Daily Market Update

Environmental impact on house prices, a concern for the Great Lakes...Commercial property sees vacancy rates rise again, but slower…and should real estate be excluded from ‘crowd-funding’?

Low water levels mean lower prices
Lower water levels in the St Lawrence region of The Great Lakes are not only having an environmental impact but could also have an effect on property prices. A report published today, Low Water Blues ,conducted for the Council of the Great Lakes Region suggests that if water levels continue to decline it will cause huge economic damage and wipe almost $1 billion of property values by 2050. Environmental changes from shallower waters in marinas to conditions affecting access to beaches will make the region less desirable for the recreational real estate market and drive down prices. Read the full story.

Commercial vacancy rate rises again
For the eighth quarter in a row, the vacancy rate for offices has seen a rise and now stands at 10.4 per cent. It’s not a simple case of fewer businesses requiring space; more one of optimistic development running ahead of business’ economy of space. While developers have been busy building new units, this has often been utilised by companies moving from older property and newer developments offer better use of space, allowing more people to fit into smaller units. The new report from the CBRE has positive indicators though. The rise in the vacancy rate has slowed; better than it has been in around two years; and with job creation predictions higher, businesses should be requiring more space. Read the full story.

Should real estate be ‘crowd-funded’
Crowd-funding is helping all kinds of business and ideas to get off the ground, but some proposed changes to make these kind of investments easier, may exclude real estate deals. The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada says that provincial securities commissions have concerns about abuse of the system if this finance model is used for home purchases, typically investors collectively buying rental properties. Those opposing the changes say that real estate is a proven business model and a relatively safe investment, certainly compared to an unknown start-up company. In the US, real estate is one of the biggest sectors of crowd-funding, worth an estimated $135 million. Read the full story.

Winnipeg real estate audit
Winnipeg city council has ordered an audit of all major real estate transactions from the last five years. The audit will take place on 2nd July, with a special city council meeting planned for the next day. Read the full story.

Homebuyers given a head start
While many have turned to the ‘bank of mom and dad’, that’s not always an option for first-time buyers. It’s like a challenge on a TV game show to raise enough money for a down payment, while all the time the amount needed is pushed up by increasing prices! There are, however, some schemes out there to help. Saskatchewan provincial government along with builders and credit unions have a scheme called Head Start on a Home, which finances construction of entry-level homes and then gives buyers access to affordable finances. With down payments and high prices causing concern for so many Canadians, schemes like this one are likely to grow in popularity. Read the full story.

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