Friday, June 06, 2008

Ottawa condominium prices jumped

The price of Ottawa condominium housing has jumped in the last decade.

Demand for condos in the urban core will continue to grow as a result of rising gas prices and the appeal of downtown living.

However, people who are wary about the future of the Ottawa housing market can find some other attractive options in the report. The humble bungalow and traditional two-storey house could prove to be hedges against an unpredictable future.

The price of an urban condominium has jumped 152.8% over the last decade to an average of $209,500 in the first quarter of this year compared to 1998. Nationwide, the average urban condominium price rose 131.5% to $284,312.

In Kanata and Orleans, the average price of condos has risen 126.1% to $175,250 in the first quarter of this year compared to a decade earlier. Across Canada, suburban condominium prices rose 103.7% to $212,323.

The condominium is the only class of housing in both urban and suburban settings where Ottawa prices have outpaced the national average. In most other groups, Ottawa trails by about 20%.

We predicts appeal of the central neighborhoods will continue to grow for first-time buyers and baby boomer's selling suburban empty-nests.

It defines the suburban market as Orleans and Kanata. The urban market includes the older city of Ottawa plus newer eastern, western and southern communities.

If you want to live inside the Greenbelt, take a look at urban bungalows. They don't have the appeal of condos for empty-nesters and first-time homebuyers, but the price increase has been much more modest compared to the national average and could prove to be more attractive long-term investments.

Urban bungalows have risen a relatively modest 100% to $273,500 over the decade. But tread carefully with suburban bungalows. Suburban bungalows have risen 106 per cent to $283,500.

Even more attractive is the two-storey house. It may have been the house of choice of the 80s, but the price increase has been modest both in suburban and urban Ottawa.

Two-storey urban houses have risen just 88% to $278,750 while two-storey suburban house prices have risen 110.8% to $325,375.

The study shows that urban housing prices have risen faster than suburban housing over the last decade in Ottawa and across Canada.

Ottawa has been a relatively stable housing market over the decade compared to the explosive price growth in Toronto and Vancouver, the big jumps in Alberta and the current catch-up price movements in Prairie and Maritime cities.

Wwith a high proportion of Ottawa's workforce employed by the government, with offices in the downtown core, it's not surprising that house prices in city's urban neighbourhoods have appreciated as much as they have.

Minimizing travel to work increases family time and lowers gas costs, making the urban choice attractive.

Many people view the higher cost of living in urban areas simply as the price tag for increased personal time.


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