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Ottawa home prices up 22% in August: real estate board

home sold sign
The Ottawa Real Estate Board said its members sold 2,017 properties in August, well above the five-year average for the month. Craig Lord / Global News

With home prices continuing to climb at the end of the summer in Ottawa, the local real estate board says a recent surge of new listings in the housing market could bring some “much-needed balance” to the hot industry.

The Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB) said Thursday the average sale price of a residential-class property in the nation’s capital last month was $592,548, an increase of 22 per cent year over year.

The average sale price of a condo, meanwhile, was $383,640, an increase of 24 per cent from August 2019.

Read more: Uncertainty, lower demand expected in Canada’s housing market, CMHC says

The OREB said its realtors sold 2,017 homes last month, an increase of 17 per cent from a year ago.

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The biggest jump was in the residential-property class, up 22 per cent from a year ago, while the volume of condo sales only rose two per cent year over year. The five-year average of home sales in August is 1,668.

Deborah Burgoyne, president of the OREB, said in a statement Thursday that the higher resale activity can be traced to a “considerable increase” in new listings over the course of July and August.

Ottawa’s hot housing market has likely convinced more homeowners to cash in on their investments, Burgoyne said, in addition to the standard flow of residents moving into new builds and baby boomers downsizing in retirement.

Maritime women downsizing her life during COVID-19
Maritime women downsizing her life during COVID-19

Whatever the reason, Burgoyne said the influx of new listings bodes well for the housing market.

“If the rate at which properties are coming onto the market can be sustained, it will surely bring some much-needed balance,” she said.

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“For some time, as inventory comes on the market, it is quickly being absorbed. If this increased listing trend continues, at some point, the housing stock may finally build to a point that demand is going to be somewhat satiated.”

The flurry of activity in the local housing market has made multiple offers and bidding wars the norm for many prospective buyers.

The longer hopeful home hunters search without a successful bid, the more likely they are to suffer from “buyer burnout,” Burgoyne said.

She noted that Ottawa had, until now, been “well-insulated” when it came to resale prices, but that reality may have passed as it has in other large Canadian cities.

Burgoyne said she does not believe prices are going to come down or that activity will slow in the near future.

Matt Lee looks at Kingston real estate stats for July 2020
Matt Lee looks at Kingston real estate stats for July 2020