Unusually warm temperatures, a surge in new listings and pent-up buyer demand helped make March of 2021 a hot month for Ottawa’s resale real estate market.

The number of transactions was well above the five-year average for the month, multiple offers were common, and almost 80% of properties sold for more than the asking price, the Ottawa Real Estate Board reports.

The average sale price for a condominium-class property in March, at $437,041, was up 18% from March of last year.

The average price for a residential-class property, at $758,802, was up 35% from the average in March of 2020, the Board says.

Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 2,285 residential properties in March through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service (MLS) system. That’s well above the five-year average for March sales, which is 1,688.

Members of the OREB sold 2,285 residential properties in March 2021

Ottawa Real Estate Board President Debra Wright says there were several reasons for  the high number of sales.

“Typically, real estate is heavily influenced by the weather, and we had remarkable and unseasonably warm temperatures last month, which facilitated buyers’ ability to view and purchase homes.

“Also, there was a significant uptick in the number of new listings that came onto the market.”

The total new listings (2,798) was higher than the five-year average for the month, she noted, but “ongoing pent-up buyer demand meant that most of the properties that came onto the market in March were quickly acquired.”

The year-to-date average prices for January to March are $729,897 for a residential-class property (up 32% from the same period last year) and $415,054 for condominium units (up 17% over 2020).

Debra Wright notes that “multiple-offer scenarios are undoubtedly escalating property values.”

Of the properties that sold in March, almost 80% sold for over the asking price, compared with 60% in March of last year. Of the remaining March property sales, 6% sold for the asking price and 14% sold for below the list price.

Debra Wright says “these accelerated price growths are purely a result of long-term inventory shortage. I don’t believe that Ottawa’s market is by any means out of control but rather is coming into its own. However, until there is action at all three levels of government to resolve our supply challenges, our housing prices are not going to stabilize. And this phenomenon is not occurring in our market alone. Housing stock scarcity is a nation-wide issue.”

However, she notes “we have already seen an upturn in new listings…and we are hopeful this trend will continue. In fact, there may be some pent-up supply, as sellers have held back during the pandemic, even though the market has been more active than expected throughout.”

As I have mentioned in recent posts to clients, Wright says sellers in the current hot market will benefit from the expertise of an experienced Realtor, who can “ensure they are marketing and pricing their properties competitively and strategically.

At the same time, buyers continue to be challenged with a shortage of offerings and need to be equally strategic with the guidance of a Realtor.”

The Ottawa Board cautions, as it always does, that while the 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. As with any city, prices and conditions in Ottawa will vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood.

If you’re  considering selling or buying property in the Ottawa area, I’d love to chat with you about your plans and tell you more about conditions in your part of the city.

With more than 30 years of experience as a Realtor in the Ottawa area, I have helped clients buy and sell in a wide range of market conditions, and I know the city’s neighbourhoods well.

You can read more about me on my site, at www.nancybenson.com.

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