Toronto News | March 27, 2019
As an early birthday present to himself, Sam Soucy bought a condo.
Mr. Soucy was working on Parliament Hill but living near Bank Street and Hunt Club Road – about 25 minutes away – until a late release of a unit at the newly built SoBa building in Ottawa’s Centretown neighbourhood came up in early March.
He moved quickly and, within 24 hours, he had secured his first home – just in time for his 23rd birthday. “It was a question of timing and patience,” Mr. Soucy said. “Once you get one, you can’t waste time.”
For Ottawa, a 24-hour turnaround in a brand-new condo building was once unusual, but is now growing more common. Toronto and Vancouver may be used to the “fear of missing out” mindset, but it’s a new phenomenon here. Ottawa, faced with a crunch on supply, coupled with a young work force with one of the country’s highest median incomes, has seen its condo market grow very lively.
Ralph Shaw, a former president of the Ottawa Real Estate Board, says condo sales have increased by 60 per cent since 2015, while prices were up 7 per cent in the same time frame.
Sales of condos in January, 2019, increased nearly 21 percent year-over-year.
Despite growing demand from young buyers keen to live close to downtown, there are fewer than 10 high-rise condo projects in the works in Ottawa right now. Some, such as SoBa, are nearing completion, others are under construction or plan to have shovels in the ground this year and still others have planned occupancy dates in 2021.
“Ottawa’s population is growing. People are moving here. It’s a good story,” Mr. Shaw said. “But we’re behind the curve.” The city needs more condo supply, he said.
Sam Mizrahi, the developer behind The One development at Toronto’s Yonge Street and Bloor Street, is also behind one of the few Ottawa projects set to commence construction in 2019. He said his first foray in the city – a luxury high-rise at 1451 Wellington Street in Westboro – won’t be his last, because he’s seen a change in both Ottawa as a whole and the condo market in the city in the past few years.VIEW ORIGINAL STORY
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