Average price for residential home in Ottawa tops $600K in October: real estate board

Royal LePage says Ottawa home prices are expected to rise 17 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2021. Craig Lord / Global News

Ottawa’s housing market remained busy in October as local realtors suggest buyers might be looking for more space than typically offered by condos amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB) sold 2,146 properties in October, a year-over-year increase of 34 per cent.

Of these sales, 1,665 were in the residential class, up 38 per cent from the same month last year. The remaining 481 properties were condos, an increase of 22 per cent year-over-year.

Read more: High home prices remain in Kitchener-Waterloo as houses change hands at record pace

The average sale price for a residential-class property last month was $603,253, an increase of 25 per cent from October 2019. Condo prices were up 16 per cent year-over-year, coming in at an average of $368,936.

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The summer and early fall months have seen unusually high levels of activity in Ottawa’s resale market, which saw a slowdown in the spring due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

OREB president Deb Burgoyne said in a statement this week that October’s number of new listings, sales and average price gains were all down from September, but that “demand persists” and the number of new sellers entering the market remains “strong.”

“We are heading into the colder months, the second wave of the pandemic is upon us, and yet Ottawa’s resale market continues to hold steady,” she said.

But the types of properties Ottawa buyers are looking for might well have shifted since the start of 2020.

Ottawa’s inventory of condo units is up 15 per cent from last October, while the supply of residential-class units is down 46 per cent. Burgoyne said this is the “inverse” of what OREB saw at the beginning of the year, when the condo supply was depleting more quickly than the residential stock.

She said buying preferences in Ottawa might be shifting towards properties with more square footage as residents seek space for at-home gyms and offices amid plans to work remotely for the foreseeable future.

Burgoyne added that while resale activity tends to slow in the colder months, it’s hard to say whether the local housing market will continue to follow such seasonal patterns amid a “topsy turvy” 2020 in Ottawa real estate.

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