Category Archives: Demand

Toronto’s Public Housing Shortage

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The Toronto Star published an article this past Sunday (August 8) which had some eye-popping opening paragraphs, worth quoting in full: And 1995 is roughly the year that Torontonians would have had to apply for subsidized housing for a chance to secure any one-bedroom units that became vacant in 2021 at 133 Broadway Avenue, a 52-unit Toronto Community Housing lowrise… Read more »

Do Rentals ‘Work’?

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Several times during my 15+ years in the rental housing industry I’ve been told that “rentals don’t work”, usually by people who work in accounting or finance, and sometimes by people who are new to the rental housing industry. Their basic assertion is that they’ve “done the math” and found rentals “aren’t profitable,” and therefore it makes no sense to… Read more »

To Rent or Not To Rent

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One of the more common non-industry discussions about the industry has long been the renting versus owning question. Who comes out ahead over the long term? Is it the home owner who commits a huge amount of capital to home ownership and sees their house increase in value over time? Or is it the renter who rents an apartment or… Read more »

Maximizing Rent Increases

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In this post I’m going to revisit a topic I looked at in a post dated March 18, 2020: rent increases on turnover. In that post I compared several scenarios in which a hypothetical landlord raises rents by different amounts on turnover. I found that even in high vacancy markets in which large rent increases mean units might sit vacant… Read more »

Rental Housing Types: Risk vs Reward

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For some reason the other day I started thinking about the risks and rewards of different types of purpose-built rental housing. Risk is a complex thing and varies from project to project and developer to developer, but, at least from a high-level perspective, it’s probably best defined as absorption risk (how fast will available rentals be leased?) and to a… Read more »

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 »

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 »