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Ottawa housing market showed signs of stabilizing in June: real estate board

The Ottawa Real Estate Board said the city's housing market cooled in June from highs seen earlier in 2021. Craig Lord / Global News

Ottawa’s long-hot housing market showed the early signs of cooling in June as the supply of new homes up for sale reached highs not seen since 2017.

The Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB) said this week that its members sold 2,131 homes over the month of June, up five per cent year-over-year. Residential-class property sales were largely steady while the number of condos trading hands last month was up 13 per cent over June 2020.

Last month’s home sales came close to the five-year average of 2,098 total unit sales in June.

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OREB president Debra Wright said in a statement that last month’s real estate market performed similarly to a “pre-pandemic” June, which sees a “normal tapering off” from the typical spring market.

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Last year’s summer saw a surge in housing activity after the initial wave of the COVID-19 pandemic deferred spring demand.

“It will be interesting to watch the market over the summer to see if this normalization of the real estate sales ebb and flow is indeed the case moving forward,” Wright said.

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The first five months of the year saw a continued surge in housing activity, with sales up 48 per cent over those months.

But one of the Ottawa housing market’s persistent issues — an overall lack of stock — showed signs of improvement in June.

Inventory levels for both residential and condo properties are at their highest points since 2017, Wright said.

“However, we are still at a one-month supply of housing stock, so we aren’t out of the woods yet.”

Housing prices also continue to climb in Ottawa, though Wright said the “drastic increases” seen earlier in the year seem to have abated.

The average sale price of a condo in June was $435,198, up 21 per cent from a year earlier.

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Residential-class properties, meanwhile, hit average sale prices of $725,970, an increase of 26 per cent year-over-year.

Wright said homes in Ottawa are spending more time on the market as of late, and fewer properties are subject to “multiple offer frenzy situations.”

“This start of a perhaps equilibrium in the market is good news for buyers, while sellers are going to have to adjust to this new normal and be more strategic in their positioning,” she said.

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