Ottawa Real Estate

Ottawa Condo Market Statistics - March 2019

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Every month we take a closer look and brake down the sales data of downtown condos from the previous month. Here are the statistics for March 2019 and the top five "downtown" area's - Centretown, Byward Market and Sandyhill, Little Italy (which includes Lebreton Flats), Hintonburg, and Westboro. The information will be specific to apartment style condominiums, and only what sold through the MLS. Also, DOM (Day's On Market) is calculated to include the conditional period, which in Ottawa is almost every single transaction to be roughly 10-14 days.

Centretown - Stats (1).jpg
Byward Market & Sandy Hill -  (2).jpg
Little Italy - Stats (2).jpg
Hintonburg - Stats (1).jpg
Westboro - Stats (2).jpg

Do you have any questions about how this information affects your investment or looking for more information to make the best decision about your purchase? Let’s chat! Fill out the form on the bottom of the page.

Ottawa Condo Market Statistics - February 2019

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As we do every month, we have taken a closer look and broken down the sales data for the month of February 2019 for the top five "downtown" area's - Centretown, Byward Market and Sandyhill, Little Italy (which includes Lebreton Flats), Hintonburg, and Westboro. The information will be specific to apartment style condominiums, and only what sold through the MLS. Also, DOM (Day's On Market) is calculated to include the conditional period, which in Ottawa is almost every single transaction to be roughly 10-14 days.

Ottawa Condo Centretown - Statistics February.jpg
Byward Market & Sandy Hill - February.jpg
Little Italy - Stats.jpg
Hintonburg - Stats.jpg
Westboro - Stats.jpg

Do you have any questions about how this information affects your investment or looking for more information to make the best decision? Let’s chat! Fill out the form on the bottom of the page.

Ottawa Condo Market Statistics - January 2019

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As we do every month, we have taken a closer look and broken down the sales data for the month of December 2018 for the top five "downtown" area's - Centretown, Byward Market and Sandyhill, Little Italy (which includes Lebreton Flats), Hintonburg, and Westboro. The information will be specific to apartment style condominiums, and only what sold through the MLS. Also, DOM (Day's On Market) is calculated to include the conditional period, which in Ottawa is almost every single transaction to be roughly 10-14 days.

Ottawa Condo Centretown - Statistics January.jpg
Ottawa Byward Market & Sandy Hill Condo - Stats January 19.jpg
Ottawa Condo Little Italy - Stats January 2019.jpg
Ottawa Condo Hintonburg - Stats January 2019.jpg
Westboro Condo Ottawa - Stats January 2019.jpg

Do you have any questions about how this information affects your investment or looking for more information to make the best decision? Let’s chat! Fill out the form on the bottom of the page.

Ottawa Condo Market Statistics - December 2018

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As we do every month, we have taken a closer look and broken down the sales data for the month of December 2018 for the top five "downtown" area's - Centretown, Byward Market and Sandyhill, Little Italy (which includes Lebreton Flats), Hintonburg, and Westboro. The information will be specific to apartment style condominiums, and only what sold through the MLS. Also, DOM (Day's On Market) is calculated to include the conditional period, which in Ottawa is almost every single transaction to be roughly 10-14 days.

Market - Centretown.jpg
Market - Byward Market and Sandy Hill.jpg
Market - Little Italy.jpg
Market - Hintonburg.jpg
Market - Westboro.jpg

Questions about how these numbers affect your investment/condo? Let’s chat! Fill out the form on the bottom of the page.

Ottawa Condo Market Statistics - November 2018

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As we do every month, we have taken a closer look and broken down the sales data for the month of November 2018 for the top five "downtown" area's - Centretown, Byward Market and Sandyhill, Little Italy (which includes Lebreton Flats), Hintonburg, and Westboro. The information will be specific to apartment style condominiums, and only what sold through the MLS. Also, DOM (Day's On Market) is calculated to include the conditional period which in Ottawa is almost every single transaction to be roughly 10-14 days.


Ottawa condo real estate statistics Centretown.jpg
Market - Byward Market and Sandy Hill.jpg
Market - Little Italy.jpg
Market - Hintonburg.jpg
Market - Westboro.jpg

Questions about how these numbers affect your investment/condo? Contact us to chat more!

