Fervent activity in Ottawa’s housing market had homes “flying off the shelves” and sale prices soaring in February, according to the local real estate board.
The average sale price for a residential property in Ottawa last month was $717,914, a jump of 27 per cent from last year’s figures. Condos, meanwhile, sold at an average price of $407,671, up 17 per cent from the same period in 2020.
Debra Wright, president of the Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB), said in a statement this week that a lack of supply on the Ottawa housing market is driving up prices.
“There is no denying that scarcity is leading to a more rapid price acceleration,” she said.
“This scarcity, combined with buyers’ willingness to pay and compete in this market, will continue to drive up the sales prices.”
Despite the lack of properties up for grabs, sales activity continues to rise with buyers acting quickly.
OREB members sold 1,390 properties last month, up 23 per cent year-over-year and a record number of sales for February. All this while housing stock levels sit 46 per cent lower now than this time in 2020, Wright noted.
“How is that possible? Simply put, properties that come onto the market are selling very quickly,” she said.
Residential-class properties are being snapped up especially quickly, with the average home spending just 14 days on the market last month compared to 30 days in February 2020.
Condos, on the other hand, are spending slightly longer on the market today than a year ago, up to 22 days today from 19.
Wright said, however, that the condo market appears to be stabilizing after the COVID-19 pandemic shifted buyers’ interests towards houses with more space.
Even with warmer weather approaching and the end of the feeling closer each day, Wright expects robust housing demand in the nation’s capital to continue fuelling activity.
“The upcoming spring market will bring more listings and increased inventory; however, the question is whether it will be enough to meet demand,” she said.