Thursday, July 28, 2016

New B.C. property tax for foreign buyers hurts province, say insiders

Real estate board and homebuilders association says new tax will hurt the economy

British Columbia's plans to dampen the influence of foreign investment in Metro Vancouver's scorching housing market with a new tax on foreign buyers is causing widespread panic and confusion, say industry insiders.
Premier Christy Clark's Liberals are poised to adopt legislation that includes an additional 15 per cent property transfer tax on foreign nationals who buy residential real estate in Metro Vancouver. The tax, which takes effect next Tuesday, would add $300,000 to the price of a $2-million home.

For the complete article, please click here

Ottawa not overvalued

CMHC feels there are some Canadian cities are overvalued.  Ottawa is not one of those markets.  See below for an excerpt...

It has also identified overvaluation in nine markets. Those include; Edmonton, Calgary, Regina, Montreal (which CMHC argues there is moderate evidence of overvaluation) and Vancouver, Saskatoon, Hamilton, Toronto, and Quebec (where there is strong evidence).

“Right now we're seeing moderate evidence of overheating and price acceleration in Vancouver because supply is not keeping pace with demand,” Robyn Adamache, principal market analyst, Vancouver with CMHC, said. “We're also continuing to see strong evidence of overvaluation mainly because single detached home prices are higher than those supported by economic fundamentals.”

In Canada, overall, CMHC now believes there is strong evidence of overvaluation – up from moderate evidence in last quarter’s report.

However, its overall assessment for the country is that there is moderate evidence of problematic conditions.

“Driving the increased level of evidence has been increasing growth in housing prices that have pushed house prices to levels that exceed the fundamentals supporting the housing market. These fundamental factors include changes in income and population,” CMHC said in its report. “Prices have increased relative to fundamentals in Toronto and Vancouver, and are increasing rapidly in some other parts of Ontario and British Columbia. This pattern is not reflected in many other provinces, however.”

To read the complete article, please click here 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Egan: Number of million-dollar houses in town up 30 per cent in one year

In 2005, there were 319 properties in Ottawa with a market value assessed at $1 million or higher. This year, the total is almost nine times higher, at 2,702 — and that figure is probably an underestimate.
In the last year alone, the number of million-plus properties has jumped 30 per cent and there’s little sign the trend is ending.
A valuation for tax purposes is not the same as sales data, of course, but even there the arrow is headed north. According to the Ottawa Real Estate Board, there were 135 properties that sold for a million dollars or more in 2015, including two condos.
In the first half of 2016, there were 78, including three condos.
The biggest chunk of the city’s $1-million-plus portfolio is in Rockcliffe but Capital ward, which contains the Glebe, is not far behind and the numbers have risen most dramatically in Kitchissippi (blame Westboro) and Osgoode (parts of Metro Manotick), which have gone from single digits to well over 200 in 10 years.
Million-dollar houses are now so common — even on ordinary, middle-class streets — we’re losing the capacity to be surprised.
There was a time when Michael Cowpland, the high-tech tycoon, made front-page news for putting his country mansion, Stoke Lacey, on the market for $2.5 million.
As we speak, there’s a house in Chelsea on the market for $5 million, causing nary a stir. A quick check on MLS, in fact, found 250 listings at $1 million or higher. So much for sticker shock.
Pity the young couple with a white-picket dream at the moment, because a little wooden fence is about all they could afford in central Ottawa, where $400,000 pretty much gets you a tiny tear-down.
But lest we think it’s all gone wacko, the experts remind us that the important thing to keep in mind is not the raw number with all the zeroes but the concept of affordability.
There used to be a saying that a good suit costs a man about a week’s wages. Similarly, a house used to be considered affordable if the sale price was about three times the annual household income.  The median family income in Ottawa-Gatineau is about $105,000, while the average sale price of a house in the city in June was $399,000, so things aren’t horribly out of scale, as they are elsewhere in the country.
In Toronto, the house-price-to-income multiple is nine or 10 or even higher — depending on the neighbourhood — while in Vancouver, it’s even greater. No wonder there are worries about sustainability and bursting bubbles.
Some of it already seems impossible. Saturday’s Homes section, for instance, gave me a start. Listed was a house on Cooper Street where my childhood buddy Barry used to live.
We didn’t think the house was anything special then. Of course, we didn’t think anybody’s house was special. It was the 1960s in Centretown and we lived outside like street rats anyway, before cable TV ruined everything. 
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. does surveys on new home construction in several Canadian cities. For new builds (homes and condos), the average price paid in Ottawa in 1997 was $183,650. In 2014, for the first time ever, the average price broke through the half-million-dollar mark, settling at $514,963.
The market may have taken a breather, as the CMHC survey for May 2016 puts the figure at $505,127 for a single detached.
 The cost of inner-city housing is really the cost of land. And this is the worrisome part. Policies of urban intensification have made central land so expensive that, not only do small businesses have a tough time finding affordable space, but try putting a big grocery store in the older parts of the city right now. Nearly impossible.
And this creates a quandary for older people on fixed incomes living in the same homes long after the kids are gone. It’s the same house, more or less, but a market-value-based system has driven each fresh assessment — and the subsequent taxes — sky high.
There will be more news on the million-dollar front soon. The city provided its numbers to the Citizen based on data from the Ontario Municipal Property Assessment Corp., which does actual assessments every four years, the latest being 2016.
So a fresh batch of numbers is due later in July. And millionaire’s row? Look for it to get longer and, for many, further out of reach.
for the complete article on Ottawa Housing, please click here 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Awesome Centertown Apartment building

