Real Estate

Ottawa Real Estate market discussion

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  • Apr 23rd, 2019 8:41 am
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Newbie
Sep 30, 2018
3 posts
Simaahoy wrote:
Feb 17th, 2019 11:16 pm
What are some of the the best builders in Barrhaven?
there's not much going on in Barrhaven right now other than Minto (Harmony, Riversbend, QP) and Mattamy. I think all the land around Barrhaven Centre is full.

If you don't mind, I would suggest across the Vimy bridge into Riverside South, there's Urbandale, Richcraft, HN Homes, Claridge, etc.
Deal Addict
Jan 15, 2017
2093 posts
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jk9088 wrote:
Feb 17th, 2019 11:27 pm
Thanks for the comments, it's nice to get perspectives on features that may be problematic but which I've never thought about myself. I'll definitely have to look into some of those issues at my design centre appointment. I also never knew the 60s/70s houses tended to have the wider floorplans...interesting, and I wonder why builders moved away from that trend.
Land became too expensive. That's why in large cities you never see those split level bungalows anymore. They were also wider than long and most were sitting on 60' lots. Today you build a 4000+ sq ft home on a 60' lot, or luxury semis.
Member
Aug 14, 2007
404 posts
165 upvotes
Ottawa
I think the trend is people do not like to live in a big house, the size of the family is getting smaller. People choose to being single, or even they have married, they choose to not have kids. Even they plan to have kids, they only plan to have one or maximum two kids. Unlike my parents generation, four to six kids are very common.
People enjoy to travel more often, you will find that the city is half empty during Christmas and summer. Anyway, I can foresee that the big house (3000 sq ft +) is getting harder and harder to sell in the future. On the other hand, good location semi and townhouse will see a larger growth for the next few years.
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Jul 4, 2004
4471 posts
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Ottawa
audiorichard wrote:
Feb 18th, 2019 1:12 pm
I think the trend is people do not like to live in a big house, the size of the family is getting smaller. People choose to being single, or even they have married, they choose to not have kids. Even they plan to have kids, they only plan to have one or maximum two kids. Unlike my parents generation, four to six kids are very common.
People enjoy to travel more often, you will find that the city is half empty during Christmas and summer. Anyway, I can foresee that the big house (3000 sq ft +) is getting harder and harder to sell in the future. On the other hand, good location semi and townhouse will see a larger growth for the next few years.
I have to disagree; 30-40 years ago a 2000-2500 sq ft detached home was a big house and few had bigger than that. Now, many townhomes are that big or bigger. Also, before it was hard to find 3000+ sq ft, now if you are building in the right community, you can probably get 4500+.

I agree that 3000+ sq ft is going to be harder and harder to sell but only because RE prices are going up faster than salaries.
Member
Aug 14, 2007
404 posts
165 upvotes
Ottawa
michelb wrote:
Feb 18th, 2019 2:22 pm
I have to disagree; 30-40 years ago a 2000-2500 sq ft detached home was a big house and few had bigger than that. Now, many townhomes are that big or bigger. Also, before it was hard to find 3000+ sq ft, now if you are building in the right community, you can probably get 4500+.

I agree that 3000+ sq ft is going to be harder and harder to sell but only because RE prices are going up faster than salaries.
Maybe I should say it more clearly. Back in the date, builders usually built 2500 sq ft house in the 50’ or 60’ lot with a big backyard. Now builders will built a 2000-2500 sq ft townhouse or 3 stories high townhouse without backyard (rear-lane townhouse). Land is getting expansive which is one of the major reason why builder do not build a small house in a big land. The other major reason is people do not want a big backyard, many people do not want to pay premium to buy something that they will not use. If you have experience to own a big house before, you will understand how much time, afford and money maintain an “evergreen” backyard. Of course, there are always some people enjoy their time in the backyard, but the new generation is more enjoy their time inside their house or spend their money on travel. Builders are smart, they build depend on the market demand. It is clear that townhouse or rear-lane townhouse selling like hot cake in this market.
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Jul 4, 2005
5403 posts
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Ottawa
michelb wrote:
Feb 18th, 2019 8:34 am
Those typically sell for low 200s (last sale was in November for $210) although there was one that sold for $270 last August (end unit). Price would likely depend a lot on the condition and any upgrades and renovations which it does sound like it has but offhand, it seems overpriced to me (it was $8k less two weeks ago and is assessed at around $230k (although you really can't base yourself too much on assessed value).
Wouldn’t this be a great location for renters? Next to the mall, future lrt station.
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Nov 2, 2005
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jeeva86 wrote:
Feb 18th, 2019 3:25 pm
Wouldn’t this be a great location for renters? Next to the mall, future lrt station.
Sure, the question is do you want to be landlord to the sort of people that want to rent there?
[OP]
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Nov 26, 2004
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skeet50 wrote:
Feb 18th, 2019 12:12 pm
Land became too expensive. That's why in large cities you never see those split level bungalows anymore. They were also wider than long and most were sitting on 60' lots. Today you build a 4000+ sq ft home on a 60' lot, or luxury semis.
I have to admit that I am one of those who don't use my backyard that much even though everyone who visits my place comments on the size of it and I spend a good half hour each time I mowed the backyard during the growing season.

