Vacant Airbnb destinations in downtown Toronto are up for sale, report says

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TORONTO — A new report suggests that there’s a rare window of opportunity to snag a condo in downtown Toronto right now of those that were rented on Airbnb before the COVID-19 outbreak.

Brokerage Zoocasa says there were 36 per cent more Toronto condo apartments listed for sale in June of this year, compared with June 2019.

But sale listings were 108 per cent higher over that same period for 10 buildings in the downtown entertainment district and waterfront, a popular area for Airbnb renters.

Zoocasa agents said on Thursday that higher vacancies, paired with a slow summer for tourism, could mean that condos once used as short-term rentals may become long-term homes for opportunistic tenants or buyers.

Still, the report only looks at a small slice of the market: Out of 3,315 condo rentals listed for sale across the city, Zoocasa’s sample of Airbnb-friendly condos was focused on just 131 units listed in June, up from 63 listed for sale in the year-ago period.

Thursday’s report also said these spots could be vacant for a number of reasons: lack of tourism and Airbnb demand, and also a flight of remote workers, laid-off renters or students from the city in the early days of the pandemic.