October's market update

October’s Resales Track a Traditional Cycle
OTTAWA, November 3, 2021 - Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,677 residential properties in October through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 2,132 in October 2020, a decrease of 21 per cent. October’s sales included 1,263 in the residential-property class, down 24 per cent from a year ago, and 414 in the condominium-property category, a decrease of 14 per cent from October 2020. The five-year average for total unit sales in October is 1,605.

“October’s resale market was active, busy, and stable – and followed the typical (pre-pandemic) ebb and flow that we commonly see as we enter the fall season,” states Ottawa Real Estate Board President Debra Wright. “The number of transactions increased slightly over September (1,607) as well as the 5-year average. The only reason we see a year-over-year decrease in comparison to last October is because 2020’s sales peak had shifted from the spring months to September/ October due to the initial Covid-19 lockdown.”
Sales Chart

The average sale price for a condominium-class property in October was $404,760, an increase of 10 per cent from 2020, while the average sale price for a residential-class property was $716,378, an increase of 19 per cent from a year ago. With year-to-date average sale prices at $720,150 for residential and $419,515 for condominiums, these values represent a 24 per cent and 16 percent increase over 2020, respectively.*

“While the number of units sold followed the traditional trajectory, the lack of supply continues to put upward pressure on prices, which are holding strong and steadily increasing. Although there were 1,960 new listings in October, falling just under the 5-year average (1,974), it’s simply not enough. Inventory remains at a one-month supply for residential properties and 1.2 months for condominiums. The only way we will find balance in Ottawa’s market is to increase the housing stock exponentially.”

“Low inventory and a lack of suitable housing options restrict movement along the housing spectrum. Move-up buyers and downsizers have nowhere to go, so they stay in place, but we need that exchange of properties in the marketplace to free up supply for entry-level homebuyers,” Wright adds.

“Additionally, we have noticed a substantial increase in the number of rental transactions through the MLS® System, which could suggest that some of the properties have been purchased or held on to for investment purposes. This active rental market may be another contributing factor as to why there aren’t more properties coming onto the market for sale.”

OREB Members assisted clients with renting 4,012 properties since the beginning of the year compared to 2,829 at this time last year.

Ottawa market in January, 2021

Sales Chart

January’s average sale price for a condominium-class property was $380,336, an increase of 13 per cent from last year, while the average sale price of a residential-class property was $677,197, an increase of 31 per cent from a year ago. Compared to December, the average price for residential-class properties has increased by 12 per cent, and the average price for condominium-class units is 7 per cent higher.*

“I would like to caution those looking at the increase in average prices this month and believing that property values are accelerating at an extreme pace. In January, there was considerable movement in the upper end of the market, which caused a bit of an anomalous outcome in average price percentages. For example, there were 63 sales in the $1M+ price range, while last year at this time, there were only 16 transactions. Sustained price movements are better reflected during the mid to latter part of the year, where trends begin to emerge, and comparisons can be drawn,” Ottawa Real Estate Board President Debra Wright. 

World crisis

OREB news: 

World Crisis

April 3, 2020

Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,525 residential properties in March through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 1,507 in March 2019, an increase of only 1.2 per cent. March’s sales included 1,170 in the residential-property class, up 3.3 per cent from a year ago, and 355 in the condominium-property category, a decrease of 5.1 per cent from March 2019. The five-year average for March unit sales is 1,465.

“Our results show that the Ottawa real estate market seems to have withstood the pressure of a worldwide economic event in March, however in context with our market’s performance up to this point, we can see the underlying effect. Before the pandemic, monthly unit sales were increasing between 10-16% from 2019, while March’s sales were just on par with a year ago. This is an indicator that there has been a slowdown in the real estate market due to Covid-19.” reports Deborah Burgoyne, Ottawa Real Estate Board President.

