News

Burnaby forum to educate real estate investors

When it comes to buying a condominium as an investment property, there's more to consider than just cost and size.

"Through our different sales centres, one of the things we've realized is a gap in knowledge of how you can look at an investment from a residential condo perspective," said Jason Dolker, director of sales and marketing for the Hungerford Group.

There are a number of facts and figures which people don't think about when deciding whether a property is a good investment or not, Dolker said.

To help educate potential investors, the Hungerford Group is hosting a free public forum dubbed Real Estate Investment 101 on Saturday, Sept. 22, 12 to 1 p.m. at 8955 University High Street, Burnaby.

Speakers will include Michael Ferreira, managing principal at Urban Analytics, Gordon Harris, president and CEO of Simon Fraser University’s Community Trust, which is overseeing the UniverCity development on Burnaby Mountain, and Michael Hungerford of The Hungerford Group, developer of the Altitude highrise at UniverCity.

The focus of the forum will be the pros and cons of investing in condos in different parts of Metro Vancouver, with Ferreira offering market data showing how Burnaby compares with other popular neighbourhoods.

Dolker said it's hoped the event will help people look at potential investments from different angles.

Hungerford hired Urban Analytics to research the local real estate market. "One of the key things that they found is that the investment appeal of one neighbourhood over another comes down to cost per square foot versus how much rent they get for that condo," Dolker said.

For example, he said if a condo by the University of British Columbia can garner $2.50 a square foot in monthly rental income, and one at Metrotown or Burnaby Mountain only earns $1.97 a square foot, at a glance, people might think it's better to buy near UBC.

On the other hand, a UBC property might cost $850 to $900 per square foot to purchase, while Metrotown is $575 to $600 and Burnaby Mountain is $450 to $460, making cash flow another crucial factor in a decision.

"It's a very quick back of the napkin way to be able to see what your yields would be," he said of the comparisons.

Investors also need to know where the demand for rental units would come from, whether it's proximity to transit or other factors, he said.

For instance, university related neighbourhoods such as UBC and SFU attract numerous international students and serve as strong economic engines delivering consistent levels of potential tenants.

"When the economy is great, people are going to school. When the economy is bad, people who don't have jobs go back to school," Dolker said.

For more information on the forum, call 604-456-8883.

wchow@burnabynewsleader.com

twitter.com/WandaChow

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