Thursday, June 25, 2015

Sandy Hill - Student Housing Opportunity

This Daly Avenue property is centrally located in Sandy Hill on the north side between Cumberland and King Edward. It is located in an excellent well sought-out prime residential area where property owners take great pride in their investments. There are numerous luxury condo buildings developed in the vicinity over the last few years. It’s in the heart of the University of Ottawa campus and is within walking distance to the Byward Market, Parliament Hill, National Art Centre, Ottawa Little Theatre, etc. It has good highway access with convenient bus routes and all shopping facilities are within walking distance – Rideau Centre, 24 hrs Metro & Loblaws grocery stores, LCBO, Pharmacy, Post Office, etc. The property has an excellent curb appeal, shows very well and has a majestic presence on the street.

In 2005, a new 4-storey independent addition comprising of eight (8) 1-bedroom apartments was professionally built at the rear of the front building. The exterior of the addition is superbly finished in stucco. The newer apartments have been built to a high specification featuring hardwood in foyer, living/dining room & kitchen, new appliances, full bathroom & L-shaped functional kitchen with exhaust fans, balconies off the kitchen, mirror foyer closet door, maintenance-free casement windows throughout, separate hot water tank for the addition, roof top make-up fresh air system, etc. Also, new underground sanitary, storm, water and electrical services were installed on the property. 

There is an all brick building in the front measuring approximately 6,000 sq. ft. It has 10 to 12ft high ceilings and has the warm charm of old Victorian architecture and elegance that gives it a unique character. It has three floor levels plus a finished lower level area with walkout access to the rear. It has one 4-bedroom apt (third floor), one 3-bedroom apt (lower level) and 10 private bedrooms on the first and second floors that share 3 bathrooms, 1 large kitchen, and a huge living room with a fireplace. There is a private covered deck at the side of the ground floor that is used by the residents to relax. In 2005, this front building was fully renovated including installation of new 400 amps electrical system, new fire-alarm system, complete fire-retrofit, new windows, complete painting, exterior brick pressure cleaning & repointing, paving driveways, landscaping, new fencing, etc. A new roof was added to the front property in 2011.

The prime desirable downtown location combined with excellent condition of this property makes it an extremely attractive quality investment. All 17 rooms in the front house are leased to University of Ottawa female students with 17 individual leases that are co-signed and guaranteed by their parents.

Total units – 26
Gross rent - $241,760
Operating expenses - $48,390
Net Operating Income - $231,282
Cap Rate – 7.7%

Listing price for this property is $3 M

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

26 Unit Apartment Building in Byward Market

Attention Ottawa Real Estate investors - looking for a great 26 unit investment property?

Almost new exclusive investment property in the Byward Market.  Asking price is $5.3m.  Property is basically brand new.  See the amazing interior photos above

Check out the stunning exteriors - please click here 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Secondary dwelling units - Ottawa Sun

It’s important to understand that adding an apartment to an existing home is complex and costly so why would investors use this strategy? Technically known as secondary dwelling units, these apartments offer investors and homeowners the opportunity to create income and increase their property’s value.

Rich Danby, President of Rich Ottawa Investments, says “that investors can benefit from this strategy because over the past ten years the Ottawa real estate market has appreciated 65%, but the rents have only increased approximately 20%”. As a result, Danby explains “that investors may need to use their own funds to cover the shortfall of expenses not covered by rents. If you buy a typical bungalow in Ottawa for $350,000, the average rent is approximately $1800 per month, depending on the condition and location. However, if you add a second unit by converting the basement to a legal secondary suite you can significantly increase your rental income. The additional income not only covers all the expenses of the property, it also provides you with extra income every month.”
Here are a few items to consider before attempting this strategy.
a) Ottawa’s secondary dwelling unit rules are currently very favorable for investors. For example, the city allows the addition of one unit in a detached dwelling, one in each half of a semi-detached building, and one for the whole of a duplex. Note that secondary dwelling units are not permitted in the former Village of Rockcliffe Park or in duplex dwellings located in the Queensway Terrace North community.
b) You need building permits before starting the work. “Many people add basement units without involving the city because they’re concerned it will cost more or the city may not allow it”, adds Danby. “Proceeding without permits could come back to haunt you, especially if there’s ever a fire and somebody gets hurt. You also run the risk of being shut down if the city finds out you added an illegal dwelling”, explains Danby.
c) Adding a secondary dwelling unit is a great way to increase value of a home. However, modifying a property could trigger an increase in property taxes. Also, anyone who owns a property with a secondary dwelling unit should ensure they have adequate property insurance coverage and are familiar with Ontario’s landlord and tenant laws.
Anyone who is interested in adding a secondary dwelling unit should consult with the city’s planning department and become familiar with the related by-laws before beginning the conversion. When done right, secondary dwelling units can offer safe and affordable housing to renters while helping investors increase their cash flow and property values at the same time.

Ottawa Sun -  May 29, 2015

Real estate investing in Ottawa - Ottawa Sun

Last week, MoneySense magazine published its “Canada’s Best Places to Live 2015” list. The magazine collected and analyzed data related to job prospects, affordability, and the weather to identify the best places to live in Canada. Based on the measures used by MoneySense, Ottawa is the second best place to live in our great country. Now that we know that Ottawa is a great place to live, let’s take a look at a few reasons why real estate investors should invest in Ottawa.

