Real Estate

Ottawa Real Estate market discussion

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Deal Addict
Dec 23, 2010
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Chickinvic wrote:
Jun 3rd, 2017 1:10 pm
Ottawa wouldn't likely increase in a bubble. Toronto will likely stay in ratio - if Ottawa is skyrocketing it won't catch up to Toronto. The same conditions that make Toronto more expensive/desireable to others would still be there, no?

One of the things that makes Ottawa great is that someone like yourself (young, single) can still afford to buy a place and set down roots. Why would you want that ruined for future generations. A house is supposed to be a place to live, not your lottery ticket.
I should be clear that I simply want the gap to close. I don't care if the gap closes by property values in Toronto and Vancouver crashing or the gap closes by Ottawa heavily increasing value to catch up to Toronto and Vancouver. However wishing that other people become bankrupt to benefit my ability to own homes in other cities is immoral so I taking the option of wishing Ottawa values go up so we can all be wealthy and more flexible as Canadians. The gap between Ottawa and Toronto wasn't always a huge chasm like it is now. The difference used to be about 100k even as recent as 2010:

http://www.homesinottawa.com/site/Pages ... rices.html

http://www.trebhome.com/market_news/mar ... istics.pdf

Now the difference is million dollars or even more and that is just ridiculous.
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May 23, 2017
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Chickinvic wrote:
Jun 3rd, 2017 1:13 pm
Ottawa isn't underpriced. Some cities are overpriced at the moment. I think Ottawa pricing is fairly healthy.
I agree with this, Ottawa can only be considered fairly priced, not underpriced. There are lots of cities in North American with much cheaper housing costs. (Of course, those are generally places I would not want to move to, but I'm sure plenty of people living in Toronto feel that way about Ottawa.) Also, good point about how rising real estate doesn't help much unless you are either prepared to sell and move elsewhere (which most people usually aren't interested in doing), or buy multiple investment properties (which carries risk and all the work associated with being a landlord, if you are renting out your extra properties).

Toronto and Vancouver are just so overpriced right now that they make Ottawa look cheap in comparison. Until real estate cools down in those areas, I would never consider moving there. (And if real estate never cools down in those areas, I am fine with that too. Plenty of other places in the world to live!)
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I spent some time last nite talking to an acquaintance in the GTA who has been involved in a number of recent real estate transactions and simply put, the numbers are staggering.

She bought a detached home in Vaughan (north of Toronto) for about $800K in 2013 or thereabout, did some renos, and sold it for about $1.2 million late last year. She told me that house is now valued at about $1.6 million but she wanted to get out when the market was still hot.

She also bought a commercial/residential building in Oshawa (about an hour outside of Toronto) for $300K in 2005 or thereabout and is asking $750K for that building. She has received an offer of $670K but wanted to hold out for more.

I understand these numbers don't mean anything for the Ottawa market (at the moment) but it's fascinating to see how the real estate market has evolved in the GTA in the last decade.
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May 7, 2017
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jk9088 wrote:
Jun 3rd, 2017 1:40 pm
I agree with this, Ottawa can only be considered fairly priced, not underpriced. There are lots of cities in North American with much cheaper housing costs. (Of course, those are generally places I would not want to move to, but I'm sure plenty of people living in Toronto feel that way about Ottawa.) Also, good point about how rising real estate doesn't help much unless you are either prepared to sell and move elsewhere (which most people usually aren't interested in doing), or buy multiple investment properties (which carries risk and all the work associated with being a landlord, if you are renting out your extra properties).

Toronto and Vancouver are just so overpriced right now that they make Ottawa look cheap in comparison. Until real estate cools down in those areas, I would never consider moving there. (And if real estate never cools down in those areas, I am fine with that too. Plenty of other places in the world to live!)
I tend to think in fact Ottawa is underpriced in terms of income to price metrics. A lot of couples I know in Ottawa, where $200k household income is common, could easily afford $1 million properties assuming they have the 20% down and an $800k mortgage. At this level in Ottawa you can easily move to a single family home walking to downtown or purchase a waterfront mansion a short drive away. People in Ottawa are cautious so prefer to borrow well under their maximum and live in more solidly middle class housing. Agree it is a good thing.
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Feb 9, 2009
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Ottawa will heat up a bit... just watch..
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onthefence wrote:
Jun 4th, 2017 5:57 pm
I tend to think in fact Ottawa is underpriced in terms of income to price metrics. A lot of couples I know in Ottawa, where $200k household income is common, could easily afford $1 million properties assuming they have the 20% down and an $800k mortgage. At this level in Ottawa you can easily move to a single family home walking to downtown or purchase a waterfront mansion a short drive away. People in Ottawa are cautious so prefer to borrow well under their maximum and live in more solidly middle class housing. Agree it is a good thing.
There are a lot of assumptions in your post. If that couple has at least 1 kid, the affordability level will go down. 20% of 1 million for downpayment is $200K. That's a lot of cash on hand and I don't know if you necessarily need to put 20% down for your primary residence.

