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Ottawa home prices continue to climb in May amid coronavirus pandemic

home sold sign
The Ottawa Real Estate Board said its members sold 2,146 properties in October, an increase of 34 per cent year-over-year. Craig Lord / Global News

While the number of properties changing hands in Ottawa dropped dramatically in May amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, the average sale price of a home in the nation’s capital continues to climb.

The Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB) said Wednesday that its members sold 1,345 residential properties last month, a decrease of 44 per cent from May 2019. Both condo and residential-class property sales were down more than 40 per cent year over year.

Deborah Burgoyne, president of the OREB, said in a statement that unit sales in May were more typical of activity in the fall months.

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Given the gradual reopening of Ontario’s economy, she said the local real estate organization has “cautious optimism” that pent-up demand from before the pandemic will resurge in autumn.

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“We can hope that there is a ‘flip-flop’ and our fall numbers are closer to spring figures,” Burgoyne said.

Those who are buying homes in Ottawa continue to pay more, however.

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The average sale price of a condo in Ottawa was $343,589 in May, up 15.5 per cent from the same time last year. Residential-class properties sold at an average of $548,140 last month, an increase of 11.2 per cent year over year.

Burgoyne said that Ottawa’s relatively stable employment, bolstered by the federal government and the local tech sector, and a continuous influx of newcomers make real estate in the nation’s capital a “solid investment,” even during a pandemic.

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