Toronto GTA May Rent Report 2022

Greater Toronto Area Rental Market

The following charts look at the summary data based on TorontoRentals.com residential rental listings in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). 

Monthly Asking Rent and Monthly Change in Rent for All Property Types

The chart below looks at the average rent for all property types by month since April of 2020 (blue line – left axis), with the monthly change in average rent represented by the orange bars. 

After declining for most of 2020 and the start of 2021, the average monthly rental rate changed course in April 2021 with eight consecutive months of  monthly increases.

The April 2022 average monthly rental rate was $2,204 per month, which represents an annual increase of 12% from the April 2021 average of $1,974 per month. This also represents a month-over-month increase of 1%, which comes after March 2022 posted a monthly decline of 1.1%. The market has been relatively flat since hitting $2,205 per month in January 2022, but underlying changes in the composition of the sample of units on TorontoRentals.com could be masking the real trend. The data will be broken out further to see if that is the case. 

Average Rent and Annual Change in Average Rent by Property Type

The following figure presents the average monthly rent, the annual change in the average rent, and the average rent per-square-foot for single-family homes, condominium apartments, and rental apartments in the GTA for February through April in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

Single-family homes had an average monthly rental rate of $3,026 per month in April 2022, representing an annual increase of 8%.

Condo apartments had an average monthly rental rate of $2,509, a 21% increase over the April 2021 average of $2,067 per month. This also represented a month-over-month increase of 3.6%. The average rent of $2,509 per month is higher than the pre-pandemic rate of $2,473 per month in February 2020. 

Lastly, rental apartments had an average monthly rental rate of $1,996 per month – an annual increase of 6% over the April 2021 average of $1,891 per month. 

Average Rent, Annual Change in Average Rent, and Average Rent Per-Square-Foot by Bedroom Type

This figure below shows the average monthly rent, the annual change in average rent, and average rent per-square-foot by bedroom type for all property types in the GTA between January 2022 and April 2022.

Studio units had an average monthly rental rate of $1,591 per month in April 2022, representing an annual increase of 9%. Studio units had an average rent per-square-foot of $3.93.

One-bedroom units had an average monthly rental rate of $1,896 per month, an increase of 8% annually. The average rent per-square-foot was $3.17, which represents a month-over-month increase of nearly 2%.

Two-bedroom units experienced the largest annual increase of the bedroom types in monthly rental rate, increasing 12% annually to $2,464 per month in April 2022.

Three-bedroom units had an average monthly rental rate of $2,858 per month, with an annual increase of over 8% in April 2022.

Four-bedroom units are the only bedroom type that experienced an annual decline in average monthly rental rate, decreasing 3% to $3,143 per month in April 2022. The sample size of four-bedroom units is smaller and the monthly data is volatile as single-family homes and townhouses make up much of the sample and these unit types vary widely by square-footage and lot size. 

Average Rent by Municipality

The figure below presents the average rent and the annual change in average rent for condo and rental apartments in select municipalities in the GTA in April 2022.

Toronto had the highest average monthly rental rate at $2,325, which represents an annual increase of 16%.

Markham had the lowest average monthly rental rate at $1,795 per month. This represents an annual decline of 5.2% in April 2022. 

Average Rent by Bedroom Type and Municipality

The figure below presents the average rent by bedroom type (one- to three-bedroom only) and municipality for all property types in select municipalities in April 2022.

Toronto had the highest average rent for one-bedroom units, two-bedroom units, and three-bedroom units. Overall, Richmond Hill had the highest rent because the city has a higher share of larger units.

Oshawa had the lowest average monthly rental rate for two-bedroom units and three-bedroom units in April 2022. Whitby had the lowest average rent for one-bedroom units at $1,364 per month. Overall, Scarborough had the lowest rents on average at $1,838.  

Average Rent for Condos and Rental Apartments in Select Municipalities by Rounded Unit Size

The figure below presents the average rent and annual change in average rent for condo and rental apartments in select municipalities in the GTA by rounded unit size (500 square feet to 1,100 square feet)  in April 2022.

In general, nearly all of the rounded unit sizes (500 square feet to 1,100 square feet) experienced annual increases in the five selected municipalities. 

