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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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Maximizing Your Home's Appeal: Small Changes for Big Returns

When it comes to selling your home, first impressions matter. Seemingly minor details that you may have overlooked can turn into significant turn-offs for potential buyers. To ensure a smooth and successful home sale, it's crucial to identify and address these issues before listing your property. In this blog post, we'll delve into a few examples of such turn-offs and provide practical solutions to enhance your home's appeal.

Outdated or Neglected Exterior:

The exterior of your home is the first thing potential buyers see. A tired-looking façade, chipping paint, or uninspired landscaping can negatively impact their initial impression. The solution? Invest in fresh paint, power washing, and landscaping. These relatively simple steps can breathe new life into your home's exterior, making it more attractive to buyers.

Old or Damaged Appliances:

Outdated or malfunctioning appliances are sure to catch the eye of prospective buyers. To address this, consider repairing and thoroughly cleaning your appliances. Alternatively, investing in new, energy-efficient models not only improves functionality but also becomes a selling point. A modern and well-maintained kitchen can significantly enhance the overall appeal of your home.

Unpleasant Odours:

Odours from pets, smoking, perfumes, or cooking can be off-putting to potential buyers. To tackle this issue, minimize scent-producing activities before viewing appointments. This can include avoiding cooking strong-smelling foods and keeping the home well-ventilated. A fresh and inviting scent can leave a positive impression on buyers.

Overly Personalized Interior:

Buyers want to envision themselves in their potential new home, not feel like they're intruding on someone else's space. To facilitate this, eliminate as many personal items as possible. While maintaining an attractive décor, strive for a neutral style that allows buyers to imagine the home as their own canvas.

Old or Poorly Maintained HVAC Equipment:

Buyers often inquire about the age and condition of essential systems such as furnaces, water heaters, and air conditioning units. Address potential concerns by having older equipment inspected by a professional. Providing documentation of the inspection can instill confidence in buyers and alleviate worries about future maintenance issues.

Investing time and resources in addressing these seemingly small issues can make a substantial difference in how quickly your home sells and the final selling price. By enhancing your home's curb appeal, ensuring functionality, and creating a neutral and welcoming atmosphere, you increase the likelihood of attracting motivated buyers who are eager to make your property their new home. Remember, the devil is in the details, and in real estate, those details can translate into a faster, more profitable sale.

So, roll up your sleeves, make those necessary improvements, and get ready to showcase your home in its best light. The right adjustments can turn your property into a buyer's dream, making it stand out in a competitive market.

Your journey to a successful home sale begins with these small yet impactful changes –  take the first step today!

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Ottawa Real Estate Sees 16.5% Surge in January Home Sales!

In January 2024, the Ottawa Real Estate Board reported a total of 629 homes sold through the MLS® System, marking a 16.5% increase compared to January 2023. Despite this positive trend, home sales were 10.7% below the five-year average and 3.9% below the 10-year average for the month.

OREB President Curtis Fillier noted that while there is increased showing activity, the market remains relatively quiet compared to pre-pandemic standards. Buyers are cautiously approaching the market, taking advantage of the slower pace to find their ideal property. Fillier advised sellers to adjust their expectations and carefully consider pricing and timing strategies with guidance from their REALTOR®.

Brandon Reay, OREB’s policy and external relations manager, emphasized the impact of low supply on market conditions. He advocated for meaningful policy changes, including streamlining processes at the Ontario Land Tribunal, eliminating exclusionary zoning, and permitting four units on residential lots to address the housing crisis.

On the pricing front, the MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) showed a 3.2% year-over-year gain in the overall composite benchmark price, reaching $621,600 in January 2024. Single-family homes saw a 3.7% increase to $703,500, while townhouse/row unit prices decreased by 2.1% to $462,200. The benchmark apartment price rose by 3.7% to $418,500. The average price of homes sold in January 2024 was $631,722, a 1.8% increase from the previous year.

The dollar volume of home sales in January 2024 amounted to $397.3 million, representing an 18.6% increase compared to the same month in 2023. OREB cautioned that while the average sale price is useful for tracking trends, it may not accurately reflect specific property values, which vary across neighborhoods.

