Editor’s note: This story was updated with additional context surrounding new home listings in June.
Ottawa’s real estate market started to return to some of its pre-pandemic highs in June, according to data from local realtors.
Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB) sold 2,052 residential properties last month — a bit below but mostly on par with figures from June 2019.
That compares to dramatic year-over-year drop-offs of more than 50 per cent in sale volumes in May and April.
Deborah Burgoyne, president of the OREB, said in a statement that buyers, sellers and their agents in Ottawa have adapted to the new demands of doing business during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“With safety protocols firmly in place, and buyers and sellers more accustomed to our new normal, the resale market has rebounded to meet pent up demand,” Burgoyne said.
As the perceived apprehension surrounding the coronavirus’s impact on Ottawa’s real estate market begins to lift, sellers are flooding the market with new listings. June saw more than double the new listings hit the market as compared to April, and an increase of 45 per cent over May figures.
But as demand catches up from the April-May slowdown, new listings are being snapped up so quickly that Ottawa’s overall housing inventory is not growing. The supply of residential-class properties is down 52 per cent compared to this time last year, and the inventory of condos in Ottawa is similarly down 43 per cent.
“We continue to be in a strong seller’s market, with less than one month’s supply currently available,” Burgoyne said.
The favourable conditions for sellers continue to push up home prices.
The average sale price of a condo in Ottawa last month was $360,922, an increase of 17 per cent from June 2019. On the residential side, the average sale price of a home rose 15 per cent year-over-year to $575,623.
Bidding wars are also common today in Ottawa, Burgoyne noted, as 56 per cent of homes are selling over asking.
Burgoyne believes the pent-up demand from the recent slower months will continue to drive high home sale volumes through the summer, which usually sees a drop-off in activity by July.