toronto-condo-rental-market Photo: James Bombales

Toronto’s renters sprung into action over the third quarter of 2020, signing a record number of new rental condo leases for the three-month period as listings surged.

And, with so much choice for renters in the market, investor-owners were forced to drop prices for their condo rentals, according to third quarter data published recently by market research firm Urbanation.

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Average monthly rents for Toronto region condos fell by 9.4 percent annually to $2,249 during the third quarter. This marks the lowest rent level observed by Urbanation since the first quarter of 2018.

As more supply entered the market, condo renters signed a record 13,140 leases for units across the Toronto region, up 39 percent from the same quarter last year. While that’s an exceptionally high number of leases signed, it still pales in comparison to the 23,288 condo rentals that hit the market during that same period.

By the end of the quarter, Urbanation said there were 9,154 active condo rental listings on the market, four-and-a-half times the number available during the same point in 2019.

In a media release accompanying the rental data, Urbanation President Shaun Hildebrand said that weakness in Toronto-proper, especially the downtown condo market, had weighed down the overall market.

“The GTA rental market showed some improvement in the third quarter within more suburban areas, while experiencing weakened conditions in the downtown areas as renters reevaluated the costs of living in the central core as most offices, post-secondary schools and entertainment venues remained closed,” said Hildebrand.

“While it was encouraging to see the large increase in lease activity in the third quarter as renters took advantage of recent discounts, the market will continue to face challenges heading into 2021 from restrained demand caused by COVID-19 and elevated supply levels,” he added.

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