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

Q1 results modest overall but April looking strong!

March results for the Ottawa Real Estate Board were released recently (delay due to new system implementation mid-March) and while the usual seasonal growth occurred, there was no great gains in sales or average price increases, based on aggregate numbers for the Board.

Unit Sales:
Residential unit sales were slightly off from last year and the 5 year average (2.9% and 3.4%) Year-to-date unit sales are 1.9% slower than 2015.
Condos were off 2.6% for the month but up 7.5% YTD, although still 15% off the 5 year average.

Average selling prices also a mixed bag:
No clear trend here, either (at least overall) the average residential selling price in March was up 2.0% in March to $ 394,951 and year to date is up 2.4%.

Condo average selling price was up 2.4% for the month to $258,714 but is still slightly behind last year’s average selling price in Q1 by 1.9%

* prices vary by housing type and geographic location, so be sure to check with your Realtor as averages don’t tell the whole story.

Good news! Inventory levels seem to be stabilizing:
New listings have pulled back somewhat from some historical highs last year and while we still have an excess over 5 year averages (12.3% for residential and 25.8% for condos) this is much better than a year ago and the aggregate # as we start peak season is not a major cause for concern.  Again, however-inventory accumulations (and lack thereof) will vary greatly by neighbourhood, housing type and price point, affecting the marketability of individual properties, so please consult your Realtor.

Mid-price housing strength continues:
Most active price selling range continues to be $300-$400K with $200-$300K the next most popular.

 Key Questions for Q2:
1) Will military (and other government personnel moves) be decreased given the lower DND emphasis and capital program postponements by the new government?

2) is there enough confidence in the entrepreneurial, professional and upper income sector to strengthen sales at higher price levels?  Much of the last year (or two) has seen listings to sales ratios in above $500K properties to be overbalanced on the supply side.


How FSBO Sellers can miss the spring market

We are quickly approaching peak real estate season right now and many “For Sale by Owner” sellers can miss a large chunk of the spring buyer population.

Why is this? 

1) Much of the seasonal growth in sales transactions comes from buyers and sellers relocating to and from Ottawa and a very large proportion of buyers coming from elsewhere will be working with a Realtor on their purchase.  These out of town buyers definitely need a local real estate professional to advise them on their search and this is a huge % of the spring market.  DND personnel moves alone move 1,500-1,700 people to or from Ottawa annually and most of this happens between April and July.

2) FSBO seller properties may or may not be readily available for daytime showings,  which is mandatory for out of town buyers, particularly those moving on the government relocation program where these buyers only have 5-7 days to buy a house. MLS® listed properties and MLS® buyer representatives are well equipped for these buyers and MLS® sellers go out of their way to accommodate the access and timing needs of these buyers who are working on a very tight time deadline.

3) An out of town buyer may not be aware of the different places to look for Ottawa property listings online.  So if they don’t find it, you don’t have a chance to sell it to them. Since a major FSBO marketing site is an Ottawa/Eastern Ontario organization only-these buyers may never even have heard of it.

4) FSBO sellers have limited time to manage their sale-after all they do have another full time job-so their availability and response time is unlikely to be able to match that of a full time professional Broker who is managing a listing for their seller.

5) FSBO sellers do not have the access to market data to stay abreast of what develops in the market on a daily basis. Listing inventory is running well above the 5 year average and that means increased competition for every listed property.  MLS® sellers with their Broker's assistance can be on top of new listings, selling prices and price changes daily to ensure their properties remain competitive.

6) Realtors do not have time to consider FSBO listings for scheduling purposes, given the condensed period of time we have to find a property for buyers on a 5-7 day house hunting trip.  FSBO sellers often have to juggle property access around their own job and Realtors often cannot adjust their schedules to meet the seller needs in this busiest time of the year.

If you have been trying to sell yourself for 30 days or more at this time of the year with no success-you might want to ask yourself whether you are getting enough buyer exposure to your listing and if it is time to get a fully supported listing on MLS® so you can properly capture your share of the potential buyers.  If you would like to discuss if this is the right time to change your selling strategy, please feel free to give us a call.  

*not intended to solicit those with existing representation agreements.


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



Listing inventory critical indicator to watch in 2016 Ottawa real estate


We have had some positive signs in the local real estate market over the last few months and most industry watchers and participants would expect it to be a good year in our marketplace.  There are a still a couple of potential “potholes” though and sellers will want to keep a close eye on what is happening day in and day out.

Overall # Active Listings in 2016 vs 2011:
We think the most critical issue is listing both in aggregate and by price range.  While total listing inventory has decreased slightly in recent months, we are still carrying a very high number of listings compared to only a few years ago.  For example, a quick statistic from our Realtor system shows that total active listings at the end of January and February 2016 were 75.1 and 56.1% higher than only 5 years ago in 2011.  Unit reported sales have not increased significantly to cover this excess inventory.

