July 23, 2024

Moving Soon? These 12 Tips Can Simplify Your Next Move

Deciding to purchase a new home and choosing a new place to live are two of the most impactful decisions you'll make in your adult life. Buying a new home, especially, is a huge milestone. However, just because you have the keys, that doesn't mean you're ready to move all of your stuff into your new place. 

Regardless of whether this is your first time moving or you're a seasoned pro, you might already know the basics: how to pack all your belongings in boxes; how to transport those boxes (maybe even with the help of movers and a moving truck) to your new space; and how you should unload everything once you get there. With all the hustle and bustle of a move, it's easy to forget to take care of some crucial home projects before pulling up in your moving van.

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There are plenty of projects you can tackle while living in your home, but some are better done before you move in to save yourself the extra stress. Consider updating, replacing, remodeling and knocking out these home projects before moving in full-time. After finishing those up, check out the best internet providers and whether you should invest in solar panels. 

Transfer utilities and change your address 

Changing your address and updating your utilities may seem obvious but can be easily overlooked when you're busy with the home-buying process. Make sure you have utilities and core services set up to be active in your new home before you move in. What a bummer to spend your first night in your first home with no power. Don't forget to also transfer mail, the internet, TV services and any regularly scheduled deliveries to your new home address.

Person with orange gloves scrubbing a tile floor Person with orange gloves scrubbing a tile floor

The floor is just one spot you should clean in your new home.

Alfred Evelina/Getty Images

Deep-clean

No matter whether your new home looks spotless or is visibly dusty, it's a good idea to give it a deep clean before you settle in. The previous owner probably left some dirt, pet hair, dust or other grime behind. Whether you see it or not, it's best to start fresh. 

Before moving in, you'll want to clean these spots. While scrubbing, take a moment to replace your air filters and check your smoke detectors, too. 

1. Kitchen
2. Cabinets
3. Stove 
4. Refrigerator
5. Bathroom
6. Shower heads
7. Toilet
8. Floors, walls and baseboards
9. Ceiling fans and light fixtures
10. Washing machine
11. Dishwasher

A cordless vacuum leaning against a wall, between a table and a window A cordless vacuum leaning against a wall, between a table and a window

Before you move in, you'll want to vacuum, wipe down and scrub your new home. 

Brian Bennett/CNET

Must-have cleaning equipment

Deep-cleaning your entire home is easier when you have the right tools. CNET puts many products to the test, and these are some of our favorites: 

A women sitting on the floor painting a wall A women sitting on the floor painting a wall

Don't like the color of a room? Paint it. 

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Paint 

Painting can transform a space. Do you hate that purple dining room or the jet-black bedroom formerly occupied by a teenager? Best to get it done before you get settled. It may not be as intrusive as other major home updates, but you will have to move all your junk to the middle of the room, provided there's space.

Also, paint sprays and splatters, so if you do have belongings in the room you'll need additional protection by way of plastic sheeting or drop cloths. Pro tip: You can paint walls or rooms before doing flooring updates so you don't have to be as concerned with getting paint on your new floors.

Man putting down new hardwood flooring Man putting down new hardwood flooring

If you're going to replace or refinish an existing floor, you definitely want to get that done before moving in.

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Replace or refinish flooring 

Everything in your house that isn't attached to a wall is going to take up floor space. If you're going to replace or refinish an existing floor, you definitely want to get that done before moving in. Anyone you hire to do the work will require the affected rooms to be empty, so there's no reason to fill them up beforehand. 

Even if you do the work yourself, you'll need to shuffle your belongings around, and that will drastically lengthen the time it takes to complete the project and make it harder on yourself. 

Plumbing and electric updates

If you're buying a home that is a bit dated and needs major updates to core systems like plumbing or electrical, you might consider getting these projects done before your move. 

If you do have major updates taking place, there's a fair chance the work involved will include cutting out sections of drywall or flooring to make pathways for updated pipes or wiring. The demo and subsequent drywall repairs will create quite a bit of dust, so you'll also likely be painting walls or repairing flooring. 

Man working with a power drill Man working with a power drill

Cutting out sections of drywall can create a lot of dust, which might require you to repaint walls or repair flooring. 

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Kitchen remodel

If you're planning on remodeling or renovating your kitchen, it's better to do it before moving in. Going through a total kitchen remodel can upset the day-to-day flow in many ways. Not only will you not be able to prepare food, you also won't have any space to store food, especially if appliances need to be moved or unplugged. You'll need space to store all of your dishes and kitchen gadgets, plus all of the debris and materials for the kitchen renovation will have to go somewhere as well. 

Bathroom renovation

Another inconvenience is a total bathroom remodel. If you have multiple bathrooms, it may or may not be a huge issue depending on how many people live in your home. If you only have one full bathroom, being without it for days or weeks will be a pain. In either circumstance, if you're paying to have the work done for you, it's wise to factor in more time than your contractor estimates and be prepared for limited bathroom space.

An HVAC unit at the CNET smart home An HVAC unit at the CNET smart home

Luckily, replacing major HVAC components isn't usually too lengthy of a process.

CNET

Replace HVAC 

This one can depend on the timing of your new home purchase. Replacing major HVAC components isn't usually too lengthy of a process, nor does it normally require much renovation to other parts of the home. If you live through sweltering summers and arctic winters, you may want to have this work done before moving in so you won't have to expose yourself to extreme temperatures. 

Change locks and install home security 

It's never a bad idea to change out locks on a new home or put home security elements in place before moving in. Changing out your locks ensures the previous owner no longer has access to your home, while home security cameras and video doorbells deter would-be burglars and let you keep an eye on your property no matter where you are. 

Every home is different, so there's no one-size-fits-all rule on security camera placement. Some common places to put them are by front, back and side door. Whatever you do, avoid putting cameras in places that violate your or your neighbor's privacy like bedrooms and bathrooms. If you're still wondering where to put your new security cameras, CNET lays out the best and worst spots for them.

A dog sitting inside a moving box A dog sitting inside a moving box

Make sure to pet-proof your home before bringing in your furry friend.

Catherine Falls Commercial/Getty Images

Child and pet-proofing

Safety can go beyond locks and security cameras. If you have small children, you may want to put child safety devices in place before having them in the home. Likewise, if you have pets, you may need similar safety precautions inside or a fence around your new yard. 

This is also a good time to walk through your home and make sure you know where the main electric, water and gas shut-offs are, as well as any other safety features. This lets you start thinking about your family's home safety plan in case of an emergency. 

To recap, any of these tasks can happen while you're already moved into and living in your new home, but you're likely to be less stressed if you make sure these are checked off beforehand. You'll be much more likely to start off loving your new home than being frustrated with how it's complicating your life. While you're at it, check out this list of tools you'll need for maintaining your new home. Plus, here's how to become friends with your new neighbors and how to turn your new house into a home. 

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Want to Donate Furnishings Right before a Go? These 7 Charities Will Pick It Up for Totally free

Shipping furniture to your new position can incorporate hundreds of dollars to your moving invoice -- at times even much more than you compensated for those tables, chairs and whatnot. When the math leans towards the "get rid of it and get a new a single" side of the equation, you have a couple possibilities: Toss out your home furnishings, promote it on Craigslist or Fb Market or donate it to charity. 

Luckily, a lot of charities will manage the pickup for home furnishings donations for free. Everyone wins: You get to declutter your property prior to your shift, and charities can go along the furniture to persons who will need it.

Understand which companies will decide on up your old stuff and what you will need to know in advance of donating.

For far more transferring tips, verify out the most effective going corporations of 2024 and how plastic relocating boxes look at with cardboard.

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7 charities that provide free furnishings donation pickup

Habitat for Humanity

Operating in much more than 70 international locations, Habitat for Humanity aids homebuyers with property design and mortgage loan charges. At Habitat ReStore destinations, home furnishings donations are sold to assistance fund the get the job done. 

The record of accepted items is a very little distinct at each and every store, but sofas, chairs and bed frames are generally good. To program a pickup, enter your ZIP code to discover your neighborhood ReStore. Some shops have an online scheduler, but you can also connect with them specifically. 

Goodwill

Goodwill is pretty much synonymous with donations, but whether it's going to make residence phone calls is up to every unique locale. You can use the retail outlet locator software to obtain outlets in your region that you can ask about pickups. 

Household furniture Financial institution Community

The Home furniture Financial institution Network isn't really a charity, but a directory of home furniture banking institutions across North The us. You can use its map to find a area home furniture lender in your region that's accepting donations. Just about all of them offer you furnishings pickups, but you may well have to pay a payment.

Salvation Military

A person of the oldest charities providing cost-free donation pickup, the Salvation Army is an evangelical aspect of the common Christian Church. Donated products are marketed in its thrift shops to fund a wide variety of expert services, such as meals and shelter support, catastrophe reduction, and counseling. 

You can plan a pickup with the Salvation Military by getting into your ZIP code on its web page and making a listing of all the things you want to donate. 

Choose Up Remember to

Decide Up Be sure to is a for-financial gain corporation that pays the Vietnam Veterans of America for your donated things. The VVA then employs these money to support veterans of all conflicts with promises guidance, outreach programs and legislative advocacy. 

A single of the benefits of donating to Decide on Up Make sure you is the swift turnaround: It can generally choose up your donation inside 24 hrs. Nonetheless, Decide on Up Please accepts only scaled-down donations, like exercise tools, bikes, business chairs and nightstands. 

The Arc

Devoted to supporting people today with intellectual and developmental disabilities, The Arc has a lot more than 600 nearby chapters around the US, quite a few of which offer totally free home furniture pickup. You can find your local chapter listed here, and simply call or email to check with about donations. Every single chapter has its individual listing of goods it'll consider, but clothes and furnishings in great issue are normally recognized. 

Amvets

Amvets, or American Veterans, is a volunteer-led nonprofit that supports veterans with promises support, wellbeing treatment and work possibilities. Through its community of thrift outlets, it sells donations to fund its systems. You can at this time plan an Amvets home furniture donation pickup in Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Texas, Oklahoma and in Washington, DC. 

What you want to know about donating your furniture

Timetable your pickup early

For most businesses, the earliest offered pickup day is two or a lot more months out -- specifically during peak summer months relocating months. Make certain to schedule your pickup date as quickly as you know your go date and the goods you will be donating.

Donations are tax deductible

Your home furniture donations are entitled to a tax deduction, but they will have to fulfill a few demands: 

  • The charity you are donating to have to be licensed as a 501(c)(3) corporation. You can glance these up employing the IRS Tax Exempt Corporation Research Instrument
  • In accordance to the IRS, you can get a deduction on your furnishings donations only if the merchandise are in "excellent made use of situation or improved."

After you've verified that your donations are qualified for a tax deduction, you are going to need to have to decide the fair industry value. (The IRS has a beneficial information here.) If you decide that an merchandise is valued at in excess of $500, you will require to fill out Variety 8283 with your tax return. You can also use Goodwill's believed donation values for much more data.

Make absolutely sure your donations are recognized

Really don't believe that a charity will instantly consider anything off your arms. Most corporations have in-depth lists of the kinds of furnishings they're going to accept. 

For case in point, many places would not choose mattresses or box springs. In typical, everything you donate ought to be clear and in very good functioning ailment. As Goodwill clarifies, "Just about every truckload of unacceptable items we acquire to the landfill is equivalent to three days of classroom instruction for anyone whose goal is to get and continue to keep a job."

Donating your furnishings in advance of you transfer is a excellent way to slash down on relocating charges and help out anyone in need. For much more suggestions on how to help save funds through your move, check out out the most effective locations to get shifting boxes for cost-free. 

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Altus Group Terminates Proposed Acquisition of Situs Group’s Commercial Real Estate Valuation Services Business

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Transaction unlikely to receive regulatory approval in a timely manner; Altus Group maintains focus on organic strategy to enhance consistency and transparency of valuations within the CRE industry

TORONTO, May 17, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Altus Group Limited (“Altus Group” or the “Company”) (TSX: AIF), a leading provider of asset and fund intelligence for commercial real estate (“CRE”), announced today that it has delivered a termination notice with respect to its previously announced acquisition of Situs Group LLC’s (“Situs”) commercial real estate valuation and advisory services (“REVS”) business. Despite extensive engagement with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) over the past six months, Altus Group believes that the transaction was unlikely to receive regulatory approval in a timely manner. In connection with the termination of this transaction, Altus Group will pay a US$3 million termination fee to Situs.

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“We are disappointed that we cannot move forward with a deal we believe would benefit all stakeholders and contribute towards our efforts to bring greater consistency and transparency of valuations across the CRE industry,” said Jim Hannon, Chief Executive Officer. “This opportunity would have led to improved compliance reporting of valuations and provided our clients and their investors with deeper insights on the performance of their CRE assets. Moving forward, Altus Group is strongly positioned to execute on our organic strategy to deliver best-in-class valuation intelligence to our clients.”

