Properties in Ottawa-Gatineau are projected to witness substantial price gains this year, but this could mean a further decline in the supply of affordable homes, market watchers said.
The surge in demand is fuelling the price gains in the National Capital Region, said Angelo Toscano, an Orléans-based real estate agent.
"Each quarter, the properties have increased in value. We started the year fairly stable. We were looking at about three buyers for each property. Now we have eight buyers per property," he told CBC News.
Gatineau, for instance, recorded its fifth consecutive year of sales growth last year, according to the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). It is projected that the prices in the city would increase by 10% to 12% this year.
This could put a strain on first-home buyers, who are increasingly finding themselves priced out of the market, CMHC said. Furthermore, the continued growth in house prices is pushing more Canadians to rent.
CMHC said while the real estate market is going strong, the region lacks affordable housing. In its estimates, rental housing vacancy was at 1.6% in Ottawa and 1.2% in Gatineau.
With this, advocacy groups are calling for a boost in investments in affordable housing.
Figures from the City of Ottawa said there are roughly 10,000 people on the waiting list for social housing.
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