The beginning of the year has become a hot-bed of activity, according to the January 2022 new-home sales numbers.
There were 581 sales of new homes in Ottawa last month — the highest in more than a decade of Januarys recorded in the monthly New Home Market Report prepared by PMA Brethour Realty Group for the Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association.
“January is traditionally a slow month for new-home sales but, over the past few years, January sales have been trending up,” says PMA Ottawa president Cheryl Rice.
This January’s numbers were 12 per cent higher than last year, which was also a busy January with 515 sales.
Rice notes that in 2019, the market experienced significant pent-up demand that spilled into January 2020, lifting sales for that month above the five-year average of 461. And in January 2021, sales benefitted largely from changing buyer preferences created by the pandemic, such as more space, bigger backyards and a fear of missing out as supply tightened and new-home prices started to escalate.
So, what spurred sales this January? The anticipation of higher interest rates, she says.
“With higher interest rates on the horizon, it comes as no surprise that buyers are moving up their purchase decisions to take advantage of the lower mortgage rates. Strong demand for new homes is expected to continue for some months, until the reality of higher interest rates sets in.”
There were a significant number of new releases that helped generate sales, she says.
Minto Communities, in particular, was active, releasing phase three of its Mahogany site in Manotick, as well as more releases at other sites. Minto’s sales helped the builder capture 24 per cent of the market share for the month, followed by Claridge Homes with 18 per cent. Mattamy Homes, Caivan and Richcraft Homes rounded out the top five builders for market share last month.
Townhomes once again claimed 56 per cent of the market, as they did in December, while the south end continued its reign as the city’s hot spot, with 54 per cent of the month’s sales.