Getting schooled

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 -- a fact set to spur increased investment in housing for that group.

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

While the student rental market is more of a hands-on 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.

Lobo believes that investing in student rentals is likely one of the most lucrative forms of real estate investing. This is due to higher rents, which are often charged by the unit in multi-unit properties.

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