Apartment vacancies in Toronto reached 5.7 percent in 2020’s fourth quarter, according to real estate research firm Urbanation, a 1.1-percent increase year over year and a 50-year record.
During the quarter, average rents in Toronto proper dove 10 percent to $2,337, compared to a year earlier. In contrast, average rents in surrounding locales fell just 2.2 percent to $2,139.
Landlords are offering incentives to fill the empty flats, including up to two months rent-free, Urbanation reported.
As in the U.S., many of Toronto’s working residents fled the city to reduce their chances of catching the COVID virus or to find cheaper, more spacious digs when they were allowed to work from home.
“Rents have a long way to go before returning to their peak and supply will continue to be a headwind in the near term,” Shaun Hildrebrand, president of Urbanation, said in a statement accompanying the report.
He expects “some improvement” as vaccinations ease people’s minds about living in the city and working in offices.