Why Invest in Rent-to-Own?
- You make a difference in someone’s life!
- Investment offers premium return
- Invest for a pre-determined length of time – 1 year to 3 year-term
- Challenge-free investment strategy. No need to manage tenants and maintain the property. Tenant-buyers take care of the property as if it was their own from the very beginning of the term.
CANADIAN REAL ESTATE MARKET SUMMARY
New housing prices are up despite the pandemic!
The global pandemic has presented numerous challenges to many industries across Canada and some observers have predicted that new housing prices would fall.
Nevertheless, prices for new houses were up 1.3% six months into the pandemic (between February and August 2020) in comparison to a 0.2% drop observed during the same period in 2019. Prices have risen in 23 of the 27 cities covered by the New Housing Price Index since the onset of the pandemic (see Chart 1).
Ottawa (+9.5%) reported the largest annual growth in new house prices in February, which may have been partially attributable to the introduction of a provincial foreign buyer tax geared towards cooling the Toronto and Vancouver housing market. Six months into the pandemic, strong housing demand coupled with low supply persisted in Ottawa as house prices increased by 5.3% between February and August 2020.
Source: Statistics Canada.
Statistics released on January 15, 2021 by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) show national home sales set another all-time record in December 2020.
- National home sales rose 7.2% on a month-over-month (m-o-m) basis in December
- Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was up 47.2% year-over-year (y-o-y)
- The number of newly listed properties climbed 3.4% from November to December
- The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) rose 1.5% m-o-m and was up 13% y-o-y
- The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average sale price posted a 17.1% y-o-y gain in December
- Source: The Canadian Real state Association (Chart 2)
Historical Average SOLD Home Prices in Ottawa
(Average sale price for residential and condominium-class properties)
Ottawa is not only the nation’s capital, but the economic centre of Eastern Ontario as well. With a population of nearly 1, 400,000, the City of Ottawa is the fourth largest city in Canada and the second-largest in the Province of Ontario. Ottawa citizens enjoy unparalleled economic well-being, health, and overall quality of living. Mercer ranked the city as having the second-highest quality of living of any large city in the Americas and 14th highest in the world in its 2014 Quality of Living Survey. In 2014, the city was also ranked as the fourth best place to live in all of Canada according to MoneySense Magazine. Functioning as the nation’s capital, Ottawa will always have strong transportation links to international markets. Ottawa’s diversity has allowed it to weather an economic storm better than other communities.
Ottawa is a significant point of entry into Canada for immigrants from around the world. Immigrants who settle in Ottawa are attracted by high-paying professional jobs or post-secondary studies. Statistics Canada says Ottawa tied with London, Ontario for the second-fastest-growing census metropolitan areas in Canada during the 2018-19 period. A report shows Ottawa’s population grew by 2.3 percent year over year. An estimated 1,095,134 people lived in the capital on July 1, 2019. Population growth is expected to continue. The City’s Official Plan predicted growth of 16% over the 15 years (2016-31).
Ottawa’s robust economy centres on two major sectors – high technology and the federal government, with more than 25,000 employers. In fact, Ottawa traditionally has one of the lowest unemployment rates in Canada. The city’s 20-year overall average unemployment rate is 6.8%. While government occupations will continue to provide a majority of jobs for Ottawa residents, the city boasts a diverse economy, benefitting from growth sectors such as environmental technologies, biophotonics, and microelectromechanical systems. Over 1,900 high-tech companies have come to call the city home, employing nearly 75,000 people. The city now has the second-largest concentration of science and engineering employment in North America, surpassed only by Silicon Valley. Some of Canada’s most notable R&D organizations are based in Ottawa, including:
- National Research Council
- Communications Research Centre
- Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
- The National Sciences and Engineering Research Council
With a young, entrepreneurial workforce, Ottawa was ranked #1 (out of 61 cities, globally) for the creativity and diversity of its economy.
November resale volume of 1,611 units up by a whopping 25.5% versus last year; year-to-date volume has now surpassed 2019 (+1.1%) despite the pandemic • Continued spotty inventory prevented even greater volume growth while helping to propel prices forward in both market segments • Average residential price up by 20.3% versus last November; year-to-date price growth now stands at a hefty19.6% • Average condominium price up by 15.2% versus last November; year-to-date price growth now stands at an equally hefty 19.0%.
Rental Market Activity
The average rent for all Canadian properties listed on Rentals.ca in December 2020 was $1,723 per month, down 7.1% annually and 1.1% from November 2020. The Canadian rental market weakness continued in the final month of the year, but the 7.1% year-over-year drop was the lowest rate of decline since May 2020. In Ottawa, specifically, as of January 2021 on average for one-bedroom units the rent declined month-over-month by 0.7%, year-over-year declined by 2.7%; for 2 bedroom unit month-over-month increase of 1.1% and year-over-year decline by 3.8%. The average rent in Ontario declined by 7.8% annually to $2,090 per month. Three markets experienced significant rent growth in December 2020 compared to December 2019, including Gatineau at 21.8%, Kitchener at 16.8%, and Hamilton at 15.1%. Six major markets experienced double-digit rent deflation year over year, from Ottawa at -10% to Toronto at -19.4%. The biggest factors that resulted from the pandemic were job loss for workers lower in the pay spectrum, and a major decline in immigration. Most lower-income workers rent, and many (if not most) immigrants, international students, and temporary workers rent when they first arrive in Canada. These factors pulled significant demand from the market. Stage 2 of the city’s light-rail transit project has been announced, and there’s still interest in procuring land around LRT sites. Despite some short-term uncertainty in the rental housing market caused by factors like the switch to online learning at universities, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation expects demand to remain strong as conditions return to normal. Source: Rentals.ca
With demand dampened by the COVID-19 pandemic and an increase in supply, Ottawa’s rental apartment vacancy rate rose to 3.9 percent in October 2020 — a 16-year high, and more than double what it was in 2019. In its annual rental market report, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation described a rise in the vacancy rate in core Ottawa neighbourhoods, and in areas popular with students and/or with lots of newly-built units — Sandy Hill/Lowertown, Alta Vista, Chinatown/Hintonburg/Westboro. A CMHC report says key factors driving increased vacancy rates stem from the COVID-19 pandemic: reduced immigration, fewer students renting, and remote work.
Unlike other municipalities that rely on a small number of industries or sectors, Ottawa’s diversity has allowed it to weather an economic storm better than other communities. Ottawa citizens consistently experience the above-average wage employment provided by being the nation’s capital. This means that Ottawa’s real estate market is not prone to a boom-bust cycle that other areas experience – good news for both Ottawa residents and investors looking to focus in this area.
Source: REIN, Ottawa Report, 2015.