Q: I’m looking for a student rental housing near the university campus. How much is the rent?
A: As a long time landlord, and real estate agent, I know that location is everything. For residential real estate, location often means proximity to a good public school in a nice neighbourhood and near amenities like shopping, recreation and perhaps night life. For students, convenience is king. Convenience is even more important than comfort. Students want to be close to campus.
Rental properties near University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University and Conestoga College command higher rents than in other parts of Kitchener Waterloo. Student rents range $400-$600 per room in shared accommodations. The closer to the university or college, the higher the rent.
Just like in residential real estate, the market sets the price. The forces of supply and demand are at work. A recent study looked at the relationship between rents and proximity to campus. It found that student rental accommodations less than 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometres) away from campus are statistically higher than those 5 miles (8 kilometres) away.
These locational premiums are modest. It is not until a distance of 3/4 of a mile that real locational premiums are found.
Within 3/4 of a mile (1.2 kilometres), rents increase by 20%
Within 1/2 of a mile (800 meters), rent increase by 40%
Within 1/4 of a mile (400 meters), rents increase by more than 100%
How long is that to walk?
According to Yahoo, it takes 12 minutes to walk one kilometre, about 2 1/2 minutes to walk 400 metres.
From walkscore, this is what 12 minutes looks like to the front of WLU.
University of Waterloo isn’t as lucky. There are few off campus rental opportunities for University of Waterloo Students.
For investors, it is best to buy a licensed student dwelling as near to the university or college campus as possible. You will pay more for your investment, but you will command more rent and will have less trouble finding student renters.
For parents it is best to rent as close to the campus as possible. One thing, most parents fail to consider is the ability to sublet. In the four summer months, the availability of sublets is superabundant and many of the more remote places go empty.
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