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The Amazingly Strong Toronto Condo Rental Market with Pauline Lierman of Urbanation

Podcast Featured Image 55

In this week’s podcast episode, Pauline Lierman of Urbanation discusses the Q2 condo rental numbers with Andrew la Fleur. The market continues to perform even above industry insiders’ expectations.

Click Here for Pauline Lierman Interview Transcript

Andrew la Fleur: Great. It’s my pleasure to welcome to the show Pauline Lierman. Pauline is the Director of Market Research at Urban Nation. Pauline, welcome to the show.

Pauline Lierman: Thank you for having me on.

Andrew la Fleur: Great to have you. I know we’ve known each other for quite a while. It’s great to finally have you on the podcast.

Pauline Lierman: Yeah. That’s great. Fantastic.

Andrew la Fleur: Yeah. Why don’t we start by just telling everybody a little bit more about your story itself. Like, how did you get started in the real estate and condo business, and how did you get in with Urban Nation, in your job that you’re doing today?

Pauline Lierman: Oh, okay. I’ve done the circle tour of Market Research in the industry, as I like to call it. I’m an Urban Geographer with Economics by background, and I got into the industry, initially, by starting to work for Remax, which is our competition. At the time … this is about maybe 15 years ago … that was my first moment into the industry, and at the time, that was when things were getting to a peak in low-rise market, but they needed someone to work on high rise, and I was one of their first people to work on high rise inside their office.

From there, I spent about five years there, and then I went over to Barry Lyon, or NBLC, as a lot of people know it as. I spend about five years there, working on consulting jobs, various developers, government agencies, what not. Working in all these plans, before even these projects come to the market.

Then, I moved over to Urban Nation, where I deal with a little bit of both right now, and work on the day-to-day. In terms of our market research, we’ve added a number of things to it, working on our new database that we launched about a year and a half ago, and as we do upgrade as well. That’s how I’ve progressed around, adding a little bit here and there, I’m well known for being hands on, I’m usually on site. Quite often, I like to check things out, and check out the crowds, and check out the response to the market as it goes on, so we can give it a … Less abstract number oriented, as well as having some qualitative background to what we do.

Andrew la Fleur: Absolutely, yeah. We see each other everywhere it seems …

Pauline Lierman: Exactly!

Andrew la Fleur: You’re at a lot more events, probably, than I am even. I feel like I’m at an event in the condo industry at least once or twice a week, and there you always are …

Pauline Lierman: It does feel like there’s more, yeah.

Andrew la Fleur: It’s funny how you said you started at Realmat and you’re at Barry Lyon, another great company, both great companies, I hear.

Pauline Lierman: Fantastic.

Andrew la Fleur: Urban Nation. It’s a small industry, isn’t it? People really do bounce around between companies, and everybody knows each other. I mean, you’re competitors between the companies, but at the end of the day, I think you’re colleagues in a sense, as well.

Pauline Lierman: Mm-hmm (affirmative). We are a bit. People who do market feasibility in market research are a bit of a niche, and there’s only a handful of us, really, out there, and I think predecessors like Jeanhy Shim, whom we speak with, is kind of a predecessor in this, as well, and have lots of experience. A lot of ladies, as well, which is great, that have been in the industry doing this type of work, and we do know each other very well, and we’re friendly. Do a drinks thing, and all that.

Andrew la Fleur: Yeah, that’s great. Big question, everybody asks you, got to get your take on it, being who you are, and I’m sure you know what I’m going to ask you. How’s the market? What’s going on in the market? Is there a condo bubble, what’s your take on the condo market, in general? What are the themes that you’re sort of … Trying not to give the cliché sort of answer, which I’m sure you’ve given a thousand times, but what are you seeing on the market right now, if that’s even possible?

Pauline Lierman: I think the market is … You know, I hate to avoid the cliché, I think the market is always interesting. It’s always interesting in different ways. Where we are right now is that peak completion cycle, where we’re seeing all these projects finish, and enter the market, and mainly enter the rental market, be honest. Over 26% of the last quarter of data went into rental, like the new units are finished, went into rental. Enter the rental pool, which is having its own repercussions itself. I think the market is incredibly diverse right now, and I think that we’ve seen such a bland 2014, that I think we’re trying to find where we are, in terms of certain market areas, I mean, downtown.

