MAINSTREET REPORTS 7th. CONSECUTIVE QUARTER OF DOUBLE-DIGIT GROWTH IN FFO AND NOI AS PORTFOLIO EXCEEDS $1-BILLION

CALGARY, July 17, 2012 /CNW/ - A seventh consecutive quarter of double-digit year-over-year growth in funds from operations and net operating income highlight Mainstreet Equity Corp. (TSX: MEQ) results for the third quarter of fiscal year 2012.

"I'm very proud of these results" says Mainstreet CEO Bob Dhillon. "They demonstrate that Mainstreet's model continues to create value for our shareholders."

Results

Funds from operations were up 54% to $5.2 million versus $3.4 million in Q3 2011, while operating margins were at 69% versus 65% in Q3 2011. Overall net operating income was up 23% to $13.1 million, while same asset NOI was up 10% versus Q3 2011. Rental revenues were up 16% year-over-year, at $18.7 million in Q3 2012 versus $16.2 million in Q3 2011. In Q3 2012, same asset revenues were up 5%.

The vacancy rate continues to trend downwards. The average vacancy rate for Q3 2012 was at 7.8% compared to 11.3% a year earlier. This continued trend of improving vacancy rates quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year is, in our view, all the more impressive since the rates include the addition of 294 unstabilized units in Q3 2012. These newly acquired units are typically characterized by high vacancy rates and low rents.

Mainstreet continued to capitalize on low interest rates and CMHC financing in Q3 2012. In Q3 2012, Mainstreet refinanced $23 million of short-term debt into long-term, ten-year CMHC-insured mortgages at an average interest rate of 3.30%. In the process, it has unlocked $4.2 million in capital that can be put towards future growth.

Growth

Mainstreet continues to grow its portfolio of properties. Since the beginning of the financial year, Mainstreet has acquired an additional 749 units for a total consideration of $72 million. After the closing of all acquisitions subsequent to Q3 2012, Mainstreet's portfolio will increase to 8,180 units, which represents a 11% expansion in the size of the portfolio. Once again, this growth was achieved organically with no equity dilution (except for stock option dilution).

Outlook

Mainstreet has enjoyed considerable success over the last two years, posting seven consecutive quarters of year-over-year double-digit increases in FFO and NOI, but the best may be yet to come. There's every reason to believe that these trends can be continued going forward into the future - the following are six such reasons:

First, Mainstreet still has room to lower its vacancy rate across its portfolio of properties, and as that happens, it believes the benefits will accrue directly to the Corporation's bottom line. Second, the concessions that are still recorded on the books will continue to be eliminated as the economy slowly finds its feet. Third, the Corporation continues to have an inventory of unstabilized properties - approximately 20 per cent of the total portfolio - that is anticipated to be renovated and re-rented at higher rates. Fourth, potential rent increases are expected to take place due to the strong net migration numbers. Fifth, Mainstreet continues to add properties to its portfolio through non-dilutive, organic acquisitions. And sixth, Mainstreet believes it has a first-rate operational management team which is a direct result of deliberate investments that the Corporation has made in its people and in their development.

But perhaps Mainstreet's biggest asset, and the factor that gives it the most room to run, is one that is familiar to anyone who's ever invested in real-estate: location, location, location. With 93 per cent of Mainstreet's properties situated in Western Canada, and almost all of them situated in what Mainstreet believes are Western Canada's strongest local economies, the Corporation is poised to benefit directly from Western Canada's growing economic prosperity. There may be even better times ahead, too, since despite its relative strength the Western Canadian economy continues to be weighed down by global uncertainty and a tepid North American recovery if that recovery gains traction, Mainstreet believes it is perfectly positioned to capitalize on this recovery.

About Mainstreet
Mainstreet is a Calgary-based, growth-oriented real estate corporation focused on the acquisition, redevelopment, repositioning, and asset and property management of mid-market apartment buildings. The Corporation currently owns and operates residential rental units, including apartments and townhouses, in Vancouver/Lower Mainland, Calgary,Edmonton, Saskatoon and the Greater Toronto Area. Mainstreet's common shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol MEQ. As of June 30, 2012 there were 10,465,281 common shares outstanding. Mainstreet's stock was among the top ten gainers on the TSX in 2011.

The above disclosure may contain forward-looking statements that involve substantial known and unknown risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, some of which are beyond the Corporation's control, including: the impact of general economic conditions in Canada, industry conditions, increased competition, the lack of available qualified personnel or management, equipment failures, stock market volatility, expansion into the United States and fluctuations in rental prices, energy costs and foreign exchange or interest rates. The Corporation's actual results, performance or achievements could differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, these forward-looking statements and, accordingly, no assurances can be given that any of the events anticipated by the forward-looking statements will transpire or occur, or, if any of them do so, what benefits the Corporation will derive from them.