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My name is Derek Lobo, and I am the CEO for ROCK Advisors Inc., a boutique apartment brokerage that is an Ontario-based commercial real estate firm with an exclusive focus on apartment brokerage services. We take a unique approach to buying and selling apartments, we cooperate with other brokers, we leverage the Internet and technology, and, we focus on buyer representation and seller representation depending on the client's needs. I have been a leading Apartment Marketing Specialist across North America for over 20 years. I am available to consult and speak and I have spoken at Real Estate Forums, PM Expos, Ontario Real Estate Association, Multi-Housing World, the National Multi-Housing Council and at trade shows and conferences across North America. I offer practical strategic solutions and proven industry specific techniques for increasing occupancy and asset value in the multi-residential industry.
Hard though it is to believe, it's only been around 110 years since the first purpose-built rental apartment building in Toronto opened its doors to tenants. People had rented rooms before, but these tended to be boarding houses, or portions of subdivided homes. These places did not have the best of reputations, so the new St. George Mansions was a bold experiment, catering to middle class professionals including lawyers and doctors.
How would you like to rent a place in Willison, North Dakota? In addition to wide prairie views, an "entry level" apartment can be yours for just $2,394 per month. New York's entry level apartments come in at $1,504.
We've already talked how apartments are in fashion for aging boomers and young urban professionals alike. Looking to the future, it's clear that these factors aren't going away anytime soon. As boomers get older, the empty-nest phenomenon is going to increase. As for young urban professionals, they are likely to look towards starting families in the next few years, but trends indicate that families are having fewer children, and families are waiting longer to have children.
Toronto is the fifth largest city in North America, and it and the province of Ontario have approximately 25,000 apartment buildings. By population and market size alone, Ontario is a major player in the North American economy. And yet most of Ontario’s apartment stock was built prior to 1975. Toronto has one of the oldest and most run-down rental apartment stock on the continent. It does not have to be this way. A long history of punitive rent controls has ended, and new apartment buildings are not rent controlled.
Welcome to the New ROCK Website. After countless hours of effort, our folks in IT have put together something wonderful. It's attractive, bold, and (in my opinion) much easier to navigate. And it is loaded with a lot of useful information. That was our intention from the start...
I've been proud to campaign for my son-in-law Garnett Genuis in the upcoming Albertan election. And I'm not just saying that because he's married to my second daughter, Rebecca, though that's important too. I have been impressed at Garnett's skill and dedication. He has been campaigning as the Wildrose candidate in Sherwood Park for the last eight months and has, I think, knocked on over 22,000 doors. That's the way to reach out to the people. I was there earlier this year, I helped him knock on doors, and the response was phenomenal.
In examining the apartment market of Eastern Ontario, Kingston and Ottawa tend to draw the eye, and why not? They're the largest markets in the region by far, with surprising strength, low vacancy rates and high average rents. But they're not the only places to invest. If you want to park your money in a centre where you'll know it will keep, then there are two centres which offer stable investments. These are the centres of Belleville and Peterborough, on the extreme eastern end of the Greater Toronto Area.
Continuing our samples from the Rock Report, we come to the star of Eastern Ontario, the nation's capital, Ottawa. It's no surprise that Ontario's second largest city, with its large base of people looking for temporary accommodation, has a strong apartment market. The presence of two nationally prominent universities means a strong demand for student housing. But Ottawa has some surprises as well:
As I reported earlier, Eastern Ontario has two major markets. Everybody knows about Ottawa, and it's no surprise to find activity there quite heated, especially in the furnished apartment niche. But Kingston often surprises people. In spite of its size, it has a substantial market, and in spite of its market, vacancy rates are among the lowest in Ontario. The presence of a large student market only tells part of the story, I think. Here's what we said about Kingston in the ROCK Apartment Report:
Like many real estate brokers, we at ROCK Apartment Advisors subscribe to RealTrack. Information is the life blood of this business, and RealTrack provides us with a valuable and ongoing window on the sales activity going across the province. This information, along with other sources, helped us to put together the ROCK Apartment Report and the upcoming ROCK New Construction Report.