2012 Condo Market Update

I attended a CMHC Market Update last week to hear their analysis and forecasts regarding Ottawa's condo market. Some points that caught my attention:
  • Ottawa's population growth is due first and foremost to immigration—an incredible 50% of Ottawa's immigrants are classified as 'economic immigrants' who arrive with language skills, professional experience, financial savings and thus are able to settle quickly into both employment and homes within 4 years of arriving into town.
  • Investors are currently purchasing a full third of new condo projects—20% of these investors are practicing a long term 'buy and hold' strategy, while the remainder plan to 'flip' their units upon the building's completion.
  • Long-term investor interest in the condo market is fueled by Ottawa's low vacancy rates and high rents.
  • Lastly, according to CMHC forecasts, Ottawa can expect a 'balanced market' for 2012, although sellers may regain the upper hand for the traditionally 'hot' spring market of April and May. Otherwise CMHC forecasts a slight decrease in prices, although this doesn't come as news to those of us who have been tracking downtown condo prices over the past 6 months.