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New and resale homes sales strong in April

Both new and resale homes sales in Ottawa stayed strong in April, an indication of the healthy market here despite recent efforts to cool the overheated Toronto one.

“Ottawa resale and new home sales are building further momentum in a market that remains stable and healthy,” Cheryl Rice, of industry analyst firm PMA Brethour Realty Group, said in a recent market update.

New home numbers

PMA reported 469 new home sales in April, just slightly off the 477 sold in April 2016 and up 3.3 per cent from the 454 sold in March. And while not quite at the level they were in 2016, they were still above the 10-year average of 462.

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For the year to date, new home sales hit 1,628, up 6.8 per cent compared to last year, when sales were 1,524. (The 10-year average is 1,554.)

Jumping ahead

New home builder Minto Communities, which is typically at or near the top in market share along with Mattamy Homes, leaped ahead of the pack in April to grab almost 30 per cent of the market share to Mattamy’s 17.5 per cent. Several of Minto’s developments – Avalon Encore, Quinn’s Pointe, Potter’s Key and Mahogany – proved to be popular.

Also popular in April were Glenview Homes’ townhomes at Monahan Landing.

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On the resale side, the Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB) reported 1,795 sales in April compared with 1,711 in April 2016, for an increase of 4.9 per cent. The five-year average for April sales is 1,613.

Shifting to seller’s market

“The April resale market continued its upward trend in units sold, just shy of a record set in 2010,” board president Rick Eisert said in a release. “Sales activity is indicating a trend towards a seller’s market. Lower inventory, combined with increased demand, is creating many more multiple offer situations and quicker moving properties, with the average cumulative days on market dipping to just 71.”

There were 312 condo sales, averaging $268,553 (up 2.9 per cent over April 2016) and 1,483 other home sales, averaging $435,883 (up 7.9 per cent).

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“Toronto’s over-inflated housing prices will continue to drive buyers towards Ottawa.”

Both PMA and OREB noted the effect the overheated Toronto market may be having on Ottawa.

On April 20, the provincial government introduced measures to address the Toronto situation, including a 15-per-cent tax on non-resident buyers and a cap on annual rent increases.

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“Toronto’s over-inflated housing prices will continue to drive buyers towards Ottawa, where affordable homes, jobs, and high consumer confidence abound,” Rice noted.

The $1 million club

And Eisert reported that OREB is seeing a trend in the number of high-end units selling in Ottawa, with sales of homes over $1 million doubling. So far this year, 83 properties over $1 million have sold, compared to just 38 in the same time frame last year.

“The increase … may be fuelled by a combination of the migration of buyers from Toronto and move-up buyers,” he said. “Another contributing factor is that many, generally well-paying, jobs are opening up in the high-tech sector, driving more people into the Ottawa market.”

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Related

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Does Ottawa need to fear a housing bubble?

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About the Author

Anita Murray

Anita Murray

Anita Murray is the co-founder of All Things Home Inc. and owner of Three C Communications. The veteran journalist has covered the Ottawa housing industry since 2011.

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