Monday, September 28, 2009

No guarantee rates will stay low, Carney warns

OTTAWA -- Governments will be required to undertake “concerted” and “sharp” efforts to restore fiscal sustainability once a market-led recovery is assured, Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney said Monday.

This will particularly apply to countries with ageing populations and “unsustainable entitlement programs,” he said in a speech to the Victoria Chamber of Commerce.

While Mr. Carney was speaking about the need of governments to get their fiscal houses in order in the post-crisis landscape, the central banker also went to some lengths to reiterate that the central bank’s pledge to keep interest rates at 0.25% until the end of June 2010 is “conditional” on meeting inflation targets. He told reporters afterward it would be unwise to assume current rates are “normal.”

“It is an expectation, not a promise,” Mr. Carney said in his remarks.

In recent weeks, analysts have debated whether the bank may move before that June 2010 deadline to raise rates given the strength in the economic rebound; or whether it may extend its pledge to keep a lid on growth in the Canadian currency, which it identifies as a risk to growth.

His speech touched on familiar ground, such as the risk of the rising loonie, but also attempted to set the landscape for the “hand off” from government-led growth to the private-sector-led expansion. His remarks suggested that stimuli — whether through government spending or low interest rates — should be kept in place “until the recovery is assured.”

When that recovery is assured, certain countries have much work to do to clean up their public finances, Mr. Carney indicated. He did not cite specific countries in his remarks, but jurisdictions that fall under this category could include the United States and western Europe.

“Once the recovery is assured, concerted efforts will be necessary in most economies to restore fiscal sustainability,” he said, adding it would be “particularly sharp” for some countries. “The fiscal cost of arresting the downfall will need to be first contained and then repaid over many years.”

In Canada, the federal government has set out a framework under which it would remain in a deficit position until at least the 2014-15 fiscal year. But, the Conservative government said it would be able to reduce the amount of red ink in the coming years through cost controls and better growth.

More difficult decisions await legislators in Washington, which is recording shortfalls in the trillion-dollar range. Analysts warn of the need for U.S. legislators to cut spending and raise taxes, which could further keep U.S. consumers timid and undermine global growth.

Without aggressive efforts to keep the U.S. debt in check, bond investors will demand fatter yields that, in turn, could drive up inflation and weaken the U.S. currency.

But some governments are indicating they are prepared to take the steps Mr. Carney is calling for. Alistair Darling, Britain’s finance minister, said Monday the country will make annual budget deficit reduction a legal commitment in order to bind future governments to getting the national debt down.

“Policy makers will have to act deftly to maintain stimulus long enough for private demand to take up the burden of growth, but not too long to undermine confidence in and the sustainability of that growth,” Mr. Carney said. “The aftermath of the crisis will make considerable demands on structural policies in all countries, including Canada.”

Among the structural changes in Canada would be the need for businesses to rely more on emerging markets as a source of demand as open access to the U.S. market becomes “less valuable,” Mr. Carney said.

Afterward, he told reporters the U.S. economy would not be as “dominant” because that economy is going through a multiyear adjustment.

New Sandy Hill Park sewer tank saves the day

EMC News - Residents who live along the periphery of Sandy Hill Park are celebrating how well the new sewer tank under the park worked after last month's record setting rains.

Karen Bays' house looks out on Sandy Hill Park, which recently had a water tank installed underneath its main field, at a cost of $18 million, and she was glad that an end-of-July downpour did not turn her basement into an indoor swimming pool.

"Rather than sue, we chose to work with the City and we kept at them," explained Bays of the decision by residents to work with the City to address the sewer back-up problem.

"Otherwise, we'd be on the front page. We're really lucky, or we'd be digging out again...We'd be in the same boat if we'd let them walk," she said.

Similar to Glen Cairn residents who had their basements flooded last month, Sandy Hill Park-area residents have faced four "once-in-a-hundred-year" storms in the past decade or so, with the last one filling basements in September of 2004.

"The causes of our floods were different because the sewer on Somerset Street East is a combined sewer," explained Bays of the 150-year-old system. "Our water couldn't get out and it backed up into our houses."

