The convincing you needed to invest in Ottawa real estate
You’ve probably heard at some point that investing in real estate can help you grow your wealth. In fact, investing in real estate can bring you steady cash flow, build equity, and secure financial freedom.
With all of the benefits of investing in real estate, it is essential to find the location that will help you achieve these benefits as quickly as possible and with minimal risk. You may be wondering where you should invest in real estate, big cities like Toronto, Ottawa or Montreal, or smaller towns? As an Ottawa real estate broker, with many years in the industry, I am here to tell you why Ottawa should be the number one place on your list to invest in real estate.
Whether you are a first-time real estate investor or a seasoned investor, take a look at the top 10 reasons to invest in Ottawa real estate. I’ve also added a bonus reason at the end of the blog. Keep reading to find out what it is!
#1 Low Entry Barrier
If you’ve recently taken a look at the housing costs in Toronto, you’ve probably seen that the average house price is upwards of one million dollars. Astonishing, right? According to Maclean’s in 2019, the average value of one’s primary real estate in Toronto is $963,076. If costs like these seem outrageous to you, then investing in Ottawa real estate will look like a much more sound decision. In Ottawa, the average value of someone’s primary real estate is $543,814 in 2019. That is 56% lower than Toronto’s average real estate value!
Entering the Ottawa real estate market is much more accessible than Toronto’s as the Ottawa housing prices can be half of that in Toronto. With lower housing costs, you’ll have more of a selection of properties to choose from, that are also in your price range, including condos, townhouses, detached homes, and more.
#2 You Don’t Need To Pay In Full
Most investments require you to pay the full amount before you see your money grow. For example, if you invest in the stock market, you need to invest a substantial amount of money to see a significant change in your earnings. On the other hand, investing in real estate does not require you to pay for the entire condo or house right away. For instance, you will only have to put 20% down to own 100% of the property.
With cheaper housing costs than Toronto, and only a small down payment needed to secure your chosen property, it’s much simpler to begin investing in real estate. Over time, you will have the money to pay it off in full and begin to build equity. Also, as a tangible asset, you will be able to receive financing to make paying off the mortgage easier as time goes on.
#3 Stable Real Estate Market
If you wondered how the housing prices in Toronto have gotten so high, it’s because the surrounding businesses that makeup Toronto’s economy are doing well. Therefore, when business is booming, housing prices increase, and when companies crash, the housing market crashes.
Unlike Toronto’s market, which is based on businesses, Ottawa’s real estate market is based on government. In 2016, about 145,000 people worked for the government in Canada’s Capital, which is a little over 10% of the region’s total population! This means that Ottawa’s market will not crash as the government’s stability backs it. The government’s support is an excellent advantage as you can rest assured that your investment will not depreciate because of businesses not doing well.
Ottawa is definitely a government town, but that’s not the only thing that makes it a stable real estate market. In fact, the 2nd biggest tech hub in Canada is located in – you guessed it, Ottawa, employing about 64,500 tech workers in 2019.
If you’re looking for more reasons to love Ottawa as an investment opportunity, we also have seven colleges and universities, many non-profit organizations, embassies, and to top it all, in 2019 Ottawa’s unemployment rate was lower than Toronto’s with 5.1% and 6.4%, respectively.
With the government support and the strong economy of the city, whatever property type you decide to invest in will hold its value with time.
#4 Choose Your Risk and Involvement Level
One of the main reasons to invest in Ottawa real estate is that you can control what you buy based on your risk tolerance. You can also choose your level of involvement in a property, one that suits your current schedule.
If you’re looking for a low maintenance property, a turn-key condo may be the right choice for you. On the other hand, if you want to be very involved and have a high-risk tolerance, flipping a house may be right for you.
You can also diversify your real estate portfolio. Just because you decide to invest in a condo, doesn’t mean that you can’t purchase a house later on. Having a diversified portfolio can be a benefit as your risk will be mitigated with the variety of properties in your portfolio.
I’ve put these learnings into practice for my real estate portfolio and my clients, so whether you’re looking to rent a turn-key condo or flip a property, Ottawa is the place to do it!
#5 Tried and True Investment
There is a reason why 9 out of 10 millionaires get rich from real estate (at least according to this article). It’s a reliable asset and alternative to investing in the stock market, which continually has its ups and downs.
In Ottawa, it is possible to generate stable cash flow with real estate investments. Your cash flow will become stronger over time as you pay down the mortgage of your property. It can also grow as rental and housing prices increase. As your cash flow increases, and you build equity, you will have the leverage to expand your real estate portfolio by purchasing more properties.
