Arthaus Promo and Sales Update

DevMcGill has announced a new promo to help sell the remaining units at its newest project Arthaus. They have dropped the down payment amount to 5% (from the standard 20%) and are throwing in a $5,000 Artemano gift card for studio and 1beds or $10,000 for 1+den and 2bedrooms. This is for a limited time and no date for when it will remain till. 

As of today, there are only 25 units that remain available to purchase. There are a couple studio units left, and the majority of the selection is in 1 bedroom plus den suites and 2 bedroom suites. All of the one bedroom suites are now sold. They are still on track for a 2017 occupancy and construction is well underway. 

If you would like more information about units that are available for purchase or pre-construction condos in Ottawa, fill out the form below.

Visit the Arthaus page for everything about Arthaus including news, sales, and construction updates.


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Domicile Model Suite Furniture Sale

Domicile Model Suite Furniture Sale

Looking to spruce up your space? Domicile is hosting a one-day furniture sale that has been collected and used in model units over the last few years. We are told it is a mix of contemporary and classic pieces that will be at "very affordable prices". Happening this Friday, February 10th from Noon to 5pm at 376 Madison Ave. 

SOBA - Construction Update February 2017

Things are moving ahead on the SoBa project which is located on Catherine street. Digging has now stopped and things are moving upwards! 

For more information about SoBa Condos, check out the dedicated section with regularly updated construction and sales information. CLICK HERE to view.
 

2017 Ottawa Condo Market - Perdictions

2017 Ottawa Condo Market

If you ask ten strangers about the Ottawa condo market right now, you are likely to get a pretty general idea of how things are currently going. Not great, slow, crap, etc. Unlike it's sister market - freehold homes are selling quite well and are still breaking monthly sales numbers. Condo's on the other hand, are not so hot. Let's take a quick look back and then see where things are possibly headed.

The condo market has been in this "slump" since 2012 when supply/demand started catching up. We started noticing the number of listings and DOM (days on market) increasing, and fewer multiple offers etc. Over the last few years, the conversation when sitting down with someone looking to sell is often about how to loose as little as possible, or even how to break even. Now keep in mind there are a few factors in play here. Most of these people bought in 2009-2013 (or earlier) and expected the market to keep going the path that it was. At that time, who cared if the view was horrible, upgrades were slim, or they over paid.... it would still be worth more when they sold. As well, many times the condo that was purchased does not fit their current lifestyle (partner/pet/baby/clothes addiction), and after only a few years they are looking to sell. That person has not stayed in the unit long enough to really see the value rise. 

Where are we right now? Well in 2016, the number of unsold units dropped by almost a fourth from November to February (529 vs 699). Builder condo starts (number of permits etc.) from the first 11 months of 2016 were 583. Down from 776 for the same period in 2015, and down significantly from 1301 in the same 11 month stretch in 2014. Less builder starts mean less supply and allows everything to even out (typically 2-3 years). Right now, we still have buildings on the way but more builders are focusing on the hot rental market. Switching poor selling or upcoming projects to rental buildings. Housing affordability really hasn't changed - its still an issue overall, however new first-time buyer credits and low-interest rates still make purchasing attractive (if you can afford it). 

Is the market right now really that bad? The fall market saw numerous multiple offers... (yes, you read that correct), and short days on market (3-4 days, 7 days etc). We had this first hand and couldn't believe it. One of my Centretown listings in the fall had multiple offers (five in fact!) and the property sold over list price. So, no... the condo market in Ottawa is certainly not horrible. It just depends on numbers and who you're talking to.

What should we expect for 2017? Based on the numbers and market, I expect a better condo market overall for 2017. Not a crazy difference, but it will feel better or more positive than 2014/2015/2016, leading the way for a larger change in 2018. 
- A positive condo market.
- Similar sales numbers, but with a modest 1-3% increase in price.
- Sellers spending more to prepare the unit before selling. Painting, decluttering, even staging. All in an effort to maximize the value and shorten the time it takes to sell.
- Fewer high rise condos selling for investment. The 2015/2016 built condo's are all seeing the condo fee rise and the numbers are harder and harder to make work. However you will still see it, being more hands-off and easier to handle makes them perfect for out of city owners, or new first time investors.
- No units purchased for airbnb. This will move to centrally located freehold housing with less rules and restrictions. If a building didn't restrict short term rentals in 2016, it will in 2017.
 - Buyers will spend more time to decide before making a purchase. There is more information and reviews online about buildings and the builder. Buyers will (or should - see below) look closer at the building and unit before they place an offer.
- First-time buyers looking at slightly larger units. Even if that means waiting to afford them. They will learn from the mistakes of those selling now.

