Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Ontario court ruling says condo buildings can ban sharing services such as Airbnb

TORONTO — In a ruling that could have wider implications, an Ontario court has said that condominium corporations have the authority to ban unit owners from renting out their properties on services such as Airbnb or Expedia.
In a 14-page decision released Thursday, Justice Robert Beaudoin of the Ontario Superior Court ruled that the owners of an Ottawa condo unit violated the “single family use” provision in the condo’s “declaration” because they had been making their unit available for short-term rentals on nine web sites, among them Airbnb, Expedia.ca, Kayak.com, hotels.com and Orbitz.com.
“‘Single family use’ cannot be interpreted to include one’s operation of a hotel-like business, with units being offered to complete strangers on the internet, on a repeated basis, for durations as short as a single night,” Justice Beaudoin writes.
The rule is based on the judge’s interpretation of Ontario’s Condominium Act, but it could have implications in other provinces with similar legislation.
“I would suspect that in most common law jurisdictions — that’s all of them except Quebec — a similar concept would apply,” says, Rod Escayola, the lawyer in the Ottawa office of Gowling WLG who argued the case on behalf of the condo building, Ottawa-Carleton Standard Condominium Corp. No. 961.
Douglas Menzies and his wife Norma White offered stays in their Ottawa condo unit through their private company, DGM Management Corp. The listings offered access to their unit, as well as the condo’s parking, exercise room, pool and common spaces. According to the court decision, the Airbnb listing asked that guests “be discreet about mentioning Airbnb to anyone in the building.”
The condo corp argued in court that making the unit available for short-term stays violated the condo’s “declaration.” This is the legal document that created the condo corp and that limits how unit owners can use the property. The condo corp also argued the rentals breached a rule the building introduced in April that bars unit owners from renting out their properties for terms of less than four months.
Judges have enforced four-month lease minimums in the past, so it was no surprise that Justice Beaudoin confirmed the Ottawa condo corp’s ability to impose the four-month lease limit. What’s important and novel about the Ottawa case is that Justice Beaudoin also found that short-term rentals breached the declaration.
Ontario law allows condo boards to adopt rules that govern things such as the number of pets a unit owners can keep or when residents can use the pool.
Rules can also govern short-term rental periods. Still, unit owners might argue these rules shouldn’t apply retroactively, especially if they’d been renting out their units before the rule kicked in. They might claim a “grandfather” exemption to the short-term rental ban. Banning short-term rentals at the declaration level wipes out that argument. The declaration is the pinnacle in the hierarchy of documents that govern a condo corp. It ranks in a superior position to the rules, and it’s a very difficult document to amend.
Escayola thinks the Ottawa decision gives a condo corp with a “single family use” provision in its declaration the power to enforce bans short-term rentals, even retroactively. Such provisions are a common feature of Ontario condo declarations. Condo lawyers in other parts of Canada will likely study the Ottawa decision to see if the reasoning will apply in their jurisdictions.
“I think it’s going to be a game changer in the province of Ontario.” Escayola said.
The declaration for the 244-unit Ottawa condo on Metcalfe Street has a provision that limits use “only for the purpose of a single family dwelling, which includes a home office … and no other purpose.”
Justice Beaudoin analyzed the phrase “single family use.” He found that it contemplates something more than short-term sleeping quarters or a hotel-like operation. Single family use, he said, is “incompatible” with the concepts such as check-in and check-out times, security deposits, cancellation policies, cleaning fees, what to do with dirty sheets and towels, and credit card payments.
Menzies is a lawyer. The judge considered arguments that the unit was sometimes used for law firm functions, to prepare expert witnesses for trial and to house out-of-town witnesses. He also considered the point that access to the condo unit was auctioned to raise funds for not-for-profit organizations.
The judge rejected those uses as fitting within the definition of single family use. “What has happened in this case is a commercial use of the unit,” he ruled.

