Canada's real estate industry has been significantly impacted by the COVID pandemic, which can clearly be felt and seen in Toronto's current housing market.
The average rent for both 1 and 2-bedroom apartments in Toronto fell in April, according to the latest national monthly rental report from Rentals.ca. And while 1-bedrooms saw month-over-month (-4%) and year-over-year (-5.8%) declines, Canada's largest city was still the most expensive place to rent in the country, with average rent for a 1-bed coming in at $2,125 and 2-bedrooms, meanwhile, also saw month-over-month (-7.7%) and year-over-year (-3.3%) declines, averaging $2,669 last month.
According to the report, Toronto wasn't seeing much relief when it came to rental rates for condominium and rental apartments at the start of the COVID-lockdown, but that quickly changed in April as landlords began adjusting their rents due to a lower-demand.
Every unit size range declined month over month from 300-sq ft to 1,400-sq ft, from a low of 3.7% to a high of 20.2% for suites rounded to 1,300-sq ft. As reported by Rentals.ca, the demand fell more heavily for the larger and more expensive unit, than the smaller and more affordable units.
As the pandemic continued through April, the average rent per-square-foot for condo apartments also fell. Areas with the biggest changes in rents include the downtown markets with M5V, M5J, and M5H postal codes, with an 8-13% decline in rents month-over-month. Yorkville also saw a decline in average rents, with a 9.4% drop last month. These four areas also happen to be hotspots for short-term rentals, which are temporarily banned amid the pandemic, and most likely contributed to the decline in rates.
The report also notes that the pandemic has had a major impact on the short-term rental market and many hosts are seeing their activity "grind to a halt." As a result, there has been an increase in furnished apartments available for rent. According to the report, 25% of rentals in Ontario are furnished compared to just 2.3% of apartment listings in Alberta. In Ontario, furnished condo apartments are averaging $2,369 per month compared to $1,961 for unfurnished condo apartments.