Friday, August 24, 2012

Feds gets in on condo action with overhall of Tunney's Pasture

You might have heard that the Ottawa Condo market is overheated.  People see the cranes and the new properties and come to the conclusion that there are way too many condos.  According to both CMHC and Fotenn Planning, the Ottawa real estate market needs approximately 50,000 new condos between now and 2035. 

Baby boomers are now in their late 40s, 50s and early 60s.  These are the years where many people begin to look towards downsizing and moving closer to the services and recreation, including hospitals. 

The Federal government is now in the process of redeveloping Tunney's Pasture and bringing in commercial and residential development.  This will include condos being built in the area with the government either selling the land or leasing it to developers.

If the market is infact overheated, why is the Federal government looking to get involved in the market now?

Federal government gets in on condo action with overhaul of Ottawa neighbourhood

After issuing months of warnings about the rapid expansion of Canada’s condominium market, the federal government now appears to want a piece of the action.

Ottawa is planning a major overhaul of a 49-hectare campus-style property it owns in the nation’s capital called Tunney’s Pasture.

Situated along the Ottawa River about four kilometres west of downtown, it is a drab complex of grey concrete government buildings. But the neighbourhood around it is currently one of the hottest spots for new condo development in the capital.

To read the complete article please click here

For Ottawa real estate be sure to contact Bennett Property Shop Realty Brokerage

Savannah Port Deepening Approved

CHARLESTON, S.C., Aug 23 (Reuters) - A $652 million deepening of the Savannah River shipping channel has been approved by the commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, according to a report made public on Thursday.

Savannah, the fourth largest container port in the nation according to the Department of Transportation, is among several South Atlantic ports that want to deepen their shipping channels for super-sized container ships expected to come through the expanded Panama Canal starting in 2014.

In July, the Obama administration announced a "We Can't Wait" initiative to fast-track the modernization of five East Coast ports, at Jacksonville, Miami, Savannah, New York/New Jersey and Charleston.

Miami has already received approval for the deepening of its port and dredging is due to begin in early 2013. Charleston's plans are still awaiting approval from the Corps of Engineers, as well as funding from Congress.

The army's final decision on the Savannah project is expected in November.

For the full article please click here

This is very interesting.  Due to the expansion of the Panama Canal, it will now be cheaper for Asian countries to "float" their goods from Asia to the major East coast markets in the United States, rather than sending them to Seattle or Long Beach and rail shipping products to the East Coast.  The effects could be drastic on both coasts as the West Coast will lose valuable dock jobs that will migrate East towards New York and Savannah.  Crane operators in Seattle and Long Beach make massive money unloading oceanliners, which is money thrust into local economies. 

If you know friends or family that could benefit from my services please contact me

For more information on USA real estate investment opportunities

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A family affair

RE: Greg Blok, Broker - Bennett Property Shop Realty, Brokerage, 190 Lisgar Street, Ottawa, ON K2P 0C4

My husband, Barry and I met Greg through our daughter and her fiancée. Our daughter was in the process of selling her condo in Kanata and had hired Greg as her Agent. Our daughter’s fiancée had already worked with Greg in purchasing several investment properties and was very pleased with his experience.

I must admit that I did not see a need to use any agent for selling her home and thought why not do it yourself. I soon discovered the value of working with Greg. The advice our daughter received in updates that she should do to her home and the staging that was given when the home was ready were amazing. Our daughter’s home sold for a record high in her area and set a new benchmark for the value of condos in this neighbourhood. My husband and I were most impressed.

Greg has assisted us in buying not one, not two, but three investment properties in Ottawa. He is quick to respond to emails, text messages and phone calls with questions that we have. He is quick to set up viewings with properties that we may be interested in. His advice is important when we question him about the homes and the neighbourhoods. Greg’s knowledge of the Ottawa real estate market is invaluable. Greg has always been extremely professional and his work ethic is very impressive.

Greg has also assisted us in finding a home for our daughter to purchase. Greg and I explored all areas of Ottawa in search of this special first home. Our daughter was out of the country so we were doing the footwork for her. Greg’s advice was again very valuable. I never felt pushed on any purchase and if Greg saw a concern he did not hesitate to let us know.

I would highly recommend Greg as an agent for a personal home purchase or investment purchase.

I would also highly recommend Greg and his team for helping to prepare your home for sale and handling the sale of your home.

