Wednesday, September 28, 2011

SoBa ... South of Bank

The Ottawa Business Journal believes that Fortress and Lamb Developments are revitalizing the "SoBa" district

SoBa is a part of Ottawa that is being branded by Lamb Developments and Fortress as the next hip Centertown district.  This is the district between the Glebe and the Golden Triangle.  This will become a new trendy part of the downtown core.

USD v. CDN dollars

I wanted to touch base with you all and let you know what is currently happening in the currency market. To begin, the Canadian dollar is now worse than par. This is the highest the USD has been since May 2010. The decline of the Canadian dollar took place on Wednesday after stated the Federal Open Market Committee (USA) came out with its policy statement for its September 2011 meeting. The following key points were made;

First, there will be no change to the overnight lending rate until at least 2013.
Second, the Fed’s assessment of the global economy worsened, as they cited “significant downside risks to the economic outlook, including strains in global financial markets”.
Finally, they announced a larger-than-expected plan to sell $400 billion of three-year or shorter-term treasuries and buy an equivalent amount of six-to 30-year treasuries by the end of 2012. This will decrease the cost of borrowing over the longer term, and the market reacted accordingly, with the yield spread on two-year notes and ten-year notes flattening by 0.12% to 1.66%.

Although the credit markets has accounted for this move, it will be interesting to see how equity, commodity and currency markets react in the coming months. Yesterday, Commodities to the biggest hit. Oil slid 2.6% overnight after a massive 6.3% selloff yesterday. Interestingly enough, gold is not even immune to the selling fad, showing a 1.98% loss overnight. The US dollar is pretty much the only thing showing black this morning, as it benefits from the massive rush to safety against all currencies.

Today the markets are a little more stable. The Canadian dollar has rebounded $.75 from the worst rate we saw yesterday and Oil is unchanged so far today. I am often asked why the USD gains strength when their market is so volatile. The answer is simple, whenever there is a fear of recession or a particular economy maybe collapsing (example Greece), countries and investors buy the USD in mass quantities. The reason for this is similar to why the value of gold is trading in the $1600-1800 range. If there is a world recession, besides bartering with physical gold, the USD is considered the world currency, all other currencies will have no value.

Now having said all this, what do we expect to happen over the next few months? It is hard to say as no one has a crystal ball. We have been told to expect the CAD to USD range to be between .98 to 1.05. With oil trading at $80 a barrel, it needs to rally $5-$10 to hopefully bring us back to parity. At this moment CAD to USD is trading in the 1.03s.

19 Marsh Sparrow - Stunning contemporary town house in exclusive enclave

It is rare for me to walk into a home and still say "WOW".  I have seen many, many homes over the years of being in the real estate profession, but this house is a "WOW".  Attention to detail is throughout - light fixtures, paint colours, quality of workmanship.  This one won't last long, please feel free to drop in to the opne house on SUNDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2011 from 2 to 4pm.

Prestigious Marshes Village

rare bungalow town home with an open loft
3 bedroom + an office
4 bathroom
2 car garage
great backyard with a fish pond

New "Frank Lloyd Wright" inspired in fill home

Check out the newest infill development by Dharma Developments,

359 Wilmont

This home is a luxurious escape located mere blocks from the center of Westboro.  Inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright architecture, this home is a stunner from the street. 

$929,000 custom in fill with four bedrooms

Email me today for more details

Sunday, September 25, 2011

111 West

Check out the hole in the ground at 111 West.  Things are getting started.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Windsor ... really?

Windsor has several new companies that are offering jobs in renewable energy that have started up in the last few years. This coming election may impact the subsidy that they receive.

There is a major road construction project starting called the Windsor and Essex Parkway. That will have a dramatic impact on the economy for the next 5 years.

Recently I attended a CMHC course where they had their economic forecast for Windsor and predict that we will see house values begin to appreciate in the next 2 years.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Outlook for interest rates long term

The ongoing issues facing Europe as they brace themselves for the inevitable Greek default. Even Mark Carney and the US Fed are expressing their concerns and impatience with the EU's failure to find a solution. In the meantime, Ben Bernanke reaches back in time to find a creative solution to stimulate the US economy called
'Operation Twist' - a strategy that has not been used since 1961!

When I heard the term “Operation Twist” last week, I was intrigued. The original Operation Twist was developed by the U.S. Treasury in 1961 in order to lower long term borrowing rates, in an effort to encourage investment and grow the economy, while simultaneously raising short-term rates to reduce pressure on the dollar. Essentially, it was an effort to purposely invert the yield curve. Thus the ''twist'' in Operation Twist. Part of the operation involved direct intervention in the market for residential mortgages.
Yesterday, the US Fed announced a similar, albeit incremental form of intervention in response to the meltdown in the housing and financial markets. In response, the dollar soared and there is now some hope that the costs of longer-term borrowing will be reduced.
Bottom line - things in the US and Europe are going to get a lot worse before they get any better. This will result in a further drag on the Canadian economy and prolong the period of low interest rates.

Warehouse inspired lofts in Ottawa ... coming soon!

