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Room for a lot more buildings’ in booming Ottawa rental market

"After more than 30 years in the real estate business, Cuckoo Kochar doesn’t get fazed by much. But even the founder of Phoenix Homes is raising his eyebrows at the dramatic spike in apartment rents in the National Capital Region over the past couple of years.

“This is Toronto territory,” he says, referring to the rents of up to $3 a square foot that high-end units in the city’s central core are now fetching. “We never thought Ottawa would get up there, but it did.”

In a coincidence the veteran property developer could probably appreciate, on the same mid-December day Kochar spoke to OBJ, apartment rental search website PadMapper released a year-end report that dramatically illustrated his point.

One of the study’s key findings: although Ottawa ranked seventh among major Canadian cities in median rents for one- and two-bedroom apartments in 2019, it saw the third-highest year-over-year increase in one-bedroom rents at 15.2 percent. "


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