The Ottawa Market
Ottawa Real Estate  March 2010

Well, the first month of real estate sales this year has seen less homes sold than last year's record numbers but prices are still up. We've had multiple offers on almost every deal so far whether buying or selling, it looks like it's going to be another busy year.  Of course if we end up with a spring election ( as it looks like we might ) that sometimes delays things a bit.
We also wanted to make sure you all the get the latest info on mortgage rate changes as the rates have started to go up and they are warning of further increases this year due to the underlying bond rates. The feds are also about to instigate new rules.

Hope you all are having a Happy New Year!  Thanks again to all of you who sent us your business and referrals this past year.  Steve and I are happy to say that we obtained Diamond Status with Royal Lepage for 2010 which places us in the top 3% Nationally.  We very much appreciate your trust and support. 


Any questions about real estate or if you just want to say hi, contact us anytime.  If any of your friends or relatives are thinking of buying or selling this year, we'd love for you to refer them to us so we can help them to.
Contact either of us at or 613-238-2801.
Cheers and have a great Spring!



Mortgage Rates Up
New Mortgage Rules
Merit Shines!
Mortgage Rates Rising! Do you need to protect your rate?


scaredwoman Over the past six weeks the constant pressure of rising bond yields has prompted many banks to increase their fixed mortgage rates. RBC, TD, Scotia and several non-bank lenders have already raised rates and it appears that many will announce increases over the next day or so
What should you do?  Don't panic! If you're already locked into to a good mortgage rate then there is nothing to worry about.  If you're looking to buy or refinance in the near future than just make sure to talk to your mortgage broker or bank right away to guarantee your rate so you're protected if they rise.  If you're purchasing make sure you get a pre-approval  by a bank or mortgage broker as they can guarantee to hold your rate from 90 days to 6 months depending on the broker.
If you're on a variable rate - is it time to lock in?  That answer varies with the individual, so best to talk to a professional about your circumstances. 


If you're looking for a good mortgage professional click here for a list of great mortgage specialists who will be able to answer all your mortgage questions. 
The Feds Force new Mortgage Rules
Parliament Library from the Ottawa River
Ottawa Seller's Market

In a so-called effort to protect us the federal government has forced some new mortgage rules upon us starting next month. They are:


1) The maximum number of years CMHC will back a mortgage was lowered from 35 to 30. effective March 18th
2) The max that Canadians can refi their home was lowered from 90 per cent to 85 per cent. effective March 18th 

3) Government insurance backing on home equity lines of credit, or HELOC`s, has been removed. effective April 18th

but what does that really mean?


For 35 year amortization, the reduction down to 30 years will only tighten up TDS ratio's making it harder for clients to qualify.  Either more income is required or a smaller overall debt to keep the debt ratio in line.


The largest impact is in the refi market of where the maximum of 90% is now reduced to 85%.  This is important for people at mortgage renewal time as if you happened to buy a property with either zero or 5% down in the past few years it may mean you need to put more money down or stay with the same bank you are with and renew at their offered rates.  Is this protecting the consumer or the big banks? Hmmm.


Ottawa's skyline about to get more interesting!
the merit
Charesfort's The Merit
Earlier this month what I consider to be one of Ottawa's best condo builders Charlefort ( builder - Doug Casey) announced the sales of it's newest condo building which will be situated across from City Hall at the corner of Lisgar and Cartier streets.  Bringing some New York art deco style to Ottawa, the building is modelled after the likes of the Empire State building and the Rockefeller Centre. Stepping in as it rises 20 stories with terraces at each step, it will be encased in black granite, stainless steel and glass.  Within the first 90 minutes of sales all but 19 of the units were sold, and the lowest price of the remaining ones at around $860,000.  The quick response is likely a testament partly to the location, but largely to the builder and the design, as we have other condos downtown that have still not sold all their units since their completion several years ago.  Vist the link to see the details on this new complex. www.charlefort/merit/. Give me a call if you'd like to visit the sales centre or if you'd like help with a purchase.
Soho Italia
Proposed 35 Storey Soho Italia - architect Roderick Lahey
Another building that will have an impact on the look of the city will be the new Soho 35-storey tower proposed for the corner of Preston and Carling at the entrance to Little Italy.  That building is facing lots of flack from the neighbours to date but also will bring some interesting architecture to Ottawa's skyline if successfull. 
Both buildings are doing the intelligent thing of combining commercial space at the lower levels which really works well in urban situations. Visit their blog at for what everybody is saying about it. 


Enjoy the upcoming spring weather! 



P.S - We're never to busy for any of your referrals!