How the end of the First-Time Homebuyer Incentive will impact the Ottawa real-estate market

Author: Nick J. Kyte

March 12, 2024

The First-Time Home Buyers’ Incentive is being discontinued this month (the last day for new or amended applications is March 21st) and I’ve been asked by clients and the media how this will impact first-time homebuyers in Ottawa.

The short answer: not much - I haven’t had a single client qualify for the program since it launched 5 years ago.

The incentive program was designed to help first-time homebuyers get into the housing market. The federal government offered a loan up to 10 per cent of the purchase price that would go toward a larger down payment and thereby reduce monthly payments. The program was well-meaning but flawed from the beginning. Between the restrictive household income cap at $120,000 and a borrowing cap of $480,000, the people the program aimed to help were swiftly edged out of the market by unrealistic eligibility criteria.

The program, which was launched in 2019, probably could have been helpful if it was responsive to the market needs and changes. At that time, a maximum home price of $480,000 was a reasonable limit for a first home in Ottawa. The average home price was under $500,000, or $300,000 for condos. But that has drastically changed in the last 5 years. Overall, the average home prices in Ottawa have increased around 50% since 2019 and held steady at that increased level for 3 years. The average single-family home in Ottawa is going for over $730,000, including all home types, the average is still $651,000 as of February 2024 which is completely out of reach for this program.

This is not just an Ottawa problem. Nationally, the average home price is $666,000.

The First-Time Homebuyer incentive program had a price tag commitment from the federal government of $1.25 billion and aimed to support 100,000 homebuyers in the first three years. Yet 5 years in, less than 23,000 applications have been approved. This is not to say that this program done right wouldn’t help. According to recent Environics Research, 35% of first-time homebuyers nationally reported getting help with their down payment from family, and 25% said they received financial help with their monthly payments.

Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater – the First-Time Homebuyer Incentive program is fixable. Increasing the household income cap to $200,000 would allow more people to partake. An incentive to sellers could bring more inventory to the market which would drive home prices down. Truthfully, if the CMHC and the government adjusted the First-Time Homebuyers Incentive program indexed to inflation and fluctuations in the housing market and the cost of living it could help a lot of people.


Author: Nick J. Kyte, Ottawa Realtor

March 8th, 2024

In honour of International Women’s Day on March 8th, I wanted to write about how women have changed the face of real estate in Ottawa and the history behind it. 

Women today are the largest home buying demographic, making up 61% of homebuyers according to the CMHC (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation) 2019 Consumer Survey. In Ottawa, single women make up 25% of first time and repeat homebuyers, while single men are only 10% of homebuyers, making women second only to married couples.  The trend shows women are the primary decision maker or mortgage holder in marriages too. 

Compared to only a few decades ago, when Canadian women were required to have a male co-signor to get a credit card, let alone a mortgage, a lot has changed. 

In the past, a woman’s participation in homebuying was often limited by societal norms and legal restrictions. For much of the 20th century, women faced obstacles such as limited access to credit, discriminatory lending practices, and cultural expectations that prioritized male decision-making in financial matters, including home purchases. It wasn’t until the 1960s with new fair lending laws that Canadian women were able to open a bank account or have a mortgage without a male co-signor.  

Despite these challenges, women have always played a vital role in shaping household decisions, including those related to homeownership. As societal attitudes shifted and legal barriers were dismantled, women began to assert themselves more prominently in the real estate market.

In recent years, Ottawa has witnessed a significant rise in the number of women buying homes. Women are now the fastest-growing and second-largest group of homebuyers in the region, a trend mirrored in many parts of the world.

Several factors contribute to this trend. First and foremost, increasing financial independence and career opportunities have empowered women to take control of their financial futures, including investing in real estate. Additionally, changing family structures and societal norms have led to more women assuming primary or joint responsibility for household finances and decision-making, including the purchase of a home.

Furthermore, greater access to information and resources, including online listings, mortgage calculators, and real estate agents, has made the homebuying process more accessible and transparent for women.

In Ottawa, specifically, the city's vibrant economy, diverse neighborhoods, and range of housing options make it an attractive destination for women seeking to establish roots and invest in their future.

As women continue to break barriers and assert their presence in the real estate market, it is essential for real estate professionals to recognize their unique needs and preferences. By understanding the evolving dynamics of women in homebuying, we can better serve this growing segment of homebuyers and help them achieve their homeownership dreams in Ottawa and beyond.

