Ozzie Jurock Recommends Winnipeg Now

[ad]Pretty funny, local Vancouver real estate Guru Ozzie Jurock is now recommending Winnipeg in his last newsletter. Just as I’m ready to sell, he writes a few paragraphs why it is a good place to invest in Canada.

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Here are excerpts from Ozzie Jurock’s email:

192 Homes Under $125,000 and a 1% Rental Vacancy Rate Make It Hard Not To Look At Winnipeg
It has been difficult to make a case for investing in Winnipeg. The Manitoba capital, after all, has the same population now as it did 20 years ago, despite high immigration numbers recently. The weather (Winnipeg is the coldest city in the western hemisphere), the crime rate (tied for worst in the country), and the summer humidity and mosquitoes (terrible) don’t help.

Yet, for those who want to park real estate investment dollars while they wait out the current shakeout in B.C. (we noted last week it may be time to sit on the sidelines in B.C. because of the irrational nature of the current market) and possibly Alberta (too many listings, too much speculation), Winnipeg offers a remarkably stable market with some positive signs.

First of all are the house prices. This week Winnipeg has 193 homes priced under $125,000 on MLS, including scores under $100,000. At the $150,000 level you get newer condominiums and nice family houses. (The average MLS detached house price is $189,000; the average new house price is $300,000.)

Second is the city’s apartment rental vacancy rate. According to CMHC it is 1.2%, while the average rental rate for a two-bedroom apartment shot up by 7.2% last year and is forecast to rise another 5.3% this year, to $800 per month. Provincial tenant legislation caps rental rates increase at 2% per annum for 2008, but there are a number of exceptions, including apartments that rent for more than $1070 per month; approved rehabilitated rental units; and most new apartments. (See www.gov.mb.ca/finance/cca/rtb/ for rental information, listing guidelines and rules and downloadable forms.)

Third is an apparently serious attempt to improve the rundown downtown. In the past couple of years, CentreVenture Development Corp., a civic government arm, has bought up all the derelict old buildings along North Main Street. It is now spending $43 million to fix up the area over the next two years. To pay for it, the City has pledged that all taxes collected in the area will be reinvested in the neighbourhood for 10 years. As well, the downtown now has a new sports arena (though no professional hockey).

Fourth is a spike in immigration – 4,000 last year and 3,500 this year – due to a generous federal/provincial immigration program.

Major Point: No guarantees, but Winnipeg, with a population of 630,000 has rentals that should cash flow easier than anywhere else in Western Canada. Due to restrictive rent controls, virtually no new rentals have been built in years, so there is little competition.

Here is my problem with Winnipeg, I have a shitty property manager and the aboriginals seem to love to burn and break windows on the properties that I own. The properties I bought should be great deals but they’re not! Why, because I keep having all these fucked up problems.

  1. Arson fire
  2. vandalism (broken windows, kicked in drywall, kicked in doors, broken water meters)
  3. tenants skipping on rent
  4. hard to get hold of property manager

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If…. I lived in Winnipeg things would be different and I would probably have 5 houses there, but I can’t control what happens 1000s of miles away. Relying on other people sucks and property managing is not an exception. All I can do is suck up Winnipeg real estate investing to experience, live and learn and on to the next deal.

I bought in the North End Of Winnipeg, which is an area of high crime now. At one time the North End was an area for new Canadian immigrants. Back in the 1920s, nearly 14,000 Jews called the North End home.

It is Canada’s largest urban concentration of Aboriginals as well as Filipinos and the largest Ukrainian center outside of Ukraine itself.

Now the Winnipeg North End is a shit hole, low income means ghetto and that’s what you have in Winnipeg. It sucks but that’s life and you move on.

I do agree that Winnipeg is a good buy, but I don’t recommend buying in the North End from my experience. I do respect Ozzie Jurock very much and I have a subscription to his “Facts By Email” real estate news service. I am in no way slamming Ozzie, I consider it my own fault for the mistakes that have happened.

C.V.

update January 3, 2010

I want to thank Ozzie Jurock for his  “facts by email” newsletter that I subscribe to every week. Ozzie Jurock is without a doubt the reason I invested in real estate. Thanks to his advice I have over 8 properties. I followed his advice and bought 3 condos (2 in Burnaby and one in Port Coquitlam), under $200,000 last year and in 2008. They cash flow and have increased at least 15-20%  since I bought them r when we had our housing “slump”. And also his advice on investing south of the border has worked out well, I bought a 3 bedroom condo in Las Vegas for $100,000. 1/2 of what it was worth 2 years ago.

Thanks Ozzie!

