Oasis Realty Brokerage, Ottawa Real Estate
Gord McCormick Ottawa, ON K2S0H6
Phone: 613-435-4692 Mobile: 613-371-9691 Fax: 613-435-4698

500-600 buyers "leaving" Ottawa market each week

Buyers “quitting” market?
We are smack dab in the middle of peak season for Ottawa real estate and it is a very dynamic market.  Many sellers might be surprised to know that at least 500-600 buyers are quitting our market each and every week for the next several weeks!  Why?  …because these buyers have reviewed the market, investigated options and bought a property.   Once they have firmed up their purchase, they are no longer a candidate buyer and our total pool of buyers is reduced.

More sellers than buyers!
We already have an unbalanced listing inventory position with more sellers than buyers (particularly in $500K+ properties) so every “SOLD” sign in a neighbourhood means there is one less buyer shopping there.  Though new buyers do enter the market, the refresh rate of new buyers diminishes every week from here on until it starts to ramp up again for next spring.

Highest volume military and family buying time:
May and June are #1 and #2 sales months due to families moving in the summer months to avoid disrupting school attendance and it is also the peak season for military and RCMP moves inbound to Ottawa.

Not an infinite # of buyers:
The key point is that the market moves quickly and neither are there an infinite number of buyers (or listed properties, either, in some cases!) so sellers especially should not be too complacent, assuming that they have lots of time to find a buyer. 

Don’t delay listing:
Some sellers have had delays in getting properties ready for market.  Still others may have waited for full spring conditions when properties look best but most should not delay too long in getting their properties on the market.  Though the summer is still an active selling time in Ottawa real estate; summer unit sales typically drop off 20-25% compared to peak May and June sales months.

April sales not bad vs 2014 but flat vs 5 year...inventory still the issue!

Sales up vs March 2015 and April 2014…but flat vs 5 year average:As reported by the Ottawa Real Estate Board in the monthly press release http://www1.ottawarealestate.org/home/NewsInformation/LatestNewsRelease.aspx , April results look pretty encouraging at first glance, with unit sales up 10.6% compared to April last year.  Overall, however, April unit sales are pretty flat with the 5 year average (2010-2014) Residential unit sales in April were 3.4% higher than the 5 year average and condo sales were off 19.4%.

Prices pretty flat:
The average price of properties sold in April remains pretty modest with the average residential selling price increasing .9% to $403,239 and the average condo selling price increased 2.7% to $265,371.

New Listing Inventory continues to flood market:
Every index on listing inventory continues to rise:

New residential listings for the month were up 9.1% compared to 2014 and 17.7% higher than the 5 year average.

New condo listings were up 8% from a year ago and 25.1% higher than the 5 year average.

Total listing inventory in troublesome territory:
Residential listing inventory at the end of April was 11.8% higher than last year and 35.8% higher than the 5 year average.

Total condo listings at the end of April were 15.7% higher than last year and 65% higher than the 5 year average.

Buyer’s market prevails:
Given these inventory conditions, we would still categorize this as a buyer’s market, although the underlying demand seems reasonable and April results are encouraging, we still see a lot more sellers than buyers and that means a very competitive and price sensitive market.  New construction sales were reported to be down 20% in the first quarter by PMA Brethour Consulting, so builder competition is fierce and provides further competition for those selling in the resale market.

Great opportunity for first time buyers and those upgrading:
Those buying for the first time and those upgrading with a mid-price property to sell are in an advantageous position as prices have not been going up and they benefit from very competitive pricing in the market.  Those downsizing and those selling $500K+ homes will be finding a much more difficult time of it and will want to make sure they are taking appropriate action to get their property sold now.  If it doesn't sell now during peak season, it will be even tougher to sell later.  A frank and objective discussion with your Realtor about how to get this done, is essential and highly recommended.


Only 37 days left in Ottawa real estate "high season"

Peak season for Ottawa real estate runs from April 1st to the end of June with our 3 most important sales months.  Listing inventory and sales both peak in the next 3 to 6 weeks, so both sellers and buyers will want to stay on top of things at this most active time of year.  Here are some things to remember:

The military is coming…the military is coming!
April is a key month for government moves for those leaving Ottawa, as these moves are often tied to new government fiscal year budgets.  May and June are the two biggest months for out of town government buyers to buy here in Ottawa.   A typical year may see as many as 1,000 moves in and 1,000 moves out, mostly by DND and RCMP personnel, although 2014 was a decidedly slow year on this front due to government cutbacks.

