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Ottawa March 2024 Real Estate Market Updates

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Commercial and Industrial

According to Altus, the commercial and industrial sectors faced setbacks in 2023 Q4. In the multi-family sector, there was a slight decrease of 15% year-over-year, with $898 million in total transaction volume. The office sector experienced a more significant decline, posting $527 million in transactions, down by 34% compared to the previous year. Similarly, the retail sector saw a notable drop, recording $197 million in transactions, marking a 51% decrease year-over-year. Ottawa’s industrial sector suffered the most, with transaction volume plummeting by 75% year-over-year to just $210 million.

Rentals

According to Zumper, as of March 2024, the median rent for all bedroom counts and property types is $2,100. 

The CMHC January 2024 Rental Market Report indicates a tight rental market in the Ontario portion of Ottawa-Gatineau. In 2023, it was tight for availability, with a vacancy rate resting at just 2.1%. Although supply increased, so did demand. This vacancy rate is near historical norms, but was paired with a significant rise in rental costs, making it more difficult for potential tenants to find suitable rental housing.

Somewhat to be expected, areas with lower rental rates had the fewest available units. Neighbourhoods in the east, in particular, which were less expensive, had the largest drops in vacancy rates. Two-bedroom apartments with rents below $750 had a vacancy rate of 0.0%. The average rent for these types of apartments rose by 4.0%. Condo vacancy rates stayed low at 0.4%, having remained under 1% since 2019.

The persistent demand for purpose-built rental apartments maintained pressure on the rental market. 2023’s high international migration to the province, including immigrants and non-permanent residents, heightened this market demand. Additionally, the increasing challenges associated with homeownership due to high prices and mortgage rates, encouraged many households to choose or stay renting, further adding to the demand.

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Residential

In March 2024, home sales increased by 10% compared to March 2023, totaling 1,165 units. However, they remained notably below both the five-year and ten-year averages for March, by 21.5% and 15%, respectively. The average selling price rose to $682,078, a 5.1% increase from March 2023, with the year-to-date average reaching $659,828, up by 3.2% from the first three months of 2023. Total home sales volume for March 2024 amounted to $794.6 million, up by 15.6% from March 2023. New residential listings also increased by 13.5% compared to March 2023, totalling 2,074 listings, but they remained below both the five-year and ten-year averages. Active residential listings by the end of March 2024 were up by 18.3% from March 2023, reaching 2,543 units. Despite this, with months of inventory at 2.2, slightly higher than March 2023, the market remains relatively tight compared to the long-run average of 2.6 months for this time of year.

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