Listings by price range/level:
A dominant result of sales in 2015 showed a marked increase in housing priced $300-$400K and $200K-$300K and if results continue to skew in this fashion, does this mean we may have a shortage of listings in these price categories?  Does it mean higher priced properties will suffer?

Supply and Demand can differ by neighbourhood and housing type also:
Real estate is local and of course supply and demand may be different in different locations across the area.

How long will it take my house to sell?
Probably the question not asked (or answered) enough by sellers of their Realtors.  Facts are as follows: for the year ended Dec 2015 the average residential property sold in a cumulative 83 days on the market and the average condo took 103 days.  So if you need to have your house sold in 30 days or less, this needs to be a big part of the conversation and marketing and pricing plan for your property/listing.

Market is dynamic and moves fast at this busiest time of the year:Things move very quickly over the next 10-12 weeks and sellers (and buyers) will want to make sure they are connected with a Realtor who can help them stay abreast of market dynamics and all the competitive pressures (ie don’t forget new home construction in the area!) that might get in the way of obtaining a successful sale.

If you don’t already have a Realtor you are working with, please give us a call and we will put our research and marketing programs to work to get your listing sold and to help meet your overall housing objective….and by the way, most sellers save 20-40% in real estate commissions and HST by working with us vs the typical 5% fees of most franchise or corporate Realtors.

Also FYI.  Our facebook page was recently ranked as the #1 Realtor and Brokerage facebook page in Ottawa and #11 in the country. https://www.facebook.com/oasisrealtyottawa/ by an online marketing analysis tool. (March 26th 2016 Likealyzer.com)

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


Budget looks generally good for Ottawa real estate but some potholes remain

Government budget:  looks like a solid spending budget just released yesterday.  While many of the dollars invested are passed through to citizens, provinces and municipalities, on the surface it should be generally pretty good for Ottawa, depending on how local head count is managed to support all this funding and also how strongly the military is affected.

Infrastructure and transit funds are good news for Mayor Watson and Ottawa-too bad we did not have some kind of plan for another bridge over the Ottawa River!  Oh well, perhaps we can get in there and get our pesky sewage issue  addressed with this Federal largesse and support.

Will Liberal history repeat itself?
Trudeau Sr. decimated the oil patch with his disastrous National Energy Program in the early 1980’s.  Will Trudeau Jr. further “pile on” the oil industries, wreaking further economic damage- to live up to his “carbon tax” mantra?

Chretien Liberals gutted the public service in the ‘90’s:
Jean Chretien and Paul Martin took about 25,000 to 30,000 jobs out of the Ottawa public service in the early to mid 1990’’s and on top of a general recession, we had the worst decade in real estate in 50 years.  Let’s hope the Government doesn’t have to resort to those draconian measures to try and get re-elected in 4 year’s time, after paying out on all their promises.

Wither the military…
“ More teeth and less tail”, “peacekeeping and training”.  These seem to be some buzz words about the place of the military in this government.  The Chretien Liberals also decimated the military in the 1990’s in what insiders call “ the decade of darkness”.  Does the ideological bent of this government mean fewer personnel in the military and fewer personnel deployments?  If so, that does not auger well for our market, as the spring and summer season is bolstered by approx. 1,000 military moves in to Ottawa and 1,000 moving out of Ottawa.

The previous Conservative government, though clearly not too popular with the public service, was pretty good to Ottawa employment levels.  Things were quite centralized and though there was some belt tightening over the last 3 years with fewer Federal workers, the early years of the Harper government saw Ottawa federal headcount expand fairly significantly.
Any further headcount reductions in Ottawa or movement of departments or functions out of Ottawa, naturally would have a negative impact on our local economy.

Will lower priced and medium priced housing continue to dominate sales in 2016?
Throughout 2015 we saw a higher proportion of sales transactions in the $300-$400K range and the $200-$300K range than usual.  This could make selling the $500K+ home more difficult, as it did last year.

Is our listing inventory issue solved?  Or simply hibernating?
We carried a lot of excess listing inventory in 2015 and had as much as 30% more residential listings and 70% more condo listings than 5 or 10 year averages.  This meant a buyer’s market for most of the year, although inventories did diminish in the 4th quarter.  It remains to be seen if these sellers no longer plan to sell or whether they are just awaiting the spring market.

So there are a lot of issues to keep an eye on, as well as having your existing property in tip top shape and ready to sell.  Your Realtor can help you get a realistic grasp on all market conditions and how best to optimize the marketing of your property and the purchase of another.  If you do not have a Realtor and wish to take advantage of our expert buyer representation or listings services, by all means send us a note oasisrealty@rogers.com  and we can help you start your planning today!


Gord McCormick, Broker of Record
Dawn Davey, Broker


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