Rental availability in GTA falls to 16-year low: CMHC

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Not only is it getting harder for fully employed people to afford renting in the GTA, it is actually getting harder to find rentals as well.

A new report from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation provides a statistical look at just how tight the rental market has become.

The vacancy rate of rental properties in the GTA — the number of rental options currently available on the market —reached 1.1 per cent this fall, the lowest in 16 years.

Average costs for all types of rental housing that the CMHC examined (bachelor, one bedroom, two-bedroom and three or more bedrooms) hit $1,296 per month, an increase of 4.5 per cent from the previous sample year.

This rental crisis is happening for many reasons, one of them is that fewer people are leaving rental homes, while construction of new rental housing supply was “insufficient” to offset that demand in any appreciable way. As prices rise, it is becoming unaffordable for more young people than ever before, they put pressure on rental stock.

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Combined, all these factors “allowed landlords to charge new tenants significantly higher rents, which led to the average rent growth to be above the provincial guideline” of 1.5 per cent, the report says.

For the second straight year, however, condos acted as the primary source of new rental supply, especially in Toronto proper.

While the CMHC revealed that the condo vacancy rate hit its lowest point in nine years, the ratio of rental condos to the total condo supply in the GTA stayed “virtually on par” with the previous year.

This is what it currently costs to rent the following types of rental units:

• Bachelor: 1.2 per cent (down from 1.4 per cent); $1,011 per month (up from $957).

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• One bedroom: 1.2 per cent (down from 1.3 per cent); $1,191 per month (up from $1,132).

• Two bedrooms: 1.0 per cent (down from 1.3 per cent); $1,392 per month (up from $1,327).

• Three or more bedrooms: 1.0 per cent (down from 1.8 per cent); $1,563 per month (up from $1,515).

With wages stagnant, renters are forced to make trade offs. But then again, if they are forced to rent because their parents live in Peterborough or further and their jobs are in Toronto, how then could they save to buy a place of their own down the line? It is a situation that many young people find themselves in. – CINEWS

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