Ottawa’s resale Real Estate market saw sales transactions up nearly 25% over January of last year, the Ottawa Real Estate Board reports.

As well, average sale prices were up for condominium units and residential-class properties, though the Board cautions that an unusually high number of $1 million-plus properties sold in January in our city, inflating the average sale price.

Members of the Ottawa Board sold 964 residential properties in January of 2021 through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service (MLS) system. That was up 24% from the 778 sold in January of 2020. The five-year average for January sales is 786.

The number of condo units sold in January was up 31% over the number sold in January of last year, and residential-class properties were up 21%.

Inventory continues to be lower than usual in Ottawa, as it has been for the past year. When new listings enter the market, they receive a lot of notice from buyers and their Realtors.

“Pent-up buyer demand fueled the exceptional number of sales that took place in January, even as the mid-month lockdown further restricted supply,” said Board President Debra Wright in a statement.

“Earlier in the month, listing activity had increased, likely driven by those sellers waiting until after the holiday season to put their properties on the market.”

But after the provincial government announced a new stay-at-home order Jan. 12, she said, “sellers pulled back (rightfully so) and the number of properties entering the market declined.”

The inventory shortage (a full 43% fewer properties on the market in January of 2021 than in January of last year), combined with strong demand “triggered a brisk pace on the market,” Debra Wright said.

“We would have certainly seen higher sales numbers if there were more properties available, because the demand is definitely there.”

The average sale price in January for a condominium unit in Ottawa was $380,336 _ up 13% over the average in January of 2020.

The average sale price of a residential-class property was $677,197 _ up 31% from January of last year.

But Debra Wright cautions that the month’s average was distorted by an unusually high number of sales of higher-end properties.

There were 63 sales in the $1-million-plus range in January, compared with only 16 at that price in January of last year.

“There was considerable movement in the upper end of the market, which caused a bit of an anomalous outcome in average price percentages,” she said.

“Sustained price movements are better reflected during the mid-to-latter part of the year, where trends begin to emerge and comparisons can be drawn.”

Looking at the full year of 2020, for example, the average sale price of a residential-class property in Ottawa was $582,267 _ up 20% from 2019.

The average sale price of a condo unit in 2020 was $361,337 _ up 19% over the previous year.

As Debra Wright notes, the effects of the second provincial lockdown “will not be entirely measurable until the coming months, dependent on when the mandated stay-at-home order is retracted. If the lockdown is extended, that could affect the market in the longer term. However, as we saw last year, the market was resilient throughout and is being driven by the needs of buyers and sellers.”

The board cautions, as it always does, that average sale prices for a specific month can be useful in establishing trends over time but should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. As with any city, prices in Ottawa will vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood.

If you’re considering buying or selling in coming months, I’d love to chat about conditions in your area of the city and about the expertise I can offer, with more than 30 years of experience helping clients in the Ottawa market.

There is a lot that we can do to get started, even just chatting on the phone or online and with photos or videos of your home.

You can read more about me and view my listings at www.nancybenson.com. Feel free to give me a call, at 613-747-4747.