Ottawa sets record resale market in June

Ottawa saw a record resale market in June, with residential properties selling for an average of $500,716, according to the Ottawa Real Estate Board. It was the first time residential resale properties have averaged more than half a million dollars.

The average selling price of condos last month was $308,482.

Prices weren’t the only robust element in Ottawa’s bustling resale market. Sales numbers were also healthy, with board members selling a total of 2,105 properties through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) System. That was slightly higher than the same month last year, when members sold 2,064.

Prices vary by area

Residential prices jumped 11.4 per cent in June compared to a year ago, while condos were up 6.2 per cent. However, residential price increases varied widely across the city.

Britannia Heights (up 22.5 per cent to $560,600) and Mooney’s Bay-Carleton Square (up 21.6 per cent to $616,400) saw the biggest jumps. Centretown, the Glebe and Carlingwood were all at the lower end, with increases of 4.5 per cent each and prices running from $687,500 to $819,500.

However, as the Ottawa Citizen noted in its coverage of June sales, caution is in order on at least some of those numbers because the Canadian Real Estate Association, which calculates the data used for measurement, seems to have started revising some of it.

The paper also noted that price gains have been substantial throughout the western part of Ottawa. It pointed to factors like the increasing number of Department of National Defence employees now working at the new Moodie Drive headquarters and the many people attracted by Kanata’s vibrant high tech sector.

Affordability

Board president Dwight Delahunt was careful to put June’s prices in context. In a statement, he said that despite last month’s double-digit increase for residential properties, year-to-date figures “indicate a steady growth of 7.6 per cent and 7.5 per cent for residential and condominiums respectively.” He also said that even though there have been multiple offers on homes, most properties sold at or below the listed price in June.

Ottawa remains “one of Canada’s most affordable major cities,” he added.

That statement appears to be supported by RBC’s Housing Affordability Report from this spring. It found the share of income needed to cover the costs of owning a home in Ottawa at just over 40 per cent — a far cry from the national picture (51.9 per cent) and cities like Vancouver (84.7 per cent) and Toronto (66.1 per cent).

Condos continue to lead

As has been the case since 2017, condos are selling briskly in Ottawa.

Sales last month increased 8.8 per cent compared to June of last year. By contrast, residential properties saw sales growth of two per cent over the same month in 2018.

Residential inventory continues to be an issue, with high demand pitted against a limited supply. That’s helping drive prices upward.

Looking ahead at the resale market, Delahunt said: “We anticipate there will be a high demand in the foreseeable future due to increasing population and strong employment in the area.”

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