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Ottawa Real Estate Board News Release:

Summer resales sizzle in a hot July

OTTAWA, August 5, 2016 - Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,491 residential properties in July through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 1,430 in July 2015, an increase of 4.3 per cent. The five-year average for July sales is 1,413.

“Sales continue to outpace 2015 numbers both in monthly and year-to-date comparisons,” says Shane Silva, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. “However, we are seeing the typical summer slowdown in July compared to June’s record-breaking numbers. Units listed in both residential and condominium property classes have declined throughout the year, which has affected overall inventory levels. The number of active listings at the end of July 2016 is down about 15 per cent compared to July 2015.”

July’s sales included 277 in the condominium property class, and 1,214 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.

“We are just over the mid-year mark for 2016 and our year-to-date sales volume is up by 5.3 per cent over last year, ringing in at a whopping 3.6 billion dollars,” says Silva. “Prices have remained quite steady in comparison to last year, with the increased number of units sold nudging the total sales volume up for the year.”

The average sale price of a residential-class property sold in July in the Ottawa area was $398,608, an increase of 1.1 per cent over July 2015. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $259,794, an increase of 1.2 per cent over July 2015. The Board cautions that average sale price information can be useful in establishing trends over time but should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. The average sale price is calculated based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold.

“The hottest segments in our market for July were two-storey and bungalow residential homes in the $300,000 to $400,000 price range, followed by one-level and two-storey condos in the $200,000 to $300,000 price range,” says Silva. “In addition to residential and condominium sales, OREB Members have assisted clients with renting over 1,800 properties since the beginning of the year.”

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Home inspection is an important part of the home sale process, both for buyers and sellers. When it’s time for you to hire an inspector, here are five things you should be thinking about:

 1. It’s your choice: You are not bound or obligated to use any particular inspector. Your real estate professional may have some recommendations, but it’s ultimately up to you. Ask around and choose wisely—better to pay a little more now for a highly-respected inspector than to be surprised by a problem that the inspection didn’t reveal.

 2. Looking for big problems: The inspector will be focused on the integrity of the home—safety, electrical work, foundation, load-bearing walls, etc. The inspector is not there to point out problems with ugly paint colors or light fixtures.

 3. The report: There are hundreds of items to inspect in a home, so the inspector’s report will focus on the basics: What’s damaged, what needs repaired, etc. The report should be easy to read and understand.

 4. Code of ethics: Though the inspector is working for the party that pays the inspector’s fee, the inspector will not deliver a report that intentionally hides or omits damaging information about the home. The report is private between you and the inspector, but if you’re the seller, you’re required to disclose any problems that the inspection reveals.

 

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We’ve all watched the HGTV programs that show a run-down old house transforming into a dream home. Tackling a big renovation project on an outdated property can indeed pay off big—both with the home of your dreams, and with a return on investment. If resale value is a primary concern, consider these factors as you’re making your fixer-upper plans.

Is the price right?
How much can you invest in a home beyond the sale price while staying in line with the value of homes in the neighborhood? You don’t want to improve a home to the point that it’s worth far more than the norm for the area. You’ll enjoy the property while you’re living there, but if you ever decide to sell, your ROI could be limited by the market value of nearby houses.

Low cost, instant equity
There are a lot of low cost and DIY improvements that will add equity almost immediately, such as rehabbing the landscaping and adding fresh coats of paint. These improvements add value to the property almost instantly.

What’s worth spending on?
A little elbow grease goes a long way, but there will inevitably be projects that require some serious spending. If you’re concerned with getting a return on your investment, focus your dollars toward the roof, floors, and the home’s exterior. They’re not flashy upgrades, but they’re important for future buyers. On the other hand, luxuries like a swimming pool are unlikely to see any return on investment.

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The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS®, and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are member’s of CREA. The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by CREA and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.