“Ottawa, after another gold star year of sales and price growth, is expected to remain one of the country’s most desirable markets.”

For homeowners and home buyers in the Ottawa area, that’s one of the noteworthy conclusions in “The Hallmark Report 2020.”  The report looks back at trends and average sale prices in the residential housing market across Ontario in 2019 and offers predictions on where those markets are headed in 2020.

The report was prepared by experienced real estate experts for RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Group, the real estate brokerage with 19 offices across Ontario. My office, Nancy Benson & Associates, has been part of RE/MAX Hallmark Realty since 2016.

The Hallmark Report looks at the markets in the areas of Ontario where RE/MAX Hallmark has offices, including Ottawa, Toronto and the Barrie and York regions.

Ottawa will remain popular, the reports says, “due to its combination of relatively affordable markets, strong local economy, an excellent pool of renters that will draw investors and fewer instances of market imbalances.”

The report recaps some of the news I shared with Ottawa clients in a column earlier this year, including healthy year-over-year increases that were better than in many other Ontario cities over the past year.

In 2019, the average sale price of a residential home in Ottawa, at $486,590, was up 8.9 % over the average price in 2018.

The average sale price of a condominium unit, at $304, 203, was up 9.3 % over the previous year.

And properties sold faster. Perhaps because inventory over the past year was lower than usual, the average number of days that properties were on the market in Ottawa dropped to 37, down from 47 in 2018.

For properties handled by Hallmark Realtors in Ottawa, the average number of days on market was even lower, at 27.

In Toronto, where average prices for residential homes and condo units are at least twice what they are in Ottawa, the market “spent most of 2019 stagnated,” the report says.

“If tracking the Toronto market seemed a bit boring in 2019, the biggest news was the continued growth of the Ottawa market.”

The Report noted that 20 of the 46 real estate districts in our region registered average price increases in excess of 10 % between 2018 and 2019.

The report also commented on another positive sign: the steady population growth we’ve seen in Ottawa.  In June of 2019, the City of Ottawa announced it had officially surpassed the 1 million population mark, meaning Ottawa now joins the ranks of Montreal, Toronto and Calgary.

The city reported that Ottawa’s population has been growing by about 28 people per day, including other Canadians moving to our region, and reported that more people were moving to Ottawa than moving away from the city.

The Hallmark Report says “solid economic growth, the vibrant housing market, interprovincial migration from other cities (and) Canadians looking for a more affordable housing option, has helped the Ottawa population surpass the 1 million mark. With the city reaching that milestone, we expect larger investment players to come into the Ottawa market.”

The city of Ottawa, in its news release announcing the milestone, shared the enthusiasm. The growth “is good for our local economy. One million is a critical mass in population that will allow Ottawa to generate more opportunities, both from a larger domestic market and increased investment from global stakeholders. Our growing population can also support more cultural activities, sports events and exciting projects that give us greater worldwide visibility, a more vibrant cultural and artistic presence, and a greater capacity to attract new residents and businesses.”

Looking ahead, the Hallmark Report noted, things are looking good for the Ottawa housing market.

Ottawa is also home to a number of massive infrastructure projects that will require thousands of workers to bring to fruition, resulting in billions of dollars being injected into Ottawa’s economy over the next several years.” The largest of these is the next phase of the LRT network, a $4.6 billion project that will see an additional 24 stations built.

With all of these positives taken together, it’s little wonder that there is a lot of excitement about the Ottawa resale market and where it’s headed.

For much of the past year, Ottawa has seen lower than usual inventory of property listings. This means new properties on the market receive a lot of attention and a lot of interest from buyers who are eager to find their new home. So if you have been considering listing a property, this could be a great time to do so.

If you’re considering buying or selling property in the Ottawa area, I’d love to meet and chat with you about the current market and the conditions in your neighbourhood.

With more than 30 years of experience helping clients in the Ottawa area, I know our city well and have assisted clients in a wide range of market conditions.

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