We’ve gone and put out recently that we thought downtown was under supplied, and that doesn’t necessarily mean there’s no units out there that aren’t available for sale, there definitely is. It’s just they not having that range of launches that occurred last year, and bringing that new product out in different sites. I think I just had one site that launched last week, and that was the first bigger downtown project I’ve seen in quite a number of months, in the area. We looked at the circle trend, and we’re really seeing rental supply come down a bit, because people are looking to live downtown, and that kind of dynamic that’s going on.

Also, feeding into … I hesitate to ever use the word bubble. Bubble, I feel, is like verboten, monk style, about market research. It’s really …

Andrew la Fleur: Why is that? What is it specifically about the word that … I think I know what you’re saying, but …

Pauline Lierman: I would think, I would say hyperbole, is pretty much the best way that it’s gone to. I think it’s overused.

Andrew la Fleur: It’s a headline word. It’s become a headline word that doesn’t really mean anything anymore, does it?

Pauline Lierman: Exactly, and what does that bubble mean? Does it mean that it is too many units that are for re-sale, is it too many for sale on new sale? People forgot that the active condo market, the new condo for sales, it makes up a large chunk that aren’t being built yet. I mean, you’ve got the pre-con, the pre-construction market where, if those projects don’t reach a certain level of threshold sales, they simply don’t get built. Certainly, it’s not uncommon. I mean, it is actually very common for our industry to have a couple of projects that just misfire. For projects like that to, maybe, not go forward, maybe they’re in misposition, mispriced, or maybe it was just the wrong product at the wrong time. People tend to latch on to these issues, and say, “Well, here’s a sign of bubbles here”, but it’s not really the case when you have X, X, Y, and Z, all these other products that are doing very well. I think that it’s just a misused word. I think that we like to look at the challenges, and call it as that; a challenge, the market. How do you handle new trends? How do you handle when you have all these projects being completed?

What we’ve seen, when we’re getting a little more … Talking about rental data, is that, pleasantly [inaudible 00:06:57] surprised, maybe a little softer than it was, but would be, but we found that the demand has picked up, in terms of absorbing these units that are coming to the market. We had just under 13, 000 units that have actually registered, or reached their final closings for the first half of the year.

Andrew la Fleur: Yeah, which is a big number. I want to talk more about the rest of the numbers, of course, mostly in this podcast. Before we get to the rental numbers from Q2, which you just recently released, let’s back it up. Recently, you had a great blog post, and I’ll definitely include a link to it on the shownotes for this episode, which anybody can find at truecondos.com. The CMHC fiasco, as I would call it, I don’t know how you’d describe it. CMHC came out with these numbers, and this very scary looking chart that basically, for those people who missed the headlines from about a month ago, they basically said that record number of finished, but un-absorbed, or essentially not purchased, not lived-in units on the Toronto condo market, like the highest number in 25 years, or whatever, of tracking this number. CMHC came out and said this, right?

Pauline Lierman: And it threw everybody back.

Andrew la Fleur: Everybody, obviously myself included, when we heard this, we’d go, “Whoa, what is going on here?” My gut reaction, being in the market was, there’s something weird going on with this number. I didn’t know what it was, I didn’t have the ability to look into it, as you obviously have, but I just felt like there’s something weird about that number, and of course all the media jumped on it and said this is a horrible thing, sky’s falling, kind of thing. This makes for great headlines, and I got quite a few emails and calls from clients, and people concerned obviously, about, “What’s going on in the market Andrew, what’s up?” Then, it was great to see this article that you guys came out with, so why don’t you tell us a little bit about what you discovered was the case, and what transcribed there?

Pauline Lierman: Well, just to give the lay of the lamb, how we handle, between ourselves and CMHC, we tend to handle data very differently. This is where you can have your eyes rolled back, in the back of your head a little bit, or we start to get, kind of our data geek mode, and we talk about how we handle it. We’re very particular, in terms of how we look at units that are getting completed. It’s very difficult to actually track within a building itself, how far it is actually occupied. We can anecdotally follow along, we can certainly follow along what’s going on, and then we’ll ask them what’s listed on realtor.ca, and follow along that, and then we were very surprised by that, because we’d been following along gradually, month by month, and seeing whether projects were meeting their timeline, and for the most part, they actually are getting close to it. What we found is maybe [there was 00:09:58] 1 or 2 months waive, and part of that has to do with going back to weather, over the last couple of winters, we’ve had some pretty harsh winters, and they’re getting close to their frames.

