The Best Cities to Invest in Student Housing in Canada – 2018 Edition

Monday, December 3, 2018

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Over the last few years, Places4Students.com has annually published The Best Cities to Invest in Student Housing in Canada, offering a comparison from province to province. These blogs quickly became our most widely circulated posts.

 

We are continuing this tradition for 2018, but with a slight twist. We have highlighted only the best areas to invest in for student housing! Did you know that last year Canada, followed by the United States, was the most popular destination for International Students?

 

Although the need for student housing has changed for some cities from previous years, many still remain the same. The college and university cities, from coast to coast, in great need of student housing are emphasized below.

 

 

British Columbia – Vancouver:

 

Vancouver is, yet again, one of the best cities to invest in student housing for the third consecutive year. British Columbia has one of the highest percentages of international students with far more foreign students per capita than anywhere else in Canada. In B.C., Metro Vancouver is the location of choice for four out of five international students; where the rental vacancy rate is one of the world’s worst, resulting in higher and unaffordable rental rates over the last two decades.

 

  • Vancouver has a vacancy rate of about 0.3%
  • Average rental rate in Vancouver is about $2,800/month
  • Due to the difficulty in securing rental housing, the government recently changed the Residential Tenancy Act to allow tenants four months’ notice of an end to tenancy for demolition, renovation, repair or conversion
  • There is a cap on the number of international students accepted, due to an extremely high demand

 

Manitoba – Winnipeg:

 

Winnipeg is, yet again, one of the best cities to invest in student housing for the third consecutive year. Winnipeg is home to several universities and colleges. The shortage of affordable housing for students combined with an increase in demand has resulted in hundreds of illegal suites and rooming houses.

 

  • Winnipeg has a vacancy rate of about 2.8%
  • Average rental rate in Winnipeg is about $1,400/month
  • The city has conducted extensive research in an attempt to combat the housing issue and cracked down on units not meeting legal standards

 

Ontario – Toronto:

 

Toronto has one of the highest percentages of international students attending its colleges and universities. Toronto’s affordable housing issue has increased in severity over the years. The GTA is now the least affordable it’s ever been, since the 1980s. The severe competition has led to tenants over-bidding on rental rates in hopes of securing the accommodation.

 

  • Toronto has a vacancy rate of about 1%
  • The average rental rate in Toronto is about $2,800/month
  • Most post-secondary schools in the GTA have enrolment growth rates continually exceeding previous years, increasing the demand for student housing in the downtown core

 

Ontario – Windsor:

 

Previously, Windsor had one of the cheapest rental rates in Canada; but with a decreasing vacancy rate, rental rates have increased up to 10%. There are three universities and colleges in Windsor with a combined student population of over 20,000. An influx of international students moving to Windsor has made the market more competitive.

 

  • Windsor has a vacancy rate of about 2.9%
  • The average rental rate is about $1,350/month
  • St. Clair College is working with city officials and has hired a housing coordinator to assist students in finding adequate, legal housing accommodations, due to its severe 2018 housing shortage for international students

 

Ontario – Belleville:

 

Belleville’s rental vacancy rate has steadily increased over the last five years. Belleville is home to a handful of colleges and universities. Loyalist College has increased its recruitment efforts internationally for the past several years. Their September 2018 student enrolment was its largest since 2003, which was a 14% increase over September last year. Less affordable housing plus an increased enrolment of international students has made it difficult for students to secure rental-housing accommodations in Belleville.

 

  • Belleville has a vacancy rate of about 1.8%
  • The average rental rate is about $1,450/month
  • Hundreds of new units are apparently to be constructed or in the planning stages with unknown completion dates

 

Ontario – Peterborough:

 

Peterborough made the list last year as one of the best cities to invest in student housing. Peterborough has a historically low inventory of available rentals. Peterborough’s vacancy rate dropped to the lowest it had been in 15 years in May 2017.

 

  • Peterborough has a vacancy rate of about 1%
  • The average rental rate is about $1,300/month
  • The city is looking into changing its bylaws regarding secondary suites and apartments within single family dwellings to encourage homeowners to rent out apartments within their homes.

 

Quebec- Montreal:

 

Montreal is, yet again, one of the best cities to invest in student housing for the third consecutive year. Montreal’s rental vacancy rate recorded its strongest decline in over 15 years, with an increase in rental rates of over 10% in 2017.

 

  • Montreal has a vacancy rate of about 2.8%
  • The average rental rate is about $1,660/month
  • Montreal’s rental market is regarded to be ideal for small-scale investors

 

Prince Edward Island:

 

Charlottetown was one of the best cities to invest in student housing for the last two years; and it’s likely to remain as such into the future as well. However, this year, PEI as a whole made the list. According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, PEI’s vacancy rate hit a record low this year.

 

  • P.E.I.'s overall vacancy rate is about 0.3%
  • The average rental rate in PEI is about $1,170/month
  • High levels of immigration continue to lower the rental vacancy rate

 

Nova Scotia – Halifax:

 

Halifax is, yet again, one of the best cities to invest in student housing for the third consecutive year. Even with ongoing construction projects, the city’s vacancy rate is the lowest it’s been since 2003. Many tenants spend more paying rent than they can afford.

 

  • Halifax’s vacancy rate is about 2.3%
  • The average rental rate is Halifax is about $1,100/month
  • Many students settle on renting an apartment that is not ideal or out of their budget due to the market conditions

 

*The above data reflects vacancy and average rental rates from 2017 to 2018. The average rental rates are based on two bedroom apartments.

 

 

SEE ALSO: The Best Cities to Invest in Student Housing in Canada – 2017 Edition



The Places4Students.com Team