Is the Ottawa Real Estate Market a Good Place to Invest?

Investors in the Ottawa real estate market have a number of great options. The capital of Canada is a mid sized city with the highest per capita income levels in the country. With excellent employment opportunities, large universities, a thriving public sector and high-tech industry, Ottawa attracts thousands of newcomers every year. These factors make investing in Ottawa houses and condos a great alternative to more established areas.

The property prices historically have been very stable and trended consistently upward for both free-hold and condominium type ownerships. Ottawa real estate agents can give you a detailed report on each neighbourhood and type of property. There are many types of residential real estate in Ottawa and deciding which type to buy depends on many factors and your personal situation. While Ottawa is no longer an inexpensive city, property prices are still considered moderate relative to other Canadian cities such as Vancouver and Toronto. 

As with other investments your investment budget and how much risk you are willing to take will determine the type of residential property that fits your portfolio. For a low maintenance option purchasing Ottawa condos is a great start. Condominiums in Ottawa are more affordable than free-hold houses and they tend to be located closer to the city centre, to universities and to public transportation routes. Some investors focus with great success, on condos close to universities and public sector building complexes. Students and government employees tend to be a common target market for rental condo units. Some of the prime neighbourhoods for condo investments are the By-ward Market and other downtown locations, and Nepean close to Algonquin College as well the areas around Carleton University. Low maintenance, low insurance fee and attractive purchase prices couples with a large market make condos in Ottawa a solid option for Ottawa real estate investors.

Free-hold (non condo) townhomes are another popular option many investors chose. While townhouses normally attract a different type of tenant than condos, the demand is great for them. Most townhouses are located in one the large Ottawa suburbs such as Barrhaven, Orleans or Kanata. Prices have increased in recent years but relatively older townhouses can still be found for lower than average prices. As the city attracts many newcomers with families, townhouses are generally easy to rent. Maintenance costs of course are higher than for condos but as free-holds the owners do not pay condo fees. Investors should focus on more affordable, older properties in proximity to schools, playgrounds, public transportation, shopping, and community centres. These established areas are popular among families moving to Ottawa from other cities or outside the country.

Purchasing multi-unit properties can be a more complex undertaking. The financial rewards can however, be excellent. Ottawa has a lot of duplex, triplex and four-plex type free-hold buildings. These are generally located in the more established, older neighourhoods such Sandy Hill, Lower Town, The Golden Triangle and Westboro. There are other areas however, such as Carlington that boast an increasing number of multi-unit buildings that are more affordable than central areas. 

During the last decade Ottawa has become an increasingly popular alternative to larger Canadian cities to invest in. The trend to move away from large and very expensive metropolitan areas such as Toronto helped smaller, high income and well-developed cities like Ottawa become more attractive places to live and invest in. Given the still moderate prices and high demand coupled with high rent values Ottawa will remain an excellent real estate investment opportunity.