Suburban Revival: The Best Neighbourhoods to Buy a Single-Family Home in Ottawa


The residential real estate market in Canada has experienced explosive growth over the last 18 months, fueled by low interest rates, changing preferences and needs related to working at home, and increased investor activity.

This report by HouseSigma and Bullpen Research & Consulting Inc., will dig into the numbers to where that growth has been highest in the Ottawa region.

We have separated Ottawa into 10 distinct neighbourhoods, with the median prices examined in those markets. The median value helps eliminate the skewing impact of outliers, and provides an alternative to other publicly available data.

Annual Pricing for Single-Family and Townhouse Transactions

Figure 1 presents the median sale price for single-detached homes and townhouses in the Ottawa region by neighbourhood in 2020 and 2021.

The most expensive single-family homes (single-detached and semi-detached) are in Ottawa West, with a median price of $865,000. This is an increase of 14.6% from the 2020 median of $755,000.

In terms of annual growth last year, Stittsville experienced a jump of 26.8% to $799,000 in 2021.

Single-detached product in Kanata shot up by 22.4% annually to $770,000 in 2021. According to HouseSigma agent Emma Ilbeygi who works with a number of buyers relocating from Toronto to Ottawa, Kanata has been their desired destination. These buyers are looking for three or four bedroom 2-storey single-detached properties with 2.5 baths or more and at least a one car garage. Another preference of these buyers is a fully finished basement, ideally for use as a kids play area.

Just like single-family product, there was an increase in median prices across the board for townhouses, with the most expensive product in Ottawa Central at $680,000.

The area with the biggest annual increase for townhouses was also Stittsville, with the median price for townhouses increasing annually by 27% from $450,000 in 2020 to $565,000 in 2021.

January 2022 Pricing by Neighbourhood

Figure 2 presents the average sale price for all property types in the Ottawa region by neighbourhood in the month of January for 2020, 2021 and 2022.

Note that some of the data above is based on smaller sample sizes of transactions, so despite using the median value, there will be some volatility.

The chart shows substantial price appreciation over the past two years. Ottawa West Centretown, for example, has seen its median price move from $424,450 in January 2020 to $749,900 in January 2022 (+77% in two years). Nepean has also seen its median price increase substantially over the past two years, with median prices doubling from $349,900 in January 2020 to $699,900 in January 2022.

Another area with notable annual price growth in January 2022 is Ottawa South, increasing annually by 28% from $487,000 to $624,950.

The reason that Ottawa Central experienced a price decline in each of the last two years is due to the composition of sales, which has shifted to more condominium sales as a share of total transactions in January 2021, with that share increasing even further in January of this year.

Given the potential of a single month of data to be impacted by a couple luxury properties, a further examination of longer-term trends is necessary.

Condominium Activity by Bedroom Type and Year

Figure 3 presents the median end-selling price for condominium apartments in the Ottawa region by bedroom type and neighbourhood in 2020 and 2021. The focus of the chart is on one and two bedroom suites only.

As affordability has worsened in the region, demand for condominium apartments has increased, with notable growth in almost every market for one and two bedroom suites.

Kanata has the most expensive one bedroom condos at $450,000 with annual growth of 20%. Barrhaven experienced annual growth of 19% in 2021 based on the median price of condo apartments, with Ottawa East up 13% annually.

For two bedroom suites, Ottawa West Centretown saw an increase of 5.3% year-over-year to $579,000. Ottawa Central also saw similar levels of growth, increasing annually by 4.8% to $550,000.

Per-Square-Foot Pricing for Condo Apartments

HouseSigma has unit size estimates for a portion of the sales in the Ottawa Region, and thus an estimate of the price per-square-foot ($PSF) can be determined based on these size estimates.

A significant portion of the condominium sales activity occurs in the Ottawa Central neighbourhood, so Figure 4 compares data in the Region overall (top panel) to Ottawa Central (bottom panel).

The data shows that annual price inflation on a per-square-foot basis was higher for two bedroom units than one bedroom units, with Ottawa overall seeing growth of 15% to $409 psf, while Ottawa Central saw two bedroom unit increases by 16% annually to $500 psf.

Scatter Plots by Bedroom Type

Figure 5 presents the estimated size and the median price by bedroom type. This data covers January 2021 to December 2021.

For one bedroom units, the median size was 700 sf, and the median price was $370,000. For two bedroom units, the median size was 1,100 sf, with a median price of $400,000. For three bedroom units the median size was 1,500 sf, with a median price of $575,000. For four bedroom units, the median size was 2,200 sf, with a median price of $800,000.

Figure 6 presents the median price and the estimated unit size from January 2021 to January 2022 by neighbourhood.

In the upper right hand corner of the chart is Stittsville, with a median price of $550,000 and a price per-square-foot of $289.

In the lower left hand corner of the chart is Ottawa Central, with a median price of $409,000 and a price per-square-foot of $341.

Market Share of Transactions by Property Type

The data in the chart above shows a very wide range of median unit sizes by neighbourhood, which is heavily influenced by the market share of transactions by property type.

Figure 7 looks at the percentage of transactions by property type for each of the ten areas tracked in this report.

Ottawa Central has the highest share of condominium apartments at 27% of transactions in 2020 and 28% in 2021.

Kanata has the highest shares of single-family homes at 27% in 2020 and 28% in 2021.

Stittsville has the highest share of townhouses trades, at 30% of the total transactions in both 2020 and 2021.


The Ottawa market was very strong in 2021 and the January 2022 data shows significant price inflation year-over-year. Freehold single-detached houses continue to be the most popular product type, with HouseSigma’s Emma Ilbeygi noting that backyards became even more important to buyers during the pandemic. Ilbeygi also mentioned that prospective buyers are more willing to “drive till they qualify,” meaning they are more likely to seek out a detached or townhouse property farther from downtown Ottawa to get their ideal property type. Many parents with small children continue to worry about further lockdowns and the lack of interior and exterior space in traditional condominium apartments, and are more than willing to leave their ideal neighbourhood for low-density product.

Despite this anecdotal commentary, the data in this report shows very strong price growth for condo product and with as many as four rate hikes by the Bank of Canada potentially in the cards for 2022, and the potential for government policy changes aimed at further cooling the market, like a speculators tax, new stress test rules, or bans on foreign buyers there could be volatility in the market, and there could be less mortgages funds available, keeping more buyers in the condo market.

Prepared by Ben Myers