Rental demand from Ottawa, nearby markets, driving Minto REIT’s higher results

minto
Minto's One80Five apartment building, located at 185 Lyon St. in Ottawa. (Google Street View image)

With booming rental demand in its home of Ottawa and other markets in Ontario and Quebec, the Minto Apartment Real Estate Investment Trust turned in solid growth in the fourth quarter of its fiscal year.

The REIT reported funds from operations of $11.7 million in the three months ended December 31, an increase of 42.9 per cent year-over-year. The average monthly rent across the REIT’s portfolio was $1,579 at the end of 2019, up from $1,402 at the end of the previous year.

When leases turn over or come up for renegotiation, Minto REIT is able to match those agreements to market demand. The REIT signed some 300 new leases this past quarter, yielding a 12.9 per cent gain on average monthly rents on those units – an expected boost in annualized revenue of roughly $600,000. 

The company expects to find similar untapped value in roughly 15 per cent of its unfurnished portfolio, which it said  could bring in an extra $16.2 million per year if realized.

Michael Waters, CEO of the Minto Apartment REIT, said that despite “challenging” rental market conditions in Alberta and typical downturns in activity in Q4, demand from Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal is driving the REIT’s results in recent months.