For the full article, please click here

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Keystone Pipeline revival

With Donald Trump nominating Rex Tillerson, it appears that the Keystone XL pipeline is now back on the table in a big way.  Tillerson is the former CEO of Exxon Mobile Corp, arguably the largest company in the world.

Trump has promised to move quickly on the pipeline, an 800,000 barrel a day conduit to the refinaries in the Gulf of Mexico.  This is a $10B infastructure project to build, creating significant construction jobs.

Please click here

The huge surplus of oil that's been sloshing through global markets is set to evaporate.

The International Energy Agency said Tuesday that it expects the global crude oil glut to start disappearing in the first half of next year, much earlier than it previously predicted.

There is one major condition: OPEC and its partners must stick to their agreement to slash production.
The collective action helped push prices to a new 2016 high above $53 per barrel on Monday.
Paris-based IEA said in its monthly report that if all parties stick to the agreement, "the market is likely to move into deficit in the first half of 2017 by an estimated 600,000 barrels a day."
But the IEA also warned that the oil market outlook remains uncertain in the longer term. That's because the production cuts were only agreed for six months, with a review due in May.
"This can be seen as prudent given the underlying uncertainties in the oil market and the global economy but also a warning that production restraint might not be extended," said the agency.
OPEC producers want to cut production in order to push prices higher -- but only within certain limits. If prices rise too far, high-cost producers including the U.S. shale industry could start pumping again.
But the IEA noted that some U.S. shale producers are already making new investments. The industry has put 161 rigs back in service since May, when the number of rigs dropped to just 316.
In November alone, the number of rigs in operation increased by 36 to 477.
for the complete story, please click here 

Friday, December 9, 2016

Condo sales continue to bolster Ottawa resale market

OTTAWA, December 6, 2016 - Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 995 residential properties in November through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 986 in November 2015, an increase of 0.9 per cent. sales is 939.

“After a few breakaway months, the Ottawa resale market has come back down with sales typical of November,” says new Ottawa Real Estate Board President, Rick Eisert. “The condo market appears to be on the rise now, a welcome change compared to earlier in the year, with sales coming in at 16.2 per cent higher than November 2015. Several factors could have contributed to this increase – inventory levels trending downwards, steady prices, or buyers affected by the newly changed mortgage rules.”

November’s sales included 230 in the condominium property class, and 765 in the residential property class. The condominium property class includes any property, regardless of style (i.e. detached, semi-detached, apartment, townhouse, 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.

“Year-to-date unit sales to the end of November have now surpassed all previous year-end totals,” explains Eisert. “This year has been an exceptional year for sales for Ottawa Real Estate Board Members, and the year isn’t even over yet. The cumulative days on market have six months of the year, then has shown the same steady increase, so that the cumulative days on market in November (105 days) essentially mirrored that of January (110 days).”

The average sale price of a residential-class property sold in November in the Ottawa area was $405,320 an increase of 6.5 per cent over November 2015. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $277,650, an increase of one per cent over November 2015. The Board cautions that average sale price information can be useful in establishing trends over time but should not be properties have increased or decreased in value. The average sale price is calculated based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold.

“In the residential market the two most active price points were $300,000 to $399,999 and then $400,000$499,999 for the month of November, accounting for 50.3 per cent of the market. The condominium market was most active in the $150,000 to $249,999 price range, accounting for 55.2 per cent of the market,” says Eisert. “In addition to residential and condominium sales, OREB Members have assisted clients with renting over 2,900 properties since the beginning of the year.”

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Carleton University off market student housing opportunity



I have an interesting opportunity for a Carleton student housing opportunity near Sunnyside and Seneca.  There is a property, not on the market yet, asking $800,000 which is currently configured as a side by side semi detached, with 3 bedrooms and 1 bathroom on each side.  Currently, each side is rented at $1800 monthly.  