Ottawa Condo Market Statistics - October 2018

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Each month we take a closer look at the previous monthly condo sales data for the top five "downtown" Ottawa area's - Centretown, Byward Market and Sandyhill, Little Italy (which includes Lebretown Flats), Hintonburg, and Westboro. The information will be specific to apartment style condominiums, and only what sold through the MLS. Also, DOM (Day's On Market) is calculated to include the conditional period which in Ottawa is almost every single transaction to be roughly 10-14 days. Questions?


Market - Centretown.jpg
Market - Byward Market and Sandy Hill.jpg
Market - Little Italy.jpg
Market - Hintonburg.jpg
Market - Westboro.jpg

Questions? Want to know how it affects your condo? Fill out the form below and let’s chat.

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Ottawa Condo Market Statistics - September 2018

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Every month we take a closer look at the sales data for the previous month for the top five "downtown" area's - Centretown, Byward Market and Sandyhill, Little Italy (which includes Lebretown Flats), Hintonburg, and Westboro. The information will be specific to apartment style condominiums, and only what sold through the MLS. Also, DOM (Day's On Market) is calculated to include the conditional period which in Ottawa is almost every single transaction to be roughly 10-14 days. Questions?


CENTRETOWN

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Huge jump in the average selling price for Centretown condos this year compared to September of 2017. Part of the reason for the large jump was due to a number of sales over the $500k mark. Over last month, we saw a similar number of new listings, while we saw quite a few more properties sell (33 vs 24). The list to sold price ratio stayed about the same, with the days on market increasing slightly (63 vs 51).


BYWARD MARKET AND SANDY HILL
(INCLUDES LOWERTOWN)

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Compared to last month, the Byward Market saw a healthy jump in average sold price with the number of sold condo units fell over last month (16 vs 24). Other than the differences in sold price, September of 2018 is pretty much the same as last year.


LITTLE ITALY
(INCLUDING LEBRETON FLATS)

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Little Italy continues to see fewer sales compared to new listings which is great if you are a buyer looking to enter. The average selling price is up over last month (362,330) and last year (329,086). Take the sold data with a grain of salt, since there is only a few sales to provide an average.


HINTONBURG

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Hintonburg continues to be an area with healthy demand and very few options for buyers. Lots of older product with very few modern buildings that continue to cause havoc on the numbers. Like last month, we saw the same amount of new listings that ended up selling, providing no increase or decrease to number of available product. With that, the DOM and list to sold price continue to weaken. We are seeing first hand that nice product that is priced right will sell quick!


Westboro

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Westboro continues to stay in great shape with one of the highest average selling prices. The DOM tightened up over last month, however we saw more activity which brought the other numbers more in line with what we are seeing across the city.


Looking for specific information about an Ottawa condo building or area? Thinking of buying and maximizing your dollar? Let's chat. Fill out the form below.

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Ottawa Condo Market Statistics - August 2018

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We have taken a closer look at the sales data for the month of August 2018 for the top five "downtown" area's - Centretown, Byward Market and Sandyhill, Little Italy (which includes Lebretown Flats), Hintonburg, and Westboro. The information will be specific to apartment style condominiums, and only what sold through the MLS. Also, DOM (Day's On Market) is calculated to include the conditional period which in Ottawa is almost every single transaction to be roughly 10-14 days.


CENTRETOWN

Ottawa Condo Market Statistics Centretown

The market in Centretown slowed down over the month of August as most buyers and sellers are typically traveling or enjoying the summer before heading back to work. Compared to last month, (July 2018 stats) we saw our average selling price drop from $371,512 to $358,201, and only 32 new listings to July's 48. List to Sold prices came back to along what it was last year. 

What does this mean? While you could argue things slowed down, the lack of demand (fewer buyers) showed its head, and unless we see an increase in new listings in September, the DOM and list to sale price ratio will tighten up as there will be less to buy. We saw a more balanced market in August.


BYWARD MARKET AND SANDY HILL
(INCLUDES LOWERTOWN)

Market - Byward Market and Sandy Hill.jpg

Compared to July, we saw a $90,000 reduction in average sale price, fewer days on market, and a tighter list to sold price. In August we saw an equal amount of new listings to sold listings.

