February 2024 resale market shows upward trend after long downturn

With the February 2024 resale market up for the third month in a row and the spring market likely off to an early start thanks to warm weather, Ottawa’s housing market may finally be turning a corner after a prolonged downturn.

Sales transactions last month were up more than 15 per cent compared to February 2023, according to the Ottawa Real Estate Board. January enjoyed a jump of 16.6 per cent while December saw a more modest increase of 7.6 per cent.

Realtors sold 886 homes in February through the board’s Multiple Listing Service (MLS) compared to 769 in the same month last year. Slightly more than half of the sales last month were single-family homes, followed by townhomes and condos respectively.


The number of transactions is still down compared to the 10-year average, but after a downturn that began in the spring of 2022 and continued month after month as buyers retreated in the face of escalating interest rates and prices, there are clear signs of hope.

“Even with higher prices and the interest rate holding steady, Ottawa is a strong, active market,” said board president Curtis Fillier in a statement. “With metrics across the board up from last year, it’s clear both buyers and sellers are making moves.”

Nationwide, sales were up almost 20 per cent over the same month last year, according to the Canadian Real Estate Board. The board points out that February 2023 sales were among the lowest for that month in two decades, but sales transactions last month had climbed back to only around five per cent below the 10-year average.


Prices up modestly & new listings surge

The February 2024 resale market saw prices continuing to creep up, although the increases were nothing compared to the double-digit growth buyers had seen during the height of the pandemic.

The benchmark price for single-family homes last month was $708,500, up 3.1 per cent year-over-year.


The benchmark price for a townhouse/row unit was $495,000, barely up from a year ago, while condos were $417,000, an increase of 2.7 per cent.

The board’s report also noted a recent report by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) found that “communities with homes under $500,000 are becoming increasingly scarce.” A decade ago, said the board, 74 per cent of Ontario residential properties had a home value estimate of less than $500,000 but that number has dropped to just 19 per cent today.

A recent report on luxury properties from real estate observer Point2 found that while Ottawa was nowhere near some centres in Ontario and British Columbia where more than half the homes were listed at more than $1 million, there are at least 400 homes in the million-dollar-plus range.


And last year, according to a report from the real estate firm Engels & Volker, two homes in the national capital sold for more than $6 million. It was the first time such heights had been reached since 2014 and drove a 24 per cent increase in average prices for homes over $4 million in Ottawa.

The Ottawa Real Estate Board’s report said new listings last month increased to 1,500, a jump of almost 30 per cent compared to February 2023. That increase is another good sign for would-be buyers who had weathered a drought of new listings and inventory during the market downturn. In all, the board had 2,158 active listings last month.


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. He was a finalist for two national awards for his extensive look at your home and climate change.



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