News and Views – March 1st 2007

In like a lion out like a lamb……

There is a ton of stuff to tell you about that I’m just gonna tell you about it! So ‘click’ on the links provided and enjoy this full feast of real estate news, views and stuff!

(**I would like to thank RENX for compiling the following information**)

January sets record pace!

Open House – BLOG Style!

New type of Real Estate Agent?

Buy Term and Invest the Difference (ie – Rent and Invest the Difference)

Parkdale not so cheap after 20 years.

Flip this Condo for a Loss?!

Cottagefest Show – March 2-4, 2007.

Toronto gets $392-million for Affordable Housing.

CMHC Study on Canadians and their Mortgages.

Remember that GST rebate? Here’s an Update…

Scotia Economics report – Diversification, The Retirement Plan of Canadians.

FSBO – a different twist.

Social Networking Site and More Stuff!

If anyone has a Facebook account, please look us up at Canadian Real Estate and MORE!!!! This group exists to inform its members of real estate ‘stuff’. It will also be a great site for networking for people across Canada whose interests happen to be in real estate.

And now, on to the news…….

Hey! Remeber to visit www.RealCashCanada.com . You will find a News Link to Globe and Mail’s Real Estate News and more!

Western Housing Market ‘vulnerable’ because of unsustainable rapid growth.

Canadian Housing Market to remain high and strong.

The Condo VS House Debate rages on…not really, but this IS an interesting read!

The Case for Title Insurance.

The Debate between Renting VS Owning continues HERE. And this time the renters Win!!!

Housing Crisis in Alberta!

KPMG Weekly Newsletter – For the Week Ending February 18th 2007!

February 19, 2007

The following information was obtained from newspaper articles appearing
in the Globe and Mail and the National Post for the week ending
February 18, 2007

Alexis Nihon REIT has endorsed a sweetened all-cash offer of $18.60 a unit by Halifax-based
Homburg Invest Inc., up 10 cents from its initial bid of $18.50. Cominar REIT has until February
21, to top Homburg’s bid.
********
Homburg Invest Inc. plans to sell about $500-million worth of the projects in its development
pipeline in 2007. Homburg is now in the process of placing $100-million of bonds and may issue
up to $250-million worth of equity this year.
********
Sunrise Senior Living REIT has received a buyout offer worth $1.4-billion, or $18 per unit, from
Health Care Property Investors Inc. An earlier bid by Ventas Inc. is worth $971.4-million or $15
a unit.
********
Four Seasons Hotels Inc. has reached an agreement to take itself private at a price of US$82 a
limited voting share in a transaction that values Four Seasons at US$3.8-billion, including debt.
Following completion of the transaction, Four Seasons will be owned by affiliates of Cascade
Investment LLC, owned by Bill Gates, and Kingdom Hotels International. Four Seasons
founder Isadore Sharp will remain as chairman and CEO and his family firm, Triples Holdings
Ltd., will retain a 10% stake through special voting shares.
********
Mills Corp. has agreed to be acquired by Simon Property Group Inc. and Farallon Capital
Management LLC for US$25.25 a share, or about $1.64-billion in cash. Including assumed debt
and preferred shares, the transaction has a value of US$7.9-billion. Brookfield Asset
Management Inc., which had previously struck an agreement with Mills for $21 a share or $1.35-
billion, will reportedly receive a breakup fee of about US$40-million.
********
Boardwalk REIT reported that fourth-quarter profit rose to $6.5-million, or 12 cents a unit, from
$1.2-million, or 2 cents, a year earlier. Rental revenue increased to $83.6-million from $75.5-
million. Funds from operations climbed to $25-million from $17.8-million.
********
UBC Okanagan in Kelowna is searching for partnerships with developers to enter long-term
leases for a portion of 60 acres of the campus set aside for commercial development that will
include offices, research facilities and a hotel. On 285 acres adjacent to the campus, Watermark
Developments Ltd. plans to build 70,000 square feet of retail space as part of a village-style
development that will include housing for students, faculty and staff.
********
According to Cushman & Wakefield LePage, the total occupancy cost for office space in Calgary
rose to US$43.84 per square foot in 2006, making it the 28th most expensive market in the world
and the most expensive in Canada. London is the world’s most expensive market at US$246.17,
followed by Tokyo at US$182.88 and Hong Kong at US$177.78.
********
According to the Canadian Real Estate Association, sales of existing homes rose 3.4% to
30,359 units in January from December, on a seasonally adjusted basis. Nationally, the average
price climbed 11.2% to $299,318 from a year earlier. The average price in Edmonton soared 52.6% to $303,820 from 2006. New listings increased 3.1% to 48,035 units.
According to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., sales of existing homes are projected to fall
4% to 464,550 in 2007 from 483,609 in 2006.
********
According to the Canadian Institute of Mortgage Brokers and Lenders, there was $730-billion
in outstanding mortgage credit in Canada at the end of 2006.
********
According to J.J. Barnicke, commercial real estate construction costs in Western Canada are up
30% in some areas.
********
According to State Street Corp., the average yield of U.S. REITs dropped to 3.78% as of January
31, 2007.
********
According to the National Association of Realtors, U.S. home prices fell from a year earlier in
about half of all metropolitan areas in the fourth quarter. The median price dropped in 73 metro
areas, rose in 71 and was flat in five areas. Nationally, the median price fell 2.7% to US$219,300
from a year earlier. The biggest drop was an 18% decline in the Sarasota-Bradenton-Venice area
of Florida while the biggest gain was a 26% increase in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
********
According to the Commerce Department, U.S. housing starts fell 14.3% to an annual pace of
1.408 million in January from 1.643 million in December. Building permits were down 2.8%.
********
According to Real Capital Analytics, sale prices for office space in Austin, Texas, now average
US$181 a square foot, compared with US$130 in Dallas and US$129 in Houston. Sales prices
have increased 50% since 2002.
********
According to the Austin Board of Realtors, sales of single-family homes rose 10% in 2006 from
2005. The median home price increased 6% to US$174,500, compared with a national median
home price of US$222,000. According to Capitol Market Research, there are 4,200 apartments
and condominiums being planned or under construction in downtown Austin.
********
U.S. home lender ResMAE Mortgage Corp. has filed for bankruptcy protection and Credit
Suisse Group agreed to purchase most of its assets for US$19.1-million. According to
Bloomberg, ResMAE is at least the 20th mortgage company to be sold or closed.
********
According to RealtyTrac Inc., more than 1.3 million foreclosure filings were reported across the
U.S. in 2006, up 42% from 2005. Colorado had the highest foreclosure rate in 2006, with one filing
for every 33 households, up 85% over 2005. The number of U.S. homes entering the foreclosure
process due to nonpayment on mortgages rose to 130,511 in January, a 25% increase from a
year earlier.
********

