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

Strong May 2017 results indicate seller's market in Ottawa real estate


Ottawa real estate had record unit sales in May and the combination of all indicators suggests we are either in a seller’s market or very much on the verge of one.

Sales and prices were up and new listings and overall listing inventory were down thus making for a good month for sellers and listing agents but not so much fun for buyers.

May is typically our busiest sales month (followed by June and then April) as our market is boosted by families looking to move before school starts in September and also a strong transition of government staff (primarily military and RCMP) moving to and from our area.

Unit sales strong:

Residential unit sales up 12.4% for the month, condos up 44.6%

The number of residential units sold in May was 1856 vs 1612 a year ago.

Condo unit sales were 444 vs 307 in May 2016

On a year to date basis through May, residential sales are up 12.4% and condo sales up 27.1%.

Average prices increases best in years:

The average price of a residential property sold in May was $436,625 and increase of 7.4%. 

The average condo sold for $270,993 in May an increase of 2.3%.

Year to date increases for residential properties sold is trending up 6.7% and for condos 4.9%.  This is our best average price growth in 5 or 6 years.

Listing inventory continues to be the key indicator to watch!

New listings continued to slow with condo listings lower than May 2016 by 6.3% and the # of new condo listings down by 13.2%.

Overall, the number of new listings is 10% lower this year to date.

End May listing inventory signals more scarcity in coming months!

The combination of strong unit sales increases and a lower number of new listings leaves us at the end of May with 25.3% fewer available listings in the residential market and 22% fewer condos that in 2016.

This means more competition for available listings in general and thus favours sellers.  On an area by area basis this may vary but it does jibe with what we are seeing daily in the market.

New listings to sales ratio clear indicator of seller’s market conditions during May:

The number of residential sales (1,856) to new listings (2607) yields a ratio of 70.2% and this is almost Toronto level high! (a ratio above 60% is said to reflect seller’s market conditions, with 40-60% representing a balanced market and less than 40% a buyer’s market.)  On a year to date basis the ratio is 58.8%, just short of a seller’s market

Condo unit sales for May (444) vs new listings (734) yield a ratio of 60.4%, also just in to seller’s market territory. On a year to date basis the condo ratio is 46.8% which suggests a more balanced market.

What to expect this summer:

We are certainly seeing more multiple offers and offers days being established by sellers and their listing agents, especially in key geographic areas and price points.  Sellers should discuss their pricing and marketing strategy with their listing salesperson to determine the best course of action for their circumstances.

Buyers want to be on top of new listings (and price changes) and not wait for an Open House to go and see a property that may interest them. 

Both sellers and buyers will also want to determine their own position on how they wish to participate in a multiple offer situation, should one materialize.

Why pay 5% commission to sell in a “hot” market?

Buyers and sellers need their salesperson or brokers’ advice just as much in a hot market as in a slower one….but do you really need to pay 5% commission on the selling side?

If you don’t think so, give us a call and we can explain our options that will *save you 26% to 50% of the selling fees on your sale.  613-435-4692

*not intended to solicit those with existing listings.  Savings based on our range of listing commissions vs typical 5%.

 

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

An experienced, effective and inexpensive residential brokerage


Fed spending/headcount continues to hike home sales in Ottawa


November 2016 yielded another pretty good month in Ottawa real estate, buoyed by continued growth in Federal government headcount and spending.  Sales were positive, with new home sales and condo’s leading the way.

New home sales up 18.5% year-to-date:
The new home segment has seen a major surge this year and that is good news for builders.  Some of these sales may challenge the resale market which is pretty flat in average price this year, although the number of residential units sold is up 5.5% so far this year. Average selling prices are ahead only .9% overall for residential at $396,109.

Condo sales much better this year, up 9.6%
Condo sales on MLS® (which also includes some new construction sales but not all)  where up 17.3% in November and are showing a 9.6% increase year-to-date but average prices are again pretty flat with the average price sold at $260,880 virtually unchanged from 2015.

Listing inventory pullback has helped the market:
The number of new listings this year is down by about 7% overall and current inventories show the number of residential listings down 14.3 % at the end of November and condo listings down 13.3%.   Rental listings were also down by 24.5% at month’s end.
This has moved us away from some very high listing inventory levels experienced over 2014 and 2015 and keeps us in a much more balanced market.

How long does it take a property to sell in Ottawa?
Our days-on-market to sell the average property has increased slightly to 55 days for residential properties (up from 50) and 70 days for the average condo (up from 62 days last year).  This is a key statistic for those considering a sale to study in detail for their own area, as it is critical in assessing both marketing timelines and listing pricing.  A Realtor can provide up to date and detailed information in this regard.

Most popular pricing categories:
The $300,000 to $400,000 price category is the most active/popular range, followed closely by the $200,000-$300,000 price category.
Overall, 80% of residential sales in Ottawa are done at lower than $500,000 and 75%+ of condo sales are done at less than $300,000. These types of ratios are important for sellers to consider when listing, as it determines the size of the potential market for their property.