“Much of March’s activity likely began in the first two weeks of the month before the State of Emergency order was put into place. In fact, we had a head start on the spring market that was heating up earlier than expected, but activity seemed to fall off as physical distancing measures took effect,” she adds.

“Once the Ontario State of Emergency began, our Members and Brokerages rightly began to make all adjustments necessary for the health and wellbeing of our clients and customers. We welcomed the government’s declaration of real estate as an essential service so that transactions in progress could be completed. However, it was not and is not business as usual for our Members. They are heeding government and public health authority warnings and advice and are being diligent in taking extra safety precautions. All this, while still doing their best to help their clients successfully conclude or close real estate transactions that were already in progress,” Burgoyne acknowledges.

March’s average sale price for a condominium-class property was $369,311, an increase of 27.3 per cent from this time last year while the average sale price of a residential-class property was $559,739, an increase of 16.5 per cent from a year ago. Year to date figures show an 18.8 per cent and a 23.2 per cent increase in average sale prices for residential and condominiums, respectively.*

“Our Members are evolving and adapting their business practices by leveraging the use of technology with virtual tours, live streaming, social media, and becoming more creative in their methods to facilitate the needs of their clients who may need to buy or sell right now because of their circumstances.”

“However, for those buyers and sellers who are not in that urgent position, our Members recognize the health and safety of our community is paramount. They are consulting with these clients on a case by case basis and may advise that they should delay the listing of their home or a purchase. They are doing what’s best for their clients in the context of government advisories,” affirms Burgoyne.

When asked about the impact of Covid-19 on the number of new listings on the market, Burgoyne speculates, “The shortage of inventory has driven down the number of new listings for the past several years, so we cannot accurately state that the decrease in March was due to Covid-19 where we saw 1,579 new residential listings and 469 for condos. The 5-year average is 2,217 and 665, respectively. I believe that April’s number will provide a truer and more legitimate reflection of the impact of Covid-19 on our local real estate market.”

“In closing, I would like to say that we are grateful to have been granted the essential service designation and are working closely with all levels of government and our provincial and national associations to ensure that we implement the necessary steps and protocols to flatten the curve and remain the trusted advisors that the public have come to expect from the REALTOR® profession.”

In addition to residential and condominium sales, OREB Members assisted clients with renting 746 properties since the beginning of the year compared to 550 at this time last year.

* The Board cautions that the average sale price can be useful in establishing trends over time but should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. The calculation of the average sale price is based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold. Price and conditions will vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood.

Why Ottawa's housing market steers a steady course

Earier this spring, the Ontario government announced several measures intended to curb the excesses of the residential real estate market in the Greater Toronto Area and Golden Horseshoe.

John Clark - OttawaIn June, the Toronto Real Estate Board reported a 37 per cent drop in home sales from the year before. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to connect those two dots. Many people interested in making a purchase decided to pause for some sober second thought. For how long they will opt to remain on the sidelines is anyone’s guess.

But what about Ottawa – you know, that other city in Ontario? How is Ottawa faring during a time of uncertainty fuelled by rising interest rates, government policy intervention and an apparent economic upswing?

When it comes to marvelling in the media about overheated housing markets, the nation’s capital plays third fiddle to Toronto and Vancouver. That’s to be expected, given that Ottawa hasn’t seen anywhere near the irrational exuberance and volatility of those other urban centres.

I’ve heard plenty of anecdotal evidence in recent months about how Ottawa benefits from the angst of the typical Toronto homebuyer. People are relocating, attracted by a solid job market, lower housing costs and a morning commute that is a cakewalk compared to what the GTA has to offer.

A colleague of mine put her house on the market earlier this month and had two offers the same day.

Boom times have returned?

For those of you who don’t know, Ottawa is known for two types of employment: high tech and government.

Under the federal Liberals, public sector employment has reached its highest point this decade in Ottawa. Meanwhile, the city’s tech sector is enjoying a fresh resurgence.

