By Altus Group | June 10, 2020

Findings in the Altus Group Housing Report show a slump in sales of purpose-built rental apartment buildings in March 2020, down by almost half from February on a combined basis for major Canadian markets tracked by Altus Group.  The Calgary and Ottawa markets, however, did not contribute to this decline.  Although combined sales show an uptick in the four markets for which April data is now available, it was largely due to one sizable transaction worth $300.2 million, consisting of three properties in Hamilton, Cambridge and Kitchener, Ontario, for a total of 750 units.

Apartment building sales in major Canadian markets Jan - Apr 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many larger rental investors to delay or postpone buying decisions that had already been made, and many others are reviewing their investment strategies.  However, according to Altus Group’s new Key Assumptions Survey, around 1 in 3 investors see this as a good time for opportunistic buying.

As of April, the top risks perceived for rental market fundamentals are impacts to consumer demand as a result of job losses and hits to income.  Another factor we would caution rental investors to take into consideration is the potential impact of lower immigration.  Limited immigration could cool the market, with some markets across the country more heavily impacted than others.


Canadian labour market disruption and hits to household income are top risks cited for rental investment


1 in 3 rental investors in Canada see buying opportunities


Through the Key Assumptions Survey, Altus Group will be tracking how these and other investor attitudes and assumptions may change over the course of the COVID-19 time frame.  May 2020 survey results will be released in mid-June, available at the link below:

Go to Altus Group’s Key Assumptions Survey


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