December Numbers & 2020 Review

Although 2020 was a crazy year, Ottawa’s real estate numbers for December and 2020 are proof that there’s still a huge demand for residential and condominium-class properties. 

Even with the pandemic complications, Ottawa real estate agents found a way to make things safe for buyers and sellers to continue searching for their dream home or perfect buyer.

Here are the December 2020 numbers:

  • Total number of units sold: 1,002 – up 32.4% from 757 in December 2019.
  • Five-year average unit sales for December: 779.

“Our market performance in December capped off a year for resales that clearly shows a market that continued to thrive even through the challenges of 2020. December sales brought our year-to-date numbers at year-end to within 2% of 2019. There was a slight slowdown typical of December around the holiday season; however, the market continued its overall momentum and remained more active than usual,” states Ottawa Real Estate Board’s 2021 President Debra Wright.

Here are the specifics for each property class:

  • Number of residential-class properties sold: 710 – up 33.7% from 471 in December 2019.
  • Average sale price of a residential-class property: $603,880 – up 20.6% from $479,481 in December 2019.
  • Number of condominium-class properties sold: 292 – up 29.2% from 207 in December 2019.
  • Average sale price of a condominium-class property: $355,982 – up 14.4% from $304,720 in December 2019.

“At the start of the pandemic, we didn’t know what to expect. We had a momentary stall as did most businesses; however, once real estate was deemed to be an essential service, REALTORS® worked with Buyers and Sellers to ensure safety in the process, and the market picked back up and accelerated past all expectations throughout the remainder of the year.”

Here are the total 2020 numbers:

  • Total number of units sold in 2020: 18,971 – up 2% from 18,613 in 2019.

“When analyzing the year-end figures, what clearly stood out was that although the number of units sold was only slightly higher than last year, the Total Sales Volume topped a record-breaking $10 billion compared to $8.2 billion at the end of 2019. This is, in effect, a stark illustration of the increase in Ottawa property values over the course of the year. For example, in 2019, 35% of properties purchased were sold at or below $400K, while in 2020, only 16% of homes were. The market is certainly exhibiting a major shift in terms of availability in lower price ranges,” Wright points out.

Here are the specifics for each property class:

  • Number of residential-class properties sold in 2020: 14,455- up 3% from 14,030 in 2019.
  • Average sale price of a residential-class property in 2020: $582,267 – up 20% from about $465,814 in 2019.
  • Number of condominium-class properties sold in 2020: 4,516 – down 1.5% from 4,583 in 2019.
  • Average sale price of a condominium-class property in 2020: $361,337 – up 19% from about $292,683 in 2019.

“At the end of 2020, average prices increased by 19-20% over this time last year. In 2019, we saw a 9% overall increase for both residential and condo properties compared to 3-5% in 2018 and 3-7% in 2017. These substantive increases in property prices from year to year can be attributed to a variety of factors: the inventory shortage triggering economic supply and demand realities, the multiple-offer phenomena, the record-low mortgage rates increasing purchasing power of Buyers, migration of Buyers from larger markets with high returns to spend, and so forth.”

“Going forward, I fully expect Ottawa’s resale market will continue to be robust in 2021. There are no indicators to suggest that this is an overheated market – it is simply very active, insulated, and strong. One that has only been mildly shaken by a world-wide pandemic,” Wright concludes.