Jeffrey Olin- Vision Capital Corp.

Hedge-fund manager is bullish on Alberta's residential market.

Michael Ryval 22 August, 2014 | 6:00PM

Long-time real-estate specialist and hedge-fund manager Jeffrey Olin believes that the landscape is changing, as some parts of the Canadian condo and office market are vulnerable to a correction, while the residential rental market in Alberta is strengthening. As a result, he's taken a selective approach, going long on some real-estate stocks, but shorting others that have fundamental weaknesses.

"We do not think there will be a crash in the Toronto condo market, because we haven't had any material apartment construction for many years due to rent controls," says Olin, president and CEO of Toronto-based Vision Capital Corp., and co-manager of Vision Opportunity Fund LP. "There is still a big demand to rent these condos. Rents are still increasing, which is providing some resilience. But prices will correct. And the Vancouver condo market has been in a bubble since Expo 86. For now, it's been supported by mainland China money."

Conversely, Olin is bullish on residential rental accommodation in Alberta, since there are single-digit vacancy rates in cities such as Calgary and Edmonton. "Ninety percent of the employment growth last year was in Alberta. We've had limited supply and big population migration. Rents are increasing 3% to 7%," says Olin, a bottom-up, value-oriented investor who works alongside Frank Mayer, co-founder and chairman of Vision Capital.

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Michael Ryval

Michael Ryval