Ottawa’s resale market ends summer with ‘typical’ August: OREB

By the end of summer, the OREB reported that the Ottawa housing market settled back into a “typical” August. Kitchissippi Times file photo.

By Maureen McEwan

Heading into fall, the Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB) reported that the city’s resale market cooled somewhat, settling back into a typical trajectory by the final summer month. 

OREB members sold 1,572 residential properties this August, compared with 2,006 in August 2020 — a decrease of 22 per cent — according to an OREB Sept. 3 press release. 

The August 2021 sales included 1,175 in the residential-property class— a 25 per cent decrease from August 2020—  and 397 in the condominium-property category, (down nine per cent from that time last year). For August total unit sales, the five-year average is 1,684.

“August’s unit sales followed a trajectory typical of the resale market’s summer months with a considerable decline in transactions compared to the spring and 9% fewer sales than in July (1,724). The number of properties changing hands was on par with August 2017 and 2018 figures. The reason we see a sharp decrease compared to last year’s numbers is due to the first wave lockdown in spring 2020, which shifted that market’s peak to the summer and fall months,” OREB President Debra Wright stated in the Sept. 3 press release. 

“Year-to-date resales are at 14,728 and are 24% higher than this period in 2020, which clearly indicates we are in the midst of another strong year in the Ottawa market,” she added. 

For residential-class properties, the August average price was $674,449, an increase of 14 per cent from August 2020, according to the OREB. For condominium-class properties, the average sale price in August was $407,148, up six per cent from that time last year. 

Year-to-date average sale prices have seen increases. Residential-class properties have an average sale price of $722,526 for residential-class properties—a 27 per cent increase over last year—while condominium-class properties have an average sale price of $420,654, an 18 per cent increase from 2020. 

“Supply continues to remain scarce, and that is the driving factor behind these price increases,” Wright stated Sept. 3. “New listings were down 400 units from July and 500 units from last August and below the 5-year average for the first time this year since February. Although inventory is approximately 5-6% higher than last year for both residential and condominium property classes, we are only at about 1.5 months’ worth of housing stock. To achieve a balanced market, we need 4-6.5 months’ supply of inventory.” 

The OREB has also seen an increase in rentals. Members reported helping clients to rent 3,182 properties since the start of 2021 compared to 2,232 properties by this time last year.

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