What does this mean? There was a higher demand for lower priced properties, and a strong pull from investors looking in that sub 300k market. The low amount of new listings, shorter days on market, and higher list to sold price ratio means things can easily jump in September unless we see more product come on the market. A sellers market below $300k, and a buyers market above $300k.


Little Italy
(INCLUDING LEBRETON FLATS)

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The seven sales in July were hot, which is evident in the 99.7% average list to sold price and the 35 average days on market. The average selling price dropped, which needs to be taken with a grain of salt since we have such low number of data points.

What does this mean? The properties that sold, were priced well and hot for the buyers looking. Its a buyers market, unless you are looking at one of the hot listings. Last month saw 14 new listings with only 4 sold. 


HINTONBURG

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Looking at the differences over last year might give you a scare - however with such few data points, you need to understand it is not a perfect example and rather use trends to better understand the market. We saw more new listings and more sales this month than last month. The days on market stayed the same, and the average selling price dropped. Other than price, things have certainly improved over last year!

What does this mean? As with other areas, the amount of sales below the 300k continue to dominate. The market has certainly improved over last year, and I would be willing to bet that next month you will see the selling price jump back up. The lower DOM over last year still signifies that more buyers are looking here than before, and would be a good time to sell!


WESTBORO

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Like last month, Westboro continues to be one of the hot markets with high prices and low inventory. A very tight List to Sold Price ratio and such few new listings makes this a unique market when you see the high DOM. The right properties are selling for close to ask, but taking longer. I would be willing to bet that September will see DOM drop.


Looking for specific information about a building or area? Thinking of buying and maximizing your dollar? Let's chat. Fill out the form below.

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Ottawa Condo Market Statistics - July 2018

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Let's break down some specific data for the month of July for the top five "downtown" area's - specifically Centretown (including Golden Triangle), Byward Market and Sandyhill, Little Italy (which would include Lebreton Flats),  Hintonburg, and Westboro. The information will be specific to apartment style condominiums, and only what sold through the MLS. Also, DOM (Day's On Market) is calculated to include the conditional period which in Ottawa is almost every single transaction to be roughly 10-14 days.


Centretown

Ottawa Condo Market - Statistics Centretown.jpg

The market in Centretown continued to tighten for July which is noticeable in the higher list to sold price ratio of 99.1% compared to 98.8% (from last month) and the fewer days on market of 43 compared to 46 (from last month). We still have a similar amount of new listings as last month, however the amount of units that sold have dropped from 43 (June) to 29 (July). Prices are up compared to last year, however holding about the same as last month.

What does this mean? While things have tightened up, the numbers would show that there is going to be more units available going into August. This might ease up the DOM, Sold Price Ratio, or the average sold price - more supply with equal or less demand.... Could be seeing a shift to a more buyer focused market.


Byward Market and Sandy Hill
(Includes Lowertown)

Condo Market Statistics Ottawa - Byward Market and Sandy Hill.jpg

Compared to last month we have seen similar numbers except for two. The average price has jumped from $362,773 in June 2018, to $410,517 for July 2018. Keep in mind that in May 2018 it was almost $400k, so the large change is expected and due to the few number of data points that are used can vary the number. At the same time, the days on market has increased from 50 last month, to 84 this month. Note - the DOM hit 162 days back in January of 2016.

What does this mean? With the DOM jumping up to 84 days, yet amount of new and sold listings staying almost the same as last month, we would expect the price to come back down or the list to sold price ratio to drop. Still continues to be more of a buyers market, especially with the higher DOM, lower LTS price ratio, etc. 


Little Italy
(Including Lebreton Flats)

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Average price has jumped over last month (June 2018) to $395,175. However that is based on the only four sales that happened this month. We continue to see more new listings, and fewer sales. DOM has increased to 50 days and the LTSP ratio has nudged up to almost 98.9%. 

What does this mean? A buyers market. Higher DOM, more options (listings), etc. With only four sold it means you have less competition. However the high LTSP ratio says that for the sellers who are serious, and priced right, you can and will sell.


Hintonburg

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The average sold price has dropped to $318,173, when it was $374,620 last month (June 2018). Activity has dropped (both new and sold listings), and the LTSP ratio edged up slightly. 

What does this mean? More of a sellers market. With fewer units available overall, a higher sold price ratio, and a somewhat low DOM, It would be a good time to sell. Buyers will want to see more supply, or need to be quick on their feet for the best units.


Westboro

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The average price is up over last month, but down over this time last year. Less activity then last month, but similar ratio of new vs sold units. Same LTSP ratio as last month with DOM increasing slightly. 

What does this mean? Sellers market. Highest average price, and highest LTSP ratio, along with the similar ratio of new vs sold listings, make it a very difficult buyers market. Not much negotiating is going on. Chances of multiple offers are strong. Again, the higher price point is due mainly to the larger, longer planned living (compared to the studio and sub 600sqft units in Centretown etc.).


Looking for specific information about a building or area? Thinking of selling and want to get the best return? Let's chat. Fill out the form below.

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Ottawa Condo Market Statistics - June 2018

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Often, real estate is defined by its numbers and data - we can report on "hard facts" to provide a picture of the market. However, when we receive the standard monthly updates from the Ottawa Real Estate Board, I find it quite frustrating that the data reported for "condominiums" is board wide - meaning any property type that was listed as a condominium in any area. (This isn't a rant - there are too many micro markets across the city for them to report). What this means is that the information isn't compared by location (downtown vs Kanata) or property type (example - apartment or townhome) which can often mask or hide very interesting or specific information on a more detailed level. We all (should) know that there is a huge difference in price between a townhouse style condo in Kanata, versus a modern downtown highrise apartment in Centretown. 

Let's break down some specific data for the top five "downtown" area's - specifically Centretown (including Golden Triangle), Byward Market and Sandyhill, Little Italy (which would include Lebreton Flats),  Hintonburg, and Westboro. The information will be specific to apartment style condominiums, and only what sold through the MLS. Also, DOM (Day's On Market) is calculated to include the conditional period which in Ottawa is almost every single transaction to be roughly 10-14 days.


Centretown
(North of 417, Canal to the East, Bronson to the West, Parliament Hill to the North).

Ottawa Condo Market Stats June 2018 Centretown 2.jpg

Overall the average sold price for a Centretown condo over the last month is $371,998.00 which is up compared to a year ago, which saw an average list price of $347,394.00. The average DOM is at 46 which is an improvement over last year at 80 days (Keep in mind that includes the conditional period). The list to sale price ratio has increased to just under 99%, and a nice increase over last year at just above 97%. In June, we saw only 47 new listings, with 43 sales.

What does it mean? A healthy increase in the demand for condos located in Centertown. A much more balanced market, with prices continuing to rise at a very marginal rate. One thing to note is that the DOM from two years ago was up to a whopping 85 days. Based on what was listed vs sold, I would expect the market to be more of a Seller's market unless we see more listings!


Byward Market and Sandy Hill
(Includes Lowertown)

Ottawa Condo Statistics - Byward Market and Sandy Hill 2 .jpg

The average sold price this month in the Byward Market and Sandy Hill has dropped slightly to $362,773. The DOM has dropped to 50 days, and much better than it was 3 years ago - 75 days. The list to sale price ratio held the same around the low 97%.

What does this mean? Prices are lower and becoming more attractive to buyers which is helping to reduce the DOM. Slightly more leaning towards a buyers market then for selling. With the DOM lowering you should see the list to sale price ratio increase.


Little Italy
(Includes Lebreton Flats)

Ottawa Condo Market Statistics - Little Italy 2 .jpg

The average sold price for a condo in Little Italy is down to $386,900. The average DOM is up to 47 days, with the one year at 45 days. The average list to sold price ratio is up to 98.1%. Overall there are less new listings with a few more sales compared to last year.

What does this mean?  Since there are fewer buildings which mean fewer sales, the numbers will be affected more by each sale. Lower prices will drive the DOM and sale price ratios as buyers compare them to other areas. The number of listings will increase, and as prices drop, the number of sales will increase. Great market if you are a buyer looking for options with less competition.


Hintonburg

Ottawa Condo Market Statistics - Hintonburg.jpg

The average sold price in Hintonburg lowered slightly from last year, to $374,620. More sales and a much tighter list to sold price ratio have dropped the DOM to less than half - now 39 days from the 89 days a year ago. 

What does this mean? It is much more of a seller's market than a buyer's market. I think it will get tighter unless we see more listings. More buyers looking to move more west! It is a great time to sell.


