STUDENT RENTAL BOOM IS #1 ISSUE IN POLSON,
CALVIN AND PORTSMOUTH
The number one concern I hear on my neighborhood rounds is the increasing number of houses being sold as student rentals.
St. Lawrence College has boosted enrolment by 3.8 per cent this year. That means roughly another 200 full-time students at its Kingston campus. Since 2010, enrolment has increased by almost 10 per cent.
Our neighborhoods are under pressure to provide more and more rental housing.
Investors were a factor in the healthy sales figures this year, buying up houses on and near Johnson Street and Queen Mary Rd., and in the neighborhoods bordering campus east of Portsmouth Ave. Student rentals are also increasingly extending into Polson Park and Calvin Park.
Many investors have been priced out of the overheated Queen’s area rental market, and have set their sights on Portsmouth District, where there are bargains to be had by comparison.
Although it’s not good news for residents, investor demand can mean higher prices for sellers.
COMING SOON - A NEW 13-STOREY APARTMENT BUILDING?
The surging rental demand is driving Homestead Land Holdings’ proposed plan to build a 99-unit, 13-storey apartment building on land it owns on Newcourt Place at Old Oak Road.
Nearby residents took their concerns to the city planning committee in August, objecting on the basis of inappropriate density (too many floors), increased traffic, sewer capacity, insufficient parking, blocking of sunlight and loss of green space.
City staff are expected to bring another report back to the planning committee in the coming months which should reflect local concerns.
Needless to say, no one wants to lose green space. But this high-rise approach, whether in this location or elsewhere, may be the only way to ease the current rental pressure on our neighborhoods.
THE SALES NUMBERS SO FAR THIS YEAR
It has been a sellers’ market in Polson, Calvin and Portsmouth with more than 70 per cent of listings finding buyers.
The number of detached homes sold (79) is up by 52 per cent over the 2011 January-September period. Prices on average are up by almost six per cent – an above-average increase.
Most owner-occupied, detached homes, average in size and/or amenities, sold for between $240,000 - $290,000.
About 25 per cent of sold properties in all areas of the district (19) brought prices between $300,000 - $350,000.
Eight per cent of sold properties (6) were in the $350,000-$400,000 range, Nine per cent of sales (7) went for over $400,000.
Many average-sized, ready-to-rent investment properties fell in the $300,000-$330,000 sale price range this year.
ARE YOUR PROPERTY TAXES FAIR?
How does your home’s tax assessment compare to similar houses nearby? The Municipal Property Assessment Corporation has a great service on their website that helps answer this question.
Use the About-My-Property link at www.mpac.ca to compare your property to up to 100 others in your neighborhood. You can also view sold prices from the last five years.
To use this service, you will need the roll number and access number from the lower right corner of your most recent tax assessment statement.
And to leave a comment, dear reader, just keep scrolling waaay down!