Are Condos a good Investment in Ottawa?

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Buying a condo comes with some unique factors that are not there when you buy a freehold home. A frequently asked question real estate agents get from by real estate investors is should they buy a condo versus a freehold for real estate investment in Ottawa. In other words, many investors know the appreciation of condo prices as per the MLS Listings service stats is lower than say homes for sale in Stittsville. Market value appreciation, however, is not the only factor when deciding to invest in a condo or a freehold property.

Let’s look at some reasons that support the investment in Ottawa condo apartments.

  1. From an investment perspective buying, renting and managing condos has its place in most real estate investor’s portfolio. Often condos are the only type of property a first-time investor can afford if she wants to target a particular neighborhood. Central, downtown neighborhoods in major cities can simply be out of reach for most individual investors if they wanted to invest in a single-family home. They may choose to look at a house for sale in Stittsville instead, a largely affluent suburb of Ottawa if they want a freehold house. In the downtown core, however, buying a 1 or 2 bedroom condo apartment can be a much more affordable option.
  2. Buying a condo close to a major employer such as a hospital or a major institution such as a university or college can be an excellent option for investors. Renting to students including international students is a profitable niche investment option. Sometimes students can abuse the condition of the property making it more difficult to rent it again. A freehold house is much more expensive to renovate than a condo in case a tenant did not take care of the property. Condos can be relatively quickly fixed up to make them attractive to new potential tenants as structural damages are rare in condos and the footprint is smaller.
  3. There is much fewer maintenance obligations in condos than there are in freehold properties. The idea of owning a condo is that all owners are responsible for the condition and maintenance of all the common areas. These areas generally are the roof, doors, windows, parking, amenities such as laundry and swimming pool and many more. While the condo fees and special assessments are an extra expense in condo ownership, a well managed and maintained building can keep costs under control.
  4. Modern condos are incredibly popular with singles, couples, and downsizers. These condos tend to be built in flourishing, revitalized urban core areas. The many local amenities such as restaurants, bakeries, cafes, pubs, fitness centers art studios and more offer a lifestyle the outlying areas cannot match. Those working downtown often walk or bike to work and to enjoy the amenities making these neighborhoods true urban villages.
  5. Condos appreciate well according to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS Listings) although they may not follow the same trends as freeholds. This can be a great advantage for those investors looking to diversify their portfolio. There are areas and years when it is well worth buying a condo when few buyers are interested in them or when the MLS Listings inventory is very high. Other times you can look at other options. The suburbs often offer their own opportunities such as when searching for a house for sale in Stittsville. The chart below demonstrates condo apartment market value appreciation in Ottawa MLS Listings service data.

Overall, condos should be part of a well-rounded real estate portfolio. They can be more affordable, easier to rent, simpler and less expensive to renovate and most maintenance issues are covered by the monthly condo fee. They may have different sale trends on the MLS Listings platform than freeholds. Investors should analyze both the advantages and disadvantages of all types of real properties before making an investment In Ottawa decision. Condo apartments, however, should be on their list for their versatility, affordability, and relatively low maintenance.