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Has Spring Sprung Early in Ottawa’s Resale Market?

March 2022 ■ Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,421 residential properties in February through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 1,385 in February 2021, an increase of 3 per cent. February’s sales included 1,095 in the residential-property class, up 7 per cent from a year ago, and 326 in the condominium-property category, a decrease of 10 per cent from February 2021. The five-year average for total unit sales in February is 1,184.


“Although February’s resales were only 3% higher than last year at this time, we saw a 52% increase in the number of transactions compared to January’s figures (936). While a month-to-month increase is typical for this time of year, the gradation of this increase is higher than previous years, which could be an indication that our spring market may ramp up earlier this year,” states Ottawa Real Estate Board President Penny Torontow.


“Whether this has to do with the easing of government pandemic restrictions and the opening up of the economy or perhaps due to apprehension of the (then) upcoming interest rate increase, which is now in effect, we can’t entirely be sure,” she adds. “We are watching intently to see how the 2022 spring market will play out considering not only the higher interest rates and inflation but also other macro factors in our global environment that could affect our local economy.”


“Undoubtedly, the interest rate increase along with the higher rate of inflation will weaken potential Buyers’ purchasing power. And even though average price growths are not as acute as they were in the past two years, we are still seeing significant increases that are without question a result of the unrelenting high demand and current housing stock scarcity.”


The average sale price for a condominium-class property in February was $466,682, an increase of 15 per cent from 2021, while the average sale price for a residential-class property was $837,517, increasing 17 per cent from a year ago. With year-to-date average sale prices at $812,813 for residential and $458,107 for condominiums, these values represent a 16 per cent increase over February 2021 for both property classes. *


“The number of new listings in February (1,762) offers a slight glimmer of hope for prospective Buyers. At 4% higher than the five-year average and 12% higher than February 2021, it resulted in an almost 10% increase in residential-class property inventory compared to last year at this time. Condominium supply, however, is down 20%. Overall, we are now at a 0.7 month’s supply of inventory which means that most listings that enter the market are going to be snapped up very quickly, as evidenced by the continuous decline in Days on Market (DOM). We certainly hope this trend of increased new listings will continue to supplement the housing stock going forward,” Torontow acknowledges.


“Ottawa is a beautiful city with a healthy, stable economy and is a utopic place to work, live and play. It attracts Canadians from other cities and people from all over the world. But it is deeply entrenched in a Seller’s Market. This means homebuyers need to have all their ducks in a row and are prepared to move expeditiously. A REALTOR® will have the knowledge to ensure you are making your best offer at the optimal time. Sellers also need the experience and resources a REALTOR® brings to ensure they are strategically positioning their homes given the conditions of their neighbourhood and property type. Don’t gamble with what is likely your biggest asset – contact a professional REALTOR® today!”

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2021 Resale Market Normalizes and Breaks Records

January 2022 ■ Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 862 residential properties in December through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 997 in December 2020, a decrease of 14%. December’s sales included 601 in the residential-property class, down 15% from a year ago, and 261 in the condominium-property category, a decrease of 10% from December 2020. The five-year average for total unit sales in December is 809.


“December’s resale market performed as it typically does with a marked decrease in sales from November as families turned their attention towards the holiday break. Although slightly above the five-year average, the number of properties exchanging hands was lower than the year before due to the atypical market we experienced in 2020 when peak market activity shifted to later in the year because of the initial spring pandemic lockdown,” states Debra Wright Ottawa Real Estate Board’s 2021 President. “However, while the market normalized in the latter part of the year, looking at the year-end figures, 2021 was still a record-breaking year,” she adds.


The total number of residential and condo units sold throughout 2021 was 20,302, compared with 18,953 in 2020, increasing 7%. Meanwhile, total sales volume in 2021 was approximately $13.1B compared to $10B in 2020.