#6 Low Foreclosure and Vacancy Rates
If you’re considering investing in Ottawa real estate, it is important to note that you have to really have to qualify for a house. This is good news because high standards to qualify mean less foreclosure and vacancy rates. In 2019, we saw a vacancy rate or 1.8%, compared to 2.2% across Canada.
With top paying employers such as the government, military, healthcare and more, you are more likely to get a tenant who is working in a secure job and can afford to live in your place if you decide to rent. In 2019, Ottawa reported a median household income of $92,579 compared to Toronto’s $71,324 median household income. In case your eyes didn’t see that right, yes, Ottawa’s is over $20,000 higher!
There are also seven major colleges and universities that bring a steady flow of students needing a place to live for their time in school. The two most prominent institutions being the University of Ottawa and Carleton University.
Finally, it is estimated that around 28 people move to Ottawa daily – meaning that there will always be a big pool of new people looking for a property to rent or buy.
#7 Growing Areas
Ottawa continues to develop as several neighbourhoods continue to expand. Investing in an area close to coffee shops, gyms, shopping malls, schools, restaurants, and more will be more beneficial as these areas have a high demand for many different demographics.
I also recommend purchasing in areas that are always stable like Centretown, or communities that are going through stages of growth or renewal like Overbrook and Bells Corners. You can also predict which areas will grow in the future by following where the big property builders are going. With places slowly developing, you may be able to buy a home for a low price and watch it’s value increase rapidly.
If you’re looking at where to invest in Ottawa real estate, I’ve written a blog post on why you should get a home in Centretown, Ottawa. You can check it out here to see why this area in Ottawa is the perfect neighbourhood.
#8 LRT Expansion
If you’re from Ottawa, chances are you waited for the LRT to begin running for ages. Thankfully stage 1 is complete, and stage 2 is underway. In case you’re not from Ottawa, the LRT is Ottawa’s new Light Rail Transit, which currently extends from Blair Station to Tunney’s Pasture.
The LRT was created as an urban railway (kind of like a subway, but aboveground) to provide an alternative for travellers who would typically take the bus and to reduce bus traffic around the city. The second phase is currently under construction and will extend from Moodie to Trim, and from Gladstone to Limeback. You can view the stage two map here.
Investing in Ottawa real estate that is easily accessible to transportation has many benefits in itself. Having an investment near local transit will increase your property value and attract more tenants. I recommend that all of my clients invest in properties anywhere within 20 km of the LRT or other transportation methods.
#9 Increased Freedom
Not all real estate investments require the buyer to manage every part of the property. Many buyers will purchase a turn-key condo, where security and maintenance will take care of any property issues. This means that you can still have another job while managing your property.
As mentioned above, you can choose the level of freedom or involvement that suits your lifestyle.
#10 Buy When The Market Benefits You
One of my favourite advantages in real estate investing is that you can buy when the market is at your advantage, and you can sell when the market is at your advantage. If you want to know whether the real estate market is currently favouring sellers or buyers, contact me, and I will fill you in!
Bonus! – #11 Quality of Life
As a bonus to the list, I have included quality of life as one of the top reasons to invest in Ottawa real estate. There are so many reasons why Ottawa is the desired city to live in, which is why it is the perfect area to begin investing in Ottawa real estate. From transportation to trendy neighbourhoods and, there is a reason why Ottawa has been ranked #3 by Macleans as the best community in Canada. View the community rankings here.
With the canal at the centre, parks scattered around the city, bike lanes on major roads, and Gatineau Park located nearby, many people love the healthy and clean lifestyle that Ottawa offers.
The city also contains several neighbourhoods that showcase Ottawa’s cultural diversity. With Little Italy, Chinatown, the ByWard Market and more, there is no shortage of multicultural cuisine. You can also enjoy fresh, local foods at the weekly farmers’ markets over the summer months.
With entertainment all year round, there is no question as to why Ottawa is an enjoyable place. The music festivals in the summer and skating on the canal in the winter continue to attract people to the nation’s capital every year. As Ottawa’s quality of life continues to improve, your real estate investments will only grow stronger.
Now that you know the top 10 reasons to invest in Ottawa real estate, it’s time to start your investment journey. You can begin the process by working with someone who is experienced in helping others build a real estate portfolio (me!). If you’d like to chat with me before making any decisions, please reach out to me by email at email@example.com or by phone (613) 818-2409.
Do you have more reasons to invest in Ottawa that I should add to this list? If so, let me know in the comments!