‘Streamlining’ Development

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Last weekend (Sunday, June 5) the Toronto Star newspaper published an article written by Donovan Vincent which examined the mismatches between regulatory reality of Ontario’s planning process and the political promises of the re-elected Doug Ford government. The last topic in the article caught my eye. It was about so-called “streamlined development,” an initiative by the Ford government to encourage… Read more »

The Alternative To Apartment Buildings

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Recently I’ve been digging through an old MS Word document into which I copy-and-pasted interesting anecdotes and funny jokes I came across whilst wandering around the interweb over the years. The following quote (source unknown) caught my eye: An alternative to apartment buildings would be neighborhoods full of tiny houses. Read it again, and then read it a few more… Read more »

Silent Running…

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Each day I receive hundreds—no, thousands!—of emails from readers hungry for more posts and wondering why I haven’t posted in a few months. The explanation is that I have some articles in the hopper and ideas for a lot more, but I’m waiting for all of the data from the 2021 Census to be released so I can incorporate the… Read more »

Pandemic Affects On Multi-Family Housing

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Canadian Apartment (Magazine?) posted last week an article about “rent slippage” among multifamily rental properties caused by the pandemic. The article was written by Barbara Carss of Canadian Property Management. The article can be read in full via the following link. https://www.reminetwork.com/articles/multifamily-rent-slippage-deemed-temporary-blip/ Most of the article reports on the findings of an index prepared by MSCI which tracks net operating… Read more »

New Rental Units & Vacancies

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One thing that developers often wonder about is the effect new rentals have on vacancies. Does delivering a bunch of newly constructed rental units to a (housing) market cause vacancies to increase? Or will there be no affect? Everyone will agree that delivering a relatively small number of new units to a large housing market will probably have little or… Read more »

Focusing On Your Client’s Needs

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One of the many things I’ve learned over the years from consulting work is that in most cases what your client needs is 100% at variance from what you think they need, and often 50% at variance from what they tell you they need. In other words, it’s easy for consultants to make assumptions about what their clients need, and… Read more »

Home Ownership As An Investment (More)

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Last week I discussed the notion of home ownership as an investment, something which has been a good choice for many Canadians over the past decade or so, although it’s been a questionable choice for many Americans, putting aside the run-up in housing prices in the US during the pandemic. This week I provide links to two additional articles on… Read more »

Home Ownership As An Investment

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Just before Christmas I came across an interesting article which does a good high-level job of pointing out some of the contradictions in housing policy with regard to ownership versus renting and how that relationship results in less affordable/’affordable’ housing than society requires. The article dates from 2016 and focuses on the US, but it’s worth a look. Here’s the… Read more »

How We Got Into This House Price Problem

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The following paragraphs are from a Toronto Star newspaper article (dated December 4th, 2021) on GTA house prices and affordability. It’s a good summary of how we got where we are. Kean Birch, as associate professor at York University, said because housing as an investment has historically paid off, those who can afford it are signing up for huge debt… Read more »

What Are Renters Paying In Niagara?

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Late last year I wrote a post (dated September 21, 2020) which used Census data to answer the question, “What are renters renting in Niagara?” I found that the bulk of Niagara’s renter households are most likely to rent detached houses and units in multi-unit buildings with less than five floors, followed by multi-unit buildings with more than five floors…. Read more »