REIT offering free rent to attract renters

by CREW17 Feb 2014

A Calgary-based REIT is bucking the trend by offering incentives – including free rent - to offset the rise in market supply and maintain high occupation in its buildings.

Sam Kolias, chairman and chief executive of the Boardwalk REIT in Calgary, says the market has shifted in favour of the tenant in recent months, thanks to more supply and competition.

Calgary’s vacancy rate remains at one per cent, with that figure expected to rise by 0.2 per cent this year.

Despite the CMHC predicting a nominal rise in rent for Calgary this year – from $1,224 to $1,280 for a two-bedroom place – Kolias is offering monetary incentives for new or renewed leases. Depending on apartment and location, renters can receive rental reductions between $25 and $275 per month.

Total housing starts in Calgary are expected to increase by 12 per cent year-over-year to 13,100 units, with a particular growth in single-family and multi-family starts.

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