Westboro

Ottawa Condo Market - Westboro Statistics.jpg

The average sale price in Westboro is up from last year to $474,406. With 17 new listings and 17 sold properties. The highest list to sold price ratio in any of the five area's at 99.4%! The DOM is also quite low at 37!

What does this mean? A hard market if you are a buyer. Considering that almost all condos will sell with a conditional period for status certificate review of 10-14 days, the DOM of 37 is very good for sellers.  The higher price point is due mainly to larger, longer term planned living (compared to studio's and sub 600sqft units found more in Centretown and Byward Market). 

Are you looking for more information about a specific area or building? Thinking of selling or buying? Let's chat - click on the button below!

Top Questions to Ask When Choosing Condo Listing Agent

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A quick Google search will reveal that there are about a million blog posts with the same "questions to ask your agent". How long have you been in the business, how many homes do you sell, what is your percentage of phone calls to sold signs... blah blah. Yes, these are great and you should ask away - the more you ask the better. That being said, here are eight questions to ask your agent when selling your Ottawa condo.

1. Do you focus on condos?
- You would have no idea the number of times I have heard wrong information given out by agents to clients about condos. Sure, we can't know everything - but even having a basic understanding should be expected. Example. I overheard an agent once tell his client that the condo fee rises the higher a condo is within a building. facepalm. Yes, my license allows me to sell a commercial property, and I have even taken a mandatory commercial property course - but I don't know everything about commercial deals and am not the best agent to handle a commercial deal. Condo living is different that freehold living, and buying/selling a condominium is taking freehold properties and adding extra complexities. The deals are done on different forms, there are extra conditions and clauses only for condominiums, and extra knowledge that you only know by "being in the trenches".

2. Have you sold my floorplan or sold in my building? 
- How familiar is the agent with your specific building? Some buildings I have sold every floorplan since it has been launched. Does the agent know where the amenities are and how to get around the building? Even details like having a good relationship with the concierge, security, or property manager goes a long way when we need something. 

3. Who is most likely to buy my condo? 
- One of the first steps when creating the marketing plan for each listing is sitting down and walking through who potential buyers are for the condo. Owner-occupied or investor? Older or younger. Married? Kids? Most buildings have a mix of people, but there is a general trend. Can the agent see the trend? Targeting these buyers, rather than wasting resources on buyers who are unlikely to buy it. Modern two story loft with stairs? Willing to bet it isn't being bought by an older couple looking to downsize. 

4. Other than units in my building, what units/buildings are our biggest competition?
- Having a knowledge of other units and other buildings will help you get a better perspective on the market and what to expect. Knowing that there are three hot units in a building across the street, will help when pricing. 

5. What are the largest issues we will have with selling the condo?
- You can't sugar coat everything and most places have something that isn't going to work for most buyers. Is it size? Is it the damaged floors? Is it the view, building, location, furniture, etc? Can you address it beforehand or mitigate the issues early on? 

6. How will you market the condo?
- Unlike a residential home, most buildings will not allow a for sale sign. Some buildings have banned open houses. The agent needs to have the tools (not just know about them) to sell in today's world. Facebook, Google, Instagram, targeted ads, VR.... what is the agent going to do in order to get in front of the right buyers? Do they have a plan to get the condo sold?

7. Do you do your own photography?
- The number of horrible photos that are used on the MLS blows me away. Hiring the best agent means having an agent who knows the value of highering a professional photographer. This should almost be the first question that you ask - it's that important. Have they done dusk shots? 

8. Do you have a handyman that has experience with condos?
- If you need any work done (such as replacing floors, or sometimes even painting), there are almost always extra steps that are needed before work can be done in the condo. Getting condo board approval is the most important, but even just keeping the neighbors happy can go a long way. Many trades are used to working on job sites that are loud and dirty, not in modern buildings with shiny elevators and neighbors who can hear everything. Some buildings have specific rules about construction waste or using the elevators.

Thinking about selling your Ottawa condo? I would love to chat more - fill out the form below!

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2018 Ottawa Condo Market - Predictions

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Last year I suggested that if you were to ask ten strangers about the Ottawa condo market you would likely get a pretty constant message that the market wasn't very pretty. Keep in mind it has been a rough number of years since things were booming. However, if you were to ask another ten people this year, I would say the responses are going to be less confusing and more focused. 

