Toronto’s real estate market takes a continued hit.
For the 13th straight month, the average GTA rent is down. Prices were 16% lower in December 2020 than the same time last year — making the average rent now $2,020, according to the latest TorontoRentals.com and Bullpen Research & Consulting Toronto, GTA rent report.
One-bedroom units decreased by 14.3% annually, the steepest decrease of all bedroom types in the GTA for the fourth quarter of 2020. Year-over-year, average rent declined by over $300 per month to $1,837, a rental rate lower than the average of $1,979 at the end of 2018.
Two-bedroom units also experienced a significant decline of 12.7% from the end of 2019 to the end of 2020. This amounts to renters paying $335 less per month. Average rents had increased by nearly $310 in 2019 and “all of that growth was erased.”
When looking at other municipalities in the GTA, Richmond Hill, Vaughan, Markham and Oakville all experienced double-digit decreases ranging from 11.5% in Vaughan to 16.2% in Oakville, for condo rentals and apartments.
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According to the report, Brampton, a municipality that has high COVID-19 rates, experienced a 10.8% increase in average rent at $1,864.
Oshawa, the only other municipality with an increase in year-over-year average rent had the most affordable suites at $1,650 per month.
Condo apartment rents also continued their decline, with average rent falling 18.1% in December 2020, compared to December 2019 — from $2,535 to $2,077.
The report notes that tenants, both professionals and students, are seeking more space to accommodate working from home and stay at home orders as the pandemic continues.
“With rents declining as they have, tenants in a two-bedroom unit can almost afford a three-bedroom unit at the same rent level they paid for their two-bedroom unit last year.”
Looking ahead, the first half of the year will likely “remain a challenge” for landlords and owners because tenants have more choice, and based on the recent data, they have benefitted from waiting longer as rents have declined at a rate “faster than at any time over the past couple of decades.”
For now, it seems the decline in rent will continue as the lockdown continues, alongside the Stay at Home order, border closures, and slow rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines.