Category Archives: Industry News & Commentary

Consulting: Eliminating Uncertainty

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I wanted to bring to the attention of readers a really good article written by Nick Maggiulli, an analyst with Ritholtz Wealth Management. You can read the article via the link below. In his article, Nick talks about becoming an “uncertainty killer,” someone who helps eliminate or minimize uncertainty for co-workers and employers, as a way of enhancing one’s career… Read more »

Remembering (Shifting) Baselines

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For reasons due more to accident than planning, recently some articles on climate change and related issues crossed my (online) desk. One in particular was thought provoking, an article entitled “Covid-19 and Climate Change: Why we need to remember what we’ve lost” by David Roberts in vox.com. Here’s a link: https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2020/7/7/21311027/covid-19-climate-change-global-warming-shifting-baselines The article makes the important point that humans, both… Read more »

Building & Buying For The Long-Term

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The latest issue of Canadian Apartment Magazine contains an interesting article which I recommend reading. Here’s a link to the article: https://www.reminetwork.com/articles/purpose-built-rental-pro-formas-under-pressure/ The article quotes from Paul Morassutti, a CBRE executive, who comments on the findings of a report on construction costs made by another consulting firm, Finnegan Marshall. Morassutti’s quotes are interesting since he describes and comments on recent… Read more »

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 »

Some Thoughts on Unit Sizes in Multi-Unit Buildings Smaller Centres

Local media ran an article recently (in the St Catharines Standard print edition, June 23, 2021) describing a proposal to construct a new condo tower in downtown St Catharines, the city directly across Lake Ontario from Toronto. St Catharines had a population in 2016 of just over 133,000 people, or about 4.9% the size of Toronto. This condo project, if… Read more »

Back From The Future: Leasing Services

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I’m just back from the future! When I started in this industry leasing services were a big thing, a major business element for property management firms, and a significant source of revenue for many consultants. Vacancies were high in the less desirable buildings—can you imagine 5% or 10% vacant in Toronto? That’s what it was like, and landlords were willing… 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 »

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 »