Despite a 46-per-cent plunge in resale inventory compared to 2020, Realtors with the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold a record number of homes last month through the board’s Multiple Listing Service (MLS).
Total sales were 1,390, up 23 per cent compared to the same month last year. Realtors sold 1,028 non-condo properties and 362 condominiums, with non-condo properties enjoying the highest percentage growth. The five-year average for total unit sales in February is 1,101.
“Resale properties are virtually flying off the shelves,” said board president Debra Wright in a release. “How is that possible? Simply put, properties that come onto the market are selling very quickly.”
Days on market tumble and condos recover
Non-condo properties remained on the market for an average of just 14 days in February. That’s a sharp decline from 30 days in the same month last year and reflects the limited supply of resale homes in Ottawa.
Condos’ average time on the market edged up a bit last month, to 22 days compared to 19 last year. That upward nudge was likely because the condo market was thriving pre-pandemic but was adversely affected when buyers, wanting to avoid close contact with others and having to work from home, started looking for more space.
However, said Wright, “it is clear the condo market has stabilized and is starting to rebound with a 19-per-cent increase in transactions compared to last year at this time.”
Prices continue to climb as buyers willing to pay
Non-condo properties hit an average of $717,914 last month, while condos came in at $407,671. Those prices were up more than 27 and 17 per cent respectively compared to last February.
It’s less than two years since non-condo properties in Ottawa cracked an average price of $500,000 for the first time.
Prices are also increasing in other cities, with the average resale price in Toronto cracking $1 million for the first time last month.
“There is no denying that scarcity is leading to a more rapid price acceleration (in Ottawa),” said Wright. “This scarcity combined with buyers’ willingness to pay and compete in this market will continue to drive up the sales prices.”
As to the upcoming spring market, it “will bring more listings and increased inventory; however, the question is whether it will be enough to meet demand.”