Regarding inventory and new listings, there was a 7.3% increase in new residential listings in January 2024, totaling 1,271. Active residential listings at the end of the month numbered 1,961, reflecting a 4.5% increase from January 2023. Despite being 57.4% above the five-year average, active listings were 16.6% below the 10-year average for January. The months of inventory decreased from 3.5 in January 2023 to 3.1 in January 2024, indicating a measure of the time it would take to sell existing inventories at the current sales rate.

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Decoding High-Priced Home Listings: Are They Worth a Second Look?

Imagine scrolling through real estate listings and stumbling upon a dream home in a sought-after neighbourhood. Excitement builds, but there's a catch – the property is listed well above comparable sales in the area. Is it still worth considering? The answer may surprise you.

While a lofty price tag might initially raise eyebrows, there are various reasons why sellers choose to list their homes above market value. One possibility is that the property boasts unique and highly desirable features that justify a premium, such as a spacious backyard, a state-of-the-art kitchen, or a fully finished basement. In these cases, the extra cost might be justified by the added value these features bring to the table.

Another common reason for a high listing price is the seller's belief that aiming high will attract higher-priced offers. While this strategy doesn't always pan out, it highlights the subjective nature of home valuation. In such instances, the property is still worth a closer look, especially if it aligns with most or all of the criteria on your wish list.

The key lies in understanding why a home is priced the way it is. If additional features or amenities drive up the cost, and these align with your priorities, the premium might be justifiable. Perhaps the sprawling garden, the custom-designed kitchen, or the fully renovated bathroom are crucial elements that make the investment worthwhile for you.

On the flip side, what if the inflated price is artificial? If the seller has miscalculated the market or is overly optimistic, chances are the home will eventually sell close to its actual market value. In such cases, if you make an offer reflective of the real value, you might find yourself in a winning position.

The bottom line is that these seemingly overpriced listings are usually worth investigating further. It's essential to schedule that viewing appointment and delve deeper into the intricacies of the property. By doing so, you can assess whether the premium is justified by unique features or if it's a result of an optimistic seller.

Navigating high-priced listings requires a strategic approach. It's about evaluating the property beyond its price tag and understanding the nuances that contribute to its perceived value. So, if you come across a home that seems to break the bank, don't dismiss it outright – it might just be the home of your dreams, waiting to be uncovered.

Ready to explore homes that may surpass your expectations? Schedule those viewings with us, and let the journey to finding your dream home begin! Don't let a seemingly high price deter you; sometimes, the perfect home is just waiting for the right buyer to recognize its true value.

Let’s start your house hunting journey today!

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Navigating Canada's Real Estate Market: A Look at Current Trends and Future Projections

The Canadian real estate market has experienced a slowdown in activity over the past six months due to elevated interest rates, causing both homebuyers and sellers to reassess their plans. However, as Canadians adapt to the new borrowing costs and with the anticipation of a potential rate cut by the Bank of Canada, industry experts foresee a robust spring market ahead.

The Royal LePage House Price Survey reveals that in the fourth quarter of 2023, the aggregate home price in Canada increased by 4.3% year over year, reaching $789,500. Despite this yearly growth, the national aggregate home price saw a slight quarter-over-quarter decline of 1.7%, indicating the impact of the prevailing high-interest rate environment on market dynamics.

According to Phil Soper, President and CEO of Royal LePage, the narrative linking a housing market rebound solely to a potential rate cut overlooks a crucial factor—consumer confidence. Soper suggests that the recovery will commence when consumers are confident that the value of their home investment will not diminish shortly. The tipping point for this confidence is expected in the first quarter, preceding the anticipated easing of the Bank of Canada's key lending rate.

Looking ahead, Royal LePage's 2024 Market Survey Forecast projects a 5.5% increase in the aggregate price of a home in Canada in the fourth quarter of 2024 compared to the same period in 2023.

In December, the Bank of Canada maintained its key lending rate at 5.0% and hinted at a potential shift from interest rate increases to modest cuts in the coming months. Soper emphasizes the challenge the Bank faces in striking a balance between lowering interest rates and preventing excessive spending that could lead to inflation.

