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Many places in and around Toronto and Vancouver have crisis-level vacancy rates.
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If you can't picture what that looks like, a quick drive down the Gardiner Expressway will make it very clear. Interest rates are low, renter demand is high and investors are looking for alternate income streams. These combined factors create the perfect condition for purpose-built housing projects to thrive.
When I first came to Alberta a quarter-century ago, vacancy rates in Calgary and Edmonton exceeded 10 per cent. In Edmonton, where I lived in 1988, landlords often gave one month free on an already cheap 12-month lease. Sometimes utilities and cable were included.