We were looking, and then we were like, “Well, that doesn’t make any sense, whatsoever. Where do they happen?” One of the great things that CMHC has done is now they actually have this housing online portal system, and housing information. If you go into the system, you go down and look at the granular level, and the different parts of the market. We said, “We might have to take a closer look into that”, and Shaun was looking into it, and both of us were looking into this, and we were finding where is this happening. It’s very easy to have that [sale 00:10:31] jump up if you miss a project in itself, because we’re so much on the ground level, we actually are very familiar with the developments day-to-day … Not really day-to-day, but I guess you could describe it as we’re very familiar with where they’re at, basically.

We started to look at it, and we realized, well this is going down into Regent Park of all places. I mean, well no, there’s only a couple of buildings that were actively in development in Regent Park at a time, simply because Daniels been very successful at bringing 1 or 2 phases a year to the market, and they’ve absorbed very quickly. We looked at that, we looked even closer at it, and then we got right down into that track level, and we’re like, “Well, there’s no possible way that these building, I believe it, 1 park place, south and north”, which are just about, one just registered, and the other one was registered a year ago, had any remaining inventory, or inventory that was going to make it absorbed.

We kind of threw it back, and I think that kind of plays into the hand of how we treat data, versus CMHC might treat their data, and that’s just how to go about it, they might expect a certain level of completion within the buildings themselves. We kind of track it where we reach occupancy, and then we follow along from there, and then we’ll track it once it reaches final closing.

Andrew la Fleur: Right, so essentially, what you discovered, basically, there was about approximately 800 units, which CMHC was counting as un-absorbed, which was completely untrue.

Pauline Lierman: It completely fell right in with the numbers of the units of the both buildings, so it was very uncanny in that sense. We’re like, “Oh, well this would explain this, and this would explain that, and X plus Y equals Z, for us.”

Andrew la Fleur: Yeah, absolutely. See, you did some great digging there, found out this great insight. I’m curious, did you hear from CMHC since you wrote this post, did they say, “Yeah, you’re correct. We screwed up”, or did they issue any retraction? You know, when this sort of thing happens, and this is unfortunate, but it’s reality, the headlines and the news has come and gone, you don’t see papers issuing retraction saying, “Oh, remember that headline where we said the sky is falling? Yeah, it was not true.” You just don’t see that.

Pauline Lierman: We made CMHC aware of what we were seeing, and I understand from, not necessarily a retraction as per-se as, say, the absorptions have gone down completely, there was a large drop in the un-absorbed, so they have adjusted since then, and that goes into play, the lag time, in terms of reporting and where they’re at, for the reporting. There’s no more apocalypse number out there, anymore.

Andrew la Fleur: Right, right. Just going through that experience, and from your many years of experience, looking at numbers and being at different companies, and understanding different people tracking numbers differently, what would be your advice to individual condo investors, they’re trying to understand and grasp what is happening in the market. What are your lesson from this, sort of a thing?

Pauline Lierman: Do incredible amount of homework. Understand what type of product is in these buildings, and what they might be catering to, in terms of their marketing. Research your builders. Look at the general area and not just resales, but maybe rental as what might be competitive against you coming up. There’s certainly some markets that are definitely in need of rental housing, because we’re simply not building very much purpose-built at all. That sort of thing, if you’re looking at it from an investor perspective, or if you’re looking at it from an end-user perspective.

Andrew la Fleur: That’s great. Let’s switch gears again back to the Q2 rental numbers and the report that just came out, so …

Pauline Lierman: Fabulous numbers.

Andrew la Fleur: Yeah, the fabulous, yeah, I was really surprised at some of the numbers at some of the numbers that you kind of hinted at as well, stronger than expected. What are the key highlights from the report, what are the top line points that condo investors, specifically, should know about what’s happening in the rental market from Q2?

