Tag Archives: development

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

What I Would Have Done If I Were A Retail REIT

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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 »

“Sophisticated Investors Are Desperate To Buy”

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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 »

BILD’s New Report on Municipal Approvals

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Altus Group recently prepared a report for the Building Industry and Land Development Association, or BILD, which you can download the report from the link below: https://bildgta.ca/advocacy/reports According to Altus, the report is intended to “undertake a study of several factors that may be contributing to housing affordability issues in major housing markets across the Greater Toronto Area, such as… Read more »

You Only Get One Chance To Develop Land

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You only get one chance to develop land. Recently, I was talking to a friend in the industry who, thanks to heavy traffic on the QEW, drove along the Oakville section of Dundas Street (Highway 5) for the first time in a year or two. Locals will know that this part of north Oakville is being rapidly developed as the… Read more »

The Universal Rental Building

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Back in 2014 I was going to dinner with a friend in the industry and I drove past one of those highway interchanges that allow major arterial roads access. In the suburban GTA most highway interchanges have one or two or three hotels clustered around them. That evening I realized that all of those hotels are basically the same: eight… Read more »