As the coronavirus pandemic continues to have an impact on every industry, Toronto’s real estate market took another hit in April, with the average rent for both 1 and 2-bedroom apartments down on a year-over-year basis, according to new data from the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB).
This coincides with rental transactions for both apartment types also dropping more than 50%.
According to TRREB, the average rent for a 1-bedroom reached $2,107, down 2.7% compared to April 2019. The average two-bedroom rent was ‘just’ $2,705, down 4.1% during the same time period year-over-year.
For context, in February, the month just before the pandemic hit, rents for one- and two-bedroom condos sat around an average of $2,300 and $2,900, respectively.
Rental transactions reported through its MLS System were also down on a year-over-year basis in April for both apartment types, with 1-bedroom condominium apartment rental transactions down by 57.9% to 754, while 2-bedroom rental transactions were down by 54.4% to 489.
With the strict social distancing measures currently in place and more residents without work as a result of the pandemic, a decline in rental market activity is to be expected. But how might the rental market look as the economy begins to reopen in the months to come?
Some experts have said the chance of a coronavirus-related housing market crash remains low, while Shaun Hildebrand, head of development-tracking market research firm Urbanation, says condo rents in Toronto could be even lower post-COVID-19.
“As rental demand declines as job losses mount, incomes are reduced, and immigration shrinks, the slowing in the GTA rental market that appeared in the last half of March will progress for at least the next few quarters given the current economic outlook,” said Hildebrand.
“The impact on rents will be something to watch, which will also be influenced by the timing of the record number of units that were expected to complete this year.”