Vancouver overtakes Toronto as most expensive city for one-bedroom rentals
For the first time in at least two years, Vancouver has overtaken Toronto as the city with the most expensive average monthly rent for a one-bedroom unit, according to the newly-published January 2021 National Rent Report from Rentals.ca and Bullpen Research & Consulting.
The report — which analyzes annual rates and trends in the rental market on a national, provincial, and municipal level across all listings on Rentals.ca for Canada — indicates that Vancouver 's average monthly rent for a one-bedroom was $1,855 in December, while Toronto's was $1,832.
"It's the first time Toronto has not topped the list since Rentals.ca and Bullpen Research & Consulting began producing the National Rent Report more than two years ago," reads the report.
Similarly to last month, Toronto's average monthly rent for apartments and condominium rentals decreased by 19.4 per cent year-over-year to $2,024 in December, revealing that the pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the city's rental market.
Seven other GTA municipalities and areas also saw annual declines in average monthly prices for apartments and condo rentals, according to the report, including Oakville (-16.2 per cent), North York (-14.8 per cent), Etobicoke (-13 per cent), York (-12 per cent) and Mississauga (-8.8 per cent).
"The pandemic has diminished rental demand by among other reasons: a loss of immigrants, international students, jobs and temporary workers; university students not returning to campuses; and tenants either buying their first home with low interest rates or giving up units to move back with family," reads the report.
"On the supply side, the lack of tourism has reduced the usage of short-term rentals, and further legislation against these suites has also reduced their usage. Many of these properties have made their way to the long-term rental market, boosting rental supply. Secondly, more units are being built in Canada, including a higher share of rental apartments, than in the past 25 years," it continues.
"And, with vaccines rolling out at a slow pace, the second surge of COVID-19 showing no signs of slowing, and new, more contagious strains being discovered -- rental rates will continue to decline in the next three to four months, perhaps longer."
The average monthly rental rate per square foot has also declined 20 per cent annually in downtown Toronto, dropped 13.4 per cent in the amalgamated City of Toronto and decreased 11.3 per cent in the GTA.
Of all cities in southwestern Ontario, Hamilton experienced the highest average rent growth in all of 2020 at 24 per cent, while Kitchener came in second at 17 per cent followed by London at 16 per cent and St. Catharines at 7 per cent.
Rents for all property types in Markham, North York and Mississauga all dropped by 7 per cent annually, with Toronto down by 9 per cent year-over-year.
"The rental market in Canada continued its downward trend in the final month of 2020," said Ben Myers, president of Bullpen Research & Consulting, "with properties in the Greater Toronto Area, specifically downtown Toronto condos hit the hardest."
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