Housing prices in Ottawa up from previous year, says CREA

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Housing prices in Ottawa were slightly up from the previous year in July, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association.

The MLS Home Price Index for Ottawa rose 1.1 per cent in July, year-over-year.

The index attempts to track the changes in the price of a “typical” home, using a “basket” of attributes and and features. CREA says this approach is better than median prices, which can be “distorted” by outliers and the mixture of properties that are sold in a region during any given period. It uses 2005 as a baseline.

Prices were up by 0.26 per cent when compared to June, with CREA’s benchmark price for Ottawa $338,700.

Across Canada, prices continued to rise while sales were down.

Housing sales fell by 1.3 per cent per cent between June and July. Sales were down 2.9 per cent compared with the previous year.

It’s the third consecutive month where sales have fallen.

However, prices continued to rise in several markets. Compared with the previous year, housing prices were up 32.6 per cent in Vancouver, 37.6 per cent in British Columbia’s Fraser Valley and 16.7 per cent in the Greater Toronto Area.

"National sales and price trends continue to be heavily influenced by a handful of places in Ontario and British Columbia and mask significant variations in local housing market trends and conditions across Canada," Cliff Iverson, CREA’s president said in a release.

Across Canada, July prices were up 9.9 per cent from last year, reaching a benchmark price of $480,743.

But CREA says that if the Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto areas were excluded, the increase would be 7.0 per cent, with a benchmark price of $365,033.