Since the 2017 Market report, things have certainly increased and we are seeing the condo market pick up. There are fewer listings and fewer DOM (days on market) than in past years. Buildings that had high numbers of listings, only have a couple (if that). The question could be asked if this is due to less supply of units or seller's pricing more realistically and selling. We are constantly seeing multiple offers on condos - again, is it due to lack of supply or more accurate pricing, or both? While the market is not red hot it is certainly better than in previous years. 

All of this while the government is placing more rules and regulations to calm the markets in large urban centers (Toronto etc.). While it will still be interesting to see how the most recent mortgage changes will affect the market - it is too early to tell but most anlysts are agreeing it will have little to no impact on the market especially in Ottawa.

CMHC is predicting that housing starts (new construction) in Ottawa will decline over 2018 and 2019 caused by a drop in apartment (condominium) starts (not freehold housing). This will continue to strengthen the demand for resale or existing homes, especially due to Ottawa's relative affordability. This affordability factor will also help to push up the price of Ottawa resale properties.

What to expect for the 2018 Ottawa condo market?
- A positive condo market. Slightly improved over the 2017 market but not as large of a change as was expected. This means much more balanced, or slightly more in favour of the seller. 

- Slightly increased sales numbers to last year with a modest increase in price. Building off of 2017 and continuing to see growth.

- More units sold to buyers located outside of Ottawa. Parents purchasing for kids while at school,  investors from Toronto, etc. Ottawa has a huge leg up in comparison to other cities when it comes to affordability. We will see more units purchased as investments since the "Ottawa real estate dollar" goes further. Add in the relatively slow and constant growth, it is seen as a safer investment than Toronto or Vancouver. 

- Tighter regulations in condo buildings for short-term accommodations (Airbnb) and more freehold units converted to supply the demand. There is a lot of money in short term rentals, and there is no shortage of people looking for it. 

- First-time buyers using more family money/credit. Borrowing from the bank of mom and dad will be more popular due to the changes in mortgage requirements. As well as parents being on title - to increase the ability for the child to qualify.

- Little impact from the Mortgage Stress Test. Due to Ottawa's lower average price point, the mortgage stress test will affect fewer buyers than in larger urban centers where the average price is much higher.

- More demand for units closer to downtown. The city of Ottawa has a huge push to calm traffic. This includes removing secondary lanes, increasing "no right turn on reds", increasing the number of bike lanes, advanced pedestrian walk at lights, etc. The goal is to make the streets safer - which is great. However, this is going to see an increase in the time it takes to get to and from work. This will also push commercial development in areas outside of downtown. 

- Messy period around marijuana regulations with landlords/tenants and condo boards. As well, what constitutes a grow-op and personal use with regards to disclosure when selling.

Thoughts? It is going to be an interesting year and I am looking forward to it! Bring it on.

Agree/disagree? Tell me below.

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2017 Ottawa Condo Market - Predictions

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?

Tamarack Wellington - Construction Update

Tamarack Wellington Ottawa Condo Construction

Tamarack Home's newest building Tamarack Wellington, a 52 unit, six floor building, designed by Barry J. Hobin, will be starting construction this Monday, March 9th. Located at 1140 Wellington Street West, the building is set for completion mid 2016. Currently 37% sold out, with floor plans across every floor still available.

Here is the full memo released by Tamarack:

WEEK OF MARCH 2ND, 2015 - BREAKING GROUND

Overview:
After overcoming some final hurdles to obtain our Building Permit, we are now officially ready to start Construction! Taggart Construction has mobilized on site and are completing some exploratory work in preparation to commence shoring and excavation work next week.

On Monday March 9th, our shoring contractor will begin to drill and install piles along the perimeter of the site. You will see a large drill rig on site that will be used to drill and drive the piles into the earth. As we install the piles, we will be removing earth and installing lagging to support the extent of the excavation. This portion of the work will take roughly 2-3 weeks to complete.

What to expect during this stage of construction?

-Increased site activity. You will see delivery trucks, equipment being delivered, and increased activity of individual workers on Site. Safety is our number one priority. We will ensure that every truck entering and leaving the site does so with traffic control present.