Pauline Lierman: Well, Q2 for us is generally a ramping up, it’s a Spring market, but we usually, what we find is our highest rental market, and that coincides with people moving back to the city, and for student rentals is Q3. For us to get 8, 200 rentals in the GTA, which is a 22% jump from last year, is amazing number for that, and we’re not even at what we would call our peak period. That stood out to me, and that kind of asked me, “Well what’s going to happen in Q3, when we actually do the numbers then?” We’re still seeing projects finish, so I still have over 5, 500 completions going on, building starting occupancy, and then buildings that are going to be registered during the Q3 period. We’re going to still continue to see this trend towards finishing building, and then they see these buildings move into the rental market, or buildings that are already completed, and their upper levels are now moving their units into the market.

What I found interesting about it, is we actually saw some decent rent growth, and we saw a 4.6 annual jump, in rents, in index rents, so we’re up to $2.48 per foot. Little bit slower in the downtown pour, where a lot of the competitive competition happened between new buildings, which is just under 2% growth. It was about 1.7%, which is actually above what it’s been recently too, for the city of Toronto. What we’re finding now is that new units are bringing higher rental rates into the area, but at the same time, we’re also having these really much … This is where we have that testing ground where all these small units are starting to finish now that we’ve talked about for so long, from the active market, and our average size dropped 734 square feet, in terms of traded unit. That’s the smallest we’ve ever tracked, and I expect that to actually go down further.

I’ve had some projects where their average is going to 500 square foot range, 530, 550. We know these buildings, we know what the product they offered, and we kind of expected that would happen, but you’re actually seeing how it’s impacting the overall market, in terms of trading.

Andrew la Fleur: How is it, that’s a good question to jump in and ask. That’s a thing a lot of people talk about is, I’ve been in, for a long time, very much in favor of investors getting into the smaller units, for a number of reasons. Not everyone agrees with me, some people say there’s too many small units, or people just won’t want to live in these small units, or there’s buildings with too many small units. Different objections people come up with. What are you seeing in the numbers, with these types of buildings, where the average size of the suite is much lower than the overall market?

Pauline Lierman: Well, if you put it this way, if you have a micro-unit that for example, let’s hypothetically say, gets 1200, 1250 in monthly rent, but it’s under 500 square feet, you’re getting a very high index value. What we’re finding is that will start to climb, particularly in the inner city, in the old city of Toronto, that’s over $3 a foot. Well over $3 a foot, so they’re getting the return on those units.

Andrew la Fleur: Yeah, so, as the units … Just to translate what you’re saying for the non-numbers geek out there, so as the units are getting smaller, they’re … The smaller the unit, generally, the higher the rent, per square foot.

Pauline Lierman: Exactly.

Andrew la Fleur: You’re saying, as we’re seeing more and more of these buildings finishing, and coming up with a lot of units for rent that are smaller than average units, and therefore the average rental price per square foot is starting to creep up, also.

Pauline Lierman: Exactly. Smaller units, higher index values.

Andrew la Fleur: Do you think that … Are these buildings a problem for the market, or hard to say, or they’re actually a good thing? What are you seeing?

Pauline Lierman: I think they are a boom and a challenge in themselves. I think they’re a little bit of both. We’ve simply not had a set of units this small come to the market before, and I think they add a bit of a diversification to our stock, which I feel is good. I think we also need to be cognizant of how much we add to that. We’ve got this current wave that are finishing, and we expect a lot more to come as the projects were marketing last year, and the new condo market start to roll along, we’ll see more of that. I think that that presents a real opportunity for the development industry to turn around and say, “How can we capture these people who maybe are renting smaller units, or maybe bought smaller units, and want to move up?” They might not necessarily want to be moving up into a single family home, they might not be able to afford a single family home, and I think that’s the reality for a lot of people in this city.

Andrew la Fleur: Who can afford one now? Yeah, exactly.

Pauline Lierman: Exactly. Kind of like when we were starting to talk about this, think about the next step up, think about the move up condo buyer, or the move up condo renter. Who wants that extra space? I think the challenge …

Andrew la Fleur: Can’t afford that house. Yeah, exactly.

Pauline Lierman: Exactly, and challenge is getting that price point right, and getting the cost involved with that in the right range, because certainly land cost, in this city, are not going down.

