Toronto Rental Vacancy Rises To The Highest Level Since 2015, Despite Population Boom

Toronto’s population growth is booming, but so are rental vacancies. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) data shows primary rental vacancies climbed in 2019. The rate is now at the highest level since 2015, as vacancies climb from decade lows just a couple years ago.

Toronto’s Vacancy Rate Rises To Highest Level Since 2015

Toronto’s primary rental market is seeing vacancy rates climb to levels not seen in a while. The average vacancy came in at 1.5% in 2019, up a massive 25% from the year before. This is now the highest level since 2015, but still kind of low. However, Toronto has always been a tight primary rental market.

Toronto Primary Rental Vacancy Rate

The rate of rental units vacant, in Toronto’s primary rental market.

Source: CMHC, Better Dwelling.

Despite the low number for the city, this is pretty close to normal for Toronto. It’s still low, and comparable to the vacancy rates in places like Manhattan. However, the vacancy rate in Toronto has only been higher in 2010, and 2012 through 2015. Pretty impressive to be frank, considering Toronto’s influx of new residents.

Toronto Rental Prices Made The Biggest Jump In A Decade

The climbing vacancy rate didn’t impact how much Toronto renters were willing to pay. The median rent paid reached $1,395 per month in 2019, up 7.31% from a year before. This isn’t just the highest climb in the past decade, it’s almost double the increase of the year before.

Toronto Primary Rental Median Rent

The median rent paid for rental units, in Toronto’s primary rental market.

Source: CMHC, Better Dwelling.

Toronto’s primary rental market is now seeing vacancy increases, and higher rents. Not just higher rents either, the biggest increase in median rents – after vacancy climbed to the highest level in almost half a decade. Sure, the vacancy rate is low – but pressure on prices usually doesn’t increase as more units are left empty. This is a classic disconnect between fundamentals, and expectations.

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  • Reply
    YOLO 4 years ago

    Good time for all of those condo investors to buy a negative cap unit IMO.

    • Reply
      GTA Landlord 4 years ago

      These aren’t investors, they’re speculators. There’s a lot that don’t even have the cash to close their upcoming units, now that HELOCs credit availability is shrinking.

  • Reply
    Mitch 4 years ago

    Why are people paying so much more if vacancies are rising?

  • Reply
    Travis Hunter 4 years ago

    Housing prices in California “One of the key factors here is the basic law of supply and demand… The population increase is driven primarily by births and foreign immigration.”

    Who wants to guess what year? Come on, don’t be shy.

  • Reply
    Sophia 4 years ago

    So maybe that vacancy tax might force some to rent a property for less or sell it for less if they can’t keep it.
    Eventually, gree will come to an end !

  • Reply
    SH 4 years ago

    I’ve noticed quite a few very nice 1-bedroom rental condos in the 416 core languishing for months on Bungol. And it is not a case of owners simply forgetting to remove their ads since most of them have multiple and recent price reductions. Rents are still high but it seems the days of tenants getting into bidding wars are over. We’ll see what the spring brings.

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