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Thursday, 10 April 2014 18:21

East Central Saskatoon

Written by Grainne Burns
To say that Saskatoon has seen abundant growth over the last few years would be no understatement. Home to several burgeoning industries, including potash, oil and agriculture, the creation of new jobs in these sectors has had a strong effect on the city’s real estate market.

Market data from RE/MAX Saskatoon shows that the average price for a home has increased by 10.8 per cent since 2012, jumping from $398,000 to $438,000. The population has increased by just over 3 per cent, and is expected to continue its upward trend over time.

East Central Saskatoon often generates interest from student renters, given its proximity to the University of Saskatchewan. With many investors attracted to student rentals, this neighbourhood could potentially be a perfect match for them.

“This area is centered around the university,” explains Leslie Gallagher, an agent with RE/MAX Saskatoon. “It’s very attractive to students. We have students purchasing properties, which is cheaper than renting over several years.”

Aside from its proximity to the university, East Central Saskatoon is also a short distance away from the city’s downtown core, as well as various amenities and services.

The vacancy rate in the area is around 0.5 per cent, with the average rent for a house now at $2,000.

“Prices have been going up at a steady, gradual pace year-after-year for the foreseeable future,” she says.

Student rentals are the best buys in East Central Saskatoon. Specifically, a single-family home that can be rented out to one or more student tenants can generate some decent returns for investors.

“A house on a 50-foot-wide lot with a rental suite in the basement is a good example,” says Gallagher. “This is what you need if you ever want to split the title.”

Thursday, 27 March 2014 18:30

Bedford West, HRM

Written by Vernon

Located just north of the Halifax metropolitan area, Bedford is a small but vibrant community. Many of its residents commute to downtown Halifax each day for work or school, and direct links are provided via Highway 102 and Halifax’s transit system.

According to data from Brookfield RPS, the town’s average price for a house is $328,670, a 5.56 per cent year-over-year increase. Bedford’s population has also increased by nearly 12 per cent over the last decade.
Bedford may be a smaller district, but it has a lot to offer its residents.

“It’s definitely a growing community,” says Matt Honsberger, an agent with Royal LePage Atlantic. “It’s one of the areas within the greater HRM that has grown the quickest.”
Proof of this growth, says Honsberger, can be found in the high concentration of new developments in the area. A new high school is being built, as are a number of new houses and commercial properties.

Bedford will soon be home to a number of new residential builds, and Honsberger indicates that newly-built, single-family homes offer the best investment opportunity.  “The new constructions in Bedford West are particularly attractive,” Honsberger says. “There’s a condo development going up there, along with a few row houses, but for the most part, single-family homes are the best buy.”
Owning one of these new homes can prove to be very profitable for investors, as they command higher rents. On average, Honsberger says they can be rented out for up to $2,000 per month.

**Bedford West was listed as in the 2013 Top 100 Neighbourhoods listing by Canadian Real Estate Wealth. Subscribe here today.

Friday, 21 March 2014 05:01

Brossard South, Montreal

Written by Grainne Burns

A mid-sized city located on the south shore of Montreal, Brossard is gaining notoriety as both a great place to live and invest. It is also the home of Quartier DIX30, Canada’s first lifestyle centre, which features shopping, restaurants, entertainment and much more.

Prospective buyers are quickly taking note of the gains in Brossard, especially in the city’s southern district. Prices have increased by 4.36 per cent since 2012, and are currently holding at $390,000. Brossard has also seen significant population growth, as its population has jumped nearly 14 per cent.

One of the keys to southern Brossard’s success, says one expert, is its proximity to the island of Montreal, where many of its residents work or attend school. Montreal is accessible from Brossard using public transit and by three different bridges.

Newly-landed immigrant families, have been flocking to Brossard because “there is less crime, as compared to Montreal,” says Bernard Chan , an agent with Royal LePage Champlain, “and because of more affordable taxes.”

Investors looking to enter the Brossard market should consider looking at the city’s inventory of single-family homes. They are affordably priced, says Chan, and have the ability to produce some good returns.

“Single-family homes are the best buy in Brossard, and they generally rent out for $2,300 per month,” he says.
On average, rented single-family homes can earn investors $970 per month in cash flow, for a total of $11,640 annually.


**Brossard South was listed as in the 2013 Top 100 Neighbourhoods listing by Canadian Real Estate Wealth. Subscribe here today.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014 00:24

High Profits in Hinton

Written by Grainne Burns

Located in Yellowhead County, Hinton is not an obvious investment choice with a population of less than 10,000, but the area is ready to reap the benefits of a proposed $1.5-billion thermal coal mine.

Monday, 10 March 2014 04:10

Condo cash in Winnipeg

Written by Grainne Burns

With Winnipeg’s downtown core undergoing redevelopment, investors have been flocking to Manitoba’s capital to snap up many of the new condo units that have popped up in the locality.

Deciding on the perfect place to retire can be difficult, as there are many elements to consider such as the housing market, the climate, and healthcare. Elli Davis from Royal Le Page Real Estate Services in Toronto outlines her Top 5 retirement destinations.

Buyers have to be ready to jump into the market when the right opportunity presents itself. Not being prepared could cost you greatly. Simon Milberry, sales representative with RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd. in Toronto, offers his top five tips for first-time buyers.

Following the success of its consumer-focused advertising campaign heralding the benefits of independent broker advice, MCAP is now developing an enhanced program along the same lines for launch early next year.

“The campaign has always been about the brokers not MCAP and that’s why mortgage professionals appreciated it,” said Gino Tieri, VP of sales for MCAP, pointing to the company’s summer campaign, wound down last month. “That is why we are mapping out an improved campaign for some time during the first quarter of 2013.”

This year’s campaign, begun in August, included ads focusing on the theme Why a mortgage broker is a better deal for you published in On The Go, a free consumer magazine distributed all over the Greater Toronto Area; five-second spots running for four months on electronic billboards at Toronto’s Union Station; as well as pamphlets and posters, running on the same theme, for brokers’ offices.

Other lenders such as MonCana and MCAP’s own RMG ran similar campaigns promoting mortgage brokers this year, encouraging some members of the channel to suggest that lenders get together to launch a “collective mono-line campaign” for a nationwide media blitz promoting the channel.

“MCAP has been running programs to help brokers promote their business to their clients and community for years,” Tieri told “The program offers free tools that help them grow their brand.”

Among those is MCAP’s Key to Hope, a campaign supporting Habitat for Humanity Canada and offering brokers opportunities for community involvement and profile building. The lender’s Broker Advantage program is also helping mortgage professionals expand their market by providing marketing tools, support, and training on best practices.

Still, brokers are increasingly clamouring for the kind of direct advertising support MCAP and others are providing, arguing it’s the only real way to put a dent in the dominance of the Big Five.


Cashing in on fracking and gas drilling may seem like a good real estate idea at first but the long-term implications for you and your property can be quite the opposite.

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