Strong May resale numbers despite inventory crunch

The Ottawa Real Estate Board reports strong May resale numbers despite a continuing inventory crunch. Members of the board sold 2,423 residential properties through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) System, compared with 2,271 in May 2018, an increase of 6.7 per cent. May sales also substantially outstripped the five-year average of 2,167.

“Despite the continuous free fall of inventory levels, we still have a higher sales volume than this time last year,” said board president Dwight Delahunt in a statement.

“Well-priced and positioned properties are turning over quickly,” he added.

Condos doing the heavy lifting

As was the case through both last year and so far this year, condo sales accounted for the bulk of the jump in May.

Agents sold 554 condos, up more than 14 per cent over the same month last year. While 1,869 non-condo properties changed hands last month, that number represented an increase of only 4.6 per cent over May 2018.

For the year to date, condo sales have grown by over eight per cent compared to the same period last year, whereas non-condo properties are up a scant one tenth of one per cent.

“Condo sales are bolstering the resale market… and are providing an excellent opportunity for those (b)uyers wishing to enter the market or who are ready to downsize,” said Delahunt.

Prices up, days on market down

Last month, condos sold for an average of $297,731, an increase of almost 5.8 per cent over last year. The average sale price of a non-condo property was $493,691, up 6.4 per cent over the same month last year.

“Home prices are steadily increasing at a reasonable rate, and the fact that they are not spiking confirms that our market is healthy and sustainable,” said Delahunt. He added that, despite stories of extreme multiple offer situations, 62 per cent of homes are still selling at or below asking (he did not point out that this also means roughly four out of every 10 homes are selling above asking price).

If prices were up last month, days on market went in the opposite direction compared to the same month last year. Condos dropped from 46 to 31 days, and non-condo properties went from 34 to 28.

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