Ottawa home sales up 17% in October: OREB

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Despite scarce inventory, local realtors continued to sell properties at a “breakneck” pace in October, according to the latest figures from the Ottawa Real Estate Board.

A total of 1,607 dwellings changed hands last month, OREB said this week. That’s up nearly 17 per cent from the 1,375 properties that were sold in the same month a year earlier and is nearly 22 per cent higher than the five-year October average of 1,319 sales.

“New listings are down, inventory remains scarce, and yet more homes changed hands this October than in the past decade and a half,” OREB president Dwight Delahunt said in a news release. 

“It’s perplexing at first; however, when you consider the current breakneck transaction pace in the Ottawa resale market, often requiring homebuyers and sellers to make swift decisions, it makes sense.”

Condo transactions once again showed the biggest year-over-year gains, jumping 23 per cent to 396. Sales of residential-class properties – which include detached, semi-detached and multi-unit homes ​– rose 15 per cent to 1,211.

As the local housing supply dwindles, the properties that are available are getting snapped up more quickly than a year ago. 

Residential-class homes spent an average of 33 days on the market in October, down from 43 days in 2018. Meanwhile, the typical condo was up for sale for 28 days before finding a buyer, compared with 47 days a year ago.

“Products are flying off the shelves, so to speak,” Delahunt said.

The average price of a condo in Ottawa jumped just over 18 per cent to $319,208 last month, while residential-class properties changed hands for an average of $483,405, a gain of 7.6 per cent. Year to date, condo prices have risen 9.1 per cent, while residential properties have seen their values increase by 8.3 per cent, OREB said.

As usual, the $350,000-to-$499,999 price range remained the most popular for residential-class properties in October, accounting for 43 per cent of transactions. But Delahunt noted that sales in the $500,000-to-$749,999 bracket continued to show a “significant uptick,” growing from 28 per cent of all transactions in September to 30 per cent last month. Meanwhile, 53 per cent of all condos sold last month were in the $225,000-to-$349,999 range.