Tag Archives: 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 »

The Effect Of Increasing Supply On Average Rents

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In my post last (last) week I talked about ‘trickle down’ supply issues and explained my reasons why I don’t think it results in increased affordability or increased access to affordable rents (some extreme situations excepted). One of the assertions I made was that rents in older buildings will keep going up, no matter how many new buildings—i.e. high-rent rentals—are… 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 »

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 »