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Archive for April, 2013

Spring market shows moderating trend

Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,167 residential properties, including condominiums, in March through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® system, compared with 1,388 in March 2012, a decrease of 15.9 per cent.

“The Ottawa market has been described as steady and stable for the past few years. It’s not going up drastically and it’s not going down drastically,” said Tim Lee, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board.  “The market was forecast to slow down in 2013 as a result of recent mortgage changes, and indeed it has.

“According to chief economists at the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and intelligence gathered from large mortgage lenders, mortgage brokers and real estate brokers, the most recent changes to mortgage rules and guidelines have largely impacted first-time buyers by forcing them to focus on more affordably-priced homes. They were, to a much lesser extent, priced out of the market,” explains Mr. Lee. “When the changes were first announced, those who were actively shopping had to re-evaluate how much home they could afford to finance. Another factor for the slowing of the Ottawa market could be the role of public service employment cuts in the local economy.”

The average sale price of residential properties, including condominiums, sold in March in the Ottawa area was $358,102, an increase of 1per cent over March 2012. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $267,604, a decrease of 4.1 per cent over March 2012. The average sale price of a residential-class property was $386,197, an increase of 2.7 per cent over March 2012.

Single level condominium apartments: March’s figures showed 126 sales for the month, compared with 152 in March 2012. The average price in March 2013 was $278,164, a decrease of 3.2 per cent over the previous March.

Two story condominium townhomes: March’s figures showed 106 sales for the month, compared with 102 in March 2012. The average price in March 2013 was $236,580, an increase of 0.1 per cent over the previous March.

In summary, volume is down and prices are still rising modestly. Frustrating, but we are not looking at disaster. Ottawa remains strong.

It’s official – we are wonderful!

By Robert Hof

Royal LePage Performance Realty has been chosen as #1 workplace in Canada for women! We are so proud. Here is an extract from the congratulatory letter the company has received from our Broker of Record, Pierre De Varennes.

“I want to take this opportunity to congratulate each and every one of you for distinguishing yourselves on a national stage for how you choose to work each and every day, namely to our values of Respect for the Individual, Honesty, Integrity, Professionalism and Caring for Others.  Not only did we rank 11th overall for Best Workplaces in Canada, but we are also recognized as top in class for Credibility and Pride.

Most noteworthy, we ranked number 1 in Canada for Best Workplaces for Women. This should not be taken likely as we unseated industry titans such as Google, Microsoft, Disney, among others. This achievement is reached, not by any singular activity of any one individual, but by all of you collectively and truly fostering a positive atmosphere by both women and men alike in our firm.

You consistently demonstrate a capacity of tolerance, understanding, forgiveness and love towards each other, thereby creating the atmosphere that we all celebrate together today.

Yesterday morning we were asked to participate in a live on-camera national interview with CTV on the highly popular show, Canada AM. Lise Snelson did an excellent job representing all of us and explaining our values on a national stage, thereby increasing your profile on a local level.

If you haven’t already done so, I would urge you at your convenience to take a few moments to see and hear what countless other Canadians heard in describing the heart and soul of our organization, namely you.

It’s spring – finally!

By Robert Hof

The media are constantly serving us doses of doom and gloom about the real estate market and it is true that even in Ottawa it has slowed somewhat.

But I just don’t get it!

Just when we expect the market to be at its busiest, not a whole lot is happening. Maybe we can blame the dismal weather so far. Yet there is every indication that this is an excellent time to be buying a property. There is a very strong inventory right now and mortgage rates are holding at record lows.

Let’s get going, buyers and sellers. There are deals to be made!

Real Estate Partnerships Require Careful Planning

By Robert Hof

Investors will find this helpful. Mark Weisleder is offering some advice on setting up real estate partnerships. Robert.

I am often asked how real estate partnerships or joint ventures should be set up. Who should go on title? What clauses do I need?

Please see the attached article where I set out the key provisions that need to be negotiated in any real estate partnership agreement. If you or your clients need any assistance with setting up a joint venture or partnership agreement, please contact me.

Environmental liability – beware!

By Robert Hof
Innocent and blameless property owners may be exposed to significant environmental liability risk. When assessing environmental liability one might think that, if a land owner did not create nor contribute to an environmental spill or contamination, fault and fairness would be taken into consideration before a cleanup order is issued against an otherwise innocent party. In May of 2012, in the case of The Corporation of the City of Kawartha Lakes v. Director, Ministry of the Environment, the Ontario Divisional Court concluded that an innocent party can be held liable for the pollution on their property, even though that pollution was caused by someone else.
From the law firm of BRAZEAU SELLER LLP
Full article –

Canadian home sales rise in March

According to statistics released today by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national home sales edged upward on a month over month basis in March 2013 but stayed well below levels recorded one year ago. View PDF.

When do you have to vacate a rental unit in Ontario?

By Robert Hof

Mark Weisleder addresses a potentially tricky situation that could arise when you move into a home or apartment that has been rented prior to you buying it.  Robert.

A residential tenancy ends at the end of the term, which is typically the end of any month. That means that tenants must vacate the unit no later than11:59 pm on the last day of the month. This could present problems for tenants who are moving into a new unit on the 1st day of the following month as they may have to store their belongings overnight and stay with friends or at a hotel while they move.

This can also cause problems when a buyer is purchasing a home occupied by a tenant on the last day of the month, as the buyer will expect to get the keys late in the afternoon and yet they may not be able to access the home until late that night if the tenant has not yet vacated. This could result in extra moving costs which the buyer could claim from the seller, since vacant possession was not given in time.

It is preferable to make arrangements in advance with your tenants so that moves can be accommodated for everyone’s benefit. The key is proper preparation in advance, and not waiting until the last minute.

Please see the attached article where these issues are discussed further:

Disclose clearly when buying from your own client

By Robert Hof

Good advice for both agent and client from lawyer, Mark Weisleder. Robert

I am always asked how much should be disclosed when a salesperson buys a property from their real estate brokerage’s client. The simple rule is that there is never too much disclosure. Besides disclosing the fact that you are a salesperson, consideration should also be given to make it very clear to the seller that the buyer intends to sell the property for a profit in the future. In addition, the seller should also be encouraged to make any deal conditional on the review and approval by the seller’s lawyer, before the offer becomes firm. As the attached article indicates, when the proper disclosures are made in advance, a salesperson should even be protected from an unhappy seller who finds out later that the salesperson who bought the property from them sold it shortly thereafter for a substantial profit.

boathouse Paudash

Click here to read the article: