The number of properties for sale in some Ottawa neighbourhoods has been at historically low levels in recent months, but there’s a lot of good news to share in the numbers from the Ottawa resale market in May of 2018.

The Ottawa Real Estate Board has announced the sales numbers for May, and they include healthy increases in the average sale price for condos and residential-class properties and also above-average sales volume for the month.

The average sale price for a residential-class (non-condo) property in May in the Ottawa area was $464,401, an increase of 6.3 per cent over the average sale price in May of 2017, the Board reports. The average sale price for a condominium-class property for May was $281,247, an increase of 3. 4 per cent over the average price a year ago.

Of the units sold in May, 1,794 were in the residential property class, and 485 were condominium units.

Although the overall number of listings in recent months has been lower than usual in both the residential and condo markets, particularly in some neighbourhoods, “the number of listings coming onto the market this month is typical spring activity,” said Ralph Shaw, President of the Real Estate Board, in a statement.

“The sheer number of home sales that took place in May indicates that inventory is turning over quickly – certainly a sign that Ottawa is a healthy real estate market.”

There is also encouraging news for homeowners in the general increases we’ve seen in average sale prices in the Ottawa area in recent months.

“In the first five months of 2018, the value of a single-family home has increased about 8 per cent and approximately 6.5 per cent for condominiums,” Ralph Shaw says. “This price acceleration is encouraging news for homeowners who have now seen an average 3 per cent growth per year for the last five years.”

He says the increase in property values since the beginning of the year “will give baby boomers incentive to sell their homes, which will help put inventory back onto the market.”

The sales numbers for May include good news for buyers who are looking for property in the Ottawa area, where homes and condo units remain much more affordable than the markets in Toronto or Vancouver.

In the residential market, for example, the most active price point in our region in May were homes priced in the $300,000 to $449,999 range, which accounted for 45 per cent of sales. The $500,000 to $750,000 range is gaining momentum, accounting for 25 per cent of the sales.

In the condo market, meanwhile, 49 per cent of the units sold in May were in the $150,000 to $249,999 range. For first-time Ottawa buyers, condo units remain a particularly affordable way to enter the real estate market.

 In Ottawa, Ralph Shaw notes, condo apartment units accounted for 52 per cent of condo sales. “This is likely a reflection of the low vacancy rate in the rental market,” he says. “If you can scrape together a down payment, the carrying costs of one of these condos should be less than renting.”

As it always does, the Ottawa Board cautions that although the average sale price for a specific month can be useful in establishing trends over time, these prices should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. The average price is based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold. As in any city, prices and conditions can vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood.

If you’re considering buying or selling in Ottawa, I’d love to chat with you about the local market and the expertise I can offer, with more than three decades of experience as a Realtor in our city. You can have a look at my current listings at www.nancybenson.com, where you can see the kind of staging and professional photography we offer all our seller clients. You can also give me a call at 613-747-4747.