Market Trends: David Weiss of Life on Queen
With Toronto real estate selling at an all-time high, there has been increased pressure on the city’s residential rental market to house those who are unable to buy the properties they want.
As a result of the city’s seemingly inextinguishable red hot real estate market, real estate agents and rental property managers have begun to see bidding wars on rental properties, something that many have never seen before in Toronto.
In fact, according to Urbanation, a firm that tracks condo and rental market activity in the Greater Toronto Area, rent in the condo market increased by five percent during the first quarter of 2016.
“Five per cent is actually pretty strong,” notes Shaun Hildebrand, head of Urbanation. “For a while we saw rent flatten out, because there was so much supply coming from the condo market”
While intense and prolonged competition in the real estate market has been a main contributor the heightening condo and apartment rental demand, it isn’t the only the factor. Supply has also proven to be a major contributor to the increase in rental demand, with listings declining by 15 percent over the last year.
Unlike the rest of Canada, Toronto has an incredibly low vacancy rate (roughly one percent), which adds an additional layer of pressure for those looking for a home to rent. Late last month, the Paul Smetanin, CEO of the Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis, said Canadian attitudes have begun to change toward rental housing, especially in the country’s most populous cities of Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.
This new perspective is more on track with the global view that rentals can be beautiful long term homes, not just temporary housing in lieu of homeownership.
“In Canada, unlike other countries, (renting) is typically associated with the affordable housing end of the spectrum,” said Smetanin. “In Vienna, 60 percent of that city is rental — beautifully constructed buildings and it’s market rental, so people aren’t house-poor.”
Providing long-term rental apartments, Toronto’s David Weiss and his company Life on Queen are part of this new global renters’ revolution. David and Life on Queen offer rental units in Toronto’s prestigious Beaches neighbourhood, renowned for its easy access to the city’s most beloved beach and boardwalk.
Foreseeing the need for a Toronto rental market that catered to urban professionals, Weiss began his career as a rental manager and owner more than two decades ago. In that time, he has seen a major shift in the market and demand across the city.
“There have never been so many people looking for units. The city continues to grow incredibly fast and rental units are a key part in facilitating the growth of any city,” notes David Weiss of Toronto.
Weiss also highlights the amount of people who are staying in their rental units for longer periods of time as part of the reason it is difficult for Torontonians to find apartments.
Heeding needy renters, Toronto city council has approved the construction of more than 6,000 units designated specifically for renting, the most units of their kind to be approved by the council in the last decade. There are also a number of residential condo towers that are slated to open in the next few years, which will also free up more rental units in Toronto.
Author: Marcus Bennett