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Temperatures Cool, but Not Ottawa’s Resale Market

Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 2,017 residential properties in August through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 1,725 in August 2019, a year over year increase of 17 per cent. August’s sales included 1,576 in the residential-property class, up 22 per cent from a year ago, and 441 in the condominium-property category, an increase of 2 per cent from August 2019. The five-year average for August unit sales is 1,668.

Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 2,017 residential properties in August through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 1,725 in August 2019, a year over year increase of 17 per cent. August’s sales included 1,576 in the residential-property class, up 22 per cent from a year ago, and 441 in the condominium-property category, an increase of 2 per cent from August 2019. The five-year average for August unit sales is 1,668.

“August’s resale numbers were undoubtedly driven by the considerable increase in new listings that came onto the market in both July and August,” states Ottawa Real Estate Board President Deb Burgoyne. “There were at least 300 more residential and 175 more condo listings added to inventory than we saw last year at this time. In fact, we have not seen new listing numbers like this since August 2015,” she adds.

“The question that comes to mind is: what is propelling these new listings? Well, there are several contributing factors; there are Sellers that are ready to capitalize on their investments, there are those who may be moving into new builds or further out of the city, and let’s not forget boomers who are downsizing or perhaps moving into rentals.”

“Whatever their motivations, if the rate at which properties are coming onto the market can be sustained, it will surely bring some much-needed balance. For some time, as inventory comes on the market, it is quickly being absorbed. If this increased listing trend continues, at some point, the housing stock may finally build to a point that demand is going to be somewhat satiated,” Burgoyne proposes.

August’s average sale price for a condominium-class property was $383,640, an increase of 24 per cent from this time last year, while the average sale price of a residential-class property was $592,548, an increase of 22 per cent from a year ago. With year to date average sale prices at $566,291 for residential and $357,779 for condominiums, these values represent a 17 per cent and 19 percent increase over 2019, respectively. *

A culmination of factors has been playing into the price increases in Ottawa’s resale market. Certainly, multiple offers are a dominant element. The reason that we have so many offers highlights the number of active buyers in the market – due to a variety of dynamics, such as record low mortgage rates, recently announced decreased debt/equity thresholds, migrating buyers coming from larger markets who may have received high returns on their home sales, etc. When you add these to the already pent-up demand from our local residents, it has created a perfect storm, so to speak.”

“This is an extremely challenging market for many, especially those on the buying side. Many are experiencing what we call ‘buyer burnout’, having placed many offers without success. We perceive a change in buyers behaviour regarding expectations, that were perhaps, until recently ‘hyped’, or a product of watching a myriad of home improvement shows and/or visiting new builder model homes. Our current reality is perhaps making some buyers more pragmatic and compromising on what they accept, whether it’s a home’s condition, age, or location,” Burgoyne suggests.

“What we need to be cognizant of is that Ottawa is a capital city and a growing city, that until now has been well-insulated when it comes to resale prices. If you look at other larger cities, they have gone through this already. We are just in the early stages, with no end in sight at this point. I suspect that prices are not going to come down, nor is activity going to slow down in the near future. Whether you are on the buying or selling side of a transaction, this is not the kind of market to navigate without guidance. An experienced REALTOR® will ensure Buyers are making strategic offers, and Sellers are not leaving money on the table.”

In addition to residential and condominium sales, OREB Members assisted clients with renting 2,232 properties since the beginning of the year compared to 1,906 at this time last year.

* The Board cautions that the average sale price can be useful in establishing trends over time but should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. The calculation of the average sale price is based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold. Price and conditions will vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood.

July Sales Mirror Ottawa’s Weather…Hot!

Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 2,189 residential properties in July through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 1,838 in July 2019, a year over year increase of 19 per cent. July’s sales included 1,646 in the residential-property class, up 19 per cent from a year ago, and 543 in the condominium-property category, an increase of 18 per cent from July 2019. The five-year average for July unit sales is 1,729.

Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 2,189 residential properties in July through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 1,838 in July 2019, a year over year increase of 19 per cent. July’s sales included 1,646 in the residential-property class, up 19 per cent from a year ago, and 543 in the condominium-property category, an increase of 18 per cent from July 2019. The five-year average for July unit sales is 1,729.

“The resale market is not only holding its own but has surpassed 2019 figures by a significant margin,” states Ottawa Real Estate President Deborah Burgoyne. “Summer usually slows down; however, after the pandemic curtailed the spring market this year, we have rebounded well beyond expectations. It is somewhat surprising given continuing inventory shortages and the extra diligence and precautions being taken by our Members and their clients to ensure everyone’s safety in the process.”

July’s average sale price for a condominium-class property was $357,764, an increase of 19 per cent from this time last year while the average sale price of a residential-class property was $585,084, an increase of 20 per cent from a year ago. With year to date average sale prices at $560,836 for residential and $352,847 for condominiums, these values represent a 16 per cent and 18 percent increase over 2019, respectively. *

“Ottawa’s resale market offers solid returns for many Sellers, while Buyers continue to feel the squeeze. Those most impacted are especially those attempting to enter the housing market. Multiple offers are a common occurrence with over 57% of properties selling over the listing price compared to 33% of transactions last July.”

“With a market that is now characterized as hot, the question posed by clients, media and the public alike is, “when or where this will all end?” Since this is a newer phenomenon for the Ottawa market, which is typically very steady and predictable, we can look to other larger cities that have seen this type of sustained trajectory. As long as we have demand outpacing supply, this will continue,” Burgoyne emphasizes.

“Now that the market is on an upward trend, timing is critical. For those contemplating a move without the pressure of a purchase tied to it, it is an opportune time to realize a solid return on your investment. This market is challenging for all involved, and more balance would be a welcomed relief for everyone.” 

In addition to residential and condominium sales, OREB Members assisted clients with renting 1,883 properties since the beginning of the year compared to 1,619 at this time last year.

* The Board cautions that the average sale price can be useful in establishing trends over time but should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. The calculation of the average sale price is based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold. Price and conditions will vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood.

June’s Resale Market Rebounds

Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 2,052 residential properties in June through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 2,096 in June 2019, a year over year decrease of 2 per cent. June’s sales included 1,622 in the residential-property class, up 1 per cent from a year ago, and 430 in the condominium-property category, a decrease of 12 per cent from June 2019. The five-year average for June unit sales is 2,072.

Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 2,052 residential properties in June through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 2,096 in June 2019, a year over year decrease of 2 per cent. June’s sales included 1,622 in the residential-property class, up 1 per cent from a year ago, and 430 in the condominium-property category, a decrease of 12 per cent from June 2019. The five-year average for June unit sales is 2,072.

“With safety protocols firmly in place, and Buyers and Sellers more accustomed to our new normal, the resale market has rebounded to meet pent up demand,” states Ottawa Real Estate Board President Deborah Burgoyne. “While unit sales were down 55% in April and 44% in May, June’s sales results are within 2% of figures from this time last year.”

“June’s new listings doubled compared to April and increased 45% from the number of listings that came onto the market in May. A consequence of these rapid sale turnarounds is that housing inventory does not have an opportunity to build. Residential inventory is now 52% lower than last year at this time, and condominium supply is down 42%. We continue to be in a strong Seller’s Market, with less than one month’s supply currently available.”

June’s average sale price for a condominium-class property was $360,922, an increase of 17 per cent from this time last year while the average sale price of a residential-class property was $575,623, an increase of 15 per cent from a year ago. With year to date average sale prices at $554,256 for residential and $351,353 for condominiums, these values represent a 14 per cent and 18 percent increase over 2019, respectively. *

“The manifestation of the Seller’s Market is certainly evident when you look at average property prices, which continued to increase, albeit less significantly, in the past couple months. We are once again witnessing double-digit percentage growth over last year, and the average residential price is now in the high five hundreds,” Burgoyne acknowledges. “Additionally, multiple offer situations are influencing market values as statistics show approximately 56% of properties sold over asking in June.”

