What. A. Wild. Ride. Say it again LOUDER for the cheap seats! WHAT. A. WILD. RIDE. 

The Real Estate Market here in Ottawa, as well as across the world, has remained an “essential” business throughout the entirety of this pandemic. But, like many other “essential” businesses, it had to make some adjustments. So, what were those changes? Where do we stand in Ottawa right now? Let’s break it down… 

SELLING 

If you’re looking to sell your home right now, a Realtor is more important than ever… sure, Purplebricks is kinda cool ‘cause you can save on some commission and your house is in a “hotspot” in Ottawa so it’s ‘gonna sell fast anyway right?! Listen, I get it…it’s tempting but the biggest con of listing the home yourself is how exposed you are in regard to future lawsuits from whomever buys your home. So, having said that… you can understand why I’m saying they’re more important than ever… There are a lot of procedures Real Estate brokerages have put into place right now that will simplify the selling process and keep you at low risk of potential litigation. 

So, what does selling look like right now? 
  • High quality 3D video taken of properties so that potential buyers can virtually walk through a property.
  • No Open Houses allowed.
  • Sellers are allowed to market their property for Sale without accepting showings (this is a temporary change in rules as typically this isn’t allowed)
  • Showings have been limited to a maximum of 30 minutes and they cannot overlap with another one.
  • The Seller has to sign a COVID Screening document every time they enter/exit their own property when a showing is booked that same day. 
  • The potential Buyer has to sign a COVID Screening document every time they enter a property to view it.
  • There are new clauses that are now being included in “Schedule A” of the “Agreement of Purchase and Sale”. They are included to: 
    • Protect the Buyer and Seller if something should happen to the bank they are doing their mortgage through that would delay their funds being transferred on Closing Date. 
    • Protect the Buyer in ensuring that if they were forced to “self-isolate” during a time that should overlap with the Closing Date, they would delay the closing without penalty. 

BUYING

If you’re looking to buy right now… great! When you’re ready, you’re ready and it’s an exciting time! Sure, there are a few more things you have to do that aren’t the typical norm but don’t think that this is going to be an incredibly difficult process… I assure you, it’s a lot easier than you think! I know I’ve said this a million times but I don’t care! GET A REALTOR. They’re free to you as the Seller of the property pays your Realtor a commission. Just like in Selling, right now they’re more important than ever because you need a professional to ensure you’re signing all the right documents you need to to protect yourself.

So, what does buying look like right now?
    • After taking a major dip, average new listings per week are starting to go back up to what the norm would be around this time. It hasn’t made a full recovery yet but it’s on its way back up. 
    • Average sale prices also took a major dip but have now levelled off and are slowly on the rise again. P.S. The average sale price of Residential and Condos never went below the average sale price of 2019. 
    • No Open Houses, only showings if the Seller agrees to them. 
    • Realtors have been asked to ensure to their best ability that their Buyer(s) are serious. So, to those of you that like to use and abuse the Real Estate system to creep peoples houses… you best take a big step back! 
    • COVID Screening forms need to be signed prior to entering a listing.
    • Interest Rates have also taken a nice dip roaming between 2%-3%. 
Where do we stand now in Ottawa at the end of May?

While other Real Estate markets in Canada are dropping the only city that is holding on is… Ottawa! This is a trend that has been seen over the last few years. There are many reasons we remain steady while others drop. Here are a few: 

  • We aren’t as volatile as markets like Vancouver and Toronto. 
    • Our market doesn’t see a steady group of international buyers/investors per year therefore when there’s an economic downturn, those buyers/investors are noticeably gone. 
    • We aren’t building new construction as aggressively meaning we won’t have an influx of inventory ready for a busy Spring market that will sit unsold. 
  • We are the Capital and therefore have a large population of Government workers that remain well employed through most economic downturns. 

We’re still underdeveloped therefore even though we have a lot of new projects coming in, they’re necessary given the population and number of people looking to buy.

Alex Harden
Managing Partner Real Estate