Ottawa Real Estate News from Ron DeCaen January 2017   
  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)

If you're planning a renovation, you’ll want to make sure to prepare in advance as it’ll likely get a bit messy and chaotic.  This month’s article offers some advice on how to plan your renovation so that things will go as smoothly as possible.

There are also some strategies on how to protect your home against carbon monoxide as well as a few tips to help you keep your 2017 New Year’s resolutions.

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...
The Ottawa Real Estate Market Report 
2016 was a record-breaking year for Ottawa resales.

Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 715 residential properties in December through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 703 in December 2015, an increase of 1.7 per cent.

The five-year average for December sales is 656. The total number of residential and condo units sold through the Board’s MLS® System throughout all of 2016 was 15,537, compared with 14,653 in 2015, an increase of six per cent.  Separately, residential and condo unit sales each outperformed the 2015 numbers.

“No matter what is said in the history books about 2016, it proved overall to be a great year for Ottawa real estate,” says Rick Eisert, 2017 President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board.  “While prices remained fairly flat over the course of the year, the unit sales recorded in five separate months were the highest on record, including December.  The spring market picked up early in April with strong sales and this trend continued well into the fall.  The monthly unit sale performance in 2016 was often bolstered by a strengthened condo market which recorded increases over 2015 for much of the year.”

December’s sales included 165 in the condominium property class, and 550 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 listing inventory for both residential and condos trended lower all year, however units sold trended higher most months, outpacing 2015 by a fair margin,” says Eisert.  “Cumulative days on market increased to 123 days in December while the average for the year stayed steady at 91 days.  Average residential sale prices remained virtually unchanged over last year, however we are seeing an increase in December compared to 2015 which could be a result of a higher concentration of properties sold in the $500,000 and up range.”

The average sale price of a residential-class property sold in December in the Ottawa area was $420,750, an increase of 8.7 per cent over December 2015.  The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $262,698, an increase of 4.9 per cent over December 2015.  The year-to-date numbers for average residential sale price in 2016 was $397,778, an increase of 1.5 per cent over 2015.  While the average condominium sale price was $260,982, an increase of 0.4 per cent over 2015.

“Looking at the whole year, the two most active price points in the residential market were $300,000 to $399,999 and then $200,000-$299,999, accounting for 54.6 per cent of the market.  While the condominium market was most active in the $150,000 to $249,999 price range, accounting for 55.4 per cent of the market,” says Eisert.  “In addition to residential and condominium sales in 2016, OREB Members have assisted clients with renting 3,053 properties, the sale of 19 farms units, and the sale of 340 commercial properties.”

Ottawa's 39th Annual Winterlude 
Don't miss the incredible festival that celebrates all things winter!

Winterlude is a unique winter festival that transforms the Ottawa area into a winter wonderland every February!  This year, Winterlude falls between February 3rd and February 20th.

Make sure you catch the Ice Dragon Boat Festival on the weekend of the 17th - 18th where, for the first time in North America, dragon boats will race down the frozen Rideau Canal Skateway!

There are three Winterlude weekends this year held at various venues across the City that are open daily including Family Day.  Rediscover the joys of winter with fun-filled events that will appeal to everyone no matter how young or old.  Hope to see you out and about!

Surviving the Stress of a Home Renovation 
A bit of planning in advance will help keep you sane during a renovation.

If you're thinking about renovating your home, you’ll want to try and consider every little detail in advance.

Careful planning will not only allow you to hold onto your sanity during the upheaval but will also ensure you get the best bang for your buck!  Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. No Surprises - Make sure you agree (in writing) on a completion date but keep in mind that renovations can sometimes be delayed due to unforeseen circumstances.

  2. Be Flexible - Accept from the start that you’ll be dealing with a lack of privacy along with dust, noise, mess and disorganization but remember that it’ll all be worth it in the end.

  3. Kidding Around - Set aside some toys/games for the kids and schedule some playdates and local outings so you can escape the construction zone chaos.

  4. Plan Ahead - Pre-prep some freezer meals for quick and easy dinners.  Also, take this opportunity to donate unwanted items to charity so your newly renovated home won’t be full of clutter.

  5. Stay in the Loop - Misunderstandings between contractors (and spouses!) are one of the biggest causes of stress during a renovation.  Open communication is essential so schedule regular progress reports.

Watching your home transform into something new is a very exciting experience but it’s also a major inconvenience.  The secret to making sure everything goes smoothly is to remain calm throughout the process and plan ahead for surprises.  If you keep that in mind, your dream home will be a reality before you know it!

Avoiding the Dangers of Carbon Monoxide 
This odorless gas can poison or even kill with little or no warning.

Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is a serious threat that affects families every day.  Lower gas levels can cause headaches, fatigue and nausea while higher levels can be fatal.

Ensure exhaust gases are properly vented from the central home heating unit.  It’s also important to have your furnace, chimney and vents regularly inspected by a trained professional.

You should also install a CO detector on each floor of your home.  There are a variety of units available but it’s important to remember that a detector doesn't replace the need to maintain your furnace.

Most cities offer environmental services that measure indoor air quality.  Prevention is key to avoiding carbon monoxide poisoning as this silent killer is difficult to detect so make sure your home’s properly protected.

The Trick to Keeping Your New Year's Resolutions 
It’s important to have realistic goals as well as a flexible attitude.

The new year inspires us to start fresh but the possibility of failure sometimes stops us from even getting started.

There are a variety of smartphone apps to help you track your goals whether they be to quit smoking, build volunteer hours or lose weight.  Stride for iPhone and Resolutions for Android are both very popular options.

New Year’s resolutions don’t need to be set in stone so try to be strong yet flexible.  If you start realizing your goals aren't achievable, take a few moments to modify them.  Our lives are constantly changing so it’s important that our goals change as well.

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.

Not meant to solicit clients already under contract.