This International Women’s Day, and year-round, a woman’s place is in the homebuying market. 


Discover how Nick went from working in a government office to becoming a successful Ottawa real estate agent. Join the conversation with Annette Goerner as Nick shares the ups and downs of his journey, highlighting the excitement of being creative and helping people find their dream homes.

I’ve been working in real estate for over a decade, and for those who don’t know me, I wanted to find a fun way to tell you a bit more about myself and my journey into real estate. I sat down with Annette Goerner, Director of PR at spark*advocacy and former host of CTV Morning Live, to chat more about how I went from working for the federal government to becoming a top-producing real estate agent.

Annette: Tell me a bit about yourself and how you got into real estate.

Nick: I was born and raised in Ottawa, and like many of us who are from here, I began my career working in the federal government. I was working in HR, and I enjoyed the job and my team, but I always felt like something was missing.

I’d been interested in real estate for a while, so in 2010 I decided to take the plunge. I began taking courses to get my license and started growing my real estate business while still working for the government until 2015.

Annette: How did everyone take it when you told them you were leaving your job to get into real estate?

Nick: There was a little bit of shock. Understandably, leaving the security of a government job with a pension didn’t sit well with my parents. They’re both teachers from Cornwall and were happy to see me follow a secure path – Algonquin College, University of Ottawa, government job.   

Around this time though I met Lisa (who is now my wife). She was supportive of the change, and really helped motivate me. 2012 was a huge year for us – Lisa and I got married and I got my real estate license. Fast-forward to now and we have a beautiful daughter Audrina. (Yes, we’re fans of The Hills) and I’ve been a realtor for 11 years.

Annette: You knew you wanted something different than your government job, but what was it about real estate that drew you in?

Nick: I didn’t always know I wanted to get into real estate, but I did know I wanted to be my own boss. The further along I got in my real estate courses though, the surer I became that this was the path I was supposed to take.

Annette: What is it about real estate that you enjoy most?

Nick: Getting the chance to be creative. I absolutely love this part of what I do, and it’s really the missing piece that I didn’t have in my past role. On top of that though, I love the feeling of helping my clients. Real estate is stressful, with lots of emotions and ups and downs, but that feeling makes it all worth it.

Annette: What do you like most about Ottawa?

Nick: The people! Being Ottawa born and raised (I grew up in Nepean and went to Merivale High School), I’ve gotten to meet so many people. I can pretty much go anywhere in the city and run into someone I know from some stage of my life, which is something I'm very fortunate and grateful for.

Annette: What do you do when you’re not selling a house?

Nick: Well, my free time is spent driving Audrina to her to dance or listening to her talk about dance. When I’m not being a dance dad though, I love going to Fitness Lab, spending time with family and friends, and checking out events and restaurants in Ottawa.

Annette: How would you describe yourself to someone who doesn’t know you?

Nick: I’m an extrovert. I like getting out there and meeting with people all the time. I’m also an open book. If I love something, I’ll tell you, but if I don’t, I’ll also be honest with you.

Annette: Last question – where do you see yourself in five years?

Nick: That’s an easy one. You’ll see me here, in Ottawa, helping people buy and sell their homes.

Internationally Renowned Ottawa Real Estate Agent Announces Family Day Event To Benefit Nelson House Women's Shelter

Ottawa, Ontario Feb 15, 2023

Local Real estate agent Nick J. Kyte, globally known for his expertise in Ottawa's market, is organizing a special Client and Community Appreciation Event to be held at Sala San Marco in partnership with Mercato Zacconi in Ottawa, Ontario on Family Day weekend. The event is a buffet-style breakfast being offered and it will benefit the non-profit women's shelter, Nelson House.

"I've always been passionate about giving back to the community and supporting local organizations,"  Kyte says. 

 At the highly anticipated event, The Kyte Team will offer a complimentary breakfast to all attendees. They will also be accepting donations for Nelson House, with all proceeds going directly to the organization. The goal is to raise awareness about the vital work Nelson House does and to give back to the community.

Nick recognizes the importance of his clients and their families by hosting annual events to show his appreciation and gratitude for their continued business and referrals. By attending the event, clients will have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of women in need by providing monetary donations which will help the local organization continue to offer a safe space and resources for those who need it most.

The Client and Community Appreciation Event is taking place on Family Day weekend, on February 19th, 2023, from 9:30 am to 11:30 am. The Kyte Team looks forward to welcoming Nick’s clients to Sala San Marco to enjoy a delicious breakfast and support an important cause.'

