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As the capital city of Canada, Ottawa is a well-observed market with plenty of opportunity for investors who wish to invest in a location so central to Canada’s culture and identity.
Despite being the capital of the country, Ottawa is not the largest city in Canada – in fact with its estimated population of just over 1 million residents the city is currently the fourth largest city following behind the cities of Toronto, Montreal, and Calgary. However, despite not being the largest, the Ottawa real estate market is still loaded to the brim with opportunities and bargains that you cannot find in other Ontario real estate markets.
So, if you would like to hear how the nation’s golden city is still home to affordable real estate, cash flowing rentals and great appreciation potential, keep reading and we will explore the wonder that is the Ottawa real estate investment market going into 2023.
However, before we dive in if you would like to learn more about how to properly finance your Ottawa real estate investments, click the link below to book a free strategy call with us at LendCity today.
Rich Culture in Canada’s Capital City
As you would imagine in the capital city of a country, Ottawa is a city greatly defined by its rich history dating back to some of the nation’s earliest moments. The streets of the city are lined with notable heritage properties and historic landmarks that evoke a sense of pride in the effort that has been put into building up Canada’s heart and pushing towards the future we now know today.
Residents in the Ottawa real estate market are treated to a beautiful landscape with notable sites such as Parliament Hill, Chateau Laurier, the Rideau River, and Canal, and more. Many of the key sights and locales in the city become home to major tourism, business and cultural events, structures, and traditions. Notably, in the winter the Rideau Canal is frozen and becomes the world’s largest skating rink. This 7.8 kilometer stretch of ice offers recreation, transportation and leisure for residents and tourists alike and many businesses are known for setting up carts, stands and pop-up locations along this stretch in order to increase business by catering towards these skaters who utilize the canal.
Education and Development
The city also has a strong education culture with major post-secondary institutions such as Carleton University, the University of Ottawa, Algonquin College and Collège La Cité – Canada’s largest French-language college. These institutions are known for their reliable rate of turning out highly qualified engineers, scientists and PHD graduates – in fact, Ottawa is known for having the highest population of PHD graduates per capita in the entire country.
Understanding the Ottawa Real Estate Market
Despite is population of over 1 million residents and its reputation as the home to our nation’s most powerful governing bodies, Ottawa real estate is a surprisingly affordable market – especially when compared to cities of similar size.
However, despite this fact, a lot of the focus for investors and developers in the city is turned towards making new apartments and condos, leaving the single-family housing market a hot commodity for investors who are looking for something a little more manageable to take on for their portfolio.
Discover How To Buy Unlimited Rental Properties With This Step By Step Guide
Shockingly Affordable Housing Prices
When you picture housing prices in major Ontario cities you would normally be right to assume prices ranging from $750,000 to over $1 million on average like you would find in Toronto, the KWC, Hamilton and more. However, despite its population of over 1 million and its strong reputation as one of the most prolific Canadian cities, the average purchase price for a single-family detached home in the Ottawa real estate market is estimated to be roughly $620,000 at the time of writing this article. That is dramatically less you would expect to spend in markets with equally as much of a reputation behind them.
The average rental rate in the Ottawa real estate market for a two-bedroom unit is approximately $2000 per month at the time of writing this article. Combined with the low average purchase price, that means that rentals in Ottawa are usually expected to be strong cash-flowing investments. This is an uncommon thing to find in such a major city, because typically, investment properties in major metropolitan areas are usually better geared towards appreciation and equity than cash flow. However, there are still strong appreciating properties available in the city as well.
The city of Ottawa has a relatively healthy vacancy rate of approximately 3.4 per cent. This is on the lower end of the recommended three to five per cent. However, it is important to note that in terms of low-income rentals, the city is in desperate need of new supply with an estimated vacancy rate of only 0.2 per cent.
A quick note about the apartment market
Those people hoping to break into Ottawa’s lucrative housing market may want to skip the apartment rental scene. Even as the cost of a home has seen double-digit inflation over the last year, the average monthly rental cost of an apartment hasn’t budged. Monthly rent on a one-bedroom apartment runs $1041; rent for a two-bedroom is $1232. Those rents run slightly higher than the national average, but they haven’t shown any signs of rising to match the vibrant housing market. While apartments are holding steady, they may not offer you major financial gains for some time to come.
If you want to invest in multi-unit housing, you should consider exploring development opportunities as opposed to increasing the number of rental properties over which you exercise control.
