Photo: James Bombales

Average prices for Toronto rentals dropped again last month in both the one- and two-bedroom categories as part of an ongoing downward trend that kicked off earlier this year.

New data published by Rentals.ca in its October national rent report found that the average one-bedroom rental price in Toronto fell to $1,922, a 17.3 percent annual drop and a 2.3 percent monthly dip.

Recording declines of 14 percent annually and 1.5 percent monthly, Toronto two-bedroom rental prices averaged $2,531 in October. The report explains that Toronto’s one-bedroom rental prices have been falling monthly since January of this year, while two-bedroom prices started to slip in July.

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Out of a list of 35 other Canadian cities, Toronto’s average rent prices finished second in both the one-bedroom and two-bedroom categories. North York, which is measured separately from Toronto by Rentals.ca, recorded the highest one-bedroom average rental price in the country at $1,945.

Vancouver reported an average price of $2,712 for two-bedroom rentals, down 8 percent year-over-year but with no difference in cost from September. One-bedroom apartments in Vancouver also dipped by 2.1 percent monthly and 4.3 percent annually to $1,901.

Demand for rentals continues to shift geographically, the report explains. Tenants who are now working from home are seeking out larger but less expensive suites in smaller communities, pushing prices upward in secondary markets. For instance, average rents in Kitchener and Hamilton saw double-digit price increases on all property types year-over-year, growing by 14 percent and 15 percent in October, respectively.

Proximity to grocery stores, parks and the desire to be in a quiet neighbourhood are coveted traits among tenants who have been looking for new digs during COVID-19.

“We continue to see an increase in listings nationally, which tells us that supply is outpacing demand,” explained Matt Danison, CEO of Rentals.ca, in the report’s press release. “This market imbalance suggests soft rental market conditions will continue for the rest of the year.”

Mississauga and several large areas outside of the pre-amalgamation City of Toronto — Etobicoke and Scarborough — also saw rents decline monthly in both the one- and two-bedroom categories. Rental costs fell by 2.8 percent, 1.5 percent and 2.7 percent monthly for single-bedroom homes, down to $1,877, $1,861 and $1,632, respectively.

Similarly, two-bedroom rents in these areas dropped by 0.1 percent, 2 percent and 1.2 percent month-over-month to $2,150, $2,306 and $1,958, respectively.

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