Ottawa home resales fall several percentage points in 2013

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A slow start to the year helped push the number of homes sold by Ottawa realtors down by 3.2 per cent in 2013, according to the Ottawa Real Estate Board’s year-end report on sales activity in the capital.

Members of the OREB sold 13,873 homes during the year, a drop from the 14,326 sold in 2012.

“Looking back at the 2013 market, home sales in the first part of the year were, for the most part down, in comparison to the year before,” said Randy Oickle, the new president of the OREB, in a statement.

Changes the federal government made to limit the number of people who could get mortgages had an impact on the slow start, he said. He also hinted that more changes could create another slowdown in 2014.

“Impending mortgage rate increases may have caused the increase in the second half of 2013, as many first-time home buyers jumped into the market in advance of these increases,” Mr. Oickle’s statement said.

The average sale price for the year increased 1.6 per cent, jumping to $357,348 from $351,642 in 2012.

The number of homes sold in December dropped slightly to 610 from 615 during the same period a year earlier. The average sale price for the month rose 0.9 per cent to $340,021.