Looking at Toronto specifically (old Toronto boundaries, prior to amalgamation), the smaller unit sizes appeared to experience greater annual price increases ranging from 15% to 18%. 1,100 square-foot units experienced an annual increase of 4.1%. 

Average Rent and Average Rent Per-Square-Foot for Condo Apartments

The figure below presents the average rent and average rent per-square-foot for condo apartments in select GTA municipalities between April 2021 and April 2022.

In the top municipalities by number of listings in the GTA, the general trend for both the average monthly rental rate and the average rent per-square-foot is sharp increases over the past year. Condos were hit the hardest due to COVID-19, and are recovering the quickest.

Toronto had the greatest increase since April 2021, rising by more than 24% to $2,583 per month in April 2022. Mississauga condo rents were up 24% annually, but lower than Toronto when taken to one decimal point. Etobicoke average condo rents increased 20% annually. Scarborough had the lowest growth rates, despite rising by nearly 15% year over year.

Average Rent and Annual Change in Rent at Select Condo Projects in Toronto

The figure below presents the average rent and year-over-year change in average rent at select condo apartment projects in Toronto in February 2022 to April 2022. The average rent per-square-foot is also shown for these projects. The most active projects by total listings during this three-month stretch were included. 

All of the projects experienced rent increases year over year, from a low of 6% to a high of 42%. Some of the changes are likely due to a change in the composition of listings by bedroom type, size, floor the unit is on, and other factors. 

Overall, units at these projects were offered at $2,448 per month on average, an increase of 22% year over year. The average project was offered at $3.60 per square foot.  

Average Rent and Annual Change in Average Rent for Rental Apartments in the GTA

The figure below presents the average rent and annual change in average rent for rental apartments in select GTA municipalities for April 2021 and April 2022.

Burlington rents increased for apartments by 17% annually to $2,211 per month, up from $1,890 in April 2021.

The former City of Toronto saw growth of 9% to $2,139 per month, following a decline of 8% last year.

Average Unit Size by Year of Completion for Condo and Rental Apartment Listings on TorontoRentals.com since 2019

There has been much discussion surrounding investors’ preferences for smaller suites. This is showing up in the rental data, with the average size of listings shrinking the newer the development is. The chart below shows the average unit size for TorontoRentals.com listings by the year the building was completed. Condominium and rental apartments are included, acknowledging that individual pre-construction condominium investors are not influencing the suite mix and suite sizes for purpose-built rental apartment developers. 

For condos and rental apartments listed on TorontoRentals.com over the past 40 months, buildings completed in 1998 had a median unit size of 979 square feet. As investors jumped back into the condo market in the early 2000s, we saw a sharp drop off in unit sizes in 2002 to just 720 square feet. 

During the first four months of 2022, the median condo and rental apartment completed this year was listed with a unit size of 596 square feet. 

In 2022 for buildings just completed, 7% of the listings are studios and 59% are one-bedroom units.

Conclusion

After several consecutive months of monthly increases last year, average rent flattened out in the GTA, but higher interest rates could have tipped the scales, pushing would-be buyers back into the rental market, or simply prevented them from leaving it. 

April 2022 average rents increased monthly by 1% to an average rent of $2,204 for all property types across the GTA (+12% Y/Y). 

In terms of annual increases, condo apartments lead the way with an annual increase of 21% to an average rent of $2,509 per month. The growth rate of single-family homes by comparison has slowed significantly, posting an annual increase of 8%.

Many of the smaller units experienced larger increases in average rent, as studio units were up by 9% annually, one-bedroom units increased by 8% annually, and two-bedroom units rose by 12% annually. In Toronto and Etobicoke specifically, many of the largest annual increases were found in units with a rounded size between 500 square feet and 1,000 square feet.

Despite the strength shown in Burlington, Toronto and surrounding municipalities are leading the rent growth. Toronto condo and rental apartments were up 9% annually, and Etobicoke condo and rental apartments were up 8% annually in April.

If the ownership market continues to soften, expect rents to pick up, especially downtown and in transit-friendly neighbourhoods. 

Ben is the President and owner of Bullpen Research & Consulting Inc. With over 15 years of real estate research experience in both the United States and Canada. As Editor & Executive Vice President of a Toronto-based condominium apartment data tracking firm, Ben established himself as one of the GTA’s top housing analysts, and an in-demand media commentator.

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