toronto rent prices

It now costs a record-high price to live in a modern Toronto rental building

The cost of living continues its meteoric ascent in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), and it will now cost you an average of over $3,000 per month to lease a unit in one of the region's many modern purpose-built rental buildings.

New first-quarter figures from real estate analysts Urbanation shed light on the rising tide of rent in the country's most populous region.

The average monthly rent for purpose-built rental buildings completed since 2005 soared 13.8 per cent year-over-year in the first quarter of 2023, reaching a record-high average of $3,002.

However, the rate of price growth last quarter cooled slightly when measured quarter-over-quarter, falling short of the 15.1 per cent annual rent increase recorded during the final quarter of 2022.

Urbanation reports that condominium rents lag behind their purpose-built counterparts, netting an average of $2,741 per month during Q1 of 2023, an increase of 13.6 per cent that roughly correlates with purpose-built rent price growth.

Breaking down these rent increases based on unit type, rents increased by the strongest rates for the smallest condominium units during Q1.

Studio unit rents increased by a shocking 17.8 per cent year-over-year, and it will now cost an average of $2,124 to live in a unit that doesn't even have a freakin' dedicated bedroom.

For those requiring an actual bedroom, the situation isn't much better. One-bedroom condo rents increased by just over 17 per cent annually in the first quarter, averaging at $2,484.

Tiny condo units measuring 500 square feet or fewer cost an average of 21 per cent more to lease than just one year earlier.

If you have less than $2,000 budget to work with, your only condo rental options in the GTA are going to be the even smaller micro condo class, measuring under 350 square feet, which rented for an average of $1,993 in Q1 2023.

And heaven forbid you need a second bedroom, as that will cost you an average of $3,125 based on first-quarter figures.

Several factors are fuelling this runaway rent price growth, including continued low vacancy rates in purpose-built rental buildings completed since 2005. The vacancy rate of 1.8 per cent last quarter marks the fifth straight quarter of vacancy rates holding below the two per cent mark.

"The GTA rental market remained substantially undersupplied during the first quarter of 2023," said Shaun Hildebrand, President of Urbanation.

"Even though supply is set to increase in the near-term, it is expected to be short-lived and insufficient to offset demand. The fact that rental construction has dropped by over 60 per cent in the last year despite rents having risen to over $3,000 is indicative of the economic challenges developers are facing."

Urbanation also attributes rising rents to a tight market amid record-high population inflows, low homeownership affordability, and a strong labour market.

Lead photo by

Jeremy Gilbert

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