Keep in mind there is a lot going on with respect to United States, which could impact all of this. These are my perdictions. Thoughts?

SOHO Italia - Possible Launch Date?

Soho Italia Ottawa Condos
Soho Italia Poster Ottawa Condo

Rumors are suggesting that Mastercraft Starwood is looking at this May to start local sales for the latest building to carry the Soho name. Soho Italia is going to be a 30 story, 254 unit building that will be located in Little Italy at 500 Preston Street at Carling Ave. Prices are suggested to "start from the low $200,000's". 

The building has been for sale in outside markets (Toronto, Montreal) to investors. No word on the amount that has been sold.

Soho Italia is set to contain over 10,000sqft of indoor and outdoor amenities, which includes a fourth-floor area as well as a 30th-floor rooftop amenity area (ask buyers at Mondrian why it matters to specify!).

Soho Italia Floorplan Zenga Ottawa Condos
Soho Italia Condos Ottawa Versace Floorplan

Arthaus Condos - Hits 17th Floor - Construction Update

The private condo section is now underway at Arthaus Condos and is expected to be finished pouring the structure this month. Currently pouring on the 17th out of the total 23 floors, DevMcGill is planning on starting occupancy of the 89 condominium suites by this fall.

For more information about Arthaus condo project, visit the Arthaus section HERE. If you have questions about pre-construction condos in Ottawa, contact Matt Richling by filling out the form below.

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Breaking News - More Changes To Mortgage Lending - 10/2016

Earlier today the government announced more changes to mortgage lending to ensure that buyers are not taking on bigger mortgages that they can afford. Let me break down the change and how it will affect buying a house or condo here in Ottawa. Keep in mind there were four major changes, but I am going to focus on the "Stress Test" change.

The "Stress Test" Change

If you (buyer) are using less than 20% downpayment, you will need to be approved using the posted rate (currently 4.64%) not the actual rate of the mortgage. This posted rate is typically going to be higher than what your rate will be, so it will lower the overall amount that you are approved for. This doesn't change the rate or the payment, just lowering the approved amount for borrowing. Before this change, you would have been pre-approved using the rate you were paying - allowing your budget to be much higher.

Who will this affect?

Unlike previous changes (for those borrowing over 1M), this affects anyone who was pushing the top end of their budget and had less than 20% downpayment. This change essentially lowers the amount you will be approved for by on average 20-25%, or less depending on the price point. It is said that this change should impact between 7% and 10% of buyers.

When?

You have until October 17th to get your purchase and sale agreement in writing and mortgage application in to get qualified under the old rules. 

Why is being changed?

Really it lowers the risk that our country is taking on with people that really shouldn't be buying. I can't count the number of times that a buyer here in Ottawa has told me that the amount they were approved for was way more than they could afford. If you were pushing that to the highest amount it is riskier and this looks to help reduce the risk. What if rates rise during your term and when you go to renew the rate is 1% or 3% higher? 

Examples

Before: Income of $100,000 with a downpayment of $40,000, five-year fixed rate of 2.17% would qualify to purchase an Ottawa home worth $665,435 (including tax of $400 and heating of $150 /month).
Now: You would be qualified at 4.64% (todays rate) not 2.17% interest rate, and it would drop your purchase price to $505,762 - a difference of 24% or $159,673. 

If you are thinking of buying or are looking to learn more about how these changes affect you specifically, let's chat!

reResidences - Sales Update

Re Condos Ottawa For Sale

Ashcroft has had great success across Ottawa in the past and is certainly not stopping anytime soon. After the initial soft re-launch of reResidences over the weekend, Ashcroft only has 29 of the 91 units still available for purchase. Most of the floorplans are still available, ranging from the J2 (south view, 475sqft 1bed, 1 bath, no balcony, starting from $428,800) up to the Iconic Penthouse Suites #14, 15, and 16 (panoramic views, 2275+sqft plus balcony or terrace, starting from $3.5M). 

reResidence Facts
- 101 Queen Street, between Queen and Sparks
- 18 Storeys,
- 201 Total Suites - 91 Private Residence and 110 Long Term Rental Suites
- Parking is an additional $65,000
- One Storage Locker and Bicycle Rack included
- Condo Fees are as posted (approximately $0.578sqft) not including the additional locker ($6/month), bike rack ($1/month), and parking if purchased ($36/month)

If you are interested in pre-construction condos in Ottawa, or would like to chat more about RE - fill out the form below or contact Matt Richling (sales representative with RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Group) directly at 613-286-9501 or Matt@MattRichling.com

Northshore at Greystone Village - EQ Homes

Northshore Greystone Village Ottawa

After large success with Greystone Village Phase 1, EQ Homes is getting ready to launch phase two of the Main Street project. This second phase of Greystone Village features 36 townhomes and only 13 single homes that are being released making these very limited. 