When asked what to expect from the resale market moving forward, Burgoyne speculates, “We are seeing what I call a reverse slope. The market understandably experienced a bit of a valley, and now it is moving up the other side. Usually, it’s the other way around, and by July we would start to see a slow down as Buyers and Sellers turn their attention to summer activities. I anticipate that along with our region’s exceptionally hot summer forecasted by the Farmers’ Almanac, the Ottawa real estate market is likely to parallel that prediction.”

In addition to residential and condominium sales, OREB Members assisted clients with renting 1,512 properties since the beginning of the year compared to 1,314 at this time last year.

* The Board cautions that the average sale price can be useful in establishing trends over time but should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. The calculation of the average sale price is based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold. Price and conditions will vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood.

Ottawa REALTORS® Give $18,260 to Covid-19 Stressed Charities

As Covid-19 continues to put pressure on the province’s already stretched shelter system, Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB) are pleased to be able to support seven charities in our local community by providing $18,260 in emergency grant funding to assist with service continuity. This funding is part of a $480,000 donation made by the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) that will be distributed by the Ontario REALTORS Care® Foundation (ORCF) to shelters, food banks and shelter-based charities.

As Covid-19 continues to put pressure on the province’s already stretched shelter system, Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB) are pleased to be able to support seven charities in our local community by providing $18,260 in emergency grant funding to assist with service continuity. This funding is part of a $480,000 donation made by the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) that will be distributed by the Ontario REALTORS Care® Foundation (ORCF) to shelters, food banks and shelter-based charities.

“The impact of Covid-19 has been felt around the world with vulnerable populations being disproportionately affected,” states Deborah Burgoyne, Ottawa Real Estate Board President. “We are thrilled to be able to support seven of our local charitable organizations as they navigate through this challenging and unprecedented time. Many of them are experiencing a decrease in income, and we hope that this donation will help them cover some of the unexpected costs.”

The Ottawa-area emergency grant recipients are:

  • Ancoura
  • A New Day Youth and Adult Services
  • Bruce House
  • Eastern Ottawa Resource Centre
  • Hospice Care Ottawa
  • Jericho Road Ministries
  • Lanark Highlands Youth Centre

ORCF’s funding will be distributed to more than 50 charities across Ontario. The ORCF is an organization that has supported shelter-based organizations throughout Ontario since 1977. It receives its funding through the generosity of Ontario’s REALTORS®, who have shown time and again that their hearts are in the communities across the province where they live and work, contributing as valuable members of those communities in innumerable ways.

“Now more than ever, our local communities and shelters need our support,” said Kevin Crigger, President, Ontario REALTORS Care® Foundation. “This funding is consistent with the socially responsible leadership that OREA, its 37 Member Boards and its REALTOR® Members provide to the Ontario communities they serve. When the Covid-19 health crisis is behind us, Ontario REALTORS® and the ORCF will still be there, as they’ve been for more than 40 years, raising money to support our local charities.”

The donation is being redirected from OREA’s one-time $5 million dollar grant to the Ontario REALTORS Care® Foundation made earlier this year, facilitating a faster and direct distribution of funds at a time of need. To donate to the Ontario REALTORS Care® Foundation today, visit www.realtorscareontario.ca.

Ottawa Real Estate Springs into Fall

Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,345 residential properties in May through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 2,410 in May 2019, a decrease of 44 per cent. May’s sales included 1,066 in the residential-property class, down 43 per cent from a year ago, and 279 in the condominium-property category, a decrease of 49 per cent from May 2019. The five-year average for May unit sales is 2,048.

Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,345 residential properties in May through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 2,410 in May 2019, a decrease of 44 per cent. May’s sales included 1,066 in the residential-property class, down 43 per cent from a year ago, and 279 in the condominium-property category, a decrease of 49 per cent from May 2019. The five-year average for May unit sales is 2,048.

“Just as May’s temperatures had us questioning what season we were in, our real estate market also underwent a seasonal switch, so to speak,” notes Ottawa Real Estate Board President Deborah Burgoyne. “This spring market is performing more like a fall market with the number of new listings and resales on par with what typically occurs in late October and November.”

