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Ottawa home prices continue to climb in May amid coronavirus pandemic

Ottawa home sales in September dropped from the same month in 2020, marking a return to pre-pandemic norms. 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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CMHC warns COVID-19 could lead to huge losses in real estate market – May 20, 2020

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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GTA real estate prices staying up despite coronavirus crisis – May 29, 2020

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