Condo Rents Climbed at Record Pace Last Quarter: Urbanation

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GREATER TORONTO – Despite a slowing of rental activity across the GTA, the area’s average condo rent shot up by 11.7 per cent (year-over-year) during the last three months of 2016 – marking the highest rate of increase since the analysts at Urbanation began tracking condo rents in 2011.

The GTA’s average condo rent amount also set a new record during the quarter, reaching $2.77 per square foot. Combined with an average leased suite size of 719 square feet, that worked out to an average monthly rent of $1,990 per condo.

According to the publicized findings of the group’s newest research, the surge in rents could likely be attributed to two concurrent trends:

  • The fourth quarter of 2016 saw a 34-per-cent surge (year-over-year) in final closings for newly completed condos, which tend to command relatively higher rents.
  • Urbanation’s analysts also noted an inward “shift in lease activity” from the suburbs, to the core areas of the City of Toronto.

According to Urbanation vice president Shaun Hildebrand, the surge in rents was also related to a decrease in rental listings, which in Q4 had fallen by eight per cent (year-over-year).

“The undersupply of rentals in the GTA continued to worsen throughout the year, causing rents to surge alongside home prices and further deteriorating housing affordability across the region,” said Hildebrand in a statement.

“Less pressure on rent growth may arrive in 2017, due to a temporary rise in new apartment completions.”

Urbanation noted that, during the same period, resale prices for condos had risen by 15 per cent – with the result of more owners becoming “enticed to sell their units, as opposed to holding onto them as rentals.”

Q4 Condominium Rentals by the Numbers*

AreaAvg. Rent (Total)Avg. Rent / Sq. FtRent Increase in Q4
GTA (Overall)$1,990$2.7711.7%
Former City of Toronto$2,134$3.1312%
Etobicoke, North York, Scarborough$1,857$2.477%
“905” (Surrounding Municipalities)$1,739$2.226%

*All dollar figures in CAD.

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