There is potential good news for you if you live in the Ottawa area and have been considering listing your home for sale for the busy spring-summer season of 2018.
The sales numbers are in for the Ottawa resale market for February, and the Ottawa Real Estate Board reports that the inventory in both residential-class homes and condominium units has continued to decline, creating a supply-side issue in the Ottawa market.
“If this trend continues, the market will move to favour sellers, and buyers will find themselves competing for a limited number of listings,” says Ralph Shaw, Ottawa Real Estate Board President, in a statement.
“Given this environment, it’s a good opportunity for sellers to get their property on the market.”
With the official arrival of spring just a few weeks away on March 20, marking the beginning of what is always the busiest few months of the year for home sales, this could be a particularly good time to list your home.
The Ottawa Real Estate Board reports that its members sold 979 residential properties in February. This is above the five-year average for February sales in our area, which is 922, but it is down 2.3 per cent from the 1,002 properties that sold in our area in February of 2017. Of the properties that sold in February, 729 were in the residential property class and 250 were in the condominium property class.
“There is no doubt our sales numbers would have been much higher if we had more properties available for sale,” Ralph Shaw says in the Board’s press release. “Buyer demand is there, but our inventory in both residential-class and condos continues to decline.”
Ralph Shaw says that the inventory shortage has been compounded by a shortage in new construction.
“After a record year last year, new construction is hindered in getting to market because builders cannot find enough land as a result of the urban boundary and land prices going up.”
With these factors combined, this could be a particularly good time to list.
As for prices, the average sale price in February for a residential-class (non-condo) property was $429,600. That’s an increase of 2.7 per cent over the average sale price in February of 2017, the Board reports. As for condos, the average sale price in our area in February was $273, 174, an increase of 5.6 per cent over prices in February of 2017.
The Board cautions that although an average sale price for a specific month can be useful in establishing trends over time, you should keep in mind that the average price is based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold in that month, so the averages can be affected if there were an unusually large number of homes sold in the upper or lower ends of the price spectrum that month.
Average sale prices for a specific month should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. And keep in mind that as with any city, the prices and conditions will vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood.
For those looking for a home in the Ottawa area, the good news is that the most active price point in the Ottawa residential market continues to be in the $300,000 to $449,999 range, the Board reports. That price range accounted for 47 per cent of the residential market. The most active price point in the condo market, meanwhile, was between $150,000 and $249,999. That range represented 56 per cent of the condo market.
Those prices again show how affordable the Ottawa market remains, compared with much higher average prices in Toronto and Vancouver.
Ottawa’s condominium market has continued the rebound that we have seen over the past year. The shortage of rental units in Ottawa could be contributing to that.
“Due to demand, the condo market is experiencing some price recovery,” Ralph Shaw says.
“Units in the lower price points of the condo market are likely moving rapidly because of the limited supply in the rental market which is yet another factor at play. The lack of availability is essentially forcing renters into condo ownership.”
Ralph Shaw says the Ottawa Real Estate Board hopes in this civic election year to talk with council and mayoral candidates about measures that could support affordability so that Ottawa does not experience the supply challenges of Vancouver and Toronto.
“Ottawa is beginning to experience similar indicators that ultimately led to challenging real estate markets in our larger metropolitan cities. It starts with supply shortages, which eventually lead to affordability issues. The city in particular needs to have an intelligent vision about how to support and stimulate all aspects of the market, from new construction through to the rental market availability.”
If you live in the Ottawa area and are considering selling or buying, I’d love to chat with you more about the current market and tell you about the expertise I offer, with more than 30 years as a Realtor in the Ottawa area. On my website, at nancybenson.com, you can read about the services we offer to buyers and sellers, and you can also view my current listings. The listings page will give you an idea of the superb professional photographs and elegant home staging we arrange for our seller clients when we list a property.
If you have been considering listing your home for the spring-summer season, it’s a great idea to get started now, so that we can start preparing your property to look its best in time for the busy season. You can give me a call at 613-747-4747.