Toronto brokers profit from increased leasing activity

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Low angle of the CN Tower and the Toronto skyline

Toronto is one of the hottest rental markets in Canada right now and brokers can’t help but notice.

Anita Springate-Renaud, broker of record for Engel & Völkers Toronto Central, reports completing 51 leases in the first quarter of 2023, up from 14 over the same period last year.

The shortage of available and affordable properties to purchase in the Greater Toronto Area is driving more people towards the region’s already-hot rental market. Toronto's average rent is a substantial $2,808, and renters are increasingly prepared to bid over asking to get the unit they want.

Springate-Renaud shares one example of a tenant who offered to pay for the whole year upfront and whose rent ended up exceeding what they would likely have paid for a mortgage on the same property.

And the competition for rental units is only likely to get fiercer. Even if home sales haven't fallen yet, more would-be buyers may decide to rent instead if the Bank of Canada moves ahead with a rate hike in July

That would be cause for concern for real estate agents relying on sales commission – but also an incentive to build out a reliable income stream from property management. Even a small residential rental portfolio can help a broker turn a profit during a housing market downturn, especially when they use technology to reduce the time-consuming administration normally associated with rentals.

“You go with the businesses,” says Springate-Renaud. “If that’s what’s in front of you at the time, you’ve just got to make it work.”

More rental market headlines

Bidding wars to rent a house? In Ontario, tenants and agents say it's a new reality – CBC

Toronto sees a boom in upscale rental – The Globe and Mail

Ontario’s condos are getting smaller as detached homes get larger – Storeys

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