It now costs more than $2,500 on average to rent an apartment in Toronto

By: Lisa Coxon on October 21, 2019

The cost of living in Toronto just keeps rising. 

According to recent research from Urbanation, it now costs $2,515 a month, on average, to rent an apartment in the city.

That’s a 6.1% increase, or $145 monthly increase, from the third quarter of 2018, when the average monthly rent was $2,370.

Urbanation’s Q3-2019 rental market survey results, released Friday, revealed that rents in Toronto have risen by about 30% in just three years. The survey takes into account purpose-built rental apartments in the GTA that have been completed since 2005.

And while the cost to rent has hit an all-time high, the vacancy rate in the city remains startling low: 0.8% in the third quarter of 2019, which is only a negligible year-over-year increase from 0.6% in Q3 2018.

There is some good news. There have been 3,157 purpose-built rental units completed so far this year, which is the highest level of new rentals supplied in 25 years, according to Urbanation.

This, along with a rise in the completion of condo apartment units, which are often used for renting, means renters have more choice in where they’re going to live. And that has helped lift some of the market tension.

However, supply challenges are expected to persist in the long term, since rental construction hasn’t grown much in the past year.

In the third quarter of this year, 11,413 rental units were still under construction in the GTA, according to the survey — and more than 80% were located in the City of Toronto.

“The latest data suggests affordability constraints are impacting market growth for rentals, with renters seeking to save on costs by forming more multi-tenant households and substituting to smaller units and less expensive areas of the GTA,” said Shaun Hildebrand, president of Urbanation, in a release.