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Ottawa real estate market: High prices, low inventory – CTV Edmonton

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If you’re looking to buy a house right now, it’s slim pickings. The real estate market is seeing a record low for inventory in Ottawa, along with prices still out of reach for many.

Jacqui Delaney starting the search for a new condo in October, and she’s still looking.

“Before Christmas, there was definitely more inventory on the market,” says Delaney. “At that time there wasn’t a great amount of inventory, and now after Christmas, there’s even less.”

The real estate market in Ottawa has little to offer right now for those looking to buy. December 2021 was slow with 14 per cent fewer homes sold than the previous year.

“As someone who’s been a lifelong renter, I could settle when it comes to an apartment that I’m about to rent,” says Delaney. “But when it comes to a property that I’m going to be putting a big chunk of money down on for a down payment, and then of course paying on it as an investment, I don’t want to settle.”

Ottawa’s market has been out of reach for many people over the past two years. The average residential sale price in Ottawa for 2021 was $719,000 a 24 per cent increase from 2020. Condominiums were up 16 per cent with an average price of $419,000.

Real estate agent Geoff Walker says it’s normal for things to slow down a bit over the winter, but more variables are adding to the decrease in sales.

“In many respects, we’re also going back to a more traditional market. We just came off the heels of two years of euphoria,” says Walker. “Everybody gets put on a different plan when all of a sudden the kids are above you going to school. Because you’re at home, your plans become delayed.”

Walker also says during the pandemic, the markets just outside of Ottawa outperformed sales in the city. Mainly due to lower prices, but also thanks to the elimination of the daily commute for remote workers.

“You’re now working from home, your employer is allowing you to work from home,” says Walker. “So the house not only meets your budget, it meets your criteria. You perhaps get a little bit of a better lifestyle with that home.”

For Delaney, she says she’s anxious to own her first condo, but not ready to rush into something she might regret.

“I’d really like to buy a property before interest rates go up while I’m locked into that good interest rate,” says Delaney. “But I don’t want to settle. So, it’s very frustrating right now because I’m just not seeing that property that I want.”

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Montreal real estate: Sellers market remains as prices increase by record levels | CTV News – CTV News Montreal

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MONTREAL —
Jacques Leclerc moved to Montreal from Detroit in 2019 with a simple plan.

He and his fiance Emily Ciccia planned to rent for a year and then buy a place with a 20 per cent down payment in Montreal.

It’s 2022, and the couple is still renting in Pierrefonds, frustrated, and starting to think a house purchase is not going to happen.

“Honestly, I never think we’ll be able to afford anything on the island, not at this rate,” said Leclerc.

ISLAND OF MONTREAL OUT OF REACH

The couple recently put in a bid over asking price on a house in St. Lazare, but they were outbid. It was a result they had already experienced a number of times on the island and were now having to deal with in the suburbs.

Leclerc is one among many potential home buyers seeing record increases in house prices influence where they can afford to purchase, if they can at all.

Royal LePage’s recent House Price Survey for the Greater Montreal Area showed almost a 20 per cent increase in the aggregate house price, which is now $532,600.

The median price for a single-family detached home also increased by 20 per cent and is $595,500, while a condo’s median price is $428,900 (up 18.2 per cent).

The company expects prices to continue to increase in 2022 due to a shortage of housing and continuing demand.

Royal LePage general manager Georges Gaucher said Montreal is seeing what Vancouver and Toronto have been witnessing for decades.

Montreal is about 40 per cent of Vancouver’s prices and 44 per cent of Toronto.

“We were historically behind,” said Gaucher.

Gaucher said with Quebec’s improved economy and job opportunities, investors entered the market ready to buy. The pandemic has added to the price increase causing buyers to go farther afield to find a place, a new trend.

“What we were not used to is going out really far away into the suburbs or cottage country to get a first house,” said Gaucher. “That is something that is unknown in Montreal.”

In addition, areas once considered less attractive – Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, East Montreal, Rosemont, North Montreal – are being looked at.

The situation is exactly what happened to Leclerc and Ciccia. The couple wanted to purchase on island, but are resigned to the fact that it might not be possible.

The house in St. Lazare the couple was outbid on needed a new roof, water heater and other repairs and they still could not meet the price someone else offered.

“What I want to know is who’s buying these houses way over asking price?” said Leclerc.

At the rate the market is going, the couple, who both have decent paying jobs with no children or other major financial obligations, feels they are in a race in which they can’t keep pace.

“Either like I need to be able to just borrow money I’ll never be able to pay back to buy this house or like I need a government subsidy to purchase this,” said Leclerc. “The cost of everything now, it’s like I’ll never be able to catch up at this rate.”

PANDEMIC EFFECT

Gaucher said the conditions in 2022 are the same as in 2021.