What’s next?
We are entering the quieter period for real estate in Ottawa and while sales should continue reasonalbly strong vs previous years, the months of November-February are our 4 slowest months of the year.  Sellers will want to carefully review pricing and competitive factors prior to listing their property for sale during this period.

May be best time to buy new construction for 2017 delivery:
Buying new construction may be optimal at this time of year for closings in summer 2017, as those with existing homes to sell, will be able to sell in the busy spring market.
First time buyers will have more months to save and also possibly be able to use their 2016 tax year RRSP contribution for their down payment, in addition to getting the 2016 tax break.


Ottawa sales and inventory moving nicely in 2016, prices...not so much..


The Ottawa market has been seeing some very positive unit sales increases since April of this year and the excess inventory problem of the last two years has diminished significantly.  One Ottawa Real Estate Board recent press release even wondered if we were on the verge of a “sellers” market, something we haven’t seen in many years here.

Overall Sales Picture through September 2016:
Residential unit sales have increased 6.8% on a year to date basis but average selling prices are only .6% ahead to $396,400.
Condos have seen positive sales growth of 7.4% but prices are also flat at an average of $260,218 which is only .1% higher than a year ago.

Listing Inventory a good story this year on an overall basis:
After a couple of years of heavy listing inventory, we have seen some pretty dramatic decreases over the course of 2016, especially the last 6 months.  The number of new listings YTD is down 6.9% and at the end of September residential listing inventory is 18.8% lower than last year and condo inventory is 12.5% lower.
So this is positive news for those considering a listing or sale in the near future, although competitive pressures will vary with each property and location.

Will new mortgage rules impact the market?
There are some opinions saying that the recently announced new mortgage rules from the Federal Government in early October will eliminate up to 15 or 20% of first time buyer but this remains to be seen.  If this were true it would certainly have a ripple effect on the overall market. 

New Federal Government Relocation fee structure cuts Realtor rates come Jan 1.
The new Federal government rate for Realtor listing fees in Ontario is dropping from 4.1% on the current contract to 3.7% starting January 1, 2017. (this rate was as high as 5% only a few years ago)  There was much opinion and concern about this move on a Realtor only facebook group administered by the Ottawa Real Estate Board until the Board cut off further comment.  (Commission discussions or other controversial topics, including anything that could be deemed anti-competitive are verboten in organized real estate)  If someone you know is potentially moving on the Government’s Integrated Relocation Program (IRP) administered by Brookfield Relocation Services, have them contact us and we are happy to discuss how these changes may affect their next move and how our programs can ensure there is no negative impact to their home sale.  (not intended to solicit those with existing representation agreements) 613-435-4692

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


Q1 results modest overall but April looking strong!


Summary:
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.

 


Ottawa real estate report December 2015


Optimistic unit sales for both residential and condo markets in November:

Ottawa buyers and sellers were active in November in the fresh optimism generated by the new Federal Government.  Unit sales were very positive for the month with residential sales up 9.7% for the month vs November last year and condo unit sales up nicely by 17.1%.
On a year-to-date basis residential unit sales are up 6.1% and condo sales are flat at +.7%.

Prices remain pretty flat overall:
Year-to-date average prices for residential sales are up by 1.7% to $392,183 and the average condo price sold this year has dropped by 1.1% to $260,278.

How long does it take to sell on average?
The average residential property sold this year after a cumulative listing period of 82 days on the market vs 77 days last year.  The average condo sold in 102 days compared with 87 days a year ago.

Listing inventory easing slightly overall:
Overall listing inventory has pulled back slightly from some record setting levels mid-year.  Residential listings are currently15.6% higher than the 5 year average and condos are 31.9% higher.
Listing inventory is overweight higher end properties at $500,000 and above, compared to recent sales patterns.  Currently listing inventory above $500K is over 20% of all listings while sales above $500K are only about 15% on a year-to-date basis.

Rental market on MLS® continues to surge:
Realtors continue to generate more rental listings and lease agreements for their clients than ever and rental inventory is up 50% compared to the 5 year average.  Whether this reflects more investor owners or simply sellers who were not able to sell at a desired price point, we cannot be sure.

Listing cancellations, withdrawals and expiries remain high:
The number of listings that don’t sell and expire or are terminated by the sellers remains at historically significant levels.  If these sellers have quit the market then this is a good thing as it lessens what has been a supply/demand imbalance in favour of buyers.  If however, these properties are just off the market temporarily and will return to active listing status in 2016 this may mean our inventory issues will continue. 

It is never too early to plan your purchase or sale for 2016, though we escape for several weeks in the New Year, we are always available by email, text or skype/cell to help you meet your objectives.

Merry Christmas and best wishes for a successful 2016!

