Homeowners in parts of Ottawa could be offered the rare opportunity to expand their property size and enjoy increased values.

Hundreds of property owners in Ottawa may be allowed to expand their properties by purchasing unused, city-owned laneways behind their homes.

The city has 64 kilometres of unused laneways and was recently asked to decide on how to best use and sell this land. While no timeline or pricing has been revealed, it has been reported that the council may charge a nominal fee to homeowners, such as $1, with the residents obliged to pay the legal fees and surveys that could run to thousands of dollars. 

Greg Hamre from RE/MAX Metro-City Realty in Ottawa says that homeowners could enjoy a re-sale value increase of between $20,000 and $30,000.

“Parking spots in downtown Ottawa are being sold for around the $20,000 to $25,000 mark and this extra space to homes would add even more value. It is a huge opportunity for homeowners and there is a lot of interest already in the space.”

The average selling price of a home in Ottawa increased by 1.6 per cent last year, however, the number of units sold dipped by 3.2 per cent, according to the Ottawa Real Estate Board.

“This is a no brainer for both homeowners and the council,” adds Hamre. “I just hope that they will push ahead with it and maybe in time for the spring market.”

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