If you've been thinking about renting in downtown Toronto, there's no better time to start looking at listings than right now.

According to a July rent report from Rentals.ca and Bullpen Research & Consulting, the average price for condominium apartments in the downtown core listed on the site is $2,444 -- that’s down a staggering 22.2% year-over-year.

The report implies that the COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on the behaviours of renters, with more people now working from home and proximity to work no longer being a priority. In turn, at least temporarily, downtown Toronto has become less valued by tenants, who can easily move elsewhere when their lease is up, and return later if and when necessary.

READ: Rent for Both 1 and 2-Bedrooms in Toronto Continue to Decline

The report says COVID-19 has changed the dynamics of how renters are choosing where to live and the pandemic has affected the core of Toronto more than other areas of the GTA.

"Cultural institutions, concert facilities, bars and clubs, and transportation are valued less when many of those amenities are now either closed or operating in a much different way," reads the report.

For the report, Rentals.ca and Bullpen Research & Consulting looked at nine different postal codes in Toronto's downtown core and found that the M5H area, which includes the Financial District, experienced the steepest price decline after rents fell 22% annually to $2,444. This was followed by the south core, which is the M5E area, which dropped 16.8% to $2,435.

The M5A area, which stretches from St. Lawrence Market to Regent Park, dropped 12.8% too $2,249, while the M5V area, including the Fashion and Entertainment Districts, dropped 11% to an average of $2,338.

Unnamed 2 2 July rent report/Rentals.ca

“This pandemic has Canadians rethinking their housing needs. For many tenants their home has gone from simply a place to rest their head, to their home office and day-care space,” said Ben Myers, president of Bullpen Research & Consulting.

“The proximity to work and their daily commute has been a major factor in Torontonians' decisions about where to live, but clearly not in the short term, as a significant portion of employees work from home. The Rentals.ca data is clearly showing that there is less demand for the more expensive downtown core condos for rent in Toronto.”

Unnamed 3 2 July rent report/Rentals.ca

It is clear that the core of Toronto is feeling the impact of COVID-19 more than the other areas of the GTA, and the report says this is particularly due to the influx of units previously used at short-term rentals, the growing number of new apartment completions (all tenures), and the cancellation of most on-campus classes at downtown colleges and universities, which have all contributed to the bigger declines.