Category Archives: Market Research

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 »

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 »

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 »