The Ontario Student Housing Market at a Glance

Monday, October 16, 2017
Blog Image

 

A few months ago we came across a fascinating map showing how over 50% of the population of Canada lives beneath the red line; the bulk of which are in Southern Ontario. Ontario also happens to be home to nearly 50% of Canada’s post-secondary students, totaling 822,465 students in 2014/15’. With 23 public universities and 24 publicly funded Colleges, Ontario is by far the most opportunistic market for Canadian student housing investors. 

 

 

 

To get a better picture of the student housing market in Ontario, we analyzed enrollment data, CMHC rental market reports, average real estate prices and other market influencers in ten of the leading student housing markets to discover the following data.

Peterborough:

Peterborough appears to be one of the most promising student housing markets in Ontario. This year, Peterborough knocked Guelph out of the number one spot on our list of best cities in Canada to invest in student housing for Ontario.

A driving factor of Peterborough’s successful rental market is the city’s low vacancy rates, paired with rising student enrollment at two local schools. Fleming College experienced record winter and summer enrollment in 2017. Trent University saw consistent increases in applications, leading Ontario universities for two consecutive years by averaging a 17% increase in applications.
 

·      Vacancy rate dropped from 3.7% to 1.0%

·      Average rental rate (2 bedroom) rose from $959/month to $980/month

·      Turnover rate of 17.4% is the fourth lowest in Ontario

·      Availability rate dropped from 5.1% to 2.2%

·      The average home price hit a record high of $424,232 in 2017

·      Approximate student population:

-       Trent University – 7,264

-       Fleming College – 4,380

 

St. Catharines/Niagara Region:


The Niagara Region has witnessed a steady increase in purpose-built student housing over the past few years. Niagara received its first purpose-built student housing project a few years ago - The Student Lofts. Shortly thereafter, two more purpose-built projects were completed. More recently, developers are considering converting a Four Points hotel into student housing for up to 300 students. Needless to say, Niagara has caught the eye of student housing developers and it’s a market with plenty of potential for growth.
 

 ·      Vacancy rate dropped from 2.8% to 2.2%

 ·      Average rental rate rose from $909/month to $958/month

 ·      Turnover rate of 16.4% is the third lowest in Ontario

 ·      Availability rates dropped from 4.8% to 3.4%

 ·      The average home price was $375,903 in July 2017

 ·      Approximate student population:

-       Brock University – 18,000+

-       Niagara College – 9,000+ full time students

 

Guelph:

Guelph was formerly listed as our number one city in Ontario to invest in student housing for 2015/16’. Guelph still boasts favorable market conditions and the University of Guelph has seen consistent growth in applications and enrollment. According to the University of Guelph’s website, between 2005 and 2015, their number of secondary school applications with Guelph as the first choice grew by 40.9%. Guelph also has one of the lowest vacancy rates in Ontario and it may even go beneath 1% without the development of new rental housing.
 

            ·      Vacancy rate dropped from 1.2% to 1.0%

            ·      Average rental rate rose from $1,027/month to $1,078/month

            ·      Availability rates dropped from 2.4% to 2.0%

            ·      The average home price was $455,217 in July 2017

            ·      Approximate student population

                         -       University of Guelph – 28, 687

 

Ottawa:

Ottawa has seen a boom in student housing development within the last few years. With approximately 80,000 post-secondary students in Ottawa, the amount of young tenants is bountiful. Furthermore, all three major academic institutions in Ottawa have a limited amount of on-campus housing available. One challenge currently facing the Ottawa student market is a lack of affordable student housing options.
 

  ·      Vacancy rate dropped from 3.4% to 3.0%

  ·      Average rental rate rose from $1,174/month to $1,201/month

  ·      Turnover rate of 22.1%

  ·      Availability rates dropped from 5.5% to 4.6%

  ·      The average home price was $420,335 in August 2017

  ·      Approximate student population

-       University of Ottawa – 43,000+

-       Carleton University – 29,573

-       Algonquin College – 21,059 full time students

 

Hamilton:

With limited amount of on-campus housing and an abundance of students, Hamilton is a premier location for student housing investments. McMaster University, with a population of roughly 27,000, has only 3,600 on-campus beds at the moment.  While there are plans to build more on-campus housing, this project will only accommodate roughly 800 more students.  While Hamilton’s vacancy rate may be rising, there is certainly no shortage of demand for student housing.
 

