News / Toronto

It's official,Toronto rent has gone up from last year

A new report from the Canada Mortgages and Housing Corporation shows the average rent in Toronto has gone up by about 3 per cent from last year.

Affording an apartment in Toronto is getting harder and harder, as rent climbs.

File / Torstar News Service

Affording an apartment in Toronto is getting harder and harder, as rent climbs.

The average cost of renting in the city has jumped 3.1 per cent from last year, according to new figures released Monday by the CMHC, while the vacancy rate of available units decreased to 1.3 per cent.

The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is now $1,132.

As the gap between the cost of renting and owning grows, it’s keeping more people renting instead of buying that first home, the report says.

The squeeze means it’s time to look at creative solutions to help people, especially millennials, stuck between rising rental prices and increasingly out-of-reach housing prices, said urban designer Ken Greenberg.

“The private market is never going to touch that last, let’s say 30 per cent of the population, that, even if they have jobs they’re not making enough money,” he said.

Instead we should be looking at solutions beyond just subsidized public housing and private rentals, such as non-equity co-ops where people pay based on their income, he said.

For Scott Andison president and CEO of Federation of Rental-Housing Providers of Ontario, the rising prices point to the need for more supply, especially of purpose built-rentals.

“Our issues are a lot of government regulation and red tape getting in the way of new development happening,” he said.

Andison said the “shadow market” of investors renting out condos has averted a full-blown housing crisis in Toronto, but it’s much less secure housing than units built specifically for rental.

Despite more people renting, Derek Burleton, Vice President and deputy chief economist for TD, said there’s still a “stigma” attached to it.

That needs to change, he said, as it’s leading to people taking on too much debt just to buy a home.

“The shift is going to be towards renting in the next five years,” he said speaking to a crowd of industry representatives at a panel discussion hosted Ryerson’s City Building Institute on housing affordability.

“I think that’s needed.”

How Does Toronto stack up to Vancouver?

Based on new numbers released Monday by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the red-hot real estate market in Vancouver still has the edge over Toronto, but the gap is closing.

Average overall vacancy rate:

Toronto: decreased to 1.3 per cent

Vancouver:  decreased to 0.7 per cent

Average rent:

Toronto: $1,233

Vancouver: $1,223

Average rent increase since Oct 2015:

Toronto: up by 3.1 per cent

Vancouver: up by 6.4 per cent

Average rent of bachelor:

Toronto: $957

Vancouver: $1,013

Average rent one bedroom:

Toronto: $1,132

Vancouver: $1,159

Average rent two bedroom:

Toronto: $1,327

Vancouver: $1,450

Average rent three or more bedroom:

Toronto: $1,515

Vancouver: $1,631

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