How I see it, eventually, cities will be forced to amend zoning or building frontage and lot size to accommodate intensification. And if the property that you own can be severed under the new zoning, that is when the hidden value get unlock. With the proliferation of 30' frontage homes in the suburbs, it is just a matter of time where these homes that sits on 60' lots inside the Greenbelt will get permission to be subdivided or rezoned. And if it doesn't happen, but the property sits in one of the ritzy neighborhoods, there will always be rich people who will buy it to build their multi million dollars 3500+ sq ft mansion on it.
Member
Aug 6, 2011
410 posts
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William W wrote:
Feb 18th, 2019 5:44 pm
I have to admit that I am one of those who don't use my backyard that much even though everyone who visits my place comments on the size of it and I spend a good half hour each time I mowed the backyard during the growing season.

How I see it, eventually, cities will be forced to amend zoning or building frontage and lot size to accommodate intensification. And if the property that you own can be severed under the new zoning, that is when the hidden value get unlock. With the proliferation of 30' frontage homes in the suburbs, it is just a matter of time where these homes that sits on 60' lots inside the Greenbelt will get permission to be subdivided or rezoned. And if it doesn't happen, but the property sits in one of the ritzy neighborhoods, there will always be rich people who will buy it to build their multi million dollars 3500+ sq ft mansion on it.
A change of zoning for the sake of "intensification" may have higher chance to occur for lands within walking distance to a LRT station.
I wonder what about properties on a main busy street?
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Jan 15, 2017
2093 posts
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audiorichard wrote:
Feb 18th, 2019 1:12 pm
I think the trend is people do not like to live in a big house, the size of the family is getting smaller. People choose to being single, or even they have married, they choose to not have kids. Even they plan to have kids, they only plan to have one or maximum two kids. Unlike my parents generation, four to six kids are very common.
People enjoy to travel more often, you will find that the city is half empty during Christmas and summer. Anyway, I can foresee that the big house (3000 sq ft +) is getting harder and harder to sell in the future. On the other hand, good location semi and townhouse will see a larger growth for the next few years.
I certainly think that the trend is toward smaller. Smaller homes on smaller lots. Smaller homes in the sky also. One condo tower downtown can accommodate as many families as a whole new community in the suburbs.
Member
May 23, 2017
213 posts
56 upvotes
skeet50 wrote:
Feb 18th, 2019 12:12 pm
Land became too expensive. That's why in large cities you never see those split level bungalows anymore. They were also wider than long and most were sitting on 60' lots. Today you build a 4000+ sq ft home on a 60' lot, or luxury semis.
That's the thing though, because the new Caivan lots are not as deep, the lot size actually isn't bigger even though they're wider, so it's not like you're actually getting more land with their houses. E.g. for two comparable medium-sized detached houses: Minto is selling them on 35' x 100' lots (=3500 sqft). Caivan is selling them on 42' x 85' lots (=3570 sqft). Square footage of both the interior of the house (based on floorplan) and the lot size is almost identical. They can probably fit about the same number of houses in a given area (but Minto might do, say, 10 houses per street x 4 streets whereas Caivan might put 8 houses per street x 5 streets--just pulling these numbers from thin air to give an example, of course). That's why I find it interesting that almost all of the other builders are offering the narrower but deeper lots. I guess it probably costs more for Caivan to put in more streets in the neighbourhood (and that may also add to the "wasted" area where they can't put houses) but it doesn't seem like the difference would be that big.

I do agree though that you see way more bungalows in the older areas, but almost none in the newer ones. However, I don't think that's a decision made by the builders--that's just down to buyers wanting more for their money. I notice builders are still offering bungalows, but you get so much more "house" for your money with the two-storey houses that few homebuyers would go for them (probably mostly older couples who don't like stairs and don't need all that space because the kids are out of the house).