Rare opportunity to own a piece of Ottawa history.  Over 100 years old.  Great location, on highly desirable Cooper Street in Centertown Ottawa triplex.

Currently 2 of 4 units are owner occupied, condition reflects this level of care.  No deferred maintenance.  Set your own rents on the remaining two units.

Please click here for financials

For additional information, please click here 

Monday, July 11, 2016

Special DND mortgage lending...

Recently, I came across two lenders who have specific policies designed for military or government transfers.   

Canadian Military personnel who are re-assigned within or outside of Canada by the Military and must sell their Canadian residence are eligible to have prepayment charge (IRD or 3 months' interest) waived.

Department of National Defense (DND) & Government of Canada (GOC)
“DND/GOC” mortgages are for Department of National Defense and Government of Canada Employees.
Prepayment Options
  • Open for pay out at any time subject to conditions of relocation, with a 3-month interest penalty
  • 15/15 Prepayment Privileges

Saturday, July 9, 2016

6 months or more on market and VACANT

There are 232 residential properties for sale inside Ottawa for sale which are vacant and have been for sale for 6 months or longer

In the Ottawa real estate board, there are 706 properties for sale, which are vacant and been for sale for 6 months or longer

For information on these unique properties, please click here 

Record-breaking June for Ottawa resales - best month ever!!!

OTTAWA, July 6, 2016 - Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,985 residential properties in June through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 1,691 in June 2015, an increase of 17.4 per cent. The five-year average for June sales is 1,717. “Sales this past month contributed not only to the highest June on record, it also turned out to be the highest sales in any month ever in the history of the Ottawa housing market,” remarked Shane Silva, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. “The closest comparable sales figures are from May 2009 with 1,967 units sold.

Normally the resale market has a slight dip in units sold from May to June each year. May is routinely the peak month for units sold; however, this year June sales increased by 3.3 per cent over May.” “It’s hard to say what fuelled this surge for June. It could be a combination of great weather and buyer activity from other markets, or it could be an anomaly. We will be closely watching the trend over the summer when sales typically slow down as buyers turn their attention to summer activities,” Silva went on to explain. June sales included 331 in the condominium property class, and 1,654 in the residential property class.  “Year-to-date units sold for the first half of 2016 are also performing quite well compared to the first half of last year, up 5.4 per cent. While year-to-date average sale price remains the same compared to last year,” says Silva. “A total of 3,220 residential and condo properties were listed in June, capping the month off with approximately 8,300 properties on the market, down 11.5 per cent from June 2015.”

The average sale price of a residential-class property sold in June in the Ottawa area was $399,382, a decrease of 1.3 per cent over June 2015. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $264,913, a decrease of 2.4 per cent over June 2015. 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. “Residential two-storey and bungalows continue to have the highest concentration of buyers in June,” says Silva. “In addition to residential and condominium sales, Ottawa Real Estate Board Members have assisted clients with renting over 1,500 properties since the beginning of the year.”

For the full press release, please click here