It has been a pleasure working with Greg and I am quite certain we will work together again in the future. The service and the experience start to finish have been excellent. We have always wanted to associate ourselves with “winners” and appreciate dedication to hard work and believe that if you are going to do a job you must do it to the best of your ability. Greg and his team exemplify this.

Barry and Judy

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Interesting quick hit stats

USA auto sales in June 2012
- Chrysler had best June in 5 years
- GM June sales up 15.5%  (twice the estimate)
- VW up 34.5%
- January to June 2012 was the best first half in car sales since 2008

US housing in June 2012
- Housing starts up 6.9%, highest since October 2008
- US household debt is 84% of GDP down from 98%

Friday, August 17, 2012

Important information surrounding the policy changes for Home Equity Line of Credit

Big changes in how Ottawa real estate is financed are coming.  This important information is surrounding the policy changes for Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) with TD Canada Trust.

On June 21, 2012, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) announced a series of changes to lending guidelines that all federally regulated financial institutions (FRFI) must adhere to as part of prudent residential mortgage underwriting. One of the key changes states that all FRFIs must ensure that revolving HELOCs are limited to a maximum loan-to-value (LTV) of 65%. Effective August 19, 2012, non-amortizing HELOCs will have a maximum LTV of 65%.

- EXISTING HELOC’s will not be affected.
- maximum lending with a HELOC is 65% LTV whether in 1st or 2nd position combined
- Re-finances must comply to the maximum lending of 65% LTV.
- Approved but not yet funded deals with LTV higher than 65% will be grandfathered.

Please note that all federally regulated Financial Institutions must comply with the new guidelines which state that a HELOC cannot exceed 65% LTV. This will not be a strictly TD policy – all other banks will be following suit.

For information on Ottawa real estate, please contact the Bennett Property Shop Realty Brokerage and for further clarification on the financing changes taking place, please contact Lilianne Eid at TD Canada Trust.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Centertown new condo ALERT

New to Ottawa real estate and coming in September, there will be a pre-public priority launch for a new condo building in the heart of Centertown, in the financial district of Ottawa.  This building is going to feature a national brand hotel on the lower levels and stunning condos on the top floors.  The builder is a major developer from Montreal, with experience building in Ontario. 

Launch date is likely mid-September.

These condos will be starting in the low $200s. 

For more information and to register for the event, please click here

Monday, August 13, 2012

Q the Groundbreaking

YOU’RE INVITED: Join us for a special launch event!

Q West is now 70% sold, and construction is underway! They are holding a special launch event to celebrate – this will be the last chance for buyers to save thousands with pre-construction pricing on Ottawa real estate.

You’ve always dreamed of living in that ideal neighbourhood, with everything you want just steps away. Now’s your chance to call Westboro and the extraordinary Q West community home, at limited-time-only pricing. Be sure to attend – don’t miss this opportunity!

Tuesday, August 21st
5p.m to 8p.m

To rsvp, please click here

For Ottawa real estate be sure to contact Bennett Property Shop Realty Brokerage

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Ottawa's both too tall and too short

Ottawa’s both too tall and too short

Intensification has seen looming condo towers sprout, but malls and parking lots still sprawl, Rhys Phillips writes. When will the city get it just right?

By Rhys Phillips
Read the full article please click here    

Interesting points in this article about Ottawa real estate being too tall (42 storeys at Preston and Carling) and too short (1 storey at Trainyards in Alta Vista).  I think the Trainyards was truly a lost opportunity.  To maximize this space, the city should have studied communities like those developed by Sembler in the Southern USA.  They focus on true work, live, play areas where they feature office space, retail, residential, rental housing, the complete gamet of opportunities.    A really neat project in the Southern USA is the Atlantic Station.  It is the total work, live and play property.  These types of properties are great examples of infill and planning.

For Ottawa real estate be sure to contact Bennett Property Shop Realty Brokerage

Condo investors have something to smile about – Canadian Real Estate Magazine

Two independent bank reports suggest condo investors’ assets will most likely retain their value and their cash flow will be supported by rental demand. Those who bought new condos and rented them once construction was complete could earn superior returns, according an analysis by Laurentian Bank. With condo rents 40% more expensive than apartment rentals of similar sizes within the Toronto CMA, condo investors should be reaping the rewards.

One economist was quoted as saying, “based on market activity to date, the total number of new housing units (condos) completed by builders has not exceeded the GTA’s demographic requirements and is unlikely to do so by any significant magnitude in the next few years.” Such an analysis counters fears that Toronto’s condos will fall in value.

For Ottawa real estate be sure to contact Bennett Property Shop Realty Brokerage