by: Begimay Koigeldi
Mariana Popova a 29-year-old customs administrator at a logistics company rents a one-bedroom apartment, but admits it’s not easy.
“I work two jobs to be able to cover all of my living expenses, as the salary that I get from my first job is just simply not enough. 90% of all my earnings from the first job go towards covering my rent. I prefer to spend most of my time at home and I really like my bright and spacious apartment.”
Rent prices in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) have continued to increase in 2023, making housing even less affordable. The prices for one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments over the year have grown by 2.6% and 3.1% respectively, according to the January 2024 Rentals.ca report. Today, to rent a one-bedroom apartment in the GTA it will cost you approximately $2,521 and if you wish to rent a larger two-bedroom apartment you must spare a $3,314.
Rent continues to be the leading expense consuming a large portion of monthly income. People are lowering their costs by splitting rent with roommates, renting basements or single rooms in rooming houses.
A real-estate agent, CEO & Broker of Record at CondoGo Inc. Scott Miralami says when you rent can make a difference. Seasonality in the market affects pricing trends as the rent average seems to be on the lower side in wintertime when the demand is significantly lower.
“Generally, there are specific times of the year when prices tend to be higher or lower. The peak of moving season is during late spring and summertime. The demand for rent or property typically increases leading to higher prices. On the other hand, during the colder months, especially in wintertime, demand may decrease, and the rental prices might be lower.”
Another way to save on rental cost, he says, is searching for an apartment in neighborhoods outside of the downtown area. Prices for condos in the city center tend to be much higher than in neighborhoods in Scarborough, North York, and Benington and Park South.
“Options in neighborhoods such as the junction, Scarborough and the North York had been known to have a lower average rent compared to downtown Toronto.”
Increases in rent prices pose a significant affordability challenge for tenants. The quest for affordable living conditions in the GTA for 2024 remains, prompting individuals to adapt their housing choices or pursue higher incomes to sustain a desirable standard of living.
Popova admits she has thought about moving to a more budget-friendly apartment or sharing.
“I was not planning on moving, however, with the rental cost increasing I started thinking of finding a roommate and splitting rent.”