December 2014

The past month has seen the Ottawa housing market acclimatize to the cold weather and settle in cozily next to the warm glow of a buyer’s market – if you are a buyer, come join me by the fire! For those wishing to sell, hope is not lost; 893 residential properties were sold in November, compared with 888 in November 2013, an increase of 0.6 per cent – see more stats below.

The news of late has been spastic at best, who can keep track – the IMF is on our (Canada’s) case again, but our Finance Minister seems to be unperturbed, who to believe!? Well for one thing, sweeping statements about the Canadian housing market need to be taken with a grain of salt… it’s a pretty big and diverse place! While Vancouver suffers the effects of investor driven home price inflation and Toronto suffers from an addiction to co….ndos that no one wants to live in and homes that no one can afford, we in Ottawa continue, like the public servants we mostly are, to bop along at a comfortable unassuming pace… so bop on my friends.

Because this could be viewed as the Holiday Edition, the neighbourhood focus of this month has to be the Glebe to pay tribute to Lansdowne! Now it’s not all open yet, but what is is spectacular, and for those naysayers that were worried about – I don’t really know what? the loss of a never ending parking lot, because that’s all it was before – well don’t worry, there’s still a parking lot underground, but now there is also a refrigerated outdoor skating rink, an apple orchard, a farmer’s market square, a skatepark and green space that’s close to the size of the lawn at Parliament Hill, an awesome stadium, quality shopping…. oh and the Cattle Castle? Still a focal point! Scroll down for coupons and tips for your visit!

Well that’s that for a summary, carry on to the content below! And when you’re done reading, go buy some presents for the people you love and remember to have a wonderful holiday season filled with joy and a happy new year and maybe you could, I don’t know, celebrate by purchasing a new home!? Oh me…

Until next month friends – yours in Real Estate,


Stats and Trends

The Ottawa Real Estate Board has released stats for November, to summarize:

723 residential-class properties were sold in November, with an average sale price of $381,936, an increase of 0.7 per cent over November 2013.

170 condominium-class properties were sold in November, with an average sale price of $250,425, a decrease of three per cent over November 2013 – volume of sales was also down, likely as a result of new development.

In the words of Randy Oickle, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board, “Although the market slows somewhat in December, Sellers should note that many buyers for 2015 will begin their search over the holiday period, statistically the highest property search period.”

In the News

Here are a few stories to get your confusion juices flowing… the IMF warns us once again that Canada’s housing market remains a concern, while our own Finance Minister vows there will be no new protective moves for Canada’s housing market … well that’s as clear as mud! Of course, these are national headlines… my advice is to take a deep breath, calm down and focus on Ottawa, where RBC will vouch for the fact that affordability is not an obstacle!

Now, all jokes aside, the purpose of this section is just to provide you with a little snapshot of what has been said in the news over the past month with respect to Real Estate, because unlike me you are probably not alerted whenever there is a story written! Buying a home is a very personal decision, and a very costly one, that should not be guided by newspaper articles – However, in terms of monetary policy and understanding the appetite for mortgage debt, it’s a good idea to know what decision makers are saying. My take away is this; some Canadian markets have become overvalued and many people have taken on too much debt. Regardless, it does not appear likely that a change in mortgage rates or policies affecting home financing will happen in the near term.

Meanwhile, in condo news… Starts in Ottawa are at their lowest level since 2009, but they’re still starting! (In fact, I just found out one on my personal watch list – the Azure – will finally break ground in the months to come… but that’s next month’s news!)

Neighbourhood Watch : Lansdowne (Glebe)

The Ottawa Farmers’ Market is open for holidays goodies on December 6, 7, 13, 14 in the Aberdeen Pavilion, aka the Cattle Castle, aka I drew a picture of it for you so you won’t get lost! It’s big and yellow. If you don’t want to park at Lansdowne, you can park at Brewer Park (summer location of the market) and there is a shuttle service to bring you to Lansdowne, how conveeeeeeeenient!

While you are there doing your holiday shopping you will want to pop into Whole Foods for a snack, or at least to see what all the fuss is about, and to make sure you don’t start calling it Whole Paycheck, here are some coupons! Also, if you will be visiting Whole Foods and your visit is less that 90 minutes, park underground and they will validate your ticket at the checkout, chaching!

If you are sooooo excited about visiting the farmers market, judging the accuracy of my drawing and spending these coupons and yet are still finding yourself saddened by the fact that you must schlep yourself all the way there…. well… you are in luck! There are 16 homes listed for sale in the Glebe right now and I will happily help you buy any of them!

In case you are wondering what this might set you back; there were 7 homes sold in the Glebe over the past month, with an average sale price of $728,428… but just think of all the money you will save on gas to and from Whole Foods! Why, the home would practically pay for itself 😀