Many of these moves are tied to report dates in July/August, as families moving will prefer not disrupting school years for children at either end of their move. 

FSBO sellers may miss out on these out of town buyers:
If you have been trying to sell by owner without success, now may be the time to consider an MLS® listing with full listing agency support.  See an article here discussing why: http://www.oasisrealtyottawa.com/HomesAuthenticated.aspx?tabid=2543331

Ottawa unit sales drop every month after May:
While it seems like Spring has barely started, sellers especially should be aware of monthly sales metrics, as peak season is fairly limited.  See chart at the bottom of this page which shows unit sales by month. When is the best time to sell?)  May is typically the #1 sales month, June #2 and April #3 but unit sales decrease progressively every month through the end of the year, so now is the best time to get a sale done.

Properties will either sell in “days” or it may be “100’s of days
We are facing buyer’s market conditions with excess listing inventory, especially above $500,000.  While there can be a sense that one is just “waiting for the right buyer” this is not a good strategy.  Well-presented and priced properties in most cases should sell in 30 days or less at this time of the year.  If they don’t, doing nothing is not a good strategy, as we see evidence daily of properties languishing on the market for months and months and in some cases, years.

The odds are that if current market buyers don’t see value in the the property at the current listing price, those entering the market in a few weeks/months from now likely won’t either. 

Entry level buyers can save $1,500 on mortgage insurance:
CHMC is tacking on $1,500 on to the average mortgage insurance June 1st for buyers with less than 10% down.  So now is a good time for these buyers to find that dream home and avoid this extra tax.  First time buyers will also want to read up on other tax benefits to help them get in to their first home.  We have a first time buyer bonus, too-so those not working with another Realtor via a Buyer Representation Agreement, feel free to give us a call and we’ll get busy to find a great property for you!

Residential properties that have sold this year have averaged 53 days to obtain a sale, with only 37 days left in peak season; it may be time to review your plans!

Not intended to solicit those with existing representation agreements.

Gord McCormick, Broker of Record
Dawn Davey, Broker
Oasis Realty Brokerage

Full service + lower commissions

Listing inventory growth continues to outpace sales in Ottawa 2015

Unit sales grew seasonally in March (from February), as usual but not enough to melt down a glacier of listing inventory and in fact, it appears the growth of listing inventory continues increasing to unprecedented levels. Current inventory levels are the highest in 10 years (or more!) for this time of the year.  With the 2 or 3 biggest listing months ahead of us this does not bode well for many sellers, unless a torrent of demand surfaces which is highly unlikely, based on established trend lines for unit sales. 

Modest unit sales and flat prices-generally no growth:
For the first quarter, residential sales grew by 4.9% over the same period last year and condo sales were down 9.7%.  Compared to the 5 year average for March sales; residential sales were down 3.6% and condo sales were down 6.7%. (2010-2014)

Average prices were totally flat (actually a slight decrease of .1%) for both residential  (avg $380,930) and condo’s (avg. $256,725) sold in the first quarter.

Listing inventory:
Residential listing inventory grew 10.1% compared to March 2014 and condo inventory grew 7.4%.  The rate of growth of new listings was a factor also, as new listings during March were up 15.6% for residential listings and 20.3% for condos, compared to last year.

Total Residential listings at the end of March are 34% higher than the 5 year average and condo listings are 57.9% higher.

Higher end listings have lots of company:
We are also very heavy on higher priced listings.  2014 sales for residential properties greater than $500,000 totalled 16.8% of sales and we currently have 25.8% of our listing inventory at this price level.  On a unit basis we have almost a year’s worth of listing inventory in the $500K+ category with our 2 heaviest listing months to come.(normally enough for  5-6 months of anticipated sales would be appropriate)

The number of selling days it takes to negotiate a sale has also increased.  Total days on market to sell a residential listing to date in 2015 were 94 days this year vs 75 days last year.  The average condo took 107 days vs 97 day during the first quarter.

Challenging spring for many sellers:
Despite fantastic mortgage rates and a generally good local economy, it is very difficult to envision a really strong spring market in Ottawa real estate.  Many sellers in the market will either have to compromise significantly on pricing expectations or abandon the market in order to get supply and demand back in to some kind of balance.

Both buyers and sellers will want to stay close to their Realtor and the market to be on top of new listings, sales and other competitive pressures.  Though the overall market looks pretty challenging that does not mean that every property is “fire sale priced” and well-priced and presented properties can sell quickly at this busiest time of the year.

