condo toronto

Toronto real estate experts say now is the time to rent a condo before prices go up again

New condo developments keep on popping up in Toronto despite the fact that the market for the housing type has softened quite dramatically over the course of the pandemic while sales and costs of single-family homes continue to skyrocket.

Condos are the only subgroup that has seen prices drop year-over-year, with investors who bought pre-construction scrambling to sell off their units in the face of new Airbnb restrictions, lower travel and immigration rates, an exodus of people moving out of the downtown core and a forthcoming vacant home tax.

As a result, there has been a surge in condo supply, with micro-condos in particular flooding the market and driving down average rent prices in the city for the first year in many.

It's a trend that has gone on for many months, but won't continue for long, experts say, meaning that now may be the end of the best time to purchase or sign a lease to rent a condo before things bounce back.

Canadian real estate website Zoocasa has made its official predictions for the New Year, one of which is the fact that the industry will see more of a return to normal.

"Based on today’s expectations of an approved COVID-19 vaccine being rolled out in the coming weeks and months, plus an entire real estate industry that now has experience safely working within the framework of COVID-19 as we know it, buyers and sellers can expect for more traditional real estate cycles to reemerge in 2021," the company states, noting that the market will be fiercest in spring and fall.

It also forecasts increased demand in the rental market following the re-opening of the Canada-U.S. border and the return of international students, vacationers and newcomers to the country.

"If a renter is looking to get into a beautiful, trendy downtown condo at a prime location, now is a great time to lock it in," Toronto Zoocasa agent Andrew Kim said in a release.

"If the border opens up, and life begins to trend closer to what it was like pre-pandemic as a result of the vaccine, we can expect demand for rentals to grow again in city centres, particularly in the latter half of the year."

Pundits at Royal LePage likewise expect the landscape to flip back to a sellers' market come spring 2021 for all housing types, while and Bullpen Research & Consulting say in their latest GTA Rent Report that rent prices will continue falling until mid-next year.

After that point, they expect prices to increase again, spiking more severely in 2022 — meaning the window to take advantage of cheaper rents and condo prices may only last for a few more months.

Lead photo by

Alan Leclaire

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