“This significant increase in sales volume reflects the price acceleration that we have seen over the last year and correlates with average sale price increases for the city,” Wright elaborates. “As we have reiterated for the past few years, Ottawa’s housing inventory challenges have been and will continue to place an upward pressure on prices. Reviewing the year-end figures for 2021, the average sale price year to date was $719,605 for residential-class properties and $419,683 for condominium units. These values represent a 24% and 16% increase over 2020, respectively.”


The average sale price for a condominium-class property in December was $399,125, an increase of 12% from 2020, and the average sale price for a residential-class property was $709,980, increasing 18% from a year ago.* “Six hundred new listings entered the housing stock in December, which represents a 58% decrease from November and down 15% from the 5-year average. At less than one month’s supply of units in both the residential and condominium property classes, we are firmly entrenched in a strong Seller’s market and will continue to be in this state until our inventory increases to a 3-4 month’s supply for a balanced market to be achieved,” cautions Wright.


When asked for a forecast, Ottawa Real Estate Board’s new 2022 President Penny Torontow suggests, “January through March are usually slower months. With the macro factors that are currently at play in the resale market, it is difficult to predict what the effects will be going forward. We are entering yet another pandemic wave, Buyers are fatigued, parents are focusing on remote learning, interest rate hikes are looming – I don’t expect we will see the first quarter increases as we did in 2021.”


“We are unlikely to see the true outcome of these macro factors until the spring. Presumably, we will see more of the same with the market performing as well as it can with the current housing stock. Unfortunately for homebuyers, it will sustain itself as a Seller’s market for quite some time until our inventory issues are remedied. Whether you are buying or selling a home right now, the experience and knowledge of a REALTOR® is essential in this current challenging market,” Torontow concludes.

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The Resale Market Settles Back to a Typical August

September 2021 ■ Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,572 residential properties in August through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 2,006 in August 2020, a decrease of 22 per cent. August’s sales included 1,175 in the residential-property class, down 25 per cent from a year ago, and 397 in the condominium-property category, a decrease of 9 per cent from August 2020. The five-year average for total unit sales in August is 1,684.


“August’s unit sales followed a trajectory typical of the resale market’s summer months with a considerable decline in transactions compared to the spring and 9% fewer sales than in July (1,724). The number of properties changing hands was on par with August 2017 and 2018 figures. The reason we see a sharp decrease compared to last year’s numbers is due to the first wave lockdown in spring 2020, which shifted that market’s peak to the summer and fall months,” states Ottawa Real Estate Board President Debra Wright.


“Year-to-date resales are at 14,728 and are 24% higher than this period in 2020, which clearly indicates we are in the midst of another strong year in the Ottawa market,” she adds.


August’s average sale price for a condominium-class property was $407,148, an increase of 6 per cent from last year, while the average sale price for a residential-class property was $674,449, an increase of 14 per cent from a year ago. With year-to-date average sale prices at $722,526 for residential and $420,654 for condominiums, these values represent a 27 per cent and 18 percent increase over 2020, respectively.*


“Supply continues to remain scarce, and that is the driving factor behind these price increases. New listings were down 400 units from July and 500 units from last August and below the 5-year average for the first time this year since February. Although inventory is approximately 5-6% higher than last year for both residential and condominium property classes, we are only at about 1.5 months’ worth of housing stock. To achieve a balanced market, we need 4-6.5 months’ supply of inventory,” Wright points out.


“We are pleased to see that housing affordability and the supply shortage have been a predominant part of election conversations and federal party platform pledges – which is a step in the right direction. We look forward to the collaboration between municipal, provincial, and federal governments to establish measures which will effectively address these fundamental barriers to homeownership for all Canadians who desire to own a home.”

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June’s Residential Resale Market begins to Normalize

July 2021 - Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 2,131 residential properties in June through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 2,038 in June 2020, an increase of 5 per cent. June’s sales included 1,647 in the residential-property class, up 2 per cent from a year ago, and 484 in the condominium-property category, an increase of 13 per cent from June 2020. The five-year average for total unit sales in June is 2,098.