Buyers and sellers not working closely with a Realtor may miss out, so those not engaged with a Realtor may wish to do so now.

If you are not already committed to another real estate professional we would be glad to discuss how you can best meet your buying &/or selling objectives in this challenging market.

Gord McCormick, Broker of Record
Dawn Davey, Broker
Oasis Realty Brokerage
613-435-4692  oasisrealty@rogers.com

full service + lower commission plans for sellers

CMHC hikes mortgage "insurance" premiums yet again!

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation is raising “insurance” premiums (we think of it as more of a tax) on those with less than 10% down payments, starting June 1st.  This after raising premiums across the board, only last May.  If CMHC was really a private insurance company, one can understand the rationale but since their role is really a quasi “arm’s length” government agency, we think there are better ways to build reserves against risk in the housing market.  Though the linked article explains it away as only “…$5/month for 25 years”, we still see it as $1,500 piled on top of last year’s “only $1,200” increase. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/housing/the-real-estate-beat/cmhc-premiums-to-jump-for-high-risk-home-buyers/article23776658/

How first time buyers can save up to $3,500:
If you know any first time buyers looking at either new construction or resale home purchases, please let them know about this increase and also that they can qualify for our “First time home buyer bonus” of up to $2,000 if they buy with us this spring/summer! If they buy and close prior to June 1st, they could then save up to $3,500 by avoiding the $1,500 CMHC average premium increase! (not intended to solicit buyers with an existing buyers representation agreement)

Call or email for details 613-435-4692 oasisrealty@rogers.com

Gord McCormick, Broker of Record
Dawn Davey, Broker
Oasis Realty Brokerage

Bonus Plan for first time buyers!

First Time Buyer bonus for either resale or new construction properties:
There has never been a better time to be buying a home in Ottawa!  Mortgage rates are at an all time low, resale listing inventory is high and prices competitive and builders have many discounted properties with lots of bonuses too.  To make it even easier, Oasis Realty Brokerage is offering a Buyer Bonus up to $2,000* for those buying for the first time. *bonus is based on house purchase price and paid within 30 days of closing.

There are many, many costs that go with one’s first home or condo-so any extra cash should be very helpful.

If you know someone who can take advantage of this great offer, please share this with them and we would be happy to discuss the program and all the ways we can help facilitate their journey to home ownership.

*not intended to solicit those with existing buyer representation agreements or those who have already visited and registered with a builder sales centre.

Gord McCormick, Broker of Record
Dawn Davey, Broker
Oasis Realty Brokerage

Full service and lower commission

2.99% or 3.99% or 4.99% (or less!) tiered listing service options

Thanks for stopping by our website.  We hope you find lots of interesting articles and information here.  We have just announced 2 new service level programs for sellers that we think offer great flexibility and choice.  We now have a super low fee 2.99% basic listing fee and also a Premium Broker Listing Service at 4.99% which offers up to $3,000 in free staging or other house prep costs.  This is a program unique to real estate in Ottawa!  In a business that has historically been pretty much " one-size-fits-all"  for listing service fees, we are very pleased to offer choices that provide more appropriate options for individual selller situations.

We of course continue to offer our value priced Full Service Listing Plan at 3.99% or less. For some details on these plans click on the " listing deals"  tab above.  If one of these programs doesn't work for a seller then we are happy to discuss customizing a plan for them.  All plans include full MLS® listing support, buyer representative incentive of 2.5% but does not include HST on the commission amount.  

* not intended to solicit those with existing representation agreements.

Feel free to drop us an email or call and we will be happy to discuss your housing objectives!

thanks and regards,

Gord McCormick, Broker of Record
Dawn Davey, Broker
Oasis Realty Brokerage
613-435-4692  or 613-371-9691 cell/text

boutique brokerage service with lower fees for sellers 


When is the best time to sell?

A tougher market environment for most sellers continues in Ottawa, based on February 2015 results from the Ottawa Real Estate Board.  While there appears to be reasonable activity and underlying demand, the large excess inventory situation is making the resale market very competitive.  Good for buyers but not so good for many sellers.

A key question many buyers and sellers ask is" "when is the best time to buy or sell?"  This is of course determined by individual buyer and seller circumstances but in looking at the unit sales history below, one can see how much stronger sales are in the peak spring and summer seasons.

See the table below with historical sales transactions by month: (combined residential and condo sales from Ottawa Real Estate Board published results:





















































not intended to solicit those with existing representation agreements. 

Gord McCormick, Broker of Record
Dawn Davey, Broker
Oasis Realty Brokerage


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