The basement is high and dry.  I have not seen it, but the owner said the ceiling is high, so you could place 1 bedroom and 1 bathroom in the basement.  There is a fuse box and an electric furnace.  I would suggest each of these will need upgrading.  This would drastically lower the cost of utilities and the additional bedroom and bathroom would add another $600 monthly income to each side (monthly).  This would make each one of the units a 4 bedroom and 2 bathroom; grossing $2400 per month total.  

I have created a ballpark spreadsheet of how this should unfold.  I estimated about a $2000 annual decrease in utilities by switching to gas furnace and approx $40,000 in renovations (general upkeep, two furnaces, two electric panels, two bathrooms and two bedrooms being built).  This would make the complete investment $840,000.  Based upon the new income and expenses, the value should be in the $860,000 range.

There is also a detached garage, which could one day become a secondary dwelling ... see attached package from the City of Ottawa.  The garage can probably be converted into a 2 bedroom and 1 bathroom unit.

The owner has a mortgage through TD Bank.  Their penalty is high, so the buyer would have to get their mortgage through TD, in a blend and extend process.  I have an excellent TD rep who can assist in the process.   


I have some additional photos the seller sent me, if you require them.

Let me know if you have any further questions, by clicking here 

DND move to Nortel campus - starting January 9, 2017

The first major move of Defence department employees to the former Nortel campus in west end Ottawa will be delayed until early next year so as not to cause workers too much stress over the holidays as well as to allow them to sort out their transportation arrangements to the site. 

The delay will also ensure that amenities such as a gym and doughnut shop will be ready for workers when they arrive, according to a message sent Tuesday to all employees by Vice Admiral Mark Norman, vice chief of the defence staff.

The message was obtained by the Sun.

The first major wave of Canadian Forces and Department of National Defence staff was supposed to move into the former Nortel campus starting in the fall.

But in his message Norman says that move would not start until Jan. 9.

Norman said that since the move to the Carling Avenue location is a large undertaking, it is causing changes to the work and personal schedules of employees.

Because the DND and Canadian Forces want to minimize such disruptions, the decision was made to delay the move.

“Even though the first building is just about ready for occupancy, I have directed that the move of Military Personnel Command not start before 9 January 2017,” Norman wrote to employees. “This means that when we do move in, there will be more services and amenities available, things like the gym, Canex and Tim Hortons,” he stated. “It means we won’t be adding to the stresses that the holiday season may bring to some. It also allows members of the Defence Team to visit the site as part of a programmed transition, while trying out your new commute before their official move.”

Some Department of National Defence employees and Canadian Forces personnel have voiced concern over the move, pointing out that many live in Orléans and that the commute to the west end of Ottawa would be too long. A June 2011 briefing note for then-DND deputy minister Robert Fonberg described the Carling Avenue site as a “relatively remote location.”

Norman acknowledged in an interview with the Sun several months ago that some employees face a long commute to get to the new defence headquarters.

In total, about 8,500 federal workers and military personnel will be eventually working from the campus.

The first phase was to have seen the move, between the fall and summer 2017, of 3,400 staff from the offices of the military and civilian human resources branches, science and technology, information management as well as Canadian Forces Support Unit Ottawa.

It is unclear how the delay will affect the move phases that are to follow.

Under the original schedule, starting in the summer of 2017, another 3,900 would arrive at the campus. They would include staff from the Department of National Defence’s policy and finance branches, public affairs, auditors and those involved in infrastructure. Also included in that move would be staff from the Canadian Army and Royal Canadian Navy and some air force personnel. That phase is expected to be finished in 2018. The final phase will be conducted in 2019 and would include 1,190 personnel from the information management section and the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Norman said he is confident that when employees see what positive changes are in store for them at the new headquarters location, they will enjoy their work experience. “This adjustment will take time and will affect everyone differently,” he added in his message.

The campus consists of about 28 hectares once owned by Nortel and 120 hectares leased from the National Capital Commission.

