Category Archives: New Development

Being Proven Right Takes Time

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One of the biggest frustrations with real estate consulting is having to wait to find out whether you’re right or wrong. Because most development projects, especially multi-unit rental properties, take years to get approved, built, and leased, if you as a consultant give advice to a developer you won’t find out for 3 or 4 years whether your advice was… Read more »

A Sign Of The Times: The Billionaire Amateur Architect

Charlie Munger is pretty much a household name in the finance and investing worlds, having made his name by becoming wealthy and being Warren Buffett’s investing partner for many decades. Apparently, he also has aspirations to be an architect. Read the article below. What can I say? To give credit where credit is due, his design is well suited to… Read more »

Trickle-Down Rental Housing Development Doesn’t Work

There’s a recent article which has been making the rounds titled “How luxury apartment buildings help low-income renters.” I think it showed up first on a US website but it’s been republished in Canada. I’ve included a link to a US website below so you can read the article (I suspect that’s where the article was published first). https://fullstackeconomics.com/how-luxury-apartment-buildings-help-low-income-renters/ The… 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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »