Over the past several weeks, I’ve outlined the case for optimism regarding the student housing market in Waterloo on a couple of occasions, most thoroughly here. What seemed to be a particularly vulnerable sector amid the initial uncertainty of last year has since demonstrated an impressive knack for resiliency, with vacancy rates staying low and property values holding strong. I’ve already explored the reasons behind this in earlier posts, so I won’t repeat myself here.

But now, there’s an even bigger cause to be bullish on investing in student housing here in Waterloo. Just within the past week or so, both the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University have announced publicly their intentions to make a return to in-person classes for the upcoming Fall 2021 term:


As vaccination programs progress into the summer, we can be reasonably confident in assuming that travel restrictions and border controls will also be returning to something a little closer to normal. This is a big deal for both schools, as foreign students contribute in a big way to their revenue and operating budgets. But it’s also a big deal for anyone who’s invested in off-campus housing, as demand from foreign students for lodging keeps average rental rates strong.

In speaking with my contacts at various property management firms here in Waterloo, available inventory is moving quickly toward being booked solid for the fall term already – with occupancy rates heading north of 90%. In the coming week, I will be following up on this post with some more concrete numbers for everyone, but I do think it’s important to emphasize that the student market remains a solid option for your investment dollars, and things will only get better as we put COVID behind us and make a return to normality.

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