“June’s resale market performed similar to a typical (pre-pandemic) June, with unit sales on par with the five-year average and a lower volume of activity compared to May, particularly in the last two weeks of the month. This is a normal tapering off as families turn their attention to end of school events and enjoying more outdoor recreation. This year, it also coincided with some easing of pandemic restrictions,” states Ottawa Real Estate Board President Debra Wright. “It will be interesting to watch the market over the summer to see if this normalization of the real estate sales ebb and flow is indeed the case moving forward. Last year, summer resales skyrocketed due to pent-up demand when the first lockdown ended.”


“Year-to-date sales are tracking 48% higher than last year at this time with 11,446 properties changing hands and are 16-18% higher than 2018 and 2019. Much of this increase is due to the increased activity in the first five months of 2021 compared to previous years. We have also seen an instrumental increase in new listings this year, and inventory levels for both residential and condominiums are higher than we’ve seen since 2017. However, we are still at a one month supply of housing stock, so we aren’t out of the woods yet.”


June’s average sale price for a condominium-class property was $435,198, an increase of 21 per cent from last year, while the average sale price for a residential-class property was $725,970, an increase of 26 per cent from a year ago.With year-to-date average sale prices at $734,357 for residential and $422,734 for condominiums, these values represent a 33 per cent and 20 percent increase over 2020, respectively.*


“For the moment, there are signs that we’ve reached a levelling out, especially as it relates to average prices which, in recent months, have not experienced the drastic increases of earlier in 2021, nor are we seeing a drop,” notes Wright.

“Properties are not moving as quickly as they were. Inventory has picked up; there is less scarcity and more choices – consequently, less upward pressure on prices. Additionally, we are noticing fewer of the multiple offer frenzy situations. Of course, many properties do still have multiple offers, but our REALTORS® are noticing that there are less of them on offer day.”


“This start of a perhaps equilibrium in the market is good news for Buyers, while Sellers are going to have to adjust to this new normal and be more strategic in their positioning. Whichever side of the transaction you are on, you will bode well by listening and heeding the advice of a professional REALTOR® who has their pulse on the day-to-day variabilities Ottawa’s resale market is experiencing,” Wright suggests.



* OREB 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 will vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood.

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Residential Resale Market: A tale of Two May Lockdowns

Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 2,296 residential properties in May through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 1,342 in May 2020, an increase of 71 per cent. May’s sales included 1,779 in the residential-property class, up 67 per cent from a year ago, and 517 in the condominium-property category, an increase of 85 per cent from May 2020. The five-year average for total unit sales in May is 2,123.


“Although Ontario was in a lockdown in both May 2020 and May 2021, the impact they had on Ottawa’s resale market was quite different – with this year’s number of transactions being well over the five-year average. Undoubtedly, enhanced safety measures and vaccine adoption rates have enabled potential Buyers and Sellers to feel more protected and comfortable in their home buying and selling process,” states Ottawa Real Estate Board President, Debra Wright.








“Additionally, twice the number of new listings entered the market in May 2021, compared to last year at this time, with 2,386 residential properties and 727 condos added to inventory. This is approximately 50 units more than the five-year average for new listings,” she adds.


May’s average sale price for a condominium-class property was $424,843, an increase of 24 per cent from last year, while the average sale price for a residential-class property was $741,206, an increase of 35 per cent from a year ago. With year-to-date average sale prices at $736,241 for residential and $420,074 for condominiums, these values represent a 35 per cent and 21 percent increase over 2020, respectively.*


“With the number of condominium sales transactions having increased by 85% in May of 2021, over May of 2020, coupled with the 21% price increase in the same periods, it appears that the condo market has recovered from the declines experienced early in the pandemic.”


“For residential-class properties, price movement is still well above 2020, with 46% selling over $700K compared to 16% of properties last year at this time – these percentages are reflected in the sales data for both May and year-to-date. We observe that month-over-month average price increases for April and May are not as high as the jumps in value in the first quarter of 2021. While it is still too early to predict, this may be a sign that the rapid price acceleration we have been experiencing is easing in the market.”


