Demand for Toronto condo rentals is finally starting to climb

Apr 23 2021, 9:33 am

After many months of high vacancy rates, low rent prices, and extravagant move-in incentives, there are finally signs that demand is coming back for condo rentals in Toronto.

A new condo rental market report from the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) found that condo rentals were not only up in the first quarter of 2021, but hit a record high for the first three months of the year in the GTA.

“This suggests we are accounting for pent-up rental demand from 2020,” said TRREB President Lisa Patel. “Strong rental demand is also an indicator of broader economic recovery with people willing to sign rental agreements because they are confident in their future job and income prospects.”

From January to March, 13,168 condo apartment rentals were recorded in the GTA — 10,629 of which were in Toronto. This is up slightly from the 10,047 rentals seen in Q4 of 2020, and up significantly from the mere 5,794 rentals seen during the first quarter of last year.

Despite the increased interest in renting, prices are still trending down both year-over-year and quarter-over-quarter. In the first three months of this year, Toronto bachelors rented for an average price of $1,403 and one-bedrooms for $1,819. This is down just slightly from the end of 2020, where prices were $1,435 and $1,848.

“Average rents continued to be down on a year-over-year basis, as the supply and therefore choice for renters remained very high from a historic perspective,” said TRREB Chief Market Analyst Jason Mercer.

But as Mercer cautions, this likely won’t last forever as life begins to return to a more normal pace post-pandemic.

“If growth in rental transactions continues to outstrip growth in listings, market conditions will become tighter as we move through 2021 and even more so in 2022 as immigration and non-permanent migration rebound,” Mercer said.

So if you’ve been thinking of moving to take advantage of the present low rent prices, now may be the time to do it.

Laura HanrahanLaura Hanrahan

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