Is it time to downsize?

Seniors may choose to downsize for a variety of reasons, including financial benefits, lifestyle changes, and health considerations. By downsizing, seniors can reduce their housing costs, minimize maintenance expenses, and free up equity that can be used to fund their retirement or to enjoy their golden years. Here are some specific reasons why seniors may want to downsize:

  1. Financial benefits: Downsizing can help seniors save money on housing expenses, including mortgage payments, property taxes, utilities, and maintenance costs. This can free up cash that can be used for other expenses, such as travel, hobbies, or medical bills. Additionally, downsizing may allow seniors to unlock equity in their homes, which can be used to supplement retirement income or to leave a legacy for their children or grandchildren.

  2. Lifestyle changes: As seniors age, they may find that their current home no longer meets their needs. For example, they may have difficulty climbing stairs or maintaining a large yard. Downsizing to a smaller, more manageable home or a retirement community can offer a more relaxed and convenient lifestyle, with less stress and more opportunities to socialize with other seniors.

  3. Health considerations: For seniors with health issues, downsizing to a smaller, more accessible home or a retirement community can provide a safer and more supportive environment. Many retirement communities offer amenities such as health care services, wellness programs, and transportation, which can help seniors maintain their independence and quality of life.

Regarding Ottawa's housing market, the past 10 years have seen significant changes in real estate values. According to the Ottawa Real Estate Board, the average sale price of residential properties in Ottawa has increased well over 65% over the past decade. This growth has been driven by a number of factors, including population growth, low interest rates, and a continued low inventory of available homes.

Despite rising home prices, downsizing can still be a financially savvy choice for seniors. Smaller homes and retirement communities are generally more affordable than larger homes, and they often offer a range of cost-saving amenities, such as maintenance services and energy-efficient features.

In terms of lifestyle benefits, downsizing can offer seniors more freedom, less stress, and more opportunities to pursue their interests and hobbies. By living in a smaller home or a retirement community, seniors can spend less time on home maintenance and more time enjoying their retirement years. Additionally, many retirement communities offer social activities, fitness programs, and other amenities that can help seniors stay active and engaged.

Overall, downsizing can be a smart financial and lifestyle choice for seniors. By freeing up cash, reducing expenses, and enjoying a more relaxed and convenient lifestyle, seniors can make the most of their retirement years and enjoy their golden years to the fullest.



April 2023 ■ Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB) sold 1,194 residential properties in March through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System, compared with 2,003 in March 2022, a decrease of 40%. March’s sales included 893 in the freehold-property class, down 40% from a year ago, and 301 in the condominium-property category, a decrease of 42% from March 2022. March sales transactions increased 40% over February. The five-year average for total unit sales in March is 1,698.

“The recent rise in transactions is a sign of typical spring activity, even if we’re behind the pandemic peaks of 2022. As spring unfolds, so too will a clearer picture of Ottawa’s balanced market state,” says OREB President Ken Dekker.

By the Numbers – Average Prices*:

  • The average sale price for a freehold-class property in March was $710,070, a decrease of 17% from 2022. However, it marks a 0.2% increase over February 2023. Average freehold prices have climbed approximately 8% during Q1 2023 over December 2022’s market low.
  • The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $418,670, decreasing 13% from a year ago, but still a 2% gain over February 2023.
  • With year-to-date average sale prices at $701,837 for freeholds and $414,698 for condos, these values represent a 16% decrease over 2022 for freehold-class properties and an 11% decrease for condominium-class properties.

“As evidenced by the recent climb in freehold prices, Ottawa’s resale market is stabilizing along with the interest rate. Condos remain steady due to their lower price point, there’s more affordability based on the current interest rate structure. Prices are certainly headed in the right direction—if you are looking forward.”

By the Numbers – Inventory & New Listings:

  • Months of Inventory for the freehold-class properties has increased to 2.3 months from 0.6 months in March 2022.
  • Months of Inventory for condominium-class properties has increased to 2.8 months from 0.6 months in March 2022.
  • March’s new listings (2,089) were 21% lower than March 2022 (2,632) and up 53% from February 2023 (1,366). The 5-year average for new listings in March is 2,474.
  • Days on market (DOM) for freeholds decreased from 37 to 34 days and 43 to 39 days for condos compared to last month.

“Well-priced and well-prepared homes are selling. REALTORS® have up-to-the-minute statistics to ensure sellers are positioning themselves at the current market value based on recent sales and hyper-local market comparisons. Buyers can benefit from the same data along with their negotiation expertise to guarantee they are receiving the best value for their dollar.”

The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS®, and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are member’s of CREA. The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by CREA and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.