If you’ve been considering buying a home in the Ottawa area, there’s some good news that could make your purchase easier in coming months.

After more than a year of intense competition in what’s been a seller’s market, Ottawa is now on the way towards a balanced market, the Ottawa Real Estate Board reports.

If you’re a buyer, this welcome news will mean less pressure and more breathing room as you search for that ideal home, without the pressure to make a decision instantly, as many buyers felt over the past two years.

If you’re planning to sell, the changing market means you will need to be a little more patient as you await a sale. The average number of days that a property is on the market in Ottawa before selling is starting to return to normal, after the frenzied pace of the past few years, when some properties were snapped up in days.

In its report on the resale real estate market in Ottawa for July of 2022, the Ottawa Real Estate Board announced the same results we’re seeing across the country:  the number of sales was down substantially from July of last year, largely due to recent increases in interest rates.

Average sale prices for condominium units and residential-class properties were both still above where they were in July of 2021, but the pace of increase has slowed down, as it has in other cities.

Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,110 residential properties in July through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service (MLS) system. That’s down 35% from the 1,718 properties sold in July of last year. It’s also below the five-year average for July, which is 1,691.

As with Toronto, where there was a 47% drop in the number of properties sold in July from a year ago, Ottawa’s resale market has slowed down, says Penny Torontow, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board.

“July’s numbers reveal that buyers are indeed putting on the brakes more heavily than what is typically expected during the mid-summer sales dip,” she said.

“But there is a silver lining. With more properties continually being added to inventory, we are in the cusp of returning to a balanced market, and that is good news.”

With 2,338 new listings added to the housing stock in July, on par wit the five-year average for July, she says the inventory for residential-class properties is currently at about 2.9 months and the inventory for condominium units is about 2.5 months (the time it would take for inventory to sell out).

“A market is considered balanced with at least four months of supply, so we are well on our way to that paradigm,” she said.

Average Sale Prices for July

Condominium-class Properties: In July, the average sale price for a condominium-class property in Ottawa was $425,694. That’s up 1% from July of 2021.

Residential-class Properties: The average sale price for a residential-class property in July was $716,354. That’s up 5% from July of 2021.

“The double-digit average price increases that we saw in the past couple of years, right up until the early Spring, have now morphed into single-digit increases, which aligns more with our traditional stable year-over-year price growth,” Penny Torontow says.

The Board cautions that while average sale prices for a specific month 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.

“If you look from neighbourhood to neighbourhood, there are so many differing characteristics and attributes, price increases will certainly fluctuate depending on where you live.”

And she advises sellers who currently have properties on the market, or those who are about to list, “now is the time to be patient, as days on the market return to more normal time frames. There are still many buyers out there, but with more choice, they have less pressure and may take their time. Even though interest rates are still quite reasonable from a historical perspective, consumers are adjusting to this new reality.”

“Whether you are a buyer or a seller, a professional licensed Realtor will help you navigate this shifting resale market. They have access to minute-by-minute sales data and local neighbourhood expertise that will assist you in making the best decisions for your circumstances.”

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

With more than 30 years of experience assisting Ottawa clients and negotiating on their behalf, I know the city and its neighbourhoods well. You can read more about me and my team at www.nancybenson.com

Feel free to give me a call, at 613-747-4747.