Dawn Davey, Broker
Gord McCormick, Broker of Record
Oasis Realty Brokerage
613-435-4692 office 613-371-9691 mobile/text
oasisrealty@rogers.com 


A perspective on Ottawa real estate 2015


2015 Ottawa real estate in perspective:  Jan 22nd, 2016

Had a written this note a few weeks ago, I might have taken a more bearish approach on our real estate market results for 2015, but a few weeks on a sunny beach have a way of mellowing one’s perspective.  In fact, if one compares Ottawa real estate results with the recent performances of the Canadian $ and the equity markets, we had a pretty darn good year in 2015!

The truth is, it was a pretty flat year for sales and prices and we were overloaded with listing inventory for much of the year.  Buyers generally had the upper hand, particularly on properties priced at $500K and above where there were inventory levels were often very high compared to demand levels.  The time to sell the average property increased again during 2015.

Rental market strong for Realtors:
Realtors helped owners rent out some 3,000 properties this year which must be some kind of record.

 

Balance of sale skewed to lower end and medium priced properties:
Greatest sales activity was recorded in the $200-$300K and $300-$400K price levels.  It is difficult to say for sure if this represents some pushback on price levels in general or perhaps that more downsizers are looking for more modestly priced accommodation.

 

Builders had a challenging year also and offered some very good incentives and bonuses to buyers, as a result this added to the competitive pressure on resale listings, particularly in the suburban east, west and south where much of the new construction is concentrated.  Reports vary but it appears builder results overall were generally pretty flat, also.

If you are wondering about the outlook for 2016 and how to prepare for your own housing plans…stay tuned for some thoughts on key trends and risks in 2016 real estate or touch base with us and we would be happy to discuss your specific buying or selling situation. 

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

 

 Experienced independent boutique brokerage with lower fees for sellers!


Ottawa real estate market report November 2015


Residential Sales pretty solid:
Sales for the month were up 3.7% and year to-to-date are 5.9% higher than 2014.
Average selling price for the month was up 2.8% to $380,075 and year to-to-date the average selling price is up 1.8% to $393,078

Condo sales and prices continue to sag:
Condo sales continue to struggle due to oversupply in both the resale and new construction markets.
Though condo unit sales were up slightly over last October, they were still down 9.4% compared to the 5 year average.  Year-to-date unit sales are down .5% compared to last year.
Prices took a beat of a beating in October and on a year-to-date basis are down 1.9% compared to the first 10 months of 2014 at $258,995.

* average selling prices are affected by the price mix of properties sold and in the current market there is more activity in the lower to mid-priced market segments ie $250K-400K which keeps the overall average price in check.

Listing inventory surplus eases:
For the first time in a long time, we have seen some improvement in the amount of listing inventory surplus on hand.
Residential listings are only 19.5% higher than the 5 year average at the end of October and condos are 42.5% higher.
New listings in October for residential properties actually were less than during the previous 3 years and 4.6% lower than the 5 year average, so this is potentially a very good sign.

We note however that listing cancellations, withdrawls and expiries continue to run at high levels with residential properties 14.4% higher than the 5 year average and condos 55.3% higher. If some of these sellers have moved to the rental market that would be OK as the rental market seems pretty active.  If on the other hand these sellers are just waiting to relist at a later date then perhaps there still may be an overbalanced equation on the supply side.

Rental Market listing inventory is up 58.7% over the 5 year average but the number of rentals done by Board members is way up also, so this is not a particularly worrisome stat.

Time on market to sell increases also:
Both condos and residential properties have taken more time on market to sell this year with residential properties selling in 80 days vs 75 last year and condos taking 101 days to sell vs 86 days last year.

Now is a great time to plan for spring and summer 2016, give us a call if you to discuss your plans and get some ideas on what can be done to optimize your buying and selling process.

Gord McCormick, Broker of Record

613-435-4692


Ottawa listing inventory highest in 12 years!


Many sellers face stressful summer in Ottawa real estate
June sales results were generally positive with increases in residential unit sales and average prices but listing inventory continues to grow and make life miserable for many sellers (especially condo sellers).  Unit sales and prices for residential properties are up slightly but condo unit sales are down 21% compared to last June and down 15.8% based on a 5 year average for year-to-date sales.

Residential sales are up about 4% year-to-date compared to both the 5 year and 10 year averages at the end of June.

Prices in both property categories are very modest on a year-to-date basis with the average residential property posting a 1.7% increase to $398,051 and the average condo price sold this year is $263,843 for an increase of .5%. 

Listing inventory may be the highest ever! Condos double 10 year average, residential +39.2%
We checked back as far as our available stats permit and our current inventory levels are the most for any month during the last 12 years.   Though our demand level is reasonable overall, there are just too many sellers in the marketplace.  Residential listings continue to increase and are 34.8% higher than the 5 year average and 39.2% higher than the 10 year average.  Condo listing inventory is 57.4% higher than the 5 year average and 100% higher than the 10 year average.

