The Canadian housing market and where it is headed has been the subject of heated debate among investors and Canadians in general for several years now. Among the countless stakeholders in this important issue are students of Canadian universities and colleges across the country. As of 2013, there were 950,000 full-time students enrolled in 82 of the largest educational institutions across Canada, a number that has since grown closer to one million. Obviously housing is an important factor in the decision-making process of students and one that is not taken lightly considering the cost. This holds particularly true for international students seeking an education in Canada. In fact, the international student market comprised approximately $8 billion in Canada as of 2014, factoring in both tuition and living expenses. This group accounts for approximately 10 per cent of full-time university students across the country.
Investors have taken notice of this high demand for affordable student housing. In the “university towns” of Waterloo, London and Guelph, private groups have long been interested in building and developing units for students. Students are often more willing to rent by the bed as opposed to entire units. This provides further income to property owners as they are able to generate more revenue from a single unit. It is not only private investors who have taken notice to this opportunity but also the universities and colleges themselves.
Based on this information, it is clear that an opportunity presents itself in the rental housing market. Both domestic and international student numbers keep growing.