The official numbers for Ottawa’s resale housing market in January are in from the Ottawa Real Estate Board, and we’re continuing to see good news for buyers.
If you’re planning to buy a house or condo unit, you’ll be happy to hear that Ottawa’s resale housing market in January remained balanced, with a much healthier supply of houses and condo units than buyers faced in January of last year.
Supply is up dramatically.
The condo market now has 3.8 months worth of inventory (the time it would take to sell all properties if no new listings were added). That’s up from just 0.8 months in January of 2022. There is also 3.8 months worth of inventory for freehold properties, up from 0.9 months in January of 2022.
The number of new listings added to the market in January, at 1,324, was 16% higher than in January of last year, and it was above the five-year average of new listings for January, which is 1,233.
If you’re a buyer, this means you can take your time and you have some welcome breathing room, compared to a year ago, when many buyers felt pressured to make instant decisions.
With the current balanced market, buyers are no longer feeling that pressure. If you’re buying, you can again request traditional conditions on an offer, such as a pre-home inspection. At the height of the sellers’ market, some buyers felt pressured to waive those conditions because of the competition with other buyers.
If you’re selling, it means you need to be a little more patient than if you had sold during the height of the sellers’ market, and you need to price your property for the current market, and what properties in your neighbourhood have sold for recently. If you are considering selling, I can show you the most recent sales for properties in your area. It also means you need to ensure that your property looks its best, because you are competing with more sellers than was the case a year ago.
“Ottawa’s inventory and days on market figures are typical for a balanced market and another sign that buyers are no longer racing to put in an offer,” says Ken Dekker, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. “The increase in new listings and supply is a boon for home buyers, who now have more selection and the ability to put in conditions at a less frantic pace.”
While interest rates have climbed a little since January of last year, average sale prices in January were also down slightly from where they were in the opening months of 2022, when the sellers’ market was at its peak.
The average sale price for a condominium-class property in Ottawa in January was $412,244. That’s down 8% from the average in January of last year.
The average sale price for a freehold-class property was $676,272, down 12% from January of 2022.
Ken Dekker says sellers should be assured that the Ottawa market “should not be considered on a downward slide. A hyper COVID-19 seller’s market is now levelling out due to our current balanced market state.”
“On a positive note,” he adds, in comparison to the numbers from December of 2022, “January’s average price of freehold properties increased by 3%. The average price of condos did fall by 5% compared to December, but condo pricing tends to fluctuate more, due to the small data set.”
If you have owned your property for many years and have built up equity, you can take comfort in looking back just a few years to see how well the Ottawa market has done. In 2018, the average sale price for a residential unit was $446, 661. The average sale price for a condo unit in 2018 was $278,316.
If you are considering selling property, Ken Dekker says, “Realtors can help sellers with hyper-local insights about how to sell in your neighbourhood at a time when pricing is key.”
As always, the Ottawa Real Estate Board cautions that while the average sale price for 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 by neighbourhood.
If you’re considering buying or selling, I’d be happy to chat with you about the current market and conditions in your area of the city. With more than 30 years of experience as a Realtor in Ottawa, I’ve assisted clients in a wide range of markets.
Feel free to give me a call, at 613-747-4747.