Caution defines Ottawa’s January 2024 resale market

Ottawa’s January 2024 resale market showed signs of renewed life, at least in comparison to the same, anemic month last year, but it didn’t break any records.

Realtors with the Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB) sold 620 homes last month through the board’s Multiple Listing Service (MLS), up an encouraging 16.5 per cent from a year ago but still down almost four per cent from the 10-year average.

It’s also down significantly from the frantic buying days of the pandemic, when Realtors sold 964 homes during January 2021, and continues a sluggish market that kicked in during March 2022 and — thanks to soaring interest rates and other factors — has yet to bounce back.


“Ottawa’s market activity is seeing positive gains over last year but it’s still a relatively quiet market even by pre-pandemic standards,” said OREB president Curtis Fillier in a statement.

Realtors are showing lots of homes, he continued, but the showings aren’t translating into sales. “This tells us that buyers are back out there looking, but still approaching cautiously. During the pandemic market, buyers had to move quickly and sometimes settle for a property that didn’t check all their boxes. Today, buyers are using the slower market to take the time needed to find their perfect place.”

Ottawa's January 2024 resale market


Prices and inventory see gains

The benchmark price for single-family homes in the January 2024 resale market was $703,500, up 3.7 per cent over last year. Townhouse/row units, on the other hand, dipped about two per cent to $462,200. Condo apartments fetched a benchmark price of $418,500, up 3.7 per cent from year-ago levels.

While price increases over the past couple of years seem tame compared to the heyday of the pandemic (non-condo prices spiralled 24 per cent and condos 16 per cent during 2021), Ottawa sellers are in a better position than their counterparts in some other Canadian centres.

According to the real estate search portal Point2, multiple cities, especially in Ontario, saw price declines last year: Kitchener, for example, saw the resale price of single-family homes tumble 4.9 per cent while Burlington saw a slip of 4.7 per cent. Ottawa’s prices rose 2.7 per cent, says Point2.


Along with increased sales and overall prices, new listings also grew last month, according to OREB. There were 1,271 new listings, an increase of 7.3 per cent from a year ago and a positive sign for buyers looking for more selection.

Time to end distracting policies

In an unusual move, the board’s latest monthly report also issued a strongly worded wake-up call to government on Canada’s housing crisis.

“OREB recommends direct solutions for meaningful policy change, including streamlining the process at the Ontario Land Tribunal, eliminating exclusionary zoning and permitting four units on residential lots,” said Brandon Reay, policy and external relations manager, in the board’s monthly statement.


“To meet the aggressive housing targets, we need to close the labour gap with investments in colleges and trade schools. We don’t need any more reactionary and distracting policy, like the federal government’s extension of the foreign buyers ban.”


About the Author

Patrick Langston All Things Home Ottawa homes

Patrick Langston

Patrick Langston is the co-founder of All Things Home Inc. and a veteran journalist. He has written widely about the Ottawa housing industry since 2008.



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