On the good news side, many of these sellers will also become buyers if their existing properties sell.

Who is having the most trouble selling?
There are a number of categories that suffer more than others in this type of buyer’s market, best to check with a Realtor to see how these circumstances might affect a particular property.  We’ll have a post on this later this week.  Condos, unique properties, non “move-in-ready” properties, higher priced listings, FSBO’s and those with excess improvements head the list of “toughest to sell” listings right now.

New home sales off about 6%: (revised November, 2015)
New construction sales and starts are down slightly on a year to date basis, having recovered somewhat over the summer.  Earlier trend suggested builder sales were off as much as 20% but this has improved. Builders are still offering significant incentives for buyers to consider new construction.  This adds to the competitive choice for buyers but also makes even more competition for the resale listing, particularly for newer homes in areas where the builder is still building the same or similar models.

What to expect this summer/fall:
We expect to see continuing price adjustments by sellers who have now missed the peak spring market which should help keep residential unit sales in positive territory during the summer. Condos may be another matter altogether.

Get it sold by September!
Sellers with committed buying plans or other financial plans who have not had success in marketing their properties will certainly want to be aggressive in getting a deal done before the end of September when sales levels start the fall seasonal decline. (Summer sales levels are about 20-25% lower than spring and fall levels are 40-50% lower than spring)

Save $1,000’s on commissions and get it sold now!
We have some amazing commission saving programs and marketing plans to help ensure sellers get deals done this summer! If you are not already working with another Realtor and would like to discuss selling and/or buying options please give us a call 613-435-4692

* not intended to solicit those with existing representation agreements

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


Ottawa real estate market report Sept. 7th, 2015


Ottawa real estate has had a pretty good summer all things considered, though prices are still pretty flat and we still have some listing inventory concerns, August was a pretty good month with decent unit sales increases for both residential properties and condos.  Sellers may have compromised on price expectations, as both residential properties sold were flat and the average condo sold during the month was down 7.3% compared to 2014.

Year-to-date performance:
Residential unit sales are up 5.3% YTD and the average selling price is up 1.9% to $395,437.
Condo unit sales are down slightly by .5% YTD and the average selling price is down by 1% to $260,017.

Listing inventory:
Residential listings continue to run at quite high levels with the number of listings currently reported by the Board being 31.8% higher than the 5 year average.  The number of current condo listings is 52% higher than the 5 year average.
We can expect to see continued price pressure with these listing inventory levels, particularly in the $500K+ market for residential properties and $300K+ condo market, where we have a fair amount of excess inventory.

Are some sellers leaving the market?
There may be an indication that some sellers are leaving the market, as the month of August showed a very high level of listing expiries, cancellations and withdrawls.  This number in August is 49.7% higher than the 5 year average for residential and 74.9% for condos and might mean some sellers are rethinking their marketing plans or waiting to relist at a later date, perhaps even next spring.

Some sellers may also be selling now and renting, as they await a new construction home or simply to ensure they get their existing properties sold prior to purchasing another. 

Rental transactions involving Realtors are way up this year so many sellers may also be looking to rent their properties if they cannot secure a satisfactory sale.

September and October the best time to sell before next March:
Fall business is steady in September and October but starts to fall off in November, so sellers will want to plan accordingly.  With properties generally taking longer to sell in our current market, the best time window for getting a property on the market is now!

If you are not working with another Realtor and would like to discuss your plans for a fall, winter or spring/summer 2016 sale, please give us a call.  613-435-4692 It is never too early to plan your housing strategy.

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


positive finish to peak season but inventory looms large in Ottawa


May results were pretty positive for unit sales with an overall increase of 7.7% compared to May 2014.  June looks to be another fairly strong month also, before we head in to the summer and fall seasons where unit sales typically drop 20-25% in the summer months and 40-50% in the fall.  One month of reasonable growth in unit sales does not do much to decrease an inventory level that remains a challenge for many sellers.

Year-to-date results steady but mixed:
Overall unit sales and demand has been steady but a price sensitive market with lots of competition has kept average prices in check. Through May, residential sales prices average only 1.1% more than last year and the average condo unit selling price is down 0.7%.

On a unit sales basis, the number of residential sales is up 7.3% and the unit sales for condos is actually 1.3% less than last year.(although condo unit sales did show an increase in the month of May)

Excess listing inventory prevails:
We still have an excess of listing inventory and listing flow has continued strong this month also. Overall, we see a total of approx. 10,500 residential and condo listings at time of writing (June 17th) which is enough for the next 10 months anticipated sales. Or put another way: if we did not have another new listing, we have enough listing inventory for expected sales until the middle or end of April next year!

Good buyer choice overall suggested by total inventory #'s:
The number of residential listings at the end of May was 34.3% higher than the 5 year average between 2010-2014 and condo listings 57% higher.   This inventory is weighted heavier in the higher priced listings ( residential $500K+ and condos $300K+) so while there is an overall excess inventory this may not be true for all areas and price points.  Speak with your Realtor about the market dynamics in your area of interest.

