January 2023 resale market pleases some but not others

Whether the January 2023 resale market was a blessing or a curse depends on whether you were a buyer or a seller, according to the latest numbers from the Ottawa Real Estate Board.

In keeping with a pattern that goes back to March 2022, transactions were down again in January compared to the same month last year. Realtors using the board’s Multiple Listing Service (MLS) sold a total of 606, down 35 per cent from the 933 sales a year ago.

Sales comprised 460 non-condominiums, down 30 per cent from last year, and 146 condos, a drop of 47 per cent.


“January’s marked slowdown in unit sales over 2022 indicates potential home buyers are taking their time,” said OREB president Ken Dekker in a statement. “While last month saw the culmination of the succession of interest rate hikes announced by the Bank of Canada, affordability remains a factor. They may be waiting for a shift in listing prices. They’re being cautious in uncertain conditions.”

Prices slide

Following hyperactive increases over the past couple of years, prices in January decreased, a boon for buyers.

The average sale price for a non-condo property was $676,272, decreasing 12% from a year ago. Condos averaged $412,244, a decrease of 8% from the same month in 2022.


“Despite the decrease in average prices, the market should not be considered on a downward slide,” said Dekker. “A hyper COVID-19 seller’s market is now leveling out to our current balanced market state.”

On the other hand, non-condo property prices were up three per cent over December 2022 (although December’s price was down more than seven per cent compared to the previous year). And while condo prices last month fell five per cent, “condo pricing tends to fluctuate more due to the small data set,” Dekker said.

Inventory remains vibrant

The January 2023 resale market saw almost four months of inventory for both non-condo and condo properties, a drastic improvement from last year’s level of less than a month. Not surprisingly, new listings last month were also robust: 1,344, almost double the number a year ago and exceeding the five-year average of 1,233.


“Ottawa’s inventory and days on market figures are typical for a balanced market and another sign that buyers are no longer racing to put in an offer,” said Dekker. “The increase in new listings and supply is a boon for home buyers, who now have more selection and the ability to put in conditions at a less frantic pace.”


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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