotal reports for months that Prince Edward Island’s low rate of COVID-19 infection and looser rules around social activities have been encouraging people to buy homes on the Island. 

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