Ottawa real estate news, discussion and inside broker information brought to you by Gord McCormick, Broker of Record and Dawn Davey, Broker 613-435-4692 firstname.lastname@example.org www.oasisrealtyottawa.com
Stittsville has experienced a building and population boom in recent years and is now approaching 35,000 inhabitants. Quite a leap from being “just beyond the fringe” that was a popular radio commercial tagline back when Stittsville was a quiet village removed from both urban and suburban Ottawa with a population of 3,000 or so. In fact, when combined with Kanata, the area has the largest population and number of residences in the Ottawa metro area and is the fastest growing. Stittsville is projected to have close to 60,000 residents within the next decade! So with all the new construction going on, it is no surprise that real estate has made strong gains in 2019.
This year’s residential numbers: We are using the residential resale numbers for the 3 main Stittsville MLS® zones, though October 2019.(does not include any condo sales)
Stittsville North MLS® zone 8211 for sales north of Hazeldean Rd
Stittsville Central MLS® zone 8202 for properties between Hazeldean Rd and Abbott St.
Stittsville South MLS® zone 8203 for properties south of Abbott St.
For comparison purposes, the Ottawa MLS® as a whole has recorded sales increases of 3.8% in unit sales and an average selling price increase of 8.4% for residential properties to a price of $484,891.
North Stittsville (8211) is rocking! This area closest to highway 417 has had and continues to have growth and new construction with a good variety of residential housing to cover many price points. It also offers best access for commuters who rely on the 417 for commuting purposes.
Unit sales are up a strong 20.1% this year and the average selling price is up 11.9% to $473,866
Central Stittsville (8202) sees strong price growth but inventory limits unit sales: Unit sales in Central Stittsville are actually down this year by 3.2%, perhaps reflecting the lack of listing inventory available. Still, good demand has pushed the average price in this area up 13.6% to $552,472.
South Stittsville (8203) unit sales up 7.1% and the average price sold this year is $579,098, up 8%. Most of these unit sales are resale homes and we have no visibility in to the numbers of new homes being sold in Stittsville but it is obviously significant at the present time, with most of this growth in the eastern section of Central Stittsville and in South Stittsville.
Outlook for 2020:
Expect to see continuing sales and price growth as all the fundamentals continue to look good with the local economy and the pace and range of new home construction in the area is significant and pretty compelling for a lot of homebuyers, who may also feel that they should buy now, before prices escalate any further. Those who have existing homes to sell then of course, offer that existing property for sale to co-ordinate with the new home possession date.
So it should continue to be “all systems go! For Stittsville real estate in 2020.
Motivates buyers to book a showing: Quite often we find that buyers will choose to book a showing in advance of a scheduled open house. This may be just a matter of scheduling or it could mean they want to get in early to take a look at the property and potentially get first crack at it. Getting buyers in to the property is always a worthy goal and we do believe that the scheduling of an Open House does spur other buyers to get in to see it asap.
Aggregates showings and saves seller time and trouble: Buyers will schedule a private showing at random times throughout the day and in our hot sellers’ market, this can mean a lot of private showings on a daily basis. So much so, that some sellers even vacate their properties for the first 3-5 days to allow the buyer/showing frenzy to happen without totally upsetting their lives and schedules. By scheduling an Open House, some of these buyers may choose to attend that event, rather than booking a private showing thus alleviating the need for the seller to vacate the home. (and making sure it is clean and tidy when the do)
This really works well for families with small children or pets that can spend less time tidying up for multiple showings and also removing pets.
We get feedback: When we get a chance to chat with buyers about the house or hear their comments to one another, we are getting valuable feedback for our own knowledge and for the sellers. What do the buyers really like about the property? What don’t they like? When we here the same things consistently, it helps clarify where the property and price fit in the marketplace and may help us tweak our marketing strategy for the sellers. If all buyers have a similar issue or concern then it helps us build a strategy to overcome that objection and/or discuss remedies with the seller.
We get to know our product better: Even though we may know the property quite well, the more time we spend there and the more feedback we receive-the better we fully understand the property. After all, in most cases, we may get a couple of 10-15 minute tours through the property with the owner which is certainly not enough time to commit every detail to memory or notice the level of details that buyers may wish to have explained. We often find little things that a seller can do as a result of our time in the home during an Open House. We can often find corrections to listing information that may been incorrectly supplied by the seller or through a typo on listing input. Ie the age of a furnace, air conditioner, windows or some other important system or component.
