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Rent Prices Continue to Drop, Reach Four-Year Low in Toronto

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Shortly after COVID-19 reached Toronto, average rent prices began to drop. The lowering was a result of city-dwellers leaving downtown in hoards, escaping to more rural regions with hopes of accessing more space (and, perhaps, encountering fewer people at the grocery store).

Now, a report from Padmapper shows not only have these rent declines continued, but prices have officially reached a four-year low in Toronto.

“One-bedroom rents in Vancouver and Toronto have reached their lowest points in nearly 4 years,” says Padmapper’s February 2021 Canadian Rent Report.

Today, Toronto’s one-bedroom rent prices are sitting at an average $1,770; the cost is down 3.3% from January, and a whopping 23% from February 2020. Since last month, two-bedroom rent prices have lowered 5.3%, reaching $2,340.

While these declines are dramatic, Toronto maintains its position as second-most expensive market for rent prices in the country, following only Vancouver, BC. There, one-bedroom rent fell 0.5% from last month, reaching $1,940, and two-bedroom rent prices dipped 0.8% to reach $2,630.

“The last time Toronto one-bedroom rent was as low as it is in this report was in February 2017, when it was $1,700,” reads the report. “And the last time Vancouver rent was this low was in April 2017, when it was at $1,940.”

READ: “Rural Boom” Could Be in Canada’s Post-COVID Cards: Ryerson University

Padmapper notes that even as COVID-19 vaccines have begun to roll out across the country, the rent declines both Toronto and Vancouver have seen due to COVID-19-related “renter migration” have not stopped.

Meanwhile, less-expensive locations that were, for a while, seeing large growth rates in rent prices have “tapered off;” only four cities experienced double-digit increases year-over-year, according to the report. This finding is “likely” connected to seasonality, however, as colder months tend to see a lower demand for rentals overall.

Padmapper

Following Vancouver and Toronto, Padmapper reports Canada’s most expensive locations to be: Burnaby, BC (one-bedrooms rents increased 1.2% to 1,680 since last month, while two-bedrooms grew 1.9% to $2,190); Barrie, ON (one-bedroom rent jumped 4.4% to $1,650; two-bedrooms increased 2.9% to $1,780); and Victoria, BC (one-bedroom rent fell 2.5% to 1,570, and two-bedrooms decreased 0.5% to 1,990).

And it wasn’t only Barrie that saw upward trends in rent prices since January. Windsor, ON “experienced the largest monthly growth rate in the nation” where one-bedrooms were concerned, with a 5.9% climb to 1,080. Lofty as the increase was, the city still stands as the country’s 18th-priciest market.

Kitchener, ON, meanwhile, saw one-bedroom rent growth of 4.4%, bringing its price-point to $1,650 and pushing the city two positions upward, into the place of eighth-most expensive. Halifax, NS also jumped two spots, now ranking as 12th-priciest following a 2.4% one-bedroom price increase to $1,300.

Downward trends were seen in Quebec, QC; Abbotsford, BC; and Oshawa, ON, where prices dropped 5.4%; 5.3%; and 3.6% respectively. Quebec’s one-bedroom price reached $870, marking the city as the country’s 22nd-most expensive. Abbotsford saw its one-bedroom costs reach $1,250, while Oshawa’s reached $1,350.

Padmapper

Where Toronto’s rent scene is concerned, it may be true that rental prices have been — and continue to be — on the decline, but the downtown condo market is already revving up again.

It’s only a matter of time until prices catch up with activity, so, for interested investors and renters looking to relocate alike… now might just be the time to strike.

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