“Around mid-May, we started to see a restrained uptick in our numbers with monthly unit sales only 44% lower than May 2019, compared to the 55% year over year decrease in April’s figures. We expect that as the economy continues to rollout and consumer confidence increases, our real estate market will follow suit, the pent-up demand pre-Covid still exists. Our spring numbers are typical of our fall figures, with cautious optimism, we can hope that there is a ‘flip flop’ and our fall numbers are closer to spring figures.”

May’s average sale price for a condominium-class property was $343,589, an increase of 15.5 per cent from this time last year while the average sale price of a residential-class property was $548,140, an increase of 11.2 per cent from a year ago. With year to date average sale prices at $546,177 for residential and $348,458 for condominiums, these values represent a 13.8 per cent and 17.8 percent increase over 2019, respectively.*

“Although the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) forecast for Canada’s housing prices may seem pretty bleak, their broad-based analysis for the country as a whole does not accurately reflect what is transpiring in our local market as evidenced by the steady increases in average home prices in Ottawa – even during the crux of a pandemic and global economic recession.”

“Unquestionably, the fact that we are still in the midst of a seller’s market is a contributing factor. Nevertheless, with our region’s stable employment and a continuous influx of newcomers, homeowners can take comfort in the knowledge that owning a property in Ottawa and its surrounding areas is a solid investment for yourselves and future generations,” Burgoyne assures.

“Utilizing a REALTORS®’s experience, insight, and extensive professional network is particularly advantageous during this time. They will ensure you are only viewing properties that meet your hard criteria and can also identify possible alternative options to meet your goals, such as in-law suites or carriage homes for example.”

In addition to residential and condominium sales, OREB Members assisted clients with renting 1,207 properties since the beginning of the year compared to 1,043 at this time last year.

* The Board cautions that the average sale price can be useful in establishing trends over time but should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. The calculation of the average sale price is based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold. Price and conditions will vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood.

Real Estate Pivots in the Age of Covid-19

Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 913 residential properties in April through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 2,025 in April 2019, a decrease of 55 per cent. April’s sales included 700 in the residential-property class, down 56 per cent from a year ago, and 213 in the condominium-property category, a decrease of 51 per cent from April 2019. The five-year average for April unit sales is 1,692.

Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 913 residential properties in April through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 2,025 in April 2019, a decrease of 55 per cent. April’s sales included 700 in the residential-property class, down 56 per cent from a year ago, and 213 in the condominium-property category, a decrease of 51 per cent from April 2019. The five-year average for April unit sales is 1,692.

“While the Ottawa real estate market statistics for April come as no surprise, they are a stark contrast to the previous month and the year-over-year figures for April 2019,” states Ottawa Real Estate Board President Deb Burgoyne. “I am proud to say, our Members have rapidly adapted to following the “State of Emergency” guidelines and are limiting work activity to assisting those who must sell and/or buy during this pivotal time – while keeping the health risk to all parties to a minimum.”

April’s average sale price for a condominium-class property was $327,813, an increase of 6.3 per cent from this time last year while the average sale price of a residential-class property was $521,694, an increase of 6.8 per cent from a year ago. Year to date figures show a 15.1 per cent and an 18.5 per cent increase in average sale prices for residential and condominiums, respectively.*

“While the number of unit sales has decreased substantially, residential prices are still holding their own and are up over last year’s figures, with properties often selling above the asking price,” Burgoyne reports. “There is still a holdover of pent-up demand in our marketplace. We believe that when the market opens up again, although it won’t be business as usual, sales will rebound and make up for the decline the spring market has experienced,” she adds.

“Our Members have been adjusting and retooling the way real estate is conducted. They are finding new ways to market properties and provide options for viewings using technology such as live streaming open houses, posting virtual tours, and holding virtual showings, etc. These adaptations are key in mitigating risk for all parties and will certainly continue to be necessary as things normalize in the city and our working environment.”

“If you are a potential home buyer or seller, and in a situation where it is essential that you buy or sell a property right now, there are means to do this in a safe and prudent manner. Do not hesitate to contact a REALTOR® to discuss, plan and protect you through this unique period,” recommends Burgoyne.

