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Fiona O'Connor has one word to describe her apartment search in Toronto: Hellish.
Cheap apartments getting hard to find
By Dominique Jarry-Shore | Mon Aug 08 2011
The native Montrealer moved to Toronto in May for work, but quickly found the bachelor she had rented month-to-month was too small. That set her on a quest for a two-bedroom — and put her in stiff competition with other renters.
“I would show up to viewings and there would be at least 25 people ahead of me,” O’Connor said.
Some apartments were not as advertised, with landlords stretching the definition of “two-bedroom” to include rooms that weren’t closed off from the rest of the unit.
Moving companies and landlords will tell you summer is the busiest time for renters.
People tend to move when the weather is good, many leases are renewed during the summer months, and students may also be on the hunt for their first apartment before school starts.
In June, the CMHC reported a 1.6 per cent vacancy rate for apartments in the GTA. The vacancy rate during the same period in 2010 was 2.7 per cent .
“It’s not like we’re dealing with an abundance” of rental units, said Shaun Hildebrand the CMHC’s senior market analyst for the GTA.
Hildebrand said several factors, such as rising home-ownership costs and recent changes to mortgage rules, mean tenants are delaying buying.
Immigration levels also affect the rental market, as many newcomers will rent after arriving in Canada.
Shaida Addetia knows how difficult it can be for newcomers to find housing in the GTA. As the manager of settlement services at WoodGreen Community Services, she helps new immigrants find work and housing in the GTA. While a low vacancy rate certainly doesn’t help matters, Addetia said finding an apartment for newcomers has been difficult for years.
“It’s very much a catch-22,” Addetia said, noting many immigrants are highly educated but must find a “survivor’s job” to make ends meet and pay the rent initially. With no job, getting a landlord to rent to you is daunting. With no apartment, finding a job is that much harder.
Addetia said she sees no difference between the winter and summer months — both times of year are equally difficult for the new immigrant.
Landlord Jan Becker said she hasn’t noticed much of a change in demand this summer compared to previous summers, despite the lower vacancy rate.
For Becker, who owns a couple of duplexes in the GTA, an online ad in the summer will still yield about 50 initial inquiries that end up being whittled down to seven to 10 serious applications.
But for tenants who are flexible, holding off on renting during the peak season could be advantageous. Though it’s not always practical, moving in the winter or other off-peak times of year could get you a deal.
Becker said when she had to find a tenant in the winter, she negotiated the amount of rent to get the tenant she wanted.
Trivest Developments Corp., an apartment manager in the GTA with 34 properties, has offered December or January rent for only a penny to attract winter renters in the past.
“How many people move at Christmas?” Trivest’s vice-president Tony Marner asked. The promotion encourages people to make the initial call to rent the unit, he said.
For O’Connor, persistence paid off. She was initially turned down for an apartment in Little Italy going for $1,400 but got a second chance when the person who was supposed to rent the unit had a change of heart.
“I kind of lucked out.”
Link: http://www.moneyville.ca/article/103604 ... rd-to-find
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- Joined: August 26th, 2010, 5:18 pm
many LLs to sell and that new apts are not being built as a result.
CHMC has told me they have no accurate way of determining and assessing the "secondary market": small landlords.
CMHC has said they think the secondary market could be 40% or more of the total GTA rentals!
It doesnt take a rocket scientist to figure out that is you are missing 40% of your data......your conclusions arent of much use.
Frankly Im seeing LOTS of for rent signs around.
In fact the star recently did a story on landlords that were giving away incentives to attract tenants because there were so many vacancies!
Now, all of a sudden CMHC has decided the vacancy rate has dropped???
Come on CMHC.........get your act together........if you are going to comment on the rental market, include the other 40% of rentals.
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- Joined: June 25th, 2011, 4:31 pm
You can feel the writer's agenda in this story. Toronto Star is at it again.
CMHC says vacancy rates are low + the tenant had a hard time finding a place = landlords are in the trough making millions, have tons of tenants to choose from, poor tenants are suffering.
What a joke. How much would it cost to buy a two bedroom in a hot area? With the risks involved of a huge price drop. With the risk of a bad tenant destroying the place and not paying for months.
Where is the "why" in this story?
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Montreal has cheap rents and a weird habit of moving every year in july
It's a fad that only happens in Montreal
The author forgot you can't compare Toronto to Montreal
And yes the prices are expected to drop
All conditions which means a shortage of housing
And I do think there is a change in the rental maketv
More tenants employed who can't buy because of the house prices
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