The Canadian capital Ottawa continues to see a real estate boom that is expected to carry on throughout 2020.
The number of house sales and property prices soared in the Canadian capital last year and aren’t showing any signs of slowing down.
The trend looks set to continue in 2020 but comes at a time when the region is grappling with a lack of affordable housing.
One of the biggest factors driving the increase in Ottawa is market demand from both Canadian and overseas property investors.
Angelo Toscano, a real estate agent based in Orléans, said: ‘Each quarter, the properties have increased in value.’
He continued: ‘We started the year fairly stable. We were looking at about three buyers for each property. Now we have eight buyers per property.’
This demand often results in bidding wars between buyers, with the winner often paying above the list price.
A similar trend is also happening in Gatineau, Que., according to the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).
Last year was the fifth straight year that sales grew in the city, according to Lukas Jasmin-Tucci, a spokesperson for the corporation.
The forecast for 2020 is similar, with prices expected to increase 10 to 12 per cent, he said.
While the real estate market is going strong, the region is also struggling with a lack of affordable housing.
Many organizations have been sounding the alarm for months. The CMHC estimates that Ottawa’s rental housing vacancy rate was at 1.6 per cent in 2018, the last year for which there is data.
Across the Ottawa River, the vacancy rate in Gatineau sits at 1.2 per cent, the lowest in the province.
While the price of homes in the region continues to grow, advocacy groups persist in their push for investments in affordable housing.
Overseas property investors interested in Canada may want to consider Ottawa and Gatineau and take advantage of the high rental demand.