Work From Home Protocols
Work from home policies have provided many young professionals the flexibility of no longer needing the convenience of being close to work. Many companies discovered for the first time that they were capable of operating without the need of a physical location. As a result, anecdotally we have already seen and talked about clients making the move to literally greener grass outside of the downtown core. Research done by The Ontario Real Estate Association supports this, finding that 30% of buyers now prioritize a bigger home with more space, 19% stated they now prioritize more access to outdoor space.
Student Taking Classes Online
Most post-secondary institutions have moved online either completely or in some capacity, which has reduced the need for students to rent in Toronto to attend classes.
U of T reported just shy of 23,019 new international students entering their St George campus Fall 2019/2020. Ryerson University reported 2,564 new international students beginning Fall 2019/2020 as well. Assuming the same number of students transition into their second year of schooling, that is over 25,000 students who likely would have pursued rentals in the downtown area to attend their second year of school, that now may not have to or want to. This does not even take into consideration the large number of non-international students that elect to rent close to the university, nor other education institutions in Toronto.
Airbnb has been restricted for just under a year and many of the units that were originally attempting short-term furnished rentals are feeling the hurt of months of vacancy. The City of Toronto also implemented new short-term rental rules which come into effect on September 10, 2020, which will require:
- All short-term rentals to register with the city prior to listing the property.
- No short term rentals in properties that are not the primary residence of the owner.
- Registered short-term rental operators will be required to collect a four per cent Municipal Accommodation Tax.
Fewer People Moving to Toronto
After Covid hit Canada, the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) reported that the country’s PR intake fell by 78 per cent in April 2020. RBC also reported that they predict Canada’s immigration will decrease by half this year. However, this is not likely to last. The Minister of Immigration recently stated that Canada plans to aggressively pursue immigration as a way to combat the impact of COVID. This could take us right back to the precovid landlord market many Torontonians are familiar with.