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