toronto rent

Prices are spiking the most for a certain type of rental unit in Toronto

Surprise, surprise: Toronto rent prices are still on the up-and-up for yet another quarter in a row, with the average condo rental now costing a whopping $2,533 per month, not even in the downtown core, but in the GTA at large.

According to the latest numbers from the last three months, courtesy of the market experts at Urbanation, demand in the region continues to surpass the number of units coming on to the market, bringing vacancy rates down to a low of just 1.4 per cent, compared to 5.1 per cent at the same time last year.

toronto rent

Vacancy rates in the GTA have dropped substantially since last year, but still aren't as low as pre-COVID levels from 2019. Chart from Urbanation.

As a result of this and the record low of supply available, prices continue to skyrocket, rising 16.7 per cent year-over-year by the end of Q2.

New construction of rentals also "almost completely stopped" in recent months, further heightening the supply-demand tensions.

There is one unit in particular that has been the most popular and led the price growth, though, and it's the exact same type of apartment that people were scrambling to get out of during the long months of lockdown: those with the least amount of square footage.

"As the GTA rental market fully recovered from the effects of COVID-19 and rents reached new highs, the smallest and least expensive unit types experienced the strongest growth rates," Urbanation's newest report on the market reads.

"After seeing rents fall the most during the first year of the pandemic as renters moved out of small spaces in the core — with rents down by as much as 24% for studios as of Q1-2021 — studio and one-bedroom units recorded annual rent growth rates of 25% and 19%, respectively in Q2-2022."

toronto rent

Rent prices by square foot and monthly for condo units in the GTA as of Q2 2022. Chart from Urbanation.

Also noteworthy is that that many purpose-built rental landlords have stopped offering complimentary rent specials and other incentives that were the norm during the pandemic, with only 24 per cent of buildings offering any move-in bonuses this quarter, down from about 45 per cent at this time last year.

The firm also expresses worry about where the market is heading, writing that "The GTA rental market was as strong as ever heading into the peak summer months, which is sure to place further downward pressure on vacancies and upward pressure on rents... With housing affordability at generational lows and continuing to deteriorate, it's concerning to see rental demand and supply deviate so strongly."

Urbanation notes that though studios are proving to be the most in-demand at present, seeing the highest price jumps when compared to last year, one- and two-bedrooms with dens have seen the biggest price growth when looking further back to pre-COVID pricing three years ago, and are consistently desired.

Vacancy rates overall, though way down, are also not quite where they were at this time in 2019, before you know what.

Lead photo by

Ontario Municipal Affairs and Housing


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