Had the water tank not been operational, "we all would've been flooded again," she said during a telephone interview on the afternoon of Friday, July 31.

"We don't want to blame the victims," Bays was quick to add of the Glen Cairn flood victims. "We don't want to be smug, but we have spent a lot of energy...trying to be more non-confrontational," she said, urging the west end residents to follow their lead.

"We had to give up a lot. We gave up our park for two years," she recalled. The fences around the park, keeping people out of an active construction zone, were removed at the end of July.

"To see that fence come down was just fantastic. I haven't realized how much I've missed the park," said a clearly elated Bays.

According to Sandy Hill Park resident and Action Sandy Hill President Robert Stehle, the tank holds 12 million litres of water and, after the late July downpour, the tank collected about 4 million litres.

"I was here when it happened and it was intense but it was brief," said a clearly happy Stehle during a telephone interview on the morning of Friday, August 7. "The park is gorgeous. The park before was a flat field...and now it has all of these characteristics," from stairs and seating to a new play structure. "It turned out to be a good park."

He added that, in conversations he has had with Ward 12 (Rideau-Vanier) City Councillor Georges Bedard, a proposal for more pedestrian lighting in the park when it gets dark is in the works.

"There are all of these little kinks that need to be worked out," said Stehle with a laugh. "There's nothing that was simple about this," he added, looking back on the long process it took to get the tank into being a reality.

"Just like the people out in Glen Cairn, we (too) reached a point," with water flooding resident's basements on a regular basis, he said. He met with a number of lawyers, since "one group (of residents) wanted to do a class action law suit," against the City.

But Stehle realized that "When you do a class action, you get some money. (But) is the problem fixed? No."

So, Stehle, Bays and other residents approached the City and began working with them to find a solution.

"Wew were involved as an advocate and as a partner," said Stehle. "People sat around and helped design it...There's so much of us in this park. We are the reason why this happened. It was a slug fest."

At the beginning of the conversations with the City, there were two options on the table for consideration, which included "a huge sewer down Somerset Street East...that would hold everything. "Or, to re-do the park over here with a tank. "We felt that the disruption on Somerset could kill the businesses on Somerset," so the tank in the park option was chosen.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

If you are looking for open houses on this rainy Sunday in Ottawa let me know and I will send you a list.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

House hunters still waiting for prices to drop further before buying may have sat on the sidelines too long, according to a new report showing home values have recovered across Canada to where they were before the recent market drop.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Home resales show continued strength in August

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Ottawa Real Estate - August resale home sales solid -

Ottawa Real Estate Board Market Update - September

Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,216 residential properties in August through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® system compared with 1,181 in August 2008. This is an increase of 3 per cent.

Of those sales, 259 were in the condominium property class, while 957 were in the residential property class. The condominium property class includes any property, regardless of style (i.e. detached, semi-detached, apartment, etc.) which is registered as a condominium, as well as properties which are co-operatives, life leases and timeshares. The residential property class includes all other residential properties.

“August was another solid month for home sales in Ottawa. With strong sales and a listing inventory that is still very low, the capital remains in a seller’s market position,” said Board President Rick Snell. “Sales year-to-date are now up 2.6% over last year’s sales for the same period, which reflects consumer confidence in the local real estate market.”

The average sale price of residential properties, including condominiums, sold in August in the Ottawa area was $315,074, an increase of 12.3 per cent over August 2008. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $225,167, an increase of 5.1 per cent over August 2008. The average sale price of a residential-class property was $339,406, an increase of 13 per cent over August 2008. The Board cautions that average sale price information can be useful in establishing trends over time but should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. The average sale price is calculated based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold.

The Ottawa Real Estate Board is an industry association of 2,490 sales representatives and brokers in the Ottawa area. Members of the Board are also members of the Canadian Real Estate Association and thus are entitled to use the term REALTOR®.

The MLS® system is a member based service, paid for by the REALTOR® members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. The MLS® mark symbolizes the cooperation among REALTORS® to effect the purchase and sale of real estate through real estate services provided by REALTORS®. MLS® commercial and residential listings are available for viewing on the Board’s internet site at and on the national websites of The Canadian Real Estate Association at and Information about listings and open houses is also available in the Board’s weekly newspaper, Ottawa Real Estate Guide, available free at 700 locations across the Ottawa area.

