Photo: Juan Rojas / Unsplash

Toronto rental prices have increased for yet another month as the anticipated return to post-pandemic living drives tenant demand back to the city, supporting the market’s recovery.

Both one- and two-bedroom rentals in Toronto posted monthly price gains in May, according to Rental.ca’s national June 2021 Rent Report published this week. As reported by Livabl, Toronto rents started to gradually turn a corner in March 2021, the first time that the city reported a monthly rent price increase instead of a decline since December 2019.

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In May, the price of a one-bedroom rental in Toronto grew by 0.9 percent to $1,833, while two-bedroom rentals ticked up 1.9 percent to $2,455. Despite the monthly gains, prices for both unit types were down 12.9 percent and 7.5 percent on an annual basis, respectively.

In a news release accompanying the market report, Ben Myers, President of Bullpen Research & Consulting, noted that May’s data showed “the first definite sign” of a market turnaround since the pandemic caused rental prices to plunge.

“The ramp-up in the vaccine rollout and anticipated return to normalcy has tenants trying to get in before rents trend up, increasing demand for all product and bedroom types in May, especially in Vancouver and Toronto,” he said.

Three other cities close to Toronto ranked within the top five priciest locations last month, including Markham, Burlington and Mississauga. Prices for one-bedroom rentals were up by 0.3 percent, 2.7 percent and 2.0 percent on a monthly basis, boosting prices to $1,796, $1,772 and $1,758 for those cities, respectively, in May. The cost of a two-bedroom rental also increased month-to-month for each city, rising by 4.8 percent, 1.7 percent and 0.2 percent, bringing the average price to $1,983 for Markham, $2,057 for Burlington and $2,080 for Mississauga.

Out of the 35 cities the report examines, Toronto remains the second-most expensive city in Canada, coming in behind Vancouver. The price of a one-bedroom rental in the West Coast city was up 2.4 percent monthly in May to $1,981, while the price of a two-bedroom rental rose 7.0 percent monthly to $2,760.

As international students, tourism and immigration return, the report predicts that rental rates will continue rising, with fall 2021 anticipated to be a busy rental season.

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