Cost per square foot of Ottawa-Gatineau housing rising at fastest clip in Canada: Royal LePage


Ottawa-Gatineau homebuyers are likely feeling wider holes in their pockets so far this year, as the median price per square foot of properties in the region is rising at a faster rate than any other major Canadian housing market, according to new data from Royal LePage.

In another sign of the rapid appreciation of home prices in Canada’s capital, Royal LePage said Wednesday that the median price per square foot of condominium space rose 17.9 per cent year-over-year in the first seven months of 2019 to $395. On the single-detached side, the price per square foot was $265, an increase of 8.5 per cent. In aggregate, area homebuyers are paying a median price of $264 per square foot, up 9.6 per cent year-over-year.

In the city of Ottawa proper, price hikes were less drastic, up 8.8 per cent in aggregate year-over-year. Ottawa’s condo market saw the median price per square foot rise 4.2 per cent year-over-year to $444, while single-detached homes rose 6.9 per cent to $282.

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While Ottawa homes may be retailing less in absolute terms than major markets such as Toronto and Vancouver, prices per square foot in the National Capital Region are rising faster than other metropolitan markets and their surrounding regions. The Greater Toronto Area saw the median price per square foot in the region’s condos rise 9.1 per cent year-over-year to $743, while single-detached homes barely saw an increase year-over-year.

On the other end of the country, Vancouver and Calgary saw home prices drop. Only Montreal rivaled the city of Ottawa in its aggregate price hikes, up 8.3 per cent year-over-year to $357.

“Inventory levels in the Ottawa market continue to be very low for both condos and detached homes, contributing to price increases. Demand remains high and listings are selling quickly,” said Royal LePage TEAM Realty broker Kent Browne in a statement. He added there has been “significant interest” in the city’s south and west ends.

While prices per square foot may be rising faster, Ottawa homebuyers are getting more than their counterparts in other Canadian cities when it comes to median size. On aggregate, homes in the city of Ottawa provide 1,600 square feet of space, while homes in the wider National Capital Region come with 1,544 square feet – more than homes in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and Calgary.

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