Fall is sometimes the season when home sales start to slow down a little from the busy spring-summer market, but Ottawa’s hot resale housing market has just seen its busiest October in 15 years, with the number of properties sold up more than 15% over October of 2018.

Average resale prices were up for condos and residential homes, and properties are selling faster, with the average number of days on the market down.

“Products are flying off the shelves, so to speak,” says Dwight Delahunt, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board, said in a statement.

In its news release looking at Ottawa sales numbers for October of 2019, the Board says its members sold 1,607 residential properties through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) system. That’s up 16.9% from the 1,375 properties sold in October of last year. And it’s considerably above the five-year average for October sales, which is 1,319.

“New listings are down, inventory remains scarce, and yet more homes changed hands this October than in the past decade and a half,” Dwight Delahunt says.

“It’s perplexing at first. However, when you consider the current breakneck transaction pace in the Ottawa resale market, often requiring homebuyers and sellers to make swift decisions, it makes sense,” he adds.

In good news for sellers of condo units and residential-class properties, the average number of days on the market was down for both. Residential properties in October were on the market for an average of 33 days, down by 10 days from October of last year. Condo units were on the market for an average of 28 days, down from 47 last year.

Looking at the year-to-date averages for days on market, the Board says residential properties were at 31 days (down 8 days) and condo units were at 35 days, down by 16 days.

As for sales volume, the total properties sold in October included 396 properties in the condo category (up an impressive 23% from October of 2018), and 1,211 in the residential-property class (up 15% from the number sold last year).

Dwight Delahunt says the increase in average sale prices has been slightly above average, but still reasonable, with Ottawa keeping its reputation as “one of the country’s most affordable cities, where residents can enjoy a high quality of life.”

The average sale price for a condominium unit sold in October in Ottawa was $319,208 _ up 18.3% over the average in October of last year.

The average sale price for a residential-class property in October was $483,405 _ up 7.6% from October of last year.

The Ottawa Board cautions that while average selling prices for a specific month can be useful in establishing trends over time, they should not be taken as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. As with any city, prices in Ottawa vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood.

Year-to-date average prices for Ottawa, which are more reliable indicators than prices for a specific month, are also good, showing an 8.3% and 9.1% increase in average sale prices for residential and condominiums, respectively.

The Board reports the most active price range in the condo market in October was $225,000 to $349,999, accounting for 53% of the units sold. In the residential property market, units priced in the $350,000 to $499,999 were the most prevalent, making up 43% of October sales.

Residential-class properties in the $500,000 to $749,999 range increased to 30% of October sales, the Board reports.

“We are noticing a significant uptick in residential properties sold in the $500,000 to $750,000 price range. This price point now represents one in every three home sales,” Dwight Delahunt says.

In encouraging news for buyers, the Board reported that even with these strong sales numbers, approximately 36% of homes sold in October sold for more than the asking price, compared to 21% of the homes sold in October of last year.

As Delahunt points out, this trend applies mostly to specific pockets of the city, “but certainly not every neighbourhood or property type.” More than 60% of units sold last month sold for asking price or lower, which is good news if you’re a buyer.

If you’re considering buying or selling property in the Ottawa area, I’d love to meet with you and chat about the current market, the conditions in your own neighbourhood, and how you can benefit from my more than 30 years of experience as a Realtor in this area.

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