Hype around making the Ottawa community of Kanata a global hub for autonomous vehicles, along with other growth areas like software-as-a-service and the area’s enduring strengths in telecommunications, suggest boom times have returned.  There are now 70,000 high-tech jobs in Ottawa and more than 1,700 high-tech companies.

Where there appears to be opportunity, people will flock. Just look at the latest numbers from Statistics Canada: Ottawa’s population (not including Gatineau across the river) has grown a solid 1.6 per cent over the past year – that’s about 13,500 more people who need a place to live and a source of income. The unemployment rate dropped to 6.1 per cent in June from 6.6 per cent the year before.

More interesting is the size of the labour force, which hasn’t changed much with the increase in population (Ottawa’s actual employment rate has edged down by 0.7 per cent over the past year), but there is steady job growth. There’s a continued push-pull between the number of jobs and job seekers.

Other factors, such as the influx of Syrian refugees, are no doubt having an impact. Also, don’t forget that this is a university town with about 120,000 post-secondary students studying at various universities and community colleges.

More buyers looking to upgrade

But if you have any doubt that people are finding a comfortable life for themselves and their families in Ottawa, just look at the housing data.

According to the Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB), year-to-date sales of existing homes in Ottawa are up by 13.5 per cent from 2016. Average sale prices in both the residential and condo classes also continued to gain, albeit modestly.

“Something we hadn’t seen for years, is the recent rise in the lifestyle market in both the residential and condo property class, with 46 over $1 million units sold in June, and 171 units over $1 million sold since the beginning of the year,” OREB’s Ralph Shaw said in the monthly report. “Both numbers are more than double the amount sold last year. It indicates that home buyers are looking beyond their basic needs to check off more boxes from their wish lists such as view, downtown location, or acreage property.”

Add to this the housing starts numbers from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Construction started on 21 per cent more homes in Ottawa in June versus the year before. If we look at the seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) between May and June of this year, all the action is in the higher end of the market, with starts on single detached homes up by 43 per cent and all other housing types down by 24 per cent.

A welcome safe haven?

People continue to buy and build homes in Ottawa, with more focus on the higher end of the market. We might not see the storm surges in pricing that Toronto does, but the market remains healthy and robust. The uncertainty that sucker-punched the Toronto market in June just isn’t being felt the same way down the 401.

But why would it be?

The Ottawa market wasn’t overpriced to begin with.

Increases to interest rates shouldn’t prove a hindrance to a well-to-do middle class – buyers have already had to qualify for mortgages at a higher interest rate for some time now anyway. Unlike Toronto or Vancouver, Ottawa has a sufficient supply of new housing stock coming online to keep up with in-migration and employment growth – this should continue to moderate price inflation.

Ottawa’s real estate market might not be as large or attention-grabbing as Toronto’s, but that might be a good thing for stressed out homebuyers. And for GTA sellers who have made a killing, it just might be a great market in which to relocate or invest.

John Clark  Vice President with The Regional Group of Companies Inc


Landlord and tenancy board

This is what causes housing shortages


By Christopher Seepe

Tenants may think the government is looking out for tenant interests, but if that was true there would be no pandemic housing shortage, multiple offers, outrageous selling prices, extremely low vacancy rates, high rental tenant property taxes and eight-year affordable housing wait lists.

Ontario’s recent “Rent Fairness Act” continues the brutal, gratuitous, dystopian, anti-landlord legislation meted out by short-sighted, vote-pandering politicians who have literally (not metaphorically) persecuted landlords for decades; all of it resulting in the national pandemic critical housing shortage. Examples:

