Photo: James Bombales

Toronto’s rental market posted another modest monthly gain in April after first appearing to turn a corner in March following many consecutive months of price declines.

The monthly average price for both one- and two-bedroom rentals in the city increased slightly from March to April, according to the May National Rent Report published by Rentals.ca and Bullpen Research & Consulting this week. As reported by Livabl last month, March 2021 was the first time Toronto recorded a monthly rent price increase since December 2019.

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The price of a one-bedroom rental in Toronto recorded a monthly gain of 0.3 percent, rising to $1,816 in April according to the report. Similarly, the price of a two-bedroom rental increased by 1.5 percent month-to-month, pushing the average price to $2,407.

However, prices for both rental types are still down significantly on an annual basis, with one-bedroom rents dropping by 14.7 percent and two bedrooms falling by 10.4 percent compared to April 2020 levels.

Like Toronto, many other large Canadian urban centres posted monthly rent price increases in April, including Montreal, Vancouver and Ottawa. Although the pandemic’s third wave continues to wreak havoc in many parts of the country, the report suggests that this has not stopped new renters from trying to break into the market or discouraged tenants from shopping around for better deals.

“Despite the continued decline in average rents on a national level, the rental market has started to turn up with rents increasing month-over-month in most of the largest provinces in the country,” said Ben Myers, President of Bullpen Research & Consulting, in the market report.

“Even with the prolonged pandemic, there appears to be increased rental demand, but it will take a few months before we declare it a trend and not a statistical anomaly based on a changing composition of listings,” he later added.

Out of the 35 communities the National Rent Report analyzes, Toronto held onto its rank as the country’s second-most expensive city for renters. Vancouver placed at the top of the list, with one-bedroom apartments renting for $1,935 and two-bedrooms for $2,578, on average. These prices represent a 0.1 percent increase and 0.8 percent drop, respectively, on a monthly basis.

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