April OREB stats show Ottawa real estate trending towards seller's market

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Ottawa’s housing market continued to heat up in April, with the average price of a residential property rising 7.9 per cent over the same period in 2016 to nearly $436,000, the Ottawa Real Estate Board said on Wednesday.

OREB said its members sold 1,795 properties last month, a 4.9 per cent increase over the 1,711 homes that changed hands in April 2016. The five-year average for April sales is 1,613.

“The April resale market continued its upward trend in units sold, just shy of a record set in 2010,” OREB president Rick Eisert said in a news release. “Sales activity is indicating a trend towards a seller’s market. Lower inventory, combined with increased demand, is creating many more multiple offer situations and quicker moving properties, with the average cumulative days on market dipping to just 71 days.”

April’s sales included 1,483 in the residential properties and 312 condos, which include detached and semi-detached dwellings as well as apartments and townhouses. Properties in that class sold for an average of $268,553, an increase of 2.9 per cent over April 2016.

OREB said the number of homes selling for more than $1 million has reached 83 since the beginning of the year, up from 38 over the same span in 2016.

“The increase in sales for high-end properties may be fuelled by a combination of the migration of buyers from Toronto and move-up buyers,” said Mr. Eisert. “Another contributing factor is that many generally well-paying jobs are opening up in the high-tech sector, driving more people into the Ottawa market.”

Meanwhile, new figures released Wednesday morning showed Toronto-area home prices continued to soar by double digits in April but the number of sales was down slightly compared with the same month last year.

The Toronto Real Estate Board says the average price in the area rose to $920,791 and its price index rose 31.7 per cent. That was a slightly slower rate of increase than in March, when TREB's price index rose 33.2 per cent year-over-year.

The board says there was a dramatic increase in the number of new listings, which rose by 33.6 per cent year-over-year. But it also found the total number of sales in the Greater Toronto Area in April was down by 3.2 per cent from a year ago.

– With reporting by the Canadian Press