Some Tips & Hints for your Next HHT

Posted on: February 4th, 2016 by Chris Scott

Posting messages are coming in a bit earlier this year in Ottawa.

If you have been transferred to Ottawa and are booking a house hunting trip there are a few important things to consider. Here are my top 3 tips:

1) Resale: Find a house that does not have any major strikes against it. This could be power lines in the backyard, house on really busy street, it has an usual layout, or some type of stigma attached to the house/area. You have to make sure the house can be sold quickly on the other end when/if you are posted outside of Ottawa. Exceptions can be made if the price is very good.

2) Location: Find a location/neighbourhood close to transit, has good resale, and is accessible to good schools. I can help guide you in this respect. I have good knowledge of all the areas in Ottawa.

3) Realtor: As you know this week is going to be very important for you. Your new home/area can in some ways dictate how you will enjoy your time in Ottawa. It is important to get aligned with a great Realtor who is familiar with house hunting trips. There is no time for mistakes.

If you have any questions about your posting to Ottawa please feel free to get in touch. I am always reachable via my cell at 613-863-6999 or email.


Ottawa Market Update, January 2016

Posted on: February 4th, 2016 by Chris Scott

Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 601 residential properties in January through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® system, compared with 626 in January 2015, a decrease of four per cent. The five-year average for January sales is 618.  It isn’t unusual to have a slow-down once winter hits. Listings continue to be very active – the number of properties listed almost doubled the amount listed in December.

The average sale price of a residential-class property sold in January in the Ottawa area was $386,839, an increase of 4.6 per cent over January 2015. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $247,205, a decrease of 1.3 per cent over January 2015.

As always, if you have any real estate-related questions, I will be happy to help you find answers.  My business is based mostly on referrals so they are extremely important to me.


Ottawa Market Update, December 2015

Posted on: January 12th, 2016 by Chris Scott

Ottawa’s real estate market was very steady in 2015. After the dust settled the total number of residential and condo units sold through the MLS® System for all of 2015 was 14,658, vs 13,919 in 2014, an increase of 5.3%. Residential and condo unit sales each outperformed the 2014 numbers. The year-to-date numbers for the average residential sale price in 2015 was $391,940, + 1.9% over 2014. The average condominium sale price was $259,691, a decrease of 1.5% over 2014. 


I am predicting a very similar real estate market for 2016 to the one we just experienced this past year. Sales will be steady, inventory will be higher then normal, and conditions will remain fairly balanced. We will see sales levels at near historical highs. The buyer may have a slight advantage depending on location and market segment. For instance, the condo market remains an area of concern. Inventory levels are very high and condo developers still seem bullish on this market and continue to build. There is too much supply to match the demand. We could see downward pressure on prices in the condo market again this year.  This will remain a buyers’ market. I predict Prices should be up about 1% by the end of the year.  For condos there will be some good deals for buyers this year. I can see condo prices being very flat or decreasing anywhere from 1-2%. 


Ottawa Market Update, November 2015

Posted on: December 6th, 2015 by Chris Scott

Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 990 residential properties in November through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 891 in November of 2014, an increase of 11.1 per cent.  The five-year average for November sales is 944.  It could be the mild weather – or maybe the aftermath of the federal election that were key to a very successful November resale market.  

Inventory levels are balancing out, cumulative days on market have increased to 104, and average residential sale prices remain steady.  This is very typical of a market that’s heading into the winter season. Don’t forget that every area is slightly different.  If you wish to know what your house is worth – or maybe the one own the street, give me a call.  I’d be glad to help.  

Next month I will be releasing my annual market report. Stay tuned for a comprehensive look at the Ottawa real estate market. I have already started looking at CMHC reports, newspaper articles, and economist’s predictions.  In the meantime have a very Merry Christmas! Wishing you all the best in the new year. 


Ottawa Market Update, October 2015

Posted on: November 7th, 2015 by Chris Scott

October was another strong month for the resale market

The national election could not slow down our October housing market here in Ottawa. Some impressive numbers were just released by the board.

The numbers show that October 2015 outpaced last year as well as the five-year average.  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.   The expected slow-down leading up to the Federal Election simply didn’t happen!

The resale market in Ottawa continues to be very stable and inventory has consistently declined since the busy spring market last May, bringing us back into balanced territory. Cumulative days on market also came down slightly to 86 days from 93 days in September.

The soft spot in our market right now is downtown high-rise condos segment. A recent CMHC report cautioned builders that there is an over-supply of this market currently. Supply simply out paces demand right now. This is starting to show in some pricing incentives from current builders to get rid of unsold inventory in fully competed buildings. This is something we will have to keep an eye on for sure.

Since every area is quite different, please give me a call if you are thinking about buying or selling – or even if you are simply curious to know what your home might be worth on today’s market.  I am always happy to talk real estate!


Ottawa Market Update, Sept 2015

Posted on: October 5th, 2015 by Chris Scott

It has been one of the more interesting Ottawa real estate markets to observe over the course of 2015. Every month has left different clues on what the future will hold. The good news is that September is leaving more room for optimism then some of the previous months.