KPMG Weekly Newsletter – For the Week Ending February 11, 2007!

February 12, 2007

The following information was obtained from newspaper articles appearing
in the Globe and Mail and the National Post for the week ending
February 11, 2007

H&R REIT has signed an agreement to develop The Bow, the 1.9-million-square-foot future
headquarters of EnCana Corp. to be built in downtown Calgary. H&R’s subsidiary, Centre Street
Trust, has purchased the site for $70-million and EnCana has signed a 25-year lease for the
entire 59-storey tower. The $1.1-billion project is scheduled for completion in 2011.
********
Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts will build a $430-million, 65-storey luxury hotel and condominium
tower in Toronto with 353 condominium units on the upper levels and 220 hotel rooms on the first
17 floors. Scheduled for completion in the spring of 2011, the Shangri-La will be located at the
corner of University Avenue and Adelaide Street. Vancouver-based Westbank Projects Corp.
and Peterson Investment Group Inc. will develop the project.
********
Manulife Financial Corp. acquired a 28-storey, 582,000-square-foot office building at 1100
Peachtree Street in Atlanta for US$153.86-million from a joint venture of USAA Real Estate Co.
and Carter.
********
Houston-based Hines REIT Inc. is reportedly about to close a $252-million purchase of Toronto’s
Atrium on Bay office and retail complex from Brookfield Properties Corp. and its investment
partner, Phoenix real estate developer Steve Ellman.
********
RioCan REIT reported that profit for the fourth-quarter ending December 31, rose to $43.4-million,
or 22 cents a unit, from $37.3-million or 19 cents in 2005. Funds from operations increased to
$77.1-million, or 39 cents a unit, from $66.5-million or 34 cents. Rental revenue climbed to
$151.2-million from $138.9-million. Portfolio occupancy at the end of 2006 was 97.7%.
********
Brookfield Properties Corp. reported fourth-quarter net income fell to $21-million, or 8 cents a
share, from $47-million (20 cents) a year earlier. Fourth-quarter funds from operations dropped to
$125-million (52 cents) from $138-million (59 cents). Brookfield is planning a three-for-two stock
split. The stock split will be in the form of a stock dividend and shareholders will receive one
Brookfield Properties common share for each two common shares held.
********
Brookfield Asset Management Inc. is reportedly moving forward with plans to purchase the
property management and development business assets of Australia’s Multiplex Ltd.
********
Simon Property Group Inc. and Farallon Capital Management made an offer of about
US$1.56-billion, or US$24 per share, for Mills Corp., which has more than US$6-billion in debt
and preferred stock that the two partners would also assume. Brookfield Asset Management
Inc. struck an agreement in January to purchase Mills for US$1.35-billion, or US$21 a share.
********
MI Developments Inc. is paying Magna Entertainment Corp. $12-million for 34 acres of land in
Aurora and US$20-million for a 64-acre parcel of land at Laurel Park in Maryland. MI plans to
develop the Aurora site for residential use and the Laurel Park property for mixed use either on its
own or as a joint venture.
********
The City of Montreal, the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Quèbec and the Fonds de
solidarité des travaileurs du Québec are looking to sell the subsidized-rent Cité Multimédia
complex. The property is reportedly expected to attract a price of at least $200-million.
********
ING Real Estate Investment Management Australia Pty. Ltd. is reportedly considering making
a bid for Chartwell Seniors Housing REIT in the $19.50 a unit range.
********
According to Avison Young Commercial Real Estate, the vacancy rate for industrial buildings in
Edmonton is below 2%. According to Torode Realty Edmonton, there is very little vacancy for
industrial space under 10,000 square feet. According to WAM Development Group, rental rates
for industrial space have risen between 30% and 40% to more than $8 a square foot from as low
as $5.50 two years ago.
********
According to the Real Property Association of Canada, the commercial-to-residential property
tax ratio is currently 4.9 in Vancouver. In 2006, Toronto agreed to reduce the ratio from 5:1 to
2.25:1 over 15 years.
********
According to CresaPartners, the vacancy rate for the best class of office space in downtown