The recent Consumer Price Index (CPI) shows a 3.1% year-over-year increase in November, with inflation at 2.2% when mortgage interest costs are excluded. Soper draws parallels to the previous spring when a rate pause led to increased market activity, suggesting that even a modest rate cut could stimulate the real estate market, unleashing pent-up demand.

The fourth quarter press release from Royal LePage highlights varied regional performances. Greater regions of Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver posted year-over-year gains, while Calgary stood out with the highest price appreciation at 10.7%. Notably, 81% of regional markets experienced a quarter-over-quarter decline in the fourth quarter of 2023.

Renewals and Future Considerations: Approximately 2.2 million mortgages in Canada are set to renew over the next two years, with most facing significantly higher interest rates. This factor adds another layer of complexity to the evolving real estate landscape.

As the Canadian real estate market continues to respond to evolving economic factors, it becomes crucial for both buyers and sellers to stay informed and proactive. The upcoming spring market, poised for potential activity resurgence, presents a unique window of opportunity.

To navigate this dynamic landscape effectively, consider staying updated on market insights, regional trends, and economic indicators. Whether you're a homeowner, prospective buyer, or industry professional, knowledge is your best ally in making informed decisions.

Stay connected with reputable sources, engage with market reports, and seek guidance from real estate experts to gain a deeper understanding of the shifting dynamics. As we anticipate potential changes in interest rates and market conditions, a proactive approach will empower you to make strategic choices aligned with your real estate goals.

The Canadian real estate journey is a collaborative effort, and by staying informed and connected, you can position yourself to capitalize on emerging opportunities in the ever-changing market. Embrace the upcoming spring market with confidence and seize the possibilities it holds for your real estate endeavors.

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Empower Yourself: Taking Charge of your Homeowner Insurance Premiums in 2024

As a homeowner, you understand the significance of safeguarding your most valuable asset—your home. Amidst the ever-changing landscape of insurance policies and premiums, it's crucial to take the reins and ensure you're not just adequately protected but also optimizing your homeowner insurance expenses.

Here are some actionable steps to help you navigate and take charge of your homeowner insurance premiums in 2024:

Know Your Coverage
Begin by comprehensively understanding your policy. Sometimes, we pay for coverage we might not necessarily need. Assess the specifics—are you covered for risks pertinent to your area? Customize your policy to fit your actual needs. If anything remains ambiguous, don't hesitate to ask your insurer for clarification.

Shop Smart
Explore multiple quotes and consider beyond just the cost. Research different insurers, their reputations, service quality, and available coverage options. Bundling policies could be a way to save significantly, and keep an eye out for discounts—security systems or loyalty bonuses might make a difference. Comparison shopping is key to potential savings.

Get Proactive
Engage with risk reduction experts to seek advice on home upgrades that can mitigate specific risks. Investing in preventive measures, such as reinforcing your roof for storms or adding flood barriers, may reduce the likelihood of claims, ultimately impacting future premiums.

Regularly Review and Update
Don't let your policy gather dust. Life is dynamic, and so are your needs. After significant life events like renovations or changes in family situations, review your coverage. Keeping your policy current ensures you're adequately protected without paying for unnecessary coverage.

Consider Deductibles
Evaluate the option of opting for a higher deductible to potentially lower your premiums. But remember, balance is key. A higher deductible means more out-of-pocket expenses in case of a claim, so align it with your financial comfort. Seek clarification from your insurer to tailor your policy to your needs.

Take Action Today
Don't wait until it's too late. Empower yourself by taking these steps to manage your homeowner insurance premiums effectively. Review your policy, explore options, and make informed decisions. Your home deserves the best protection, and you deserve the peace of mind that comes with a well-structured, cost-effective policy.

By understanding your coverage, shopping smart, being proactive, regularly reviewing and updating, and considering deductibles, you're not just saving on premiums but ensuring your home is shielded against unexpected events.

Remember, your home is more than just a property—it's where memories are made and cherished. Take charge of your homeowner insurance today and secure your home's future.