18 thoughts on “Ozzie Jurock Recommends Winnipeg Now

  1. Sam M

    We were looking at older apartment buildings near Wellington Crescent about 10 years ago. The seemed like a good investment with positive cash flow. Much better than Victoria BC.

  2. Ron

    I’m glad I saw this posting as I have been considering buying in Winnipeg (I live in BC). Would the south side be much different? It seems prices have gone up a fair bit already so cash flow would appear to be more difficult. I have had an excellent experience as a long distance landlord for a property in a nice part of Saskatoon and was thinking of repeating that in Winnipeg. Am I mistaken?

  3. C.V - MotionGroove Post author

    Well I think Winnipeg has great cash flow just don’t make the mistake that I did and buy in lower income areas in the North End. It’s the lat place in Canada to offer cash flow income. I recommend that you find a knowlegdable realtor. The problem with me is that I have a poor management company along with purchasing cheap real estate in a rough area with many social problems.

    The south side would be much better but do your own homework, maybe even call the Winnipeg real estate board and see what they say.

    I had great success in Prince George, but sold to buy in Winnipeg

    Good luck

  4. Pingback: New West Condos, Here I Come - The Road To Riches |

  5. Pingback: 543 Pacific Avenue, Winnipeg After The Arson Fire |

  6. Roger

    I also had invested in the northend and did make money on rentals but made more by flipping.Now I have invested my longterm rentals in Central winnipeg. Bought a 1 bedroom condo for 79k on Maryland street and rented it for 800. Been really good and since its a condo, most of the people are owners who live there and really take care of the place.

  7. admin Post author

    Roger: The North End of Winnipeg was a nightmare for me as I have blogged about in many post on this site. Do you live in Winnipeg Roger? I had a property management company take of my houses and I was less than happy with their service.

  8. heather cox

    I just moved out of the north end over a month ago. boy I am relieved to make it out alive. I was at 277 atlantic ave. I’m giving you the address even though contractors are attempting to “renovate” the interior to make condos. I experienced hell in that place. Weird insect infestations, water heaters that wouldn’t be turned on in time for the start of winter, then run too long into the spring on full blast. decades of neglected wooden floors, leaking sinks, sewage back-ups, asbestos scares, drug dealers, fights, gangs, parties, vandalism, cracked walls and ceilings. Once a rotten wooden firescape balcony railing broke when someone just touched. the place was breeding with bacteria and nasty body fluids. It should be torn down completely.

  9. admin Post author

    Hello Heather,

    The North End is the oldest area in all of Winnipeg so maintenance can surely be a big issue. Gangs, dealers and all that goes along with that seems a huge problem from my 1 year investment in the North End of Winnipeg. I had to replace over $4,000 of broken windows in my 4plex on Magnus Avenue. Cheap real estate is cheap for a very good reason usually.

    I any case I am glad you got out of the North End area. You know first hand exactly what I have posted about out on my blog.

  10. Holymotherofgod

    Sorry to laugh at your situation but I find it comical, being that I recently moved to Winnipeg from BC last summer. Indeed there are cheap-like-borscht homes here and it is tempting to break into the landlord role here (something I am currently investigating). I agree that it would be very difficult to be a long distance investor as yes, there are multiple issues with renters in the North End and quite a substantial population of low income renters. Having said this, property values are escalating here. Home values are up 12% this year and the condo market maintaining its position if not moderately increasing also. Winnipeg is still a great place to invest, IF you (a) live here to oversee your investments or (b) don’t have a “shitty property manager”.

  11. imee

    I am a new buyer/investor. I would like to know where is the so called good if not best neighborhood for my kids to grow up in Winnipeg. Kindly suggests? North End properties are very tempting. I am almost ready to buy two properties there…one on Pritchard and the other on Andrews. After reading your blog I am quite changing my mind….

  12. Steve

    I have been investing in winnipeg for the past 5 years, the vancancy is 1% and very easy to find lonngterm tenants. I just bought a unit on Maryland and its rented for 750 plus utilities. Bank payment is 175 month. I would stay out of te North end and concentrate around central winnipeg, which is by the health sciences center and university campus off of notre dame. Good Luck

  13. CV Post author

    I had bad luck and bad advice, but basically I should have been smarter. I invest only in Vancouver now.

  14. Betsy

    How do you guys know what north end is if u dont even live here. If u have so much money why would u even buy houses in the ghetto and dont even live here. No shit u cant keep control over your property

  15. CV Post author

    I had a Winnipeg real estate agent. I made a mistake buying there, I admitted that…..Also this was many years ago, and I don’t even think about Winnipeg, Thank God LOL…

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