InterRent REIT seeing 'strong results' despite pandemic, Ottawa firm says

LIV apartments
InterRent REIT owns the LIV Apartment complex on Bell Street in Ottawa. (Google Street View image)

Though the vacancy rate at its residential properties is up slightly over last year, Ottawa-based InterRent REIT says it is in “good standing to navigate the waters in these uncertain times” as virtually all of its tenants have continued to pay rent throughout the pandemic.   

The local real estate firm said Monday it’s seeing “strong sustainable results” in its third-quarter earnings, noting its funds from operations – a key cash-flow metric for REITs – rose 7.6 per cent year-over-year to $17.2 million. 

The occupancy rate at InterRent’s suites fell more than three percentage points compared with September 2019, dropping to 92.1 per cent. Still, average monthly rents on properties the REIT has owned for at least a year climbed 4.3 per cent from $1,248 in September 2019 to $1,302 in September of this year. 

“Strong cash flows and collection rates have demonstrated the resiliency of the multi-family asset class demonstrated throughout the pandemic,” CEO Mike McGahan said in a statement.

InterRent says it collected 99 per cent of its residential rent payments in July, August and September, adding “current trend for October and November is in line with previous months.” The company says it’s agreed to defer rent for 0.3 per cent of its tenants due to the COVID-19 crisis.

InterRent owns more than 11,000 units, primarily in multi-residential properties across Ontario and Quebec. Its local holdings include the LIV Apartment towers on Bell Street in west Centretown. 

The company’s shares were up nearly seven per cent to $13.00 in late-morning trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange Monday.