Toronto is the most expensive rental market in Canada

Community News & Features Sep 28, 2018 at 3:52 pm

Screen-Shot-2018-09-14-at-2.00.04-PMBy Ysh Cabana
The Philippine Reporter

Summer is cooling down but the cost of renting an apartment in Canada’s big cities continues to heat up. Even in the suburbs the rental costs are on the rise.

According to apartment search portal PadMapper, 13 Canadian cities saw an upward trend in the average cost of a one-bedroom rent: Toronto, Burnaby, B.C., Montreal, Ottawa, Kingston, Oshawa, Hamilton, Halifax, Abbotsford, Quebec City, Regina, St. John’s, and Saguenay.

No city wants to win in the race to be the most expensive rental market in Canada, but unfortunately, Toronto is coming in first— a top spot the city has held on to for a couple of years now.

Average rental rate for a one-bedroom apartment in Toronto keeps rising and is now hovering around $2,200 a month, based on the site’s September rent report. This is a median increase of 2.8 per cent from last month, with two-bedroom rentals steady at $2,820 a month.

This year saw Toronto replacing Vancouver as the most expensive market in the country. Vancouver still stands in second place. Its rental rates for one and two-bedroom sitting at $2,050 and $3,230 respectively.

The housing cost squeeze hits hardest in the suburbs. Burnaby, a bedroom-community suburb east of Vancouver, shot up 5.1% to $1,650. Two-bedrooms increased slightly by 0.4% to $2,260 keeping it in third place.
Next up, at fourth, is Montreal which saw a slight increase in one-bedroom properties by 1.5%, while two-bedrooms fell 2.9%.

Finishing the top five is  Barrie, a central Ontario city where Toronto residents are pushed to move since it’s an hour’s drive north. One bedroom prices at $1,300 and two-bedrooms are at $1,550.

The largest monthly increase rate in the nation took place in Windsor, Ontario, as one-bedroom rent grew 5.6% to $750 and two-bedrooms jumped 1.1% to $950. It closes the list being the least expensive rental market.

While one month difference doesn’t make a trend, it generally shows that rental prices can move in both directions. But when looking at the bigger picture, the rental crisis hits home harder. Year-over-year numbers show Toronto’s one-bedroom rentals have jumped higher by 14%, as The Philippine Reporter published last year.

According to the Residential Tenancies Act, landlords can only raise the rent once every 12 months. Unless there are significant repairs or renovations involved, they can only raise the rent by the legislated guideline amount. In 2018 it will be 1.8 per cent of the existing rent.

The housing cost squeeze puts one in five Canadian households spend half of their income towards rent. Meanwhile, four in 10 renters put over 30% of their income towards rent and utilities, according to census data. These numbers are above the cut-off level for what the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corp. considers affordable.

“Home-ownership is out of reach for entire classes and generations of Torontonians. Currently, there are 245,605 renter households in Toronto facing affordability issues, and more than 90,000 households on the affordable housing wait list,” said Richard Florida, a professor in the University of Toronto’s School of Cities and Rotman School of Management.

“This disturbing situation will only get worse if we continue on the same path,” he added.