Altus Group’s Valuation Management Solutions (“VMS”) business boasts an impressive organic growth track record and Altus Group believes it is well positioned to take advantage of its large addressable market opportunity. While the REVS transaction offered exciting opportunities for all stakeholders, Altus Group can deliver on its organic strategy to expand client value through superior asset and fund-level intelligence and new innovative analytics offerings that help clients manage the performance and risk of their real estate assets. The Company’s 2024 technology roadmap includes new analytics capabilities launching this year, including enhancing Altus Group’s portfolio performance and valuation offers with powerful new analytics tools. The Company will continue investing in its VMS business to further enhance its financial profile.

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About Altus Group

Altus Group is a leading provider of asset and fund intelligence for commercial real estate. We deliver intelligence as a service to our global client base through a connected platform of industry-leading technology, advanced analytics, and advisory services. Trusted by the largest CRE leaders, our capabilities help commercial real estate investors, developers, proprietors, lenders, and advisors manage risks and improve performance returns throughout the asset and fund lifecycle. Altus Group is a global company headquartered in Toronto with approximately 3,000 employees across North America, EMEA and Asia Pacific. For more information about Altus (TSX: AIF) please visit www.altusgroup.com.

Forward-looking Information

Certain information in this Press Release may constitute “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable securities legislation. All information contained in this press release, other than statements of current and historical fact, is forward-looking information. Forward-looking information includes, but is not limited to, the discussion of the Company’s business, strategies, investment intent and expectations of future performance. Generally, forward-looking information can be identified by use of words such as “may”, “will”, “expect”, “believe”, “anticipate”, “estimate”, “intend”, “plan”, “would”, “could”, “should”, “continue”, “goal”, “objective”, “remain” and other similar terminology.

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Forward-looking information is not, and cannot be, a guarantee of future results or events. Forward-looking information is based on, among other things, opinions, assumptions, estimates and analyses that, while considered reasonable by us at the date the forward-looking information is provided, inherently are subject to significant risks, uncertainties, contingencies and other factors that may not be known and may cause actual results, performance or achievements, industry results or events to be materially different from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking information. The material factors or assumptions that we identified and applied in drawing conclusions or making forecasts or projections set out in the forward-looking information include, but are not limited to: engagement and product pipeline opportunities in Analytics will result in associated definitive agreements; the size of the addressable market opportunity for VMS, continued adoption of cloud subscriptions by the Company’s customers; retention of material clients and bookings; sustaining the Company’s software and subscription renewals; successful execution of the Company’s business strategies; consistent and stable economic conditions or conditions in the financial markets including stable interest rates and credit availability for commercial real estate; consistent and stable legislation in the various countries in which we operate; consistent and stable foreign exchange conditions; no disruptive changes in the technology environment; and the absence of negative financial and other impacts resulting from strategic investments or acquisitions on short term results; successful integration of acquired businesses; and continued availability of qualified professionals.

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Inherent in the forward-looking information are known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause the Company’s actual results, performance or achievements, or industry results, to differ materially from any results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking information. Those risks include, but are not limited to those described in the Company’s annual publicly filed documents, including the Annual Information Form for the year ended December 31, 2023 (which are available on SEDAR+ at www.sedarplus.ca).

Investors should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information as a prediction of actual results. The forward-looking information reflects management’s current expectations and beliefs regarding future events and operating performance and is based on information currently available to management. Although The Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking information contained herein, there are other factors that could cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. The forward-looking information contained herein is current as of the date of this press release and, except as required under applicable law, we do not undertake to update or revise it to reflect new events or circumstances. Additionally, the Company undertakes no obligation to comment on analyses, expectations or statements made by third parties in respect of Altus Group, the Company’s financial or operating results, or the Company’s securities.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:

Camilla Bartosiewicz
Chief Communications Officer, Altus Group
(416) 641-9773
[email protected]


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Movie star Interior Designer Jake Arnold’s Latest Business Venture

MILAN — According to superstar go-to inside designer Jake Arnold, true estate, structure and art are the essential components to beautiful houses.

Identified for harmonizing British charm with laid-back again California fashion, the 34-calendar year-aged has seen his reputation rise via his design and style spin on households of the wealthy and popular which include John Legend and Chrissy Teigen, Katy Perry, Rashida Jones and Zendaya, to identify a number of.

Studio Jake Arnold and The Professional, another business he cofounded, has now teamed with New York City-dependent superior-end real estate advisory firm Formal to curate the opening of their Aspen office environment and Aspen retail area and start a new purchaser-facing program, which will kick off in the luxurious ski spot. The collaboration, which was unveiled to WWD Thursday, includes supplying layout assets and accessibility to environment-renowned inside designers, in purchase to help men and women visualize and develop their desire homes in considerably less time and with more effectiveness.

The Skilled, which was established in 2021, is a virtual style and design companies agency that back links clients globally to more than 200 A-list interior designers for exceptional just one-on-one particular video clip consultations. It is also a market with a lot more than 125 makes and a lot more than 5,000 decide on goods. Inside of, the new Aspen space is furnished with The Expert’s possess vintage and contemporary pieces like lighting from Brooklyn lighting studio In Prevalent With and Scandinavian rugs by Nordic Knots. Available art platform Creative Art Companions, which was founded by Brian Ludlow in 2016, was also tapped for the Aspen challenge.

“I was captivated to the way Formal connected the two… It is all about life-style and how they want to see the comprehensive romance blossom from the invest in all the way to somebody executing a attractive home that feels tailor made and special,” Arnold stated.

Jake Arnold

Inside of Studio Jake Arnold’s hottest Aspen job with The Expert, Official and Artistic Artwork Companions.

Jake Heddaeus

In a complicated market natural environment, the Aspen housing industry is outpacing other secondary types, both of those in the rise in property value and in phrases of median value, in accordance to household serious estate brokerage and mortgage origination expert services business Redfin.

In March 2024, Aspen household charges have been up 188.8 % in comparison to past 12 months, offering for a median price tag of $3.8 million. By comparison, in March 2024, Palm Beach, Fla., house prices were up 91.4 p.c in comparison to last calendar year, offering for a median value of $3.4 million. Hamptons property charges inched up 11.5 percent as opposed to very last year, selling for a median price tag of $1.4 million, Redfin described.

“Aspen was a terrific jumping-off pad for this project, where people have or probably will have multiple homes or who are on the lookout at second properties. I imagine individuals in Aspen are alway seeking to acquire things ready to go,” Arnold extra, outlining that his clientele have normally sought his advice on possible serious estate acquisitions to fully grasp how the place can be designed their own. Official ideas to introduce this notion to more new markets, together with the Hamptons and Palm Beach front.  

Official’s chief advancement officer and cofounder Nicole Oge advised WWD that she admires Arnold’s “sense of timeless sophistication and his accomplishment in getting remedies for a discerning clientele. Jake’s layout system, The Expert, was an critical piece of this equation for Formal supplied the organic synchronicity among the property obtaining/selling processes and a client’s need to be related with the greatest designers in the globe.”

Outside of the actual physical layout and decor, The Expert will offer Official’s Aspen clients particular person consultations. This collaboration also includes organizing a calendar of functions customized to Formal agents and their consumers to encourage resourceful conversations, connecting the authentic estate sector with the area art and layout communities.

Official promises it is the initial serious estate organization to specialize in the significant conclusion of the marketplace. The firm at this time operates in key markets including New York, Miami, the Hamptons, Los Angeles, Aspen and Orange County, Calif., and prides alone on its network of highly regarded builders, discerning buyers, and sellers.

Oge claimed that the Aspen market’s whole household revenue surpassed $2 billion in 2023, with an common household selling price nearing $10 million. “It retains the best density of ultra-large internet value persons in the U.S., with a person in every 67 people falling into this group — almost 15 occasions better than New York. On top of that, Aspen has progressed into a thriving cultural hub, further more boosting its attract on the world stage.”

Jake Arnold

Inside of Studio Jake Arnold’s most up-to-date Aspen undertaking with The Expert, Official and Creative Art Associates.

Jake Heddaeus

World-wide-web3, Blockchain Unleash World Real Estate Investment decision Prospective

For yrs, True World Assets (RWAs), these types of as authentic estate, have been cornerstones in world wide portfolios. Nevertheless, the extensive-achieving probable of these protected investments has been hindered by the shackles imposed by worldwide financial devices. Investors have had to wrestle with bureaucratic purple tape, regulatory inconsistencies, and the complexities of setting up asset validity and possession, presenting formidable obstructions to investing abroad.

Having said that, chopping-edge progress in Internet3 and blockchain systems are set to disrupt this conventional model. These innovative applications will permit trustless transactions that bypass age-outdated financial middlemen. Extra importantly, these digital transactions lend unshakeable evidence of possession and asset authenticity, addressing debilitating considerations about credibility.

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In essence, we’re conversing about the dawn of an economical, protected, and obtainable platform to explore global investment alternatives. Picture an financial investment ecosystem that facilitates global transactions effortlessly, simplifies economical complexity and beckons traders around the world. Serious estate, now an expense staple, is established to surge with newfound vigor.

World-wide-web3 and blockchain technological innovation retains the energy to completely transform actual estate transactions radically. By clever contracts, transactions will be automated, activated as soon as pre-recognized problems are satisfied, correctly reducing conventional middlemen’s dependence. Present intermediaries, like banking companies and attorneys, commonly guarantee agreement compliance. Nonetheless, Website3’s application guarantees this compliance is automatic, clear, and secured through engineering.

This morphed landscape slashes expenditures and transaction moments, but it also surfaces strategic gains. By minimizing conventional intermediaries, World wide web3 permits a broader demographic to dip their toes in serious estate expenditure – an chance previously confined by economical resources or deficiency of authorized and regulatory experience.

One of the trailblazers in this transformation is the MultiBank Team. Recognizing the prospective electricity of Web3, the firm has leveraged these nascent technologies in the authentic estate sector by means of its subsidiary, MultiBank.io. Adhering to world wide money polices though employing an unassailable method, MultiBank.io assures their transactions are correct, responsible, and irrefutable – supplying a crystal-obvious report of ownership.

Yet another sizeable pioneer building strides in actual estate digitalization is Blocksquare. Utilizing their one of a kind computer software-as-a-services (SaaS) system, Blocksquare turns tangible authentic estate belongings into digital tokens. This ingenuity guarantees operations continue being lawful and scalable, earning home financial investment administration purposely flexible and adaptable. Fueled by ‘tokenomics’ – building an economic procedure exactly where tokens maximize in worth, Blocksquare has properly gathered a $94.8 million tokenized asset portfolio nested in 107 buildings across 21 nations and is primed for the neo-brokerage market.

In this speedily modifying real estate investment decision sector, Blocksquare’s devotion to stability, efficiency, and transparency – facilitated by blockchain giants like Ethereum and Uniswap – establishes a sturdy, reliable electronic actual estate room.

The marriage of Web3 and tokenization will not only make investments a lot easier to acquire, but also totally dissolve the have to have for intermediaries to build rely on. By reworking serious estate into transferable digital tokens, the technological innovation invites an totally new era of investors formerly deterred by geographic hurdles, fiscal constraints, or complex governmental polices.

A shining pillar of this innovative motion is blockchain technological innovation. With its inherent stability and transparency, inconceivable stages of corruption and dishonesty can be thwarted, all the whilst accelerating transactions and optimistically slicing down on costs. As ultra-protected, token-centered ownership transfers start off to swap regular home transactions, the actual estate market place opens up like by no means in advance of, inviting fluidity, adaptability, and vibrancy.

Embracing Web3 and tokenization in the planet of actual estate is not just a mere improvement it is a seismic shift that expands obtain, upswings protection, and amplifies industry response.

This change basically redefines the contours of true estate financial investment, widening participation to a world wide viewers even though guarding the integrity of belongings by means of technological innovation. The consequence? An empowered pool of specific buyers and the potent opportunity to impact broader economic trends, fostering unprecedented marketplace enhancement and balance.

These 7 Major Home Renovations Add Value

Whether you're preparing for a move or simply looking to update your home, remodeling can be a huge undertaking—so it's important to know whether the reward will be worth the effort. Knowing which renovations will yield the highest return for your money is key, so that when it comes time to sell, you can demand a higher price. Ultimately, you'll want to make the best home improvements to add value to your home. Before you decide on a remodel project, evaluate its cost versus its value, and decide if the renovation you want to do is a worthy investment of your time and money. So what renovations offer the biggest impact on a home's value? Six Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate experts weigh in on which projects are actually worth taking on. Here are the best home renovations for potentially raising the resale value of your home.

Helen Norman

1. Create an Addition

As your family grows, why shouldn't your home? Consider building an addition to add major value to your home and increase square footage. Maximize your investment by selecting the perfect materials and details to enhance your home's value and character. "Any kind of physical expansion—whether it's a new bedroom, an extension of a living room, or whatever space you desire—has a huge impact," says Joe Rand, managing partner and general counsel at Better Homes & Gardens Rand Realty. "If you can add square footage to a house, you always add value. Size matters!"

Emily Followill

2. Redo Your Kitchen

The kitchen is the hub of the home, so functionality is a top priority. Remodeling a kitchen can be exciting and satisfying, especially when it's designed to meet your needs and desires. According to the National Association of the Remodeling Industry's 2019 remodeling impact report, Realtors estimate that homeowners can recover up to 52% of the cost of a kitchen upgrade upon selling the home.

