toronto condo rentals

The number of condos for rent in downtown Toronto has spiked by 80%

People looking to rent condos in Toronto have enjoyed an atypically wide selection of units over the past three months — a strange, but most welcome development after years of record-low vacancy rates in the city.

The COVID-19 pandemic has pretty much turned the local rental market on its head, stifling demand while boosting supply and lowering rent prices across the board.

"Previously, it was rather difficult and competitive for renters to attain their desired unit, particularly in the downtown area," said realtor Andrew Kim in a report released Wednesday by the listing and analysis agency Zoocasa.

"In the early days of the pandemic in March and April, many renters who were unsure how COVID-19 would affect their jobs and daily lives chose to terminate their leases to seek out better affordability, find a larger space, or live closer to family."

Coupled with a flood of former Airbnb units hitting the long-term rental market (among other ripple effects of the pandemic), this mass exodus of downtown renters sent new listings soaring by 45 per cent, year-over-year, in the second quarter of 2020.

Meanwhile, the number of condos leased in April, May and June of 2020 dropped 25 per cent compared to the same time period last year.

These figures are for the City of Toronto as a whole, according to Zoocasa. Some neighbourhoods saw condo rental listings grow at a much faster rate.

In its latest report, the agency reviewed Q2 condo rental trends in 35 Toronto neighbourhoods to identify "which areas may offer the most opportunity for prospective renters."

"Across the City of Toronto, condo rental listings noted year-over-year growth in 26 neighbourhoods, while just 3 neighbourhoods saw growth in new condo leases last quarter." 

"Of these, 5 neighbourhoods noted faster growth in condo rental new listings than the city average. This includes the C01 (Downtown, Entertainment District, CityPlace, and Liberty Village) neighbourhood that is popular for short-term rentals, where listings rose 80% year-over-year in Q2, while there was a 14% year-over-year decline in condo leases in Q2."

You can see a full breakdown of how all 35 neighbourhoods fared in terms of vacancies, prices and lease rates below, but should note that these figures only represent the second quarter of 2020. We're now almost through the third quarter of the year and some signs point to a recovering market.

"The market began to pick up again as Ontario progressed through reopening in June," notes the Zoocasa report. "However the full picture of recovery remains unclear in the face of ongoing healthcare uncertainties."

toronto condo rentals

Lead photo by

Bryan Bonnici

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