Go ahead, just try to rent an apartment in Toronto.
The feat is getting even harder, with supply tight and prices showing no sign of retreating. The vacancy rate in the fourth quarter was among the lowest ever, at 0.3 percent, according to Urbanation Inc. The average monthly rent for a condominium rose by 9.1 percent to C$2,166 (US$1,730) from a year earlier.
That’s the second-largest increase since 2010, when Urbanation began tracking the number, after a record year-over-year jump of 12 percent in the third quarter. Downtown rents surged even more, sending apartment hunters out to the suburbs.
“This has continued to raise the confidence of developers to add more units to the pipeline, a trend that will need to continue in order to meet future housing needs,” Shaun Hildebrand, senior vice president, said in a statement. Rental development climbed to the highest level in over 25 years, ending 2017 at 7,184 units under construction.
Ricky Ferguson, 26, is feeling the squeeze. He’s been looking for a rental in Toronto between C$1,000 and C$1,300 with his girlfriend, 23, since October.
“When we first started searching we were in a panic, because my girlfriend was in a situation where her mother was going to kick her out of the house,” he said, adding that they’ve been allowed to stay until they find a place of their own. “My credit score and report are more or less flawless.”
On the other hand, the couple has a four-foot-long pet python, Ferguson admitted in a post on a classified-ad site, reassuring prospective landlords that it is harmless as long as it stays in its enclosure.
Toronto’s sales market hascooled over the past seven months, but the average price of a home is still C$735,021, and new mortgage regulations make it harder for people to borrow. That has pushed many prospective buyers into the rental market, exacerbating its scarcity and costliness.