"Updating the kitchen with new appliances and bathrooms with new plumbing fixtures may seem trivial, but it's a must," says Brad Carlton, sales associate at Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers. "Currently, there are many kitchen features that are trending in the Atlanta area, such as wine refrigerators, drawer-style microwaves and dishwashers, commercial-style ranges, and hidden outlets."

Annie Schlecther

3. Renovate a Bathroom

An updated bathroom is a major selling point for any home. When renovating, incorporate sleek surfaces for a sparkling space that makes cleaning a cinch. According to the same report by the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, Realtors estimate that homeowners can recover up to 57% of the cost of a bathroom renovation if they sell their home.

"If a home has only one bathroom or at most a one and a half bathroom, adding a shower to a half bath, or adding a half bath to a living area for guests immediately improves the appraised value of a home," says Jody Steinberg, Realtor, LaVista Hills Team, Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers.

Helen Norman

4. Update Your Home’s HVAC

Your home's heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) are the components that keep everything operating. These are some of the most critical items to maintain. In addition, Realtors estimate that homeowners can recover 85% of the cost of a HVAC replacement if they sell their home.

"Buyers are often taken aback when, upon inspection, a home's heater, air conditioner, and roof are found to be old or in poor shape," says Derek Whitner, Realtor, Team Whitner, Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers. "Studies have shown that millennials are unwilling to overlook old mechanicals, even if the seller is offering a home warranty as a way to compensate for the age of these systems."

Keller and Keller Photography Inc

5. Amplify Outdoor Living Space

Nothing beats the option of entertaining outdoors. An outdoor living space will make your home a relaxing destination for get-togethers and add major value. No matter your budget, there are plenty of ways to update your backyard, porch, or patio.

"Tap the outdoors for extra living space," says Mary Hutchison, senior sales executive, Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate Kansas City Homes. "In the old days, just about everyone had a front porch or screened-in area to shade themselves from the Midwestern heat, and these classic features are still in demand. A screened-in porch or backyard patio—especially one that includes an outdoor kitchen with a built-in grill and small fridge—makes a wonderful additional entertaining area."

Michael Garland

6. Make Your Home More Accessible

Home renovations should be made with universal design principles in mind. That means creating a space for people of all ages, sizes, and physical abilities. Take careful inventory early in the planning process of all intended users' capabilities, preferences, and tastes.

"If it is possible to make your home more accessible, your home will be more welcoming to guests, more marketable to the largest audience, and best of all, you will be able to age in place," says Steinberg. "Do this by widening doorways, changing a main-level tub to a shower, clearing a path to a stepless entrance, or by adding a door to the back or side of your house."

7. Update Your Light Fixtures

Lighting is one of the simplest renovations that will add value to your home. You'll be amazed by how well-placed pools of warm light can make your home inviting and user-friendly. Consider the design, as well as function, when choosing the right light fixtures for your rooms.

"Updated styles of interior and exterior light fixtures are readily available at big box stores and online retailers for a bit of pocket change," says Robin Wolfram, Realtor/designer at Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate All Seasons-Rochester. "It can provide the big wow factor many homes would otherwise lack. If shopping online, be sure to look for any 'open box' pricing: an undamaged item that was returned simply because someone changed their mind."

Creating stunning Vancouver-area homes a product of teamwork

JHA Architecture + Interior team creates efficient luxury homes with an eye to form and function

Success in a new luxury home build or renovation project is a result of a highly collaborative approach between the client, architects, interior designers and general contractor.

Vancouver architect John Henshaw and his six-member team at JHA Architecture + Interior thoroughly understand the need for cohesiveness between all participants in a project.

As JHA lead interior designer Joy Chao puts it, it’s one thing to design a home or space that looks good conceptually – “on paper” – but if the building contractor isn’t on the same page as those creating the plans, the end result may not meet the client’s expectations or hopes for the project.

“When the contractor really pays attention to the details of the design, not only will the home be built to last, it will also be aesthetically pleasing and have a functionality that is exactly how they want it to be,” she says.

The JHA team has developed a solid reputation around Vancouver and beyond for designing stunning, energy-efficient luxury homes with an eye to form and function. They’ve also drawn on that expertise to create significant upgrades in existing homes, incorporating many modern elements for the homeowners.

John notes that his team has worked hard to create forward-thinking heating and cooling solutions in its project homes, based on the City of Vancouver’s movement toward zero emissions. A current renovation of a historic Shaughnessy property requiring a full upgrade of the heating system will allow the homeowners to reap the rewards of a far more energy efficient home upon completion, he says.

JHA’s architectural and interior design work has received its share of the spotlight, especially when it comes to acknowledgement from its peers.

The company has been winning Homebuilders Association Vancouver (HAVAN) awards for its new home design and renovation projects since 2020.

It achieved finalist status for two such projects for 2024: Best New Bathroom for its collaboration with Teragon Developments & Construction Inc. on the Magnolia Residence, and Best Kitchen Renovation between $100,000 and $150,000, for its Reimagined Richmond Special, a partnership with Feature Projects Ltd.

The team at JHA recognizes the value to their firm in highlighting their attention to detail and quality of design through the HAVAN awards.

“We put a lot of time and effort into the award applications and getting professional photography done,” John says. “It’s a big part of the promotional side of the business and we have dedicated a great deal of time and staffing to bringing it forward.”

Find examples of the company’s work here and more photos of the kitchen renovation award nominee. Follow the latest on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Shea McGee’s top tips for living through a home renovation |

If you've ever lived through a home renovation, you will be familiar with the chaos that tends to ensue. Between builders coming in and out of your house at all hours to the inevitable noise that becomes the status quo, it's notoriously a difficult process to get through. And while some get the opportunity to live somewhere else through the worst of the remodel, others are stuck right at home, living amongst the construction.

Luckily, interior designer Shea McGee just shared her top tips to those living through a remodel, from what to expect to how to cope with the worst of the process. And as someone who's led countless renovations (plus lived through many in her own home), there's no one better than Shea to share her advice. And with her tips in mind, you can make the final call on whether you should live on-site when renovating a property. Here's what she had to say.

What to know when living through a home remodel

Stump Reports on Spring 2024 High Point Furniture Market



Charlotte, NC, April 22, 2024-Stump issued the following report on spring 2024 High Point Furniture Market. 

“Following a rainy Thursday and blustery Friday/Saturday, the estimated 80,000 attendees had great southern weather to cruise the streets and visit the 2,000+ exhibitors covering more than 12 million square feet of showroom space. 

“With the pandemic still visible in the rear-view window, we were pleased to see the market busy and elevators full (institutional knowledge of the back stairwells came in handy this year). We heard some griping about poor calendar planning as many high-end exhibitors and attendees were in Milan for the Salone exhibition, and many sports enthusiasts were in Augusta for the Masters or wishing they were on their couch watching Scheffler’s impressive win. 

“We spoke with hundreds of industry leaders and friends, and the challenges facing the industry currently cannot be understated. Many companies are grappling with fundamental business questions and direction. There are certainly some winners in this market - growing and with great margins. Strong players are powering forward investing in people, technology, channel diversification, and more. Weak companies are trying to figure out how to move into a better position to hold out for the return of robust customer demand.

“E-commerce: We heard of a massive influx of new Asian suppliers showing up on the e-com marketplaces, rendering legacy vendors competing with thousands of unknown companies at extremely low prices.

“Tariffs: The 2018 Trump tariffs are ancient history as most importers have shifted to Vietnam, India, or Cambodia. Canada is enjoying protection with their institution of motion upholstery tariffs. Will the USA take this step? Who would champion this effort? And now President Biden is suggesting more tariffs on China. Will this effect furniture?

“Mexico: We have seen several visible exits from Mexico, while others are doubling down south of the border. We continue to believe Mexico has a meaningful role to play in the industry. 

Interior Designers: There is an impressive cohort of 75,000 women and men leading this growing channel, and furniture companies are working hard to access this group in a cost-effective way. 

“Showrooms: We are still seeing a lot showroom movement. ANDMORE is working hard to create density in the under-utilized IHFC building. Right across the transportation terminal, Showplace remains the place to be. We heard many people wondering aloud ‘who will get the Klaussner showroom?!’ Prominently located on the N. Hamilton artery this will be an interesting one to watch. The new Palecek showroom is stunning. EJ Victor is moving to the N. Hamilton area and Stump is working on selling their destination 20,000 sf showroom on Lindsey Street. 

“M&A: Lots of deals out there. Many distressed ones. Some fabulous companies for sale. PE funds are starting to eyeball our industry. Asians and European buyers were prevalent this market, as the USA market is better than their own domestic markets. We are excited about this next season of transactions.”





Building a sustainable future with low-carbon concrete solutions

How Lafarge Canada’s ECOPact low-carbon concrete can help with your construction projects’ sustainability goals

In a world where sustainability isn’t just a buzzword but a crucial focus, particularly in the construction industry, Lafarge Canada is here to make a bold statement: achieving your ambitious sustainability targets doesn’t have to be a far-off dream. It’s a tangible reality you can grasp today, with the company at the forefront, leading the charge toward a greener future.

Lafarge is revolutionizing sustainable construction, particularly with its innovative low-carbon concrete solution, ECOPact. In doing so, they’re not merely setting the pace but establishing themselves as the go-to partner for realizing ambitious sustainability objectives.

Andy Unger, Vice President and General Manager of Ready-Mix Concrete (RMX) at Lafarge Canada (East), highlights the company’s important role in decarbonization and circular construction solutions. “We are ready and able to assist our clients in meeting their decarbonization goals today. With collaboration and transparency of goals and data, we are able to find practical sustainable solutions. With everyone working together, we can achieve ambitious decarbonization targets for the construction industry and get closer to reaching the Canadian 2030 targets,” he asserts, emphasizing their unwavering commitment to immediate and impactful action.

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The impact of ECOPact

Did you know that nearly 40% of global CO2 emissions stem from building activities, with about 30% occurring during the construction phase alone? It’s a stark reminder of the urgent need to decarbonize our built environment. Achieving Ontario’s net-zero targets requires active efforts to accelerate the transition. For construction projects, this means reducing CO₂ emissions wherever possible. 

This is where ECOPact emerges as a game-changer, as the most extensive range of low-carbon concrete available, it has the potential to reduce embodied carbon in buildings, infrastructure, and homes by up to 90%. ECOPact offers many ranges of CO₂ reductions. Since schedule impact and cost are two of the most influential factors in the construction phase, Lafarge’s ECOPact offering allows clients to directly replace all standard concrete with the first ECOPact tier, offering 50% CO₂ reductions while maintaining similar performance and cost.  

It can be easily handled, pumped and finished like conventional concrete, and used in a variety of structural components, including foundations, columns, beams, walls, driveways and walkways.  

With ECOPact, you can:

  • Significantly reduce your project’s environmental footprint
  • Receive EPD III certification with every product
  • Achieve up to a 90% reduction in embodied carbon without offsets
  • Contribute to a circular economy by diverting waste from landfills
  • Obtain green building certifications while maintaining product quality
  • Access a wide range of mixes tailored to different strengths and applications

Certified sustainability

ECOPact’s sustainability is not just a claim but a certified reality. Third-party certification validates its reduced emissions across all stages, from raw materials to production and transportation. Extensive research and development went into its design and the product contains an innovative mix of supplementary cementitious materials and admixtures technology. It is produced locally, recyclable and supports a circular economy. 

“ECOPact’s impact is undeniable, driving low-carbon construction and enabling green building certifications nationwide. It’s a testament to our collective ability to realize end-to-end decarbonization in construction, laying the foundation for a greener, more sustainable future,” says Rob Cumming, Head of Sustainability & Public Affairs, Lafarge Canada (East).

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For your green concrete needs, reach out to:

For more information, visit Lafarge.ca. You can also follow the company on LinkedIn and Facebook.

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Ross McCredie On Rebranding Sutton Group And The Future Of Real Estate Transactions

It's not everyday that one of the largest real estate brokerages in the country gets sold, so it was big news when Sutton Group announced on December 7, 2023 that it had been acquired.

Who acquired Sutton Group made it even bigger news, as the brokerage had been bought by Ross McCredie, the Founder of Sotheby's International Realty Canada, real estate investment company Dundee 360, and wealth management platform RealWealth.


In between founding and growing those companies, McCredie also spent some time in the US, where he served as Chief Global Strategist for Pacific Union, leading the sale of the company to Compass to create the largest independent brokerage in the US.

After bringing the Sotheby's brand to Canada in 2004, McCredie served as President & CEO as the company expanded across 30 markets and grew to have a roster of over 900 realtors.

Just about two decades later, he's now buying into a brokerage that's already well-established, with over 200 offices across Canada and a roster of more than 6,000 agents.

In an interview with STOREYS in late-April, McCredie discusses how he grew Sotheby's, the rebranding of Sutton Group that was launched this week, and how he wants to change the real estate industry.

I wanted to start off by going back about 20 years, when you founded Sotheby’s International Realty Canada. What was the driving force there? Why was it something you wanted to do?

At the time, I was running Intrawest in Whistler — developing, sales, and marketing — and we were just seeing more and more international buyers, especially in the higher end of the market. I was always looking for different ways, as a developer and developer's rep, to figure out the best way to reach these foreign buyers and international markets.

