Ottawa’s resale housing market in June saw a lot of good news, including higher than average sales numbers and a continued resurgence of the city’s condo market. In the first six months of 2018, properties have also been selling faster, with a decline in the average number of days on the market.

In its announcement of sales numbers, the Ottawa Real Estate Board reports its members sold 2,070 residential properties in June through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) system. While that’s down slightly from the 2,163 that were sold in June of 2017, it’s still above the five-year average for June sales in our region, which is 1,914.

Of the properties sold, 455 were in the condominium property class. That’s up 11.5 per cent over the number of condos sold in June of 2017. The number of residential (non-condo) properties sold in June was 1,615, a decrease of 8 per cent from June of 2017.

Looking at the first six months of 2018, Ottawa Real Estate Board President Ralph Shaw says the number of residential sales is almost identical to this time in 2017, and adds “condo sales led the way, increasing by 16.8 per cent over the same period.”

Prices again show how much more affordable the Ottawa market remains, compared with prices in Toronto and Vancouver.

The average sale price for a residential-class (non-condo) property in Ottawa in June was $449,200. That’s up 3.4 per cent over the average sale price in June of 2017. In the first six months of 2018, residential properties have seen a 5.2 per cent increase in average price, the Board says.

The average sale price for a condominium unit in June was $293,303, an increase of 1.2 per cent over the average sale price in June of 2017. The year-to-date increase in average sale price for condo properties is 1.1 per cent.

The Board cautions that as with any city, prices and conditions will vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood. Average prices for a specific month should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value.

In other trends, inventory has been lower this year than last year and properties have been selling faster than they did last year at this time.

The year-to-date average Days on Market (DOM) for residential homes has gone down 18 per cent, from 46 days in 2017 to 37 days currently.

For condominium units, the average Days on Market dropped by 27 per cent, from 71 days in the first half of 2017 to 52 days in the first half of this year.

The faster selling time “indicates that inventory is turning over much more quickly, likely due to the lack of available inventory in certain areas of Ottawa,” says Ralph Shaw, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board.

He says the strong condo sales we’ve been seeing “are likely fueled by lack of inventory, particularly in the lower price points of the single-family resale market.”

For example, he says, “in the first half of the year, there has been a decrease of 37 per cent in the number of single-family units sold in the $250 to $275K price point and a 41 per cent decrease for the $275 to $300K price range, whereas there is a corresponding increase in condo sales of 49 per cent and 22 per cent respectively for those same price points.”

He says this suggests that at the lower end of the single-family resale market, “buyers are turning towards condominium units as a way of achieving ownership at a price they can afford. The oversupply in our condo market that once was an issue is now helping to ease our overall inventory shortage.”

While there was good news for sellers in the faster selling times, there was also the usual positive reminder for buyers that the Ottawa market remains much more affordable than Toronto, where average prices are far higher. While the average sale price in June for a condo unit in Ottawa was 293,303, for example, the average price for a condo unit in the greater Toronto area in June was $561,097, and it was even higher in the central Toronto area.

The average price for a detached house in Toronto in June, meanwhile, was $928,560 in the greater Toronto area.

As Ralph Shaw says, “Ottawa’s real estate market continues to move forward at a reasonable pace. Undoubtedly, inventory remains low, but our property prices continue to be stable and affordable. We are very fortunate not to be experiencing the volatility of other markets in our country.”

If you’re interested in buying or selling property in the Ottawa area, I would love to chat with you about our market and the services and expertise I can offer, with more than 30 years of experience as a Realtor in the Ottawa area.

On my website,  nancybenson.com, you can see my current listings and read about some of the services I offer to sellers and buyers. Feel free to give me a call at 613-747-4747.