“As we come out of this lockdown, we will closely monitor other market factors including the effects of the increased stress test measures combined with the average five-year fixed mortgage rates climbing back over two per cent since the beginning of 2021, and whether pent-up supply will decrease our supply shortage and eventually bring Ottawa’s real estate market to a more balanced state,” Wright concludes.

OREB Members also assisted clients with renting 1,837 properties since the beginning of the year compared to 1,207 at this time last year.




* OREB 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 will vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood.




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FEBRUARY RESALES SNAPPED UP QUICKLY

March 2021 ■ Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,390 residential properties in February through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 1,134 in February 2020, an increase of 23 per cent. February’s sales included 1,028 in the residential-property class, up 24 per cent from a year ago, and 362 in the condominium-property category, an increase of 19 per cent from February 2020. The five-year average for total unit sales in February is 1,101.


“Resale properties are virtually flying off the shelves,” states OREB President Debra Wright. “Even though our inventory is significantly lower than 2020 – a combined 46% decrease in housing stock for residential and condos – we witnessed a record number of sales in February 2021. How is that possible? Simply put, properties that come onto the market are selling very quickly.”


“With less than a month’s supply in both categories, residential homes, in particular, are experiencing the quickest turnarounds. This is evidenced in the sharp decline of Days on Market from 30 days in February 2020 to 14 days last month. Interestingly, DOM for the condo market has gone up slightly from 19 to 22 days, likely due to the fact that the condo market was thriving and moving very quickly prior to the pandemic spread in Canada. We saw Buyer desire for more house space dampen that market temporarily; however, it is clear the condo market has stabilized and is starting to rebound with a 19% increase in transactions compared to last year at this time.”


February’s average sale price for a condominium-class property was $407,671, an increase of 17 per cent from last year, while the average sale price of a residential-class property was $717,914, an increase of 27 per cent from a year ago.With year-to-date average sale prices at $701,778 for residential and $395,496 for condominiums, these values represent a 29 per cent and 15 percent increase over 2020, respectively.*


“With supply constraints continuing to place upward pressure on pricing, there is no doubt that this economic fundamental is driving the price increases. This is also reflected in February’s total sales volume for residential and condos, which combined was at $885,592,105, 54% higher than the same month in 2020. There is no denying that scarcity is leading to a more rapid price acceleration. This scarcity combined with Buyers’ willingness to pay and compete in this market will continue to drive up the sales prices,” Wright asserts.


“The upcoming spring market will bring more listings and increased inventory; however, the question is whether it will be enough to meet demand. Having a sound strategy, whether you are buying or selling, is the key to success. In this complex and fast-paced market, it is essential to utilize the skills and experience of a REALTOR® with negotiation skills and the market knowledge to act quickly on your behalf.”


“Did you know they also help tenants locate rental accommodations in addition to assisting landlords in finding tenants? Ottawa’s vacancy rates have soared due to the lack of immigration, visiting student populations, decline in Airbnb, etc. There are many good quality rentals out there, and a REALTOR® can help you find one whether you are selling and prefer to rent or searching for a different location,” Wright 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.

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OTTAWA’S RESALE MARKET THRIVES DESPITE PANDEMIC

January 2021 ■ Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB) sold 1,002 residential properties in December through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 757 in December 2019, an increase of 32.4 per cent. December’s sales included 710 in the residential property class, up 33.7 per cent from a year ago, and 292 in the condominium property class, an increase of 29.2 per cent from December 2019. The five-year average for total residential unit sales in December is 779.


“Our market performance in December capped off a year for resales that clearly shows a market that continued to thrive even through the challenges of 2020. December sales brought our year-to-date numbers at year-end to within 2% of 2019. There was a slight slowdown typical of December around the holiday season; however, the market continued its overall momentum and remained more active than usual,” states Ottawa Real Estate Board’s 2021 President Debra Wright.


