Real estate has been a hot topic in 2017 for Ottawa, and we are seeing essential changes coming to the real estate market in 2018.
Here are some things to watch in Ottawa housing market in 2018:
Ottawa will attract more foreign and other city buyers
We are expecting an influx of foreign buyers in Ottawa market in 2018. In 2017, I have helped quite a few of my clients who were foreigners or relocating to purchase property here in Ottawa. The reason for it is mainly due to how the policy makers in Toronto and Vancouver have taken steps to curb foreign buyers by imposing a tax of 15% on them. Foreigners are now looking at other markets such as Ottawa since the capital is close to Toronto and Montreal, and prices are still reasonable compared to other major cities…
There is also an influx of people from Toronto who sell their properties there and plan to live here in Ottawa.
More data on home sales
In Toronto, there was a court ruling that would allow consumers public access to see sold prices of a property online. This has been a long dispute between Canada’s largest association of real estate brokers and a federal competition watchdog. This court order will directly impact the Toronto Real Estate Board but they also have till end of January to appeal the decision.
There is a small chance that this ruling may have impact on Ottawa market, but we real estate associates do so much more than determining a price for your home, our job is orchestrating a sale process from A to Z therefore if you are planning to sell and want to have information of what has been sold recently in your area, please feel free to contact me and I will help to save you time and money in today’s life and market conditions.
New Stress Test
As you may already know, there are changes in the mortgage market where the new rules aimed at making sure borrowers can pay off their mortgages if rates were to rise.
How does this affect you?
The guidelines has already taken effect since Jan. 1, 2018 and applies to new mortgages as well as mortgage renewal applications if borrowers switch lenders. Financial institutions won’t be obligated although they may choose to do so to apply the test at mortgage renewal for existing borrowers. The rules reduce the size of the mortgage Canadians will be able to take on given a certain down payment and income.
It basically boils down to the fact that it now requires federally regulated financial institutions to evaluate applicants for uninsured mortgages by using a minimum qualifying rate equal to the greater of the Bank of Canada’s five-year benchmark rate or their contractual rate plus 2 percentage points.
What this means is that if you fail the test, you might be eligible to buy something less expensive with a smaller mortgage. There are grandparenting periods where old rates and conditions (pre-approved prior to Jan 2018) might still apply, therefore, don’t hesitate to contact me for a trustworthy name of a mortgage broker.
Mortgage rates will go up
Mortgage rates are expected to rise in 2018, after seven years of historically low-interest rates, the Bank of Canada finally increased its overnight rate in 2017. It is expected that the rates will have a certain amount of rate volatility. Timing to get your mortgage will be the key since in spring and fall, lenders typically drop their mortgage rates to attract more customers. Thus consider shopping or renegotiating during spring and fall.
Condo purchase will be on the rise
One of the trends shaping 2017 has been that there was an increase of purchase in the condo market. OREB have said that condo sales are up by nearly a third over last year. There will be a more signs of condo sales. Property owners are starting to put their units back on the market for sale as their rental leases turn over and they made good use out of their investments over the years. I receive questions from people if this is a good time to buy an investment property. If you will keep the property for a long period of time and it has a good ROI, then why not?
With the effects of stress test, potential of higher rates and other life style changes, people will start looking at investing and living in condos.
Low unemployment rates; new, increased immigration planning by the federal government are important predictors of another strong year in Ottawa. I hope this gives you a oversight of what we expect in 2018. There are exciting and interesting times ahead and If you are planning to purchase or sell, feel free to get in touch with me, I will serve you with my expertise and confidence in the market.