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Ottawa's Real Estate Market: Spring Surge and Shifting Dynamics

Early signs of a vibrant spring real estate market are evident in Ottawa's MLS® data. In March 2024, the Ottawa Real Estate Board recorded 1,165 home sales, marking a 10% increase from the same period last year. However, despite this surge, sales remained 21.5% below the five-year average and 15% below the ten-year average for March.

Year-to-date figures also depict a positive trend, with 2,678 homes sold in the first three months of 2024, reflecting a 13.1% increase from the corresponding period in 2023. Curtis Fillier, President of OREB, highlights the overall health of Ottawa's real estate market, anticipating an active spring and summer. Fillier notes the growing confidence among sellers, as indicated by the rise in new and active listings, coupled with increased showing activity. However, he observes a cautious approach from buyers, likely due to concerns regarding affordability and limited supply.

Fillier suggests a shift is imminent in the market dynamics, driven by post-pandemic adjustments in housing needs. This includes trends such as downsizing, urban migration, and seeking properties better suited to evolving requirements. Consequently, there's mounting pressure on the mid-range property market in Ottawa, which traditionally faces tight inventory levels. Fillier advises both buyers and sellers not to delay their decisions in this evolving market landscape.

In terms of pricing, the MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) reveals consistent growth. The composite benchmark price reached $636,700 in March 2024, reflecting a 2.7% increase year-over-year. Single-family homes saw a benchmark price rise of 2.6%, reaching $719,000, while townhouse/row units and apartments experienced modest gains as well.

The average price of homes sold in March 2024 was $682,078, up 5.1% from the previous year, with the year-to-date average price showing a 3.2% increase. Overall, the dollar volume of home sales in March 2024 surged by 15.6% compared to the same month in 2023.

In terms of inventory and new listings, March 2024 witnessed a 13.5% increase in new residential listings compared to March 2023, totalling 2,074 new listings. However, this figure remained slightly below the five-year average and significantly lower than the ten-year average for March. Active residential listings also rose by 18.3% year-over-year, with 2,543 units on the market by the end of March 2024. Despite this increase, months of inventory only saw a slight uptick, indicating a persistent imbalance between supply and demand in the Ottawa real estate market.

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Bank of Canada Holds Steady: Balancing Inflation and Stability in Economic Policy

The Bank of Canada has opted to maintain its overnight lending rate at 5% for the fifth consecutive occasion, as announced in its scheduled interest rate declaration on March 6th. It affirmed its commitment to keep the policy rate steady at 5% and to continue the process of normalizing the Bank’s balance sheet.

Despite a drop in the annual inflation rate to 2.9% in January, the Bank cited underlying inflationary factors like shelter costs as grounds for maintaining the current interest rate level. It expressed the desire to witness further easing of inflation and the establishment of price stability before considering rate adjustments.

Economists anticipate potential rate reductions later in the year, possibly in the June announcement, should inflation continue to decrease toward the central bank’s target of 2%. The Bank of Canada's next announcement is scheduled for April 10th, 2024.

Today, the Bank maintained its target for the overnight rate at 5%, with the Bank Rate at 5¼% and the deposit rate at 5%, while also continuing its policy of quantitative tightening.

The global economic landscape saw a slowdown in growth in the fourth quarter, with the US experiencing a slight deceleration but maintaining robust and broad-based GDP growth. Meanwhile, the euro area's economic growth remained stagnant after a contraction in the third quarter. Inflation in both the US and the euro area continued to ease, while bond yields rose and corporate credit spreads narrowed. Equity markets showed strong gains, and global oil prices were slightly higher than previously projected.

In Canada, fourth-quarter GDP growth exceeded expectations, driven by exports, although overall economic growth remained below potential. Despite a modest increase in consumption, final domestic demand contracted, primarily due to a significant decline in business investment. Employment growth continued to lag behind population growth, and there were indications of easing wage pressures. Overall, the data suggest an economy operating with modest excess supply.

CPI inflation eased to 2.9% in January, mainly due to a moderation in goods price inflation. However, shelter price inflation remained elevated and remained the primary contributor to overall inflation. Underlying inflationary pressures persisted, with year-over-year and three-month measures of core inflation remaining in the 3% to 3.5% range. Although the proportion of CPI components growing above 3% declined, it remained above historical averages. The Bank anticipates inflation to stay close to 3% during the first half of the year before gradually easing.

The Governing Council's decision to maintain the policy rate at 5% and continue the normalization of the Bank’s balance sheet reflects concerns about inflation risks, particularly regarding the persistence of underlying inflation. The Council aims to witness further and sustained easing in core inflation while focusing on the balance between demand and supply in the economy, inflation expectations, wage growth, and corporate pricing behavior. The Bank remains steadfast in its commitment to restoring price stability for Canadians.

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Frosty Delights & Family Fun: Ottawa's Ultimate Guide to the Family Day Weekend Extravaganza!