  • Of 46 offenses in the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA), 34 solely benefit tenants, 10 reciprocate with landlords, one benefits the landlord and one prevents landlords from kicking vote-canvassing politicians off their property.
  • RTA and the Human Rights Code (HRC) have unintended discriminatory consequences, including:
    1. The broken Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) and RTA make all people with no credit, work or rental history (single moms, foreign students and refugees) extremely high-risk tenants for landlords.
    2. Hoarders’ rights override the rights of all other tenants. Vermin, fire hazards and more ruin the lifestyle of neighbours and significantly negatively impact property value. Firefighters can refuse to enter a burning unit if they cannot turn 360 degrees with full respirator gear on. Landlords must accommodate challenged tenants to the point of a landlord’s undue hardship, which is not defined in legislation.
    3. The tenant qualification process of public agencies is not aligned with the needs of the landlord.
  • Landlords submit 91 per cent of LTB applications. Seventy-five per cent are for tenants not paying their rent. The average LTB eviction is five months (versus 25 days in some other provinces), costing an average $5,200 that is rarely collected. LTB offers free, taxpayer-funded duty counsel service to tenants but offers nothing to landlords.
  • A tenant can pay the sheriff full rent arrears on the day of their eviction and start the whole process again.
  • Ontario spent billions on solar power programs. Result: average $217.33/kWhr in Ontario versus $67.89/kWhr in Quebec. Government then punished landlords by preventing landlords from passing on utility costs to the actual consumers (tenants) of that energy.
  • The LTB won’t evict tenants who sign and then breach a no-smoking clause in their rental agreement. The whole health industry pushed for this change and the provincial government still denied it. Eleven per cent of Canadians smoke daily and 64 per cent don’t smoke.
  • The HRC denies requests to teach landlords about landlord responsibilities but hosts free full-day seminars for tenants.
  • The RTA and municipal bylaws require landlords to remediate mould caused by a tenant’s actions, even though it’s not caused by the building’s envelope.
  • The rent of a tenant switching from a single bulk meter to an individual meter must be reduced by the cost of energy consumed over the previous 12 months. Therefore, the most energy-abusive tenants receive the greatest rent decreases while energy-conscious tenants are penalized.
  • The RTA sets the practical limit on building repairs and maintenance: three per cent of property income for three years. The 270,000 Ontario social housing units have a $1.2 billion capital shortfall. Toronto faces $2.6 billion in building repairs and will close 400 homes in 2017 and 1,000 by 2018.
  • Some municipalities charge tenants up to 2.5 times the property tax rate of condo and single- family homeowners.
  • Rent control doesn’t benefit low-income tenants. Tenants who can afford to pay market rents receive the benefit of lower rents and successfully beat low-income tenants competing for tenancies in the government-created housing shortage.  Shrinking housing inventory forces buyers to stay in rental housing longer. There are 171,360 Ontario families waiting for affordable housing (2015), some for as long as eight years.
  • The federal budget gave a $209.4 million bailout for social housing repairs but nothing to the private sector faced with the same issues.
  • A tenant’s unpaid utility bill is added to the property owner’s property tax bill, even if the landlord proves that their tenant signed an agreement to pay their own utilities. This is like holding police responsible for all the crimes committed by the criminals they didn’t catch.
  • Municipal bedbug and garbage bylaws hold landlords responsible for cost of cleanup even if the tenant caused the infestation or doesn’t sort their garbage.
  • Housing shortages lead some tenants to illegally rent out a rental unit or portion at a higher rent.
  • The LTB won’t hear cases where tenants who damaged a property moved out. Small Claims Court won’t hear any case involving a landlord-tenant dispute.

Society can’t exist without housing. Private sector landlords built homes for more than nine million Canadians, and relatively affordable housing to a subset of more than three million. Canada’s total social housing sector accommodates about 1.5 million Canadians.

Private sector landlords willingly accept extraordinary financial and legal risks to provide safe and healthy housing. Landlords are not social workers, financiers or otherwise an extension of government social housing programs, policies and other political agendas.

About 39,000 rental units were built in 1972 alone versus a net of about 22,500 units in the 25 years following. Look at the success of the housing programs of the 1960s and early 1970s and replicate that success.