"Second" season slows but still the best time to sell before next spring!
As one can see from the table below (When is the best time to sell?), monthly unit sales start to decline from the end of June and continue to do so until things start to ramp up for next spring.  So summer is far from a "dead" time in Ottawa real estate and is the 2nd best time of the year to get a sale done.


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.

 


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)

Days-on-market:
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
www.oasisrealtyottawa.com

full service + lower commission plans for sellers


Is it a flood of sales....or just listings in Ottawa real estate 2015?


Is it a flood of spring sales in Ottawa real estate….or just listings? April 9th, 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  4-6 months of anticipated sales would be appropriate)

Days-on-market:
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
www.oasisrealtyottawa.com 

full service + lower commission plans for sellers

 


Is it a 1990's replay in Ottawa real estate?


Is it “déjà vu, all over again” in Ottawa Real Estate?

short answer: ...let's certainly hope not!

We have suffered through another slow year in Ottawa real estate in 2014 with flat sales and overall prices barely in positive territory.  A Federal restraint program and a build up of listing inventory have taken us in to a buyer’s market.(supply/demand imbalance favours buyers)  Let’s take a quick look back at the last couple of decades and see how our market has evolved over the last 25 years.

Outstanding Growth 2000-2010:
We started the new millennium strongly for the first 11 years with average prices doubling from $157,511 in 2000 to $327,225 in 2010, an average increase of 9.8% annually.  Unprecedented low mortgage rates during this period helped fuel a run up in prices and also helped cover some lost ground from the 1990’s.

New Trajectory 2011-2014:  Should we have seen this coming?
When one looks at average price movement since the end of 2010, it definitely paints a picture of a new trajectory in market results.

Average price increase:
2011: + 5.2%
2012: + 2.3%
2013: + 1.6%
2014: + 1% or less (estimated)

We have certainly noticed and reported on slowing market conditions which really became apparent mid-2012.  Our current excess listing inventory did not happen overnight but has accumulated based on flat unit sales results over the last couple of years.  This excess supply (plus new construction inventory from builders) resulted in competitive price pressures and lower average selling price increases.

Is it the 1990’s all over again?
The 1990’s were a dirty decade for Ottawa real estate.  A recession plus a Liberal Federal Government that slashed jobs to balance the budget put a real chill on the Ottawa market for the whole decade.  Average prices from 1990 to 1999 grew a total of only 5.8% (from $141,438 to $149,650) for an annual average increase of only .58%.  In fact, the average selling price actually decreased in value during 1994, 1995 and 1996, something seen only 5 or 6 times in the history of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. Unit sales dropped by 31% from 1989 to 1995, before getting back to 1989 levels later in the decade.

Ottawa Board Membership mirrors results:
As independent business people on 100% commission, the ranks of the Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB) are closely aligned with the level of business and activity.

Board Membership by year:
1989: 2,566
1999: 1,338
2010: 2,617
2014: 3,025 (estimate)

As one can see from these simple stats; membership dropped 47.8% between 1989 and 1999.  Since 1999, membership has grown approx. 226% to its current level.  Growth has already levelled off and could be expected to plateau or even decrease if the current trend lines continue.

So how does this affect me and my housing plans?
We fully expect to see a continuation of these  tougher real estate market conditions for the foreseeable future and this makes it all the more imperative for both buyers and sellers to be aligned with an experienced and qualified real estate professional.  If you do not already have a REALTOR® under contract, we would be happy to discuss your specific objectives and strategic alternatives for 2015.

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

 


Residential prices dip in to negative territory in October


Ottawa real estate residential prices showed a 3.2 % decrease in the average price of properties sold in October, compared to Oct 2013.  While one month does not make a trend, it is only the 2nd time this year that average selling prices in a month have been lower than the previous year. (the other month was July)  Quite likely the weight of listing inventory fuelled the price drop, as many sellers chose to compromise on price to get deals done.  This helped push the # of unit sales up slightly for residential homes by 5.6% for the month, although MLS® condo unit sales were down 8.1%.

Listing inventory, competition and seller motivation:
The principal reasons for the resale average price decrease is that excess listing inventory and builder incentives are creating significant competitive pressure on sellers.  Residential listing inventory at the end of October remains 36.1% higher than the 5 year average and condo inventory is 62.7% higher. (vs end Oct 2009-2013)

Another statistic that clearly emphasizes the problem is that residential listing inventory is almost exactly double what it was at the end of Oct 2009 when we had a seller’s market (average prices increased 13.3% during that month!) and a comparable level of unit sales. This is almost 3,000 more listings now than then!

