Real Estate

Rental housing investor Starlight hit by rising real estate supply in U.S., compounding pain from higher rates

One of Canada’s largest owners of apartment buildings and multifamily properties is struggling to turn around two funds that bet on U.S. rental housing, with higher rates and an oversupply of new units eating into profits.

Starlight Investments, run by Canadian real estate magnate Daniel Drimmer, launched two funds that invested in U.S. rental properties during the COVID-19 pandemic with hopes that rising rents and low interest rates would keep sending property values soaring.

By November, 2022, however, the two publicly traded funds, known as the Starlight U.S. Residential Fund and the Starlight U.S. Multi-Family (No. 2) Core Plus Fund, faced some significant headwinds, and both halted their distributions because higher interest rates had sent their mortgage costs soaring.

The pain has only worsened since, and this week both funds reported negative funds from operations in 2023, which is a measure of profit for real estate investment funds. Not only

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Real Estate

Real estate investment startup Willow.ca acquired by rental platform Guiker

Majority of Willow’s team “offboarded” prior to acquisition, CEO to join Guiker.

Toronto-based proptech startup Willow.ca, which offers a fractional real estate investment platform, has been acquired by Montréal-based rental platform Guiker for an undisclosed amount.

Following the acquisition, which closed last week, Willow.ca’s platform features have been replicated on Guiker’s platform. In a statement sent to BetaKit, Guiker CEO Nan Hao said all of Willow.ca’s existing users have been migrated to Guiker

“With the acquisition of Willow.ca, we can transform rental activity into investment opportunities, driving up ROI as our user base continues to expand.”

Nan Hao

Willow.ca CEO Logan Yergens will stay on at Guiker as chief compliance officer to ensure the platform is compliant with OSC regulations. Hao said most of Willow.ca’s team was “offboarded” prior to the acquisition, adding that the deal was “mostly for [Willow.ca’s] license and clientbase.”

Though founded in 2019, Willow.ca

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Real Estate

Okanagan’s real estate listings could increase after new short-term rental rules - Okanagan

Jack Mendes is already contemplating what he will do with his short term rental unit in downtown Kelowna, B.C., if new legislation prohibits him from renting it to vacationers four months out of the year.

“I am positive that I will sell it,” Mendes told Global news. “Right now, we do long-term rentals in the winter for students. And then for the four months of summer, we have short-term rentals.”

Mendes believes many others, who got into the short-term rental market to make an income, will do the same as him.

“They’re not going to put these into long-term rentals because you can’t make any money on this kind of investment on getting market rents,” Mendes said.

On Monday, the provincial government announced that as of May 1, short-term rentals would not be allowed in secondary homes — only the host’s principal residence — to free up more housing options

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Real Estate

Feds remove GST on rental builds and more Canadian real estate news for September 16

Here are The Globe and Mail’s top housing and real estate stories this week, with the lowest mortgage rates available in Canada today, commentary from our mortgage expert and one home worth a look.

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Canada needs 3.45 million more homes by 2030 to cut housing costs as population grows, CMHC predicts

A new report from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says Canada needs 3.45 million more homes to bring housing costs down as the population increases, reports Rachelle Younglai. That’s in addition to the 1.68 million that are expected to be built by 2030 if the pace of construction remains the same. If Canada continues to admit record levels of about half-a-million new permanent residents per year, the CMHC predicts the number of new homes required will raise to 4 million.

Ottawa will remove GST from new rental construction in response

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Forec

Burnaby rejects plan to allow more condos for rental housing

Burnaby councillors were frustrated with a ‘confusing’ proposal to increase the amount of condos developers can build in exchange for building rental housing.

Burnaby councillors roundly rejected a slew of staff recommendations that would have allowed developers to build even more condos in return for building required non-market rental housing.

The recommendations were part of a review of Burnaby’s rental use zoning policy, which requires developers of multifamily buildings to include 20 per cent non-market rental units.

“It seems to me that we’re just gifting (developers) more free density for them to build more condos,” said Coun. Pietro Calendino at a development committee meeting this week. “And that was not the intent of the referral to staff to come back with a review.”

Coun. Alison Gu agreed and called the recommended calculations for how much housing could be built “confusing.” She described it as a jumble of coloured Lego blocks

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