Sotheby's Auction House had done a licensing agreement with Realogy, which had Century 21 and Coldwell Banker, so I reached out to them in 2004 and said "Hey, I'd love to figure out what you guys are gonna do in Canada because I'm really interested in the Sotheby's brand," and that's how that started.

I wasn't a real estate agent — I've actually never been a real estate agent — so we bought the rights to Canada and I asked my wife to go out and get a real estate license. I just saw a huge opportunity to get an iconic brand like Sotheby's, which has been around since 1744, and owning the rights to Canada seemed like a smart move at the time.

You acquire the Canadian rights and then you set out to grow the company. What was your approach? Looking back at it now, what do you think were some of the key moves? Anything you’d perhaps do differently in hindsight?

We started the first office and we had one agent, which was my wife, and we had no staff. Over the course of 12 years, we opened 40 offices across the country, we recruited all of the people ourselves, we owned and operated each of the offices, and we didn't franchise even though I could've franchised.

I was a bit of a control freak and I really felt like the power of the Sotheby's brand — we really needed to control that. To be honest, it was really hard. I didn't know much about the business. I reached out to a lot of people in the industry and not a lot of people really wanted to help me, so that was a bit interesting.

As we grew, every time we opened a new office I felt like we were making less mistakes. By the time we got to our fifteenth office, we kind of had it dialled. Then the brand really had traction because we won the bid to do the Hotel Georgia here in Vancouver, we launched Revelstoke Mountain Resort, we did the Four Seasons in Toronto, so we really developed, pretty quickly, a strong brand recognition across the country.

And we were really focused on top-level people, but more importantly people that were truly professional and wanted to be in the business and actually wanted to act like fiduciaries. I really felt that the industry had a mix of good, bad, and ugly, and there wasn't a brand out there that stood for what we call "the Navy SEALs of the business." We wanted the best and the brightest, hardest working, and most ethical people, and Sotheby's was a great brand to do that with.

You mentioned that people didn't really want to help you early on. Why do you think that was?

We used to get emails people all the time, forwarded from someone else, saying that "Ross is gonna be broke in six months" or "He doesn't know what he's doing."

We were doing things differently. Our model wasn't to get as many agents as possible. It was literally focused on [sales] volume and people. There's so many real estate agents in North America right now and about half of them last year didn't even do a transaction. It's an industry that sells itself with delusions of grandeur — come in, sell real estate, get rich — and the reality is it's just not true. The vast majority of people that go into the business don't survive three years. In fact, most of them don't survive one year.

So, when we opened our shop, we were just telling people the truth. Usually what I would say is "Go work at RE/MAX for a couple of years and if you make it, come back and talk to us." We stood our ground, whereas every other brokerage was literally just, every week, recruiting more agents.

Fast-forwarding a bit to just before buying Sutton Group, what did you see when you were looking at Sutton Group from the outside looking in?

I had just spent 10 years in California, mainly. I helped Compass reconstruct their business finance and then I saw an opportunity in California to get involved with Pacific Union, which was — at the time — the twelfth largest brokerage in America. I went in as a Partner and Chief Global Strategist and we bought seven more companies and built that business up in California, going from the twelfth to the fifth. At the same time, Compass was growing quite a bit, and was funded by Softbank, so I reached out to [Compass] and I basically got them to merge.

I saw the NAR lawsuit, which has been brewing for seven or eight years now, as a huge opportunity for a company to really move the needle around the conversation. The vast majority of the public doesn't understand why a real estate transaction takes so long and costs so much. In California, I started to become really focused on data. The US consumer has so much more data and when I came back to Canada, I couldn't believe how bad the information Canadians have [is]. Probably the worst of any G7 country in the world. We just don't have access to data and information that we should, so I was looking and had been pretty focused on real estate technology and how we need to reduce time and money, which adds value to the asset itself.

That's been in the background of everything I've done, probably, for the last 15 years. I've continued to seek out ways to do that and really focus on more of a wealth management model than a transactional model. And right now I believe everyone in the real estate industry is focused on the transaction. They're not focused on the homeowner or the asset itself.

What data is available to consumers in the US but not here?

For instance, if you pull up a property address for somewhere in Seattle, you can get almost all of the registry information, you can see who's owned the asset, you can see previous sales, how much it traded for, property tax information. Crazy enough, you can see information like the number of times that police officers have been called to that address. There's a lot of datapoints.

It's one thing to have a lot of data and information, but a lot of the time it's not verified, so it's really about getting verified data and information. In Canada, if you wanted to pull up a property address in Vancouver, it's pretty hard to get information on that asset. You either got to pay or you have to go to somebody in the industry who has access to BC OnLine.

So, my point there is that I think everybody keeps talking about affordability and housing, and the first thing we can probably do to help people is give them really good and accurate information at the time that they're looking to buy or potentially sell an asset. Also [important is] information related to the cost of the asset, because a lot of people get involved in real estate thinking that real estate is always a good investment, and it's not always true, right? So the true cost of ownership of an asset is incredibly important for people to make a decision.

This seems like an ambitious and grand goal. How do you plan on making it happen?

Well, I think it's by asking people for help, but a lot of people in the industry aren't necessarily interested in helping us achieve our goal, cause they're pretty short-sighted. That middle-aged stock broker that existed in 1993 who probably didn't add a lot of value to the transaction? They're gone. They're completely gone. E-Trade came in and people started to realize it doesn't need to take 10 to 15 days to trade an asset and I can get a lot of this information myself online, I can buy the asset myself, so the role of that stock broker had to change to much more of an advisory and fiduciary role.

With real estate, about 40% to 50% of transactions occur through death or divorce. A lot of people don't talk about this, but that's a highly emotional time, usually, and people don't make great decisions, and a lot of bad actors come into play and a lot of financial elder abuse happens. I've experienced it in my own family and I kept asking people, "Why hasn't anybody created a transparent platform that allows digital information to be provided to potential homeowners and fiduciaries so you can prevent financial elder abuse from happening?"

The other thing that happens a lot of times in this world is a lot of Canadians don't have a will, and if you don't have a will, it's a huge problem in the event of a death. I just saw this movie happen when I was at Sotheby's over and over again and I kept thinking, "There's gotta be a better solution here." So we built this first platform inside Sotheby's and it was called 1744 and the goal there was to create portfolios of data and information around an asset, cause we knew that if you did that, the asset itself actually became more valuable.

An example of that is collector cars. If you're buying a collector car and you've got a lot of detailed information on the asset, you'll get a premium of anywhere from 5% to 10% and if you don't have it, the asset gets discounted heavily. When you think about a real estate asset, the majority of information you're getting is from MLS or Realtor.ca, and a lot of the time that data may not be accurate. I just think that it's crazy that people are making one of the most important financial decisions you'll ever make based on data that can fit on a single sheet of paper. That, to me, is just nuts.

With Sotheby's, you founded the company. Now with Sutton Group, you're taking over a company that's already established. Was that part of the appeal for you, that it's a different kind of challenge?

Sutton revolutionized the business 41 years ago. They came in and they completely disrupted the entire industry with desk fees rather than [commission] splits. At the time, back in the early 80s when Block Brothers [Realty] was a big player, the splits between the agents [and brokerage] was 50/50. When Sutton came in, they were the first people to just charge you a desk fee and then the transaction fee, so you went from paying half of your commission to keeping 97% or 98% of your commission, so they grew very, very fast.

But in the past 10 to 15 years, the brand started getting a little tired, the ownership wasn't really investing in the business, and I saw an opportunity to acquire it. We're about to launch, in about two weeks, a new brand and brand identity, we're transitioning the business much more from a transactional business model to a wealth management model. With 200 offices and 6,000 agents, about $40B in transactions, it's a pretty good distribution for launching a digital platform that I think is going to change the way people manage and transact real estate.

The other thing that has been really beneficial to me is — as much as I didn't want to do franchises when I owned Sotheby's, now I see them truly as my partners. I don't have to manage those brokerages; they do. I don't need to know those markets, because they live in and breathe in those markets. They seem to be very excited about the ownership [change] and what we're bringing to bear.

The previous Sutton Group logo (left) and the new logo (right).The previous Sutton Group logo (left) and the new logo (right).(Sutton Group)

Is there anything else on your agenda for Sutton Group? Where do you wanna take the company?

Right now, it's to establish ourselves as a brand and truly transition it from transactional to wealth management. I'm not looking at any of the other brands or business models for real estate brokerages in Canada. I'm looking at financial service companies, wealth management companies, private banks.

Our goal this year is to reinvigorate the brand. We're in deep discussions with municipal, provincial, and federal people related to data and information and housing affordability, because everybody talks about affordability when they talk about housing and they never really talk about the role the government plays in terms of the costs. It's a huge part of an asset. People don't really understand, when you buy a house, how much of that dollar is paid out in taxes and permits. I think Canadians need to know that.

If you look at the cost of housing in the US and the cost of housing in Canada, it's dramatically different. Everybody knows that to be true, but nobody really understands why. And what I can tell you is that by providing a digital platform and giving people information, they're gonna start asking their municipal leaders, provincial leaders, and federal leaders why they're paying so much money either to manage or transact real estate.

We're also growing the brand. I've hired a new President and Chief Operating Officer. He's phenomenal. I've hired a new Chief Marketing Officer who's incredible. We're building a new website, we're launching a new app, and Cornerstone — it will be Sutton Group powered by Cornerstone — is the technology partner [for the digital platform.] I'm equally as excited as I was in 2004 when I bought Sotheby's.

Having spent time in the US and now being back in Canada, what do make of the NAR commissions settlement and how it may or may not impact Canada?

I feel like the industry is finally having to change. [As a result of] COVID, a lot of people had to figure out how to do things digitally. We had appraisals being done for properties that nobody actually went into. We had transactions of real estate where buyers and sellers never met. That revolution forced the industry to start behaving differently and in order to do that, a higher degree of trust needed to be provided when it came to data and information.

The lawsuit in the US, and [the one] ongoing in Canada, I think is a really good thing. Consumers need to be asking the industry "Isn't there a better way to manage and transact real estate?" And the answer is "Yes."

We're not in that space. Our agents, it's up to them to negotiate the fee they charge with their homeowners and we had the same mindset when I owned Sotheby's. I really never understood why the industry would set a standard where if you're a real estate agent and you've been in the business for two weeks, you're gonna charge me the same as someone who's been in the business for 20 years? The industry was protecting the business model and commission structure that made no sense.

Things like title insurance. People are starting to ask the question, "Do I even need title insurance?" And the answer is probably "No." That's a cost to the transaction. Appraisals in Canada cost $600 and take 10 days, and they shouldn't. It should be $100 and take 24 hours. All these little things — inspections, appraisals, title insurance, the taxes, commissions — go into the cost of an asset and also the timing of why it takes so long.

The Land Title Office is the one that holds all the information that allows that transaction to occur. With a stock or a bond, you've got six different intermediaries and they figured that out so you and I could've been buying and selling stocks on this phone call right now. And that's a much more complicated transaction than a real estate transaction. I'm 100% focused on figuring out how to do this better. That's what's got me excited.

‘Unsellable Houses’ Stars Reveal Money-Saving Renovation Tips

Unsellable Houses stars Lyndsay Lamb and Leslie Davis are on a roll. The twin sisters and real estate agents recently won season five of Rock the Block, appeared on House Hunters: All Stars, and are gearing up for a fifth season of their HGTV series. They even started a podcast, Twin Win Unfiltered, that digs into the behind-the-scenes of their busy lives. While fixing many homes over the years, the duo has learned major ways to save money on renovations—and anyone can follow suit. From refreshing cabinetry with new doors to finding materials in unexpected places, take a look at their top tips below.


Reuse Cabinetry

For a kitchen renovation, the duo says one of the biggest ways to save money is to reuse cabinetry and some appliances. "You can paint cabinetry and replace hardware," they tell House Beautiful. "If you need more than just paint to make it feel right, you can still save a ton by just replacing the doors to a new style and leaving the cabinet body in place."

Source Leftover Materials

Another option for building or revamping a kitchen is to ask a cabinet installer for remnant boxes. This way, you can design a fresh kitchen for a fraction of what a custom job will cost. “If we are going to have colored cabinets, we will ask the cabinet installer to use 'leftover' cabinet boxes from any job they had that fit the space and layout so that we are getting a lower price by using mix-and-match boxes and not ordering a new complete matching set," Lamb says.

Through this method, Lamb and Davis usually end up with white, natural, and even blue boxes when the kitchen is installed. "This is totally fine with us because we then have it painted the color we want the boxes to be," Lamb says. "Often, this is because we are going for a color that is not 'in stock' with standard cabinet colors. We will paint them our custom color, and no one would [be any] the wiser.”

Turn to Unexpected Places

Lamb and Davis recommend buying materials and fixtures from a salvage yard, Habitat for Humanity, or building material auctions for good deals on quality pieces. Classic buy-and-sell websites (like Facebook Marketplace, eBay, and AptDeco) are also a great place to start. "People are always moving and need to sell perfectly fine appliances quickly, or you may end up finding a ton of lumber left over from someone else's project they need to sell before moving," they say.

Follow House Beautiful on Instagram and TikTok.