In addition to residential and condominium sales, OREB Members assisted clients with renting 947 properties since the beginning of the year compared to 778 at this time last year.

* The Board cautions that the average sale price can be useful in establishing trends over time but should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. The calculation of the average sale price is based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold. Price and conditions will vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood.

March Residential Resales Withstand Pressure of World Crisis

Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,525 residential properties in March through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 1,507 in March 2019, an increase of only 1.2 per cent. March’s sales included 1,170 in the residential-property class, up 3.3 per cent from a year ago, and 355 in the condominium-property category, a decrease of 5.1 per cent from March 2019. The five-year average for March unit sales is 1,465.

Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,525 residential properties in March through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 1,507 in March 2019, an increase of only 1.2 per cent. March’s sales included 1,170 in the residential-property class, up 3.3 per cent from a year ago, and 355 in the condominium-property category, a decrease of 5.1 per cent from March 2019. The five-year average for March unit sales is 1,465.

“Our results show that the Ottawa real estate market seems to have withstood the pressure of a worldwide economic event in March, however in context with our market’s performance up to this point, we can see the underlying effect. Before the pandemic, monthly unit sales were increasing between 10-16% from 2019, while March’s sales were just on par with a year ago. This is an indicator that there has been a slowdown in the real estate market due to Covid-19.” reports Deborah Burgoyne, Ottawa Real Estate Board President.

“Much of March’s activity likely began in the first two weeks of the month before the State of Emergency order was put into place. In fact, we had a head start on the spring market that was heating up earlier than expected, but activity seemed to fall off as physical distancing measures took effect,” she adds.

“Once the Ontario State of Emergency began, our Members and Brokerages rightly began to make all adjustments necessary for the health and wellbeing of our clients and customers. We welcomed the government’s declaration of real estate as an essential service so that transactions in progress could be completed. However, it was not and is not business as usual for our Members. They are heeding government and public health authority warnings and advice and are being diligent in taking extra safety precautions. All this, while still doing their best to help their clients successfully conclude or close real estate transactions that were already in progress,” Burgoyne acknowledges.

March’s average sale price for a condominium-class property was $369,311, an increase of 27.3 per cent from this time last year while the average sale price of a residential-class property was $559,739, an increase of 16.5 per cent from a year ago. Year to date figures show an 18.8 per cent and a 23.2 per cent increase in average sale prices for residential and condominiums, respectively.*

“Our Members are evolving and adapting their business practices by leveraging the use of technology with virtual tours, live streaming, social media, and becoming more creative in their methods to facilitate the needs of their clients who may need to buy or sell right now because of their circumstances.”

“However, for those buyers and sellers who are not in that urgent position, our Members recognize the health and safety of our community is paramount. They are consulting with these clients on a case by case basis and may advise that they should delay the listing of their home or a purchase. They are doing what’s best for their clients in the context of government advisories,” affirms Burgoyne.

When asked about the impact of Covid-19 on the number of new listings on the market, Burgoyne speculates, “The shortage of inventory has driven down the number of new listings for the past several years, so we cannot accurately state that the decrease in March was due to Covid-19 where we saw 1,579 new residential listings and 469 for condos. The 5-year average is 2,217 and 665, respectively. I believe that April’s number will provide a truer and more legitimate reflection of the impact of Covid-19 on our local real estate market.”

“In closing, I would like to say that we are grateful to have been granted the essential service designation and are working closely with all levels of government and our provincial and national associations to ensure that we implement the necessary steps and protocols to flatten the curve and remain the trusted advisors that the public have come to expect from the REALTOR® profession.”

In addition to residential and condominium sales, OREB Members assisted clients with renting 746 properties since the beginning of the year compared to 550 at this time last year.

* The Board cautions that the average sale price can be useful in establishing trends over time but should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. The calculation of the average sale price is based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold. Price and conditions will vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood.

