In just 14 months, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused seismic shifts in the lives of Canadians and people around the world. As widespread lockdowns and social distancing measures took hold, places like offices, hotels and restaurants were left empty, while the home increasingly became the center of daily life. Not unexpectedly, this has brought about major changes in the way renters search for and evaluate their residences.
Even as vaccinations continue and restriction begin to ease, the market continues to evolve by the day. Local Logic EVP of Growth Pierre Calzadilla joined a group of industry leaders on a recent episode of RentSync’s “Sync or Swim” podcast to discuss how rental housing is faring in the wake of the pandemic, and what its future looks like as Canadians adjust to a new way of working and living.
Joined by Urban Analytics VP of Sales & Client Experience Andie Daggett, Rentals.ca Content Director Paul Danison, Rentals.ca Chief Executive Officer Matt Danison and Bullpen Research & Consulting Inc. Owner/President Ben Meyers, the group dug into Rentals.ca’s 3rd Annual Rental Market Predictions report, which was originally published in February.
The report covers a wide range of topics and provides an outlook for the market in many of Canada’s largest metro areas, many of which have seen growing numbers of homebound renters flee smaller units for larger homes in outlying neighborhoods or surrounding suburbs.
Pierre also discussed Local Logic’s recent report that found renters were increasingly prioritizing amenities like grocery stores and access to green space during the pandemic, while demand for access to public transit and proximity to elementary schools decreased (although both remained among the top attributes renters sought in a neighborhood).
The group also dug into how multifamily developers and urban planners will need to react to these changes in preferences, and how location intelligence can measure real-time demand for certain amenities and asset classes – ultimately helping them create more successful projects and communities.
“So I think there’s a huge influx of people coming to Canada, I think that jobs are preparing themselves for this flex environment where they’re going to have an office, but they’re also going to make it easy for their people to work from home,” Pierre said. “Therefore, the people who work from home are really gonna think about the outside their four walls as much as inside their four walls, and I think those are the things that I see in 2021 and beyond that are sticking.”