-Noise caused by drilling and driving piles into the earth will be evident. This is typical construction practice and should not disrupt daily activity for nearby residents and businesses. Noise will only be heard during conventional hours of Construction (7am-5pm).

-Removal of earth will be ongoing but infrequent. Due to the infrequency of loads traffic should not be impacted.

-Removal of trees – We are required to remove four existing trees at the east end of our property, bordering the Grace Hospital. We will be replacing these trees with a mix of new species that will enhance the natural landscape of the area.

What’s next?

-Installation of Site Servicing at the east end of our Site is schedule to commence on March 23rd. We will update the blog as dates become firm.

-Line drilling and rock blasting is scheduled to commence on March 30th. We will be sharing a detailed blasting schedule and blasting protocol as we approach this stage of the work.

Thank you all for your ongoing patience and support!

Sincerely,
Tamarack Wellington Construction Team

Looking Ahead to 2015 in Ottawa

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As the snow starts falling, and the days pass... we realize that 2015 is almost here. Lets take a quick look ahead and what some of the major players are predicting and what it means for someone looking to make a move in the new year.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation is predicting:
- Increase of 1.4 per cent for sales price of new construction single detached homes.
- Decrease of 2 percent for new home starts
- Increase of 0.8 per cent for sales price of resale properties (both residential and condo)
- Increase of 1.8 per cent for average rent of two bedrooms
- An increase of 0.2 per cent for rental vacancy
- Decrease of 0.7 per cent of MLS sales (both residential and condo)

RE/MAX Ontario Atlantic is predicting:
- Increase of 1.6 per cent for average residential price
- Lots of inventory or "excellent selection" in the condominium market
- In 2014 sellers were optimistic and overpriced properties, which pushed days on market. This will impact 2015 with continued increased DOM and more selection for buyers, but will balance out with fewer housing starts.
- Nationwide residential sale price to increase by two to three per cent in 2015 

Overall, while we will not see any crazy gains in price, we will see a slow and easy gain through 2015. More properties are and will be on the market, so sellers need to be more accurate with pricing (NOT OVERPRICED), and buyers will be able to have more selection. Again... Note that CMHC says there will be more listings, and fewer sales - it is more important than ever to have your property priced right, and marketed to its full potential!

Click here for the full CMHC 2015 Ottawa Prediction report.

Click here for the full RE/MAX 2015 Housing Market Outlook Report.

If you have any questions about buying, selling, or the market in general - I would love to chat!

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SoBa Condos - Construction Delayed

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

Just got word that the construction for SoBa Condos will be delayed until spring 2015. Originally SoBa was scheduled to have the sales centre removed and the digging start earlier this year, however it was pushed back till late summer. Multiple reasons for the delay, but mainly Lamb Corp. is waiting on the permits from the city before they can begin. Keep in mind for those who have purchased, the last day they can deliver the condos (as per the Tarion agreements) is November 29th 2017.

If you are interested in purchasing a unit at SoBa, they are currently offering discounts on the latest pricing (prices went up before sales centre was to close) ranging from $9,000 to $41,000 off depending on the unit. For a full price list, click on the button below.

Pretoria Ave - Interview with Andrew Reeves

We spoke with Andrew Reeves, the senior Architect at Linebox Studio about their work at 124 Pretoria Ave. Andrew walked through what inspired the design, and how the process was different than normal. This change of approach is what allowed them to push the boundaries with the space and end up such good balance in the design. 

For more information on 124 Pretoria, and for the full experience, visit the website at PretoriaAve.com.
 

Are you looking to sell and want your home's storey told? Let's talk...
 


Canadian Military Relocation Policy Changes!

Photo cred -  Jennifer Molleson

Photo cred - Jennifer Molleson

After a number of local high-profile news stories that showed same-city moves with very high expenses, a change has been announced for the Canadian Military Relocation Policy.

The federal government will no longer cover moving costs for retiring members who are relocating within a 40km radius. This change will align the IPR policy with those of the other federal departments and agencies. The Department of National Defence said they will make "compassionate exceptions for medical reasons and extenuating personal circumstances".

The policy was originally designed to allow soldiers and their families to expense on final move when they retire so they can choose where they will live. Having multiple family members in the Canadian military, I understand how difficult in can be to find the perfect house on a HHT (house hunting trip), especially if your spouse is unable to make the trip as well. 

