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?

      No Comments on Question: What Rents Can New Rentals Get?

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

      No Comments on Three Questions Developers Always Ask

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 »

What I Would Have Done If I Were A Retail REIT

      No Comments on What I Would Have Done If I Were A Retail REIT

2020 was a roller coaster for large parts of the country’s economy, particularly for retailers and retail real estate. When the global pandemic spread to Canada early in the year and it became obvious that large parts of the economy would close or be put on hold, it was immediately clear to me that retail REITs in particular could be… Read more »

Back From The Future: Consulting

      No Comments on Back From The Future: Consulting

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 »

Renters & Commute Times

      No Comments on Renters & Commute Times

In a previous post dated August 5, 2020, I compared the percentage of households which are renting to the percentage of workers who use public transit to commute in Ontario’s ten largest cities and ten selected smaller cities. In this post, I add commute duration (measured as the percentage of workers who spend an hour or more commuting to the… Read more »

Where Is Ontario’s Rental Housing Industry Headed?

Where is Ontario’s rental industry headed in the future? What changes and shifts and trends can we expect? Here’s a list of possible future trends which I consider highly likely to materialize. I think among developers there will be re-focus on developing mid-level rentals with modest appointments and more affordable rents. Although high-end, luxury, A grade rentals earn the highest… Read more »

Renewing Toronto’s Old-Stock Rental Towers

      No Comments on Renewing Toronto’s Old-Stock Rental Towers

On Christmas day 2020 the Toronto Star published an article describing the findings of a group of US real estate experts from the Urban Land Institute who examined some of Toronto’s old-stock rental towers. The newspaper article can be read via the link below (it’s behind a paywall). https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2020/12/25/us-housing-experts-paint-dire-picture-of-upkeep-availability-of-private-rental-apartment-units-in-toronto.html The experts found that it is essential to keep Toronto’s rental… Read more »

2020 Recap

      No Comments on 2020 Recap

2020 isn’t quite over yet but I think we’re close enough to the end of it to safely comment on it. For rental housing, 2020 was another example of the industry’s (natural?) ability to weather bad economic storms. In no particular order, here are my general thoughts on the year and the industry: managers saw only minor increases in vacancies… Read more »

“Sophisticated Investors Are Desperate To Buy”

      No Comments on “Sophisticated Investors Are Desperate To Buy”

The Globe & Mail newspaper recently (December 6th, 2020) published an article entitled “Sophisticated investors are desperate to buy Canada’s apartment buildings; values soar despite Covid-19”. You can read the article via the link below (unless they’ve moved it behind a paywall): https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/article-sophisticated-investors-are-desperate-to-buy-canadas-apartment/ This is a great article and nearly every paragraph contains something informative. I strongly recommend reading it… Read more »