Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

December 16, 2014 08:15 ET

October 2014 Rental Market in Ottawa

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Dec. 16, 2014) - The rental apartment vacancy rate1 in the Ottawa Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) was 2.6 per cent in October 2014, down from 2.9 per cent in October 2013 according to the Fall Rental Market Survey released today by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

"The vacancy rate declined this October as potential first-time homebuyers remained in the rental market due to softer employment conditions for the 25-44 age group. A robust number of immigrants coupled with healthy student demand for off-campus rental accommodations tightened the rental market further," said Sandra Perez-Torres, CMHC's Senior Market Analyst for Eastern and Northern Ontario.

On the basis of a sample of structures common to both the 2013 and 2014 surveys2, the average rent for two-bedroom apartment did not change. Three-bedroom units saw the highest increase in average rent at 1.4 per cent following a 1.9 per cent increase last October.

The apartment vacancy rate in most zones in Ottawa declined from the previous year. The highest vacancy was observed for three-bedroom units in Nepean and one-bedroom units in western Ottawa and surrounding areas. New Edinburgh/ Manorpark/ Overbrook saw the lowest vacancy rate in bachelor units. The area is popular among the younger Ottawa population due to its closeness to the downtown.

In the Ottawa CMA, the number additional condominium units offered for rent tempered this year, declining to 475 units whereby 1,254 units were added to the condo rental universe during the previous year. The vacancy rate for rental condominiums also tightened to 1.7 per cent from 3.6 per cent a year earlier. Condominium apartments have a slight edge over the purpose-built units as condos generally offer more amenities. When comparing a 2-bedroom condominium apartment with a purpose built unit of equal bedroom count completed after 2005, the average rents of these dwelling types were almost on par, which shifted demand towards condominium apartments.

CMHC recognizes that there is demand to fill information gaps with respect to Canada's housing markets. To address this need CMHC has, for the first time, asked property managers to provide information on the total number of condominium apartment units owned by people whose permanent residence is outside of Canada as part of its survey. The condominium foreign investment information was collected in 11 Census Metropolitan Areas (CMA) in Canada. They include: Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montréal and Québec.

The results of this additional question indicate that the percentage of foreign investment in condominiums in Victoria is 1.1 per cent, Vancouver 2.3 per cent, Calgary 0.2 per cent, Edmonton 0.1 per cent, Saskatoon 0.3 per cent, Regina 0.1 per cent, Winnipeg 0.1 per cent, Toronto 2.4 per cent, Ottawa 0.7 per cent, Montréal 1.5 per cent and Québec 0.6 per cent. With respect to location, the city core in Canada's largest rental markets (Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver) experienced larger foreign condominium ownership. (More details can be found on page 5 of the report).

Rental Market data is also available in English and French at the following link:

CMA Rental Market Report

As Canada's authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers objective housing research and advice to Canadian governments, consumers and the housing industry.

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Additional data is available upon request.

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(1) The survey is based on privately-initiated rental apartment structures of three or more units.

(2) Year-over-year comparisons of average rents can be slightly misleading because rents in newly built structures tend to be higher than in existing buildings. Excluding new structures and focusing on structures existing in both the October 2013 and October 2014 surveys provides a better indication of actual rent increases paid by tenants.

A table is available at the following address:

Contact Information

  • Market Analysis Contact:
    Sandra Perez-Torres, Senior Market Analyst

    Media Contact:
    Beth Bailey, Consultant, Communications and Marketing