High paying jobs
The federal government employs over 110,000 people and over 1,900 technology companies employ over 75,000 employees. The number of jobs is great, but the fact that many of these are high paying jobs is even better. Ottawa is a great town for real estate investors who want to rent their properties to people who can afford market rent rates and the yearly rent increases that are approved by the Ontario government.
Ottawa’s five year population growth rate is at 8.8% which is faster than both the provincial average 5.7% and the Canadian average of 5.9%. This means that Ottawa’s population is growing due to in-migration and immigration and the people who move to Ottawa need homes to live in which helps keep the rental demand high.
Low vacancy rates
Ottawa has a low overall vacancy rate of 2.6% so the demand for rentals is strong. In its spring 2015 Housing Market Outlook for Ottawa, the Canadian Housing and Housing Corporation (CMHC) expects Ottawa’s vacancy rate to rise slightly in 2015 to 2.8% before dropping to 2.4% in 2016.
Major projects & gentrification
Major projects like the Light Rail Train (LRT) Confederation Line are transforming the city’s transit system and revitalizing a large number of communities while creating jobs at the same time. These projects are renewing areas such as Lebreton Flats, Old Ottawa East, and Little Italy and investment opportunities can be found in these neighborhoods.
City bylaws are favorable
Ottawa’s secondary suite by law is currently very favorable for investors. The city allows the addition of one unit in a detached dwelling, one in each half of a semi-detached building, and one for the whole of a duplex in most parts of Ottawa. When done right, secondary dwelling units can offer safe and affordable housing to renters while helping investors increase their cash flow and property values at the same time.
Positive cash flow
There are plenty of investors who say that it’s difficult to find cash flowing properties in Ottawa. It may be difficult but it’s certainly possible. Cash flowing properties are out there and investors need to be persistent and patient, and also know how to create cash flow when analyzing properties.
In general, the Ottawa real estate market offers real estate investors slow and steady growth. Don Campbell from the Real Estate Investment Network (REIN) explains it best when he says that “investors will hit singles and doubles in Ottawa along with the occasional home run”.
Not only is Ottawa a great place to live – it’s also a great city to invest in.
Ottawa Sun - June 12, 2015