News / Ottawa

Ottawa rental vacancy rate falls to three per cent

Slight dip from last year as more people move to city.

Rental signs are still relatively common in Ottawa with a vacancy rate at three per cent.

Flickr/ Kurt Bauschardt

Rental signs are still relatively common in Ottawa with a vacancy rate at three per cent.

Ottawa’s rental market has gotten slightly better for landlords, but it’s still not a bad one for renters.

New data from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) shows the city has a three per cent vacancy rate right now, down from 3.4 per cent a year ago.

Anne-Marie Shaker, a senior market analyst with CMHC, said that should make business slightly easier for landlords.

“It’s a decline from last year, so it is an improvement in market conditions,” she said.

She said the Ottawa vacancy rate has been around three per cent for several years now, and the agency is forecasting it will stay around that mark for the next two years.

“It’s not as tight as the 1.9 or 1.4 that we saw in the 1990s, so I think this is the new normal,” she said.

CMHC attributes increased employment among people between 15 and 24 years of age as one of the primary drivers of the drop in vacancy rates, as well as an increase in people coming to the city.

“It is clear that the driver here is stronger demand and stronger demand is coming from more people,” said Shaker.

Not all parts of the city are created equally in the vacancy rate, with the Chinatown and Hintonburg area tighter at 1.8 per cent and South Keys at 3.5 per cent.

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