In a recent interview with Brad Lamb, who has made a name for himself over the past couple of decades as one of the GTA’s leading condo builders – according to it’s website, his Lamb Development Corp has sold more than $1.3 billion worth of properties since 2001 when his company was founded – he expects the condo market in Ottawa to change drastically over the next few years.
However, in Ottawa Lamb’s ventures into the market have been limited. The fist has one finished project and another planned 350-unit condo which never came to fruition. Lamb sold the land to a Quebec apartment developer, lamb stated that he was “tired” of trying to drum up enough interest in the project.
Lamb has not totally given up on the nation’s capital. A 20-storey, $90 million, 218 Suite SoBa development is set to open in 2019. This development started selling in a very bad time for the Ottawa real estate market, “it was one of the worst (markets) for a long time”, Lamb states.
According to the Ottawa Real Estate Board, the market has recently turned. Condo sales rose above 14 per cent year-over-year in July and were up 16.5 per cent over the first seven months of the year.
Lamb points to renewed confidence in the local economy, energized by a Liberal government whom began hiring again, and construction projects that have kick-started the employment boom and “a sense of well being”.
After putting the brakes on new developments for the past couple of years, condo builders are eager to start fulfilling pent-up demand.
Lamb predicts that as “the inventory gest down close to zero and it tightens up, you’re going to see more and more developers announcing projects”. He’s hearing “bold new ideas” for upcoming properties driven in part by foreign buyers looking to invest in markets beyond Toronto and Vancouver.
Lamb thinks that Ottawa will change “dramatically” over the next three years, mainly “because there is so little to buy”.
Lamb calls Ottawa a city that “punches above its weight”. Lamb will bring his focus back there and looking to launch a couple of other hotel developments, and looking to other Canadian markets as well.
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