“At the start of the pandemic, we didn’t know what to expect. We had a momentary stall as did most businesses; however, once real estate was deemed to be an essential service, REALTORS® worked with Buyers and Sellers to ensure safety in the process, and the market picked back up and accelerated past all expectations throughout the remainder of the year.” The total number of residential and condo units sold throughout 2020 was 18,971, compared with 18,613 in 2019, increasing 2 per cent. Residential property class unit sales went up by 3 per cent, with 14,455 properties exchanging hands last year compared to 14,030 in 2019. Condominium property class sales decreased slightly by 1.5 per cent, with 4,516 units sold in 2020 versus 4,583 in the previous year. Year-end figures show an average sale price of $582,267 for residential-class properties and $361,337 for condominium units in 2020. These values represent a 20 per cent and 19 percent increase over 2019, respectively.*


“When analyzing the year-end figures, what clearly stood out was that although the number of units sold was only slightly higher than last year, the Total Sales Volume topped a record-breaking $10 billion compared to $8.2 billion at the end of 2019. This is, in effect, a stark illustration of the increase in Ottawa property values over the course of the year. For example, in 2019, 35% of properties purchased were sold at or below $400K, while in 2020, only 16% of homes were. The market is certainly exhibiting a major shift in terms of availability in lower price ranges,” Wright points out.


“At the end of 2020, average prices increased by 19-20% over this time last year. In 2019, we saw a 9% overall increase for both residential and condo properties compared to 3-5% in 2018 and 3-7% in 2017. These substantive increases in property prices from year to year can be attributed to a variety of factors: the inventory shortage triggering economic supply and demand realities, the multiple-offer phenomena, the record-low mortgage rates increasing purchasing power of Buyers, migration of Buyers from larger markets with high returns to spend, and so forth.”


“I believe that Ottawa is just coming into its own as a national capital city. As such, it is resilient and sheltered in a way that other markets are not – with consistent government and tech sector employment that is particularly conducive to working from home as our current circumstances have required. We may have been privileged with lower price thresholds in previous decades, but perhaps the market is now beginning to reflect the real estate property values of a national capital.” “Going forward, I fully expect Ottawa’s resale market will continue to be robust in 2021. There are no indicators to suggest that this is an overheated market – it is simply very active, insulated, and strong. One that has only been mildly shaken by a world-wide pandemic,” Wright concludes.

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No Signs of Slowdown in Ottawa Resale Market

December 2020 - Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,611 residential properties in November through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 1,284 in November 2019, a year over year increase of 26 per cent. November’s sales included 1,209 in the residential-property class, up 27 per cent from a year ago, and 402 in the condominium-property category, an increase of 23 per cent from November 2019. The five-year average for November unit sales is 1,257.


“We continue to experience strong activity in Ottawa’s resale market during the time of year when we would typically see a slowdown,” states Ottawa Real Estate Board President Deb Burgoyne. “Further, the pandemic overall did not slow down the resale market, and our year to date transactions are now on par with 2019.”


“I’m confident in saying that if we had more supply, sales would be even higher. Although new listings were up almost 400 units compared to last November and over 225 properties higher than the five-year average, there were 1,000 fewer new listings entering the market than we saw in October. Listings coming on in November do typically slow as potential Sellers turn their attention to the upcoming holiday season,” Burgoyne adds.


November’s average sale price for a condominium-class property was $361,758, an increase of 15 per cent from this time last year, while the average sale price of a residential-class property was $602,892, an increase of 20 per cent from a year ago. With year-to-date average sale prices at $581,120 for residential and $361,674 for condominiums, these values represent a 20 per cent and 19 percent increase over 2019, respectively.*


“As far as average prices go, year to date prices are a more reliable indicator of what property values are doing over time, especially when we look at figures from the final quarter of the year. In November 2018, we saw a 3-5% gain in YTD average prices; a year later in 2019, they were up 9% for both property classes. Now in 2020, YTD average prices are 19-20% higher. This trajectory can be attributed to a concurrent decrease in inventory, which continues to be a challenge in our active market. The residential housing stock is 50% lower than last year at this time.”


