#GTAHomeHunt is a weekly series from the Star that gets into the details of real estate listings in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area. Have a tip? Email us at [email protected]
Original Price: $2,650/month
Neighborhood: Harbord Village
X factor: Just a seven-minute walk away from Kensington Market and about a 20-minute walk from the University of Toronto, this renovated apartment on the second floor of a Victorian house is in a central spot fit for a student, an artist or anyone who enjoys great food, artisanal crafts and thrifting.
On top of having a deck, the one-bedroom unit has a renovated kitchen with quartz countertops and a dishwasher, a renovated bathroom with heated tile floors and 10-foot-tall ceilings. Plus, it has in-unit laundry. There’s no living area, but there is plenty of closet space.
We bring in our expert, realtor Othneil Litchmore, to gain a better understanding of the rental price.
Why is it priced this way?
Originally, the unit at 30 Brunswick Avenue was priced far above average for something of this size, Litchmore says. The apartment covers about 600 square feet, and one-bedrooms tend to range from 500 to 700 square feet, he adds. The average price of these units in the area is $1,900.
Just one week after the apartment was listed, the price went down by $500. Why?
The Facebook Marketplace description says the unit is available immediately.
“It’s costing them money the longer it stays vacant,” Litchmore said. “So, that’s probably why they dropped the price so quickly. It’s possible no one came to even see it or inquire at the old price.”
So, why was it priced so high in the first place?
Litchmore points out that there’s a one-bedroom home on the same street being leased for a whopping $3,150 per month, but it’s an outlier. On the main floor of a house, the industrial yet elegant unit at 122 Brunswick Avenue is clearly geared toward a well-to-do clientele.
And while a lot of students probably live in the area, the landlord for 30 Brunswick Avenue may also be targeting people with extra cash.
This home is at least a century old, according to the listing, and there’s a good chance that other units in the neighborhood aren’t in as good of shape, Litchmore says. This unit is fully renovated and no one has lived in the new apartment, the listing reads.
“There’s a premium on that, I would think,” he explained. But ultimately, “the landlord also probably knew they were at the high end of the market.”
Plus, prices are probably going to continue to descend, Litchmore adds.
“The market is changing,” he said, noting that interest rates are climbing and homebuyers are frustrated. “It’s going to be different in the next few months.”
As for its current listing price of $2,150, it is still above average. In terms of whether it’s a better or worse deal than a condo unit, Litchmore says “it’s a tradeoff.”
While this unit is more expensive, and doesn’t include amenities that highrises can offer, like a pool or a gym, its rent does cover all utilities and high-speed internet, according to the listing. Most condo rentals tend to charge at least one amenity, usually heat and hydro.
Tips for finding places like this?
For about $2,500, Litchmore says people can find two-bedroom units, and rent will cost half the price. Otherwise, for something with fewer renovations, there are plenty of one-bedroom options around and below $1,900 in the area, he says.