This is also assuming the couple does not have much debt elsewhere for service, cars to maintain and/or a cottage to look after. On the flip side, the couple may have other assets and other streams of income so you can make an argument on both sides of the fence.
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Nov 13, 2013
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audiorichard wrote:
Jun 2nd, 2017 9:44 pm
More news: House prices climb 7.4 per cent in May as Ottawa market strengthens

http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-new ... trengthens
And the sun has more details http://www.ottawasun.com/2017/06/02/hou ... trengthens

As expected the DND heavy areas in the east are flat as incoming buyers shift towards Kanata. Averages of course don't tell the whole story sometimes. I know some people who were outbid on multiple houses in Blackburn hamlet/Beacon Hill area this spring which supposedly is in a flat market.
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fogetmylogin wrote:
Jun 5th, 2017 10:17 am
And the sun has more details http://www.ottawasun.com/2017/06/02/hou ... trengthens

As expected the DND heavy areas in the east are flat as incoming buyers shift towards Kanata. Averages of course don't tell the whole story sometimes. I know some people who were outbid on multiple houses in Blackburn hamlet/Beacon Hill area this spring which supposedly is in a flat market.
I've been saying for years that DND making Carling Campus the new NDHQ will be a huge game changer in Kanata and all the areas close to the campus. Lots of people didn't seem to think so, but I knew it. We moved here when hubby (who was in the Navy) got transferred to Ottawa a few years back. We loved the Kanata region and bought here, but all of hubby's friends who have been transferred out have also bought in Kanata. Lots of the recent flurry I guarantee you is from DND personnel.

Kanata is pretty hot at the moment.
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Chickinvic wrote:
Jun 5th, 2017 10:33 am
I've been saying for years that DND making Carling Campus the new NDHQ will be a huge game changer in Kanata and all the areas close to the campus. Lots of people didn't seem to think so, but I knew it. We moved here when hubby (who was in the Navy) got transferred to Ottawa a few years back. We loved the Kanata region and bought here, but all of hubby's friends who have been transferred out have also bought in Kanata. Lots of the recent flurry I guarantee you is from DND personnel.

Kanata is pretty hot at the moment.
People forget while it is only 7000 jobs the rotational nature of DND means more people will move than if it was another department or company moving. It is not DND employees selling in Orleans and moving to Kanata that much but when someone sells their house in Orleans as they are transferred to Halifax the person coming in is now looking in Kanata. This is good for Kanata but the effect is probably even larger in Orleans. When the train comes online the market should recover there.
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onthefence wrote:
Jun 4th, 2017 5:57 pm
I tend to think in fact Ottawa is underpriced in terms of income to price metrics. A lot of couples I know in Ottawa, where $200k household income is common, could easily afford $1 million properties assuming they have the 20% down and an $800k mortgage.
I think generally speaking, Civil Servant are the risk adverse group in society. After all, a lot of them, especially the professional (accountants, lawyers, engineers, etc), forego higher wages but higher risk private sectors opportunities to work for the lower pay but more stable public service. In extension, when it come to finance, they are a group where they would stay conservative, lives within their means and not over-extend themselves.

I suppose that is the reason why the Sens were struggling to sell out their conference final playoff tickets as people in Ottawa tends to be a group of "financially responsible" people who would rather sit at home with their friends and watch the game on TV than paying $100 to attend the games.
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William W wrote:
Jun 5th, 2017 11:36 am
I think generally speaking, Civil Servant are the risk adverse group in society. After all, a lot of them, especially the professional (accountants, lawyers, engineers, etc), forego higher wages but higher risk private sectors opportunities to work for the lower pay but more stable public service. In extension, when it come to finance, they are a group where they would stay conservative, lives within their means and not over-extend themselves.