Headshot of Kelly Allen

Kelly Allen is the Associate Editor at House Beautiful, where she creates design, culture, and travel content online and in the magazine. She’s been on the team since 2019, writing features on and , in-depth , and inspiring . From researching to discovering can’t-miss onscreen, she’s always eager to answer burning pop culture questions through a design lens. In her five-year career, she’s built a strong network of designers across disciplines to tap for their invaluable expertise. Her background includes honing reporting skills while tackling viral news for Delish and contributing to Cosmopolitan’s entertainment coverage. When she’s not watching every new and , she’s browsing vintage home stores, attending industry events, and wandering around —highlighting it all .

9 Home Designs That Evoke the Flow of Water

This article is part of our Design special section about water as a source of creativity.


Water is a popular motif with product designers because it symbolizes tranquillity and clarity. But this force of nature also “adds movement, freedom and flow in a space,” said Golnar Roshan, who with her partner, Ruben de la Rive Box, recently introduced a rug collection called Fluid that evokes the moody skies reflected in the canals of Amsterdam, where they live.

“I like to mix worlds that seem far apart, create unexpected connections and imaginative short circuits between things,” Paola Navone, a designer in Milan, said of her collection of new pendant lights with diffusers of milky white or limpid blue glass that visually create an oceanic sway. (The lamps are called Oblò, which is Italian for “porthole.”)

These and other fresh, splashy products are presented here.

The interlocking handblown vases by the Los Angeles artist and designer Mansi Shah — part of her first housewares line, Manu Nanu — fit together like molecules. “The glass itself possesses a water-like quality,” she said, adding that she likes to keep the vases on a windowsill, where sunlight passes through and casts shadows that “dance and shift like ripples.” Available in amber, cobalt blue and teal for $80. manunanu.com

After producing a ceiling lamp with a bulbous glass filament that rises from the center to evoke a water drop splashing in a pool, Beacon Custom Lighting followed with its Pond decanter. Designed by Dean Maltz, a New York City architect, the handblown carafe is $260. beaconcustomlighting.com

The Chinese American artist Tina Scepanovic discovered what she described as the “hidden power” of water while swimming competitively as a teenager. For her Narcissus catchall, she applied the loose gestures of Chinese brush painting to metal sculpture to encapsulate the object’s qi, or vital energy. “The pool form is a portal into another dimension,” she said. Available in bronze or white brass for $650. oblist.com

“To construct or deconstruct, water is your tool,” said Joseph Algieri, a New York City designer. In his Construction vases, a flood of pigmented foam breaks through the ceramic barriers, defeating any expectation that water should be contained in a vessel. Available for $850. josephalgieri.com

“I am a Pisces and water is my natural element,” said Paola Navone about Oblò, her nautical-inspired lighting for the Italian company Lodes. The pendant lamps are suspended like buoys with “no sense of earth or gravity,” she said. Available in three bulbous shapes and five finishes; price upon request. lodes.com/en/

The Windy collection by Oki Sato, the founder of the Tokyo design studio Nendo, consists of grès porcelain tiles with subtly incised patterns like the marks made by a breeze on the surface of water, rice paddies and grasslands. The tiles, which are produced by Decoratori Bassanesi, come in four patterns and four colors: Rice, Almond, Dolomite and Pepper, at $18 per square foot. decoratoribassanesi.it

Describing the origins of her Fluid rug collection for the Dutch company Moooi, Golnar Roshan of the Amsterdam design firm Rive Roshan recalled that the floor of her canal-side studio “was almost level with the water, a few feet from the front door.” She added, “The way it rippled and reflected the light and the sky had this intriguing influence.” Available in rectangular and circular versions, from $3,250. moooi.com/us

The Wave series produced by Kast, an English concrete basin company, complements the bathroom’s default theme of water. The curvy fixtures, called Tilde, Dune and Prim, are available in 28 colors — including Storm (blue) and Brick (terra cotta). The Dune basin shown is $3,225. kastconcretebasins.com

The rim of the Tanba basket by Enkay follows the sinuous lines of a river. “Water motifs have an enduring place in interior design because of the softness they bring to spaces, especially as accents,” said the company’s founder, Asha Chaudhary. The baskets are handwoven with ilala palm leaves sourced from Zimbabwe. The small version is 18 inches in diameter and $408. enkay.com

Fireplace at developing less than building in north-end Halifax speedily extinguished

Witnesses explained hearing a loud blast and observing substantial plumes of black smoke on Tuesday early morning as a developing beneath construction in Halifax's north end caught fire.

A statement from Halifax Regional Fire and Crisis said crews were being referred to as to the corner of Robie and Almon streets all over 8:20 a.m. local time.

When firefighters arrived, they discovered flames and major smoke on the 10th floor and roof of a higher-increase developing that was underneath building.

The statement reported roofing materials were being burning, which established a hefty black smoke plume. Quite a few propane cylinders were also concerned in the hearth. 

No injuries have been reported and no adjacent structures have been broken.

Black smoke is seen billowing from a building under construction with a crane next.
Black plumes of smoke could be noticed billowing from the making on St Albans Road Tuesday early morning. (Daniel Jardine/CBC)

A crane operator was at first described to have been trapped, but they were able to get out and were being risk-free.

Spokesperson Dave Meldrum said the blaze was brought underneath handle at about 8:45 a.m. and 33 firefighters ended up included in the hard work.

There was no drinking water in the making, but crews have been in a position to get started pumping drinking water onto the fireplace within just 10 minutes utilizing an aerial truck and extensive hoses, District Main Pat Kline told CBC News.

He claimed the aerial machines is about 30-metres very long — approximately seven storeys — so firefighters had to carry their equipment up through the constructing and lessen hoses down to it from inside the making. 

"It was a ton of operate early to get the drinking water up there. You can find no elevators, they are strolling up 10 flights of stairs," he said. "The crews did a seriously excellent occupation."

Large plumes of back smoke billow from an under construction building.
James Shaw life on McCully Street and read a blast around 8:20 a.m. community time. He arrived outside the house to locate a building he lives near was on fire. (Submitted by James Shaw)

Kline mentioned it is not very clear how much damage there was to the constructing. The trigger is below investigation. 

An alert from Halifax Regional Municipality warned folks who are living on the peninsula to close their windows due to smoke from the hearth maybe being toxic. 

"Inhabitants and enterprises near the fireplace must nonetheless hold windows closed and air exchangers turned off until air high-quality conditions improve in the coming hrs as a precaution," the municipality stated on X, previously known as Twitter, mid-early morning Tuesday.

Halifax Regional Law enforcement also asked people to stay clear of the area for the duration of what is commonly a time of major early morning visitors.

A fire truck is seen driving down a city street, with an under construction building in the background and white plumes of smoke coming from the top.
A number of crews responded to the fire at the below construction setting up in Halifax's north conclude on Tuesday early morning. (Daniel Jardine/CBC)

James Shaw lives nearby. He explained he read a blast all around 8:20 a.m. local time.

"It shook the entire dwelling," Shaw said in an interview at the scene. "So I came outdoors ... and observed this outstanding constructing listed here on fireplace. Massive black smoke. Lots of sparks and things likely."

Mike Clark was doing the job on the developing adjacent to the 1 that caught hearth. He stated he was on the 30th floor when the roof of the other creating caught hearth and propane tanks blew up.

Look at | Smoke billowed in excess of north-conclusion Halifax

North-conclude Halifax fireplace noticed from distinctive angles

Flames and hefty smoke were obvious on the roof of a significant-increase creating underneath construction.

He stated building crews had been then evacuated from the making.

"The elevator was shut down and anyone went down the stairs and out the door," Clark claimed. "Everyone on each ground has a horn to check out if any person was left in the constructing. Sounded the horn and walked down. It was quite structured."

Cory Preserving, who was also doing work in an adjacent developing at the time, said he did feel scared just after listening to a bang.

"I did not like it," reported Preserving in an interview on the road beneath the constructing. "You never know what is heading to happen."

He mentioned the creating was safely and securely evacuated and workers had been headed back again in later Tuesday early morning.

A number of city buildings are seen, with an under-construction building in the central background with large plumes of black smoke coming from it.
Big plumes of black smoke as observed from a balcony on Tuesday early morning. (Submitted by David Sampson)

The provincial Department of Labour, Capabilities and Immigration reported its safety officers issued a quit-function order on devices damaged by the fire, such as roof anchors and a swing phase. The office is investigating what transpired.  

52 Best Online Furniture Stores to Bookmark Now (2024)

The best online furniture stores have a few things in common: The stock is relatively large, there’s a bit of variety, and there’s more than a touch of style. The problem is that there are so many places to seek out new furniture online—where is a person to start? Hiring someone to work out design services for your space isn’t usually a possibility, so prepare to go on yourself. Luckily, we can help with that: One of our editors’ favorite pastimes is scrolling for new home additions online.

On these sites you’ll find gorgeous furniture and home decor in a wide variety of styles, plus fast (and often free) shipping. Some of these retailers you’d expect to see—Target, IKEA, Crate & Barrel, etc.—but others, like Urban Outfitters and Etsy, might come as a surprise. Read on and discover the 52 best online furniture stores now spanning bestsellers for the bedroom to bathroom storage. Happy shopping!

Shop Our Top Picks:

1. Best Online-Only Furniture Brand: Article

Lenia White Oak 6-Drawer Dresser

The outdoor furniture selection at Article can’t be beat. There’s a huge selection, plus there are plenty of special pieces (think sofas draped in performance fabric with wood frames and woven elements). Although the outdoor furniture sets shouldn’t be missed, there are pieces to fill the entire home—the Nordby sleeper sofa is an editor fave.

2. Best Outdoor Furniture Brand: Castlery

Kelsey Marble Dining Table

Castlery Jonathan Chaise Sectional Sofa

Online shopping is a breeze with Castlery. All the pieces of furniture are organized by room (i.e. bedroom furniture>nightstands, living room furniture>coffee tables, etc.) and can be easily filtered by price point, material, color, size, and more. They have a huge selection with a lot of classic, contemporary, and midcentury-modern pieces. They also have a virtual showroom that lets you “wander” through their actual warehouse. Castlery will send out three free swatches for any product you’re interested in and has a 14-day return policy. We've personally tested the Jonathan sofa and the Ingrid arm chair with glowing reviews.

3. Best Budget Furniture Brand: Wayfair

Isley 26.68'' Wide Rolling Kitchen Island with Solid Wood Top

AllModern Williams Nightstand

Wayfair has multiple sales going on daily, so you can find everything you could possibly want for the indoors or outdoors for up to 70% off. The brand’s annual Way Day sale, with discounts on thousands of items and a bunch of flash sales, is not to be missed either. All orders for more than $49 ship for free.

4. Best Splurge Furniture Brand: Arhaus

Arhaus (which is German for house) offers high-end, heirloom-quality furniture. They also have a huge selection of unique artisanal decor and lighting solutions. The Kipton sofa, with its easy silhouette and seemingly endless customization options, is another Clever favorite.

5. Best Minimalist Furniture Brand: Maiden Home

Quality pieces abound at Maiden Home. Find seating, tables, rugs, and lighting (all made in the US) in their online storefront—a Clever favorite is the Dune sectional sofa with its delightful slipcovered silo. You can also visit their flagship store in Los Angeles, or their other locations in Austin, Boston, Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.

6. Best Upholstery Options: Serena & Lily

Riviera Rattan Dining Chair

Serena & Lily channels calm, coastal vibes that we can’t get enough of. Shop the brand’s collection for deep couches, statement-making end tables, expansive coffee tables, unique console tables, hand-knotted area rugs, striking outdoor dining sets, and so much more.

Anthropologie’s furniture selection is a breath of fresh air, and every time a new collection is unveiled, it’s guaranteed we want something (if not everything) from it. Packed with as much personality as their clothing and decor options, the designs—like the Havana leather chair we reviewed during Seat Week—are made to stand out. Splurge-worthy for sure (we might even recommend waiting to strike when the brand runs one of its famous online furniture sales), it’s also quick and easy to talk to a furniture consultant online about any questions you have as you shop.

Auburn Rectangular Grand Coffee Table

Cayman Platform Bed and Headboard

This mainstay is a household name for a reason. Based in San Francisco as part of the Williams-Sonoma portfolio (alongside West Elm and Rejuvenation), there are many locations you can shop in-store around the world, but Pottery Barn has a huge online selection that puts their collections at your fingertips no matter where you are. Their high-quality furniture ranges from classic to contemporary—and, after nearly a century in business, they’re prioritizing sustainability with initiatives centered on responsibly sourced wood and cotton and recycled fabrics.

Banana Republic’s interior line, BR Home, introduces graceful curves, neutral color palettes, and subtle textures into homes. Despite having a very similar vibe, each piece of the curation has its own distinct personality. This is a good place to start if you’re looking for high-design style without the massive price tag—but be warned, the furniture here is still an investment.

Laura Davidson Furniture Padded Office Chair

Tailia Light Blue Dot Office Chair

You already know Amazon has everything under the sun, but did you know that includes budget-friendly furniture that looks way more expensive than it really is, complete with free delivery? The myriad filtering options help you find exactly what you’re looking for, whether that’s a down comforter, a small-space humidifier, or a housewarming gift. Amazon is also the exclusive retailer for a few different decor brands, including Rivet, Stone & Beam, Ravenna Home, and, our personal favorite, Now House by Jonathan Adler.

