Ottawa resale market continues to soar in October

Tighter mortgage rules, higher interest rates and low inventory may be the order of the day, but the Ottawa resale market continued to soar in October. The Ottawa Real Estate Board reports its members sold 1,383 properties through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), a jump of almost 12 per cent compared to the same month in 2017.

Although October sales have grown year-over-year since 2015, last month marked the biggest increase in the past four years. It also continued the robust trajectory that has defined the local market for some time.

“October’s sales are truly indicative of the fast-paced market we have experienced for much of 2018,” said board president Ralph Shaw in a statement.

Ottawa’s resale market is one of the bright spot on the turbulent Canadian scene. According to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), national sales through MLS were down 3.7 per cent in October compared to the same month last year. The number of transactions dropped in more than half the local markets last month, CREA reports.

Condos booming

Ottawa condo sales spiked more than 24 per cent last month compared to October 2017. Other properties increased 8.5 per cent from last year.

Prices were a different story. While non-condo prices were up 5.7 per cent over the same month last year, condos increased a scant 0.6 per cent. The average price of a non-condo property was $449,005, and a condo was $271,350.

Despite price growth for many properties, Shaw said that “Ottawa’s reputation as one of the most affordable cities in the country endures.”

Inventory issues

Shaw also underscored Ottawa’s low housing inventory, which he says continues to be a major driving factor in the local real estate market.

Current active inventory is less than half of what it was in 2015 and 2016, and it’s not improving, he said.

“Compared to last year, condo inventory is down 34.5 per cent while (non-condo) inventory is 17.5 per cent lower than October 2017.”

It’s small wonder, then, that homes are selling briskly in Ottawa. Average days-on-market are down anywhere from 14 to 24 per cent this year.

This story was updated Nov. 15 to reflect national resale numbers.

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