Andrew la Fleur: Absolutely. Going back to the numbers, so 8, 200 leases … Units leased, tracked in Q2, that was up about 22% from last year, an all time high for any quarter, or all time high just for 2nd quarter?

Pauline Lierman: All time high for any quarter. Any quarter.

Andrew la Fleur: All time high for any quarter, and like you said, it’s not even usually the busiest quarter for rentals, usually Q3.

Pauline Lierman: Exactly.

Andrew la Fleur: Curious, what were the numbers like, I don’t know if you have them. If you don’t, it’s not a big deal, but what were the numbers for Q2 like in 2013? Going back 2 years, if it’s up 22% over last year, it was up even more over the previous year as well, right? It seems like the trend is just record number of rentals, the record just keeps getting broken and, like you said, the average size of the unit also, that record, just keeps getting broken as it gets smaller and smaller. What were the Q2 numbers for 2013, 2014, in comparison to this 8, 200 leases, just so we have a sense of how big this market is getting?

Pauline Lierman: I’m going back … We’ve tracked the condo rental market for just about 4 full years, maybe 5 and what we found is just successive, positive growth. Q2 2013 there was actually just about 5, 300 rentals then, and that was a 20% increase, year over year, for it. We just keep seeing these jumps. I think that probably the lowest growth we saw was maybe in Q1, which is Q1 as it stands, because it’s a Winter month, when we had an 11% annual increase, and then Q3, which was, strangely enough, even though it was a record for the quarter, it was 11% annual increase, we thought the rate of growth was actually slowing down. Well, here we are in Q2, now we have this growth rate of 22%, which is the highest in almost 2 years.

What we found is we’ve still seen continual, positive growth, and this is really coming to the fruition, the development industry, cognitive of the fact that there is no new rental being built, or at least not any substantive amount of rental being built in this city, and meeting the demographic demand; meeting the demand for living in a city. It’s not just within the city, I would have to say, also it’s within the 905. There’s nothing being built out in Newark, there’s very little being built in Holton or Duran, stuff like that. These buildings, even if they may be low rises, even if maybe small little buildings, are filling that need of having rental built units in that area.

Andrew la Fleur: Absolutely. It’s interesting, so yeah, it’s not just the downtown core, we’re seeing the trend all over the GTA. Demand for housing is just, it’s everywhere, anywhere in the Golden Horseshoe, really, it’s incredible. Again, I talk about this all the time, just the fact that people are coming to this area, people are coming to the city, 10’s of thousands of them, every year, approximately 100, 000 to the region. This is not normal, I always like to remind people. You go to other cities in North America, around the world … I’ve done some travelling recently in Europe, again, just reminded how this is such an interesting time and place to live in, especially as real estate investors, to take part in. It’s just amazing, the growth that Toronto and the region is experiencing, and it’s not something that other … It’s a great problem to have, I guess, is a way to sum it up.

Pauline Lierman: No, I think we’re at the crux of some very economic, and demographic, and political axis that just make Toronto a boom town, basically.

Andrew la Fleur: Yeah, yeah. As you were just telling me, so I’m just doing some rough math here, you said 2013 was about 5, 300 in Q2 rentals, which was up about 20%, so 2012 was roughly around 4, 000, I think. You’re looking at the market has gone from 2012, around 4, 000 rentals, to 2015. What did we say? Over 8, 000, 8, 200, so the market has essentially doubled in 3 years, in terms of the size.

Pauline Lierman: Exactly. It has.

Andrew la Fleur: We’ve really got to pay attention, I hope people are paying attention, that they’re listening; condo investors. The rental market has doubled in 3 years, in terms of the size of the rental market. Again, going back to the theme of, is there a condo bubble, are we building too many condos, I see people say, “Oh there’s cranes everywhere, there’s too many condos.” Look at the numbers, the numbers don’t lie. Listen to people, like yourself, who are looking at these numbers and calculating this stuff every single day. The market has doubled in 3 years. Yes, there is definitely demand for all these condos that are being built. Would you agree?