Embrace the winter wonderland vibes as we dive into a lineup of frosty festivities and hot happenings in Ottawa! From thrilling bed races to enchanting ice carving demonstrations, our capital city is bursting with cool and captivating events to make your winter weekends sizzle with excitement. Whether you're a sports enthusiast, a culture connoisseur, or just someone looking to spice up their weekends, join us as we unwrap the coolest experiences and hottest happenings in Ottawa this season. Bundle up, grab a hot beverage, and let's embark on a chilly adventure filled with unforgettable moments and winter magic

  1. Winterlude Over the Past Weekend
    Explore the Snowflake Kingdom, a vast winter playground featuring snow slides, a zipline (with paid options), snowboarding and downhill skiing introductions for kids, and an array of other engaging activities – all for free!
    When: Thursdays to Sundays, including Monday, Feb 19. From 9 am.

    Where: Parc Jacques Cartier, 350 Laurier St, Gatineau.

    Winterlude

  2. The Great Canadian Kilt Skate
    Participate in the 10th Annual Great Canadian Kilt Skate in Ottawa. No need to be Scottish or wear a kilt! A similar event will take place in Pembroke on Feb 17, 1-4 pm - free of charge.

    When: Sunday, Feb 18, from 1 pm to 3 pm.

    Where: Lansdowne Park skating court.

    The Great Canadian Kilt Skate

  3. Pibon Winter Festival (Winterlude Edition)

    Celebrate the Family Day Weekend with an Indigenous Makers Market, workshops (some paid), cultural performances, indigenous comfort foods, horse-drawn sleigh rides, and visits to the farm animals, including the Ojibwe Spirit horses.

    When: Saturday, Feb 17, to Monday, Feb 19, from 10 am to 5 pm.

    Where: Madahoki Farm, 4420 West Hunt Club Road.

    Mādahòkì Farm
Indigenous Experiences
Knock on Wood Communications + Events
Friday March 25, 2022

Photo by Ashley Fraser
  4. Accora Village Bed Race

    Enjoy a lively event for teams of all ages where participants decorate their beds and compete in a race. Prizes awarded for the best decorated bed, the fastest bed, and the best fundraisers.

    When: Saturday, Feb 17.

    Where: Dallhousie and York St. Byward Market.

    No photo description available.

  5. Maple Tree Tapping

    Museoparc Vanier invites families to learn about maple syrup production, offering short training sessions on tapping and forest orientation every hour (9 am, 10 am, and 11 am). Bring your snowshoes (optional) - free of charge.

    When: Saturday, Feb 17, from 9 am to 12 pm.

    Where: 320 des Pères Blancs Avenue.

    Maple sugar fans throng to Vanier Muséoparc's revived festival | Ottawa  Citizen

  6. Big Bang Festival

    Experience a unique festival of musical adventures for children and families, with most shows being free and some requiring a nominal fee starting from $5.

    When: Feb 17, 11 am-5:30 pm; Feb 18, 10:30 am-5 pm.

    Where: National Arts Centre, 1 Elgin St.

    BIG BANG Festival | National Arts Centre

  7. PWHL Ottawa vs Minnesota

    Cheer on Ottawa’s professional women's hockey team against Minnesota.

    When: Saturday, Feb 17, at 2 pm.

    Where: TD Place, 1015 Bank St.

    PWHL Minnesota vs. Ottawa | Xcel Energy Center

  8. Ottawa Chinese New Year Fair

    Celebrate the Chinese New Year with dragon dances, traditional handicraft exhibitions, artistic performances, interactive games, and Chinese cuisine - all free of charge.

    When: Sunday, Feb 18, 10 am-4 pm.

    Where: Horticulture Building, Lansdowne Park, Princess Patricia Way.

    RBC CCAO's Ottawa Chinese New Year Fair 加拿大皇家银行中华会馆渥太华春节大庙会Tickets, Sun, 18  Feb 2024 at 10:00 AM | Eventbrite

  9. 7th Annual Harbour Harvest

    Join a family ice fishing derby to raise funds for local charities. Enjoy two rounds of trophies and cash prizes at 11:30 am and 3:30 pm, along with a Pancake breakfast. Tickets: $13, $18, or $47 (family of 4). $20 (at the door).

    When: Saturday, Feb 17, 8 am-3:30 pm.

    Where: Nepean Sailing Club, 3259 Carling Ave, Nepean.

    Harbour Harvest

As we wrap up this frosty journey through Ottawa's winter wonderland, we wish you a Family Day long weekend filled with warmth, joy, and cherished moments with your loved ones. May the laughter echo, the smiles linger, and the winter magic continue to weave its spell on your family time. From thrilling adventures to heartwarming experiences, may this long weekend be a delightful chapter in your winter tale. Happy Family Day, and here's to creating memories that melt away the winter chill and leave you with nothing but warmth and love. Until our next adventure, stay cozy and enjoy every moment!

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