More about Nick:

Nick Kyte's  speaks internationally on the luxury Canadian real estate market and is known as a thought leader in the field.Nick J. Kyte has established himself as a skilled top producer with experience in providing global exposure, tailored marketing and pricing strategies, exceptional consultations and negotiations. In the competitive Ottawa real estate market, Nick is renowned among colleagues and clients alike for his integrity, loyalty and offering the highest in quality representation, professionalism and a 93% referral rate. Certifications including the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, Coldwell Banker Global Luxury and Smart Home Certifications.  Nick connect clients to qualified domestic and international buyers and an active luxury branding community.


Nick was featured in Authority Magazine and in Thrive Global on how to 'Create A Wow! Customer Experience' - he also speaks internationally on the luxury Canadian real estate market and is regarded as a leader in the field.

Nick specializes in selling and marketing remarkable properties to his qualified domestic and international buyers, having a network of high net-worth individuals within an active luxury lifestyle community. His uncompromising professionalism and tenacious drive have yielded success in the real estate industry, obtaining a 93% referral rate and 5-star Google reviews.

Nick feels extremely honoured to be amongst the top real estate professionals at Coldwell Banker First Ottawa Realty and Coldwell Banker International, year after year. Qualifying to receive certifications from the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, Coldwell Banker Global Luxury and Smart Home Automation demonstrates Nick's focus on continuously providing exceptional value to his clients. Internationally cited in publications dedicated to the luxury Canadian real estate market, as well as entrepreneurship, business, marketing and client experience, showcases Nick's energy and passion for his business and brand.

Discover why WE love real estate and how YOU can Experience the Kyte Team Difference!


High Tech Luxury Ottawa Home Gives Buyers a Peek Into The Future - "This home isn't just Smart - It's Brilliant!" Agent Nick Kyte Says

“You’ve heard of Smart Houses?” The listing agent, internationally quoted real estate expert Nick J. Kyte says with enthusiasm. “This home isn’t just Smart - It’s Brilliant!”  The high profile agent sees a lot of houses in any given month - so what is it that has got him so excited about this particular one?  

The beautiful luxe home in the highly sought after Ottawa neighborhood is unmatched in design (designed by Award Winning Colizza Bruni Architecture) - AND it boasts an incredible list of Smart Home Automation features that sound to most like the description of the Star Trek deck. With the following features, The Kyte Team invites serious buyers to step into the future - Innovation paired with Location, Lifestyle and Luxury is what you find at 'One-Of-A-Kind @179.

  • Russound™ 6-zone audio streaming with Proficient Audio™ speakers installed throughout home and outdoor deck.
  • Theatre room equipped with 5.1 surround-sound Proficient Audio™ in-wall speakers.
  • HomeSeer™ Hometroller™ automation controller with Z-wave interface to enable mobile access to lighting control. Compatible with Google Home™ and Alexa™. Potential to add other automation products.
  • Home automation-controlled Z-wave wall switches for landscape lights and main hall stairwell.
  • GoControl™ smart garage door controller to enable easy wireless automation.
  • Schlage Connect™ door lock enabling remote access for main entrance and secondary unit.
  • DBell HDLive™ video doorbell for front entrance and downstairs secondary unit.
  • Hikvision™ CCTV system with recorder and four 1080P outdoor security cameras.
  • DSC Security™ system with Internet connection and separate partition for downstairs secondary unit.
  • NEST 3rd Gen™ thermostat in main home and NEST-E™ thermostat in downstairs secondary unit.
  • TPLink™ AC1350 wireless MU-MIMO Gigabit ceiling mount access point to provide whole-house WiFi.
  • Wall-mounted Samsung Galaxy Tab 7™ tablet for audio, security cameras, sprinkler system and lighting control.
  • Professional rack-mount equipment with 16-port Gigabit network switch.
  • Pre-installed HDMI cabling for wall-mounted TVs in all bedrooms, as well as family, living room and secondary unit.
  • All rooms equipped with network and RG-6 video cabling to utility room.

The Kyte Team is happy to be partnered with Annette Goerner, Director of Public Relations for Spark* Advocacy, Ottawa.


Annette Goerner
Director of Public Relations
Spark* Advocacy
71 Bank Street, 6th Floor, Ottawa, Ontario, K1P 5N2

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