West Elm Kids Groovy Swivel Chair

Dalton 2-Piece Chaise Sectional

Brooklyn-based West Elm, a Williams-Sonoma brand, is obviously a go-to for affordable modern decor, but that’s only part of the store’s appeal. West Elm also sells tons of organic, handcrafted, sustainably sourced, and Fair Trade Certified items. With frequent sales, plus 15% off when you sign up for their emails, you can get even better deals on the selection.

Rove Concepts is the place to shop if you’re looking to mimic the effortlessly chic vibes of your favorite celebrity’s home. The furniture sets in particular are worth checking out, as most are made up of pieces that look just as sleek alone as they do clustered together in a room.

Hudson Convertible Sectional Sofa with Reversible Chaise

Suzanne Metal and Wood Platforma Bed Frame

Order from Zinus and you can have a sofa, love seat, bed frame, or mattress delivered in three to five days, free of charge. All of its furniture can be assembled in 20 minutes or less with no tools. Its furniture tends to run on the smaller size and on the inexpensive side, so it’s perfect for tiny New York apartments or starter homes. Among its selection of couches, you’ll find bright pops of color as well as classic neutrals, and a variety of styles including midcentury, modern, and classic.

Sloan Leather 4-Seat Corner Sectional Sofa

Marshall Oversized Swivel Chair

Interior Define is home to neutral, well-designed staples intended to stand the test of time. Not only can you customize the color of each piece, you can also easily select other options such as fill, furniture legs, cushion style, and more, all from their website or brick-and-mortar shops in select cities. In addition to furniture, they also have a solid selection of rugs and lighting to finish a space.

Block Nomad Leather Sofa with Ottoman

One of the things we love most about Burrow is its infinitely customizable furniture. You can choose, for example, a couch or chair and then customize the fabric color, leg finish, arm style, and whether or not the pillows are tufted. With all these options, it’s easy to get exactly what you want. Did we mention Burrow offers free shipping on all orders? Sounds good to us.

The Two-Drawer Nightstand

Sometimes bedroom furniture doesn’t need to scream “conversation starter!” This is where Thuma comes into the picture. Known for its luxe bedding and mattresses, the brand also makes a small selection of bedroom furniture. The designs include bed frames, nightstands, and storage options, each in simple wood finishes and sleek silhouettes.

Lulu and Georgia is a forward-thinking furniture store run by a family that’s been designing interiors for three generations. If you’re looking for the latest designs and best style, you’ll find it here.

Project 62 Copan Mid Century Bench

Wood & Cane Console Table

Target is killing it lately with its in-house decor brands, which offer everything from midcentury-modern furniture (Project62) to contemporary-meets-country pieces (Hearth & Hand) to colorful bohemian styles (Opalhouse). And you’ll find lots more sofas, wall sconces, chaises, and bistro tables online than you will in the store. Score free shipping on orders over $35.

Sideboard Granadella With Mediterranean Lattice Doors

Etsy’s huge selection is a must-visit for one-of-a-kind handmade and vintage decor. Midcentury-modern dining tables? Etsy has those. Moroccan rugs? Those too. Ceramic tableware? Yep. And with every purchase, you’re supporting a small-business owner.

Albany Park, founded by former NFL player Darryl Sharpton and his wife, Jessica, is on a mission to take the confusion out of furniture shopping. Instead of offering dozens of lines, they offer a limited selection of collections in a variety of colors and patterns. That way, it’s easier to choose what you really want instead of wading through endless, nearly identical options.

Shopping for furniture is an adventure on Urban Outfitters—you never know what you’ll find. Styles range from funky and eclectic to luxurious and glam, and it’s all Pinterest-worthy.

Beloved by AD editors and celebrities like Ashley Tisdale, Sixpenny’s eco-friendly furniture offerings includes pieces for your bedroom, dining room, and living room. With an ethos that materials matter, you’ll find the brand’s items are made from ethically-sourced down feathers, frames handcrafted from kiln-dried solid hardwood, and all-natural linen-cotton covering options. Highlights include bed frames, coffee tables, children’s furniture, and the Neva Chaise Sectional design editor Zoë Sessums called “One of the most comfy couches I’ve spent time on in a while.”

Sixpenny Neva Chaise Sectional

Sixpenny Aria Leather Sofa

Endlessly adaptable and incredibly easy to clean, the Clever-approved Lovesac Sactional is just one piece from the brand that’ll transform your home into a cozy oasis. With three different base pieces (the Sectional seat, Wedge seat, and Storage seat) that can be configured into just about any seating arrangement, you can really have it all—from a full living room set to an extra-large U-shaped sectional. Looking for something that fits an even more relaxed vibe? We recommend checking out an ultra-comfy Sac, which can seat anywhere from one to four people.

Lovesac Sactionals, 5 Seats + 5 sides

CitySac in Dove Channeled Phur

If fully customized furniture is what you’re after, look no further than BenchMade Modern. The brand offers endless customizations (down to the exact measurements of some items) and specializes in fast production. For items like a sectional sofa (which we reviewed during Seat Week), Benchmade even sends a free swatch kit and a genius paper cutout to help measure your space—making your selection process that much easier.

BenchMade Modern Uncle Sal Sofa With Chaise

Ssense may be a trusted go-to for all your fashion needs, but the Canadian retailer is also quite the hub for some of our favorite furniture brands. From iconic Herman Miller and Vitra designs to newer makers like Gustaf Westman, outfitting your home and wardrobe with Ssense is an easy feat. We’re particularly fond of the curvy side table below, an exclusive to the webstore!

Herman Miller White Eames Molded Plastic Armchair

Gustaf Westman Objects Green Curvy Mini Side Table

Ballard Designs Sylvia Étagère

In addition to a stunning array of home furniture, Ballard Designs also sells fabric by the yard—meaning you can, say, reupholster your old recliners or chaise with a fabric that matches your new couch. Sweet! Ballard also has a design podcast called How to Decorate that you’ll definitely want to listen to.

Detroit-based Floyd is the next name on our guide of brands you should know. You may recognize its viral bed frame from your Instagram feed, but the furniture maker’s other offerings are equally photogenic. What’s more is that all of the brand’s pieces are made to last and come with a 10-year warranty—including the Clever-approved Floyd sectional sofa.

Design Within Reach Pacha Chair

Eames Wire Base Low Table

If you want to turn your home into a modern masterpiece, look no further than DWR. It offers sleek furniture for every single room in the house. Whether you want to spruce up your home office or overhaul your living room, DWR has the classics to transform your space.

Movie Night 3-Piece Modular Sofa

No furniture type is forgotten at Sundays. From weather-resistant outdoor furniture to luxe bed frames and chic coffee tables, the site is a vault of timeless design. These are pieces that will blend right in with a ton of different interior styles, from minimalist situations and farmhouse vibes, to contemporary with a capital C.

Windsor Upholstered Dining Chair, Set of 2

Fans of traditional decor will love what’s happening at Perigold. There are a ton of furniture designs with fun textures like rattan and velvet. You could lose a lot of time digging through the stock, so go in with an idea of what you’re looking for.

Kartell Colonna Side Table

For both iconic designs and one-offs from emerging designers, check out the MoMA Design Store. Though the online shop certainly skews toward kitchen gadgets, decor, accessories, and gifts, don’t sleep on the furniture section. Here you can find pieces that are showcased in the MoMA permanent collection, like the Eames chair and Kartell Componibili storage, next to modern brands like Hay and Areaware.

The nice thing about Neighbor’s designs is that they all kind of go together. The Haven collection is a great example—and would look really good in any backyard situation. The site is all about high-quality outdoor furniture, so keep that in mind as you browse.

No list of the best online furniture stores would be complete without IKEA. Its furniture is a staple for design lovers on a budget, with simple Scandi-style options for minimalists and trendier pieces for risk takers. Ordering online has its pros and cons: You can avoid the crowds and the maze-like layout of the store, but you’ll also miss out on the Swedish meatballs.

Williams 2-Drawer Nightstand

AllModern is a curation of the best modern furniture, from Scandinavian to farmhouse. The prices are competitive and the delivery is fast. What more could you want from online furniture shopping?

Verner Panton Chair for Herman Miller

1stDibs’s high-end offerings range from antique and vintage pieces to postmodern marvels. In addition to vintage furniture, you’ll find the latest releases from rising contemporary design stars, as well as decor, pillows, lighting solutions, rugs, and more. It’s a one-stop shop for interior design.

Estrela Queen Tufted Upholstered Low Profile Platform Bed

With a wide selection and solid price points, Joss & Main is a foolproof option that won't disappoint—the retailer carries hundreds of brands across every style. Its sophisticated collections make it easy to plan your dream decor and order right from your laptop or phone. Bonus: Flash sales happen regularly so you’ll be able to score a nice discount on your new rug or accent chair.

Babylon Torrento Marble Bistro Table

Peekaboo Acrylic Coffee Table

CB2, the younger offshoot of Crate & Barrel, offers a hip selection of modern, minimalist, and midcentury furniture that has made it a go-to for apartment dwellers and first-time home owners alike. CB2 offers free design consultations via video chat, and the company will also help you create mood boards and 3D room renderings. It’s also known for incredibly chic collaborations with designers and artists like Lenny Kravitz and Kara Mann.

Ambie Walnut Wood Accent Chair

Crate & Barrel Hayes 48" Round Acacia Dining Room Table

Crate & Barrel offers stylish furniture for every room, from kitchen to home office. Though its prices are on the higher side, you can rest easy knowing its furniture is high-quality and made to last. Shipping is free on orders more than $99.

Hay is fun. There’s no other way to describe what it has to offer. Hay may lack variety of styles—its products go from bold and quirky sofa shapes to spaghetti-inspired lounge chairs—but it definitely makes it up in strong color and design options. Particularly with the outdoor furniture, the silhouettes may lean classic, but elements like hole-punch tabletops and wavy benches will give your space just the kick it needs.

One Kings Lane has furniture in every style, but it actually has an entire section on its website devoted to vintage. From John Widdicomb side tables to Burmese rattan polo chairs, the site has all the vintage finds that will transform your living room into something straight out of The Great Gatsby.

You can shop by room or by style (including ski house, beach house, or modern) on RH. Its extensive selection, plus design consultation services, make furnishing the home of your dreams a fairly straightforward process.

Shop at The Inside and you’ll never need an interior designer. The brand curates entire sets of furniture for every room based on your style preferences and needs. If you’re starting from scratch (or starting over), The Inside makes it painless to pull together a room that looks like it was pulled from the pages of AD. You can also shop piece by piece, of course. Take its one-minute style quiz to find selections just for you.

Jive Desk with Post Leg, Color Pop Collection

Workplace furniture does not have to be boring—far from it. Haworth’s designs come straight from that cool office you saw on Instagram, from desks with colorful peg legs to gaming chairs that aren’t an eyesore (which are extremely hard to find, FWIW).

Octane Counter & Bar Stool

Fans of industrial design could spend an entire afternoon perusing the furniture on Industry West’s site. From ribbed leather sofas and chunky lounge chairs to stone-topped side tables and leggy floor lamps, these pieces will quickly become high-quality staples you’ll love surrounding yourself with from home to home.

Jayson Home specializes in unique and vintage-inspired furniture sourced from around the world. You'll find everything from selenite logs and leather coolers to airy pendants and midcentury burlwood desks with brass detailing. We’re such fans of their Chicago flagship, we named them one of the 40 Best Home Decor Stores in America.

There is a lot of cool stuff on Schoolhouse’s webpage, but we’re partial to the stools. Hear us out: You’d be surprised how handy a stool can be. They serve as seating at a party where one too many guests bring a plus one, or to stack books on them for a cozy little decor moment (or a reminder to read something from your growing stack of to-be-read), or to reach a tall spot above the refrigerator. The stools from Schoolhouse come in bright colors (think, candy apple red) and will look great when not in use. Make sure to check out the rest of the inventory too. It’s all worth a look.

Article Silicus Light Gray Round Coffee Table

Pottery Barn Finn Canopy Bed

Looking for vintage furniture? One of the best online stores for pre-owned furniture is AptDeco. You can buy from brands like West Elm or Herman Miller at a fraction of the (new) full price. Notably, this is one of the few vintage furniture stores that offers returns.

Carl Hansen & Son Cuba Chair

If you’re looking for clean lines and a contemporary aesthetic, you’ll love Goodee—and not just because of the minimalist masterpieces they source from retailers like Skagerak and Carl Hansen, but because of their deep commitment to sustainability and ethical manufacturing.

This environmentally conscious brand is committed to using only nontoxic, eco-friendly materials. It exclusively uses real wood, hypoallergenic wool, and organic textiles. All of its products are free of fire retardants, ozone depleters, heavy metals, pesticides, and carcinogens. Not only are its products responsibly made and high quality, they’re also beautiful! Medley has a collection of sleek, handcrafted pieces for every room in your home.