Act Now
Initiate the journey towards securing your home while optimizing your insurance expenses. Start by reviewing your policy and taking proactive steps to safeguard what matters most—your home and your peace of mind. Your proactive approach today secures a better tomorrow for your home.

Empower yourself, take action, and make informed decisions—your home and finances will thank you.

Protect your haven. Act today.

This year, make your homeowner insurance work smarter for you.

Disclaimer: Always consult with insurance professionals for personalized advice and guidance tailored to your specific circumstances.

Remember, your home deserves the best protection possible. Take these steps today and secure a safer and more cost-effective future for your haven.

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5 Things That Lower Your Home’s Perceived Value and How to Fix Them


In the competitive real estate market, making a positive first impression is crucial when selling your home. There are several factors that can significantly impact your home's perceived value in the eyes of potential buyers. In this blog post, we will discuss five common culprits and provide practical solutions to enhance your property's appeal.

1. Outdated or Neglected Exterior
The exterior of your home is the first thing potential buyers see. Peeling paint, a tired facade, or lackluster landscaping can make a negative impression. To remedy this, consider applying a fresh coat of paint, power washing surfaces, trimming the landscape, or adding new plants to breathe life into your home's curb appeal.

2. Old or Damaged Appliances
Outdated or malfunctioning appliances can be a major turn-off for buyers. To address this issue, make sure to repair and deeply clean existing appliances. If feasible, consider investing in new, energy-efficient models. Not only do they enhance the overall aesthetic, but they can also become a valuable selling point.

3. Unpleasant Odors
Familiar scents in our homes may go unnoticed, but potential buyers will be quick to pick up on them. Offensive odors, such as those from pets, smoking, or strong perfumes, can deter buyers. To minimize odors, avoid engaging in activities that produce strong scents, like cooking, before scheduled viewings or open houses.

4. Overly Personalized Interior
Buyers want to envision themselves living in a new space, not feel like guests in someone else's home. To create a neutral and appealing atmosphere, minimize personal items and aim for a timeless decor style. This allows potential buyers to imagine the home as a blank canvas for their own personal touch.

5. Old or Poorly Maintained HVAC Equipment
Buyers often inquire about the age and condition of essential systems like furnaces, water heaters, and air conditioning units. To alleviate concerns, have a professional inspect older equipment and ensure that documentation is readily available for potential buyers. Proactive maintenance and transparency can instill confidence in your home's long-term viability.

Preparing your home for sale involves attention to detail and a commitment to creating a positive buyer experience. By addressing these common pitfalls, you can significantly enhance your home's perceived value and appeal. Take the first step toward a successful sale by evaluating your property with a critical eye and making the necessary improvements. Whether it's refreshing the exterior, updating appliances, eliminating odors, depersonalizing the interior, or ensuring the HVAC systems are well-maintained, each effort contributes to a more attractive and marketable home.

Don't let these factors drag down your home's value. Start implementing these solutions today to maximize your property's potential and increase your chances of a successful sale. Your dream buyer may be just around the corner, and a well-presented home is the key to unlocking their interest.

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6 interior design trends for 2024

With the arrival of a new year, a fresh wave of home design trends ushers in innovative ideas for interiors. Whether it's a change in furniture or an update in colour palettes, the onset of a new year provides the perfect opportunity to revitalize your living spaces. Transforming your home doesn’t always necessitate a complete overhaul—simple alterations like swapping cabinetry hardware or revamping linens can significantly elevate any room’s ambiance.

Here are six captivating interior design trends for 2024 that you might consider incorporating into your home:

  1. Vibrant Colors and Daring Patterns

2024 is the year of boldness and vivacity in interiors. Say goodbye to neutrals and safe choices—this year celebrates the allure of punchy colours, intricate patterns, and luxurious textures taking the spotlight. From lively kitchen backsplashes to vibrant maximalist artwork and daring lighting fixtures, this trend encourages audacious design choices that make a statement.