Events drive activity and greater activity usually means more sales opportunities: Open houses are great events for a listing agent to advertise around and focus their marketing efforts to gain the best possible reach and exposure. Because there is a time deadline, it should focus those potentially interested in the property to have a good look at it.
Even if they are unsuccessful, they still work: Huh??? We have had a lot of blockbuster open houses that result in multiple offers and sales and we have had just as many that are total duds. As a listing agent, there is nothing worse and more boring than feeling like the Maytag repair man for a couple of hours on a weekend afternoon when no one is coming to see you! After spending time and money in scheduling and prepping for the open house and getting the sellers to vacate for 2 or 3 hours and investing one’s own time, it can be more than annoying when the turnout is poor.
It really does force one to have a good look in the mirror, though and a critical look at the property as well. If one is getting good online activity and reasonable private showings then one should get decent open house turnout as well. If not, one has to assess how well the event was advertised/marketed and if the listing, photos, presentation and pricing on the property are correct.
The more focused activity early in a listing should bring great attention from buyers, since the listing is new and they have not seen it before. If hundreds or thousands are looking at the property online but not booking private showings or coming to an Open House, then there is some kind of disconnect. Buyers are not seeing enough appeal or value at the price level to take the time to come and see the property in person which is not a good sign. It does however, give us some good comparative data and perhaps some feedback from buyers who did view the property. On that data and feedback, we can often have important discussions with sellers or amend some portion of our online presentation, marketing or pricing.
Other open house types: Some listing agents have had success with the “neighbourhood” or “ commuter” open house. These may be along the “sneak peek” marketing line and advertised locally. The commuter open house will typically run 5-7 PM when buyers can pop by on their way home from work and typically occur very early in the listing when it appears it is a good first chance to see the property.
The oft flaunted “Brokers’ Open” one sees on HGTV or Millionaire Listing tv shows, is rarely practiced in our market. (talk about the Maytag repairman!)
Use of open houses can be a contentious topic: There are quite diverging opinions on the value of open house marketing, with some realtors being strongly opposed to their use. Just look online and you can find dozens of articles on why sellers should never consider holding an Open House. We feel completely the opposite, of course, but the bottom line is that sellers can make their own choices and if they don’t see the value then of course, are not required to hold one.
We have many thoughts on why these other Realtors so strongly “DIS” open houses and we will cover these in a future post. Plus “How so many Realtors sabotage their own open houses”, coming soon!
This is version 2.0 of our Oasis Realty Ottawa blog and we are keen to get it ramped up again. (we lost about 5 years worth of posts due to a misunderstanding between us and our website supplier…ugh! …not all their fault but it was surprising there was no way to go back and repatriate the content)
We think we can have a valuable role in creating a forum for consumers and Realtors to discuss real issues in today’s Ottawa real estate scene. Many professionals in the business don’t have time to blog or don’t have much latitude, due to employee contracts, corporate brokerage policies or management practices. Many others prefer to focus strictly on marketing and lead generation using their blog.
We hope to emulate in some small way, the super blog by a Realtor colleague in Toronto, David Fleming who has done a fantastic job in “telling it like it is” in Toronto real estate. He doesn’t pull any punches, either….something that is not possible for 95% of Realtors out there who are effectively muzzled or controlled, since everything they write or post, is subject to some management or corporate policy, scrutiny or legal potential. We encourage everyone to check out https://torontorealtyblog.com/ for an interesting perspective on the GTA market and real estate in general.
We think we have some real insight to offer, with over 15 years of industry experience and 12+ years running our own small brokerage. We have worked with 2 major corporate franchise brokerages prior to launching our own brokerage, so we feel we offer an interesting perspective.
We encourage you to submit questions and issues you would like to hear about it and we will address them, if we believe they are topical and of interest to other consumers. So what are your thoughts on the Ottawa real estate market? What have your experiences with Realtors been? What surprises, confuses, entertains or ticks you off about how real estate is done?
We look forward to hearing from you!
Gord McCormick, Broker of Record
Dawn Davey, Broker
Oasis Realty Brokerage