Buffeted by everything from climbing interest rates to mortgage stress tests, sales transactions in Ottawa’s November 2022 resale market plummeted 42 per cent compared to the same month last year, according to the Ottawa Real Estate Board.
Those results made November the ninth month in a row that sales have fallen after close to two years of frantic resale activity in Ottawa and many other cities.
“November’s sales were expectedly low given the typical slowdown this time of year, but they also reflect today’s economic conditions,” said board president Penny Torontow in a statement.
“This is not isolated to our local market. Globally, we’re still adjusting to the post-pandemic world and that affects demand, pricing, interest rates, cost of living, supply chain disruptions and more. As a result, those who can, are waiting and watching.”
MORE: New-home sales down overall in 2022
Sales & prices down in November 2022 resale market
Realtors sold just 846 residential properties in November through the board’s Multiple Listing Service (MLS). That compares to 1,456 in the same month last year and a five-year average for the month of 1,270 homes.
November sales consisted of 658 in non-condo properties, down 39 per cent from a year ago, and 188 condominiums, a 50-per-cent plunge from November 2021.
Non-condo properties sold for an average $680,031 last month, while condos averaged $415,533. Those prices are down five and four per cent respectively compared to November 2021. However, prices for the year to date for both types of homes are up eight per cent over last year, with non-condo properties fetching an average $774,422 and condominiums selling for $454,436.
Despite price declines in November — part of a pattern of lower or moderating resale prices this year — the long-running problem of first-time buyers being squeezed out of Ottawa’s pricey market continued last month.
“The marked decrease in condo sales, for example, signals that even entry-level properties are being affected,” said Torontow. “Fluctuating markets, paired with the stress test, are keeping first-time buyers on the sidelines.”
MORE: First-time buyers squeezed out of Ottawa’s housing market
Ottawa returns to a balanced resale market
After several years of tight resale inventory, Ottawa has returned to a balanced market — a good thing for buyers, who are no longer confronted with bidding wars and such a short supply of homes that many buyers took the risk of skipping a home inspection so they could snap up a property.
In November, there was a 3.5-month inventory of non-condo properties compared to less than one month a year ago. For condominiums, the inventory was 3.4 months versus just 1.1 months last year.
There were 1,598 new listings in November compared to a five-year average of 1,398.