What can millennial homebuyers afford in Ottawa?


Millennials entering the Ottawa housing market are better positioned than their peers in most other major Canadian cities, according to a study released Thursday by Royal LePage.

The report, which looked at the relative purchasing powers of “peak millennials” – those aged 25 years or older – in cities across Canada, showed that the National Capital Region is well-suited for the younger generation’s first buys.

Making calculations on a median salary, Royal LePage’s research pegged the typical peak millennial’s budget for a first home at around $200,000, a figure that’s often pooled with a partner or supplemented by contributions from parents.

That puts a house well within reach in Ottawa, where the median aggregate home price in the first quarter of the year was $437,243. The aggregate price in the rest of Canada is close to $600,000.

Within a range of $325,000 to $425,000, buyers in Ottawa are getting, on aggregate, about 1,495 square feet of space in an attached, single-family home with three beds and two baths. Peak millennials are getting much less in the greater Toronto and greater Vancouver areas, but can afford slightly more space in Halifax.

Royal LePage also notes that Ottawa’s millennial cohort is increasingly looking downtown for property, a trend the real estate firm attributes to the city’s tech scene. That’s backed up anecdotally by firms such as Telesat, with CEO Dan Goldberg telling OBJ last month that the firm’s move to a new Elgin Street location is partially driven by a desire to attract millennial talent.

"Despite the availability of larger, detached homes in the rural areas just outside of Ottawa, many younger prospective homebuyers simply remain uninterested in sacrificing commute time and proximity to amenities for more space at the end of the day," said Adam Mills, Royal LePage broker of record, in a statement.