  1. Artisanal Craftsmanship

The allure of natural elements in home decor continues to flourish in 2024, with a rising appreciation for handmade artisanal pieces. Bespoke creations made from wood, clay, wicker, or glass are set to be sought-after highlights in interiors. Consider incorporating unique ceramics, wooden carvings, or glasswork found in local markets or galleries to add character to your walls and tables. Embracing pieces collected from global travels adds an extra layer of charm to your space.

  1. Earthy Tones of Brown and Blue

2024 interiors will prominently feature earth-inspired colours. Paint companies have designated shades of blue like Benjamin Moore’s Blue Nova or Sherwin Williams’ Upward as the Colours of the Year. Additionally, various shades of brown are poised to become popular as rich neutral accent colours, moving away from the cooler grey tones of recent years. Integrating these hues through paint, tiles, wallpapers, or natural elements like wooden furnishings and curtains can infuse warmth and character into your home.

  1. Revamped Bouclé Textures

The traditional cream-coloured bouclé fabric that has dominated designs is making way for a more textured and vibrant iteration in 2024. Embrace fluffier textures and bolder colours in bouclé for a contemporary touch. Experiment with this trend by introducing bouclé through rugs, cushion covers, or accent furniture to effortlessly stay in sync with evolving interior styles.

  1. Embracing Curves

Following the trend from 2023, rounded shapes continue to hold their ground in 2024 interiors. Departing from rigid, straight lines, curves embrace the organic and imperfect shapes found in nature. Infuse your interiors with curved furniture like bar stools, sectional sofas, and coffee tables, or add curved accessories such as mirrors and rugs to capture the essence of biophilic design.

  1. Mixed Metal Finishes

Contrary to past beliefs, 2024 heralds the acceptance of mixing metal finishes as a stylish choice. Diverging from matte black fixtures, this year celebrates the combination of various metal finishes—nickel, bronze, gold, and brass. Experiment by incorporating a blend of metals not just in door handles and knobs but also in accent lighting, faucets, appliance finishes, and decorative accents for a sophisticated and eclectic touch.

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Ottawa MLS® December Home Sales Close Out Year in Steady State.


On January 4, 2024, Ottawa MLS® ended the year on a stable note, showcasing 565 homes sold in December 2023 via the Ottawa Real Estate Board's MLS® System, marking a 7.6% rise from the prior December. However, this fell 16% below the five-year average and 11.9% below the ten-year average for December sales. Overall, 11,978 homes were sold in 2023, indicating an 11.0% decline from 2022.

OREB President Curtis Fillier noted the market's steadiness, suggesting a potential return of consumer confidence, likely influenced by anticipated rate stabilization in the latter half of 2024. While acknowledging the challenges faced, Past-President Ken Dekker expressed optimism, foreseeing Ottawa's market recovery and advising patience to both buyers and sellers.

In terms of prices, the MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) reflected a modest 2.7% increase in the composite benchmark price to $623,900 in December 2023 compared to the previous year. Single-family homes reached a benchmark price of $704,900 (up 2.7%), townhouse/row units were at $481,100 (up 4.2%), and apartments were $417,200 (up 2.1%) on a year-over-year basis.

The average price of homes sold in December 2023 stood at $632,487, up 1.7% from December 2022, while the year-to-date average price experienced a 5.5% decline from 2022 at $667,794. December's total home sales reached a value of $357.3 million, showing a 9.4% increase from the same period in 2022.

However, caution was advised regarding the use of average sale prices as indicators of specific property values, as these figures can vary significantly by neighborhood.

Regarding inventory and new listings, December 2023 saw a notable 12.4% decrease in new listings (523 in total), with active residential listings increasing by 3.0% to 1,844 units. Despite this rise, active listings were considerably above the five-year average (55.5%) and slightly below the ten-year average (17.2%) for December.

The months of inventory reduced slightly to 3.3 by the end of December 2023, compared to 3.4 in December 2022, indicating the time it would take to sell the current inventory at the existing rate of sales.

In terms of leadership changes, a new Board of Directors was elected in December to represent Ottawa's 4,000 REALTORS® for 2024, with Curtis Fillier as President, Ken Dekker as Past-President, Paul Czan as President-Elect, and Tami Eades as Vice-President, alongside several other directors. Curtis Fillier, OREB's first openly gay President, brings a wealth of experience from the accounting and tax advisory field and corporate sector.

