The Housing Crush in Ottawa

The Ottawa housing market has been rising at an incredible pace the last 20 months or so, even during the stay at home orders our prices were rising… 

…what’s going on in the Ottawa housing market?   

Over the last 10 years, an average of 8,000 households move to Ottawa each year (net) and about 6,000 new housing units are built each year. This has slowly taken us over the last decade from a buyer’s market with a large number of choices, to a seller’s market with limited inventory. 

We’re currently at a 10 year low for the number of properties available for sale in Ottawa, and this is including the growth that we’ve seen over the last decade.   

We’ll have new updated numbers for the month of July in the next few weeks which may give us a better picture of exactly how tight the market is… 

…but to give you a picture I’d like to show you a few slides from a Nanos research poll conducted in May 2020 of potential homebuyers and sellers in Ontario. 

When home owners were asked if they had planned to sell their home if not for COVID-19, 37% said YES.

After COVID-19 only 7% of Homeowners still planned on Selling their homes.

While 49% of people surveyed were looking to buy a home. 

That means there are roughly x7 more home buyers than homes for sale!
(and having see the number of offers that show up on most homes, I believe it.) 

What will change the Ottawa housing market? 

Naturally more houses for sale and rent in Ottawa would help stabilize the market. However, considering the development industry was set back by COVID-19 this year as well we probably won’t see as many house completed this year. 

What we’re watching closely is the condo market.  

With the current climate, the major universities in Ottawa are moving to virtual classes which means we won’t have as many non-Ottawan students coming into town in the fall, renting properties and in some case buying condos to build equity over a few years while they’re here. Additionally, as many as 2400  new purpose-built rentals will be coming online in the next 2 years, something we haven’t seen in Ottawa for a long time. Finally, with the new Ottawa city AirBnB rules and regulations many investment property owners may be looking to unload their AirBnB condos come the fall. 

While we don’t have a crystal ball to tell you exactly when this market will shift, we do know that it will shift, as all real estate markets are cyclical.  When it does begin to shift we suspect that you’ll first see it in the condo market, and that will be the first indicators that housing prices may begin to level off. 

One word of caution I’d like to offer though is if you’re watching the market and trying to time it, you risk being priced out of the market. If you’d like to know what the risk in waiting could be for you and your family give me a call at 613-788-2113 I’d love to chat about your real estate needs. 

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