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Ottawa home sales reflected pre-pandemic norms in July: real estate board

Housing stock in Ottawa is up 19-23 per cent year-over-year, according to the local real estate board. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Ottawa’s housing market showed clear signs of stabilization in July as sales returned closer to pre-pandemic levels, the local real estate board said.

The Ottawa Real Estate Board said its members sold 1,724 residential properties last month, a decrease of 21 per cent from the 2,183 units sold in July 2020. The past month’s sales volumes were also below the five-year average for July of 1,775 transactions.

The relative drop-off in sales followed an unseasonably fervent summer housing market in 2020, as the initial economic shutdowns driven by the COVID-19 pandemic pushed the typical spring demand into the usually calm summer months.

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With the July 2021 figures landing closer to 2019’s reported 1,838 sales, OREB president Debra Wright said in a statement that the “traditional cycle” of hot springs and cooler summers in the housing market seems to have returned.

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She also noted that July’s sales activity might have been affected by Ontario’s gradual economic reopening last month.

Home prices continued to climb in July, but at a less frantic pace, according to the OREB.

The average sale price of a condo in July was $419,545, an increase of 17 per cent, year-over-year. Residential-class properties sold at an average of $685,426, also up 17 per cent.

Read more: Ottawa home prices to rise 17% in final quarter of 2021, Royal LePage forecasts

Month-to-month, these sales figures represented a marginal drop of four per cent to six per cent from June’s average housing prices.

Wright said the “multiple offer frenzy” that had marked Ottawa’s real estate market in recent months is “no longer the norm,” and advised sellers to have “more realistic expectations” when listing their homes.

Housing stock, a consistent pressure point in the Ottawa market, also showed improvements in July, with residential inventory up 19 per cent and condo supply up 23 per cent from the same time in 2020.

“Along with the price stabilizations, we hope this may indicate that Ottawa’s resale market is moving towards a more balanced state, which would be good for everyone,” Wright said.

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Also last month, OREB also celebrated 100 years since its inception on July 9, 1921.

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