CALGARY, May 10 /CNW/ - Mainstreet Equity Corp. ("Mainstreet" or "the Corporation") delivered consistent strong performance again in Q2 2007(1), despite increased costs, higher vacancy rates and other challenges associated with aggressive growth. The quarter marked progress in the stabilization process, increased rental revenues and funds from operations, reduced mortgage costs, and additional funds for new investment. Mainstreet's common share price increased by 28% from $14.48 per share at the beginning of Q2 to $18.48 at the end of the quarter. "We're excited to have achieved a total portfolio size of over 5,000 units, including acquisitions subsequent to the second quarter of 2007," says Bob Dhillon, president and CEO. "This strong growth is the result of Mainstreet's ability to be in the right market at the right time, and buy at the right price."Second Quarter Highlights 1. Total revenues up 35% in Q2 - Total revenues from continuing operations were $10.1 million in Q2 2007 compared to $7.5 million in Q2 2006. - "Same assets" rental revenues increased by 21% to $8.4 million in Q2 2007 from $6.9 million in Q2 2006. 2. Funds from operations - FFO from continued operations in Q2 2007 reached $1.3 million ($0.13 per share), an increase of 2,658% compared to ($50,000) ($0.01 per share) in Q2 of 2006. - FFO for stabilized properties in Q2 2007 was $2.1 million ($0.21 per share). - This improvement is due mainly to added value achieved through Mainstreet's stabilization efforts, which increased rental rates for renovated units, and to an overall increase in rental rates, especially in Alberta. 3. Acquired 286 units in Q2 2007 - Mainstreet continued to grow its Saskatchewan portfolio with the addition of 54 units in the prime east end location of Saskatoon at an average price of $53,000 per unit. Saskatoon represents the Corporation's fifth, and newest, core market area, chosen because of its lower rental rates and ample opportunities to acquire undervalued, mid-market properties with high potential to add value through Mainstreet's Value Chain model. - The Corporation also closed on 232 units in Abbotsford, B.C., including 163 residential apartment units at a cost of $70,000 per unit, and 69 condominium units at a cost of $103,000 per unit. - Subsequent to Q2 2007, Mainstreet has committed to acquire a further 235 units, including: - 131 units in Saskatoon at an average price of $35,000 per unit, which will increase the total units owned to 350 units creating a strong base in the Saskatoon rental market; - 22 units in Calgary at $89,000 per unit, which is well below the current market value in what the management considers to be the hottest real estate market in Canada; and - 82 units in Mississauga at $71,000 per unit, which will increase Mainstreet's Ontario portfolio by 14%. 4. Lowered costs through refinancing - In Q2 2007, Mainstreet obtained approval from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) to refinance about $15 million of short-term debt and matured mortgages with an average interest rate of 7.04% under 10-year, long-term debt with an expected average interest rate of 4.6%. - This is expected to reduce the Corporation's cost of these mortgages by 2.44% and produce annual savings of $365,000 over the next 10 years. - In addition, Mainstreet was able to extract $13 million of additional capital from refinancing stabilized properties to help grow its portfolio.To help manage cost-effectiveness, flexibility of capital and interest risk exposure, Mainstreet will continually monitor short-term and long-term interest rates. Where appropriate, the Corporation looks for opportunities to convert short-term floating rate debt to long-term, CMHC-insured fixed debt. Key challenges The third and fourth quarters of 2007 will be particularly challenging for Mainstreet, because of:1. higher cost of renovations due to the rising cost of materials and workers; 2. severe shortage of labour, especially in Alberta; and 3. resultant longer cycle time for renovationsOutlook Recently, the Alberta government announced changes in tenancy legislation which include limiting rental increases to once a year instead of every six months. While details of the new legislation need to be clarified, management believes that these changes will not have a material impact on Mainstreet's operations, but the changes may delay the stabilization process for future acquisitions in Alberta. In the remaining of the fiscal year 2007, Mainstreet will focus on accelerating the stabilization process, and plans to complete the stabilization process in Edmonton in the next six to nine months. Saskatoon will continue to play an increasingly larger role in the Corporation's acquisition program. Mainstreet sees tremendous opportunity for growth in Saskatoon. Vacancy rates in the city are expected to decline somewhat in 2007 compared to 2006, while year-over-year rental rates are expected to increase.(2) At the same time, Mainstreet will continue to look for opportunities to expand its portfolio in existing markets in British Columbia, Alberta and Toronto. About Mainstreet Mainstreet is a Calgary-based, growth-oriented real estate corporation focused on the acquisition, redevelopment, repositioning, 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 (Surrey), Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon and Greater Toronto Area. Mainstreet's common shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol MEQ. There are currently 10,721,853 common shares outstanding. 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, 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.(1) This second quarter report is for the three AND SIX months ending March 2007. Mainstreet's current fiscal year ends September 30, 2007. (2) Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) Housing Market Outlook.