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A Complete Guide to Real Estate Investing Canada

Canadian real estate has become more than a way to live. For real estate investors, it’s also become a lucrative way to earn from Canada’s thriving real estate market. There are endless ways to invest in real estate, from buying investment properties to investing in Mortgage Investment Corporations (MICs). 

Unsure where to begin your real estate investment journey in Canada? This article will provide you with a comprehensive guide covering everything you need to know to get started.

Amur Capital offers a simple way to grow your money and receive a stable and consistent return. Contact us now, and we’ll help you start in a few minutes.

Key Takeaways: 

  1. Real estate investing refers to the acquisition, management, and selling of real estate assets for profit.
  2. There are various options for real estate investing in Canada, from buying rental properties to passive investments like mortgage funds. This allows investors to choose strategies aligned with their goals, risk tolerance, and investment horizon. 
  3. Amur Capital offers investors a unique opportunity to participate in investing in the Canadian real estate market through Mortgage Investment Corporations (MICs), a pooled investment fund designed to provide a stable and consistent return on investment. 

What is real estate investing?

Simply put, real estate investing involves the purchase, ownership, management, rental, and/or sale of real estate for profit. Real estate is one of the many alternative investments in Canada. Although it has limited liquidity compared to other assets like stocks or bonds, the drawback can be offset by real estate’s potential for stable and consistent returns. 

In Canada, real estate investing has gone beyond the traditional property purchase-and-hold strategy, with investors looking for different ways to leverage their capital. Real estate investors now have the opportunity for steady income through a real estate investment trust or a mortgage fund, encompassing both passive and active real estate investing strategies. 

How to invest in real estate in Canada 

There are plenty of real estate investing options in Canada. From active investments (owning and managing a rental property) to passive ones (REITs, MICs), investors have a wide range of strategies based on their risk tolerance, investment horizon, and overall investment plan. 

Here’s a closer look at the options: 

Buying a primary residence 

Investing in your home is one of the most common ways to invest in real estate. As you pay down the mortgage and the property appreciates over time, you can build equity, which is the difference between what you owe in the mortgage and the current market value of your home. 

Selling your own home can be lucrative, with projected average property prices rising as high as $1.15 million in hot markets like British Columbia. However, the main challenge with this option is how to save up for the downpayment. Fortunately, there are specialized investment accounts that can help, such as RRSPs and TFSAs. The former allows first-time homebuyers to withdraw up to $35,000 for a downpayment. At the same time, the latter has tax-free contributions and withdrawals. 

House flipping

House flipping refers to purchasing a “fixer-upper” property, renovating it, and then selling (flipping) it for a profit. Common properties used for house flipping are pre-foreclosures, distressed or vacant houses, and older homes in up-and-coming neighborhoods. 

The key to successful house flipping is purchasing the property at a significant discount and knowing which renovation will generate an increase in value. 

Assigning pre-sale condos 

Pre-sale condominium units can be assigned or sold before the project is completed, also known as contract assignment. The original purchaser can transfer contracts to any buyer for any price, even higher than they paid for the property. Some investors even “flip” the units to other buyers before construction starts. 

Purchasing a residential / commercial rental property 

Owning real estate exclusively for rental purposes is a common strategy for many Canadians, with investors preferring condominium apartments to houses in downtown cores of Toronto and Vancouver. 

With residential and commercial real estate, investors can receive a steady stream of rental income and capital appreciation. However, careful tenant and property manager selection, property management, and market analysis are crucial for success in this strategy. 

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) 

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) are publicly traded companies that own, operate, or finance income-producing real estate assets. With REITs, investors pool their money to purchase income-generating properties such as office buildings, medical facilities, data centres, and warehouses, which the trustee corporation then manages. 

REITs are one of the most common ways to passively invest in real estate, with investors not having to directly purchase, manage, and maintain physical properties. 

Mortgage Investment Corporations (MICs) 

Mortgage Investment Corporations (MICs) are investment vehicles that pool investor funds to invest in a diversified portfolio of mortgages. They earn money through interest payments on those mortgages and then share those profits with their shareholders as dividends. 

Investing in MICs has its benefits, including: 

    • Diversification: MICs are considered alternative investments. By including alternative assets unaffected by the volatility of the traditional public market, investors can have another source of income during market downturns. 
    • Consistent income: MIC shareholders earn income from the borrowers’ mortgage payments in the form of dividends, which they can redeem as cash or reinvest for compounded growth. 

Ultimately, the optimal investing strategy will depend on an individual’s financial goals, risk tolerance, and personal preferences. 

Why do people invest in real estate?

The real estate market has proven to be a stable and attractive investment option, especially considering the performance and trends in various regions. In fact, more than one in five Canadian homeowners is an investor. 

Distribution of owners, by investor status from Statistics Canada (2020). 

 With the impact of factors like interest rates and the COVID-19 pandemic, investors are increasingly considering real estate a resilient asset class. Identifying the hottest real estate markets, such as those in Toronto and Vancouver, can significantly influence investment decisions, offering lucrative opportunities in rent-to-own arrangements and pre-sale condo assignments. 

Real estate investing in Canada offers several compelling reasons for investors: 

    • Potential for capital appreciation: Inflation and real estate tend to go together. As the price of construction-related materials rises, coupled with high demand, so do home prices and rent. 
    • Diversification of investment portfolio: Stock market volatility has little correlation to the real estate market because they are influenced by different economic factors, which makes the latter more stable during market downturns. 
    • Potential tax advantages: Real estate investors can claim Capital Cost Allowance (CCA) and deduct a portion of the cost of the property as depreciation expense each year, which can help offset rental income and reduce the investor’s taxable income. In addition, investors can deduct various capital and current expenses related to the operation and maintenance of their investment properties, such as repairs, insurance, and property management fees. 

Three factors to consider for real estate investors 

Location

The adage “location, location, location” holds true in real estate investing. Factors such as proximity to amenities, transportation, and job hubs can significantly impact the property’s current value and long-term outlook. 

Moreover, real estate prices play a significant role in the profitability of rental properties, with the location being a critical factor in determining rental pricing and, consequently, the overall return on investment. 

Investment purpose 

Clearly defining your investment goals, whether generating rental income, capital appreciation, or a combination of both, will guide your investment strategy. Consider creating an investment plan to ensure your investment horizon, risk tolerance, and overall objectives are aligned. 

Property and capital gains tax  

Understanding the tax implications of real estate investments, including property taxes and capital gains taxes, is crucial for maximizing your returns. 

Capital gains tax is applied to the profit from selling a property at a higher price than its purchase price. Note that the 2024 federal budget includes changes to the capital gains tax rate that can affect your real estate investment strategy. 

Fortunately, Canadian homeowners looking to sell their primary residence can take advantage of the Principal Residence Exemption (PRE), which exempts them from the capital gains tax of the sale. 

How Amur Capital MICs can help  

Amur Capital offers investors a unique opportunity to participate in the Canadian real estate market through our expertly managed Mortgage Investment Corporations (MICs). MICs provide a stable and consistent return on investment, making them an attractive option for those seeking passive real estate exposure.

Contact us today to learn more about how our MICs can fit into your real estate investment strategy. 

FAQs

Yes, real estate investing can be a lucrative venture in Canada. It has the potential for capital appreciation and steady income. 

A real estate investment fund works like a mutual fund in that the former invests in several different investments. However, the latter is focused on real estate assets, such as individual commercial properties, real estate operating companies, and even REITs. 

The highest ROI in real estate can vary across different regions and markets in Canada, depending on factors such as location, property type, and market conditions.

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