High paying jobs
The federal government employs over 110,000 people and over 1,900 technology companies employ over 75,000 employees. The number of jobs is great, but the fact that many of these are high paying jobs is even better. Ottawa is a great town for real estate investors who want to rent their properties to people who can afford market rent rates and the yearly rent increases that are approved by the Ontario government.
Population growth
Ottawa’s five year population growth rate is at 8.8% which is faster than both the provincial average 5.7% and the Canadian average of 5.9%. This means that Ottawa’s population is growing due to in-migration and immigration and the people who move to Ottawa need homes to live in which helps keep the rental demand high.
Low vacancy rates
Ottawa has a low overall vacancy rate of 2.6% so the demand for rentals is strong. In its spring 2015 Housing Market Outlook for Ottawa, the Canadian Housing and Housing Corporation (CMHC) expects Ottawa’s vacancy rate to rise slightly in 2015 to 2.8% before dropping to 2.4% in 2016.
Major projects & gentrification
Major projects like the Light Rail Train (LRT) Confederation Line are transforming the city’s transit system and revitalizing a large number of communities while creating jobs at the same time. These projects are renewing areas such as Lebreton Flats, Old Ottawa East, and Little Italy and investment opportunities can be found in these neighborhoods.
City bylaws are favorable
Ottawa’s secondary suite by law is currently very favorable for investors. The city allows the addition of one unit in a detached dwelling, one in each half of a semi-detached building, and one for the whole of a duplex in most parts of Ottawa. When done right, secondary dwelling units can offer safe and affordable housing to renters while helping investors increase their cash flow and property values at the same time.
Positive cash flow
There are plenty of investors who say that it’s difficult to find cash flowing properties in Ottawa. It may be difficult but it’s certainly possible. Cash flowing properties are out there and investors need to be persistent and patient, and also know how to create cash flow when analyzing properties.
In general, the Ottawa real estate market offers real estate investors slow and steady growth. Don Campbell from the Real Estate Investment Network (REIN) explains it best when he says that “investors will hit singles and doubles in Ottawa along with the occasional home run”.
Not only is Ottawa a great place to live – it’s also a great city to invest in.

 Ottawa Sun - June 12, 2015

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Ottawa housing starts plummet as economic uncertainty continues

The number of new home starts fell dramatically in May compared with the same month a year ago, according to new statistics released by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.
The national housing market watchdog said new home construction fell to 330 units in May, down from 906 starts in May 2014.
The poor month for construction adds to a low year for Ottawa home builders, who have begun construction on 1,243 homes during the first five months of 2015. During the year-ago period, housing starts totalled 1,933.
“Tepid demand conditions due to weak employment in the (city) coupled with a high number of completed and unsold condominium apartments compared to historical averages is causing this scale back,” said Anne-Marie Shaker, Ottawa real estate market analyst for CMHC.
High density housing was hardest hit, but no segment was left unscathed. The number of new multiple dwelling units, including condominiums and apartments, fell to 164, down from 665 in May 2014. Starts on single detached homes fell to 166, down from 241 in May 2014.
The only district in which housing construction increased last month from the year before was Gloucester, with 242 starts compared with 207 started during May 2014.
Of all the districts within Ottawa, Nepean recorded the most starts, 324, during the first five months of 2015. In the old city of Ottawa, 267 units were started, down from 549 a year ago.
New home starts fell dramatically in Kanata and Cumberland, CMHC said.

The Ottawa resale market remains steady and strong in May

Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,926 residential properties in May through the Board's Multiple Listing Service® system, compared with 1,789 in May 2014, an increase of 7.7 per cent. The five-year average for May sales is 1,812.

"The Ottawa housing market continued its strong performance in May, making it the best May for unit sales on record since 2009," says David Oikle, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. "Units sold are up 357 since April, increasing in both the residential and condominium property class."

May's sales included 342 in the condominium property class, and 1,584 in the residential property class. The condominium property class includes any property, regardless of style (i.e. detached, semi-detached, apartment, stacked etc.), which is registered as a condominium, as well as properties which are co-operatives, life leases and timeshares. The residential property class includes all other residential properties.

"The average cumulative days on market remains consistent at 72 days, compared to 74 last month," says Oikle. "Properties are moving consistently and inventory remains plentiful; labelling the Ottawa market as a Buyers' market and allowing for average sale prices to remain very stable."

The average sale price of a residential-class property sold in May in the Ottawa area was $411,791, an increase of 2.6 per cent over May 2014. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $266,940, a decrease of 4.9 per cent over May 2014. The Board cautions that average sale price information can be useful in establishing trends over time but should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. The average sale price is calculated based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold.

"The hottest segments of our market for May were sales between $300,000 to $400,000, followed by the $200,000 to $300,000 range and then the $400,000 to $500,000 range," says Oikle. "Two -storey residential properties sold surpassed 1,000 units this month, continuing to have the highest concentration of buyers in Ottawa. In addition to residential and condominium sales, OREB members assisted clients with renting 279 properties in May, and 1,155 since the beginning of the year."