Furthermore, Janice Myers transitioned from her role as OREB's Chief Executive Officer to lead the Canadian Real Estate Association as CEO from January 2, 2024. Cherie Kirkby, OREB's Director of Corporate Services, is stepping in as interim CEO while the search for a permanent replacement is underway.

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Modest interest rate cuts expected to spur activity next year, leading to a rise in property prices

In the wake of several turbulent years, Canada’s housing market might finally stabilize in the coming year, showing signs of a return to more conventional activity and pricing patterns. Projections suggest that the Bank of Canada will likely reduce its overnight lending rate in the latter part of 2024. This move is expected to reignite interest among sidelined buyers, who are adapting to the current lending landscape. Additionally, the formation of new households and the influx of newcomers to Canada are poised to further push prices upward.

Phil Soper, President and CEO of Royal LePage, expressed, “Looking ahead, we see 2024 as a critical turning point for the national economy, with many Canadians acknowledging the end of the ultra-low interest rate era. The adjustment to manageable borrowing costs in the mid-single-digit range will strongly influence our collective mindset, especially with the modest rate cuts anticipated from the Bank of Canada.”

As per the Royal LePage 2024 Market Survey Forecast, the aggregate home price in Canada is projected to rise by 5.5% year over year, reaching $843,684 in the fourth quarter of 2024. The median price for a single-family detached property is expected to climb by 6.0% to $879,164, while condominiums are forecasted to see a 5.0% increase, reaching $616,140.

Royal LePage's forecast hinges on the assumption that the Bank of Canada has completed its interest rate hike cycle and that the key lending rate will remain stable at five percent through the initial half of 2024. The anticipation is for the central bank to initiate modest rate cuts by late summer or fall. Concurrently, several major financial institutions have already begun offering discounts on fixed-rate mortgages.

Soper reflected on the housing market’s recent tumultuous journey, stating, “Canada's real estate market has undergone a roller coaster ride over the past four years. The global pandemic initially halted market activity in early 2020, but a subsequent surge in demand and price appreciation followed as Canadians sought safety and larger living spaces amidst global uncertainty.” He continued, “By spring 2022, home prices had soared to unprecedented levels. However, the swift and steep rise in interest rates to combat inflation triggered an extended market correction.”

The expectation is for a gradual adjustment in markets, with a move toward more typical home sale transaction levels in 2024 and a subsequent trend of appreciating house prices as the year progresses. Nationally, modest quarterly gains in home prices are foreseen for the first two quarters of 2024, with more pronounced increases expected in the latter half of the year, coinciding with the anticipated commencement of interest rate cuts by the Bank of Canada.

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Despite softening activity, Canada’s winter recreational property market is expected to see price gains in 2024

Nationally, median house price forecast to rise 2.9% in 2024 as interest rates are expected to stabilize or moderate

The winter housing market in Canada's recreational areas has shown a decline in activity compared to the peak seen during the pandemic. Fewer buyers are making purchases, and there's a slight increase in available properties. This slowdown is attributed to concerns about higher interest rates and increased living costs. Despite these factors, property prices in these coveted winter destinations are anticipated to experience a slight rise, with borrowing rates expected to either stabilize or slightly decrease in the coming year.

The Royal LePage 2023 Winter Recreational Property Report forecasts a 2.9% increase in the median price of single-family detached homes in Canada's ski regions over the next 12 months, reaching $1,099,661. This projection is based on the assumption of stable interest rates or a modest decline extending through 2024.

Pauline Aunger, the broker of record at Royal LePage Advantage Real Estate, notes, "Recreational house prices in Canada’s popular ski regions are expected to remain stable in the year ahead. While demand has weakened and supply has increased compared to the pandemic-fueled boom, market activity is trending back to normal historical levels."

Despite a modest decline in home prices in ski regions since the beginning of 2023 due to softened buyer demand, the decrease hasn't been substantial. Factors contributing to this decline include higher interest rates, increased living expenses, and economic uncertainty.

