Toronto neighbourhoods see rents for condo rentals and apartments decline: report

The rapid declines in average rental rates in the GTA in 2020 have dissipated and remained steady the first four months of this year, according to the latest Bullpen Research & Consulting and Toronto GTA May Rent Report.

So far in 2021, the average rental rate has decreased by less than 1 per cent, while between January and December 2020, the average monthly rent in the GTA decreased 16 per cent.

Toronto average rent for condominium rentals and apartments in April grew by about 1 per cent month over month. 

The average rent for a condo or rental apartment in Vaughan experienced the largest month-to-month increase in April, rising by nearly 10 per cent to $2,136 per month. Pickering was a close second, experiencing a month-over-month increase of 8.3 per cent to $1,790 per month. 

Other GTA municipalities and areas with month-over-month increases include: Oakville, 4.9 per cent; Aurora, 4.1 per cent; Brampton, 4 per cent; Milton, 3.8 per cent; Ajax, 2.3 per cent; York, 1.2 per cent; Markham, 0.3 per cent and Scarborough 0.1 per cent. 

Whitchurch-Stouffville and Richmond Hill experienced the largest month-over-month decrease in average rent, both declining over 5 per cent. The average rent in Whitchurch-Stouffville was $1,806 per month in April, while the average rent in Richmond Hill was $1,690 per month.

Also showing month-over-month rent declines for condo rentals and apartments were Oshawa, down 3.1 per cent; East York, down 1.5 per cent; Mississauga, down 1.4 per cent; North York and Newmarket, both down 0.7 per cent and Whitby, down 0.5 per cent.

The average monthly rent has declined in 30 Toronto neighbourhoods year over year from January to April 2020 to January to April of this year for condominium rentals and apartments.

The most expensive rent this year has been in Rosedale-Moore Park at $2,308 per month, down 14 per cent from the first four months of 2020. South Parkdale has the least expensive rent this year at $1,669, down 20 per cent from January to April 2020. 

In the Yonge and Eglinton area,  the average rent is $1,838 per month, year to date in 2021, declining by 13 per cent year over year. 

High Park North had the lowest annual decline at 3 per cent, while Yonge-St. Clair experienced the biggest decline at 39 per cent. 

Other neighbourhoods with large declines in average monthly rent for condo rentals and apartments from January to April 2020 to January to April of this year were: Palmerston-Little Italy and Forest Hill North, both down 31 per cent; Greenwood-Coxwell, Casa Loma and Cabbagetown-South St. James Town, all down 29 per cent; The Beaches, down 28 per cent; East End-Danforth, down 27 per cent; Trinity-Bellwoods, down 25 per cent and Church-Yonge Corridor, down 23 per cent. 

The composition of the listings plays a factor in movements in the average rent on a monthly basis. If there were a lot of large units for rent last year and a lot of smaller units for lease this year, the average rent is lower, but it may not reflect landlords actually lowering rents.

The average rent for four-bedroom units (primarily single-family dwellings) has increased, while the average rent for smaller units has decreased. 

Tenants are still seeking larger properties while they work from home and their children learn virtually. With the stay-at-home order in place, many prospective tenants are looking for a property with a back yard. 

The average rent for studio, one-, and two-bedroom suites are all down over 15 per cent annually. Average rents in April were $1,453 for a studio, $1,753 for a one-bedroom, and $2,210 for a two-bedroom. All three were down around $250 from a year earlier.

Four-bedroom units experienced an annual increase in average rent of 10 per cent in April.

The average rent for a single-family home in April was $2,823 per month, a month-over-month increase of 8.7 per cent and a year-over-year increase of 0.6 per cent. 

The average rent for a townhouse in April was $2,673 per month, a month-over-month increase of 15.4 per cent, the largest increase of all the property types. The average townhouse was listed for 4 per cent more than a year earlier. 

Condo apartments were offered at an average monthly rental rate of $2,074 per month in April, a month-over-month increase of 1 per cent and an annual decrease of 11.8 per cent. The average rent for purpose-built rental apartments in April was $1,895 per month, a 0.2 per cent month-over-month increase, compared to a 4 per cent year-over-year decrease.

“Canada is a couple of months behind the U.S. in the vaccine rollout, and many American cities are fully open with few restrictions, and offices are opening back up. Look for continued flatness until the fall in Canada, and rents to start rising more rapidly at that time, said Ben Myers, president of Bullpen Research & Consulting. “The changes to the mortgage stress test and the sharp rise in house prices will encourage more people to continue renting and accelerate the late-year rent increase.” 

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