Footnote: An anagram of “LandlordTenantBoard” is ‘Abandon Rent, Add Troll’.

What the housing bulls won't tell about residential real estate

The people I listen to most on the state of the housing market are in the investment industry.

Not in the housing sector.

Investing people have a better understanding of a few basic facts about houses. One, they’re financial assets like any other, and that means there are cycles of both rising and falling prices. Two, today’s prices are high in some cities after a long run-up. Investment people believe the housing market is vulnerable to a pullback, and you should consider their arguments.

The latest investment industry forecast for a decline for housing comes from Sadiq Adatia, chief investment officer for Sun Life Global Investments. He thinks housing prices could decline by 10 to 15 per cent over an extended period as interest rates rise. “Over the next year or two, it will be time to look for an exit strategy if you’ve invested in residential real estate, or if you’re a baby boomer who is planning to sell the family home,” he said in an interview.

Housing bulls talk about factors like low interest rates and unlimited replenishment of the supply of buyers through immigration and young adults who aspire to buy homes. Mr. Adatia looks at what’s actually happening in the economy and in the financial world.

To start with, he sees the economy weakening through the remainder of 2015 and early next year as a result of low oil prices and the resulting spending leading to job cuts in the energy sector. Mr. Adatia believes the Bank of Canada might have to cut rates again in the months ahead, but he doesn’t see a big benefit for the housing market.

That’s because a cut in the central bank’s overnight rate affects mainly variable-rate mortgages, which account for just one-fifth of mortgages these days. Also, when the Bank of Canada cut rates earlier this year, the banks passed along only part of the reduction in rates they charge customers.

Fixed-rate mortgages, the more popular choice among today’s home buyers, could actually get more expensive this fall. Mr. Adatia said the U.S. Federal Reserve is widely expected to start nudging rates higher in September, and this could pull rates in the Canadian bond market higher. Rates on the five-year Government of Canada bond have a major influence on five-year mortgage rates.

Once we’re into 2016 and 2017, Mr. Adatia sees rates in Canada starting to edge higher in a sustained way. This is where even the Vancouver and Toronto housing markets start feeling some stress. As rates move higher, it gets more expensive for people to buy a first home and for move-up buyers to afford larger houses.

The housing bulls see an endless source of buyers and they seem to believe that interest rates will remain favourably low indefinitely. But investment people know that the only constant in the financial world is change. Interest rates could change in the wake of American moves as soon as this summer, which would come as quite the shock for those who have convinced themselves low rates are permanent.

Here’s some good news for homeowners in Mr. Adatia’s view on housing. He thinks the market is 30 per cent overvalued, which is more or less in line with analysis from the Bank of Canada (it pegged the valuation as being up to 30 per cent). But he doesn’t see house prices falling back to fair value because rates will remain reasonably low, at least in comparison with the highs of previous economic cycles.

There are other investment industry voices besides Mr. Adatia who think now’s a good time for some owners to consider an exit strategy from the real estate market. In an article that was well read on our website, Robert Champion of Sprung Investment Management wrote about the concept of reversion to the mean. That’s where periods of big returns are followed by weaker results that bring the overall numbers back to the middle. Housing in several cities could be vulnerable, and that’s why Mr. Champion made a case for older Canadians selling now to avoid price declines ahead.

Housing bulls typically make a living in some way from home sales, so they’re biased. So are investment people in a way – they stand to make more money if people invest in stocks, bonds and funds rather than buying houses. But Mr. Adatia said something that confirmed my thinking about the worth of investment industry comment on housing.

“As investment strategists,” he said, “it’s our job to protect people on the down side.” When did you last hear a housing bull say something like that?

Rob Carrick

The Globe and Mail


Positive signs ahead for #Ottawa #real estate.


While new CREA figures show home sales declining in Alberta and Saskatchewan, cities in Ontario, including Ottawa, continue to see positive sales growth.