The DND and military, however, will still continue operating DND’s main downtown location, the Major-General George R. Pearkes Building on Colonel By Drive, as well as its facility on Star Top Road. In addition, DND and military staff will still continue to work from the Louis St. Laurent complex, the National Printing Bureau building and the Hotel de Ville building in Gatineau.


For the complete article, please click here 

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Amazing house

Thank you, Greg.

Thanks for showing us this amazing house. It was very nice working with you to find our dream home. We were really impressed with your professional service. You know and deliver your client's exact expectations. We didn't have to spend so many days looking at houses when you were able to send the list of houses that we would be interested in which made our selection that much easier. I would highly recommend your services to my friends and family who are interested. Hope we can work together in the future again.

Thank you
V

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Reasons to hire a real estate agent to assist ...

With so much information readily available online, clients sometimes ask me, "Why should we hire a real estate agent?" They wonder, and rightfully so, if they couldn't buy or sell a home through the Internet or through regular marketing and advertising channels without representation, without a a real estate agent. Some do OK, many don't. So if you've wondered the same thing, here are 10 reasons why you might want to consider hiring a professional real estate agent.

1
 Education & Experience

Senior couple visit new home with an estate agent
Andrew Bret Wallis/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images
You don't need to know everything about buying and selling real estate if you hire a real estate professional who does. Henry Ford once said that when you hire people who are smarter than you are, it proves you are smarter than they are. The trick is to find the right person. For the most part, they all cost roughly the same. Why not hire a person with more education and experience than you? We're all looking for more precious time in our lives, and hiring pros gives us that time.

2
 Agents Are Buffers

Agents take the spam out of your property showings and visits. If you're a buyer of new homes, your agent will whip out her sword and keep the builder's agents at bay, preventing them from biting or nipping at your heels. If you're a seller, your agent will filter all those phone calls that lead to nowhere from lookie loos and try to induce serious buyers to immediately write an offer.

3
 Neighborhood Knowledge

Agents either possess intimate knowledge or they know where to find the industry buzz about your neighborhood. They can identify comparable sales and hand these facts to you, in addition to pointing you in the direction where you can find more data on schools, crime or demographics. For example, you may know that a home down the street was on the market for $350,000, but an agent will know it had upgrades and sold at $285,000 after 65 days on the market and after twice falling out of escrow.

4
 Price Guidance

Contrary to what some people believe, agents do not select prices for sellers or buyers. However, an agent will help to guide clients to make the right choices for themselves. If a listing is at 7%, for example, an agent has a 7% vested interest in the sale, but the client has a 93% interest. Selling agents will ask buyers to weigh all the data supplied to them and to choose a price. Then based on market supply, demand and the conditions, the agent will devise a negotiation strategy.

5
 Market Conditions Information

Real estate agents can disclose market conditions, which will govern your selling or buying process. Many factors determine how you will proceed. Data such as the average per square foot cost of similar homes, median and average sales prices, average days on market and ratios of list-to-sold prices, among other criteria, will have a huge bearing on what you ultimately decide to do.

6
 Professional Networking

Real estate agents network with other professionals, many of whom provide services that you will need to buy or sell. Due to legal liability, many agents will hesitate to recommend a certain individual or company over another, but they do know which vendors have a reputation for efficiency, competency and competitive pricing. Agents can, however, give you a list of references with whom they have worked and provide background information to help you make a wise selection.

7
 Negotiation Skills & Confidentiality

Top producing agents negotiate well because, unlike most buyers and sellers, they can remove themselves from the emotional aspects of the transaction and because they are skilled. It's part of their job description. Good agents are not messengers, delivering buyer's offers to sellers and vice versa. They are professionals who are trained to present their client's case in the best light and agree to hold client information confidential from competing interests.

8
 Handling Volumes of Paperwork

One-page deposit receipts were prevalent in the early 1970s. Today's purchase agreements run 10 pages or more. That does not include the federal- and state-mandated disclosures nor disclosures dictated by local custom. Most real estate files average thicknesses from one to three inches of paper. One tiny mistake or omission could land you in court or cost you thousands. In some states, lawyers handle the disclosures, thank goodness!

