MORRIS MarketWatch Newsletter Feb 2014

Morris Home Team - MORRIS MarketWatch Newsletter Feb 2014

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  • Patrick Morris, Real Estate Broker
  • Susan Morris*
  • Rob Kearns*
  • John O'Keefe*
  • Patricia Boudreau*

    *Sales Representatives

Ottawa, February 2014: OTTAWA Real Estate Market Update

Looking Back, and Looking Ahead:
Ottawa's Outlook is Positive:

Ottawa’s real estate market looks set to stay “steady as she goes” in 2014—much the same as it did in 2013—but will likely see very slight increases in both the number of sales and the average home price, according to Patrick Morris.

Thanks to a stable employment environment and ongoing migration into the city, Ottawa is likely to continue to have a solid, if not necessarily robust, market this year, he says.

The number of homes sold in 2013 through the Ottawa Real Estate Board’s Multiple Listing Service (MLS) system was 13,873, down from 14,308 home sales in 2012.

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Board president Randy Oickle says the introduction of tighter mortgage rules in July 2012 affected the market well into 2013, but impending mortgage rate increases may have spurred on first-time buyers to enter the market, leading to a better second half of last year.

Similar to what the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is forecasting, Patrick anticipates that the number of homes sold in 2014 will increase slightly, but not to the 2012 level.

“Especially in the last half of 2013, we noticed a few more inquiries from buyers, which we hope will bring in an increase in the number of sales,” Patrick explains. “But the average price will not increase substantially (in 2014)—between 1.3 per cent to maybe a high of 2.1 per cent, depending on the neighbourhood.”

The areas that should see a marginal increase in price are the city’s established neighbourhoods. Peripheral areas have a flat outlook.

Overall, Ottawa has many positive signs, says Patrick, and there are strong buffers to a slowdown in the real estate market:

  • Housing is driven by population, and migration into Ottawa remains active, with eight to nine thousand people coming to stay every year.
  • Two major construction projects—Ottawa’s light rail transit (LRT) system and the redevelopment of Lansdowne Park—are creating 20,000 and 2,600 jobs respectively.
  • The federal government’s contraction appears to be affecting mostly employees heading for early retirement with fully indexed pensions. The federal government and the high-tech industry continue to be the Ottawa region’s biggest employers, and account for many spin-off jobs in retail and other areas.
  • Interest rates—still a big incentive for buyers—are to stay at historically low levels for the first half of 2014. The Bank of Canada and CMHC are predicting that rates may increase only in the second half of the year.FEB_2014_graph_Ottawa_Affordable_MLS_avg_price.JPG
  • Ottawa is the second-most affordable big city in Canada for housing based on both percentage of income taken up by ownership costs and MLS average price (see graph).

In addition, says Patrick, Ottawa doesn’t experience the same wild fluctuations in the price of homes as Vancouver, Toronto, and Calgary. “We’re a fairly conservative city. We really value family relationships, and we really value the neighbourhoods we live in.”

Ottawa Real Estate Board President Oickle concludes, “Although the government succeeded in its plan to cool down the market over the past year and a half, Ottawa remains steady and balanced... We are truly fortunate to live and work in such a stable market area, and it seems buyers and sellers agree that Ottawa remains a great place to call home.”

A RECIPE FOR SUCCESS

PATRICK TAKES TOP SPOT ONCE AGAIN

Patrick has added another accolade to his growing list, garnering the number one position for Royal LePage in Ottawa for number of homes sold in 2013, making this his 13th straight year at the top. He also ranked twelfth out of a field of more than 15,000 agents for Royal LePage across Canada.

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Patrick attributes success in real estate to “goal-setting, focus, and discipline—never giving up.” An elite ski jumper before launching his real estate career, Patrick adapted lessons from his athletic training to business. “Handling the finest of details in business is like getting up in the morning and having to train and visualize your goal,” he says. “It’s all about the journey, being disciplined every minute of every day to reach that goal.”

The other essential ingredient in Patrick’s rise has been his partnership with wife Susan, whom he credits with doing a phenomenal amount of work behind the scenes.
Success has come in different forms for Patrick, including “being able to have a good, balanced family life as well as having a good balance in business life, and helping the community become a better place every day. That’s the biggest thrill I get out of it.”

* Photo Above: Patrick Morris with Phil Soper, Royal LePage President

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Make-A-Wish Event Success

The Love and Wishes Concert for Make-A-Wish Eastern Ontario was held on Saturday, February 15, 2014 at the Casino du Lac-Leamy, raising more than $30,000 for children in our community. Make-A-Wish® grants wishes to children between the ages of three and 17 who have a life-threatening illness.

“We would like to express our sincere gratitude to all those who helped to make the event a success,” say Patrick and Susan, honourary gala chairpersons.

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