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Also helping: Ontario’s Progressive Conservative government decided to both defer development fees for new purpose-built rentals — offsetting upfront financing costs — and limit rent controls to structures built before 2018. Previously, when the now-departed Liberal government tightened rent controls in 2017, developers turned 1,000 planned rental units into condos. Now, potentially higher profits are incentivizing them to get back into the rental game.
All of which might suggest that relief is in sight for the city’s growing pool of tenants, whose cost of renting has gone up by approximately 30 per cent since 2012. And there has been some impact, says Toronto’s Conrad Rygier, a real estate broker with Right At Home Realty Inc.
“Things have moderated a bit,” Rygier explains. “Instead of competing with six or eight other tenants, now people are competing with three or four. And rents are still rising, just not as much as a few years ago.”
Overall, though, prices are staying high because demand is still far outstripping supply. Each year, approximately 22,000 new renters are coming to Toronto every year. According to a recent report by RBC Economics, rental stock would have to expand by 26,800 units over the next few years in order to catch up with the current backlog and for prices to level off.
“Though the city is being better supplied, we won’t be at that level any time soon,” says Shaun Hildebrand, the president of real estate research firm Urbanation. “It would still take more policy to truly build up supply.”