“Residential and condo sales combined contributed to an increase in sales, and we are right on par with the January average,” said David Oikle, president of the Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB).

“Residential two-storey and bungalow properties had the highest concentration of buyers. The possibility of interest rates approaching record lows will provide even more opportunity for homebuyers.”

The falling price of oil and uncertainty in the job market has impacted home sales and consumer confidence across the country.

Sales activity has stalled as people take a wait-and-see approach, said Gregory Klump, chief economist of the Canadian Real Estate Association.

“Buyers are taking a wait-and-see approach right now,” he said. “There’s a lot of uncertainty in the job market and even though we’re seeing prices go up, demand has stalled.”

The figures from CREA, published yesterday, come shortly after TD Economics released a report forecasting that Calgary MLS sales are forecast to dive by nearly 50 per cent.

The report stated: “A significant softening in job markets will set the stage for a second major housing correction in Calgary.”

Sales were reportedly down as much as 24 per cent in Calgary while Edmonton didn’t escape the crunch either, registering a 10 per cent decline, according to CREA.

But in Ottawa, there is a different picture being painted. Things have been stable and positive signs are arising for the country’s capital, which saw some solid numbers in January 2015.

There were almost seven per cent more sales this January compared to January 2014 when just 587 homes were sold.

With a strong commercial market to boot, Ottawa is just one of the many cities in Ontario with a strong outlook for at least the first half of 2015, according to Morguard, which published its own report last week.

Canadian Real Estate Wealth


How does your property tax compare with the rest of Canada?


Looking for a reason to grumble about property taxes? Depending on what type of property you own and where, we might have one for you.

The Real Property Association of Canada (REALpac), which represents commercial real estate owners such as pension funds and real estate investment trusts, has completed its 11th annual property tax survey. The association, which advocates for lower commercial-to-residential tax ratios, has crunched the numbers for the major municipalities in Canada. The association notes that while residential and commercial tax rates have generally been declining, that doesn’t translate into significantly lower tax payments because assessment values have been on the rise.

Here’s a sneak peak at the findings:


· Estimated commercial property taxes per $1,000 of assessment: $14.11

· Estimated residential property taxes per $1,000 of assessment: $6.10

· Commercial-to-residential ratio: 2.31, up 2.2 per cent from last year

· Calgary has one of the lowest estimated tax rates on commercial properties per $1,000 of assessment


· Estimated commercial property taxes per $1,000 of assessment: $18

· Estimated residential property taxes per $1,000 of assessment: $8.01

· Commercial-to-residential ratio: 2.25, down 3.6 per cent from last year

· Residential rates rose by 2.5 per cent


· Estimated commercial property taxes per $1,000 of assessment: $34.02

· Estimated residential property taxes per $1,000 of assessment: $12.11

· Commercial-to-residential ratio: 2.81, down 4.4 per cent from last year

· Halifax’s ratio has been edging down since 2012. A 6.8-per-cent increase in the city’s taxable commercial property assessment base this past year allowed for a significant drop in commercial rates, which went down by more than residential rates. As a result Halifax’s ratio saw the largest drop of all the cities since last year.


· Estimated commercial property taxes per $1,000 of assessment: $37.12

· Estimated residential property taxes per $1,000 of assessment: $8.27

· Commercial-to-residential ratio: 4.49 per cent, up 1.9 per cent from last year

· -his is the tenth year in a row the ratio has risen in Montreal. Both commercial and residential rates fell from last year, but residential rates are declining more quickly. The city has one of the highest estimated commercial tax rates per $1,000 of assessment.


· Estimated commercial property taxes per $1,000 of assessment: $30.41

· Estimated residential property taxes per $1,000 of assessment: $11.27

· Commercial-to-residential ratio: 2.7 per cent, up 0.4 per cent from last year

· The ratio is expected to remain stable for the rest of Ontario’s 2013-2016 property assessment cycle. Ottawa has one of the highest estimated commercial tax rates per $1,000 of assessment.