“Where we have this explosion of buyers,” he said. “Jobs, interest rates, which brings consumer confidence, and then the flexibility of working from home. These were three major elements that created the market last year.”

In addition, Gaucher said the trend of empty nesters selling their houses and moving to a condo or seniors’ residence did not continue during the pandemic.

“People were scared of doing that, so that didn’t happen,” said Gaucher.

Even with the expected interest rate hike in 2022, real estate agents feel the market will remain a sellers’ market.

“There’s a lot of pent-up demand out there,” said Gaucher. “The problem we have is inventory, and we’ve known that for years and years.” 

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LACKIE: Time for leaders to take action on Toronto's real estate market crisis – Toronto Sun

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You know how sometimes if you talk about something enough it will start to lose all meaning? It’s like the words give way to sounds that barely even register.

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The noise around Toronto’s housing shortage comes to mind. We have been screeching about our unbalanced real estate marketplace for so long that now that we’re truly in the thick of it, there’s not much left to say that could even begin to capture the truly untenable state of things.

And I am certainly guilty of this myself.

Since the pandemic kicked the real estate market into a gear never before seen, it’s been impossible not to comment as we have witnessed the ripple effects of low supply (hello, endless rounds of lockdowns) meeting high demand (hello, those endless lockdowns driving people to reconsider their living situations). The prices simply followed.

It was an incredible thing to witness, discovering that Toronto’s real estate market could barrel through a global pandemic, emerging unscathed, and, in fact, spread its fire in concentric circles around it. I was gobsmacked.

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But two years in, rather than slowing down and stabilizing, that momentum has only increased.

We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

For instance, as we closed the door on 2020, I remember writing about how incredible it was that across the entire Toronto Regional Real Estate Board there were all of 8,000 properties available on the open market for sale. At the time that number felt shockingly low. Whoa, I thought, that can’t be good.

Well, one year later, as we prepared to ring in 2022, would it surprise you to learn the available inventory had fallen by another 60%? We welcomed the new year with all of 3,323 properties for sale.

To describe that as chronically insufficient does not even begin to capture it.

But would you be surprised to also learn that 2021 was a record-breaking year for Toronto real estate? It was the most sales we have ever had in one year.

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We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

So, when we speak of an inventory crisis we aren’t saying that there are no properties to buy — though our active listings are way down year-over-year — we are mostly pointing to the fact that this market now moves so quickly that any available inventory is swallowed up almost immediately.

The structural aspects of our real estate market have become completely untethered from the market forces that used to drive it.

And yes, the confluence of events that got us here is complex and nuanced, but it should have been increasingly apparent to anyone willing to look for years now. With low interest rates and speculation driving demand, to decades of vastly insufficient housing starts thanks to bureaucratic red tape, restrictive zoning, and NIMBYism, the idea that things will simply self-correct from here seems like magical thinking.

This is a crisis. It’s time our leaders started treating it like one.

@brynnlackie

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Huron-Perth real estate market ends 2021 by setting annual, monthly records – The Beacon Herald

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The local residential real estate market set more records in December to cap a year that saw home sales and prices soar amid shrinking inventory.

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For the month, 101 homes changed hands — down nearly five per cent from December 2020 but 12.2 per cent more than the five-year average and nine per cent more than the 10-year average.

Homes that sold in December 2021 cost an average of $650,472, a record for the month and an increase of 40.7 per cent from a year ago. The dollar value of all home sales last month also set a record of $65.7 million, a jump of 34.1 per cent from the same month in 2020.

The overall dollar value of all homes sold in 2021 surpassed well over $1 billion for the first time, thanks to a record 2,359 units sold over the course of 12 months — an increase of eight per cent from 2020.

Homes sold in 2021 cost an average of $591,073, a significant gain of 31.6 per cent from all of 2020 and yet another record.

“On the other hand, the number of newly-listed properties was slightly below average for this time of year,” said Kathy Dawson, president of the Huron Perth Association of Realtors. “The market imbalance in favour of sellers continues to contribute to elevated prices.

“Our local market desperately needs an infusion of new listings in order to relieve the upward price pressure and to bring conditions back towards a stable and sustainable market.”

There were 73 new residential listings last month, down 7.6 per cent from December 2020 and 21.8 per cent below the 10-year average for the month.

Active residential listings fell below 100 for the first time in a generation, with just 75 homes on the market entering 2022. It was a decline of 41.4 per cent from the end of December 2020 and the lowest for the month in more than three decades.

Months of inventory numbered 0.7 at the end of December 2021, down from 1.2 months at the end of December 2020 and below the long-run average of 5.7 months for this time of year. The number of months of inventory is the number of months it would take to sell current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.

cosmith@postmedia.com

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