“Interestingly, the number of condominiums on our MLS® System has actually increased 25% over last November,” Burgoyne notes. “As I stated last month, condos continue to be on our watchlist. This property type is staying on the market longer. The increase in these listings is likely a combination of factors. Investor owners who have been renting their units can now capitalize on the robust market, while some Buyers are seeking more space or other lifestyle options. For example, transitioning to working remotely is providing some Buyers with the opportunity to explore their lifestyle property preferences. Whether it be small town vs downtown living, a recreational property with acreage, be closer to golf courses or waterfront, rural spaces or hobby farms – it opens up the options beyond the classic property types of condominiums or single-family homes in suburbia.”


“Now more than ever, Buyers and Sellers will benefit from the knowledge and experience of a REALTOR®. Our resale market continues to experience multiple offers and bidding wars, and you would want the guidance of someone who has maneuvered through this many times. Particularly if you are looking at purchasing a recreational property, which have become very desirable in the past 6 months or so. These properties’ considerations are different than those you are used to seeing in the city, such as wells, septic tanks, conservation considerations, etc. A professional REALTOR® can explain these features to you, so you don’t risk any surprises down the road,” Burgoyne cautions.


In addition to residential and condominium sales, OREB Members assisted clients with renting 3,120 properties since the beginning of the year compared to 2,559 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.

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OTTAWA’S RESALE MARKET “STEADY AS SHE GOES”

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.

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Ottawa’s Resale Market Tracks Upward into Fall

Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 2,329 residential properties in September through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 1,547 in September 2019, a year over year increase of 51 per cent. September’s sales included 1,759 in the residential-property class, up 58 per cent from a year ago, and 570 in the condominium-property category, an increase of 31 per cent from September 2019. The five-year average for September unit sales is 1,602.


“The sheer volume of transactions in September, compared to a year ago, confirms the Ottawa resale market is continuing on its upward trajectory,” states Ottawa Real Estate Board President Deb Burgoyne. “The resale market in 2020, especially since the outset of the pandemic, has certainly not followed the usual spring and fall cycles we typically experience. This year has had its own distinct ebb and flow, and whether this momentum in our market will continue is difficult to predict.”


“However, the continued increase in new listings and demand remaining strong allows us to be cautiously optimistic. September saw 2,165 residential properties and 744 condominiums enter the market. This is an increase of 32% and 45% respectively over last year at this time, and over 400 more new listings than came on the market in August,” adds Burgoyne.


September’s average sale price for a condominium-class property was $373,565, an increase of 21 per cent from this time last year, while the average sale price of a residential-class property was $622,557, an increase of 28 per cent from a year ago. With year to date average sale prices at $575,506 for residential and $360,550 for condominiums, these values represent a 19 per cent and 20 percent increase over 2019, respectively. *


“While average prices in September hit an all-time high, the movement at the higher end of the market is also likely driving this figure higher. September’s median prices, which is calculated removing the extreme upper and lower prices, do show more moderate price gains coming in at $570,000 for residential properties and $350,000 for condominiums,” Burgoyne acknowledges.


“Of course, the fundamentals of supply and demand remain at play, and our inventory shortage will continue to put Sellers in a position to capitalize on the current market. Additionally, the dynamics of purchasing behaviour is shifting as Buyers become more tolerant of the condition of a property or its location, for example.”


“But, we can’t exhale just yet. At the end of the day, REALTORS® represent both Buyers and Sellers, so a balanced market would be a welcomed relief for everyone. We would like to see both sides get over the finish line with a feeling of elation, and that they have had a positive experience in their homeownership journey,” Burgoyne expresses.



* 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.

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TEMPERATURES COOL, BUT NOT OTTAWA’S RESALE MARKET

September 2020 ■ 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. With year to date average sale prices at $566,291 for residential and $357,779 for condominiums, these values represent a 17% and 19% increase over 2019, respectively. *


“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.


“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.


* 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.

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JULY SALES MIRROR OTTAWA’S WEATHER…HOT!

August 2020 ■ 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.” 


* 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.

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