November 2020 - Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 2,146 residential properties in October through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 1,604 in October 2019, a year over year increase of 34 per cent. October’s sales included 1,665 in the residential-property class, up 38 per cent from a year ago, and 481 in the condominium-property category, an increase of 22 per cent from October 2019. The five-year average for October unit sales is 1,515.
“We are heading into the colder months, the second wave of the pandemic is upon us, and yet Ottawa’s resale market continues to hold steady,” observes Ottawa Real Estate Board President Deb Burgoyne.
“While the October average price gains, number of sales, and new listings coming onto the market were all down from September, demand persists, and the number of sellers choosing to enter the market remains strong. With 1,937 residential listings and 708 condo units added to the housing stock in October, this is a 48% and 70% respective increase in new listings over last year at this time,” she adds.
October’s average sale price for a condominium-class property was $368,936, an increase of 16 per cent from this time last year, while the average sale price of a residential-class property was $603,253, an increase of 25 per cent from a year ago. With year-to-date average sale prices at $579,026 for residential and $361,666 for condominiums, these values represent a 19 per cent percent increase over 2019 for both property classes.*
“The condominium market is on our watchlist. Inventory for condo units increased 15% over last October, while inventory for residential properties is down 46%. This is an inverse relationship compared to the beginning of 2020 when condo supply was depleting much quicker than residential,” reports Burgoyne.
“The shift in the condo market occurred around June. There has been a lot of speculation about changing buyer behaviour and preferences due to our pandemic reality with homeowners wanting home offices and gym space, for example. One could extrapolate or conclude that buying preferences may be shifting towards a desire for properties with more square footage than this property type offers. Particularly, due to the sheer number of employees working remotely for the foreseeable future, commute times may continue to be less of an issue.”
“As the chillier weather and upcoming holiday season approaches, it will be interesting to see how the market calibrates. Typically, we start to see a slowdown in home sale activity. Whether that actually transpires is something we can’t predict given the topsy turvy year that is 2020. What I can tell you is that this is not the time to navigate the market on your own; there is too much at stake to venture in without the knowledge and guidance of an experienced REALTOR®,” Burgoyne concludes.
* 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.