Modular Bondi 3-Seater Sofa

Custom furniture can get pricey ridiculously fast, but not when you’re shopping the picks at Inside Weather. Even though there are a few core designs, the textile options will have you mixing and matching for hours on end. Plus, many of the furniture designs come with the option to add side tables, arms, or leave it arm-less. You can even choose which side of the furniture you want said side table or arm located. Options are a beautiful thing.

Puffy Lounge Chair + Ottoman by Faye Toogood

Zig Zag Shelf by Studio deFORM

Playful and color-obsessed, Hem covers all bases when it comes to furniture: Couches, shelves, poufs, dining chairs, tables, storage—the silhouettes pack personality into a small space. This is a great space to search for conversation starters for both small and large spaces.

Beam Slab Bar Stool by Tom Dixon

Kristina Dam Studio Curved Pouf

Most things Beam sells look straight out of a magazine shoot in the best way possible. The furniture leans minimal in both color palette and shape. Beam pulls the best designs from brands like Gus Modern, Moe’s, and Ethnicraft.

What to consider before making an online furniture purchase:

But before you go all in on something, there are a couple of things you’ll want to keep in mind during your search. First up: measure, measure, measure. Testing out furniture IRL is great but not always possible. The last thing you want is to fall in love with something online only to find out it won’t fit through your front door or in the nook it was meant to inhabit. On that note, make sure to measure the package as well—the box will add a couple of inches that you’ll have to account for.

In addition to measuring, consider if you’re going to want this piece of furniture to travel with you from home to home. If you’re working with a larger budget and consider the furniture you’re seeking out to be an investment piece of sorts, you may not want to lean completely into a trending color or texture—such as a hot pink corduroy couch. And we have nothing against hot pink corduroy couches (we love them), but you may not be as into the bold statement in 10 years as you are now. Consider this food for thought.

With two of the biggest considerations out of the way, go forth and seek out that ottoman or couch you’ve been thinking about for years.

Residence style and design insights: Priorities according to interior designers

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Residence design and style is a elaborate process requiring meticulous consideration to depth. What must you prioritize? Top inside designers demonstrate.

Performance and Space Utilization - Tali Sol

(credit: IDAN GUR)

Inside Designer Tali Sol suggests: "I believe in functionality and building personalised areas that allow just about every item to obtain its best area. Methods for storage and layout planning enrich house stream. The purpose is to make sure the residence suits like a glove, tailored flawlessly to residents' demands and life-style. Every household is exclusive, and what fits one particular may perhaps not essentially match an additional. Content and colour alternatives enhance just about every other, supplying warmth and tranquility."

(credit: Tal Weinbroom Elkabs)

Tal Sol Design Studio provides complete arranging and structure expert services for residences, workplaces, and trip properties, guaranteeing individualized remedies from begin to complete.

Client-Centric Approach - Rivit Rod

(credit score: Avi Kabalo)

Inside Designer Ravit Rod: "Specified the considerable expenditure and time involved, it can be vital to strategy the design method with focused consideration on precise desires. The far more accurate the knowing of your way of living requirements, the far more functional your home will be. In my work, I meticulously inquire about every single depth, guaranteeing a tailor-made strategy."

(credit score: Tal Weinbroom Elkabs)

Rivit Rod, with 13 several years of experience in personal households and contractor flats, emphasizes comprehensive design and style from preparing to final touches.

Personalized Touch with Interest to Depth - Cheli Israeli

(credit: Tamir Rogovsky)

Inside designer Cheli Israeli has been designing and organizing dreams for lots of many years with expertise in the two the personal and public sectors. One more specialization of the business is setting up and designing interesting educational properties, producing a wonderful and enjoyable environment that encourages creativeness and qualified prospects to motion. For a glimpse into this task and other people, pay a visit to the site.

"In the property style and design procedure, the most significant point is the private connection with the client and a deep comprehending of the procedure. Similarly essential is the partnership with subcontractors and suppliers. Understanding how to orchestrate everything. Professionalism ultimately arrives mostly from encounter and the range of jobs the designer has undergone. Aspiring for perfection and understanding that the residence development system is a fantastic synergy.

(credit rating: Tal Weinbroom Elkabs)

"The venture I selected to showcase is component of a penthouse condominium that I intended in a preserved constructing in Tel Aviv, found in the vicinity of the bustling cultural centers of Tel Aviv. It is an exquisite and meticulous project that permits for pleasurable hosting and leisure time even at residence. The apartment was made for a pair who are tradition enthusiasts and take pleasure in hosting close friends and family members. Appropriately, there was a need to have for a significant practical kitchen that lets for luxurious and at ease internet hosting, even though retaining a clean up and sophisticated design and style line. Suitable use of non-public carpentry work turned the Tel Aviv gem into a modern day get the job done of art."

Wisdom, Sensitivity, and Like - Tami Sharir

(credit history: Suzy Levinson)

Tami Shrir's studio has been associated in interior arranging and style and design for 24 yrs now, "all through which I have accompanied a lot of non-public tasks. In the latest a long time, the studio has specialized in planning and coming up with educational facilities and offices.

"The slogan that has accompanied me all over the several years is 'With knowledge, sensitivity, and really like, a household is designed.' This is my perception relating to each romance system - with myself toward my inner house and with my clients to their interior residence and its translation into the physical household. The transition in the latest many years to schools and workplaces is an expansion of my perception and the delicate and personal technique, with expression and thing to consider of depth in just the complete.

(credit rating: Tal Weinbroom Elkabs)

"The image earlier mentioned is of guest providers from a exclusive task in a luxurious tower in Tel Aviv. Clientele, a few with a personalized and exclusive flavor as can be observed in the cautiously selected structure objects together, one of a kind to them. An example of joint and specific operate performed all through the whole condominium."

Reflecting Consumer Requires - Mor Nir, Studio 305

(credit rating: Visualization - Omer Meiri from a venture in development)

Interior designer Mor Nir, Studio 305: "The most critical factor for me as a qualified lady is to develop an atmosphere that properly demonstrates the client's wants and aesthetics. This can be summarized in two principal details:

1. I should deeply comprehend the client's needs and their day-to-day demands at home. Each design requirements to be personalized to match the life-style, character qualities, habits, and varying demands of spouse and children members or home occupants. I emphasis on building a deep and genuine connection with the customer, making an extraordinary partnership concerning us.

2. Useful organizing: Lengthy ahead of I costume the area in all the beauty that the world of structure has to supply, I have the professional duty to emphasize functionality and practicality."

(credit history: Tal Weinbroom Elkabs)

"In the studio, exact and customized functional setting up is the essence of the business and the foundation for creating a excellent and enjoyable dwelling knowledge. When the room is prepared the right way and demonstrates the demands of its end users, it beautifully satisfies their daily life movement, making a sense of consolation and tranquility. Purposeful organizing assures that the space is not only gorgeous because splendor is in the eye of the beholder, but that it fulfills its part in the best doable way.

The graphic I chose to present is from a development undertaking, a penthouse condominium in a luxurious task overlooking the Sea of Galilee."

Best Planning and Style - Shiri Heller Schwartz

(credit score: Orit Arnon)

Interior Designer Shiri Heller Schwartz: "As an inside designer, reaching optimal setting up and style for the client can only transpire with a deep analysis of their specific desires and a total being familiar with of who the shopper is. In my studio's operating method, during the original analysis stage, I delve deep and find out my clients' life-style styles, dreams, and what smaller to substantial components make their home expertise a great and specific particular one particular for them.

"I think our home is an extension of ourselves, reflecting all those who reside within it. Thus, my function as a designer is to tailor the home's character to its house owners. I imagine most persons at present comprehend that our house considerably influences our habits, feelings, and feelings. Hence, the first evaluation method will have to be the basis of the total journey in direction of the dream residence."

(credit score: Orit Arnon)

"The venture I chose to current is a blend of meticulous arranging customized to the clients' requires, incorporating clean up design and style lines with stunning however refined color strategies. The boldness demanded by the customers in color possibilities brought significantly appeal to the household, nonetheless we nonetheless managed to sustain an environment of calmness and tranquility in a variety of areas."

Practice and Structure - Shany Shevach

(credit history: YANIV SHMIDT)

Interior Designer Shany Shevach: "The course of action of planning and developing a house is a deep and meaningful just one aimed at enhancing residents' good quality of daily life. In this approach, two items are most important to me: practicality and design that is aware of how to categorical the family's or individual's uniqueness dwelling in the property."

(credit rating: Tal Weinbroom Elkabs)

"Structure, in my check out, ought to acquire into account your personality, behavior, private style, and every day use of each individual space, so that style and design serves you and not vice versa. The studio specializes in inside structure, correct space allocation, layout that connects content to spirit, all though emphasizing the demands of the folks residing in the dwelling. In my design and style, I adhere to clean lines, aiming to make areas with place, movement, purely natural mild, and thinking exterior the box. I like to pay attention to you, get to know you and your story, and give it expression in the space named 'home'."&#13

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Development of new apartment setting up to get started at Portwood venture

Edgar Development's Portwood challenge in Port Moody will be constructed in five phases in excess of the future 15 a long time

After yrs of scheduling and months of web-site preparing, design of the initial new market properties in Port Moody’s Portwood development will formally commence on Friday, Might 10.

That is when associates from the project’s developer, Vancouver-based Edgar Development, will be joined by Mayor Meghan Lahti to break ground for the Umbra, a 6-storey, U-shaped constructing comprised of 219 one- and two-bed room condos together with a few-bed room ground-level townhomes.

Pre-sales of the units started past 12 months and is now 70 per cent offered out, in accordance to the organization.

“This is a wonderful illustration of a very well-believed out, amenity-rich, household-pleasant neighbourhood in a neighbourhood,” mentioned Edgar’s president, Matthew McCleneghan, in a information launch.

Building of the project’s 1st phase, which features 328 non-sector rental apartments in 3 buildings along with a 12,300 sq. ft. childcare facility, grocery shop, café and neighbourhood park, started previous year.

The cost-effective rental residences — backed by $140 million in funding from BC Housing — will first be manufactured obtainable to citizens displaced from the neighbourhood’s former collection of 1960s-period low-increase rental structures which are becoming demolished in levels so households won’t have to leave outright all through building.

Both projects are anticipated to be completely ready for occupancy in 2027.

When finished in about 15 a long time, the redevelopment of the previous 23-acre Woodland Park space alongside Cecile Push in Port Moody’s western conclude will be comprised of extra than 2,000 new properties in properties ranging from six to 19 storeys.

The 3rd of five phases will include things like 132 market rental homes, even though the fourth and fifth phases will be strata condos in a blend of lower-rise properties and significant-rises that cascade down the hillside.

The many elements of the new neighbourhood will be connected by nearly two kilometres of lively trails as very well as expansive, semi-community eco-friendly spaces.

The developer has also dedicated to restore and guard three creeks that run by means of the web site and set up a new signalized intersection at Clarke Street and the Barnet Highway.

As well, a parcel of residence on Highview Position is staying gifted to the city for probable construction of a new hearth hall.

Lahti reported the challenge delivers a variety of considerably-needed housing to the metropolis.

“It will also provide inexperienced room and amenities that will benefit the neighbourhood and the neighborhood as a full.”

Port Moody council inexperienced-lit the job in December 2021 after protracted conversations that provided consideration of a third SkyTrain station close by and the use of mass-timber development for the significant-rises.

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Real estate 2024: Emerging from the storm?

As interest rates peak and a clearer picture forms on valuation and future financial performance, the emerging green shoots signal a readiness among investors to get back to business.

By most measures, 2023 was a year to forget for real estate investors and dealmakers.

To get a read of what will drive and affect sector activity in the year ahead, White & Case has conducted its second annual survey of industry participants, with more than 260 senior decision-makers sharing their thoughts. Our findings show that after a volatile 24 months, the industry is looking ahead with more optimism as interest rates peak and a clearer picture forms on valuation and future financial performance.

Even though the outlook for 2024 is more positive, investors remain cautious. Rates are still high and geopolitical risk continues to loom large. On balance, however, the industry does appear to be in a more stable position than it was 12 months ago. The next year may not break any records for real estate deal activity and fundraising, but green shoots are emerging, and investors are ready to get back to business after a quiet 2023.

Section 1: Market overview and outlook

Cautious optimism: Real estate ready for recovery

Key Findings

  • There is growing optimism around the short-term and long-term outlook for the global real estate sector
  • More than two-thirds (68 percent) of respondents are more optimistic for the short term, with 89 percent optimistic for the long term. In the 2023 survey, only 48 percent and 75 percent were optimistic for the short term and long term respectively
  • Although survey respondents are more upbeat than a year ago, they remain cautious, with more than a third (37 percent) anticipating that CVAs, restructuring plans or other insolvency events will have a material impact on businesses during the next year—the same level as 2023
  • Geopolitics and regional conflicts are seen as the primary macro-economic risk facing the sector (31  percent), followed by interest rates (26  percent) and inflation (15  percent)

According to White & Case's M&A Explorer, global real estate deal value fell to the lowest levels since 2007, as year-on-year deal value dropped 52  percent from US$293.97 billion in 2022 to US$139.68 billion in 2023. Real estate fundraising activity, meanwhile, fell to the lowest levels seen since 2012, falling from US$224.63 billion in 2022 to US$138.83 billion in 2023, according to PERE.

