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Market Report

Ottawa Retail Investment Forecast

2022 Outlook

Strength of the Local Economy to Help Bring Vacancy to a Five-Year Low in 2022

Cluster of higher-wage workers a boon for retail. Many businesses are cognizant of the advantageous labour market and demographic conditions in Ottawa, leading local firms to expand and new companies to enter. The unemployment rate began this year a tick above 4 per cent, almost 200 basis points below the national figure. A healthy job tally provides residents with the income to make purchases, and discretionary spending is augmented by the quantity of higher-wage personnel tied to the Federal Government and growing tech sector. The median household income in Ottawa is $96,700 — the highest among the major metros in Canada and more than 15 per cent above the national average. This favourable landscape generates tenant interest and helped net absorption measure three times as large as deliveries in 2021. Even as builders finalize the most space since 2019 this year, net absorption will again outpace completions, tapering availability to the lowest register in five-plus years. Tighter vacancy should keep asking rents on an upward trajectory after 2021’s impressive 5.8 per cent lift.

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