November new homes sales cool along with the weather

November new homes sales cooled in Ottawa, a result that is not surprising for this time of year, according to industry analyst PMA Brethour Realty Group.

New home sales in November were 337, down 23.9 per cent compared to November of last year, when the number stood at 443. And sales were also down 39.2 per cent from October, which saw 554 new homes purchased.

Although sales were down, they were still higher than the five-year average of 344, says PMA Ottawa president Cheryl Rice. “This is an indication of continued market demand for new home product.”

For the year to date, new home sales are 4,721, down 9.7 per cent compared to 2017, when sales were at 5,228, although still above the five-year average of 4,308.

Popular home types

Singles and towns made up the bulk of sales, at 42 per cent and 44 per cent of market share respectively, with townhomes topping singles now that builders are once again offering more townhome options. Earlier this year, sales of townhomes were slowed by low inventory, and even as recently as September and October, singles topped 50 per cent of sales.

The south end proved to be the most popular area for sales at 43 per cent, followed by 28 per cent in the west end, 20 per cent in the east and 10 per cent in the central region.

While there were new product releases, “the current new home inventory comprised the majority of November sales,” says Rice.

New releases

There were several new openings, of either new communities or new phases and housing types: Caivan launched townhomes at both Conservancy in Barrhaven and Orléans Village; Claridge launched Lilythorne near Findlay Creek; Uniform returned to Wateridge Village with townhomes; Urbandale revived stacked towns in Riverside South; and Tartan released towns and semi-detached homes at Russell Trails.

Mattamy had the most sales, capturing 29 per cent of market share, with Minto, Richcraft, eQ and Caivan claiming the other top five spots.

Despite speculation that the market is about to contract, as evidenced by cooling sales in Toronto, Rice expects Ottawa’s 2018 numbers to finish solid. Moving into spring 2019 will be more telling, she says, “but we don’t expect Ottawa to feel the same downward pressure as other markets in Canada.”

On the resale front, sales were also down slightly, according to the Ottawa Real Estate Board, which recorded 1,165 sales through the board’s Multiple Listing Service. That represented a drop of 5.4 per cent from the 1,232 sales in November 2017, but is still above the five-year average of 1,055.

More on the November resale results.

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November resale numbers

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