Ottawa Real Estate News from Ron DeCaen November 2015   
  Real Estate News

Ron DeCaen
Sale Representative

Action Power Team Ltd. Brokerage
15-1420 Youville Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
613.797.9366 (cellular)
613.837.3800 (office/24/7 pager)

Saving up for a down payment can sometimes feel totally overwhelming.  This month’s first article discusses a few budgeting strategies that’ll make it much easier.

We’ve also included some tips on how to reduce stress this holiday season as well as a solution that’ll significantly reduce the amount of junk email you receive.

Thanks so much for checking out this month's newsletter.  Please get in touch if you have any questions or comments regarding the articles, or real estate in general -- it'd be great to hear from you!


In this issue...
Ottawa Real Estate Market Report 
October home buyers weren’t spooked by election results.

Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,161 residential properties in October through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 1,119 in October 2014, an increase of 4 per cent.  The five-year average for October sales is 1100.

“Our October numbers show we outpaced last year and the five year average,” says David Oikle, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board.  “Buyer activity was expected to taper off leading up to the Federal Election but it didn’t seem to affect our overall performance by very much.”

October’s sales included 202 in the condominium property class, and 959 in the residential property class.  Our year to date sales trend is also solid compared to last year with residential property class sales up almost 6% from 2014 and condominium property sales on par with last year.

“Ottawa’s resale market continues to be a stable environment.  Inventory has continued to decline since the busy spring market last May, bringing us back into balanced territory,” says Oikle.  “Cumulative days on market also came down slightly to 86 days from 93 days in September.  In addition, the average sale price remains quite steady.”

The average sale price of a residential-class property sold in October was $380,075 which is an increase of 2.8 per cent over October 2014.  The average sale price for a condominium-class property in October has dropped by 13% from $290,739 to $251,177; however, the year to date average price of $258,995 is more in line with the current average.  This in fact illustrates why the Board cautions that the 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.

“While the highest concentration of properties sold continues to be in the $300,000 to $400,000 price range, followed closely, again, by the $200,000 to $300,000 range, there were also a good number of sales in the $500,000 to $750,000 price range in October.” says Oikle.  “In addition to residential and condominium sales, OREB members assisted clients with renting 223 properties in October, and over 2500 since the beginning of the year.”

Ottawa’s Christmas Lights Across Canada 
Ottawa sparkles and shines during the Christmas season!

Hundreds of thousands of colourful lights will illuminate Ottawa’s winter landscape this year between December 2nd and January 7th to help everyone get into the Christmas spirit!

Christmas Lights Across Canada was launched in 1985 as a way to liven up the darkest of winter days and it now extends from Ottawa to all of the provincial and territorial capitals across Canada.

Over 400,000 dazzling Christmas lights glow throughout downtown Ottawa.  Parliament Hill is a must-see as it alone has tens of thousands of bulbs that light up its various historic buildings.

The switch is flipped on Wednesday, December 2nd at 7 p.m. with an official illumination ceremony that includes carols and on-site performances.  Ottawa’s Christmas Lights Across Canada is definitely a magical event that the entire family will enjoy so mark your calendar now!

Making Cents of your Down Payment 
Buying a home is exciting but saving up for it can be a challenge.

A home is typically the largest single purchase you’ll ever make so it’s important to be aware of your financial circumstances and have a plan of action.

Once you figure out how much you’ll need, open up a savings account specifically for home ownership so you can automatically transfer a set amount into it each month.  Here are a few ideas that’ll help you reach your goal:

  1. Consolidate Debts - If you carry a credit card balance, consolidate it to a line of credit that offers a lower interest rate.

  2. Government Assistance - Research the various government buyer assistance programs that are available to qualified individuals.

  3. Cut out the Big Stuff - Consider selling your car and using public transit or perhaps look for a roommate to help out with the rent and utilities.

  4. Cut out the Small Stuff - Buying lunch even a few times a week costs thousands of dollars a year so pack a lunch instead and give up the fancy daily latte.

  5. Making Menus - Planning weekly menus means you’ll be less likely to order take out or overspend on groceries.

  6. Dream It - Put a picture of your dream home in a prominent place to constantly remind you of your goal.  Visualization combined with good old fashioned willpower will help turn your dreams into reality!

Saving up for a down payment requires discipline and patience.  Just don’t get discouraged and remember that every little bit you save will help you eventually achieve your dream!  There are various programs available to assist home buyers with their down payment needs so if you or someone you know requires some help, please get in touch.

Surviving the Stress of the Season 
It’s never too early to start getting organized for the holidays!

It’s easy to get stressed out during the holiday season but a little advance planning will help put things right so that you’ll be able to relax and enjoy yourself!  Here are a few ideas that'll help relieve the seasonal stress:

  1. Shop Early - Shopping ahead of time (with a list!) means less stress later on.  You’re also more likely to stay on budget rather than panicking last minute and overspending.

  2. Skip the Stores - Do your shopping online so you don't have to waste time aimlessly wandering around only to end up in huge lineups.  It’s also much easier to do price comparisons online.

  3. Expect the Unexpected - Have a few pre-wrapped "stand-by gifts" for those unexpected occasions where a gift's immediately needed.

  4. Keep it Together - Keep wrapping paper, tags, tape, scissors, cards and stamps organized in one central spot.  Wrap as you go so you’re not rushing last minute and note the contents on a sticky note.

  5. Just Say No! - Don’t commit to parties or get togethers that you can’t manage.  The holidays aren’t a time for unnecessary obligations that chew up your time.

Although the holiday season is full of joy and laughter, it also comes with increased demands that can weigh heavily upon us.  If you manage the pressures by planning well ahead, you'll be able to enjoy the season instead of just surviving it.

How to Win the Fight Against Spam 
Are you scared to check your email because your inbox is bursting at the seams?

Checking email used to be fun but scammers and spammers have turned it into an overwhelming, time consuming chore.

Cloudmark DesktopOne does an amazing job at filtering out junk mail and unlike many of its competitors, it’s extremely accurate at identifying what is and isn’t spam.  If it does make a mistake, you can correct it with the click of a button.

The basic version is free, easy to set up and works with most email service providers.  Without a ton of spam to constantly sift through, you’ll once again look forward to checking your email.  Let me know how it works out for you!

PS Are you sick of scouring the paper and MLS sites looking for homes? Tired of playing telephone tag with agents only to hear the home's already sold? Sit back, relax and let me do the work for you! Just visit my website and check off the features you're looking for. Whenever a home matching your criteria hits the market, it'll be automatically flagged and emailed to you so you'll never have to worry about missing your dream home. This service is free and there's no obligation! Click here to get started.

Not meant to solicit clients already under contract.