· Estimated commercial property taxes per $1,000 of assessment: $21.37

· Estimated residential property taxes per $1,000 of assessment: $13.69

· Commercial-to-residential ratio: 1.56 per cent, down 0.1 per cent from last year

· Regina has one of the lowest ratios, with one of the highest residential property tax rates.


· Estimated commercial property taxes per $1,000 of assessment: $17.62

· Estimated residential property taxes per $1,000 of assessment: $12.58

· Commercial-to-residential ratio: 1.4 per cent, down 1 per cent from last year

· Saskatoon has one of the lowest ratios and highest residential property tax rates. It has a goal of maintaining the target ratio of 1.4 per cent.


· Estimated commercial property taxes per $1,000 of assessment: $28.98

· Estimated residential property taxes per $1,000 of assessment: $7.23

· Commercial-to-residential ratio: 4.01 per cent, down 1.5 per cent from last year

· The ratio has been falling for 11 years. The city aims to reduce the tax ratios for commercial properties to 2.5 times the residential rate by 2020. It cut residential taxes for the sixth year in a row.


· Estimated commercial property taxes per $1,000 of assessment: $15.91

· Estimated residential property taxes per $1,000 of assessment: $3.68

· Commercial-to-residential ratio: 4.33 per cent, down 0.4 per cent from last year

· The ratio has been fairly stable for three years.


· Estimated commercial property taxes per $1,000 of assessment: $25

· Estimated residential property taxes per $1,000 of assessment: $12.13

· Commercial-to-residential ratio: 2.06 per cent, up 1.9 per cent from last year


Globe and Mail

Canada’s housing market strong this year and will be stronger in 2014: CREA

Recent reports from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) show upward projections of home sales in Ontario for 2013. According to CREA's chief economist, Gregory Klump, " ... most housing markets are well balanced, including many large urban centres".

Price gains are most prevalent in areas such as Calgary and Toronto, where demand for housing is higher than the current inventory on hand. Increasing competition is said to limit price appreciation in areas such as Quebec and the Maritimes.

CREA anticipates 458,200 homes will be sold this year - an increase over the 2012 numbers, and over projections made by the association in September of this year. A strong 2014 is also predicted, with a sales projection of 475,000 homes. The 2013 projected national average price for 2013 is $382,200, an increase of 5.2% over 2012. CREA is predicting gains in this area as well, with an anticipated average price of $391,100 in 2014.

Read more >

RBC and CHMC Forecast

The cost of owning a home in Ottawa eased during the most recent quarter, according to an affordability study by Royal Bank. The average local owner of a detached bungalow spends 38.7 per cent of their pre-tax annual income on mortgage payments, utilities and property taxes. That’s down 40 basis points, according to the RBC study.Similarly, the costs of owning a two-storey home fell 50 basis points to 40.6 per cent of the homeowner’s average annual income.

Condos decreased 10 basis points to 26.9 per cent.Owning a home in Ottawa takes up a larger share of household income than the 28-year average of 36.5 per cent.RBC, which publishes the index on a quarterly basis, says ultra low interest rates have been the key factor in keeping affordability levels from reaching dangerous levels in recent years.

Despite the recent improvement in affordability, RBC said the amount of income to service home ownership costs continues to be higher than long-term averages. RBC notes that Canada's housing market cooled further in the third quarter, partially because of the effects of a fourth round of rule changes to government-backed mortgage insurance.In Ottawa, home resales fell 5.4 per cent in the third quarter – the largest quarterly decline since mid-2010.The bank expects the negative effect of the changes on home sales will ease by the end of the year and that resale activity will stabilize next year.The July-September quarter fully reversed the mild erosion in affordability that occurred during the first half of 2012, said RBC chief economist Craig Wright.“The broad affordability picture has been somewhat stationary over the last two years, alternating between periods of improvement and deterioration, resulting in an affordability trend that is, on net, essentially flat,” Mr. Wright said.He said he expects the Bank of Canada to begin raising its overnight lending rate for banks – which affects bank's prime lending rates – from the current one per cent in the second half of next year, assuming the euro crisis remains in check and U.S fiscal issues are addressed.“This, along with the expected continued growth in household income, will lessen the risk of marked erosion in affordability,” he said.As is often the case, Vancouver's extremely expensive real-estate skewed the national figures.

