Ottawa Real Estate News from Ron DeCaen January 2016   
  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)

First impressions are critical when it comes to real estate so if you’re thinking of selling your home, you’ll want to ensure your foyer feels spacious and inviting.  This month’s newsletter discusses some ideas to help revamp this often neglected space.

We’ve also included some tips that will help you stick to your New Year’s resolutions as well as a few apps to help make your life a little easier throughout 2016!

Thanks so much for checking out this month's newsletter.  Please don’t hesitate to 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 
Record-breaking December contributes to a strong 2015!

Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 703 residential properties in December through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 638 in December 2014, an increase of 10.2 per cent.

The five-year average for December sales is 653. The total number of residential and condo units sold through the Board’s MLS® System throughout all of 2015 was 14,658, compared with 13,919 in 2014, an increase of 5.3 per cent.  Separately, residential and condo unit sales each outperformed the 2014 numbers.

“Looking back at the 2015 market, we started the year off with extreme cold temperatures in the first quarter of the year, but that didn’t stop homebuyers,” says new President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board, Shane Silva.

“We saw the busy spring selling season pick up as early as March this year, and continue well throughout the summer, with a small dip in July, followed by record-breaking sale numbers in September.  Three months later, December broke the record for the highest number of residential and condo properties sold at 703 units, only comparable to 2011, when 699 properties sold.”

December’s sales included 160 in the condominium property class, and 543 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 higher all year, showing signs of tapering off in October,” says Silva.  “Increased inventory levels contributed to the market favouring Buyers for much of the year; however as the inventory leveled out in the fall, we moved into more balanced conditions.

Cumulative days on market increased to 109 days in December, while the average for the year comes in at 86 days.  Average residential sale prices are up slightly over last year, which is great for the Ottawa market. All combined, these indicators point to a stable real estate market.”

The average sale price of a residential-class property sold in December in the Ottawa area was $386,961, an increase of 5.5 per cent over December 2014.  The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $250,393, a decrease of 7.5 per cent over December 2014.

The year-to-date numbers for the average residential sale price in 2015 was $391,940, an increase of 1.9 per cent over 2014.  While the average condominium sale price was $259,691, a decrease of 1.5 per cent over 2014.

 “A trend all year long, the hottest segments of our market are properties sold in the $300,000 to $400,000 price range, with 31.6 per cent of the year’s sales, followed by the $200,000 to $300,000 range, with 26.2 per cent of the year’s sales” says Silva.  “In addition to residential and condominium sales, OREB Members assisted clients with renting 181 properties in December, and over 3,000 properties this year.”

Ottawa's 38th Annual Winterlude 
Don’t miss Ottawa’s incredible festival that celebrates all things winter!

Winterlude, a unique winter festival that transforms the area into a winter wonderland, is held in Ottawa- Gatineau every February.

Winterlude is now in its 38th year and runs from January 29th to February 15th.  Skate on the world's largest skating rink, marvel at the ice sculptures or play in North America's largest snow playground -- there’s so much to see and do!

There are three Winterlude weekends which are filled with activities with many venues open daily and all sites open on Family Day.  Rediscover the joys of winter with a variety of activities that offer something fun for the entire family!

How to Make a Grand Entrance 
Enhancing your home’s entryway can make a huge difference!

Your foyer's the first impression people get when they enter your home so it’s critical to properly showcase this severely underrated area, especially if you’re trying to sell your home.

Transforming your foyer from a dumping ground into a grand entrance is easy!  Here are a few ways to create an amazing first impression in an area that typically experiences a lot of wear and tear:

  1. Clear Clutter - A chaotic looking hallway will turn buyers off so remove clothing that’s no longer in season.  Organize hats and scarves in stylish baskets and stack footwear in an orderly fashion.

  2. Lighten Up - Foyers are usually fairly dark so clean light fixtures and use a brighter bulb to cast more light.  Painting the walls a light shade will open up the area and a strategically placed mirror will create the illusion of additional space.

  3. Add Some Style - Check out antique markets or yard sales for unique pieces of furniture.  A small bench for guests to sit on while taking off their shoes works well for larger areas while a small table to catch keys is perfect for compact spaces.

  4. Spruce It Up - Breathe some life into your gloomy hallway by adding a few plants or fresh flowers.  If you’re selling, don’t forget to replace the cluttered mass of family photos that creep up the stairs with a few neutral pictures.

A functional yet welcoming foyer will create an amazing first impression that'll maximize your home's appeal to potential buyers.  Transforming your lacklustre hallway is important even if you’re not selling because this space sets the tone for the rest of your home.  If you walk into a dark, cluttered mess it won’t generate the positive feelings that help put a smile on your face :)

New Year, New Resolution 
Sometimes it’s easier to break them than it is to make them!

If you’re like most people, you’ve probably set a few New Year’s resolutions.  Making them is one thing but keeping them is a whole different story!

Setting goals instils a sense of discipline but it’s easy to become disillusioned if you’re not achieving them.  It’s therefore important to set realistic goals and then break them down into bite-size pieces.

If you find yourself giving up after a few weeks because your enthusiasm tapers off, it might be time to try something new.  Instead of just setting a traditional goal, try exploring how you’d like to feel in 2016.

For example, if you want to feel healthy this coming year then you may want to set a goal to take a 30 minute walk each day.  If on the other hand you want to feel calmer, you could reduce your caffeine or join a yoga class.

When you focus on the positive feeling behind your goal, it’s easier to achieve because you’re not just blindly saying “go to the gym” which likely won’t last.  If you write down your goals, review them regularly and place them in a prominent place so you can visualize the end result, you’re sure to succeed!

An Appy Lifestyle! 
Apps can help kick-start new habits that will change your life!

If you’re looking to make some changes in the coming year perhaps your smartphone can help you out!  Here are a few apps that are worth a look:

  1. Duolingo - An absolute must if learning a new language is on your to-do list for 2016.

  2. Walk Me Up - Instead of just hitting snooze, this app forces you to get up and walk a number of steps before you’re able to turn off the alarm.

  3. Happify - This app is designed to help you overcome negative thoughts by offering a series of games that train your brain and build skills for lasting happiness.

There are a variety of apps that will help you set and monitor your goals for 2016.  Some even give you the option to make them public in order to motivate you further.  Whatever your goals or interests are, you’ll most definitely find an app to suit your needs!

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.