It’s the time of year when housing sales normally slow down, but Ottawa’s resale market in November saw sales volume far above normal and average sale prices up 20 % for houses and 19 % for condominium units.

As we continue to have lower than usual inventory in the Ottawa market, multiple offers and bidding wars are also continuing.

That means the market is in your favour if you are considering listing a property. Residential housing stock in November was 50 % lower than it was in November of 2019, the Ottawa Real Estate Board reports. So new listings are attracting a lot of attention from Realtors and buyers.

If you’re a buyer in this market, it helps to have clear ideas of what you want and how much you are able to spend, and it’s a good idea to have an experienced Realtor at your side as you make offers.

In its summary of sales activity for November, 2020, the Ottawa Board reports its members sold 1,611 residential properties through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) system.

That’s up 26 % over the number of properties sold in November of last year, and it’s well above the five-year average for November sales, which is 1,257.

“We continue to experience strong activity in Ottawa’s resale market during the time of year when we would typically see a slowdown,” Ottawa Real Estate Board President Deb Burgoyne said in a statement.

“Further, the pandemic overall did not slow down the resale market. Our year-to-date transactions are now on par with 2019,” she said.

Burgoyne said she’s “confident in saying that if we had more supply, sales would be even higher.”

The average sale price for a condominium unit in Ottawa in November was $361,758. That’s up 15 % from the average price in November of 2019.

The average sale price for a residential-class property in November was $602,892 _ up 20 % from the average in November of last year.

While the average sale price for a specific month can sometimes be misleading depending on how many properties were sold at the higher or lower end of the market, Ottawa’s average prices so far in 2020 are also strong as we approach the end of the year.

The Board says average sale prices so far in 2020 are $581,120 for residential-class properties and $361,674 for condominium units _  an increase of 20 % and 19 % respectively over the same period in 2019.

“As far as average prices go, year-to-date prices are a more reliable indicator of what property values are doing over time, especially when we look at figures from the final quarter of the year, “ Deb Burgoyne adds.

“In November of 2018, we saw a 3-5% gain in year-to-date average prices. A year later, in 2019, they were up 9% for both property classes. Now in 2020, year-to-date average prices are 19-20% higher. This trajectory can be attributed to a concurrent decrease in inventory, which continues to be a challenge in our active market. The residential housing stock is 50% lower than last year at this time.”

Burgoyne notes, however, that condo inventory is actually up 25% over last November.

“This property type is staying on the market longer. The increase in these listings is likely a combination of factors. Investor owners who have been renting their units can now capitalize on the robust market, while some buyers are seeking more space or other lifestyle options.”

In the face of the current market, she adds, “now more than ever, buyers and sellers will benefit from the knowledge and experience of a Realtor. Our resale market continues to experience multiple offers and bidding wars, and you would want the guidance of someone who has maneuvered through this many times.”

Deb Burgoyne adds that professional expertise is particularly crucial if you have been considering purchasing a recreational property in the country, as we’ve seen many people consider in the past six months. With a pandemic limiting the ease of international travel, many buyers have decided to purchase a country home or summer cottage to give them an escape closer to home.

“These properties’ considerations are different than those you are used to seeing in the city, such as wells, septic tanks, conservation considerations, etc. A professional Realtor can explain those features to you,” Deb Burgoyne says.

If you are considering selling in the Ottawa area, keep in mind, as the Board always cautions,  that while average sale prices can be useful in establishing trends over time, they 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.

I’d love to chat with you about Ottawa’s current market and conditions where you’re selling or wanting to buy.  With more than 30 years of experience in the Ottawa market, I’ve helped buyer and seller clients successfully navigate a range of market conditions.

You can read more about me and my team and check Ottawa listings at Feel free to give me a call, at 613-747-4747.

If you’re considering purchasing a recreational country property, meanwhile, you’ll be interested in checking out our new, recently launched site specifically for vacation properties in eastern Ontario and beyond. The site includes properties and Realtors who have expertise in cottage country. Have a look, at