“The cost of owning a home took a smaller bite out of household pocketbooks in the third quarter as home prices fell – most notably in the Vancouver area, though it remains the least affordable market in Canada by a wide margin,” explained Wright.The index in Vancouver stood at 83.2 per cent of income, followed by Toronto at 52.4 per cent, Montreal 40.2 per cent, Ottawa at 38.7 per cent, Calgary at 38.3 per cent and Edmonton at 31.1 per cent.Nationally, a detached bungalow stands at 42 per cent affordability, two-storey homes at 47.8 per cent and condos at 28 per cent.

G.M. (Jerry) Jordan, Commercial Mortgage & Business Finance Specialist, Mortgage Agent

Real Estate vs. Stock Market

There’s been a lot of debate as to whether I should recommend real estate as an investment, given predictions of a 20% drop in housing prices. To prove that real estate can still be a smart investment decision I’ve examined potential returns of both…and the results may surprise you.

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Home Shopping Without Surprises

OTTAWA — An Ottawa company called iVerify hopes to forever change the way Canadians buy houses — and it’s enlisted the help of Canada’s best known handyman to get the word out.

Mike Holmes will help promote the firm’s Canadian Home History Report, which details all of the insurance claims, building permits, previous sales prices and other municipal, provincial and federal records that will be of interest to a potential buyer. The report also flags homes that were marijuana grow operations or used as clandestine drug labs.

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'For Sale By Owner' founder sells his home... using a real estate broker

The founder of a website helping people to sell their own homes has found a buyer for his own apartment – with the help of a traditional real estate broker.

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Chilled Housing Market Banking on First Time Buyers

The number of homes and condominiums sold in February is down nearly 10 per cent from February 2012 according to the Ottawa Real Estate Board.
Home prices have only dropped slightly by comparison — less than one per cent for residential-class properties.

Canada has quietly become one of the world's economic safe havens.

As the world goes through its continuing economic turmoil, Canada has quietly become one of the world’s economic safe havens. A haven where international money is being parked for safety and ROI, a haven that is poised to provide the world what it needs for at least the next decade and probably a lot longer.
However, most Canadians are the last to truly believe what we are sitting on. We have been so programmed over our history to look elsewhere for opportunity – always playing small. Well, 2011 – 2020 will be the exact wrong time to be doing so, in fact, we are in the first year of what will prove to be Canada’s Economic Decade – one of the best times in history to invest in this country.


Unfortunately, due to a misdirected attitude that cheap equals good when investing in real estate, many Canadian investors have turned their eyes south as real estate prices in the United States continue to plummet.

From this fact, investors will witness select Canadian real estate markets experiencing amazing sustainable growth over the next 10 years. For instance, Alberta, a province of only 3.5 million created more jobs in a month than the total jobs created in the whole U.S. (population over 311 million). Following the formula, this job growth will be reflected in the Alberta real estate market 18 – 24 months from now.

The world’s economic outlook will continue to be cloudy for many years to come, risks will seem to be everywhere but so will long-term opportunities. No matter what occurs, the fact that jobs and population growth drive long-term demand will not change.

The other fact that won’t change is that Canada has what the world needs to survive and it will be willing to pay for it. Although it will occur in cycles, what you have is an opportunity to be a professional investor (not speculator) who reduces risk and positions yourself for long-term results based not on today’s price, but on tomorrow’s demand.


Canadian Real Estate Wealth Magazine