Smart House 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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Ottawa Condo Rentals Up Almost 40 Per Cent in 2014

It was a great year for Ottawa condo rentals, seeing 1,044 units leased through the MLS in 2014, which is up 37% over 2013 and 79% over 2012. The condo market is a healthy portion of the total rentals across the city, accounting for 41% of the 2,551 rentals for of all residential property types in 2014. Total residential rentals are up 22% from the 2,091 in 2013, and 53% from the 1,664 in 2012.

The average rent for an Ottawa condo did not see much change dropping from $1,660 in 2013 to $1,658 in 2014. The average rent for all property types in 2014 was $1,740 which is up almost 1% from $1,727 in 2013.

We saw the average prices of rentals peak at $1,877 in 2009 for all property types,  and $1,796 in 2008 for condos. Each year since, we have seen a slight decline in average rents while the number of units rented has continued to grow (except in all property class where it hit a low in 2013).

Why? Since the Ottawa Real Estate Board does not include a spot for square footage, I am not able to include price per square foot or average unit size. However, based on what we are seeing in the local market and across the country, condo units are getting smaller which lowers rents. We are continuing to see the amounts of units rented increase year over year, with only a slight decrease in price. This helps to prove the demand for rental properties in Ottawa continues to be strong enough to absorb the amount of new supply. Also, it is important to note that the Ottawa condo rental market is only 5% of the total condo rental market for Toronto which had 22,765 condos leased in 2014 through the MLS.

Are you looking to rent out your pre-construction condo here in Ottawa? I would love to help. I have been able to help many clients with purchase and rentals at Urban Capital's Central, Mondrian, and East Market buildings, with Brad Lamb's SoBa and Gotham buildings, Claridge's Claridge Plaza phases, as well as other Domicile, Charlesfort, and Richcraft buildings - among others. If you are coming close to your PDI and occupancy date, don't wait - lets chat and get your unit rented.

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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 + Minto Win at OHB Awards

Smart House, from Toronto's Urban Capital took home three awards last night at the Ontario Home Builders Award in Ottawa. The awards were for the best website, best ad campaign, and best video!

Other local winners and finalists include:
- Minto Communities was named Ontario Home Builder of the Year, for the second time in three years. 
- Oakwood Renovation Experts was chosen as Renovator of the Year.
- Lagois Design won for Most Outstanding Home Renovation (between $250,000-$500,000).
- Mattamy Homes was a finalist in the division for Best Interior Decorating of the Model Home in Half Moon Bay.

For the full list of winners, visit: https://ohbaaod.ca/winners.php

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


Smart House and Micro Living - Media Coverage

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Here is an updated list of media stories that are about Smart House Ottawa or micro-living! 

Last updated: January 5th, 2015











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. 

Smart House Ottawa - Amenities

Smart House Ottawa - Building and Unit Amenities

Clever spaces, smartly designed to maximize space

Birds eye view of the amenities for Smart House Ottawa.

Birds eye view of the amenities for Smart House Ottawa.

Creating an amenities space that acts like an extension of your unit, will provide you with much more enjoyment. At Smart House Ottawa, Urban Capital has done that, bringing features that you would expect and allow you to live, exercise, lounge, and be social, all while at home. Just because you live in a micro-condo doesn't mean your social life does as well.

Interior Amenities
- Party room containing kitchen and screening area, opening onto the outdoor terrace, with wireless high-speed internet access
- Fully equipped fitness room including free weights, weight machines and state-of-the-art cardio equipment, and adjacent yoga/stretching area
-Office/productivity centre, containing large-format printer (on a "fee for service" basis), and conference room
- "Product Library", for residents to rent useful household items

Outdoor Amenities
- Outdoor terrace located on the second floor, adjacent to the indoor amenity area, with intimate lounge seating areas surrounding gas fire pits, barbecues, dining tables, freeform plantings and landscaping

Building Amenities/Features
- Two residential elevators
- Underground heated parking (accessed from Flora st)
- Executive concierge service
- "Enterphone" security system in lobby, along with fob-based access system
- All suites have water efficient toilets, faucets and shower heads
- All units will be individually metered for all utilities, allowing occupants to control their personal electricity, water, and energy usage.

Smart House Ottawa building amenities as seen from the outside. (note that the exterior amenities were removed from this rendering for visual effect)

Smart House Ottawa building amenities as seen from the outside. (note that the exterior amenities were removed from this rendering for visual effect)

Step inside the units and you will understand why they are called "Smart" and space saving. By using high quality products that utilize space saving design, you are able to have that "big house feel" inside your condo. Using a fully-integrated Liebherr 24" refrigerator (the same ones used in SoHo Lisgar, and SoHo Parkway), Porter & Charles 12" two burner smooth cook top(when was the last time you used four burners at once?), 1.5 cubic foot stainless steel microwave-oven, and Fisher & Paykel 24" single tall-tub dishwasher drawer - your kitchen has high-end european appliances right where you want them. Both the AEG architectural hood fan, and integrated cutting board, are both tucked away so you wont notice them.  Even the European-style Porter & Charles 24" washer/condensing dryer is space saving, taking up a fraction of the space a normal set would use! When not in use, all you see is a modern clean space.

Smart House Ottawa Kitchen was fully designed to save space and look good. 

Smart House Ottawa Kitchen was fully designed to save space and look good. 

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Looking for advice about floor plans, views, pricing, etc? I would love to help you out, just fill out the form below. 

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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 - Pre-Launch Information

**Edit** For all Smart House Ottawa information - check out our Smart House Ottawa page.

Launching Thursday September 18th from 6pm to 9pm is the first official VIP Launch for Smart House Ottawa. Brought to you by Urban Capital, (the same developer who built Mondrian, The East Market, Central Condos and Hideaway) as well as Ottawa-based Tamarack Homes, the building will feature 152 condo units inside Ottawa's first micro condo development. Building off its success with Smart House Toronto, Urban Capital is looking to expand the idea here to Ottawa. Going to be located in the same neighbour hood as Central, at the corner of Flora and Bank streets, these units will range from 315sqft to 596 sqft (two bedroom units). Prices start at $179,9000 with all units featuring exposed concrete ceilings, and large oversized windows. Roderick Lahey was included in the project as the architect, which ensures the building will please those who will call this project home.

Other features of the building include, product library (will lend out tools you need to make basic repairs to the home), productivity centre which will allow you to work from home (includes a large-format printer/scanner), sunny boardroom, gym and full yoga studio, and party room (with projector/screen, full kitchen and bar, outdoor dining). 

Also to note, this building will have the utilities for each unit separately monitored (not included in the condo fee), which has always been a source of argument at condo board AGM's. This means, you only pay for what YOU consume, not based on a percentage of the building consumption. 

Please note: I will have more information over the next week (pricing, floorplans, etc). Fill out this form if you would like this advanced information, as soon as it becomes available. 

**For everything Smart House Ottawa related, visit our Smart House section - HERE.


Video from the Smart House Toronto project.



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.