For investors of student rental properties, the new year brings new opportunity to create or expand their real estate portfolio. The student lease cycle typically runs May 1 to April 30, so many investors begin their search early in January. Their hope is to close on a property around the timing of the new cycle. 

Those considering a student rental in Guelph don’t necessarily need to be a large investor. Often times parents purchase a home for their child as an investment while they attend post-secondary education. As a result, the child then rents out the remaining rooms to friends to cover costs. The goal is that over the time the student lives there, the property will appreciate in value. Then, the parent would then sell when the residence is no longer needed. Or, hold onto the property as another means of producing income. 

There are many metrics used by investors to determine the investment value of a home. Ideally out of the gate the property cashflows (brings in more money in rent than it costs to own). 

Finding cashflow rentals is challenging

Finding a property that cashflows is becoming increasingly difficult in Guelph, although these properties do still exist. The challenge is that as prices of Guelph homes have increased significantly. Market rent is not enough to cover the expenses to own it.

Landlords are then often forced to decide. Either lose money every month or look to another city with stronger rental financials.

Considering buying a student rental property in Guelph? Here are a few student developments worth considering, as well as their performance over the past year:

Edit: in 2021, we updated the below properties with one year performance

302 College Ave.

Within walking distance to University of Guelph, this townhome development built in the early ‘90s with a high student population. College Ave. townhomes range in size, have 3-4 bedrooms. The average price was $411,000 in 2019, which is a 6% increase over 2018.

1155 Gordon St.

Built in 2006, this development is located south of the university. It’s conveniently located directly on Gordon St. with high-frequency bus routes travelling to the university. Also, highly student-populated, the average price here in 2019 was $469,000, a decrease of 2% from 2018.

142 York Rd.

This development was built in 2004 and is almost 100% student exclusive. With 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, this dorm-like setup is a convenient walk across York Rd. Park to Gordon St. There are only 24 units in this development and they are hard to come by. Only one unit sold in 2019 at $324,000.

A few notes before you invest

Generally, students will gather a few friends to move in together and split the rent. The going rate per room can anywhere between $450 to $650 per month, with some exceptions. Some landlords will require the tenants to pay utilities and sometimes they are included. 

Live outside Guelph but considering a student rental property? Ensure that you have a plan in place for yard maintenance, snow removal and general upkeep. This could be with the tenant, or with a property management company. 

It’s wise to work with a real estate agent who understands the legalities and by-laws of student rentals. You’ll need to be sure the property you are considering is compliant with the City of Guelph.

Beth and Ryan Waller are Sales Representatives with Home Group Realty. You can contact them here

Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

Source: GDAR, 2018-2019, City of Guelph single family residential homes. The authors do NOT have any personal interest in any properties mentioned in this article.