Should you rent a condo outside the downtown core?
It’s no secret that rents in Toronto’s downtown core have skyrocketed in the last few years. In fact, it’s likely all you ever hear about. But you can save up to 46 per cent a month by moving out of the centre and into the pre-amalgamation boroughs of the city.
In 2018, the average rent in the Greater Toronto Area was $1,359, up 5 per cent from 2017, according to the CMHC annual Rental Market Report. But condos units in the city centre are often much more expensive — around double, in fact: one-bedroom condo units rented for an average of $2,130 and two-bedrooms for $2,815.
Rental prices for Liberty Village condos, the popular neighbourhood which sells the most condo units in the entire GTA, are likely around this mark.
It makes sense that condo units are one of the most expensive available — condo prices are the fastest growing property type in the GTA, and landlords still must charge enough rent to cover their mortgage, carrying costs, plus a profit.
Unfortunately, prospective renters have few options: the vacancy rate in the core of at a near-historic low of 1.3 per cent. (3 per cent is considered a healthy rate).
Although developers are now starting to build more purpose-built rental supply, construction stalled for decades and condo units had little choice but to pick up the slack— close to one-third of GTA condo units are rented out.
At the same time, renting in the GTA is extremely popular, primarily among international students, immigrants, temporary workers and young professionals aged 25-44.
For these reasons, is almost certainly going to continue rise throughout 2019.
But it is possible to find a cheaper rental condo unit if you look outside the core.
Etobicoke condos rent for an average of just $1,752 for a one-bedroom unit, and $2,220 for a two-bedroom— a savings of 21.5 and 27 per cent.
Even in the former city of North York, most of which is on the subway line, savings are to be had. A one-bedroom is 15 per cent cheaper at $1,852, while two-bedroom North York condos are still pricey at $2,342, but 20 per cent less than slightly south.
You’ll save the most by far by heading to the east end. In Scarborough one-bedroom units rent for $1,613 and two-bedrooms for $1,924, shaving an incredible 32 per cent and 46 per cent off your monthly budget.
Bottom line: if affordability is a concern, it’s worth checking out what’s available outside the old City of Toronto borders.