The drops in deal value and fundraising reflect the negative impact of high inflation and rising interest rates on real estate markets in the US and Europe, and a liquidity squeeze in the key Chinese real estate sector in Asia-Pacific.

Better days ahead

For all the challenges that real estate markets have faced during the past 12 months, however, this year's survey findings suggest that the market may be starting to turn the corner, with respondents more optimistic about real estate prospects than a year ago.

More than two-thirds (68  percent) of respondents are more optimistic for the short-term, with 89  percent optimistic for the long term. In the 2023 survey, by contrast, only 48  percent and 75  percent were optimistic on the short-term and long-term outlook respectively.

A more stable picture for interest rates is driving renewed optimism. There is growing consensus that interest rates in the US, UK and Europe have peaked, and as long as rates stabilize and a lid is kept on inflation, real estate investment activity should start to rebound, with JLL anticipating that stable rates will narrow the gap between buyers and sellers on valuation, facilitating a smoother runway for deals.

"The market is in the process of resetting. If rates go down or stay flat, it will be a positive. If they rise again, it will be a negative," one survey respondent said.

The long-term fundamentals supporting real estate sub-sectors, such as logistics, are also giving real estate professionals.

"The focus on interest rates and inflation has meant that demand has been overlooked," the head of a European real estate developer and manager says. "If you look at logistics real estate, for example, the long-term structural tailwinds of e-commerce, nearshoring and supply chain resilience will continue to support favorable rent and vacancies dynamics, and opportunity to drive income growth."

Proceeding with caution

The survey findings also show, however, that respondents are not getting carried away. Opportunistic strategies, for example, rank as the most attractive for fundraising in 2024 (36 percent) with core value-add (22  percent) and development strategies (15 percent) some distance behind.

"Even if interest rates track downwards, real estate will still have to navigate a liquidity mismatch in the years ahead, and that will present opportunity for well-capitalized credit and opportunistic real estate dealmakers," the head of European real estate at a global private markets manager said in a post-survey interview.

More than a third (37 percent) also anticipate that CVAs, restructuring plans or other insolvency events will have a material impact on businesses during the coming year—the same level as 2023.

High rates and looming debt maturities are also set to keep pipelines of real estate non-performing loans at elevated levels, with almost three-quarters of respondents (72 percent) expecting an uptick in portfolios of NPLs secured by real estate to come to market in 2024. This is only a little lower than last year (79 percent).

Geopolitical risk is firmly on the radar too, with ongoing conflict in the Ukraine and Middle East, and the risk of proliferation, remaining major concerns. It comes as no surprise, then, that geopolitics and regional conflicts are seen as the primary macro-economic risk now facing the sector (31 percent) —ahead of interest rates (26 percent) and inflation (15 percent), which were identified as the primary macro-economic risks in the 2023 survey.

With the US, UK and India among the major global economies going to the polls in 2024, political instability ranks as the biggest socio-political risk for real estate (39 percent), some way ahead of political sanctions and changing social habits (both 14 percent).

Some investors, however, do believe that geopolitical risk has been oversold in markets like China, where sell-offs and falling valuations have overlooked underlying commercial drivers that continue to offer investors value.

Overall, the findings indicate that respondents remain sensitive to downside risk and shielding portfolios from macro and geopolitical uncertainty. The good news is that even though the macro backdrop still poses challenges, market conditions have improved when compared to last year.

Section 2: Sectors and fund strategies

Changing dynamics: Opportunity emerges as usage patterns shift

Key Findings

  • More than a third of respondents (36 percent) see opportunistic fund strategies as the most attractive going into 2024, with special situations up at 8 percent from 0 percent last year
  • Digital infrastructure (17  percent); living/residential (17 percent) and healthcare/life sciences (14 percent) are recognized as the real estate sectors most likely to outperform in 2024—in line with 2023 findings
  • Offices (41 percent); retail (22 percent) and hospitality/leisure (14 percent) have been selected as the sectors that will see the lowest investment demand during the next 12 months

The dislocation in real estate valuations during the past 12 months, coupled with tightening liquidity, a debt maturity wall and distress in Chinese real estate have put opportunistic fund strategies at the top of respondent rankings for 2024.

More than a third of respondents (36 percent) chose opportunistic fund strategies as the most attractive going into 2024, with the adjacent special situations category also gaining momentum, up at 8 percent from 0 percent last year.

The findings indicate that disruption caused by the rising interest rates as well as inflation to present an expanding pool of attractive investment opportunities in the months ahead, as a recalibration of real estate valuation and performance expectations washes through the industry.

A combination of factors are likely to be driven by this sentiment. With liquidity and financing costs still among the highest-ranked risks to real estate in 2024, despite interest rates flattening out, fund strategies that can unlock capital for real estate borrowers are taking center stage.

The largest real estate fund that closed in 2023, for example, was Blackstone Real Estate Partners X, which secured US$30.4 billion of capital commitments and will target opportunistic deals in rental, housing, hospitality and data centers.

Other strategies that fall under the opportunistic umbrella include real estate debt funds and real estate secondaries.

With PIMCO estimating that more than US$1.5 trillion of US real estate debt will mature by 2025, with US$650 billion and US$177 billion falling due in the same year in Europe and the Asia-Pacific respectively, real estate debt funds will be ideally placed to inject liquidity into companies with limited headroom in their capital structures.

Other strategies offering real estate companies and investors with liquidity have also gathered momentum, with Ares Management and Blackstone both closing real estate secondaries funds in December 2023, pushing real estate secondaries' share of overall real estate fundraising to 6 percent in 2023 from 0 percent in 2022, according to PERE figures.

"With the focus on inflation and interest rates, the liquidity challenges in the banking sector have been underappreciated," a real estate investment head said in a post-survey interview. "Remember that 2023 saw the second, third and fourth-biggest bank failures in history, and that by 2028, US$28 trillion of real estate debt will mature. Banks are also under regulatory pressure to down-weight real estate debt exposure, which has more than doubled from 2016/2017 levels. Refinancing is going to become more and more challenging.

A Europe-based logistics expert adds: "Debt maturities will drive significant market bifurcation in real estate. A strong player in a resilient sub-sector should not face any difficulties when refinancing. Lender support is still there for quality credits. Weak, highly leveraged players in underperforming subsectors will find it very difficult as maturities come into view."

Opportunistic funds could also take advantage of the secular shifts in real estate usage, where there have been big shifts in the aftermath of pandemic lockdowns.

Offices underperform, but digital infrastructure red hot

Lockdowns have had a significant impact on offices in particular, with employees continuing to work remotely even after restrictions were lifted, reducing demand for office space.

The survey findings rank offices as the sector that will see the lowest demand in 2024, with 41 percent of respondents bearish on offices—up from 28 percent in 2023. Retail ranked as the next sector to see the lowest investment demand (22 percent), with the long-term shift to online shopping continuing to eat into retail rents and valuations. Hospitality and leisure ranked third at 14 percent.

Respondents do, however, see potential for valuation outperformance in the digital infrastructure (17 percent), living/residential (17 percent) and healthcare/life sciences areas. In our previous survey, these sectors also ranked as the three most attractive areas for investment.

Demand for digital infrastructure continues to surge, as businesses and consumers require ever-larger amounts of data for work, shopping and entertainment. The rapid growth in Generative AI and data analytics is forecast to increase data demand even further (research consultancy Tirias Research estimates that Generative AI growth could see digital workloads increase by up to 50x by 2028).

The solid, long-term growth drivers underlying digital infrastructure and data centers have investors and dealmakers maintaining investment levels into the space despite wider market dislocation, with Mergermarket figures showing data center M&A holding steady in 2023 even as overall M&A markets saw double-digit declines in activity levels.

The residential/living sector has also held up well, despite rising interest rates and mortgage costs. Urbanization and the rising costs of home ownership are long-term drivers that will support residential asset valuations, according to Pimco, while in the student housing space, record numbers of students enrolled in tertiary education are pushing up demand for purpose-built student accommodations, according to the CBRE.

The optimism reflected in the survey around healthcare/life sciences is underpinned by strong underlying growth in life sciences and biotech, and an expansion in lab availability through the course of 2024, according to JLL research.

Demand for lab space is particularly strong in so-called "Tier 1" locations, where new commercial lab space is expanding and rental rates are showing resilient growth.

Opportunities, however, are emerging for investors with the risk appetite to take contrarian positions. European office space is one area that some investors see as oversold. European office vacancy rates are still tight, and more restrictive planning rules in Europe have prevented office overbuild.

Retail and shopping centers that have weathered the past ten years and are still performing, meanwhile, are likely to be robust assets that present attractive pricing dynamics.

Section 3: Operations, ESG and technology

Balancing act: Liquidity, tech-enablement and ESG place myriad demands on operators

Key Findings

  • Availability and cost of financing (23 percent) ranks as the main operational risk for 2024, followed by construction costs (19 percent) and liquidity (17 percent)
  • Political instability is the main socio-political risk (39 percent), with fall-out from political sanctions (14 percent) also prominent  
  • As the focus on political instability intensifies, environmental issues have ranked lower than in the previous survey (13 percent in 2024 vs 22 percent in 2023), but there has been progress when it comes to meeting investor-driven ESG requirements
  • AI is emerging as an increasingly important technology for real estate operations, rising from 11 percent in 2023 to 26 percent in 2024

The survey findings highlight the multiple demands facing real estate operators, who are having to juggle ongoing liquidity and financing challenges with ESG implementation, digitalization programs and socio-political uncertainty.

Respondents cited availability and cost of financing (23 percent) ranks as the main operational risk facing the industry in 2024, while construction costs (19 percent) and liquidity (17 percent) are seen as the other operational pressure points.

The focus on financing and liquidity underscores that even if interest rates flatten out in 2024, financing costs will remain materially above the ultra-low rates available to borrowers in 2021.

This is a significant operational challenge for real estate groups, as there is an estimated US$2 trillion of commercial real estate debt maturing by 2027 that will have to be refinanced at significantly higher costs, according to Capital Economics.

The lingering effects of inflation, meanwhile, remain on the minds of operators, with construction costs and resource availability the second-most pressing operational risk, chosen by 19 percent of respondents. This is, however, lower than the 30 prrcent figure recorded in last year's survey, suggesting that inflationary pressures and supply chains are stabilizing.

On the socio-political front, political instability ranks as the main socio-political risk, chosen by 39 percent of respondents. This is way ahead of the sanction regimes—the next biggest socio-political risk at 14 percent—and ahead of the 30 percent figure recorded in last year's survey.

With the US, UK and India among the major global economies going to the polls in 2024, real estate stakeholders are particularly attuned to political risk and changes in administrations and policy.

Interestingly, environmental issues have slipped down the risk agenda, from 22 percent of respondents last year to 13 percent in 2024, even though there appears to be more progress on meeting investor-driven ESG requirements. Last year, 70 percent of respondents said market players were still finding their way in this area, with 15 percent saying the industry was poorly prepared, and 15 percent saying it was well positioned.

This year, by contrast, a quarter of respondents said market players were well positioned to meet investor-driven ESG requirements, with 63 percent saying market players were still finding their way, and only 12 percent saying the market was not well prepared.

The immediate risks of liquidity shortages and political uncertainty may have pushed environmental risk down the agenda for the short term, but the fact that respondents point to ongoing progress on ESG compliance does suggest that ESG is now firmly embedded into real estate operations.

In a similar vein, digital integration has also become an integral part of real estate operations. Some 93 percent of respondents said technology and digital integration had become important or very important in future-proofing real estate operations, up from 86 percent last year.

There has, however, been a shift in what technologies real estate business are looking to implement.

The findings have registered a big uptick in the focus on artificial intelligence tools. In 2023, only 11 percent chose AI as the main technology that companies were considering for implementation into operations. This has more than doubled to 26 percent in 2024, with only data analytics (29 percent) chosen by more respondents.

The practical implementation of AI tools in real estate may still be nascent, but the potential to drive value for real estate is clear. According to McKinsey, Generative AI could unlock between US$110 billion and US$180 billion for the real estate industry. The potential applications of AI in real estate are vast, ranging from processing leasing documentation, managing tenant inquiries and handling maintenance requests to facilitating virtual site tours or developing pipelines for real estate investors.

Pragmatic optimism

The disruptive impact of AI on the real estate industry will be one of the myriad complexities that real estate professionals have to continue navigating in 2024, with geopolitical risk, refinancing walls and ESG transition just some of the other major themes that will test investors and operators in the months ahead.

For all these ongoing challenges, however, there is a sense of cautious optimism building across real estate as interest rates peak, consensus forms on valuations and visibility on future performance improves.

Real estate professionals are not getting carried away, but after a period of stasis, M&A and fundraising are finally back on the agenda.

White & Case means the international legal practice comprising White & Case LLP, a New York State registered limited liability partnership, White & Case LLP, a limited liability partnership incorporated under English law and all other affiliated partnerships, companies and entities.

This article is prepared for the general information of interested persons. It is not, and does not attempt to be, comprehensive in nature. Due to the general nature of its content, it should not be regarded as legal advice.

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