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What opportunities are there in the housing market today?

by Donald Horne on 08 Oct 2015
While the Toronto and Vancouver condo markets may be capturing the headlines, investors should be looking east where properties are providing much more bang for the buck.

“Especially the East Coast, where the average sale price of a house is lower compared to other parts of the country,” says Andrew Libby, owner of Modern Realty NB Inc. in Moncton, NB. “You can get a 1,200 square foot single family home on a 10,000 square foot piece of land in Moncton in a hot area for half the price you can get a Toronto condo for. And that is just the purchase price.”

A considerable savings, seeing as Toronto condos are going for on average $416,728, according to the latest numbers from the Toronto Real Estate Board.

From an investor standpoint in the East Coast, the true opportunities that Libby sees are two-fold – the first being single-family homes that are turned into rental properties.

“Then you have a property manager to manage those for you, so it is truly hands off,” he says. “And we do that, through our property management company.”

A lot of Libby’s clients are property owners that live throughout Canada and the world, relying on his property management company to find and manage tenants, collecting rents and perform maintenance.

“If someone is looking at a little bit of monthly cash flow, as well as having a buy-hold property for 10 years with the object of eventually selling, that is one opportunity,” he says.

The second opportunity for investors is to offer private lending, something that is growing in popularity in the East Coast by leaps and bounds.

“On my end, there are more people out there who need private mortgages,” says Libby. “I’ve got a higher demand for the money (from homebuyers) than I do to place the money for investors.”

While nothing is a certainty, Libby rarely has had a bad loan or investment from his own experience – but they do happen.

“Just like owning a banana stand, every once in a while you get a bad banana,” says Libby. “But those are the rare exceptions.”
 

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