• By: Allen Brown

How Affordable is Bells Corners in Ottawa?

Discussing affordability in Ottawa often directs us toward high-profile areas. Yet, what about Bells Corners? Local groceries, utilities, and mortgage rates—each contributes to our understanding of this neighborhood’s affordability or lack thereof.

Unveiling Affordability

As Ontarians face increasing difficulties in finding budget-friendly homes, the concept of affordability has never been more essential. Studies focusing on various locales indicate that Ontario’s cities are largely beyond reach for average and even above-average income earners. Affordability data comes from digital platforms that utilize sophisticated algorithms to calculate which places are financially accessible based on specific metrics like household income and local home prices. One particular tool is designed to evaluate housing affordability across 245 local markets. Such tools raise awareness about the true scope of Ontario’s housing affordability dilemma.

Housing Markets: A Snapshot

The province of Ontario exhibits a wide range of affordability. For a comprehensive understanding, markets from approximately 50 cities, towns, and villages were analyzed. Affordability is generally gauged through an interactive tool that considers metrics like median home prices and household income to help potential homebuyers find suitable areas to reside. Under the assumptions of a 20% down payment, a 5.24% mortgage rate, and a 25-year amortization period, the interactive tool displays maps with locations that meet the affordability criteria. Additionally, this threshold is based on the principle that mortgage payments should not exceed 25% of a household’s pre-tax income.

Notably, out of the extensive list of cities and their various subdivisions, only a few remain financially accessible to people with above-average income. For context, median home prices were collected from the first quarter of the current year, focusing on markets with at least 50 transactions within that timeframe. In terms of recurring costs, factors like mortgage payments, home insurance, utilities, and property taxes were accounted for.

Bells Corners: The Unexpected Champion

In Ottawa, Bells Corners stands out as an anomaly. Unlike the rest of the city’s sectors such as its core, Barrhaven, Orleans, and Vanier, which necessitate household incomes in the $150,000 range to meet the affordability standard, Bells Corners is an island of relative affordability. Here, households with a combined income of $125,000—slightly above the provincial average—have access to homes without straining their budget. The median home price in this area is tagged at $499,950 with monthly recurring costs calculated to be around $2,841.

It’s worth mentioning that even subdivisions of Ottawa that are considered pricey when compared to Bells Corners are still more affordable than other cities like Hamilton, Kitchener, and Thunder Bay, which fall into the $175,000 household income requirement.

So, why does Bells Corners perform exceptionally well in the affordability index? One reason could be its relative obscurity compared to more popular districts, leading to less competition and lower prices. However, it also offers its residents a balanced lifestyle with necessary amenities and public services, making it a worthwhile consideration for potential homebuyers who may not have thought of it as an option.

Price Comparisons: Bells Corners vs. Other Cities

One of the most revealing ways to understand the affordability of Bells Corners is to compare its housing market with those of other Ontario cities. In North Bay, the median home price is $401,950, with monthly recurring costs of $2,610. Owen Sound has a median home price of $439,000, costing households about $2,513 each month. Greater Sudbury has a median price tag of $470,000, with recurring costs of $2,680. Finally, in Windsor and Cornwall, both areas have homes with a median price of $500,000 but differ in recurring costs—Windsor is at $3,313 while Cornwall is at $2,841.

In Bells Corners, the median home price is $499,950, with monthly recurring costs equivalent to $2,841. When viewed against other cities, Bells Corners offers a competitive option, especially when considering the recurring costs. Its price range is on the lower end of the scale compared to larger cities but slightly higher than smaller municipalities. Moreover, the monthly recurring costs are generally in line with or below those of cities with similar median home prices.

What Makes Bells Corners Different?

Understanding what sets Bells Corners apart from other locations is important in assessing its affordability. One key factor is its placement within the city of Ottawa. Many regions within Ottawa require household incomes upwards of $150,000 to reach the affordability threshold. Yet, Bells Corners stands as a notable exception, requiring an income of just $125,000.

This discrepancy isn’t merely a quirk; it’s indicative of underlying factors that make Bells Corners unique. Unlike more expensive areas in Ottawa, Bells Corners offers a mix of residential options that may be less known but are still desirable. Despite its relative affordability, the area doesn’t compromise on essential amenities and public services, which includes schools, healthcare facilities, and shopping centers. Furthermore, it remains well-connected to the city’s public transportation network.

Another essential point is that Bells Corners hasn’t been subjected to the same level of demand-driven price inflation as more prominent regions. Because it hasn’t captured as much public attention, the area has not seen an excessive rise in property prices. This condition has kept the housing market more balanced and accessible for households with moderate incomes.

Exploring Other Ottawa Neighborhoods

While Bells Corners stands as a beacon of relative affordability, it’s only one part of the larger Ottawa housing market. If you’re interested in comparing Bells Corners to other areas in the city, there are resources available to help you find homes for sale in Ottawa. This allows you to weigh your options and better understand how Bells Corners stacks up against other neighborhoods, especially in terms of home prices, monthly costs, and amenities. With all of Ottawa’s housing options at your fingertips, you can make a comprehensive assessment before making a decision.

The Bottom Line

As we’ve seen, the question of affordability extends beyond mere property prices. Bells Corners holds its own unique set of financial conditions, each affecting residents differently.