Pauline Lierman: I would agree, and I think it is important to really understand how the market works itself. Having reports of unoccupied units all over the place, and not really understanding that some of these buildings take some time to actually occupy. If you’re occupying a 55-storey building, unless you’re the most efficient developer on the planet, it takes a few months to do. You will see units that are on the rental market right away, you’ll see units that maybe are on the 50th floor that won’t be on the market for another 3 months, and that’s actually a good thing, because you’re not watering one whole wave down, in terms of supply, in terms of getting them out there. Just anecdotally seeing that, you can’t really judge what’s going on, until you look at the whole picture.

Andrew la Fleur: Absolutely, and yeah, I mean, you talk about … That’s a great example, a 55, 60, 70-storey building. It’s a small city. It’s a vertical city. It’s an entire suburb on one little, tiny postage stamp. It takes a long time to occupy, and finish, and complete a building like that. One single building can impact the market for 1 or 2 quarters, as it’s going through the natural cycle of being unoccupied.

Pauline Lierman: Because we’re at the peak investor cycle, it very much is not uncommon to see … I mean, you certainly you would know as well, but just anecdotally seeing or looking at numbers, that buildings that complete more than 50% of their rent, even on MOS, and that doesn’t even consider the side markets for these rental units, in those buildings. What really is done is just brought, we most certainly have office development going on in the city, we have retail [rent-a-thon 00:27:05], so much retail planned, to meet the demand of this capped population. There is a holistic … Also, with the city grappling with having things like park space, and infrastructure, and meeting the needs of building our central core up, as well other neighborhoods in the area.

Andrew la Fleur: Yeah, it’s a great time. You touched on the 905 being a hot area, as well. In terms of the sub markets of the GTA and particularly of the downtown core, what were the pockets that were the hottest and the coldest, what were the pockets that the numbers jumped out at you for big growth, or not growth?

Pauline Lierman: We’ve had big growth in Markham, certainly in the Highway 7 corridor, is where we’ve seen big growth, in terms of completions along there. Not so much in Mississauga, and not so much in Richmond Hill, yet, and I have to tend to say yet, because where they’re at on their development cycle, the products that have been built there, are not at their completion yet, and I expect to see Richmond Hill grow quite a bit, in terms of rentals, especially among the quarter, over the next year or so. We have quite a number of buildings along there. Quite a bit of growth in Vaughan, and that’s going to continue as well. Vaughan’s interesting, because we’re soon going to see more development at the terminus of the subway line, and what that means for not only just people looking to live near their family, maybe younger people, or older people, either way, in terms of their demographic needs, but as well as accessibility to York University, from the north end. There’s a lot of thought process going into living in that area as well.

Probably, I’m just trying to look at some of the numbers that I’ve picked out, we actually saw rent growth go up quite a bit in these areas, simply because of new supply. Like, in Markham, our index rents went up over 10% annually. In Richmond Hill, even though it doesn’t have a lot of market, simply because they had 2 buildings complete, and they were new product, new units in upscale buildings, rents climbed 7% annually. You’re actually seeing growth in that area, because simply, there’s just nothing else out there.

This is like a little bit of a different creature, in that it has had waves of development, and certainly going back almost 15 years, when you set that first wave, and there it then ebb’d and flowed as new supply comes to the area. We’re going to see some more completions later in the year, but it’s been a little more tepid, the beginning of growth rate’s about 2.5%, in terms of index rents there, so still growing, just not at the overall market while it was growing at this GTA.

Andrew la Fleur: Any sub-markets that were not growing, or shrinking, in terms of rental prices, or anything that you felt expected?

Pauline Lierman: I wouldn’t necessarily speak as I would say, and I think the biggest change that we may see is maybe some place like the  waterfront, and that’s because the product mix. when you get a building that’s maybe completing, that has direct waterfront access, or right at the waterfront, it gets a higher value than maybe a project, that are more removed, they’re just on the north side. They serve a purpose, in terms of providing rental for the area, and they serve a purpose in terms of diversification of the area, but they don’t get the rent levels that you would get if you were maybe some of the more older, or the buildings that are right at the waterfront, in terms of that area. That’s where I’ve seen a little bit change there, as well, and it maybe appears to be negative, but it really is the mix of the units that are coming into the market.

