3 minute read time
October 16, 2020

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How we live and work is changing quickly and that’s changing what renters want and what landlords need to consider. A new CBRE survey of more than 80 Canadian apartment landlords with over 200,000 units nationwide shows how the multifamily sector has been impacted by COVID-19 so far.

Apartment owners say that apartments are doing well in terms of vacancy and rent collection. Tenants are saying that they’ll be looking for new features that will allow them to be safe and productive at home.

Here are 5 key findings from the survey:

Vacancy rates stable: 47% of landlords say that apartment vacancy rates have not been impacted by COVID-19, with the exception of Alberta, where 43% of landlords said COVID led to a 3-5% vacancy increase. 

The Post-COVID Multifamily Landscape - Vacancy Rates

Rent still being paid: Landlords said that rent collection rates during the first four months of the pandemic consistently averaged 96%.

The Post-COVID Multifamily Landscape - Rent Collection Rates 

Few Tenants Moving: Most tenants have delayed moving until there’s greater clarity around COVID-19, with 35% of landlords reporting decreased turnover rates compared to last year. 

The Post-COVID Multifamily Landscape - Tenant Turnover Rates

New apartment features and amenities wanted: Tenant preferences are shifting to support work-from-home and social distancing, including in-suite laundry (to avoid shared laundry), balconies (for outdoor time); walk-up access (to avoid elevators); and dens or small home offices, to facilitate remote work. 

Changing Tenant Requirements -  Relative to pre-COVID, have you seen an increase in demand for the following unit features.

Apartment purchases rebound: Multifamily investment volumes have been more resilient than other property types as of late, and pricing is higher than before the pandemic in many cities. 

National Multifamily Investment Activity| By Month

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