If you have been posted to Ottawa, and are getting prepared for your house hunting trip, I would love to help. Click the button below to have me contact you directly.


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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 or condo that fits their lifestyle. Having helped numerous military families and with immediate family in the Canadian military, Matt understands what you need and what you are looking for when you are posted in or out of Ottawa.

What Schools Are Located in Downtown Ottawa?

A common question before buying is "which school would my child attend?" or "what school zones are for this area?" For those who are looking to start or grow a family, this can be very important when choosing the perfect area. 

Ottawa has four major elementary and secondary school boards, in addition to many private schools throughout the region. Many boards have a "School Locator" that allows you to input the possible new home address and requirements your child will need, and it will display which school boundaries that your home falls in. Keep in mind that this data is always changing (new schools/ larger boundaries/etc), so it could change year to year. See below for the full list.

The Ontario ministry of Education has a great website FAQ up that contains many common questions/answers that a parent would ask. It is a great resource - Learning in Ontario FAQ. 

If you are thinking of making a move to another school zone, I would love to help! 


The four major boards are:

The full list of the private schools:

English

Bilingual

Jewish

Kindergarten

Community Schools

Elementary Schools

Ottawa Torah Institute

Christian

Islamic

Full-time schools

Part-time / Weekend Schools

French

Christian (French)


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. 

Why Ottawa Real Estate Buyers Must Be Tech Savvy in 2014

The Importance of Technology for Today's Real Estate Buyers in Ottawa

There is a ton of discussion about becoming more tech savvy for the real estate industry in Ottawa as new websites and apps come out, but is technology really going to help you when looking to buy your condo or home?

Lets take a look at exactly why you will, and should, be using technology as an important tool during your hunt.

You will see properties first.

One of the first tools I will use as a real estate agent with my clients is the "Auto Notification" emails for new listings. This service automatically sends you an email of the new property (and price changes) as soon as the agent publishes the listing on our back end MLS (called MLX). This email can give you advanced notice before other buyers, sometimes up to 24 hours, before it will be uploaded to the public MLS. This is a HUGE advantage, especially if it is a hot property or in high demand. 

You will save time.

Recently, the Ottawa Real Estate Board added a feature that allows us agents to upload more  property photos (used to be only ten photos). This alone gives you a better idea of the space, and if it is right for you. Plus over the last few years, Video Tours and the horrible looking "visual tours" have started to become more used, which give you an even BETTER feel into the property and how it flows. All of this to help you decide if the property is right for you, faster, without wasting time to see every property first hand.

You will save MORE time.

Real estate and paperwork, used to go hand in hand. A few years ago, you would set a time to meet your agent, then print, sign, scan, send or fax, print, etc. the agreement, each time we needed to make a change. Now, by using program called DocuSign, I can use digital signatures to cut the time to fractions to get a counter offer. Plus, for the clients who spend the weekend at the cottage, boat, or ski hill, they can spend more time enjoying life rather than dealing with paperwork. Minutes rather than hours, not to mention a much better looking agreement at the end. However, in Ontario, digital signatures for the purchase agreement are still not allowed to be used. We can still use them for everything else such as the listing, buyer, ID verification, etc.

More information.

As an agent, I am also able to add "attachments" to the listing.  These attachments can include great information such as any pre-list building inspections, surveys, floor plans, utility bills, etc. (not every agent uploads this information, so every property is different). Keep in mind they are only accessible by real estate agents who are a member of the Ottawa Real Estate Board, since they usually contain private information. The more information you and your agent have, the better when it comes time to negotiate.

Better organized

When you head out and see ten or even five listings, it can be difficult to keep track of each specific thing you liked or disliked for every home.  It is very easy, very common, and almost expected for first time buyers to have problems keeping track. While I have my own tools and techniques that I have learned and use, every buyer will benefit from keeping notes as they go, to help later when looking back and comparing. Apps or tools like Evernote, can easily become your best friend during the hunt. Allowing you to take photos, videos, emails, notes, attachments and throw it all into an easy to find folder for later use.  

Okay, so it's not a guarantee, but the more tech savvy you are as a buyer, the better chances you will have to find that perfect Ottawa home. Can I help you find your home? 


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.