If you’ve been thinking about selling your home or condo in the near future, the news from Ottawa’s resale home market in February shows why the numbers are in your favour.

The numbers, just released by the Ottawa Real Estate Board, tell the story of a very hot market in February of 2020.

With inventory continuing to be lower than usual, properties also sold faster, with the average number of days on the market down for houses and condo units.

The average sale price for houses was up 21.1 % over the average in February of last year. The average price for condo units was up 21.3 % over February of 2019.

The number of properties sold in February also reached its highest number in 15 years, and 58 % of properties sold for above the asking price in February. That was up from 32 % of properties that sold for above asking in February of 2019.

After the slight drop in sales volume that we saw in January, which is normal for the first month of the year, the strong sales in February return Ottawa to the above-average numbers we saw in our region through 2019.

“February’s numbers suggest Ottawa’s resale market is heading back into overdrive,” said Deborah Burgoyne, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board, in a statement.

“Activity overall has gone up, with more listings coming on the market (though we’re still well below the five-year average) and the highest number of February transactions in 15 years,” she added.

Here are a few specifics on the key February numbers:

Sales Volume: Members of the Board sold 1,141 properties through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) system. That’s up 13. 9 % from the 1,002 properties sold in February of 2019. And it’s well above the five-year average for number of properties sold in February, which is 1,006.

Faster Sales: In February, the average number of days on the market dropped to 30 for residential properties. That’s down 12 % from February of last year. The average number of days for condo properties in February was 19, down 58 % from February of last year.

“As a matter of fact, in specific highly sought-after neighbourhoods, sold signs are going up after only 1-2 days,” Deborah Burgoyne says.

Average Sale Prices Up: The average sale price for a condominium-class property in February was $349,813. That’s up 21.3 % from the average in February of last year.

The average sale price for a residential-class property in February $563,694. That’s up 21.1 % from February of last year.

“These increases are a direct result of sustained lack of inventory putting upward pressure on prices, and this trend is likely to persist until supply recovers and is bolstered with newly constructed units,” Deborah Burgoyne says.

“Multiple offers have become commonplace in certain pockets of the city.”

Good news for buyers: For buyers, there was also good news in the most prevalent price ranges for homes and condo units in February. Those prices are still far lower than average sales prices in cities such as Toronto and Vancouver.  

The most active price range in the residential market in February was $400,000 to $549,999, representing 39 % of units sold. The most prevalent price in the condo market was $250,000 to $399,999.

“With the first day of spring only weeks away, I suspect the frenzy of the spring market will be well upon us before the weather catches up,” Deborah Burgoyne says.

“When there is limited inventory, it’s always a good time to sell, and the earlier you get on the market, the more you can differentiate your home.”

If you are considering buying or selling property in the near future, I’d love to meet with you and chat about conditions in your own neighbourhood.

Keep in mind, as the Ottawa Real Estate Board always cautions, that while the average sale price in a specific month can be useful in establishing trends over time, it should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. As with any city, prices in Ottawa vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood.

With more than 30 years of experience as a Realtor in Ottawa, I have helped hundreds of buyer and seller clients navigate a wide range of market conditions. You can read more about me on my website, at www.nancybenson.com. Feel free to give me a call, at 613-747-4747.