What I Would Have Done If I Were A Retail REIT

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2020 was a roller coaster for large parts of the country’s economy, particularly for retailers and retail real estate. When the global pandemic spread to Canada early in the year and it became obvious that large parts of the economy would close or be put on hold, it was immediately clear to me that retail REITs in particular could be… Read more »

Back From The Future: Consulting

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I’m just back from the future! When I started in this industry consulting was a pretty niche activity, with only a few firms (in Ontario) offering market surveys and other research and opinion services on a fee basis. Most clients were developers and property managers, either wanting to get ideas for a new rental development project or wanting ideas to… Read more »

Renters & Commute Times

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In a previous post dated August 5, 2020, I compared the percentage of households which are renting to the percentage of workers who use public transit to commute in Ontario’s ten largest cities and ten selected smaller cities. In this post, I add commute duration (measured as the percentage of workers who spend an hour or more commuting to the… Read more »

Where Is Ontario’s Rental Housing Industry Headed?

Where is Ontario’s rental industry headed in the future? What changes and shifts and trends can we expect? Here’s a list of possible future trends which I consider highly likely to materialize. I think among developers there will be re-focus on developing mid-level rentals with modest appointments and more affordable rents. Although high-end, luxury, A grade rentals earn the highest… Read more »

Renewing Toronto’s Old-Stock Rental Towers

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On Christmas day 2020 the Toronto Star published an article describing the findings of a group of US real estate experts from the Urban Land Institute who examined some of Toronto’s old-stock rental towers. The newspaper article can be read via the link below (it’s behind a paywall). https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2020/12/25/us-housing-experts-paint-dire-picture-of-upkeep-availability-of-private-rental-apartment-units-in-toronto.html The experts found that it is essential to keep Toronto’s rental… Read more »

2020 Recap

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2020 isn’t quite over yet but I think we’re close enough to the end of it to safely comment on it. For rental housing, 2020 was another example of the industry’s (natural?) ability to weather bad economic storms. In no particular order, here are my general thoughts on the year and the industry: managers saw only minor increases in vacancies… Read more »

“Sophisticated Investors Are Desperate To Buy”

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The Globe & Mail newspaper recently (December 6th, 2020) published an article entitled “Sophisticated investors are desperate to buy Canada’s apartment buildings; values soar despite Covid-19”. You can read the article via the link below (unless they’ve moved it behind a paywall): https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/article-sophisticated-investors-are-desperate-to-buy-canadas-apartment/ This is a great article and nearly every paragraph contains something informative. I strongly recommend reading it… Read more »

What Types Of Housing Are Being Rented? Part II

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In this post (a follow-up to my post dated November 4, 2020), I use housing data from the Census and CMHC to separate rentals into purpose-built and non-purpose-built for the GTA’s major cities, adding owner-occupied units. The number of non-purpose-built rentals by type is calculated by subtracting purpose-built rentals from total rentals. The charts below show the results. The most… Read more »

Staying Put: Non-Movers in Census Data

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One of the more obscure data points in the Census is what Statistics Canada calls “mobility,” the number of people who moved or didn’t move. In the Census this is measured as the number of people who were living at the same or a different address one year before or five years before, and, if they moved during that period,… Read more »

What Types of Housing Are Being Rented? Part I

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That’s the question. What’s the answer? Most people when they think of rental housing they think of tall concrete apartment towers clustered in Toronto or Mississauga. It’s true that in most of Ontario’s larger cities multi-unit apartment buildings constitute the bulk of the rental supply, but many cities it’s a much smaller part of the supply than we realize. So… Read more »