February’s Resale Market Back in Overdrive

Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,141 residential properties in February through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 1,002 in February 2019, an increase of 13.9 per cent. February’s sales included 835 in the residential-property class, up 10.9 per cent from a year ago, and 306 in the condominium-property category, an increase of 22.9 per cent from February 2019. The five-year average for February unit sales is 1,006.

Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,141 residential properties in February through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 1,002 in February 2019, an increase of 13.9 per cent. February’s sales included 835 in the residential-property class, up 10.9 per cent from a year ago, and 306 in the condominium-property category, an increase of 22.9 per cent from February 2019. The five-year average for February unit sales is 1,006.

“After a record-breaking 2019, January saw a minor dip in sales; however, February’s numbers suggest Ottawa’s resale market is heading back into overdrive,” observes Ottawa Real Estate Board President Deborah Burgoyne. “Activity overall has gone up with more listings coming on the market (though still well below the five-year average) and the highest number of February transactions in over 15 years.”

“The average Days on Market (DOM) decreased to 30 days for residential properties, down 12% from last year and condos fell 58% to 19 DOM. Figures for median Days on Market bring those numbers down to 9 DOM (combined). As a matter of fact, in specific highly sought after neighbourhoods, sold signs are going up after only 1-2 days.”

February’s average sale price for a condominium-class property was $349,813, an increase of 21.3 per cent from this time last year while the average sale price of a residential-class property was $563,694, an increase of 21.1 per cent from a year ago. Year to date figures show a 20.8 per cent and a 20.5 per cent increase in average sale prices for residential and condominiums, respectively.*

“These increases are a direct result of the sustained lack of inventory putting upward pressure on prices, and this trend is likely to persist until supply recovers and is bolstered with newly constructed units. Multiple offers have become commonplace in certain pockets of the city, and one of the Board’s statistical indicators shows that approximately 58% of properties are selling for over the asking price, compared to 32% of properties a year ago,” reveals Burgoyne.

The most active price range in the residential market was $400,000 to $549,999, accounting for 39 per cent of the units sold while $250,000 to $399,999 represented the most prevalent price point in the condominium market, accounting for 55 per cent of February’s transactions.

“With the first day of spring only weeks away, I suspect the frenzy of the spring market will be well upon us before the weather catches up,” speculates Burgoyne. “When there is limited inventory, it’s always a good time to sell, and the earlier you get on the market, the more you can differentiate your home. Be sure to entrust your home sale or purchase to an experienced professional.”

In addition to residential and condominium sales, OREB Members assisted clients with renting 498 properties since the beginning of the year.

* The Board cautions that the average sale price can be useful in establishing trends over time but should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. The calculation of the average sale price is based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold. Price and conditions will vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood.

January Resales Lose Momentum

Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 780 residential properties in January through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 817 in January 2019, a decrease of 4.5 per cent. January’s sales included 558 in the residential-property class, down 8.4 per cent from a year ago, and 222 in the condominium-property category, an increase of 6.7 per cent from January 2019. The five-year average for January unit sales is 713.

Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 780 residential properties in January through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 817 in January 2019, a decrease of 4.5 per cent. January’s sales included 558 in the residential-property class, down 8.4 per cent from a year ago, and 222 in the condominium-property category, an increase of 6.7 per cent from January 2019. The five-year average for January unit sales is 713.

“2020 is off to a slower start as the shortage of inventory is now impacting market momentum,” states Ottawa Real Estate Board’s President Deborah Burgoyne. “Although we have higher sales than the five-year average, due to increased condo sales, the persistent supply challenges seem to have finally caught up with us. Furthermore, the number of new listings that came on the market in January (1,082) is well below the average (1,651).”

“We don’t expect this trajectory to change anytime in the foreseeable future,” Burgoyne acknowledges. “The supply chain needs to be buffered at all points along the continuum from first-time and move-up buyers, to downsizing boomers as well as renters. They are all interconnected links in the housing chain.”

