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Ottawa home sales down drastically in April amid coronavirus pandemic

home sold sign
Home sale volumes were steady year-over-year in June, while prices continued to climb. Craig Lord / Global News

The novel coronavirus pandemic has put a chill into Ottawa’s previously hot housing market as local realtors report heavily diminished sales figures in April.

The Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB) reported just 913 home sales across the city last month, less than half the number of properties sold by local realtors in the same month a year ago and well below April’s five-year average for home sales of 1,692.

Ottawa home prices meanwhile continue to climb during the pandemic, but at a diminished rate compared to earlier in the year.

READ MORE: Greater Toronto Area home sales plunge 67% in April as COVID-19 pandemic freezes real estate market

The average sale price of a condo unit in Ottawa was $327,813 last month, an increase of 6.3 per cent year-over-year, while a residential-class property sold at an average of $521,694 in April, up 6.8 per cent from a year ago.

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Compare that to January — before the novel coronavirus pandemic had forced Ontario’s economy into a lockdown — when condo and residential prices rose 19.1 per cent and 19.3 per cent year-over-year, respectively.

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Even March, which saw its housing market disrupted mid-month by the pandemic, had a higher volume of property sales than in 2019 and saw average condo sale prices spike more than 27 per cent year-over-year.

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“While the Ottawa real estate market statistics for April come as no surprise, they are a stark contrast to the previous month and the year-over-year figures for April 2019,” said OREB president Deb Burgoyne in a statement.

Ottawa realtors have been forced to adapt to the pandemic lockdown by offering virtual tours, livestreaming open houses and other remote options for buyers and sellers.

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