Rental Transactions Up Again

From September through December 2009, TREB Members reported 3,859 lease transactions for condominium apartments and townhouses through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS®) – up 12 per cent from the 3,433 recorded during the same time in 2008. Condominium apartment transactions, which accounted for over 90 per cent of the total, were also up by 12 per cent.

The weighted average rent across all apartment types and all TREB districts for the last four months of 2009 was $1,667 – in line with the 2008 weighted average of $1,672. This reflected the fact that average rents for the two most popular apartment categories moved in opposite directions, with a one per cent decrease for one-bedroom apartments and a one per cent increase for two bedroom apartments. At the district level, rent changes were quite mixed, in some cases changing at rates above or below the GTA average.

Owners of rental condominium apartments have had to consider changes in the supply and demand sides of the condominium rental market when setting rents over the past year. According to CMHC, the average condominium apartment vacancy rate increased from 0.4 per cent to 0.8 per cent between 2008 and 2009, with the stock of rented condominium apartments increasing by over 6,900 units1. While the condominium apartment vacancy rate is still substantially lower than the vacancy rate for purpose-built rental apartments. The increase was still indicative of increased supply in some sectors of the rental market. Factors leading to increased vacancies included the strong growth in home ownership demand in the second half of 2009 coupled with strong condominium apartment completions2, which would have included investor-held units to be rented out.

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