Toronto’s rental market has been getting tighter and tighter in recent months, and December was no exception.
The average rent for a Canadian property rose 1.3 per cent month-over-month last month to $1,776, according to the latest data release from Rentals.ca.
The average rent for a Toronto one-bedroom apartment remained steady at $2,135, while the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment rose 3 per cent month-over-month to $2,577.
Of course, that price varies depending on size and location. Basement apartments on the outskirts of the city are going for as low as $600 per month, while condos on the waterfront are fetching up to $3,600.
On a price-per-square-foot basis, listings ranged from a low of $1.03 per-square-foot to a high of $7.00 per-square-foot.
As for other trends, a rash of downtown units have been listed on Airbnb over the past few months, according to the report’s author, president of Bullpen Research & Consulting Inc Ben Myers.
“[This is] reducing the potential stock of rental units and putting further upward pressure on rental rates,” he writes, in the report. “The City of Toronto is looking to restrict usage of AirBnB to only units that are the permanent residence of the owner.”
Another trend that Myers notes is the slight difference between rent charged for single-family homes and condo units across Canada — with the average for the former sitting at $2,534 while the latter comes in at just $2,450.
“One explanation is that there are many more condo apartments for lease in Toronto versus any of the other markets,” he writes. “On a per-square-foot basis, a tenant has to pay twice as much on average for a condominium apartment than a single-family home ($3.40 versus $1.56).”
It remains to be seen how recent changes in rent control legislation will affect Toronto rental prices in the coming months. The Wynne government introduced rent control in its 2017 Fair Housing Plan, but last month the Ford government announced that the legislation would not apply to any new housing units added to Ontario’s rental market moving forward.
Some housing industry experts have asserted that rent control discourages the construction of new purpose-built rental buildings, limiting the supply of new rental units and pushing prices upwards. Others argue that rent control keeps predatory landlords in check, in a city where prices continue to rise.
According to Myers and Rentals.ca, we can expect rents to rise by 6 per cent across the country in 2019, while Toronto rents will grow by 11 per cent by the end of the year.