With increases in monthly MLS listings and developers ‘desperately’ offering freebies, including parking, word on the street is that Ottawa’s condo market is at crisis level.
“We are not at a crisis point. Yes, we are seeing price decreases and we do have more stock on the market that we have had, just like other markets,” says Matt Richling from RE/MAX Metro City Realty Ltd. “There is no huge difference between this and last year’s figures so I think these stories are more for scaremongering than anything else.”
Richling says there were 563 new condo listings in September, compared to 540 during the same period in 2012.
“Of course, the market has changed and developers are changing their offering to reflect that, such as smaller sized units,” Richling tells CREW. “With prices decreasing, many are holding off on buying as they wait to see if it will drop more. That is the nature of the industry, but we have had one of the busiest years yet so that says it all as well.”
Richling says he is aware of one development that has a low investor rate, around the 40 per cent rate, but says this is due to less demand for buy-and-hold properties.
“Most of the negative media coverage has focused on those who bought and renovated and now can’t sell. That is just not reflective of the local economy,” he says. “We always tell investors that the best returns are three to five, or longer, terms. This is the new norm.”