The rental market in Toronto is CRAZY HOT! Read on for stats, analysis and the inside scoop from our very own Rental Agent, Dena.
I pulled the stats from the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) for the last 10 years.
Note: TREB only tracks prices of properties that were listed for rent on the MLS and doesn’t take into account properties rented directly by the Landlord, or purpose-built apartment buildings.
I reached out to BREL’s own Rental Agent, Dena, to find out what’s happening in the Toronto rental market. Dena has helped hundreds of Tenants and has a pulse on the market in this city, like almost no one else.
What are you seeing in the rental market right now?
It feels like the rental market is out of control! August/September are always the busiest time for the rental market, but this year, we’re seeing rentals get multiple offers within just a few hours. In most cases, the unit leases over the asking price, often with multiple months of pre-paid rent (which can’t legally be required by a Landlord).
The Stats: From August 1 to August 15, 2017, 300 one-bedroom condos were recorded as leased in TREB, in the C1 district (downtown Toronto). A random sampling of 200 of the leased condos reveals:
- 42% leased ABOVE the asking price
- 49% leased AT the asking price
- 7% leased BELOW the asking price
Students, in particular, are having a hard time finding rentals, even when their parents are signing the lease as guarantors. Landlords are asking for transcripts, interviewing the students and their parents and often being asked to provide 8 months of pre-paid rent upfront (which yes, is illegal, but seems to be commonplace right now).
How is the 2017 market different than what you’ve seen in previous years?
I primarily work in central Toronto, where it seems you can’t rent a one bedroom for less than $1,950 or a 2-bedroom for $2,650. The inventory is incredibly low.
The Stats: The average one-bedroom currently available for lease in the downtown C1 district, is priced at more than $2,150. The average 2 bedroom condo is priced at $3,300.
What are some innovative things you’ve done to get an offer accepted?
This year, I’ve seen a new trend, where Tenants are making offers on condos sight-unseen. If a condo is already tenanted, the current Tenant is entitled to 24 hours notice of a showing, and within 24 hours notice, good condos are usually leased. So people who know they want to be in a particular building are often submitting offers as soon as the property comes on the market (and then crossing their fingers that the unit looks like it does in the photos).
Some non-negotiable stuff required to get a place in this crazy market: Good credit report. Proof of employment available. References. First/last month’s rent ready to go. It’s important that all of this is sorted out before someone starts looking for a place to rent.
Some of the guerilla tactics I’ve used to nab a rental: preparing offers before we go see the property so we can sign the offer right away; using personal letters/photos/transcripts to entice the Landlord to choose my Tenant; presenting offers in person so I can be more persuasive (unheard of until a few months ago). Because I focus on exclusively helping Tenants, a lot of the listing agents already know who I am, and those relationships can go a long way to scoring a place.
When’s the best time to start searching for a rental?
It used to be that the most inventory came on 2-4 weeks prior to move-in date, so if you were looking for an October 1st move-in date, starting your search in September made sense. But with inventory so low and competition so tight, I’m suggesting people start their search 4-6 weeks in advance if they don’t want to be without an apartment.
Need help finding a rental?
We might be able to help! Keep in mind, that Landlords working with REALTORS have some of the highest standards, so we have the most success helping Tenants:
…with very good credit ratings
…with verified employment income
…with solid references
…looking in Central Toronto
…with budgets higher than $1,700 a month (depending on needs and location, of course)
You can find out more about renting in Toronto by reading our Tenant Guide.