9
 Answer Questions After Closing

Even the smoothest transactions that close without complications can come back to haunt. For example, taxing authorities that collect property tax assessments, doc stamps or transfer tax can fall months behind and mix up invoices, but one call to your agent can straighten out the confusion. Many questions can pop up that were overlooked in the excitement of closing. Good agents stand by ready to assist. Worthy and honest agents don't leave you in the dust to fend for yourself.

10
 Develop Relationships for Future Business

The basis for an agent's success and continued career in real estate is referrals. Few agents would survive if their livelihood was dependent on consistently drumming up new business. This emphasis gives agents strong incentives to make certain clients are happy and satisfied. It also means that an agent who stays in the business will be there for you when you need to hire an agent again. Many will periodically mail market updates to you to keep you informed and to stay in touch.

To read the complete article, please click here 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Regulators should explore boosting minimum down payment on homes: CMHC

The head of Canada's federal housing agency says regulators should explore the possibility of raising the minimum down payment required on a home as a way of easing affordability and reducing risk to the financial system.

Evan Siddall, president and CEO of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., says that although politicians are tempted to help first-time buyers, low down payments fuel demand and lead to higher housing costs.

Siddall says that ends up hurting the first-time buyers that the government wanted to help.

Last year, Ottawa raised the minimum down payment on the portion of a home worth over $500,000 to 10 per cent.

Siddall said in a speech at the Bank of England's offices in London that increasing the minimum down payment even further could help offset the effects of rock-bottom interest rates, which have encouraged borrowers to take on excessive mortgage debt.

He added that regulators should also explore the possibility of imposing a loan-to-income limit as Ireland, the U.K. and a few others have done.

For the complete article, please click here to read

'A new vision for housing in Canada'

The Canadian government has unveiled its housing strategy plans, following months of consultation with Canadians and industry stakeholders.

“Affordable housing can connect individuals with the facilities and services they need to build secure, productive and meaningful lives for themselves.
Living close to jobs, public transportation and childcare enables people to participate fully in society and the economy,” Jean-Yves Duclos, minister of families, children and social development, said in the report, entitled What we heard: Shaping Canada’s national housing strategy. “A National Housing Strategy will align the efforts and resources of all players – governments, stakeholders in the private and non-profit sectors and others – toward improving housing outcomes for all Canadians.”

The 66 page report, which was prepared by the Conference Board of Canada, was released Tuesday, which marks National Housing Day in Canada.
The strategy focuses on housing affordability for all Canadians. It was formulated following consultation with over 7,000 Canadians who expressed a number of ideas on how the Canadian government can address housing needs for citizens across the country.

As a result of that consultation, a number of themes emerged.

The housing plan has a ways to go before actual policy is implemented, however.

“The hard work continues. Needless to say, broad consultations indulge peoples’ expectations, as they should,” the report said. “However, policy makers must balance these against fiscal constraints. Our objective will be to develop an NHS that employs finite government funds to maximum effect, yielding the best outcomes.”

The major themes reported in the study can be viewed below:

Helping those in greatest need. It is clear that Canadians are united in wanting better housing outcomes - not just for themselves, but for individuals and families with the most severe housing needs, including low-income Canadians, the homeless and victims fleeing violence.

Helping Indigenous peoples achieve better housing outcomes for themselves. Indigenous peoples told us that a separate, but parallel strategy is needed to address the unique housing challenges facing Métis, Inuit and First Nations peoples living on and off reserve, in cities and remote areas, and in the North and bring housing need levels on par with on-Indigenous peoples.

Eliminating homelessness. A fundamental goal of a National Housing Strategy should be to eliminate homelessness in Canada, and short of that, make it rare, brief and non-recurring. The needs of homeless Canadians, who fall at the extreme end of the housing spectrum, ought to be prioritized.

