A lot of landlords are saddled with opportunistic, if problematic, tenants as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, and as the moratorium on residential evictions expired June 30, a lot of multifamily properties could be hitting the market in the near future.
Sandy MacKay, founder and CEO of MacKay Realty Network, recommends investors interested in purchasing those properties focus on Hamilton where price points are, at least compared to the GTA, favourable. Moreover, because the Landlord and Tenant Board is backlogged, it could take some time yet to remove difficult tenants, and until then prospective buyers will likely stay away. However, that could still result in bargain pricing.
“The Landlord and Tenant Board is backed up six months to a year, if not longer, and that could create a delay with properly determining what to do with the property, because some of the rules brought about by the pandemic have made it difficult to be a landlord and not everybody wants to remain one now. It also takes two to three months to remove a tenant,” said MacKay. “We’re at the time of year when people enjoy the weather and aren’t in business mode, but I suspect that by fall when a lot of people revisit their portfolios, there are a lot of properties in the multifamily segment that will flood the market and it will lead to buying opportunities.”
Hamilton does indeed have a lot of multifamily properties with anywhere from two to five units that could be market-bound, but the time to prepare for such purchases is now, says MacKay, adding that investors should start working their networks to find out about opportunities, whether market or off-market.
“They should also be reassessing what their real estate portfolios look like, as well as other investments they’re in, and making sure they’re ready. The other thing that’s happened is the market has gone a bit softer here in early summer. We still see sellers looking to get top, top dollar, but as summer lingers on prices may drop from where they were in spring. There could be more motivated sellers out there. Price points might be easier to swallow come fall.”
Specifically, neighbourhoods that are close to downtown Hamilton could be replete with multifamily properties for sale, including Corktown, Stinson, St. Clair, Blakeley, Crown Point, and Beasley.
“If you’re looking for a window of opportunity, we’re in it,” said MacKay. “Now it is about finding inventory, but it will definitely come in the second half of this year. Start looking now and brace yourself for the fall market.”
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