toronto rent prices

Toronto rent prices spike by 16% as pandemic's silver lining fades away

Rent prices are soaring back toward pre-pandemic levels in Toronto, because nothing good ever really lasts... not that you would necessarily call the COVID-induced rent market crash of 2020 "good."

New data released this week by Rentals.ca and Bullpen Research & Consulting reveals that the average price of a rental unit in the city shot up by 16 per cent last month on a year-over-year basis, from $1,994 in February of 2021 to $2,312 in February of 2022.

That's an increase of $318 in only 12 months — no small sum when added up over time. Of course, last year at this time, prices had actually decreased by 20 per cent annually, making the sting sound a lot worse than it is.

COVID has shaken up the rental market something fierce over the past two years, initially driving people out of the city and sending vacancy rates through the roof, forcing landlords to lower prices in an effort to attract tenants. It was great, save for the whole global pandemic thing.

By the end of 2020, annual rents were down by more than 20 per cent across the city, hitting the lowest prices we'd seen in more than four years.

Prices started ticking back up again in mid 2021 as Toronto started to recover (or so it thought) from the impacts of widespread lockdown measures, and save for a few stumbles, they've been going up on the whole ever since — though not nearly as quickly as what we've observed over the past few months.

rent report

Vancouver is the only market with rent prices higher than Toronto's right now. Image via Rentals.ca.

Experts say that the trend will most likely continue as the threat of COVID subsides and new threats, some of them linked to out-of-control inflation, emerge. 

"As employees return to the office and the population moves beyond the pandemic, Bullpen Research & Consulting expects the demand for rentals to gradually increase," reads the latest National Rent Report.

"This, combined with supply chain issues, record inflation, increasing interest rates, and a general uncertainty surrounding things such as the price of gas, could continue to push rents higher in the near term."

As of February 2022, the average one-bedroom apartment in Toronto was going for $2,044, while the average asking price for two-bedrooms was $2,778. The average monthly asking rent for properties on a national basis last month was $1,820 per month, up 6.2 per cent year-over-year.

You can see how all 35 of Canada's biggest cities fared in terms of fluctuating rent prices below:

rent report

Lead photo by

asma.clicks


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