Leveraging Ottawa Real Estate and Tourism
Ottawa is a popular tourist destination for a variety of reasons. Not only is the city packed full of historic sites and beautiful natural spaces, but there are also a variety of festivals, events, and seasonal attractions that Canadians flock to the city in order to experience.
In terms of local landmarks that people seek to visit each year, the most notable one would have to be Parliament Hill. As the heart of Canadian government, this building draws massive crowds year-round from people who wish to see where some of the country’s biggest decisions have been made. There is also Chateau Laurier and the Rideau River and Canal.
Cultural Destinations and Activities
Ottawa is full of cultural destinations that help to paint a clear history of Canada’s culture and development that bring people into Ottawa. Notably, you have places such as the Canadian War Museum, the Canadian Museum of Nature, the National Gallery of Canada, and the Canadian Museum of History.
Events and Seasonal Attractions
Ottawa’s tourism is full of events and attractions year-round that draw people into the city. This can range from their NHL team the Ottawa Senators, seasonal and holiday events, and arts and culture events such as music festivals, film festivals and theatrical performances in the city’s theatres.
Most notably, one of the greatest seasonal tourist attractions in Canada is skating along the Rideau Canal. This 7.8-kilometre stretch of ice becomes home to a variety of pop-up stands and vendors for people to shop, socialize and explore while skating along.
Airbnb Limitations in Ottawa
While the tourism industry in Ottawa is great for structuring your investments, there are some restrictions around short-term rentals that you need to keep in mind if you plan to invest in the Ottawa real estate market.
Ottawa only permits short-term rentals in properties that meet the following conditions:
- The Property is a Principal Residence in an Urban Area that is Not Prohibited by Zoning By-Laws
- The Property is a Principal Residence in Rural Villages
- The Property is a Cottage or Secondary Suite In Rural Areas Other Than the Villages
- The Property was Established as a Hotel Prior to the In-Force Date of the Short-Term Rental Bylaw
This means that for the most part, short-term rentals in the Ottawa real estate market are greatly limited and buying a bunch of properties for use on Airbnb or VRBO is not necessarily a strong strategy because the city’s limits prohibit this type of investment.
Developing Affordable Housing for Low-Income Canadians in Ottawa Real Estate
One of the most in-demand forms of real estate development needed in Ottawa is low-income housing. While the vacancy rate in Ottawa on average is a healthy 3.4 per cent, the low-income vacancy rate is only 0.2 per cent. This means that the city is in desperate need of affordable housing units in order to prevent an affordable housing crisis from becoming completely unmanageable.
As a result, there are incentives in place to encourage developers who are capable of building large-scale multifamily properties to enter the city to create apartment complexes, condominiums and townhomes that can be used as low-income, affordable housing.
Network to get work
If you need a leg up on entering the Ottawa real estate market, you’re in luck. The capital city is home to the Ottawa Real Estate Investors Organization (OREIO). This not-for-profit organization educates members on the latest trends and newest laws in the world of Ottawa real estate investment. They also provide ample networking opportunities, so you can find the area’s best real estate agents and property lawyers, as well as a group of like-minded people willing to team up for investment joint ventures.
Membership is $127 a year. If you’re not up the membership fees, the city is home to less formal gatherings all the time. Just do a little homework and you’ll be able to find a group that’s right for you.
Ottawa’s housing market is booming, making it the right time to invest. Whether you’re just getting started or are a seasoned professional, investing in Ottawa could be a great move for you.
Ottawa Real Estate – Investing in the Capital of Canada
Investors who take advantage of the Ottawa market in order to bolster their portfolio get to enjoy the blissful irony of earning capital in the nation’s capital – and you can too if you plan accordingly. Often because of the high-profile nature of the city, people overlook the bargains that can be found in Ottawa when they should be seizing the opportunity to build their wealth off of these deals.
So, in order to make sure you are ready to seize a great deal the moment one arrives, let us help you get prepared at LendCity. Learn your maximum purchase price and start hunting for investment properties today with our quick and easy pre-approval process. Then, let us provide you with the best available rate from one of our experienced lenders so that you can spend more time focused on your investments and less time on your finances.
Ottawa Real Estate Professionals
We have searched high and low for real estate investing professionals in Ottawa. Below, you can find professionals we have researched and can confirm they specialize in working with Real Estate Investors.
To ensure the maximum success in real estate investing in Ottawa, or any city, you should always use professionals who understand and work with investors, your income depends on it.
This list may not fully list all the professionals in the area, but the ones we have personally investigated and that we would refer our clients to.
If you’re a real estate professional and would like us to consider adding you to the list, please contact us.
You can also click the button below to book a free strategy call with our team at LendCity.