Mansion Global’s V.L. Hendrickson tells us that Ottawa has the highest density of tech jobs among 1,800 tech companies located in North America. In fact, according to Canadian Board of Real Estate, an international commercial real estate services and investment firm, tech jobs make up 11.2% of Ottawa’s total employment. Ottawa is also ranked #1 for “momentum” in the tech sector for North American cities.
One huge asset for Ottawa’s buyers, sellers and agents/brokers is that its real estate is considered to be “undervalued” compared with other Canadian real estate markets. The average sale price for a single-family home was $363,000 in April 2019, an y/y increase of +7.2% according to a report released by the Ottawa Real Estate Board. In the same report, the average sale price for a condo in Ottawa was approximately $275,000, an increase of +14.3% compared with April 2018.
So far in 2019, Ottawa’s average real estate prices overall have increased +6.6% and 8.7% respectively for single-family homes and condominiums. And, importantly, there is no tax for non-resident buyers in Ottawa whereas non-resident buyers in Toronto and Vancouver pay an extra 15% and 20% respectively. (No wonder international buyers are flocking to Ottawa.)
According to Mary Wilson of the Ottawa-based Mary Wilson Dream Properties and Christie’s International Real Estate, “Many tech firms are choosing Ottawa in part for its ability to attract top talent through offering an attractive lifestyle. There is an infusion of younger people in the city.” Wilson continued. “It’s an amazing place to live…a real game changer for attracting Millennials and connecting the downtown area to education centers.”
Ottawa’s high-end properties offer many choices. There are luxury condos with expansive city and water views as well as “charming” 100-year-old homes that have been beautifully renovated. The Rockcliffe Park enclave with some of the city’s finest schools and just a few miles from Parliament Hill has attracted CEO’s of tech companies. The Glebe neighborhood is popular among tech types with young families with its gorgeous architecture and access to Rideau Canal and trendy shops and restaurants along Bank Street.
Clearly, Ottawa’s strong job market is the catalyst for tech types to come to the city and its quality of life is the anchor that keeps people in the region. It’s hard to beat “undervalued” real estate, a booming economy with a long history of research and innovation in the tech area, and countless cultural amenities such as 35 annual festivals, the National Gallery of Canada and Gatineau Park with some 190 acres of land for hiking, biking and skiing.