Ottawa’s resale real estate market in May was a little cooler than usual in the wake of rising interest rates, but the Ottawa Real Estate Board says the monthly sales figures and number of new listings offer potential good news for buyers.
And average sale prices in May were still up 8% for residential properties and 11% for condominium-class properties over May of 2021, the Board reported.
Members of the Ottawa Board sold 1,846 residential properties in May of 2022 through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service (MLS) System.
That’s down 19% from May of 2021, and slightly below the five-year average for the month, which is 2,031. Other cities have seen similar or bigger declines in total transactions. This continues a trend we saw in March and April.
Penny Torontow, President of the Ottawa Board, said rising interest rates, inflation, and the destructive storm that hit Ottawa May 21 all had an impact on transactions.
In the period following the storm, which left trees down and power out in some areas of Ottawa, some sellers cancelled or suspended their listings, she said.
With the number of resales declining in recent months, “it is quite clear that Ottawa’s resale market is shifting away from the blazing pace of 2021,” she said.
“If rising interest rates, cost of living and inflation aren’t enough factors to cause a pullback, the powerful and deadly storm … last month has justifiably impacted the market as well.”
The average sale price for a condominium-class property in Ottawa in May was $472,920. That’s up 11% from the average price in May of last year.
The average sale price for a residential-class property in May was $802,393. That’s up 8% from the price in May of 2021.
Looking at numbers for the first five months of 2022, the average price for a condo unit was $470,353 and the average sale price for a residential-class property was $824,276. That’s an increase of 12% for both property types over the same period last year, the Board says.
But as in other cities, there are signs the average sales prices have also been impacted in the past few months by the slower pace of sales.
“Average prices, while still higher than 2021, are showing signs of adjusting to the pace of the market, with a month-over-month decrease of 2% in both property classes,” Penny Torontow said.
“In April, we also saw a decline of 1-3%. In contrast, January to March saw month-to-month increases of 2% to 12%.
“This may be good news for buyers, including the fact that months of inventory (the time it would take to sell current inventories at the current pace of sales activity) have increased to 1.2 months for residential-class properties and 1 month for condominiums. We are still a far cry away from a balanced market, but it finally seems to be moving in the right direction,” she said.
In other potential good news for buyers if the trend continues, Ottawa had 3,120 new listings enter the market in May, which is on par with May of 2021, and is 5% above the five-year average for new listings in May.
In what could also make things easier for buyers, the average number of days that properties spent on the market in May before they sold was 14 days _ up from 11 days in May of 2021.
“Buyers will have a little more breathing room if this trend continues,” Penny Torontow said.
She said anyone who is currently selling should not worry if their property is taking a little longer to sell than similar homes in the neighbourhood a few months ago.
She said the average number of days on the Ottawa market, when the market is more balanced, is typically between 30 and 60 days, and usually closer to the one-month mark in Ottawa.
“I mention this because we don’t want sellers to panic if their homes aren’t selling as quickly as perhaps their neighbours’ properties did.”
Whether buying or selling at the moment, she said, it’s important to consult an experienced Realtor.
“At the end of the day, each property for sale has its own hyper-local market factors (location, condition, other properties for sale in the same neighbourhood, etc.) that will affect the final sale price. If you want to know the most accurate price point to sell your home or the true market value of a home you are interested in, a licensed professional Realtor has the education and experience, with access to the most current market statistics and property information, to guide you into making the optimal decision for you and your budget.”
The Ottawa Real Estate 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. As with all cities, prices and price increases in Ottawa can vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood.
If you’re considering buying or selling in the Ottawa area, I’d be happy to chat with you about the local market and conditions in your area.
With more than 30 years of experience assisting buyers and sellers in Ottawa, I know the city and its neighbourhoods well, and I’ve developed successful strategies for a wide range of market conditions.
You can read more about me and view current listings at www.nancybenson.com. Feel free to give me a call, at 613-747-4747.