HOT MARKET! THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY!
Ottawa is having one of the hottest real estate markets we can remember and we’ve been selling real estate for over 30 years! Everyone wants to know what’s causing this, how can I take advantage and when will it end!
None of the answers to that are easy or very predictable. A new government in Ontario, Alberta provincial election and a federal election are just around the corner. Plus the ongoing tug of war over trade with the U.S. can individually and in combination make significant changes to a real estate market.
But Ottawa is somewhat insulated. There are two major economic forces here. Public service and high tech. For the foreseeable future (unless a new federal government launches major cuts) Ottawa will remain very stable and this is part of the reason Ottawa’s market has always been a good. Almost no declines in value and steady although too slow for some, growth. But with prices in other major cities out of sight high, (Toronto and Vancouver just to name two) Ottawa has become very attractive to those who can be mobile either due to retirement or job opportunity. Won’t you rather be in a city where $500,000 – $600,000 could get you a nice single family home in a good neighbourhood or in a city where the same dollars gets you a rundown fixer upper in a not so great areas.
Sure, Toronto has it all, Broadway theaters, concerts from all the big names in music, Film festivals, aquariums and more. But that doesn’t address the day to day living that an affordable city and very well serviced city like Ottawa has to offer.
On top of an influx of movement to Ottawa there is a housing shortage here. New home builders can’t keep up. I the “good old days” you could walk into a builder an have a home built and ready to move into in 90-120 days. Now you’re looking as 10-12 months.
With a hot market some potential sellers are holding back as they are scared that they will sell their homes and have no place affordable to go. So it goes round and round and round. Not enough homes to buy? Let’s stay where we are. Therefore that house is not for sale and buyers can’t find enough homes.
In the past few moths we have sold seven of our listings within a week and that counts days that we did not accept offers. In fact, all of them sold on the first day offers would be looked at. And all of them sold above asking prices. Some only a few thousand dollars and others as much as $30,000.00.
So, the good: If you’re selling, values are high, homes are selling quickly and for top dollar. All that being said, we are still finding homes that are not in good condition or poorly marketed, not selling at all.
The Bad: Exactly the opposite of the above for buyers. To get a chance at a good home you MUST get your pre-approval at a lender ASAP. Be prepared to either spend $500-$600 for a pre-offer inspection (if you even get a chance to do that) or risk going in with no inspection condition.
The Ugly: When a market is unbalanced in favour of either the seller or the buyer, there are always hurt feelings, finger pointing, loss of funds and disappointment on one side or the other. Right now it’s a seller’s market so we are seeing many buyers and their agents upset and angry. “Why didn’t we get that house? We offered more money but the other buyer got it. How come we can’t know what the other buyer is offering? We could have then beat it!”
These are the realities of real estate in Ottawa today. What you need is a representative who can guide you though this. Is their a representative out there that can guarantee to get you the home you want? NO! There are too many factors and people involved to make that kind of claim. What we can promise it that we’ll give you the straight facts. No fantastic promises. Just the facts and how to best navigate the market!
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