Why Ottawa is a great real estate investment

Ottawa has been on fire over the last few years, despite being a market that many in the real estate investing community would call boring. Ottawa has a lot going for it, and today we are going to cover why Ottawa is a prime market for real estate investors. But first, some metrics.

When using the Canadian Real Estate Association’s (CREA) powerful price mapping tool, we can see that year-over-year, home prices in Ottawa compared to the rest of Canada have fared much better.

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And, when compared to Vancouver and Toronto, we can see that Ottawa is farther ahead.

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When compared to a market that’s been all over the news for being “on fire”—Montreal—we see that the Ottawa market has still enjoyed a larger increase in home values.

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But that’s just the beginning of the story. Ottawa has a record low vacancy rate of 2.1% for 2 bedroom units, and 1.4% for one bedroom units. Ottawa also has a brand new light rail transit (LRT) system coming online any day now, which only the first of many phases which will see it extended to far reach of the city’s suburbs—Kanata to the west and Orleans to the east.

Ottawa isn’t just a government town, although the majority of employment is federal. The second biggest employer is technology, and the second biggest economy in Ottawa is tourism. Big companies are moving into and expanding, with Shopify recently expanding their offices, and Amazon moving in to a 1 million square foot distribution center on the outskirts of the city.

Every year Moneysense Magazine releases a top cities in Canada rankings. In 2018, Ottawa was second only to Oakville, for many of the reasons mentioned above. The third city was also a suburb of Ottawa—Russell—but who’s counting anyway.

One of the premier investment networks in Canada, The Real Estate Investment Network (REIN), ranks the top cities in Canada for investment on a yearly basis. You guessed it, Ottawa hit the #1 spot. One of the major reasons was that Ottawa was still affordable compared to other Canadians markets, despite rents being quite high given it’s a wealthy area of Canada.

According to census data, the population of Ottawa grew by 17% between 2006 and 2016. And, there’s no signs that this will slow down.