I suppose that is the reason why the Sens were struggling to sell out their conference final playoff tickets as people in Ottawa tends to be a group of "financially responsible" people who would rather sit at home with their friends and watch the game on TV than paying $100 to attend the games.
Another reason I don't want Ottawa ruined by a runaway insane housing bubble is I have personally lived where it exists. When we came to Ottawa we were shocked by how busy restaurants are here for example. You don't see that back home (Victoria). Also, generally people drive nicer cars here, etc. I absolutely LOVE the fact that in Ottawa people can afford to have a life on top of just paying for a box to live in. It is not healthy to live the other way. I'll take the colder winter for the great quality of life trade-off anyday.
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Nov 26, 2004
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Chickinvic wrote:
Jun 5th, 2017 2:01 pm
Another reason I don't want Ottawa ruined by a runaway insane housing bubble is I have personally lived where it exists. When we came to Ottawa we were shocked by how busy restaurants are here for example. You don't see that back home (Victoria). Also, generally people drive nicer cars here, etc. I absolutely LOVE the fact that in Ottawa people can afford to have a life on top of just paying for a box to live in. It is not healthy to live the other way. I'll take the colder winter for the great quality of life trade-off anyday.
Personally, I don't think Ottawa will see a runaway insane housing bubble. Looking back 30 years worth of data, the real estate market here is pretty much attached to the economical fundamental, that's why the market is so predictable.

I think the recent run up is due to the organic growth of population as a result of federal government hiring and the recent settlement of labour contract. Let's look at it this way Civil servants recently got or about to get their pay increase and the military just got a 6.34% increase over 4 years. So these numbers looks like it is align with the recent year over year increase that we saw in April and May. Yes, there may be some investment/speculative activity happening, but it is still at a healthy level as the inventory can be easily absorb by the rental demand caused by the transient nature of the population in this government and university city.
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William W wrote:
Jun 5th, 2017 2:22 pm
Personally, I don't think Ottawa will see a runaway insane housing bubble. Looking back 30 years worth of data, the real estate market here is pretty much attached to the economical fundamental, that's why the market is so predictable.

I think the recent run up is due to the organic growth of population as a result of federal government hiring and the recent settlement of labour contract. Let's look at it this way Civil servants recently got or about to get their pay increase and the military just got a 6.34% increase over 4 years. So these numbers looks like it is align with the recent year over year increase that we saw in April and May. Yes, there may be some investment/speculative activity happening, but it is still at a healthy level as the inventory can be easily absorb by the rental demand caused by the transient nature of the population in this government and university city.
I think you are right (and I certainly hope you are right). Ottawa is such a great place to live, and I'd like it to remain that way and not be ruined for younger people who don't have much of a chance in the other "stupid" markets in this country.

Thankfully hubby benefits from both those increases (he retired from military after 28 years this March and immediately went to work for the federal govt). He will be getting I'm thinking about $7,500 back pay from the military, plus it will increase his pension by almost $80 per month I think. It wouldn't affect my decision to buy a house or not, but you could be right.
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Sep 22, 2005
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Chickinvic wrote:
Jun 5th, 2017 2:29 pm
I think you are right (and I certainly hope you are right). Ottawa is such a great place to live, and I'd like it to remain that way and not be ruined for younger people who don't have much of a chance in the other "stupid" markets in this country.
I have the same sentiment about Ottawa. We moved from Toronto to Ottawa more than 20 years ago after a stint in the previous summer and it was an absolutely positive move. Ottawa is a great city with lots of green space, easy access to the water, much better traffic (we live close to work or don't have to fight the daily traffic), generally much nicer people Winking Face and relatively affordable housing - what's not to like compared to Toronto! We don't want the RE bubble that Vancouver and Toronto experienced (although we could benefit greatly) because we do want the same conditions for the next generations. A healthy and moderate housing market that is sustainable and affordable benefits the greater population. People need to be able to enjoy life without being buried in debt or working their life away to afford a place to live.
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gumby wrote:
Jun 5th, 2017 3:20 pm
I have the same sentiment about Ottawa. We moved from Toronto to Ottawa more than 20 years ago after a stint in the previous summer and it was an absolutely positive move. Ottawa is a great city with lots of green space, easy access to the water, much better traffic (we live close to work or don't have to fight the daily traffic), generally much nicer people Winking Face and relatively affordable housing - what's not to like compared to Toronto! We don't want the RE bubble that Vancouver and Toronto experienced (although we could benefit greatly) because we do want the same conditions for the next generations. A healthy and moderate housing market that is sustainable and affordable benefits the greater population. People need to be able to enjoy life without being buried in debt or working their life away to afford a place to live.
I agree completely. I don't really understand the people who seem to feel like "gimme gimme gimme, and screw anyone who happens to have been born a few years after me". Or the ones who brag as if they are some kind of genius when all they did was luck out. I truly don't get it, and I don't find it healthy (and yes, I would benefit financially personally I guess, but at great expense to the next generation).

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