Joanne Clemens | A Slow March into Spring Market for Ottawa Real Estate
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A Slow March into Spring Market for Ottawa Real Estate

A Slow March into Spring Market for Ottawa Real Estate

OTTAWA, April 3, 2019 – Members of

the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,511

residential properties in March through the

Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System,

compared with 1,654 in March 2018, a

decrease of 8.6 per cent. March’s sales

included 1,136 in the residential property

class, a drop of 12.4 per cent from a year

ago, and 375 in the condominium property

class, an increase of 5 per cent from March

  1. The five-year average for March unit

sales is 1,402.

“Lack of inventory is responsible for March’s

deficiency in residential unit sales,” states

Ottawa Real Estate Board’s President,

Dwight Delahunt. “This tightness of supply

is manifesting in significant reductions in

DOMs (days on market) and properties

selling very quickly. Residential DOMs are

down 14%, and condo DOMs are down 36%

from last year.”

“In some pockets of the city, buyers are facing

multiple offer situations, and properties are

often selling over list price. These dynamics

of low inventory, reduced days on market, and

multiple offers are signs of a seller’s market

in these areas. While a benefit to those

sellers, it’s stressful and time consuming

for buyers. The experience and guidance of

a REALTOR® is essential in these types of

market conditions,” he adds.

“A major factor contributing to the lack of

housing stock is the shortage of quality

options for those who might list their homes.

Move-up sellers feed the market for first-time

homebuyers. Another issue which adds to a

seller’s reluctance to put their home on the

market is the B-20 stress test which affects

their purchasing power,” Delahunt asserts.

“In Ottawa, we have a population base that’s

increasing year over year with a growth rate

of 8.8 percent, which is higher than Ontario

(5.7%) and Canada as a whole (5.9%).

Immigration and high employment levels

are bringing residents to our desirable and

affordable city,” he suggests.

Delahunt continues, “With high demand

and limited supply, prices will continue to

be pushed upwards – it’s a simple and

fundamental economic principle. Although

we appreciate the recent measures the

federal government has taken towards

affordable homeownership, all three levels

of government need to work together at

implementing mechanisms that will also

restore the supply side of the market.”

The average sale price of a residentialclass

property sold in March in the Ottawa

area was $480,143, a rise of 7.2 per cent

over March 2018. The average sale price

for a condominium-class property was

$290,181, an increase of 5.2 per cent from

this month last year.*

The $300,000 to $449,999 price range

continued to represent the most active price

point in the residential market, accounting

for 43 per cent of March’s sales while 1 in

4 residential sales was in the $500,000 to

$749,999 range. The most prevalent price

point in the condominium market increased

to the $225,000-$349,999 price range,

accounting for 49 per cent of the units sold.

“The condo units in the entry-level range are

near depletion as first-time homebuyers are

trying to get into the market at the lowest

possible price. Moreover, previous renters

may have been pushed into condo ownership

with rental vacancy rates in Ottawa at less

than 1%. If there were concrete incentives

for investors to purchase properties to

lease or develop purpose-built rentals – it

could certainly stimulate the rental market,”

Delahunt concludes.

In addition to residential and condominium

sales, OREB Members assisted clients with

renting 550 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.