Sellers with a high selling motivation or who had been listed for an extended period most likely made price concessions to secure deals before the slower winter selling season.  (Nov-Feb are the 4 slowest months of the year in Ottawa real estate with unit sales 50%-66.6% lower than the peak selling months in the spring and summer. See table below)

What can we expect this winter?
With the current listing inventory excess, we would expect to see a strongly competitive market, unless sellers quit the market en masse to relist in the spring which is unlikely to happen.  Our expectation is that prices will stay flat or in slightly negative territory as sellers compete for available buyers.  This should also continue to maintain unit sales levels in positive territory.

On the plus side:
Underlying demand and activity seems pretty solid and it would only take a few hundred extra sales monthly which would turn those sellers in to buyers and thus push the whole market in to more positive territory.

We are hoping that the Federal Government eases budget restraints somewhat in the coming election year and personnel relocations (especially DND) can return to more historical levels.

What we see from the “inside”:
Our real estate market has been slowly changing over the last two years from what was a long time “seller’s market” to what can now be described as more of a “buyer’s market”.  Many homeowners and ultimately sellers have been surprised and disappointed by their current market listing experience and the length of time it is taking to find a buyer.  The single most common issue is overpricing for this market.  Many factors cause this over pricing and we have noted a few of these in a couple of recent blogposts:

http://www.oasisrealtyottawa.com/blogs/gord_mccormick/archive/2014/11/18/ottawa-real-estate-seller-strategies-in-a-tougher-market.aspx

http://www.oasisrealtyottawa.com/blogs/gord_mccormick/archive/2014/08/24/why-are-so-many-ottawa-listings-overpriced.aspx

We are happy to discuss your 2015 plans for buying and selling if you are not already working with another real estate professional.  It is never too early to plan and prepare for success!

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

Boutique brokerage services and lower commissions for you!*

* not intended to solicit those with existing representation agreements


September 2014 sales steady but a tougher market prevails


Ottawa Real Estate: September 2014 sales steady but inventory overage continues:

Many sellers will have some tough decisions to make this Fall/Winter, as a slower sales trend continues with fierce competition in a very price sensitive market in most areas of the city.  There is clearly a significant overage in listing inventory and therefore a supply/demand imbalance in favour of buyers.  Many sellers may have to reduce their price expectations, possibly cancel or delay purchasing plans or simply take their properties off the market and reconsider their housing plans altogether.

Listing Inventory:
Listing inventory continues to be the dominant statistic to watch and the problem is showing no signs of fading away, in fact if anything it is growing worse.  Residential listing inventory is currently running 34.9% higher than the 5 year average at the end of September and condo inventory is running 61.1% higher.

There are actually over 1,000 more residential properties for sale right now than there was at the end of March this year when we were just starting the 3 busiest sales months of the year.  By contrast, come November 1st we are heading in to the 4 slowest sales months of the year.

Sales:
The number of residential unit sales was up slightly during September over last year and the 5 year average. (3% and 3.3%)  On a year to date basis, residential unit sales are up 2% while condos are down 7.9%.

Average selling prices:
The average residential selling price this year is up 1.3% to $387,640 while the average condo selling price is down slightly by .8% to $261,649.

Cumulative-Days-on-market: CDOM
This is new statistic being compiled this year by the Board which gives a better picture of how long it takes to sell a property in the current market. The CDOM for a residential property sale this year is 73 days on the market and for a condo it is 86 days.

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


Ottawa sellers adjust price expectations to get deals done in July


Our continuing heavy listing inventory conditions continue through mid-summer and we believe sellers adjusted their price expectations to get deals done in July. 

Sales transactions trend: July
On a transaction basis, sales were pretty good:  residential properties recording a solid increase of 10.9% compared to 2013 and also compared favourably compared to the 5 year average. (+ 12.9%)

Condo resales continued to stagnate and were 4% lower than 2013 and 13.5% lower than the 5 year average (2009-2013)

Average price of properties sold in July:
The average price of residential properties sold in July was $377,791 a decrease of .8% compared to July 2013.  The average condo sold was $261,663 a decline of 5.3%.  The Ottawa Real Estate Board notes in their press release that there appears to be a higher balance of sale (% of total) in lower priced or entry level properties thus skewing the average prices lower.  Though this may be true, it is clearly a very price sensitive market and on a year to date basis prices are generally pretty flat overall.  Based on the amount of “marked down” listing inventory and the amount of recycled listings, we clearly have a market favouring buyers for the foreseeable future.

Listing inventory leaps again in July!
By far the most worrisome statistic is the amount of listing inventory.  Our July end residential listing inventory is 14.4% higher than 2013 and 41.6% higher than the 5 year average!  The condo numbers are even worse with a 14.7% increase in the number of listings compared to last year and 79% higher than the 5 year average. (2009-2013) This translates to 1,000 more properties for sale now than at the end of July last year and almost 3,000 more than the 5 year average.

Total inventory also translates to about 9 months of expected sales, even if there are no other new listings, so this will continue to be a tough market for sellers.