***Phase two is launching October 1st at 9am - to pre-registrants only - not the general public. If you have interest to purchase on of these few units in the project or would like to learn more about the upcoming lots and homes fill out the form below or contact Matt Richling (sales representative at RE/MAX Hallmark Realty) 613-286-9501.***

Phase two includes the Riva Townhomes and the Vista Collection detached homes. The Riva Townhomes start from the high $500's and is a collection of three different models (The Thelon, The Albany, and The Finlay) each three stories. Each home is designed as a two bedroom plus den,  however the Thelon has the optional layout to convert the first floor den into a third bedroom and larger full bath. The Thelon is 1,548sqft or 1,560sqft with the optional 3rd bed.  The Albany is 1,470sqft while the Finlay is 1,451sqft, both units featuring two bedrooms, and two full bathrooms plus one half bathroom. All of the townhouses feature rear-lane access garages, rear-facing BBQ decks, and landscaped front yards.

The detached homes in phase two are known as the Vista Collection and are priced starting from the high $800's. There are five models as part of the Vista Collection which range from 1,988sqft Aspen floor plan, up to the Oriana floorplan which is 3,117sqft. The Aspen is a two bedroom plus den which could be used as a third bedroom as per the floorplan. The Harmony, the Cascade, and the Arcadia, are all three bedrooms PLUS the den or optional bedroom. The Oriana is a three bedroom plus den, however there is no closet which would keep this as a three bedroom. Keep in mind the Oriana features an optional elevator lift which if not choosing could be re-structured to have the lift/closet open into the den, making it a possible bedroom. 

***Again - this limited phase is launching October 1st at 9am to those pre-registered and NOT to the general public. If you are not registered and would like to attend, or would like to purchase one of these homes fill out the form below. ***

For all of the floorplans, more information, or to be one of the first in line for the upcoming launch of Phase 2 of Greystone Village, fill out the form below or contact Matt Richling directly 613-286-9501. 

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Buying For An AirBnb Investment in Ottawa?

Over the last few years, short-term rental site Airbnb has become a go-to solution for those looking to rent and rent out their homes and condos to tourists and business travellers when visiting Ottawa. It provides a cheaper solution to the tenant, and an increased return for the investor. Wait.... not just an increased return, but double or almost triple the return. More and more people are asking about buying a property for Airbnb especially after looking at the numbers. Roughly - One Bedrooms rent out for $1,400 per month vs $120 per night on Airbnb.

BUT WAIT.  As this trend grew, more issues have started to arise and everyone caught on. Bad tenants, scams, and insurance companies were/are just the beginning. The number one issue today is the condo board and by-laws being put in place to restrict rentals that are less than six months in length. This is a building-by-building issue however, the majority of condo buildings across the city have now placed a restriction in the rules.

There are still buildings that still allow short-term rentals in Ottawa but buying a unit within a condo building now is a much larger gamble as each day passes and more rules are added. 

If not a condo, then what? The shift we are seeing now is away from the high-rise single condo unit and towards multi-unit buildings or single family homes and being converted to these almost rooming house style. The key for a successful AirBNB listing is mainly location (other than price etc), and the best locations typically have a higher purchase price, and to make these numbers work and cash flow, these investors are having to create their own product to fit the bill. By starting with a single family residence, you don't have the condo board setting the rules. The city is strict with rooming houses, so don't think you can just have 10 rentals in a single home. If you plan on having a home with four rooming units or more - then you will require a city license (and follow the permit requirements) - click here.

There are a large number of places that could be a perfect fit, but these short-term rentals now come at a higher cost to the investor - they are not an easy money solution anymore. They require extra work and extra investment up front. If you are considering entering the short-term rental market and would like to chat, get in touch. Maybe there is another real estate product that would better fit your needs.