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Here’s when GTA condo rents will increase

by Neil Sharma on 26 Apr 2021

The Greater Toronto Area’s condo rental supply imbalance tilting renters’ favour resulted in year-on-year price declines in Q1-2021.

There were 13,168 condo apartments rented last quarter, according to the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB), compared to 7,251 during the first quarter of last year, marking a 81.6% increase, but listings also surged by 78.8% during that period and drove down prices.

“The number of condo apartment rentals reported in the first quarter represented a new record for the first three months of the year. This suggests we are accounting for pent-up rental demand from 2020. Strong rental demand is also an indicator of broader economic recovery with people willing to sign rental agreements because they are confident in their future job and income prospects,” said Lisa Patel, TRREB’s president.

However, rents for one-bedroom condo apartments declined by 16.8% to $1,820 last quarter from $2,187 in Q1-2020, while two-bedroom unit rents dropped by 13% to $2,447 from $2,812.

nevertheless sees rental demand gradually outpacing new listings through the rest of the year, and says it will become particularly pronounced by 2022 when both immigrants and non-permanent migrants begin entering Canada in greater numbers.

Condo sales surged in Q1

Investor confidence in the GTA’s condo market was robust last quarter, as sales grew by 79.8% to 9,398 from 5,226 in the first quarter of 2020. The number of new listings also increased by 42.8% to 11,373 from 7,964 during that period, while active listings grew by 23.6% to 2,811 from 2,275.

However, the average sale price of a GTA condo declined by 1.4% to $645,219 last quarter from $654,570 in the first quarter of 2020, which is reflected in the average days on market rising by 35.3% to 23 from 17 in Q1-2020. In the City of Toronto, there were 6,475 sales in Q1, up substantially from 3,637 in Q1-2020, however, the average sale price dropped to $675,844 from $708,298.

The reason the sale price declined in Q1, despite higher sales than in the first quarter of last year, is the pandemic hit at the tail end of March 2020. Although there’s no reason to believe condo sales will decelerate in Q2-2021, pandemic-related restrictions could hamper some activity.

“I was selling a condo at Spadina and Bloor, which had over 50 showings, listed at $598,000, and on offer night we sold for $706,500,” said Davelle Morrison, a broker with Bosley Real Estate. “This week I have another condo listing in Yorkville that’s over 1,000 sq ft, and you’d think it’d be hopping, but with the new stay-at-home order, things are quieter. I only have nine showings so far and offer night is coming up on Monday.”

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