Calgary is 0.05%.
********
According to Statistics Canada, new-home prices in Canada were 10.7% higher on an annual
basis in December than a year earlier. New-home prices are increasing at a 38% rate in Alberta
on an annual basis, but fell 0.9% on a monthly basis in December.
********
According to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., housing starts rose 17.3% to 249,300 units
in January from 212,600 in December, on a seasonally adjusted annual basis.
********
According to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., construction of new homes is expected to
fall to 209,500 units in 2007 and 195,500 units in 2008 from 227,395 in 2006. Sales of existing
homes are projected to fall to 464,550 units this year and 449,200 in 2008 from 483,609 in 2006.
The average price of an existing home will climb to $302,181 in 2008.
********
According to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., housing starts in Ontario are expected to
reach 67,000 units in 2007 and 63,000 units in 2008. According to the Ontario Home Builders’
Association, starts in January fell 2% from a year earlier.
********
According to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., the average price of a new single-detached
home in Clarington rose 13.4% to $296,746 in 2006 from $261,767 in 2005. New Tecumseth had
an average price of $268,793 for a detached house in 2006, while Georgina reported an average
price of $283,330. The average price in Bradford climbed 23.6% to $361,312 in 2006 from
$292,271 in 2005.
********
According to the Toronto Real Estate Board, 5,173 homes were sold through the MLS in
January, up 13% from January 2006 and 6% more than January 2002. The average sale price in
the GTA was $353,724 in January, up 5% from December and 9% over January, 2006.
********
According to the Realtors Association of Hamilton-Burlington, the average sale price of all
residential properties in the Hamilton-Burlington area increased by nearly 6% to $255,753 in
January from $241,285 for January, 2006. The average price in January was $268,729 for a
home and $193,735 for a condo. The total number of residential listings rose 7.4% to 1,545 in
January from 1,439 a year earlier.
********
Blackstone Group LP’s offer of US$22.9-billion in cash, or US$55.50-a-share, for Equity Office
Properties Trust was approved by shareholders. Blackstone also assumed US$16-billion in debt.
********
HSBC Holdings PLC reports that it has had to raise its total provision for bad loans by 20% due
to defaults by sub-prime borrowers in the U.S. housing market.
********
NewCentury Financial Corp., a sub-prime mortgage lender in the U.S., will restate earnings for
2006 because it had not set aside enough to cover borrowers who can’t meet their payments.
********
According to FPL Advisory Group, more than 90% of U.S. real estate executives expect their
companies’ profits to increase in 2007. More than 80% believe the availability of capital will be the
same as or better than in 2006 and 54% said their biggest financial challenge will be finding
appropriate investments.
********
According to Colliers International, rents for prime U.S. downtown office space may climb an
average of 15% in 2007, compared with an average increase of 18% in 2006. In midtown
Manhattan, rents for prime space rose 33% in 2006.
********
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were about 2.1 million vacant homes for sale in the
final three months of 2006. The national homeowner vacancy rate increased to 2.7% from 2% a
year earlier. The homeowner vacancy rate was 3% in the South, 2.9% in the Midwest, 2.4% in the
West and 2% in the Northeast.
********
According to the National Association of Realtors, median homes prices in the U.S. were up
1.1% in 2006.
********
According to the Mexican Association of Real Estate Professionals, housing sales in Acapulco
fell 40% in 2006 from 2005 and prices have dropped by as much as 20%.
********
British home builder Barratt Developments PLC will purchase Wilson Bowden PLC for £2.2-
billion ($5.1-billion), or £22.57 in cash and stock for each Wilson share.
********
China Properties Group plans to raise as much as $320-million in a Hong Kong IPO to fund
building work in Shanghai. Hong Kong-based China Properties is selling 450 million new shares,
or a 25% interest, for 53 cents to 71 cents each.
********