Year-to-date:
Residential sales for the year are slightly higher in transactions by 1.7% and the average price of properties sold is 1% higher at $389,078.

Condo sales transactions are off by 6.5% and the average price of the resale condo sold has dropped slightly by 1.2% to $262,345.

Cumulative-days-on-market:
The average residential property has taken 71 days to sell this year and average condo 86 days.

It really pays to consult a REALTOR® to find out what is going in your area/neighbourhood and help you build a plan for success in buying or selling.  If you are not already engaged with another real estate professional, by all means give us a call.  613-435-4692

*We have a special FREE professional photo offer and a commission rate hold incentive for those thinking of selling in 2015.

* not intended to solicit those with existing representation agreements 

 

Gord McCormick, Broker of Record
Dawn Davey, Broker
Oasis Realty Brokerage
613-435-4692
www.oasisrealtyottawa.com

 


Peak spring season ends with surplus of listing inventory


Ottawa Real Estate: June 2014 results

Listing inventory level remains key issue in very competitive Ottawa Market

June Sales:
Depending on your point of view, June sales were either steady or lacklustre with residential properties showing a slight increase in both # of transactions (over a slow June 2013) and average prices increased 1.8% during the month.  Condos sales were flat and average prices -2.8% lower than last year.

Year-to-date sales:
For the first half of the year sales for residential properties are almost identical to 2013 while the # of condo sales has decreased by 7.1%
Average prices for residential properties sold this year have eked out a 1.4% increase to $391,374 and the average condo sale registered this year is off -.5% at $262,469.

Listing Inventory:
Listing inventory for residential properties at the end of June is 37.2% higher than the 5 year average from 2009-2013. New residential listings during the month were the highest recorded during the month of June during the last 10 years.
Condo listings are 79.3% higher than the average over the last 5 years.

Contributing Factors:
We believe military moves have both decreased and been delayed this year, due to budget issues at DND.

Builders are facing higher development fees with the City of Ottawa 5 year review being completed and 22% to 31% higher fees expected as early as October 1st. ($5,000-$8,000 per house/unit) Builders may have prebuilt inventory to avoid the pending higher fees and are also seeing either flat or declining unit sales, so buyer incentives have been quite strong compared to the recent past.

Many sellers are also buyers and if they cannot get their existing home sold or sold at an acceptable price, then they are not in a position to become buyers.

Seller challenges:
Listing price is even more critical in this market which favours buyers and sellers have to remember to stay on top of all resale listing competition and new construction homes in their area.  As competitive listings change prices or builders change their offerings, sellers have to be prepared to act accordingly.  As houses sell, those still listed need to be in tune with actual selling prices and determine if this impacts the opportunity for their own listing.

With peak spring selling season now behind us, we expect to see a very interesting summer, as listings battle it out for available buyers and perhaps with the market seeing some sellers quit the market to either make updates to their property or anticipate relisting at another time.  As noted in the article below, however, summer is still the best chance to get properties sold until we hit the spring market next March/April-so sellers should aggressively have their properties positioned right now.  *If you are considering a summer purchase or sale, please give us a call and we will be glad to share our thoughts on how you might best approach what is bordering on a “buyer’s market” (if we are not already there!)

*not intended to solicit those with existing representation agreements.

Gord McCormick, Broker of Record
Dawn Davey, Broker
613-435-4692
oasisrealty@rogers.com
www.oasisrealtyottawa.com 

 

 

 


Rush of listings eases and sales steady in last week of June


It looks like the rush of new listings crested in mid June, as the daily # of new listings seems to have retreated this week of June 23rd and is easily 25% to 30% lower than the daily new listing activity only a couple of weeks ago.  Sales look pretty steady this week also, although there is little reason to expect a change in the current flat trendlines in both activity and average prices.

Though sales drop off in July, August and Sept from highs in April-June, the summer is the 2nd most important selling period of the year.  In fact, the number of sales transactions in July typically is not exceeded again until March or April of the following year. 

If you would like a professional assessment on buying or selling plans in this market environment, please give us a call at 613-435-4692.

See chart below which contains the transaction history for the # of residential and condo sales recorded monthly over the last couple of years as reported by the Ottawa Real Estate Board. 

Month  2012 2013 2014
Jan 682 602 589
Feb 1008 914 870
March 1388 1167 1189
April 1568 1573 1420
May 1890 1804 1792
June 1662 1594

 

        1661

 

July 1376 1339           1445
August 1145 1219           1203
Sept 995 1119  
Oct 1021 1069  
Nov 928 891  
Dec 615 610

 

 


Good news and bad in Ottawa real estate 2014


                              

Well in to August and our real estate market has demonstrated a middling performance at best. Transactions and prices are pretty flat compared to previous years in the resale market and the new home market is also flat but is 17% off the 5 year average.

About the only thing that is “up” is the amounting of listing inventory and the amount of time it takes to get a place sold. (PS. For some inexplicable reason, the numbers of real estate sales people continues to grow but that is a matter for another day!)

