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Real estate transactions: Coffee company buzz about pot lounges

A prominent Canadian company is looking at setting up cannabis lounges in its western outlets. These potential real estate transactions in Alberta give a new meaning to having a mellow cup of Joe. The company hopes to team up with National Access Cannabis Corp. (NAC) to roll out the plan where it's legal to do so. NAC has basically been focusing on the medical marijuana industry so far, but this would give it an inroad to the retail market.

The next step is for NAC to become licensed to sell cannabis products in partnership with Second Cup's retail outlets in Alberta -- paving the way for other retail opportunities. The company aims to sell leading cannabis products from reputable companies like CannaRoyalty Corp. out of Ottawa in some Second Cup stores. The CEO of Second Cup said the opportunity is a win-win for both company franchise partners and shareholders.

Walkable housing gaining speed in real estate transactions

Many people are beginning to become more energy conscious and it's actually showing up in where they're choosing to live. Walkable real estate transactions in Alberta are on the rise. It seems some homeowners don't want to take their vehicles to work and choose to walk to their jobs. Another thing prospective homeowners are looking for is closeness to various shops and venues -- for the very same reason. They don't want to drive.

Most larger cities in Canada now have so-called walkable websites devoted to telling visitors how long it will take them to walk to various places. These sites often include real estate listings and rental properties. The latest StatsCan data shows that most people in Calgary and Edmonton use their vehicles to get to work, but the population in these urban centres continues to grow and soon the highways will become even more busy.

Commercial real estate sector in Alberta may heat up from pot

Looks like the legalization of marijuana may heat up Wild Rose Country's business sector. Alberta has received 87 applications so far from people wanting to open pot stores, which will be smoking hot for the commercial real estate sector. The Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC) is expecting more.

The applications were filed in Edmonton, Calgary and St. Albert -- a small bedroom community outside Edmonton -- Fort McMurray, Lethbridge and Red Deer. Those looking to open shop are apparently finding it difficult to find spaces. Not all communities are processing the ramifications of legalization in the same way and are taking their time fashioning municipal bylaws. 

Calgary a star city for residential real estate deals in 2018

Toronto and Vancouver aren't the only cities that will shine this year for real estate deals. According to experts in residential real estate in Canada, Calgary and Montreal will also be in the list of star cities. Calgary is expected to make an immense recovery this year and has already seen a 45 per cent increase in sales from this point last year, especially in the luxury market.

In fact, real estate in the entire province of Alberta is on the upswing after a definite downturn over the last few years. Buyer demand will be hot and experts say there will be enough supply to meet the demand, especially in the top tier market. Where Calgary and Montreal are booming -- Montreal is expected to be a leader in the luxury real estate market in 2018 -- activity in the Toronto and Vancouver markets will remain static.

Real estate transactions: Chinese investors may have cold feet

A recent survey regarding the housing market shows that investors from China may be cooling off on the housing market. The survey indicates that real estate transactions in Canada made by Chinese citizens are starting to slow down and it could be because of new regulations regarding foreign investment. Apparently, it's not because these investors want to stop making acquisitions, but because deals are hard to come by.

In fact, the University of Alberta China Institute has corroborated those findings with recent research showing the that Chinese business people are investing less in real estate and in business in general in Canada. And the decline is sizable. Last year, they invested $1.47 billion -- down from $3.05 billion in 2016. 

Encouraging residential real estate market in Central Alberta

Through the bitter winds of the winter often come the encouraging winds of change. This bodes true for the residential real estate market in central Alberta after a somewhat chilly November and December, according to the Central Alberta Realtors Association (CARA). In fact, the entire province saw an almost 7 per cent increase in sales in January from the previous year.

A Lacombe real estate agent said there are buyers in the ready to ink deals in the central part of Alberta, so if people have been thinking of listing their home, now might be the time. The realtor also said there has been lots of interest from out-of-town real estate agents in the Lacombe, Blackfalds areas. The market continues to favour buyers, however. Prices for homes are falling, letting more people in on the homebuying front.

Cryptocurrency could help real estate transactions in Alberta

The technological age is here without a doubt. Bitcoin is digital currency that uses encryption to regulate and generate currency units and to verify transfer of funds. An office building in Calgary is earmarked to be the first in Alberta to accept this type of currency for payment of rental space. If this is any indication, cyptocurrency may be used in the near future for other types of real estate transactions as well.

The owners of the particular building believe that digital currency is the way many real estate deals will go down in the future. That means everything from purchases and sales to renting and leasing. Cryptocurrency is not affiliated with any bank or financial institution. A public ledger, or blockchain, tracks all transactions on line. This method of payment gives people another option and might really appeal to techies.

Real estate transactions and the burgeoning pot industry

On the eve of legalization of recreational marijuana in Canada, landlords of retail space are preparing for an onslaught of potential business. Commercial real estate transactions in Alberta are expected to go through the roof as entrepreneurs prepare for the sale of cannabis in retail spaces. Despite the rules surrounding weed sales in Alberta not being defined as of yet (although it has been decided that the private sector in the province will be overseeing over-the-counter sales), some people are securing retail space without knowing if they'll even get permits to sell the herb.

A retail expert says he is getting about three inquiries every week regarding the likelihood of selling pot on the open market. He says there is a huge demand for retail locations, particularly in Northern Alberta. Retail landlords have the potential of lining their coffers by filling up vacant spaces with pot retailers. In some instances, these spaces have been sitting vacant for a long time. 

Real estate transactions: Pot-friendly buildings in the future?

With the advent of legal marijuana on the horizon, a few Albertans are thinking about cannabis-friendly buildings. It will make some real estate transactions interesting. Canada is set to legalize pot this summer, and some building owners who already use marijuana are thinking about allowing their tenants to smoke weed in their buildings -- and going a step further and actually seeking tenants who are cannabis users.

A landlord in Calgary, who has been in the residential real estate business for about 20 years, has gone on record saying he would be interested in laying out money for buildings where his tenants could freely smoke marijuana once it is legalized. The man already has properties in Grand Prairie and Calgary. Currently, the investor's building are all nonsmoking, despite the fact tenants in one of his units continues to smoke, aggravating neighbours. Alberta landlords have the right to tell their tenants they can't smoke as long as it's stipulated in the lease agreement. 

Calgary on list of likely commercial real estate hotspots in 2018

A recent report lists Calgary as one of five Canadian cities that will heat up commercially in 2018. The Alberta city made the list alongside Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa. The report indicates there is a sizable amount of capital to be invested in commercial real estate in these cities over this year and beyond, adding that  the commercial sector will be both competitive and busy. 

The Vancouver and Toronto markets were already doing well and have been for some time. However, because of the competition in those markets, investors are looking elsewhere -- in perhaps little less volatile markets such as Calgary, Montreal and Ottawa. Canada's capital had a healthy nonresidential burst of construction in 2017, which is expected to continue this year. 

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