Hello fellow Ottawans,

So I may be going against the grain a little here, but I’m going to go ahead and say it; there’s actually some exciting stuff happening in this wonderful city of ours. I’ve decided to highlight some of the more positive things happening around here over the next few years.

First off, here’s what’s going on with residential real estate:

Yes, the market has slowed somewhat. August was a slower month, and the number of home sales are down compared with August last year. The good news is that average home prices are still climbing (although not very quickly). Some areas have slowed fairly dramatically, and have become obvious buyer’s markets, where other areas are still moving very fast. For example, Wellington village continues to be a hot area, mostly due to lack of inventory around there. As well, the cheaper detached homes around downtown are also moving quite quickly (let’s be honest, those are just good value). On the other hand, there’s quite a few downtown condos for sale, and it has become more of a buyer’s market there (this is a good time to find some ‘motivated’ sellers for condos :)). If anyone has any questions about their home, or certain markets, please contact me and we can get into details of those areas.

According to CMHC, the Ottawa market is expected to slow somewhat over the second half of 2012 and into 2013; average prices are expected to level off somewhat, but not decline. In my opinion, this is still a good forecast. It should be more of a balanced market, and hey, after the past couple years of very hot markets, Ottawa could stand to cool off a bit 🙂 Wait a sec, hasn’t it been something like 15 years of positive market growth in this city? That’s quite a run.

The mortgage world: rates remain low, but the criteria for getting approval for certain mortgages has tightened up. As you’ve probably heard, there’s no more 30 year amortization, it’s down to a maximum of 25 years, and refinancing is down to 80% loan-to-value (from 85%). This is the governments attempts to keep the real estate market growing at a stable rate, and not going through the roof and creating a bubble. If you are interested in getting mortgage approvals, there are some excellent mortgage brokers out there, and I’d be happy to recommend a few.

Investments in Ottawa; there are still many ways to invest and make very healthy returns in this city. If you’re interested, ask me about options (there are tons of them!!). We can look into your financial situation and investment goals, and determine what’s best for you.

And as I mentioned, here are some exciting things to check out that are happening in our wonderful city:

Yes, Ottawa is finally getting a new rail system! And it even has an underground section! Really, a city isn’t a proper city until it has an underground rail system 🙂 This is great news for everyone in the city, in my opinion. And yes, this will affect real estate prices (if you own a home near a rail station, expect to see some healthy jumps in your home value). http://www.ottawalightrail.ca/en/

The long awaited, highly anticipated, and very controversial, Lansdowne project. I, for one, am super excited about this. Not only will there be lots more shopping, condos, theatres, a Whole Foods even, but the stadium is getting revamped. And this means a football team again. And possibly a soccer team. The projection is that we’ll be ready for a CFL team by 2014. Yes, this is happening, and when it does, you call me, cuz we’re hitting some games. Now to just figure out how to ensure that they don’t call them the ‘Roughriders’; having two CFL teams with the same name is really just wrong on a few levels… http://www.trinity-group.com/properties/new-urban-centres/ottawa-on/lansdowne-park-redevelopment/
Check this link for football news: http://ottawa.ctvnews.ca/lansdowne-won-t-be-ready-for-cfl-football-until-2014-1.682750

I know this isn’t really new, but I’m still excited about this one, and it appears to be moving forward fairly soon. This is going to be one of, if not thee most high-end condo building in the city. It is going to be ridiculously nice inside. It has hotel suites on the lower levels. It will have new retail shops on the main level. And it will be bringing much-needed new life to Sparks street. In my opinion, this is going to be an incredible addition to Ottawa’s downtown core. http://www.rehotelandresidences.com/

For those who are wondering about the future of Ottawa’s jobs and economy, here is a bit of info on DND’s plans for the old Nortel building. Projections are around 10,000 employees to be moved in there over time. http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Move+former+Nortel+site+save+year+says/6758074/story.html

And if you live in the east end, and are worried that the west end is having all the fun, here’s an update on the secretive CSEC (are they a part of CSIS?) development happening just off Blair Road (which will also be creating many new jobs). According to the following article, Ottawa is planning to “spend up to $5-billion more over the next 34 years” on this massive project. http://m.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/canadas-little-known-spy-agency-comes-out-into-the-open/article1847927/?service=mobile
Here’s another article: http://www.cse-cst.gc.ca/home-accueil/accommodation-installation/lta-ilt-1-eng.html

That’s about it for now. Hopefully you’re still reading this, so I can remind you to call me for all your real estate needs. If you know anyone buying or selling, call me asap! 🙂

Now get out there and do some fall shopping. It’s starting to get cold again!!

Chris Steeves
Sales Representative