Making housing more affordable. Canadians said housing they can afford and that meets their needs was the most important housing outcome. The lack of affordable, suitable and adequate housing is especially a concern for low-income households and other vulnerable Canadians across the country. 

Adopting a housing systems perspective. Canadians told us they expect a National Housing Strategy to better coordinate the various housing initiatives already in motion across the country and to tackle housing needs across the entire continuum.

Housing policies and programs should centre on people and place. All recognized the need for housing solutions to be people-focused so that individuals and families have access to jobs, schools and supports in order to participate in their communities and help lift them out of poverty. Canadians also want housing located in safe neighbourhoods with day-care facilities, community services, public transportation, recreational and other amenities nearby.

Setting clear outcomes and targets. You told us that a national strategy must set clear outcomes and measurable targets in order to report back to Canadians on progress in achieving better housing.

Delivering long-term and predictable funding. We heard loud and clear from housing providers and developers that long-term and stable funding is necessary to plan and deliver more affordable housing. Similarly, access to innovative financing and affordable lands will also help alleviate affordable housing gaps.

Realizing the right to housing. Canadians said a national housing strategy should examine whether our laws, policies and practices are sufficient to prevent homelessness, forced evictions, and discrimination in having adequate housing.

Improving data collection, analysis and research. Canadians and housing experts stressed that more and better housing data is needed to understand housing conditions and the housing needs of Canadians, and in order to develop informed, cost-effective, policies, programs and initiatives.

Taking a collaborative approach to housing. Canadians told us that a National Housing Strategy should take an integrated approach, building on the capacity of all orders of government and other partners. Clear Collaboration and flexible solutions are necessary to achieve a national vision of housing

For the complete report, please read here 

The complete article is found here 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Vancouver approves vacant homes tax

Empty homes in Vancouver will cost owners 1 per cent of the property’s value from 2017 following approval of the tax by city councillors.

Residences that are left empty for 6 months or more will be subject to the tax, if they are not the owner’s principal home. There are some exclusions including homes that are undergoing renovations.

The scheme, approved Wednesday by 8 councillors with 3 against, will require owners to self-declare and those who fail to comply will face sizeable penalties.

For the complete article, please click here 

Friday, November 18, 2016

Chinese buyers swap Vancouver for Seattle

Wealthy Chinese property buyers are looking for alternatives for their investment cash following the 15 per cent foreign buyer tax was introduced in Vancouver.

Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty in Seattle says that it has seen a surge in home sales to clients from mainland China since August but the additional tax isn’t the only thing driving buyers south of the border.

“For now, Chinese Nationals enjoy 10-year multi-entry visas into the US as well as opportunities for EB-5 investments that can lead to US citizenship,” said Dean Jones, President & CEO of RSIR. “We anticipate these programs will remain in place but it’s too early to tell. Global wealth seeks financial safe harbor and sudden policy changes in China and Canada, in part is what diverted demand here in the first place.”

For the complete article, please click here

Thursday, November 17, 2016

CMHC passes stress test extreme scenarios

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says its stress testing shows it will be able to withstand even the most extreme economic scenarios.

The agency tested its mortgage loan insurance and securitization businesses against several scenarios including different changes in the unemployment rate and home prices.

The tests looked at the impact of a severe and prolonged economic depression and a plunge in the price of oil.

Other situations that were tested included a strong earthquake and a sudden rise in interest rates that causes a drop in housing prices and the failure of a Canadian financial institution.

They also looked at what would happen if a U.S. style housing correction occurred in Canada.

CMHC says the tests confirm that its capital holdings are sufficient.

To read the complete article, please click here

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

President Elect Donald Trump effecting Canadian mortgages?

As the saying goes, "When the USA sneezes, Canada catches a cold..."  The election of Donald Trump is causing some wrinkles in the Canadian mortgage market....