            ·      Vacancy rate rose from 3.4% to 3.8%

            ·      Average rental rate rose only $3 from $1,034/month to $1,037/month

            ·      Turnover rate of 14.1%

            ·      Availability rate dropped from 6.6% to 6.0%

            ·      The average home price was $538,296 in July 2017

            ·      Approximate student population:

                         -       McMaster University – 27, 987

                         -       Mohawk College – 30,066

 

Barrie:


Barrie, once a leading city for student housing investment, is slowly seeing the rental market recede. The housing market is cooling, vacancy rates are rising and rental rates are dropping. Barrie remains one of the most expensive cities to rent a one-bedroom apartment in. Georgian College, the only major academic institution in the city, has about 525 on-campus beds, leaving the majority of students to live off-campus.
 

             ·      Vacancy rate rose from 1.3% to 2.2%

             ·      Average rental rate dropped from $1,167/month to $1,150/month

             ·      Turnover rate of 19.9%

             ·      Availability rate rose from 2.8% to 4.8%

             ·      The average home price was $478,696 in July 2017

             ·      Approximate student population:

                         -       Georgian College Barrie – 11,000+ students enrolled at all Georgian campuses combined

 

Kingston:

Kingston holds the title for the cheapest average home price on this list, barely ahead of London by a few thousand dollars. Both St. Lawrence College and Queen’s University are undergoing expansions, making Kingston an opportunistic investment potential in student housing.
 

  ·      Vacancy rate dropped from 2.8% to 2.6%

  ·      Average rental rate rose from $1,096/month to $1,119/month

  ·      Turnover rate of 26.5%

  ·      Availability rates rose from 4.1% to 4.2%

  ·      The average home price was $323,231 in August 2017

  ·      Approximate student population:

-       Queen’s University – 22,461

-       St. Lawrence College – 6,439

 

Kitchener/Cambridge/Waterloo:

Waterloo has been dubbed the student housing capital of Canada. The sheer amount of purpose-built student housing in the area is overwhelming. At one point in time, Waterloo had over 50% of Canada’s purpose-built student housing stock. Unfortunately, Waterloo has become an oversaturated student housing market. While there is still a huge demand for student housing, the supply is currently outweighing that demand. Nonetheless, Waterloo is still a prime destination for student housing development and the market has shown little signs of slowing with new projects being developed each school year.

 

  ·      Vacancy rate dropped from 2.4% to 2.2%

  ·      Average rental rate rose from $997/month to $1,050/month

  ·      Turnover rate of 20.5%

  ·      Availability rates dropped from 4.2% to 4.0%

  ·      The average home price was $455,217 in July 2017

  ·      Approximate student population

-       Wilfrid Laurier University – 17,594

-       University of Waterloo – 36,670

 

London:

According to a report from CMHC, London hasn’t kept pace with the demand for student housing. While demand may flatten out in the future, right now London has a moderate shortage of purpose-built student housing. With Fanshawe College and Western University both experiencing consistent enrollment growth, the demand for student housing has steadily increased.
 

  ·      Vacancy rate dropped from 2.9% to 2.1%

  ·      Average rental rate rose from $963/month to $1,002/month

  ·      Turnover rate of 31.8%

  ·      Availability rates dropped from 5.3% to 4.3%

  ·      The average home price was $326,122 in August 2017

  ·      Approximate student population:

-       Fanshawe College – 21,000+ full time students

-       Western University – 29,828

 

Oshawa:

Oshawa has seen some major progress in the area of purpose-built student housing, in part, thanks to Varsity Properties and other developers. One limitation of the student housing market in Oshawa is that it boasts the highest average home price on this list by nearly $50,000. Another important consideration in this market is the residential rental housing licensing program, which requires that all properties in the vicinity of Durham College and UOIT be inspected and licensed. Despite these barriers to entry, Oshawa is a viable market for student housing investors.
 

  ·      Vacancy rate remained static at 1.7%

  ·      Average rental rate rose from $1,035/month to $1,109/month

  ·      Turnover rate of 17.7%

  ·      Availability rates rose from 2.4% to 2.5%

  ·      The average home price was $587,172 in August 2017

  ·      Approximate student population:

-       Durham College – 11,000+

-       UOIT – 10,0113

 

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



The Places4Students.com Team

School Search
School Seach Icon
Blog Archive