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Ottawa’s August 2021 resale numbers a mixed bag

Ottawa’s August 2021 resale numbers were both down and up, a reflection of a changing marketplace and the continuing impact of the pandemic.

Realtors sold 1,572 residential properties through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), according to the Ottawa Real Estate Board. That was down 22 per cent from the same month last year, when 2,006 properties changed hands. It was also less than the five-year average of 1,684 for the month.

Non-condo property sales declined the most in August, dropping 25 per cent from the last year to 1,175. Condo sales were 397, a dip of nine per cent.

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“August’s unit sales followed a trajectory typical of the resale market’s summer months with a considerable decline in transactions compared to the spring,” says board president Debra Wright.  “The reason we see a sharp decrease compared to last year’s numbers is due to the first wave lockdown in spring 2020, which shifted that market’s peak to the summer and fall months.”

Despite the slowdown in Ottawa’s August 2021 resale numbers, year-to-date sales are up 24 per cent over last year. Wright says that shows Ottawa’s resale market is in the midst of another strong year.

Prices rise but more slowly

Average resale prices were up again in August, but the rate of increase was less than what the market has been seeing in recent years, especially since the pandemic kicked off a buying frenzy.

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Non-condo properties sold for an average $674,449. That was up 14 per cent compared to a year ago, but also down from both June and July of this year. August’s average selling price for non-condo properties was also less than the year-to-date price of $722,526.

A similar scenario applied to condos. They commanded an average $407,148 in August, which was up six per cent from the same month last year but less than the year-to-date average of $420,654.

While price increases appear to be moderating — another sign we may be edging toward a more normal market — they are still higher than Ottawa’s traditional growth of four to five per cent annually. Wright says the continued shortage of housing stock is behind those still-escalated increases.

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“We are only at about one and a half months’ worth of housing stock. To achieve a balanced market, we need four to six and a half months’ supply of inventory,” she says.

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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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