There were 1,244 residential properties in September through the Board’s MLS System, compared with 1,131 in September 2014, an increase of 10 per cent. This September marks the best September on record for the number of units sold in the Ottawa resale market. The five-year average for September sales is 1,137.

Inventory levels in Ottawa were down by over 4 per cent since last month. This is very positive news. The inventory levels have been much higher then usual in Ottawa this year. This new decline will be bringing the Ottawa resale market into more balanced territory in many neighbourhoods and segments of the market. Cumulative days on market increased slightly to 93 days, up from 89 days in August. Houses are taking much longer to sell this year because of all the extra competition in the market.  Statistics are proving that sales are on track with previous years. The market is good – it is just more balanced because of the higher inventory levels.

The average sale price of a residential-class property sold in September in the Ottawa area was $385,142, an increase of 0.5 per cent over September 2014. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $257,303, an increase of 1.3 per cent over September 2014.

If you want to know what’s happening in your neighbourhood, give me a call or drop me an email. I am never too busy to help.


Project “Lean Headquarters” Behind Schedule

Posted on: October 2nd, 2015 by Chris Scott


This is an interesting development that may affect military postings into and out of Ottawa.  With the move to the new DND headquarters the military is making an effort to get leaner.

Part of the Defence Renewal Program launched in 2013, the initiative to reduce the number of staff at Ottawa’s NDHQ by between 846 and 1034 “full-time equivalents” is still in the analysis phase and no changes to personnel have been implemented to date.

The overall size of Ottawa’s DND workforce is expected to remain the same since the focus will be on moving employees into higher priority areas or towards higher value work such as support to Cyber Security or the Canadian Military’s Space Program.  In total, between 2,800 and 4,800 military and civilian personnel across the country could be moved. This could lead to a very active posting season in 2016 and 2017, with many military personnel being transferred.  The effort is complex and will take several years to complete.  Re-training and re-location will be utilized if necessary.

It appears that as many as 1,000 civilian jobs have been eliminated because of ongoing government-ordered cutbacks at DND.  In some instances, private firms are being brought in to supply non-union workers for positions such as clerks, cleaners and kitchen staff.  It is possible that there could be more civilian cuts at NDHQ because of the expected changes.

If you have any real estate related questions, it is never too soon to ask them!!


Military Couple on the Move Again

Posted on: September 15th, 2015 by Chris Scott

Ottawa is a very popular destination for military postings. This has given me the opportunity to help dozens of military families get settled in Ottawa. Working with military families has always been the favourite part of my job.  Military clients understand the process and do what it takes to get their home ready for sale. As buyers they realize that relocation is just part of the job.

I had the pleasure of helping Heather and Alex sell their Ottawa home this summer. This was the fourth transaction I have helped them with. I also got them setup with a great Realtor in Fredericton. They are such a joy to work with. It was the fourth time in 7 years they have moved cities. Think about that! That is incredible!  It is not easy to just pick up and move to a new city – especially with a young family. These sacrifices often go un-noticed. They are among the many reasons why we should all hold our CAF members in such high regard.

Thank you for all you do!


Ottawa Market Update, August 2015

Posted on: September 14th, 2015 by Chris Scott

It has been a good summer for Ottawa real estate, though prices are still fairly flat and there are some listing inventory concerns. August was a good month with unit sales increases for both residential properties and condos.  Residential unit sales are up 5.3% YTD and the average selling price is up 1.9% to $395,437. Condo unit sales are down slightly by .5% YTD and the average selling price is down by 1% to $260,017.

On the residential front, the number of listings currently reported by the Board is 31.8% higher than the 5 year average.  The number of current condo listings is 52% higher than the 5 year average. With these inventory levels, we can expect to see continued price pressure.

Some sellers may be leaving the market as there was a high level of listing expiries, withdrawals and cancellations in August.  Perhaps sellers are waiting for a change in the market. Rental transactions involving Realtors are way up this year so many sellers may also be looking to rent their properties if they cannot secure a satisfactory sale.

As a rule, the real estate business is steady in September and October but starts to fall off in November, so sellers should plan accordingly.  With properties generally taking longer to sell in our current market, the best time window for getting a property on the market is now!

Buying or selling a home is a major transaction and should be done with the advice of an experienced real estate agent.  I would love to be that person so please give me a call.


Military Couple Climbs the Property Ladder

Posted on: September 8th, 2015 by Chris Scott

This August I had the pleasure of working with Erick and Mandy for the fourth time. One of my favourite clients! They originally relocated to Ottawa from the Petawawa base about 9 years ago. They bought a small townhouse in Kanata. It was the perfect place for them at the time. A few years later they were ready for a larger detached home and purchased a great family home in Stittsville. Like most military families, their time in Stittsville was fairly short lived as they were relocated to Oshawa. Now they are moving back to Ottawa. The house they purchased this time around is their dream house. It is truly an amazing home. 3600 sq/ft of luxurious living space – complete with a full theatre in the basement and every upgrade one could ask for. It has been so cool to be a part of their rise through the property ladder. Home ownership is an amazing opportunity for people to build wealth and open up the possibility of one day living in their dream house.


Don’t forget to give me a call if you have any real estate needs.  I would love to help you find your Dream Home!