These are the Most Affordable Neighbourhoods in Ottawa [INFOGRAPHIC]

Our nation’s capital isn’t just home to The Hill and the Rideau Canal – Ottawa has quickly become one of Canada’s most in-demand real estate markets, drawing buyers by the thousands for its great housing affordability, stable job market and family-centric communities – not to mention the delicious Beaver Tails.

A Heating Market

Home sales have ballooned 12.6% over the last two years, notes the Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB), with 13,418 residential class (detached and semi-detached homes) and 4,058 condos for sale in Ottawa (including townhouses) changing hands in 2018. Home values have seen healthy year-over-year gains, up 5.1% to $446,611 and 3.2% to $278,316, respectively. 

A shortage of MLS listings in Ottawa has also put upward price pressure on some markets, which OREB says could squeeze some buyers, especially those facing tougher mortgage qualification as the result of the federal stress test.

Most Neighbourhoods Affordable for Median Incomes

Even as home prices rise, however, Ottawa remains firmly within the realm of affordability for most home buyers, according to a study conducted by Zoocasa.com

To determine the level of affordability in each Ottawa neighbourhood, the study calculated the minimum income required to qualify for a mortgage for the average-priced home in 10 distinct parts of the city, based on all 2018 sold data from OREB. That amount was then compared to $85,981, the actual median income earned throughout the municipality, according to Statistics Canada. For the calculation, it was assumed the buyer qualified for a 30-year mortgage at 3.35%, and made a 20% down payment.

The findings reveal a market brimming with choice for prospective buyers, with home prices well aligned with incomes in nine out of 10 markets across the region. That offers a diverse array of home types and price entry points, from chic condos in Ottawa South to spacious lots and detached homes in Kanata, Nepean, and Orleans. 

“Ottawa has world-class amenities, great schools, a healthy tourism industry, and a buzzing retail and restaurant scene,” says Jonathan Amodeo, an Ottawa-based broker with Zoocasa. “In spite of its size and status, Ottawa remains a close-knit, community-oriented and family-friendly city, offering buyers the best of both worlds.”

This, combined with strong employment prospects, has proven to be an attractive draw for buyers migrating from less affordable markets, especially first-timers seeking more bang for their buck – for example, the average-priced detached home in the Greater Toronto Area cost $1,009,535 in 2018, more than double than for the average residential-class property in Ottawa.

“If you have a steady income and access to credit, it’s possible for most first-time buyers to become homeowners in Ottawa, which is in stark contrast to Canada’s largest housing markets” says Amodeo.

The only neighbourhood that cannot be considered affordable for median-income households is trendy Ottawa West Centretown where the average home price of $675,522 remains $6,271 out of budget. However, in every other neighbourhood assessed, a buyer with the median-income could afford the average home with cash left over. 

Related Read: These are Hamilton’s Most Affordable Neighbourhoods

Check out how much home a median-income earning buyer could afford in the infographic below:



Ottawa’s 5 Most Affordable Housing Markets

1 – Orleans

Average home price: $370,689 (+4% y-o-y)

Required income: $50,622

Actual income: $85,981

Income surplus: $35,359

2 – Barrhaven

Average home price: $387,052 (+11% y-o-y)

Required income: $52,855

Actual income: $85,981

Income surplus: $33,126

3 – Nepean

Average home price: $407,081 (+9% y-o-y)

Required income: $55,591

Actual income: $85,981

Income surplus: $30,390

4 – Kanata

Average home price: $416,337 (+8% y-o-y)

Required income: $56,855

Actual income: $85,981

Income surplus: $29,126

5 – Ottawa East

Average home price: $435,764 (-2% y-o-y)

Required income: $59,507

Actual income: $85,981

Income surplus: $26,474

Ottawa’s 5 Least Affordable Housing Markets

1 – Ottawa West Centretown

Average home price: $675,552 (+7% y-o-y)

Required income: $92,252

Actual income: $85,981

Income gap: $6,271

2 – Ottawa Central

Average home price: $569,780 (0% y-o-y)

Required income: $77,808

Actual income: $85,981

Income surplus: $8,173

3 – Ottawa West

Average home price: $533,758 (+7% y-o-y)

Required income: $72,889

Actual income: $85,981

Income surplus: $13,092

4 – Stittsville

Average home price: $459,248 (+5% y-o-y)

Required income: $62,714

Actual income: $85,981

Income surplus: $23,267

4 – Ottawa South

Average home price: $441,046 (+4% y-o-y)

Required income: $60,229

Actual income: $85,981

Income surplus: $25,752

About Penelope Graham

Penelope Graham is the Managing Editor at Zoocasa, and has over a decade of experience covering real estate, mortgage, and personal finance topics. Her commentary on the housing market is frequently featured on both national and local media outlets including BNN Bloomberg, CBC, The Toronto Star, National Post, and The Huffington Post. When not keeping an eye on Toronto's hot housing market, she can be found brunching in one of the city's many vibrant neighbourhoods, travelling abroad, or in the dance studio.