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Our Real Estate Team Is Growing

Merovitz Potechin LLP is seeking a commercial real estate lawyer to join our growing team.

The ideal candidate will offer experience assisting clients with a wide variety of real estate matters including buying, selling and refinancing commercial and residential real estate. Previous experience declaring condominiums and with other land development work, including land titles absolute applications, is a valuable asset.

Fewer listings, higher prices in Ottawa's real estate market

When there are significantly more prospective real estate buyers than sellers or vice versa, things can get competitive in any market. This appears to be the situation in Ottawa's real estate market, where there was a 21 percent decrease in residential properties for sale in Feb. 2018 compared to Feb. 2017. This is resulting in more real estate bidding wars in the city than in years prior, leading to some properties selling significantly over asking price.

There were only 3,028 residential real estate and 1,064 condominium listings in Ottawa in Feb. 2018. Hot areas in the city have seen higher closing prices as a result, mainly those along the Ottawa river to the east and west of downtown. The benchmark price for single family homes in Feb. 2018 was $409,200, a 8.5 percent increase from the year prior.

Residential real estate bids winning over commercial in Toronto

The availability of land and construction costs can be a challenge for developers in Ontario, especially in high-density cities. In Toronto, recent reporting suggests that condominium builders may have an advantage compared to other types of developers. According to real estate consulting group Altus Group Ltd, those building residential units have an advantage because of how much people will pay for space. 

Residential buyers in Toronto were reportedly willing to pay $800 per square foot at the end of 2017. This is a significant increase from the average of $600 per square foot a year prior. Condo units can be sold for more based on these figures, increasing their return on investment for developers and allowing the developers to bid more for their projects.

Plans in the works for valuable real estate at LeBreton Flats

In Ottawa, discussions over the fate of LeBreton Flats have been a much-discussed news issue. The valuable real estate plot in the core of the Ontario city has long been considered as a potential home for a hockey arena. A former mayor of Ottawa has said that he believes the arena will be built, but that residents may remain skeptical until they actually see the project start and finish.

Part of the skepticism of Ottawa, Ontario residents with regard to the arena at LeBreton Flats is how long the issue has been discussed. Three decades ago, the mayor tried to work out an agreement over the real estate with the National Capital Commission, but nothing came to fruition. RendezVous LeBreton Group, which is backed by the Ottawa Senators, has now reached an agreement in principle with the NCC to turn the 21-hectare property into a residential, commercial and entertainment hub.

Rental real estate owners struggle with marijuana legislation

While most legal activities are allowed within private homes, some landlords take issue with certain activities within their buildings. The upcoming marijuana legalization has become a topic among Ontario owners of rental real estate. Some landlords would like the right to change tenants' leases to ban the drug from their properties as soon as it is legalized. However, marijuana users argue that this would infringe on their rights and limit their ability to find housing.

The question that has arisen in this case is whether these restrictions are legal under rental real estate legislation in Ontario, or if they infringe upon the rights of tenants. It is within a landlord's right to restrict smoking of tobacco or any other substance in a unit. However, it is not legal to change a lease unilaterally before it ends.

Real estate listings and sales down in January 2018

The Canadian real estate market often fluctuates, and the first part of 2018 is no exception. In January, Canadian home sales fell by 14.5 per cent compared to the month prior. The decrease in real estate transactions is led by a slow down of 26.6 percent in Toronto, Ontario according to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).

Despite a slow down of sales throughout the country, the average home price in Canada continues to see a steady year over year increase. Prices rose 2.3 per cent compared to the year prior. However, Toronto saw the opposite take place with a year over year decrease of 4.1 per cent. Still, the average house price in Toronto is $736,783, significantly higher than the national average of $481,000.

Ask questions and understand franchise law before buying

The decision to purchase a business is a complicated one. Ontario business people who are considering buying an existing franchise should be aware of franchise law before making this decision. They should also ask four key questions before deciding whether the sale is right for them.

The first question which should be asked is about the seller. What is his or her motivation in selling the franchise? In many cases, part or all of the reasons someone is choosing to sell is that the franchise is not profitable. The second question the franchise buyer should ask, which is a follow up to the first, is whether the business is successful. Unsuccessful businesses can be great investments for those who are able to turn them around, but potential buyers should carefully consider whether the reasons for unprofitably can be rectified.

Things to know about condominium ownership in Ontario

Condominium ownership comes with many benefits. It also comes with rules and regulations that govern everything from maintaining your unit and how much your condominium fees will be every month to what type (if any) pets you can have.

As a condo owner, knowing some of the ins and outs of condo governance may help you to become more aware of your rights. It may also help you to make a decision on whether or not condo life is suited to you before you purchase a unit.

The dynamics of contesting a will

Wills are an important part of the estate planning equation, and they are intended to allow for a smooth transition as one's final wishes are preserved. However, there are times when you may feel that some of the provisions in a will are not legally justified - so much so, that you may actually want to contest or challenge the will.

Communication is an important part of estate planning and the creation of a will, but many individuals take the process for granted because of how well they may assume they know their loved ones. So, often the first time you see what's in a loved one's will is after his or her passing. The hurt you feel may just add to your grief over losing someone you love, and you might start questioning several aspects related to the creation of the will.

Eli M. Udell Joins Merovitz Potechin LLP Partnership

Merovitz Potechin LLP is proud to announce that Eli M. Udell has joined the partnership effective January 1, 2018.

Eli has been practicing real estate and development law for over ten years, and has been part of the experienced team at Merovitz Potechin LLP since 2012. Over the years, Eli's practice has expanded to include commercial acquisitions, sales and re-finance transactions, residential and condominium development work, and land titles conversion registrations.

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Ottawa, ON K1Z 8R1

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