September home sales in Ottawa were more in line with pre-COVID-19 levels, the local real estate board said this week, though it cautioned that a tight housing supply continues to threaten affordability in the nation’s capital.
Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB) sold 1,607 properties last month, a sharp drop from the 2,314 homes sold in September 2020.
The board’s president, Debra Wright, said in a statement that the discrepancy is mainly tied to last year’s inflated figures, which saw disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic push housing demand from the spring into the traditionally slower summer months.
September 2021 home sales marked a four per cent increase over 2019 figures and a 16 per cent increase over 2018, Wright said.
She noted that September followed its usual sales patterns of slowing around the Labour Day weekend as school resumed and accelerating towards the end of the month.
Last month’s home sales included 1,244 properties in the residential class and 363 condos.
The average sale price of a residential home was $702,155 in September, up 13 per cent year over year, while condos sold at an average of $425,362, an increase of 14 per cent from 2020.
Wright said the growing home values in Ottawa are “inevitable given the supply challenges we have been experiencing for several years now combined with the unrelenting high demand.”
Ottawa currently has about a one-month supply of housing stock, Wright said.
While inventory levels are a bit higher than in pre-pandemic years, the 2,252 new listings added last September was below the five-year average as well as September 2020, which saw 2,906 units added to the market.