Ottawa Real Estate News from Ron DeCaen January 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)

It’s hard to believe that 2015 is finally here!  This month’s first article highlights a few of 2015’s most exciting home and garden trends.

If you enjoy adding your own personal touch to your photos, then you’ll want to check out the review of PicMonkey.  There are also a few tips on how to take care of your hardwood floors.

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.  Here’s wishing you all the best throughout 2015!


In this issue...
December Unit Sales Contribute to a Strong Year-end 
Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 640 residential properties in December through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® system, compared with 609 in December 2013, an increase of 5.1 per cent.

The five-year average for December sales is 637.  The total number of homes sold through the Board’s MLS® system in 2014 was 13,928, compared with 13,871 in 2013, an increase of 0.4 per cent.

Residential unit sales for the year were slightly higher with a 2.4 per cent increase over 2013, while condo sales declined by 7.2 per cent compared to last year.  The average residential home price, including condominiums, sold in 2014 was $361,712, an increase of 1.2 per cent over 2013.

“The listing inventory for both residential and condos trended higher all year,” says new President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board, David Oikle.  “Condo units for sale increased as high as 23 per cent in February and March over the previous year, but settled back down to 2013 levels by the end of December.  Increased inventory levels contributed to the market favouring Buyers for much of the year.”

December’s sales included 144 in the condominium property class, and 496 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.

The average sale price of residential properties, including condominiums, sold in December in the Ottawa area was $345,449, an increase of 1.6 per cent over December 2013.  The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $270,236, an increase of 10.1 per cent over December 2013.  The average sale price of a residential-class property was $367,286, a decrease of 0.7 per cent over December 2013.

“The price range with the most concentrated amount of sales for 2014 was the $300,000 to $349,999 range, with 18.8 per cent of the year’s sales, followed by the $350,000 to $399,000 range, with 12.5 per cent of the year’s sales, explains Oikle.  “The third highest category with 11.6 per cent of the year’s sales was in the $500,000 to $749.999 price range.  All three of these price range property concentrations are very similar to the ranges from 2013.”

Ottawa's Winterlude Festival 
Come out and enjoy Ottawa’s fun filled winter festival.

Winterlude was created in 1979 to celebrate Canada's unique northern climate and culture.
There’s so much to do for the entire family - skate on the world's largest skating rink, check out the ice sculpture competitions or play at North America's largest snow playground.
All this and much more await you at Winterlude -- it’s the perfect antidote to help fight the winter blues!
Jan 30 - Feb 16, 2015

Home and Garden Trends for 2015 
Curious about what’s trending in homes and gardens this year?

There’s really no place like home, so it’s always interesting to discover what design trends you can incorporate in order to update your home and garden.

A mix of old and new ideas abound this year as homeowners seek to balance concerns over the environment along with the prevalence of 24/7 technology.  Here are a few popular trends:

  1. Green Thumb - Homeowners are enjoying casually styled outdoor spaces so we’ll see more native plants and food gardens and less of the larger manicured lawns.

  2. Lighten Up - Devices that automatically lighten up dark spots in drawers and cupboards are increasingly popular so you don’t need to turn on an entire bank of lights to find your keys.

  3. Glass Galore - Beautiful floor to ceiling windows and glass sliding doors are in demand as they allow the natural light to filter in while integrating indoor and outdoor spaces.

  4. Old & New - Homeowners are balancing technology by upcycling and incorporating natural materials into their decor. Rustic barn boards for instance add a warm contrast to modern lines.

  5. Talk the Talk - Some TV’s change channels or record shows by voice command but you’ll soon be able to turn on lights, adjust the heat and program your music all with your voice!

Decorating trends continue to evolve but it’s important to determine which styles resonate with you so that they’ll compliment your personality.  Whether you’re selling your house now or in the future, you’ll definitely want to “green up” your home as buyers are demanding healthy and environmentally friendly houses.

Stop Monkeying Around With Your Pics 
Edit your holiday snaps with filters and text using PicMonkey!

PicMonkey is an online drag and drop photo editing tool that’s fun and easy to use.  There’s no software to download and best of all, it doesn’t cost a cent!  Here are just a few things you can do:

  1. Edit - Images can be easily cropped, resized and sharpened or you can add professional looking filters and gradients.

  2. Touch Up - You can whiten teeth, remove blemishes and even give yourself a tan all with the click of a button.

  3. Design - It’s simple to create your own place cards or invitations.  Just pick out a background, add a border, some text, an image and voila!

  4. Collage - You can arrange several photos together to create one big picture.  Just select a layout and then edit your creation to add your own personal touch.

There are so many things you can do to add pizazz to your pics – your only limit is your imagination.  Photo editing isn't always easy but PicMonkey makes it so simple that, you guessed it, even a monkey can do it!

Your Hardwood Floor's Worst Enemies 
Hardwood floors look beautiful but they take a real beating!

It can be a hard knocks life for hardwood floors.  Scratches, dents and dulling all ruin their natural beauty over time.  Here are a few common enemies to be aware of:

  1. Liquids - Mop up spills immediately as they can warp the wood and cause it to swell.

  2. Furniture - Place felt pads underneath furniture to avoid scratches when they’re moved.

  3. Sticks & Stones - Grit acts like sandpaper so place rugs by the doors and vacuum thoroughly with a brush attachment (not a beater bar) before washing.

Prevention is key to keeping your hardwood floors beautiful.  Many cleaners will actually ruin your finish so make sure you use the correct cleaner for your floors and if you own a dog, make sure their nails are regularly trimmed.

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.