Ottawa Real Estate Market Update

OTTAWA – August 27, 2009 – MLS® home sales were much stronger than expected in the second quarter of 2009, with activity having climbed throughout the quarter and into July. The remarkable recovery of resale housing has prompted a change to the MLS® home sales forecast issued by The Canadian Real Estate Association for 2009 and 2010.

The speed and magnitude of the rebound in sales activity to date has lifted CREA’s national forecast for the number of transactions to 432,600 units. This represents an annual decline in activity of 0.4 per cent compared to levels set in 2008, and is a significant upward revision from the previously forecast decline of 14.7 per cent in CREA’s forecast issued last May.

“Sales activity started off the third quarter on a strong footing,” said CREA President Dale Ripplinger. “The difference in the resale housing market now, compared to the beginning of the year, is night and day, and nowhere is this more evident than in the West.”

British Columbia and Ontario are now forecast to post annual increases in activity this year, reflecting weak demand last year and a subsequent rebound. Forecast declines in annual activity were trimmed significantly in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Quebec, and were also shaved for New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

National MLS® home sales activity is forecast to rise 5.3 per cent to 455,400 units in 2010. This is a smaller rise in activity than previously forecast. “Low interest rates are boosting sales by returning homebuyers to the market who moved to the sidelines late last year, and shifting ” said Chief Economist Gregory Klump. “Buyers are also shifting purchase decisions forward as they take advantage of attractive interest rates now before financing costs increase.”

New listings have been edging down from record levels, with many sellers taking their home off the market pending an improvement in housing market conditions. Average price increases in the second half of 2009 are likely result in a mild rebound in listings in 2010.

The national MLS® average home price is forecast to edge up 1.5 per cent in 2009, as the strong rebound in sales activity, not price, in some of Canada’s most expensive markets continues to skew the national, and some provincial, average prices upward. Alberta is the only province with a forecast decline in average price in 2009 (-4.4 per cent). Average prices are forecast to rise in all other provinces except British Columbia, where average price in 2009 is forecast to remain stable. CREA’s previous forecast predicted a decline in the national average price of 5.2 per cent in 2009.

Average prices are forecast to stabilize over the rest of 2009 and into 2010, but weak results in the first quarter of 2009 will result in a lower annual average price this year compared to 2010. The national average price is forecast to be up 2.1 per cent on a year-over-year basis in 2010.

The price trend is similar but less dramatic for the weighted national MLS® average price, which compensates for changes in provincial sales activity by taking into account provincial proportions of privately owned housing stock. The weighted national MLS® average price is forecast to climb 1.4 per cent in 2009, with a further 1.7 per cent rise in 2010. CREA previously forecast that the weighted national average price for MLS® homes sales would hold steady from 2009 to 2010.

“The speed with which the Canadian resale housing market has rebounded is unprecedented,” said Klump. “The economic recovery is expected to be slow and protracted, so the dramatic swings in activity seen in late 2008 and this year are unlikely to be repeated in 2010.”

For the full news release, please click here:

For further information, please contact:
Alyson Fair, Publicist
The Canadian Real Estate Association
200 rue Catherine Street, Ottawa, ON
K2P 2K9
Tel: (613) 237-7111 X 2284 Cell: (613)884-1460

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Home for Sale in Bridlewood, Kanata -

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Ottawa real estate market stays hot in August -

Friday, September 4, 2009

Commercial Lease (Office or Retail) in Ottawa Available Immediately

Commercial space for Lease (Office or Retail) $1450/mth -

Affordable Commercial Retail or Office space for lease. Commercial end unit available immediately for lease on busy street minutes from Downtown Ottawa. This commercial end unit has been renovated this year. Great business opportunity, for many uses: Florist, Dress Shop, Office, Nail Technician, etc...

1100 square feets of retail/office space on main level of the neighborhood mall located minutes from Downtown Ottawa.

Rent per month is $1,450

For more information on this commercial retail space for lease or to book your personal viewing of this Ottawa commercial retail space give Roch St-Georges

Direct: 613-889-7732 or Office: 613-837-0011