Well that is most of the bad news but who is most affected?

1. those buying new construction with an extending build period, who have little choice but selling in what we are now calling a “buyer’s market”.

2. those who are selling based on previous seller’s market expectations which were mostly the case from 2000-early 2012 when our market started to slow down.

3. those selling who have only been in a home for a short period of time i.e. 3 years or less.

4. those with a newer home selling in an area of new construction, where the builder is still building similar new construction housing with updated features. (9’ceilings, Energy Star®, etc.)

5. those leaving Ottawa for another market may be at a disadvantage, if they are moving to an area where housing is currently stronger such as Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver.

6. those selling homes that they have extensively renovated and landscaped, as the market typically does not pay back all those costly reno $$, particularly if the homeowner is paying retail for those upgrades.  Newer homes with extensive builder upgrades fit this problem category also.  We have a lovely home in our neighbourhood that has been on the market for over 400 days for primarily this reason.

7. condo resale sellers have a really tough go right now, given the level of listing inventory (+ 79%) and the amount of new construction.

There is some good news though:

1. Though the market has been slow it has not dropped dramatically and there is still decent interest by sellers and buyers.  Most sellers are also buyers, so as soon as they are able to get their existing properties sold, they will become buyers.

2. those saving for their first home purchase and those looking to upgrade are not seeing prices rise and putting their “dream home” further out of reach.

3. low mortgage rates prevail, allowing buyers to get their dream home at historically reasonable monthly rates.

4. homeowners are paying off vast amounts on their low rate mortgage principal amounts and thus improving their equity position.

5. buyers will have the upper hand in most cases and should be able to negotiate favourable prices and conditions of sale.  We may even see a rebirth of the “first refusal” buyer offer.

6. we believe that there is a growing level of rental inventory out there and if so, this should help hold the line on rental price increases somewhat for those still saving for their first home.

7. A slower but stable market is probably good news overall, as it means the likelihood of a steep “correction” is much less.  Ottawa is amongst the most stable real estate markets anywhere and still a great place to buy or sell.

If we can assist with your buying or selling plans here in Ottawa by all means give us a call.*

*Not intended to solicit those with existing representation agreements

Gord McCormick, Broker of Record
Dawn Davey, Broker
Oasis Realty Brokerage
613-435-4692
www.oasisrealtyottawa.com

 

 

 

 


May 2014 steady but listing inventory approaching critical levels


Ottawa May Real Estate Results 2014

May Sales OK but listing inventory surges to worrisome levels

Sales:
Sales results were generally steady (or flat, depending your perspective) in May 2014.  Residential sales transactions showed a slight increase over the 5 year average by 2.5% while condo sales continued to stagnate with 13.9% fewer sales than the 5 year average.
For the first 5 months of the year the number of residential sales transactions is down 1.2% and condos down 9.1% compared to 2013.

Average Selling Prices:
Average selling prices during the month were steady, a little surprising given the listing inventory level. On a year to date basis, the average residential selling price is up 1.3% to $392,108 and the average condo price is up slightly .2% to $263,687.

Days-on-market:
The average sale time continues to grow also with the average residential sale taking 47 days this year (vs 41 last year) and the average condo sale 59 days (vs 46 last year)

New Listings in May:
New listings surged again in May with residential listings recorded that were 25.8% higher than the 5 year average and condo listings were 39.8% higher.  While May is typically both the #1 sales month and the #1 month for listing activity, this number of new listings in a flat sales environment is definitely a problem.

May End Listing Inventory:
Residential listing inventory at month end is 36.9% higher than the 5 year average (2009-2013) and the number of condo listings is 75.5% higher.  Combined, this means we have almost 3,000 more properties currently listed at this time of year than the average over the 5 year period.

Outlook:
Given our late start this spring and the amount of listing inventory; we might expect June to be a fairly strong month for the number of transactions exceeding May as the #1 sales month.  There is no question we have a supply/demand imbalance in favour of buyers, so one might expect to see pressure on average prices. With typical unit sales demand falling off 25% in the summer months, June is definitely the best time for sellers to get a deal done. 

Unless we see an exceptionally and unexpectedly strong June &/or many sellers quit the market, we can expect to see buyers generally have the upper hand for many months to come.

Builders will also be offering some very interesting incentives both to generate closings over the winter months and also to beat the anticipated $5,000-$8,000 development charge increase which is being voted on by Ottawa City Council on June 11th.  
 To find the best builder new construction deals, give us a call 613-435-4692-as new home sales and buyer representation is one of our specialities!  Note: we pay a 10-20% new home buyer bonus and also offer excellent listing programs for leading builders in our area!. 

If you would like a no charge no obligation consultation on how these overall market conditions affect your own buying or selling plans, please do not hesitate 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
613-435-4692
oasisrealty@rogers.com
www.oasisrealtyottawa.com