Andrew la Fleur: Yeah, absolutely. Again, that’s where being on one side of a street, or another, can make a huge difference. Being on one side of Lakeshore, or the other, like you said. If you’re in the Waterfront area, but if you’re right on the water, it’s a huge difference in prices and rents, versus if you’re a few hundred meters down the street.

Pauline Lierman: Exactly. It does matter actually that we’re talking smaller units in those areas, and that’s something that’s going on in the entertainment district, as well, that core area. We’ve had the trading been slightly larger unit, because now we’re just starting to see some of these buildings that came out with a bang in 2010 and 2011, and sold really well with smaller units. They’re starting to finish. You’ll see the average monthly rent, not just the index will go up because their units are smaller, but the average monthly rent will start to come down somewhat, because we’re dealing with smaller units in general. This is where you’re seeing that product mix that’s going into these areas, changed definitely, in terms of values.

Andrew la Fleur: Yeah, and again, it’s like you said earlier, you’ve got to do more research, you can’t just take the numbers and have that define face value, you’ve got to understand what is behind all these numbers, and what is concerning, and what is not, based on the buildings, the suite nicks, the location, how many buildings are getting completed in particular sub-market, a particular time. So many factors that go into it, and I guess that’s where your great reports come in, and where the insights behind the numbers really come into it.

Pauline Lierman: Thank you. We’re pretty proud of it.

Andrew la Fleur: No problem. I’ll give you a little plug there. Great. Anything else you’d like to add, Pauline? It’s been great chatting with you about the numbers, hopefully we can chat again when the Q2, not the rental, but the sale numbers come out …

Pauline Lierman: When we get them scrubbed and they’re ready to go, surely.

Andrew la Fleur: I know they’re pretty close, yeah.

Pauline Lierman: We are close. We put the nose to the grindstone, and we put some pretty late nights in here, during our quarter, so it will come soon. I think it’s interesting, because we’re always looking ahead, and whether or not the market is really going to pull the trigger on more purpose-built. We recently added that analysis. We’ve looked at the last 10 years of purpose-built, in our rental report, and we know, anecdotally, we know from our work that we have a lot of companies, particularly pension funds and equity firms, that are looking at the long-term prospects of that. It’s been still kind of a little bit tepid, in terms of just slowly coming to the fore-front with these buildings starting to be constructed. We see a couple like you know down in somewhere like the Selby, or the Montgomery Square at Yonge and Eglinton, both starting construction which is fantastic.

Still doesn’t come to a wave at this point, and we’re not sure where we’re going to see how much of it actually going to start to take place. That’s we’re kind of looking at, like what’s the fall market going to bring, and that’s something I am currently, as I would say, grappling with, with how many projects are going to come to the market this fall. We’ve got some interesting developments that are in maybe the Waterfront, or maybe in downtown east, which is particularly hot area. Everybody wants to be east, rather than west now, so we’ll surely seen how that’s coming along, but certainly everything we’ve seen so far is pointing to fairly positive demand. That’s kind of where we stand in terms of looking forward, in terms of where the markets going to be going, going into the end of the year, and going into next year.

Andrew la Fleur: Great, well Pauline, thank you once again for your time, it’s been great chatting with you, and hopefully we have you again on the show soon. If people want to get a hold of you, or learn more about Urban Nation, and everything that you guys do, and the reports, and services, and subscriptions, and consulting services you have, what’s the best way for people to do that?

Pauline Lierman: The best way is to go to our website first, www.urbanation.ca. One n in them middle, just to let everybody to know. Have a look at everything. Have a look at our blog, you can just … on there. I’m always reachable on my email address, which is just pauline@urbanation.ca. Those are probably the 2 quickest routes, but everything will give you an overview of all the aspects that we cover.

Andrew la Fleur: Of course, your great Twitter account, too, which I love.

Pauline Lierman: Yes, our Twitter. How could I forget that? Yes.

Andrew la Fleur: Which is, I think, just @urbanation?

Pauline Lierman: It’s just @urbanation, yes. Follow us on Twitter, definitely. We try to offer a mix of different things going on in the industry every day, on that Twitter account.

Andrew la Fleur: Absolutely, yeah, it’s one of my favorite accounts to follow, for sure, and I’ll include a link to everything we just mentioned in the shownotes for this episode. Pauline, thank you once again.

Pauline Lierman: Thank you.

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