April Resale Market Low on Listings

The month of April didn’t pick up the way spring markets have in the past, mainly due to the low inventory Ottawa has been experiencing for several months.

Here are the April 2019 numbers:

  • Total number of units sold: 2,032 – an increase of just 0.4% from 2,024 in April 2018.
  • Five year average unit sales for April: 1,825.

“The story hasn’t changed through this spring – our market is clearly suffering from low inventory,” says Dwight Delahunt, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board.

“We predict these conditions will persist until supply is restored,” he says.

Here are the specifics for each property class:

  • Number of residential-class properties sold: 1,594 – down approximately 1% from 1,616 in April 2018.
  • Average sale price of a residential-class property: $488,729 – up 7.4% from $455,212 in April 2018.
  • Number of condominium-class properties sold: 438 – up 5.2% from 416 in April 2018.
  • Average sale price of a condominium-class property: $307,659 – up 14.2% from $269,294 in April 2018.

Ottawa Resale Market in a ‘Catch 22’

Many of the homeowners interested in selling and moving to a new home are holding off, simply because there are fewer options for buyers.

“Several factors continue to have an impact in this regard, including the lag in new construction coming to market and the reluctance of potential sellers who are facing limited options when they are buying within the same market,” says Delahunt. “Add to this a stress test for buyers, that can limit purchasing capacity in a market where prices are accelerating, and it becomes a “Catch 22” situation for the foreseeable future.”

Residential Market Still Holding Its Own

Ottawa’s residential housing inventory is down 18% from last April, and the condo market is down almost 40% – but despite these seemingly drastic dips, “the residential market is holding its own and the increase in unit sales is effectively coming from the condo market which, until recently, was in a surplus,” says Delahunt. This is good news for condo owners who are looking to sell.

Buyers should also be aware that just because inventory is lower doesn’t mean your new home isn’t out there. By working with a real estate agent and getting pre-approved for financing, you’ll be able to see homes that fit your budget and act quickly.

Price Points Still Well Under the Canadian Average

With limited supply, it makes sense that there’s been increases in prices and more multiple offer situations. But in actuality, only one-third of properties are fetching above the list price, with 50% of homes still selling below the posted price.

“Ottawa is a stable and affordable market and has been since the 1940s,” Delahunt says. “The face is, these price points are still well under the Canadian average, and our residents tend to be in comfortable financial situations due to secure employment and a thriving local economy.”

As always, the average sale price can be useful to know, but remember – it’s not indicative of increases or decreases in specific properties’ values.

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