Aunger emphasizes, "Although recreational real estate markets vary greatly from one region to the next, activity on the whole in Canada’s winter recreational communities has noticeably slowed. Annual sales are down in most regions and inventory has climbed modestly as the market continues to regain balance. This has not, however, translated to steep price declines in a majority of markets."

The report highlights that despite a decline in buyer demand due to environmental factors like wildfires, and an increase in available properties caused by rising interest rates, certain regions like Quebec's Mont Sutton and B.C.'s Mount Washington/Comox Valley have seen substantial median price gains in the single-family detached segment.

In addition, Mont Sainte-Anne in Quebec recorded a significant 83.4% increase in year-over-year median condominium prices due to a variety of property styles, price points, and limited inventory.

Highlights from the national release:

24% of Royal LePage recreational property market experts reported a decline in buyer demand this year as a result of climate factors or environmental disasters, following unprecedented wildfire season

41% of experts reported an increase in inventory as a direct result of rising interest rates

Quebec’s Mont Sutton and B.C.’s Mount Washington/Comox Valley regions recorded highest median price gain in single-family detached segment, increasing 27.3% and 26.5% respectively, year over year

Mont Sainte-Anne in Quebec recorded an 83.4% increase in year-over-year median condominium price; sharp gains reflect wide range in property styles and price points, and scarcity of inventory

Read Royal LePage’s 2023 Winter Recreational Property Report for national and regional insights.

Highlights from the national release:

  • 24% of Royal LePage recreational property market experts reported a decline in buyer demand this year as a result of climate factors or environmental disasters, following unprecedented wildfire season

  • 41% of experts reported an increase in inventory as a direct result of rising interest rates

  • Quebec’s Mont Sutton and B.C.’s Mount Washington/Comox Valley regions recorded highest median price gain in single-family detached segment, increasing 27.3% and 26.5% respectively, year over year

  • Mont Sainte-Anne in Quebec recorded an 83.4% increase in year-over-year median condominium price; sharp gains reflect wide range in property styles and price points, and scarcity of inventory

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Ottawa MLS® Home Sales Stable in November Amid Growing Supply

In November 2023, the Ottawa Real Estate Board reported 724 homes sold via the MLS® System, showing a slight dip of 1.6% from the same period in 2022. This trend continued with home sales 31.8% under the five-year average and 27.4% below the 10-year average for November.

Throughout the year, a total of 11,421 homes were sold, marking an 11.7% decrease from the previous year's figures.

By the Numbers – Prices:

The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) tracks price trends far more accurately than is possible using average or median price measures.

  • The overall MLS® HPI composite benchmark price was $628,900 in November 2023, nearly unchanged, up only 1.4% from November 2022.

    1. The benchmark price for single-family homes was $708,900, up 1.6% on a year-over-year.

    2. By comparison, the benchmark price for a townhouse was $492,300, nearly unchanged, up 0.8% compared to a year earlier.

    3. The benchmark apartment price was $424,300, up 1.2% from year-ago levels.

  • The average price of homes sold in November 2023 was $633,138, decreasing 0.8% from November 2022. The more comprehensive year-to-date average price was $669,536, a decline of 5.7% from 11 months of 2022.

  • The dollar value of all home sales in November 2023 was $458.4 million, down 2.4% from the same month in 2022.

OREB cautions that the average sale price 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 calculation of the average sale price is based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold. Price will vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood.

By the Numbers – Inventory & New Listings:

  • The number of new listings saw an increase of 2.7% from November 2022. There were 1,428 new residential listings in November 2023. New listings were 8.4% above the five-year average and 10.4% above the 10-year average for the month of November.

  • Active residential listings numbered 2,752 units on the market at the end of November, a gain of 15.8% from the end of November 2022.

  • Active listings were 53.9% above the five-year average and 6.7% below the 10-year average for the month of November.

  • Months of inventory numbered 3.8 at the end of November 2023, up from the 3.2 months recorded at the end of November 2022. The number of months of inventory is the number of months it would take to sell current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.

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