As the number of MLS listings continues to climb and developers reportedly offering "freebies," including parking, many believe that Ottawa's condo market is in serious trouble. But, as one expert explains, the situation is far better than most would think.
“We are not at a crisis point. Yes, we are seeing price decreases and we do have more stock on the market that we have had, just like other markets,” says Matt Richling from RE/MAX Metro City Realty Ltd. “There is no huge difference between this and last year’s figures so I think these stories are more for scaremongering than anything else.”
According to Richling, there were a total of 563 new condo listings in September, as compared to 540 during the same period in 2012.
“Of course, the market has changed and developers are changing their offering to reflect that, such as smaller sized units,” Richling says. “With prices decreasing, many are holding off on buying as they wait to see if it will drop more. That is the nature of the industry, but we have had one of the busiest years yet so that says it all as well.”
Richling admits he is aware of one particular development that has generated a low level of buyer interest of around 40 per cent. This is due to decreasing demand for buy-and-hold properties.
“Most of the negative media coverage has focused on those who bought and renovated and now can’t sell. That is just not reflective of the local economy,” he says. “We always tell investors that the best returns are three to five, or longer, terms. This is the new norm.”