A modern four bedroom house on the riverside
$ 3.77 million ($ 4,795 CANADIAN DOLLARS)
This bespoke four bedroom home is located on the banks of the Rideau River in Manotick, a village about 15 miles south of Ottawa, Canada's capital city. The 3.4 acre property includes 264 feet of waterfront with two boat slides. "It's rare to get a riverside property with so much waterfront," said Marilyn Wilson of Dream Properties, the stockbroker. “And having two boat slides is unusual. You might not get them now due to conservation rules. "
Built in 1985 for the family of a local site supervisor, the 6,105-square-foot home is anchored in a soaring, octagonal large room with a 20-foot vaulted ceiling of honey-colored British Columbia fir that tapers to a skylight. "The stacked, repeated design of the ceiling is reminiscent of Art Deco, but the materials make it very warm for a contemporary home," said Ms. Wilson. A granite column in the middle of the room contains two gas fireplaces that are built at right angles to each other.
Window walls offer views of the river from three sides of the great room, which is large enough to enclose the living and dining rooms. "The lines of sight are spectacular," said Ms. Wilson, including "incredible sunset views" from the west-facing windows.
The adjacent kitchen is centered around a V-shaped island with a granite top and a raised glass top. A gas fireplace clad in matching granite faces the island. High-gloss boards made of jatoba or Brazilian cherry wood cover the kitchen floor, and sliding glass doors open to a wraparound deck that offers an unobstructed Rideau river landscape.
Down a short flight of stairs, the opposite side of the house has three bedrooms. Double doors made of solid oak open to the main suite, whose angled ceiling mimics the wooden beam design in the large room.
The master suite is connected to the deck of the house via its own patio door. Two other bedrooms share a bathroom with a decorative stained glass window reminiscent of a similar pane of glass in an adjacent hallway.
The lower floor of the house is on the ground floor – "a window room with a strike and panoramic view," said Ms. Wilson. In addition to a media room, wet bar, and exercise facility, this level has a glass-enclosed indoor hot tub. High glass doors open to spacious green areas and views of the Rideau.
A few architectural surprises underline this part of the house: an octagonal pink granite column appears to support a staircase, and the lighting is built into cutouts around the perimeter of the ceiling. The house's only wood-burning fireplace is on this level.
Set back from River Road by a long driveway, the home is landscaped Lot includes a Gunite pool and two octagonal pool cabanas, one of which has a kitchen.
Manotick with around 4,500 inhabitants "offers rural flair with urban amenities," said Ms. Wilson. "These rural properties are in great demand because they offer space and privacy, which is what is currently in demand."
The village "has the character and feel of a rural community and actually serves the surrounding farming community," said Debra Wright, a broker at Details Realty Inc. in Ottawa. But development is continuing, including a new subdivision of 1,400 homes on the southern tip of Manotick, she said. "Ottawa is small and the fact that Manotick is a short time to get downtown makes it attractive."
After Ottawa, Canada's fourth largest city, lagged behind the glowing markets of Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver for years, house prices skyrocketed in 2020, largely driven by a surge in demand and "inventories at historic lows," according to Richard Rutkowski . a realtor at Engel & Völkers Ottawa. “We have always been undervalued compared to other capitals in the world. For decades, it was more of steady growth than those big fluctuations. "
After a brief slowdown at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, "the market went crazy," said Ms. Wright of Details Realty Inc., who is also the president of the Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB). “Sales rose slightly from 2019, but property values rose.” The average home price in Ottawa rose 33.7 percent year-over-year to C $ 582,267 ($ 457,000) in December 2020. This emerges from an OREB report published in January. For condos, the average sales price was 361,337 Canadian ($ 285,000).
By comparison, the average price for properties sold in Toronto in 2020 was 930,000 Canadian dollars ($ 730,000), the highest value ever recorded according to the Toronto Real Estate Board.
"In the past few years, most of the properties we've sold have been below 400,000 ($ 315,000) which would be an entry-level and affordable option," said Ms. Wright. "If you had something in good shape for 400,000 this summer, it would be way beyond asking." In 2019, Ottawa sold 35 percent of homes for 400,000 Canadians or fewer. In 2020, only 16 percent sold in this area, she said.
The surge in the market surprised even seasoned industry professionals. "I've been in business for 41 years and I've never seen a market like this," said James Wright, sales representative for The Wright Team at Royal LePage Team Realty in Ottawa. "We see bidding wars and many offers over questions, which is very unusual for Ottawa. We have customers waiting for properties in certain parts of the city."
In terms of demand, Ottawa benefits from the stability of government employment as Canada's capital, Wright said. A booming tech sector, including a new Amazon fulfillment center and local success stories like e-commerce company Shopify, "also means companies are hiring and people come here to work for them," he said.
In the luxury segment, "$ 2 million used to be a stretch," said Ms. Wilson, the stockbroker. The number of Ottawa homes sold for more than 2 million Canadians ($ 1.57 million) has more than doubled from 20 in 2019 to 48 in 2020, according to the Multiple Listing Service. "And these high-end homes are now selling in days or weeks instead of years," she said.
She added that increased activity in rural markets does not mean that interest in central Ottawa has waned. "It's a nifty, lower-density, international city with fantastic green spaces," she said. "There's no such thing as a really bad neighborhood. Ottawa is growing. In the next three to five years you'll be lucky enough to get in here."
Who buys in Ottawa
In addition to “buying or buying” the Ottawans, many of the buyers in the region this year were transplants from more expensive Canadian cities. "If a couple had planned to buy in Toronto or Montreal, prices are low, and now they're looking in Ottawa to see where they can actually go," said Engel & Völkers' Rutkowski.
A Statistics Canada report published January 14 found record population losses in both Toronto and Montreal, with "more people moving than moving to other regions of their province" from July 2019 to July 2020.
Prior to the pandemic, Chinese and Indian investors had discovered Ottawa as an alternative to Toronto and Vancouver, where foreign buyers face special taxes, Rutkowski said. Fewer overseas buyers have come since the lockdown, he said, noting that Americans make up a "negligible" portion of overseas buyers in Ottawa.
But Ms. Wilson said she served several American buyers who were being repatriated to Canada last year. "Many buyers outside Canada are buying unseen real estate," she said.
There are no restrictions on foreign buyers in Ontario. Getting a mortgage, however, "won't be easy," said Gregory Sanders, partner at KPMG Canada in Ottawa. "Because of the bank's due diligence, there are more hurdles for non-residents." Many American buyers pay cash or seek funding from a U.S. institution, he said.
Mortgage limits also vary for non-residents. Most banks require a deposit of at least 50 percent.
According to Michelle LaPierre, founder of the LaPierre law firm in Ottawa, provincial laws govern transactions in Canada. In Ontario, attorneys play an "essential" role, she said: "Attorneys prepare and register mortgage documents as directed by the bank and act as counsel for both the buyer and the bank."
Languages and currency
English France; Canadian dollar (1 CDN = $ 0.79)
Taxes and Fees
According to Ms. Wilson, commissions on property sales in Ontario averaged 5 to 6 percent, with sellers paying the commission. Annual taxes on this home are roughly $ 11,500 Canadian taxes ($ 9,000), she said.
Ontario buyers pay a real estate transfer tax based on 2.5 percent of the property's value, Sanders said. (Ottawa is outside of the region affected by the 15 percent speculative tax for foreign buyers in Ontario.)
Marilyn Wilson and Suzie Ng, Marilyn Wilson Dream Properties Inc./Christies International Real Estate, 613-978-8788, dreamproperties.com.
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