Spectacular August on multiple fronts!
The number of properties sold was up substantially over the same month in 2019.
Average sale prices were up more than 20 % for residential houses and for condominium units.
And after many months of low inventory, we’ve finally experienced a surge in new listings.
Buyers are still facing a challenging market and multiple offers remain common in popular neighbourhoods, but if the number of new listings we’ve seen recently can be sustained, the market is likely to become a more balanced one.
In August of 2020, members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 2,017 residential properties through the board’s Multiple Listing Service (MLS) system. That’s a 17% increase over the 1,725 properties sold in August of last year, and well above the five-year average for August sales, which is 1,668.
The average sale price for Ottawa residential properties in August was $592,548. That’s up 22% from the average sale price in August of last year.
The average sale price for a condominium-class property in August was $383,640. That’s an increase of 24% over the average sale price in August of 2019.
The average sale prices year-to-date are $566,291 for residential units (up 17% from the same period in 2019) and $357,779 for condominium-class properties (a 19% increase over the same period last year).
Deb Burgoyne, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board, says the strong August resale numbers were “undoubtedly driven by the considerable increase in new listings that came onto the market in July and August.”
She says there were “at least 300 more residential and 175 more condo listings added to inventory than we saw last year at this time. In fact, we have not seen new listings numbers like this since August 2015.”
Burgoyne says the wave of new listings could be attributed to several reasons, including sellers who want to capitalize on their investments or older homeowners who have decided to downsize.
“Whatever their motivations, if the rate at which properties are coming onto the market can be sustained, it will surely bring some much-needed balance,” Deb Burgoyne says. If the trend continues, she adds, “the housing stock may finally build to a point that demand is going to be somewhat satiated.”
The Ottawa market in recent months has definitely been challenging for buyers, with multiple offers common in the hottest neighbourhoods. Deb Burgoyne says the healthy average sale price increases in August can be partly attributed to the number of active buyers who are often finding themselves competing with other buyers for the limited properties that are available.
“This is an extremely challenging market for many, especially those on the buying side,” she says.
Deb Burgoyne says some buyers, who have grown accustomed to the competitive market, are becoming “more pragmatic and compromising on what they accept, whether it’s a home’s condition, age or location. I suspect that prices are not going to come down, nor is the activity going to slow down in the near future. Whether you are on the buying or selling side of a transaction, this is not the kind of market to navigate without guidance. An experienced Realtor will ensure buyers are making strategic offers, and sellers are not leaving money on the table.”
The Ottawa Board always 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. As with any city, prices in Ottawa will vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood.
If you’re considering selling or listing property in the Ottawa area and you’d like more information on the current market, I’d be happy to chat and offer expertise on conditions in your area. With more than 30 years of experience assisting buyers and sellers in Ottawa, I’ve helped clients navigate a wide range of market conditions.