TORONTO – Brookfield Real Estate Services Inc. (TSX:BRE), the company behind the Royal LePage brand, says it’s increasing its annual cash dividend to $1.20 for next year, up from $1.10 this year.
The dividend will be paid at a rate of 10 cents per month, and will begin in January 2014, payable on Feb. 28, 2014.
The company made the announcement as it recorded a $2.5 million loss, or 26 cents per share, in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, the same amount it lost in the same period a year earlier.
It said royalties received from its real estate brokerage brands, which include Johnston & Daniel and Via Capitale as well as Royal LePage, dropped slightly to $10.1 million, or 79 cents per share.
That compared with $10.2 million, or 80 cents per share, for the same quarter in 2012.
Phil Soper, the company’s president and CEO, said the quarter had the first “solid expansion” of house prices and sales volumes since Finance Minister Jim Flaherty tightened mortgage rules in July 2012.
“In the previous four quarters there was a marked decline in the number of homes trading hands, which kept house prices relatively flat in most markets. That trend was reversed in Q3, as homebuyers returned to the market in large numbers, pushing values northward.”
He said the nature of the company’s main source of revenue, which is based on the number of real estate brokerages in its franchise network, reduces how much it’s affected by market ups and downs.
Brookfield Real Estate Services is a publicly traded subsidiary of Toronto-based Brookfield Asset Management (TSX:BAM.A), which is primarily focused on real estate, electricity generation and the forestry sector through its holdings.