January’s average sale price for a condominium-class property was $338,077, an increase of 19.1 per cent from last year while the average sale price of a residential-class property was $516,229, an increase of 19.3 per cent from a year ago. Compared to last month, however, the average price for residential-class properties increased by a modest 3.2 per cent and the average price for condominium-class units was 8.8 per cent higher.*

The Board’s Housing Price Index (HPI), which is another data point of price trends based on the specific housing stock in neighbourhoods, indicates that the overall benchmark price for Ottawa has increased by approximately 13.75% from last year.

The most active price range in the condominium market was $200,000 to $349,999, accounting for 55 per cent of the units sold while $400,000 to $549,999 represented the most prevalent price point in the residential market, accounting for 40 per cent of January’s transactions.

“The fact is Ottawa’s market has always been steadily increasing at a reasonable pace and is sustainable. If buyers are waiting for prices to decline, based on historical trends, it’s not likely,” Burgoyne cautions. “Although supply may pick up eventually—if you need to get into the market, don’t wait. It’s a challenging market for everyone. Hire a trusted professional to ensure you are protected and well informed in your home buying or selling transaction.”

In addition to residential sales, OREB Members assisted clients with renting 243 properties in January 2020 compared with 169 in January 2019.

* The Board cautions that the average sale price can be useful in establishing trends over time but should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. The calculation of the average sale price is based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold. Price and conditions will vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood.

Record-Breaking 2019 Closes Out Decade

Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB) sold 761 residential properties in December through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 660 in December 2018, an increase of 15.3 per cent. December’s sales included 534 in the residential property class, up 13.9 per cent from a year ago, and 227 in the condominium property class, an increase of 18.8 per cent from December 2018. The five-year average for December unit sales is 720.

Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB) sold 761 residential properties in December through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 660 in December 2018, an increase of 15.3 per cent. December’s sales included 534 in the residential property class, up 13.9 per cent from a year ago, and 227 in the condominium property class, an increase of 18.8 per cent from December 2018. The five-year average for December unit sales is 720.

“December’s statistics reflect the same story we’ve seen all year – historically low supply yet higher unit sales than in previous years. Days on market continued to decline, especially in certain pockets of the city, as properties that came on the market were snapped up by prepared buyers,” states Dwight Delahunt, Ottawa Real Estate Board’s 2019 President. “Unit sales in the condominium class consistently led the way, offering lower price point options for homebuyers that simply weren’t available in the residential category,” he adds.

The total number of residential and condo units sold throughout 2019 was 18,622, compared with 17,467 in 2018, an increase of 6.6 per cent. Residential property class sales went up by 4.7 per cent with 14,038 properties exchanging hands last year compared to 13,411 in 2018. Condominium property class sales increased 13 per cent with 4,584 units sold in 2019 versus 4,056 in the previous year.

“2019 was a record-breaker in both the number of sales as well as average prices, with the residential property class reaching $500K in several months during the year. This price growth is warranted due to the fundamental economic principle of supply and demand playing out, with limited supply putting upward pressure on prices. However, even with these increases, Ottawa’s real estate market continues to remain one of the most affordable and sustainable in the country,” Delahunt stresses.

December’s average sale price for a condominium-class property was $310,675, an increase of 11.5 per cent from a year ago while the average sale price of a residential-class property was $500,306, an increase of 10.3 per cent from December 2018. Year-end figures show an average sale price of $486,590 for residential-class properties in 2019, an 8.9 per cent increase from 2018 and $304,203 for condominium properties, up 9.3 per cent from last year.*

OREB’s 2020 President, Deborah Burgoyne, forecasts Ottawa will continue to experience limited supply and reasonably increasing average prices this year. “Supply issues will surely persist into 2020, and I don’t expect the inventory will be able to recover in the near future,” she suggests.

“Builders do seem keen on constructing luxury rental units, which is something we haven’t seen much of before. These could potentially add inventory to the residential class, as boomers will have decent options if they are considering entering a different lifestyle than homeownership. However, even if supply increases, high demand has shifted market values upwards in various neighbourhoods and prices are unlikely to go back down – this is our new reality,” concludes Burgoyne.

* The Board cautions that the average sale price can be useful in establishing trends over time but should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. The calculation of the average sale price is based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold. Price and conditions will vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood.