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Navigating the Housing Market: Renting vs Buying in the GTA

The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) housing market has always been a topic of interest for many, thanks to its dynamic nature and the significant impact it has on the lives of its residents. One of the central debates for prospective residents is the age-old question: should you buy or rent in the GTA?

Evaluating the Landscape

Recent interest rate hikes by the Bank of Canada have ushered in a new era of considerations for both renters and homeowners in the GTA. The Bank’s policy interest rate was raised by 25 basis points, reaching its highest level since 2001 and marking the beginning of potential changes in the market. While variable-rate mortgage holders are now faced with higher payments, renters anticipate potential shifts in their monthly expenses as well.

So the question arises: in the current climate of the GTA, should you buy a property, or is renting a more financially viable option?

The Financial Implications

Canadian real estate website Zoocasa conducted an analysis that sheds light on this query. Based on data from the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB), they compared monthly rent and mortgage payments across 27 Toronto regions. Their calculations factored in a 25-year amortization with a 20% downpayment on a five-year fixed rate of 4.94%.

Cities like Brampton were identified as having the most expensive average rent in the GTA, standing at $3,263 per month. Yet, in comparison to buying a home in these regions (with an average home price of $1,113,948 in Brampton), renting still proves less expensive. According to this analysis, the cheapest place to own a home is Orangeville, with an average house price of $847,527 and monthly mortgage payments averaging $3,920.

Understanding Market Dynamics

On the other hand, increasing rates could impact rental prices. Growing interest rates may induce potential buyers to wait out the surge, consequently leading to heightened competition in the rental market. Landlords, too, could look to offset their increased costs onto tenants, which could drive rental prices up even further. Payments for variable rate holders and those renewing their mortgages, however, could decrease in the future if the Bank hits its target, potentially bringing more affordable options in the housing market.

Deciding Between Renting and Buying

Based on these analyses, the current trend across the GTA appears to tilt in favour of renting. Currently, it’s vastly more affordable to rent than it is to buy a home. However, if you can afford it, buying a home allows you to build up equity.

With the fluctuating conditions of the GTA housing market, the ‘rent vs buy’ debate does not have a one-size-fits-all answer. Each choice comes with its financial implications, challenges, and benefits, further influenced by personal circumstances, financial stability, and long-term plans.

Consequently, future participants of the GTA housing market need to stay abreast with the latest trends and market dynamics. Keeping informed about recent developments in the interest rates and housing prices can hinge your decision one way or another, providing a clearer understanding of what’s right for your unique situation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Given the dynamic nature of the rental market, the trend can change year by year or even quarter by quarter. As of now, the rental rates in the GTA have shown fluctuations due to various factors such as interest rate hikes and housing supply constraints. For current and accurate rental trends, it would be best to refer to recent real estate reports or trusted real estate sources relevant to the GTA.

The percentage of people renting in the GTA varies by area and changes over time, reflecting a balance of economic and demographic factors. As per the recent census data, approximately half of Toronto households are occupied by renters. However, this percentage may vary in different neighbourhoods and regions within the GTA.

The amount of income required to afford a house in the GTA depends on various factors, including the price of the property, mortgage rates, your down payment, and your personal financial circumstances. However, as a general guideline, many financial advisors recommend that your monthly housing costs (including mortgage, property tax, insurance, and utilities) not exceed 28% to 32% of your gross monthly income. Given the average home price in the GTA, a significant income may be required. Please consult with a financial advisor or mortgage broker to understand what’s affordable for your

Rent prices in the GTA are influenced by a variety of factors. The high demand for living accommodations, driven by the GTA’s robust job market and population growth, often outpaces the available supply of rental units. Additionally, high property values in the GTA mean that landlords charge higher rents to cover their costs (mortgage, property taxes, maintenance, etc.). The cost of new construction, zoning policies, and other regulatory factors also play a role in the region’s high rent prices.


This ongoing analysis of the GTA housing market landscape reflects the importance of making informed decisions. Whether renting or buying, understanding the current market conditions promotes financial stability and overall satisfaction in your housing situation. Stay updated, stay informed, and make the most of your experience living in the GTA.