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Ottawa: One of Canada’s Real Estate Anomalies

OTTAWA, December 5, 2018 - Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,165 residential properties in November through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 1,232 in November 2017, a decrease of 5.4 per cent. The five-year average for November sales is 1,055. November’s sales included 870 in the residential property class, a decrease of 7.2 per cent from a year ago, and 295 in the condominium property class, an increase of just one unit or 0.3 per cent from November 2017.

“Even though home sales are down this month compared to a year ago, this is simply a reflection of the lack of inventory that we have been experiencing all year. Unit sales would have been higher if only we had the selection and supply,” states Ralph Shaw, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. “Every REALTOR® I know has active buyers waiting for an opportunity, but many potential Sellers are in the same situation - and have no option but to stay put,” he adds. 

The average sale price of a residential-class property sold in November in the Ottawa area was $429,039, an increase of 2.6 per cent over November 2017. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $285,764, an increase of 11.1 per cent from this month last year.* 

“Condominium sales continued to lead the way in November which included a higher average price percentage increase than single-family residential sales this month,” Shaw reports. “Robust sales over the last two years have stabilized the oversupply that previously existed in our condo market. Given that the rental market is as tight as it is, the condo market is not necessarily being driven by lifestyle choice but more often is purely about fulfilling accommodation needs.”

The $300,000 to $449,999 range remains the most active price point in the residential market, accounting for 47 per cent of home sales while the $500,000 to $750,000 price range continues to represent one in five of all residential home sales again this past month. Between $175,000 to $274,999 was November’s most prevalent price point in the condominium market, accounting for almost 47 per cent of the units sold.

“When you look at what’s happening in real estate markets across Canada, Ottawa’s market performance is the polar opposite,” Shaw declares. “Our market fundamentals are very strong, and we have experienced steady growth for many years, and indeed decades.” “With our average home prices lower than the national average and our high employment levels, there is no doubt that Ottawa is one of our country’s most ideal locations to live, work, play, and raise your family,” Shaw concludes.

“Further, the number of apartment condo projects that have been approved by the City of Ottawa will maintain price stability for this category of housing going forward. This will offer opportunities particularly for renters who may be considering homeownership since the rental inventory is also down 32% from this time last year.”

The $300,000 to $449,999 range remains the most active price point in the residential market, accounting for 43 per cent of home sales while the $500,000 to $750,000 price range continues to represent one in five of all residential home sales this past month. Between $175,000 to $274,999 was October’s most robust price point in the condominium market, accounting for almost 53 per cent of the units sold. 

In addition to residential and condominium sales, OREB Members assisted clients with renting 2,553 properties since the beginning of the year down from 2,821 from this time last year.