Optimus US Real Estate Fund your gateway to investment
Canadian investors are scrambling to take advantage of historically low American real estate prices and an at-par dollar. But where and what should they buy?
The Calgary-based Optimus US Real Estate Fund is a gateway to real estate investment that is most likely to provide strong returns, says François Le Bel, vicepresident of exempt markets.
“Buying U.S. real estate sounds simple, but you can make a lot of mistakes if you go it alone,” he says.
“We buy condos in the U.S. in markets where property values are really distressed, and we rent them out and give the net proceeds back to the investors. Eventually, when the values have appreciated to twice the replacement costs, we’ll sell them and split the capital gains, 70 per cent to investors and 30 per cent to management.”
To date, Optimus has acquired 547 condos, focusing on three markets expected to make a strong return as the U.S. housing market rebounds: Las Vegas, Phoenix and Orlando.
“We have high occupancy rates of around 95 per cent in our rental operations, and we see either rents increasing or the concessions we’ve had to give away going away — these are positive signs,” says Le Bel.
Le Bel says Optimus helps investors in these long-term plays, and Rrsp-eligible investments can start from as low as $10,500.
“The experience of our management team is really important — they’ve invested $16 million of their own money and they’re committed and want to make this work,” he says.
For more information, visit optimususrealestate.com or call 403-532-0012.