toronto condo rent Photo: James Bombales

Average rent prices for both one-bedroom and two-bedroom condos fell during the second quarter of 2020 as rental listings increased and demand fell.

According to new data published last week by the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB), the average price for a one-bedroom condo in the GTA was $2,083, down 5 percent from the same period a year earlier. The rent price for a two-bedroom condo also fell over 5 percent to $2,713.

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As the second quarter results were announced, TRREB President Lisa Patel pointed to two major takeaways from the data.

“First, COVID-19 clearly impacted the demand for rental condominium apartments, due to restrictions on showing units and job losses across many sectors of the economy,” Patel said in a media release.

“Second, we saw the continuation of the pattern experienced over the past year, with year-over-year growth in rental listings far outstripping growth in rental transactions, resulting in a much better-supplied market and a moderating pace of rent growth,” she continued.

There were 7,320 condos rented through TRREB’s MLS system during the April to June period, down nearly 25 percent compared to the same time last year. As Patel noted, listings rose significantly — up 42 percent — during the second quarter, leading to a supply and demand mismatch.

The Toronto region has long grappled with a painfully low rental vacancy rate, viewed by experts as a symptom of a chronic rental supply shortage that’s been called “the worst rental supply deficit in Canada.”

In response to the new data, TRREB Chief Market Analyst Jason Mercer said that the second quarter increase in listings is part of a “consistent trend toward balance in the GTA condominium apartment rental market over the past year-and-a-half.”

“Accelerating growth in rental listings were at the root of this trend, but the COVID-19-related drop-off in rental transactions had a marked impact as well. Increased choice led to more negotiating power for renters, resulting in year-over-year declines in average rents in the second quarter of 2020,” Mercer said.

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