TORONTO – A Canadian website with about 9,000 residential rental listings in Toronto said the pandemic has created an unprecedented market for tenants, with many landlords offering tenants major incentives.
“It’s crazy. We’ve never seen anything like it. The stock market calls it a black swan event, where you can’t predict it. A once in a lifetime kind of thing,” content director Paul Danison with Rentals .ca told CTV News Toronto.
CTV News Toronto searched for and called property managers and found buildings offering up to two months rent free. One included $ 1,500 in cash over a 20-month lease.
Rentals.ca said that while Toronto is an expensive city to renters and has a low vacancy rate, COVID-19 has made more units available than usual.
“One-bedroom single-family homes are down seven straight months, and for the first time, the average monthly rent for a bedroom is below $ 2,000.”
Danison said this is particularly the case in the city center with smaller units as people buy homes in the outskirts of the city.
Joe Handler signed a new lease with his girlfriend this summer at a condo on Yonge Street and Eglinton Avenue. They went from a bedroom with a den to a place with two bedrooms.
He said the regular price for the condo is around $ 3,000 per month, but he got it for $ 2,700.
âWe got a pretty good deal,â he said.
Vik Singh is studying the impact of COVID-19 on the economy of the Toronto area. He said that in some areas residential rent has dropped by $ 200 per month.
“But the most important thing is the real trend which is downward. And I think it is important because it is downward, which means that we are going to see a further decline in the months to come.” , Singh said.
He said the supply of residential rents initially increased due to a drop in demand for short-term rentals, but low interest rates also played a role, with many people working from home. and no longer need to live near their office.
“It really is an opportunity for people to move elsewhere,” said Lisa Patel, chair of the Toronto Real Estate Board.
Patel also pointed out that college students study virtually and the lack of immigration was also the reason for more space in the market, and expects this to change as life and the economy reopen. .
âOf course what we’ve seen on the sell side, we’ll see on the rental side,â Patel said. âThat it will make the transition, that everything will balance out. “
“At the end of the day, we know that rents will go up at some point, it’s just a matter of how and when.”
Small increases don’t mean prices drop: owner
Mathew Diamond has been an owner in Toronto since 1995. He has low-rise triplex and duplex apartments with no lobby or elevator.
Diamond said he had not had to cut prices at all since the start of the pandemic.
âMy feeling in the current rental market is that the low-rise market, which includes houses and apartments with no elevator and lobbies with large shared spaces, is stable and doing well,â he said. at CTV News Toronto.
âI see the opposite for low-rise homeowners. Low-rise homeowners who have private entrances, backyards and no elevators are a solid and in-demand alternative to tall buildings with a higher tenant density.”