Toronto’s apartment crunch is finally easing as new supply hits the market and the removal of rent controls leads to record units on the drawing board, according to a new report.

The vacancy rate rose to 1.5 per cent in the second quarter, the highest since 2015, when research firm Urbanation began tracking the data. Rent increases eased to 7.6 per cent from 10.3 per cent last year, bringing the cost of an average-sized unit of 794 square feet to $2,475 ($1,894).

Conditions eased as nine buildings totaling 3,078 units began occupancy in the 12 months through June, a 25-year high for annual completions. While construction has taken a step back, the number of units proposed by builders reached a record 44,093 units in the second quarter, Urbanation said Friday.

“The growth in purpose-built rental applications follows the provincial government’s recent removal of rent control for new buildings,” according to Urbanation. Other programs to encourage new rental housing such as deferrals for development charges and the expansion of low-cost construction loans from Canada Mortgage & Housing Corp. also helped, the Toronto-based research firm said.