March Launches a Slower Spring Market

March saw the official start of spring, but also a slightly lower number of real estate sales in Ottawa.

Here are the March 2019 numbers:

    • Total number of units sold: 1,511 – a decrease of 8.6% from 1,654 in March 2018.
    • Five year average unit sales for March: 1,402.
    • According to the Ottawa Real Estate Board’s President, Dwight Delahunt, the lower sales are a direct result of the lower inventory.

“This tightness of supply is manifesting in significant reductions in days on market and properties selling very quickly. Residential days on market are down 14%, and condo days on market are down 36% from last year,” says Dwight.

  • Here are the specifics for each property class:
    • Number of residential-class properties sold: 1,136 – down 12.7% from 1,302 in March 2018.
    • Average sale price of a residential-class property: $480,143 – up 7.3% from $447,561 in March 2018.
    • Number of condominium-class properties sold: 375 – up 4.7% from 358 in March 2018.
    • Average sale price of a condominium-class property: $290,181 – up 5.3% from $275,592 in March 2018.

    Increase in Population and Fewer Move-Up Options Contributing Factors

    There are several factors contributing to Ottawa’s seller’s market. That includes an increasing population.

    “In Ottawa, we have a population base that’s increasing year over year with a growth rate of 8.8%, which is higher than Ontario (5.7%) and Canada as a whole (5.9%). Immigration and high employment levels are bringing residents to our desirable and affordable city,” Dwight says.

    Another factor is the lack of move-up opportunities. “ Move-up sellers feed the market for first-time homebuyers,” Delahunt says.

    Without the opportunities for current homeowners to move up, there’s fewer opportunities for first-time home buyers as well. This is definitely contributing to the increase in condo sales.

    Multiple Offers More Common in Certain Areas

    All these factors are contributing more and more multiple offer situations are popping up. “In some pockets of the city, buyers are facing multiple offer situations, and properties are often selling over list price,” Dwight says.

    “While a benefit to those sellers, it’s stressful and time consuming for buyers,” he adds. It’s more important than ever for buyers to work with a realtor in order to find the perfect home and make the process as smooth as possible.

    These factors are all contributing to higher prices, but there is a silver lining – the federal government recently introduced new measures to help make mortgages more affordable for first time buyers. It’s a good start, but, “all three levels of government need to work together at implementing mechanisms that will also restore the supply side of the market,” Dwight says.

    Now is the Time to List

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