Ottawa’s new purpose-built apartment market has grown considerably over the past year, leading to higher vacancy rates, lower rents and more incentives.

According to Zonda Urban, forty-eight purpose-built rentals were built in Ottawa in 2022, eight of which were launched in the fourth quarter of the year.

During Q4-2022, twenty new projects were actively leasing. Zonda Urban recorded an overall vacancy rate of 17.4 per cent but warned that the high number of actively leasing rental projects is what led to a high vacancy rate.

Per the firm, vacancy among new purpose-built rentals will regress towards normal levels as more projects become fully leased.

Rental rates in Q4-2022 averaged $2.86 per square foot – down 2.7 per cent from the previous quarter. Prices varied depending on the area, with Rural Ottawa West ($2.70 PSF), Central Ottawa ($3.17 PSF) and Ottawa East ($2.84 PSF) had the highest average rental rates.

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