Some Further Thoughts on Target Renters…

I remember that the first serious job I had to do when I started as a consultant in the rental housing industry (in my first week!) was to review a rent roll for a high-rise rental building in central Toronto, an older concrete slab tower almost entirely composed of 1 bed and 2 bed apartments. The landlord had kept reasonably… Read more »

The Dumbest Thing I Have Ever Seen Written About Rental Housing

I have been in the rental housing industry for over seventeen-and-a-half years now and I have heard a lot of dumb things said in meetings with clients, customers, and colleagues. I thought I couldn’t be surprised anymore, but this past weekend, while reading the Saturday edition of the Toronto Star (April 24, 2021), I burst out laughing at the dumbest… Read more »

Construction Costs Are Rising

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Altus recently released their annual report on construction costs in Canada and you can read REMI Network’s article discussing Altus’s report here. The overall gist is that construction costs for multi-unit housing projects are increasing across Canada and are projected to increase, in most markets, by 1% to 4% by the end of this year, but by 5% in the… Read more »

Rents Always Go Up!

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By now we’ve all heard the famous quip thrown around by an online celebrity talking about equity markets in the United States: “stonks always go up!” Although it’s not true when talking about individual stocks, it’s definitely true when talking about broad-based indices such as the S&P500, at least over multi-year periods. There has been much discussion in Ontario about… Read more »

Question: Who Are The Target Renters For New Rentals?

Here are two important facts it is essential to understand about new rentals and their target renters: Overlooked Fact #1: Anybody and everybody can be a renter. No really, it’s true. Readers who work for property management firms should think about the rental buildings they manage: can you provide a profile of a typical renter? You can’t because your buildings… Read more »

Toronto Star Article: “Toronto’s Rents Were Supposed To Drop”

Recently the Toronto Star published (on March 21, 2021) a long article examining vacancy rates and average rents across the city of Toronto. You can read the article via the link below (the article might be behind a paywall). https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2021/03/20/toronto-rents-were-supposed-to-drop-as-people-fled-the-city-during-covid-19-the-data-tells-a-much-different-story.html This article uses data gathered by CMHC and explains that in most neighbourhoods in Toronto average rents increased from 2019… Read more »

Question: How Fast Will New Rentals Be Absorbed?

To start, let’s state the obvious: the easiest way to ensure your new rental building leases quickly and starts generating revenues as soon as possible is to ask rents which are affordable or ‘attainable’. But few, if any, developers have the luxury of asking rents that the bulk of renters can afford. The reality is that every developer, given development… Read more »

Question: What Rents Can New Rentals Get?

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Choosing asking rents for new purpose-built rentals is one of the key tasks which developers need to get right if they want their new rentals to be successful, both in terms of being absorbed into the housing supply in a timely manner, and in terms of generating the highest possible rent revenues. If your rents are too low your building… Read more »

Three Questions Developers Always Ask

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In my experience as a consultant developers with a new rental building either in the planning stages or under construction almost always ask three important questions. Their first question is almost always “What rents can we get?” Rents make up the bulk of revenues and if rents aren’t high enough then the proposed project might not make sense financially. The… Read more »

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 »