As for size of the houses, I can see where both @audiorichard and @michelb are coming from. Overall the average size of houses has probably gone up, but I also do think you see less people wanting the really huge houses. I think people in my generation do prefer a more spacious townhouse (as michelb mentioned, a 2000 sqft townhouse instead of the 1200-1500 sqft townhouses that were maybe more common a few decades ago), but they also don't have a desire to "size up" so much. Just looking at my parents' friends, I saw so many families start off with an approx. 1500 sqft townhouse, then upgrade later to a 3500 sqft detached, which is a huge jump (but the big house was what they would strive for and a mark of success). Maybe it will change as millennials start having more kids, but I don't really know many people in my generation wanting that huge house with a huge yard since it's just viewed as unnecessary/impractical. (E.g. no need for a breakfast area PLUS a formal dining room, no need for redundant multiple living rooms/family rooms/rec rooms etc, no need for a huge unused backyard.) We do want space added for practical reasons though (e.g. walk-in closet + large ensuite bathroom in master bedroom, larger kitchen with more counter space, laundry room or closet added on the second floor--all of these obviously require more square footage than the older townhomes). As long as these features are there though, no need to go above and beyond that (you start off increasing your happiness/quality of life as the house size increases, but at a certain point that plateaus and you don't get any added benefits once a house hits a reasonably large size; in fact the curve probably starts going down after a certain point since your workload increases too),
William W wrote:
Feb 18th, 2019 5:44 pm
I have to admit that I am one of those who don't use my backyard that much even though everyone who visits my place comments on the size of it and I spend a good half hour each time I mowed the backyard during the growing season.

How I see it, eventually, cities will be forced to amend zoning or building frontage and lot size to accommodate intensification. And if the property that you own can be severed under the new zoning, that is when the hidden value get unlock. With the proliferation of 30' frontage homes in the suburbs, it is just a matter of time where these homes that sits on 60' lots inside the Greenbelt will get permission to be subdivided or rezoned. And if it doesn't happen, but the property sits in one of the ritzy neighborhoods, there will always be rich people who will buy it to build their multi million dollars 3500+ sq ft mansion on it.
Hasn't that already happened in areas that are being gentrified like Westboro, Glebe, etc? (And spreading outwards from those areas e.g. Alta Vista.) I'm not sure about the zoning but do they even need permission to subdivide the lots? You see a lot of older houses on wider lots being bought up, torn down, and rebuilt into ultra-modern semi-detached houses. So the original single lot is being divided into two smaller lots. As long as it is still being used for residential purposes, does the zoning actually need to be changed?

Anyhow, I definitely agree that if your house is in a good location, there is a huge potential for future price gains by selling to developers. However, depending on where it is, this could take many decades. Many areas even inside the greenbelt are not that old yet so I don't see existing houses being torn down & re-developed anytime soon. E.g. Centrepointe is a good location IMO (within Greenbelt, near Baseline station) but it was only built up in the 80s/90s so those houses should last quite a few more decades before the area is rebuilt. (As opposed to more centrally located Westboro/Glebe where the houses being torn down are 50-100 years old.) Houses in Centrepointe have definitely appreciated a lot since they were built, but not nearly to the extent that you see in the "trendier" neighbourhoods where developers are interested in teardowns. So unless you live close to the areas already being gentrified (and expect the value to go up considerably in the next few years), is it really worth doing so much extra yardwork for the next 10+ years if you aren't making use of the land? (I admit though, I am lazy and hate doing any kind of yardwork/maintenance work.)
Newbie
Aug 7, 2018
12 posts
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jk9088 wrote:
Feb 18th, 2019 10:51 pm

Hasn't that already happened in areas that are being gentrified like Westboro, Glebe, etc? (And spreading outwards from those areas e.g. Alta Vista.) I'm not sure about the zoning but do they even need permission to subdivide the lots? You see a lot of older houses on wider lots being bought up, torn down, and rebuilt into ultra-modern semi-detached houses. So the original single lot is being divided into two smaller lots. As long as it is still being used for residential purposes, does the zoning actually need to be changed?
Ya this definitely is already happening. It is very apparent in Westboro, but even where I live in Overbrook it is picking up speed. All the lots are 50 or 60 feet and with the city they are already considered double lots. (The street numbers even skip numbers to reflect this)
I don't even get a notice in the mail for consultation unless the developer is asking for variances, which splitting the lot does not seem to be one of.
So you end up getting semis going up where previously there was one small house.

This follows with your idea about the age of the neighbourhood though, most of the houses in this part of Overbrook are from the 30s and 40s. So they are small and old enough to be ripe for this type of redevelopment.
Overbrook was also excluded from the mature neighbourhood infill rules (although it is now being considered) so it makes it even more flexible in terms of what can easily be built.
Member
Jan 20, 2008
210 posts
71 upvotes
Ottawa
skeet50 wrote:
Feb 18th, 2019 12:12 pm
Land became too expensive. That's why in large cities you never see those split level bungalows anymore. They were also wider than long and most were sitting on 60' lots. Today you build a 4000+ sq ft home on a 60' lot, or luxury semis.
Ottawa is a city of 1 million people, basically in the middle of nowhere. There is no reason why land should have gotten expensive other than the greed of developers.

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