Toronto rent

People can't believe how quickly rent has gone up in Toronto

After a year with much of Toronto being a renter's market it seems that trend is reversing for the worst as rent prices across many neighbourhoods of Canada's largest city begin to creep back up.

Previously, landlords were offering deals from iPhones to extreme discounts on the price of rentals. Gift cards worth up to $1,500, a new 128GB iPhone 12 Pro, a stocked wine fridge, two months free rent, and $1,200 in value of 1GB Rogers internet were just some of the offerings made available to attract new tenants.

However, while that trend may be continuing in some parts of the city, the cost of living in Toronto seems to quickly be creeping back up.

It's gotten to the point where the City of Toronto has even had to step in at times and help many people either pay rent or find an affordable living situation somewhere in the city.

Unsurprisingly, the circumstances that caused rent to fall in the first place are now reversing and causing an upswing in price.

"The two main reasons for that is mostly all the Airbnb and vacationing properties hit the market a year ago. COVID hit in March and then all of a sudden you had ten to fifteen thousand Airbnb units hit the market," Geordie Dent, Executive Director of Federation of Metro Tenants' Associations told blogTO.

"In addition to that, a lot of student housing that's been used became available as well."

With the city opening up again, many property owners are once again choosing to turn their units into Airbnb short term rentals rather than something available to Toronto residents, causing an increased scarcity in homes.

"In our opinion a large degree of what's been happening in the rental market is fueled by pretty heavy speculation and financialization. There's tremendous amounts of investment capital and speculative capital that's running into our housing market in Toronto," said Dent.

People continue to buy Toronto properties as they believe the prices will continue to rise, leading to the purchase of property being a long-term investment that the owner can also profit on by renting it out or using it for Airbnb.

Even as new condos are built, if people think they can make a profit off buying one of the condos, those who can afford to do so will, regardless of whether they ever plan to live in the property themselves or not.

"If that kind of speculative money keeps coming into our housing market than rent is going to rise and housing prices are going to rise. If that ever stops than you're looking at a pretty significant housing bubble pop," Dent said.

While there are still some good prices for rental units available in many pockets of the city, it seems that it won't be long before rental prices continue to soar upwards as some neighbourhoods have already begun experiencing.

Lead photo by

Jack Landau

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