The Ottawa condo market continues to lead the charge as the resale sector heads into fall.
Condo sales by members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board were up almost 11 per cent in August compared to the same month last year. Other properties were up by just one per cent.
That aligns roughly with year-to-date sales compared to last year: just over 15 per cent for condos and 0.6 per cent for other properties.
Rental shortage a factor
“The demand for condos continues to be a driving factor in the Ottawa real estate market, likely due to the lack of rental availability,” said OREB president Ralph Shaw in a statement. “This is helping ease the oversupply of condos we experienced in the past.”
Shaw also said that Ottawa saw a busier than normal summer in the resale market and that he expects a busy market to be the “new normal” for the foreseeable future.
Overall, OREB members sold 1,586 residential properties in August through the board’s Multiple Listing Service (MLS) System, compared with 1,535 in the same month last year. The five-year average for August sales is 1,417.
Prices up, but Ottawa still affordable
The average sale price for a condominium was $276,720 last month, while other properties sold for an average of $433,684. Year-to-date, condo prices are up almost two per cent compared to the same period in 2017, while other property prices have increased five per cent.
A more recent report from the Canadian Real Estate Association pegs the increase in Ottawa housing prices at 7.1 per cent in August compared to the same month in 2017. Numbers like that mean Ottawa is outperforming several other Ontario cities, although both Hamilton and Burlington saw marginally larger price increases than Ottawa.
OREB’s Shaw said that despite a very low inventory, Ottawa has been experiencing sensible price growth more in line with inflation and that the city remains an affordable place to live.
He added that having communities within a 30-minute commute of Ottawa means buyers can still purchase reasonably priced single-family homes despite the tight inventory.
Originally published Sept. 11, 2017