Rates for Toronto’s apartments and condos remain affordable - study

Despite being a hotspot for housing activity and price growth, a recent study argued that Toronto’s rent is still relatively affordable, especially when compared to the rates in other top global cities.

Culling data from Z/Yen and Point2Homes, the latest report from online service RentCafe noted that Toronto currently stands at 13th among the top 30 financial centres globally, it ranks only 26th in terms of the world’s most expensive rental rates.

“I know for locals, housing in Toronto is expensive,” RentCafe spokesperson Nadia Balint said, as quoted by CBC News. “But compared to other major financial powerhouses around the world, Toronto's rental market seems quite reasonable.”

The RentCafe study revealed that the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment (less than 1,000 square feet) in Toronto is at $1,600. This is relatively close to the Toronto Real Estate Board’s estimate of $1,776 for a one-bedroom condo.

To compare, New York City’s average monthly price for the same property type is at $4,900. Meanwhile, the Vancouver average is at $1,868 per month.

However, “given the rising prices and Toronto becoming a relocation destination for many looking for jobs in the financial sector, this growing demand could mean rising prices,” Balint noted.

The RentCafe official added that improving the rate of building new housing is key to preventing further affordability pressures from piling upon Toronto’s already stressed tenants.

“If they’re not building enough, then the prices will keep climbing.”

Balint echoed recent statements from the Ontario Real Estate Association, which maintained that improving housing supply by increasing the number of new construction projects will greatly help in addressing Toronto’s long-running home affordability problem.

“Over time there have been provincial and municipal policies that were well-intentioned at the start, but have combined to put a strangle-hold on the construction of new housing,” OREA chief executive officer Tim Hudak said. “As a result, we have fewer new homes being built today than 20 years ago.”

“You can have housing prices be bid up so the next generation can’t afford a home, or you can increase housing supply to give more choices in the marketplace.”

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