Condo Construction Fueled By Demand For Rentals: Record High Of 11,032 New Housing Units Launched In Ottawa

According to a recent report from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp (CMHC), the high demand for rental apartments and condos in Ottawa led to a record high of 11,032 new housing units being launched in 2022. This represented an eight per cent increase from the previous year, with 52 per cent of the starts being apartments and condos. For the first time in over two decades, new builds of purpose-built rental and condominium units outpaced those of single-detached and row houses. The report attributed this to rising interest rates making buying a home more expensive and soaring house prices, leading to increased demand for rental units. Immigrants and university students returning to campus also contributed to the demand. With larger homes priced out of many buyers’ range, there was a shift towards less expensive homes such as condominiums. Popular areas for new condos and apartments included the downtown core, Westboro North/Tunney’s Pasture, West Centretown/Fisher Park and Iris/Queensway Terrace/Whitehaven, while Lowertown was a hot spot for condo activity. Many of these projects were in densely populated areas where land is more expensive, prompting builders to look skyward to accommodate more units. The average height of a new apartment building in Ottawa increased from 5.1 storeys in 2021 to 7.3 storeys in 2022. However, CMHC warned that “activity for both condominiums and rental units could slow down in the coming years as funding for new projects is affected by rising interest rates.”

For more information and statistics, check out this article published by the Ottawa Business Journal: