International students are becoming a major market for universities across Canada, in particular, Vancouver. The opportunity in Vancouver is a lack of rental housing in general but for students it is even more challenging. Only a handful of schools in Metro Vancouver, such as the University of British Columbia (“UBC”), Simon Fraser University and British Columbia Institute of Technology, provide any sort of student housing, most of it very limited, with 6,000 students on the waitlist for UBC alone.
Metro Vancouver also has the lowest vacancy rate of any Canadian city with only a 0.9% vacancy rate according to the Canadian Mortgage Housing Corporation. BC’s significant influx of new immigrants, visitors, and international students have created a shortage in affordable short- and long-term accommodation for international students and their visiting parents. According to the Canadian Bureau for International Education approximately 353,000 international students studied in Canada in 2015, this marks a 92% increase in international students in Canada between 2008-2015, and an 8% increase between 2014-2015. Currently Canada is the 7th most popular destination for international students, and international students make up about 11% of the post-secondary student population in Canada.