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day! Today is the news….

SatsCan has determined that housing prices didn’t change at the end of 2006 signalling an end to the 6 year run…

Mortgage Fraud Victory!! Hooray!!!!

CMHC predicts a ‘soft’ landing for Canadian real estate…

Expect a 5 year run for the Toronto Condo market.

The price of being GREEN…

March Madness: Real Estate vs RRSP’s

I thought CMHC said soft landing?!? Now they are saying that NEW construction will DROP over the next 20 months. And in Ontario expect a decline in the resale market. At the same time CREA is predicting an active year for the resale market nationwide and Toronto has started with a BANG to prove them right while Ottawa started with a wimper to prove them wrong. Are you confused about what’s happening in the real estate market? Me too!

A look at Regent Park and Public Housing….

Buy a Home for $1,000.

February 8th 2007:

Jim Adair reports on how Boomers will IMPACT the Demand for housing in Canada. I have had the opportunity to speak with Jim on many an occassion and he is nothing but a bright and insightful person. Anyways, check out his article HERE.

2007 starts off with a BANG in Toronto. Read all about it HERE.

What is Web 2.0 and how does it affect you and your real estate world?

New House Prices level off in December 2006. Read the financial post article HERE.

U.S. luxury homebuilder profits faaaaaaallllllll………

Century 21 2007 KickOff

WOW!!

What an event! I have to say that Century 21 sure knows how to put on an event. Their KickOff Event is an annual conference filled with motivational and insightful speakers. There is also an accompanying trade show as well. For many Realtors this event is a must attend. And so it is for many vendors and suppliers.

RealCash Bancorp was there as well! And boy, were we BUSY! There was lots of questions and inquiries about our company and services. Before I tell all of you a little bit about us I need to do something first…

Congratulations to Debra Jafelice, Sales Representative for Century 21 Today Realty for winning our special draw. Debra won a personal coffee maker from Cuisinart! Congrats Debra!

RealCash provides commission advances to Realtors across Canada. If you or any of your associates are in need of immediate funds, RealCash will purchase your earned commissions from your firm residential re-sale deal and deposit the funds into your bank account. It’s a simple and easy process. And FAST!

If you are wondering why someone would need this type of service just read what some of your associates have to say. You can read their comments by visiting our website at www.RealCashCanada.com and clicking on the Testimonials Link.

Well, that’s all for now!

Keep your eyes on THE BLOG for up to date information on all things pertaining to real estate!

I look forward to helping many of you soon.

Regards,

Karim Kanji
1.800.265.2694