Micro-Condos Ottawa

Smart House Project Cancelled

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Rumours about the fate of the micro condo building have been circulating since the beginning of the month and we finally got the official word late last week. Urban Capital has decided that Smart House will be cancelled and turned into a rental building. For those who have purchased, deposits are being returned. There is no information behind who is involved with the rental building, but we do know that it will not be sold unit by unit.

Urban Capital will now turn the focus to the upcoming James Street Pub building which we expect to be launched late spring or summer 2016 at the earliest.

Questions about buying pre-construction condos in Ottawa? Fill out the form below, I would love to chat.

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Banks Unsure of Micro Condos?

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With the recent launch of Smart House Ottawa, and as more micro condo units are being built, buyers are excited for moving into these new spaces... However, if they can move in will be another storey. We are hearing rumours that banks and other lenders are not approving financing for these micro-condos. 

Representatives from the Big Five banks have all said they have rules on their financing policies that restrict approving mortgages that are under 500sqft. Up until the last few years, micro condos or bachalor studios were few and rare. With the shift in size, the lenders are being cautious and want to make sure they "understand" them. 

While this policy for minimum size is a requirement, every application is reviewed on a case per case basis. I have sold multiple units over the past few years that are under 500sqft and a few dozen that were under 600sqft, all without size issues by the lender. While we have heard rumours here in Ottawa, we have not seen any first hand accounts where the mortgage was declined due to size.

So What Do I Do?

Before you sign the Agreement of Purchase and Sale, ensure you have a financing clause, and have consulted a mortgage broker. Make sure they have the green light before moving ahead with the purchase and that they have the correct sqftage. Last thing you want is an issue on closing day.

Examples of Small Units in Ottawa?

There are two units per floor inside Mondrian (324 Laurier Ave at Bank, 2009) that are under 500sqft and another three units that are under 600sqft. The East Market (180 York, 383 Cumberland, 179 George, 2001-2007) has six units per floor that are under 500sqft, and another eleven per floor that are or under 600sqft. 

Are you looking to buy or finance a micro condo and want some help? I would love to chat...

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Written by Matt Richling

Matt is a licensed salesperson at RE/MAX Metro City Realty in Ottawa, Canada. Matt loves helping sellers and buyers find the perfect home that fits their lifestyle. 

Smart House Ottawa - Launch Recap

Photo by  @thecondoagency

Last night was the first VIP launch for Smart House Ottawa, being launched by Toronto's Urban Capital. The sales office saw lots of people throughout the night and we are being it it was a successful VIP launch. Approximately 10-15 units were sold last night at the VIP launch which is not yet open to the public. There was chatter about weather Ottawa was ready for micro condo living, but clearly we are. Will be exciting to see how sales go over the next few weeks, and how things go at the public launch (date still tbd).

It was great to see David Wex (founder and partner of Urban Capital) in the sales office to chat about the project with potential buyers and past clients. 

Looking for more information on Smart House Ottawa? I would love to help!


Written by Matt Richling.

Matt is a licensed salesperson at RE/MAX Metro City Realty in Ottawa, Canada. Matt loves helping sellers and buyers find the perfect home or condo that fits their lifestyle. 

Smart House Ottawa - Floorplans

Smart House Ottawa, is claiming to be Ottawa's first micro condo building, with the largest units coming in at 586sqft for a two bedroom. Below are three out of the 18 units that are for sale in the building. 


Smart House Ottawa, suite A1, by Urban Capital

Above is the A1 unit, which at 315sqft is the smallest suite in the building. Its launch price starts at $179,900.


The C1 unit, which is the one bedroom and den, inside Smart House Ottawa.

Above is the 519sqft C1 unit, which is the only one bedroom plus den floorplan in the building, starting at $314,900.


The D1 unit, the smallest two bedroom inside Smart House Ottawa.

Above is the 507sqft D1 unit, which is the smallest two bedroom in the building, starting at $275,900.


If you are looking for more information on Smart House Ottawa, check out the Smart House Ottawa landing page HERE


Micro Condos - Nothing New for Ottawa

 Studio condos like the one above from 360 Lofts (360 Cumberland St). 

 Studio condos like the one above from 360 Lofts (360 Cumberland St). 

Right now, there is a lot of buzz about micro-sized condos and the urbanization of cities. Micro-condos, also known as studios, are condos without a separate bedroom area and typically under 500sqft. Urban Capital is about to launch a micro-condo building called Smart House Ottawa, after the instant success of its sister Smart House Toronto. With this new building comes talk about if it will sell, and who will buy them. 

Funny thing is that studio condos or micro-condos are not a new concept to Ottawa. Many post 2000's condo buildings have at least one! Lets take a look at a few of the buildings around the downtown core that have studios or micro condos.

- Galleria Phase Two (234 Besserer) has two units per floor under 500sqft. "The Williams" which is 490sqft and priced at $201,000,  and "The Danby" which is 410sqft priced at $167,000 (both units priced on 1st floor).

- Claridge Plaza Phase Three (242 Rideau) has one studio per floor. The Broadway  is 440sqft and priced around $185,000 (on 3rd floor).

- The East Market (180 York, 383 Cumberland, and 179 George), has one unit per floor in each phase under the 450sqft mark. These do have separate bedroom areas. This was the first building by Urban Capital that brought small, modern condos to Ottawa.

- 360 Lofts (360 Cumberland St) which had a large number of 404sqft studios, sold almost 70% in a couple days with prices starting at $187,900.

Some newer buildings include...

A kitchen inside a studio at 360 Lofts.

A kitchen inside a studio at 360 Lofts.

- SoBa (Catherine St) which has 56 units under 509sqft and another 36 units from 511sqft - 516sqft.  Prices start at $181,000 for the 407sqft unit with a few units left. Smallest unit is 373sqft.

- Gotham (Lyon and Gloucester) has 41 units all under 436sqft, with prices starting from $226,900 almost fully sold out.

- Central Phase 1 (354 Gladstone) has 32 units under 478sqft. Which all sold out fairly quick.

- The Slater (Slater St) which has four studio floorplans per floor (64 units total) that are between 408sqft and 425sqft, with pricing starting at $210,000.

- Centropolis (Kent and Gladstone) which has units that are 295sqft, 305sqft, 315sqft, and 340sqft. Infact, there are 44 units in the building or 10 per floor that are under 340sqft. This building is fully sold out. One studio has re-sold in the building earlier this year at $195,000 (list price on MLS).

These are just a few buildings that include studio apartments. Could you live in 400sqft space? Many people in Ottawa already are, and with very few re-sales I would say that they love them. Looking to purchase a micro-condo, I would love to help!

*Pricing taken from builder price sheets over the last 5 years. Not up-to date prices for all units.



Written by Matt Richling

Matt is a licensed salesperson at RE/MAX Metro City Realty in Ottawa, Canada. Matt loves helping sellers and buyers find the perfect home that fits their lifestyle.