Canada's banking watchdog, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, has also imposed new rules that will require lenders to hold more capital against riskier mortgages. Combined with the other changes, financial institutions suddenly find it more expensive to lend against housing.

As the banks wrestle with these rules, bond yields have also started spiking. Since Donald Trump was elected president of the United States last Tuesday, the five-year Government of Canada bond yield, which is used as a benchmark for mortgages, jumped 21 basis points to 0.96 per cent.

The sudden spike affects banks because their mortgages earn a spread off of the five-year benchmark rate. Whenever their borrowing costs rise, they pass the increase along to customers who take out new loans.

Fascinating changes in Canadian mortgage markets abound ....

The Federal government is tightening rules to help cool the market, Ontario institutes a higher land transfer tax rebate to give buyers incentives to purchase and now RBC is offering lower rates for a shorter ammortorization on your mortgage.  Interesting times in the Canadian mortgage markets.

Under pricing pressure from spiking bond yields and Ottawa's housing market crackdown, Royal Bank of Canada is boosting its most important fixed-rate mortgages.

RBC is also introducing a new pricing structure, charging different rates for mortgages with amortization periods of 25 years or less and for those with longer maturities -- a first for Canada.

for the complete article, please click here 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Land transfer tax rebate increased....

In its 2016 Fall Economic Statement, the Government of Ontario committed to increasing the land transfer tax (LTT) rebate for first-time home buyers from $2,000 to $4,000. The new LTT rebate will help more young families achieve their dreams of home ownership.

"Finding an affordable home has become a struggle for thousands of young couples,” said Ray Ferris, president of the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA). “This tax break will reduce a first-time buyer’s closing costs and help them save more for their down payment.” According to research prepared by Altus Group Economics for OREA, an improved LTT rebate will create 5,000 jobs and $268 million in economic spinoffs. Research shows that home ownership contributes to families becoming happier and healthier, and enjoying improvements in their children’s school performance.

for the complete article, please click here 


It means first-time buyers who are permanent Ontario residents, will not pay land transfer tax on the first $368,000 of the cost of their homes. Given lower prices in much of the province, Sousa said “for many this will mean no land transfer tax on the purchase for their first home.”

for additional information, please read this article 

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Setting the Stage for Coach Houses in Ottawa

On October 11, 2016, the City of Ottawa’s Planning Committee reviewed and approved the City Staff’s proposal to allow “coach houses” in urban and rural neighbourhoods.
The proposal will amend the City’s Official Plan, Zoning By-law, Site Plan Control By-law, Development Charge By-law and Parkland Dedication By-law, all in an effort to accommodate/promote small-scale intensification in Ottawa’s residential neighbourhoods.
This initiative comes from the Province’s amendments to Ontario’s Planning Act in 2012. The Province is pushing municipalities to amend their by-laws and plans to allow secondary units and ancillary structures on residential properties.
The City of Ottawa has taken up the mantle, and on October 26th the City’s plan for coach houses will be considered by City Council.
Coach houses present an interesting opportunity for owners to make use of an existing structure on their properties, or perhaps to build a new structure to be occupied as a secondary residential dwelling. The driveway and services for the coach house must be shared with the main dwelling, but otherwise the coach house can be an independent unit that could be used by immediate or extended family, or by independent third parties for those owners who wish to earn extra rental income.
For the complete post, from real estate lawyer David Reid, please click here 

Ottawa real estate market keeps hitting new highs


Some 1,214 homes traded hands last month, according to figures released by the Ottawa Real Estate Board Thursday. That compares to 1,159 a year earlier and a five-year average for October of 1,130.
“October’s sales continued the record-breaking resale trend for the third straight month,” stated Ottawa Real Estate Board president Shane Silva, adding that last month’s year-over-year increase was due to higher condominium sales.
Average resale prices continued to tick upwards in October, reaching $392,579. That’s up 3.3 per cent more than a year earlier and an increase of nearly $9,000 from September. 
For the complete article from the OBJ, please click here