Get ready for a long overdue new project in Ottawa featuring warehouse inspired, New York styled, true LOFT condos with exposed brick walls, industrial kitchens, concrete ceilings and visable piping.  This is the only new construction condo in Ottawa featuring a true loft style and look.  There are very few loft style buildings in Ottawa, highlighted by 95 Beech and Wallis House, with newer built projects, such as Parkdale Market Lofts.

Suites will range from 571 sq. ft. - 947 sq. ft. and prices will start in the $240s.  This project is being developed by the Marriott Hotels, a very exciting partnership for this project.

These properties will be built in the South End of the city, along the proposed light rail route with easy access to South Keys, Little Italy and LeBreton Flats.  As in all major cities, Ottawa, will soon feature a fast and efficient light rail system capable of moving many people throughout the core of the city.  Suggested completion is 2018.

For more information and to be added to the invitation list for the exciting new development, with their pre-public launch on October 18th, 2011, please email me at

Check out the funky projected style of this New York Style Loft (see below)!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Lamb and Fortress Real Capital Look to Bank on Further Success in Ottawa

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire -09/13/11)- Editors Note: There is a photo associated with this press release.
The busy Ottawa development scene will have an exciting new design soon with the announcement today of another project by Toronto developer Brad J Lamb. SoBa, named for its location south on Bank Street, just West of the intersection at Catherine Street. SoBa will bring 19 stories and close to 250 units of premium designed urban living to the downtown area. This is the second such project in the Ottawa area between Lamb Development Corporation and his partners at Fortress Real Capital, based in Richmond Hill.
"Ottawa is a great town. Our ideas for SoBa are to really ignite this part of Centretown with a hip, cool building. I want people to stop and stare at this tower, it's an amazing project", said Lamb, after a presentation at the Chateau Laurier with local investors on Wednesday evening. "I am excited about opening the Gotham sales centre in a few weeks, buyers are going to love what we are there and we think SoBa will be another killer project".
Lamb's unique touch has propelled him to the ranks of being a top developer in less than a decade as his realty company continues to break their own records. With over $5 billion of condo sales to date, Lamb has seen it all and has a keen sense for giving buyers what they want. "Brad's track record of success speaks for itself. We're very pleased to be doing another project with Lamb Development Corp. and are thrilled to bring SoBa to our terrific customers in Ottawa" said Jawad Rathore, Chief Strategic Officer of Fortress Real Capital. Fortress, a leading Canadian real estate investment firm, offers investment opportunities to retail customers looking for regular cash flow and direct security and collateral. "As a real estate investor, you want to be secured against the land or building, that's the only way to have any actual security in a real estate transaction. Otherwise you're just investing in paper and not the actual project directly" offered Ildina Galati, owner and principal broker of Centro Mortgage, the lead brokerage offering the Fortress product.
This type of investment structure is gaining more popularity with consumers who are increasingly frustrated with traditional products and the capital markets. Marnie Bennett, an Ottawa based realtor and team leader of Bennett Real Estate Professionals, has specialised in wealth building through real estate for over 20 years and sees new investing habits starting to emerge. "People want something tangible", said Bennett. "Bennett Pros analyses dozens of deals every month to find the ones that suit our customer's interests the best. Fortress and Brad Lamb are a great fit for the Ottawa market, it's a smart deal and a great opportunity".
Growth remains strong and Fortress is already planning a busy 2012 with new projects slated for Toronto, Regina and Calgary. "Our goal is to be the premiere choice for equity partnership in both the private and public sector. Whether its condos, low rise, hotels or even stadiums... Fortress finds quality developments" said Galati over the buzz of 200 attendees at their investment seminar. "Where else can an everyday Canadian get a piece of a $100 million project like that?"

Monday, September 5, 2011

ecoENERGY Retrofit program

Natural Resources Canada has some great initiatives as well for the home owner/investor looking to maximize profits. 

Under the ecoENERGY Retrofit program, you can receive hundred and cumulatively thousands of dollars from the government in the form of grants for doing enery efficient renovations.  This is a very valuable resource.  Check it out here

It is amazing what some spray foam insulation, a new furnace, gas hot water tank, windows and low flow toilets can do for your monthly operating costs.  Equally impressive is the savings passed onto you, the owner, when you do these modifications.  Click here to see NRCAN's grant table in detail

Government grants for investors and home owners

One of the best ways I have found to increase the profitability of an investment property (or lower my personal monthly carrying costs) is to upgrade certain interior finishing.  The Ontario government has a program to help out investors and home owner's offset the cost of the Home Energy Audit -

There are many benefits to doing a Home Energy Audit. A Home Energy Audit identifies changes you can make to your home that could help you:
- Reduce your annual energy bill by up to 30%; saving hundreds of dollars each year
- Improve your home’s re-sale value
- Make your home more comfortable year round
- Do your part to make Ontario's environment cleaner

To get started click here

This is a good program to learn if you own properties to generate income.  You can upgrade furnaces, windows, insulation, water related products with significant discounts.

Friday, September 2, 2011

New Project (early alert) SOBO

What a cool looking project to be located in South Centertown.  I think this is a super cool looking building and a great addition to our cities landscape.

Don't have a lot of details, but feel free to email at with questions

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Westboro bungalow - SOLD

Congrats to J and T!

They bought a great custom home walking distance to the shops, restaurants and boutiques in Westboro.

Contact me to find out how I can help you find your next home -