The year got off to a strong start when it comes to Ottawa new-home sales in January, continuing a trend of high demand.
The city saw 514 new-home sales in January, which is up nine per cent compared to the 471 sold in January 2020 before the pandemic hit, according to the latest report from PMA Brethour Realty prepared for the Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association. That’s almost 100 more sales than the five-year average for the month of 416, and the highest January total in the past five years.
It’s also up 79 per cent from December, when sales were at 287.
“Pent-up demand that ravaged Ottawa’s new-home supply in late 2020 is expected to continue into the first half of 2021,” says Cheryl Rice, PMA’s Ottawa president. Although there were no new project openings for the month, there were 451 homes released at existing projects, “with most snapped up by buyers in a matter of minutes,” she says.
‘In hot competition’
“In the middle of a pandemic that is seemingly irrelevant to determined new-home buyers, time-sensitive online registrations for lottery-style, first-come-first-serve appointments are keeping buyers in hot competition with one another.”
The south end captured half of all sales, with three Minto Communities projects ranking in the top five for that area, along with projects by Mattamy Homes and Caivan Communities, she notes. The west and east ends were almost even, claiming 24 and 20 per cent, respectively, while the central region saw just seven per cent of sales.
In many cases, a region’s popularity comes down to availability, with buyers being drawn to where the lot releases are happening.
Minto does well
Minto had a particularly good month, holding multiple releases across the city and selling 151 homes to claim top market share at 29 per cent. By this time last year, pre-pandemic, Minto had had 55 sales.
Rounding out the top five in market share were Claridge Homes (18 per cent), Mattamy (14 per cent), Caivan (10 per cent) and Richcraft Homes (also 10 per cent). These five builders accounted for more than 80 per cent of all new homes sold in January.
When it came to types of homes sold, there was a balance of singles and townhomes, with each claiming 44 per cent of the market, “mainly driven by availability and a rush of millennials wanting to purchase their first home,” Rice says. “Let the spring market begin — early.”