Investors need to return to school, broker warns

Over 950,000 full-time students enrolled at the 82 largest campuses across Canada in September, with 55 per cent of that population living outside of the communities they reside in.

“Almost all universities country-wide need more accommodation. The student market is one of the most under-served yet is the one of best opportunities,” says Derek Lobo, CEO and sales broker at Rock Advisors.

He tells CREW that while the student rental market is more of an operating business with a higher turnover of tenants, investors need to think of the bottom line and not the negatives.  “Some investors do have a negative perception of students, and worry about the wear and tear in the property.  But that is the risk landlords take with all properties, not just students," he says.

Over 10 per cent of the student population comes from outside of Canada with the overall numbers expected to exceed the one million mark in the near future.

“Student rental investing is the most location sensitive business in the world,” he says. “But, it’s also the most lucrative.  For example, a four bed townhouse near Brock University in St. Catherine’s will rent to a family for, on average, $1,300 per month. But by charging per bedroom, you could get $2,000. Student rentals are by the bed so it’s more of cash generating business.”

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