The Ottawa real estate market is at an all-time high. More people are buying homes during the pandemic, as housing prices increase and mortgage rates have dropped dramatically.
Additionally, as many Canadians continue to work from home, they want more space for an office or spare room.
Sellers and real estate agents are encouraging bidding wars by listing properties but only accepting bids after a specified date. Buyers are frantic to place the right bid to get the property, therefore driving up the price of the Ottawa housing market.
The Ottawa Real Estate Market
Even throughout an international pandemic, the Ottawa real estate market hasn’t slowed down. In fact, house prices have skyrocketed. For example, in September 2020, 2,329 residential properties were sold in Ottawa compared with 1,547 in September 2019.
On top of that, residential sale prices increased by 28 percent, so it’s clear the motivation to sell a home is very high right now.
Reconsider Waiving Conditions
Buyers are going in with offers well above asking price and waiving all conditions. This could leave a homeowner with a property that is not insurable or limits coverage on their new home.
Older Homes Require More Information
Homes that are more than 25 years old need updated information on the roof, heating system, electrical, and plumbing. Many times buyers don’t have access to this information if a home inspection was never completed.
Homes built prior to 1960 could even limit access to property insurance. If you have purchased or are considering purchasing an older home, consider these questions before making an offer:
- Is the home free of “knob and tube” electrical?
- Has the cast iron or galvanized plumbing been removed and updated?
- Is the home heated with oil heating?
- When was the oil tank replaced and does it meet the requirements of most insurance carriers i.e. double-walled oil tank or fibreglass tank?
- Is the roof covering less than 20 years old? Many Insurance carriers limit the coverage on a roof covering that is more than 20 years of age.
Be Prepared By Collecting the Home’s Information
Insurance rates and coverages are based on many factors. Your insurance broker can help you navigate this process by providing you with a Data Collection Form to have on hand when you are looking for a new property. You can even share the form with your realtor to help gather the necessary information before making an offer.
For buyers planning to let the new home sit vacant for more than 30 days, consider setting a closing date closer to when you can move in. Vacant dwellings are harder to insure because it provides less coverage than an owner-occupied home.
If you are looking at buying a new property, a conversation with your broker should happen as early as possible. We will advise you on what information we require to determine insurance eligibility.
Sign in to Scrivens Online to access your insurance broker’s contact details.