Ottawa’s condo market drives increase in May home sales

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An active resale market, especially around Ottawa’s condo units, helped to drive up home sales in the nation’s capital last month, according to statistics released Wednesday from the Ottawa Real Estate Board.

OREB members reported 2,423 home sales in May, an increase of 6.7 per cent from the same month last year. The residential property class accounted for 1,869 units sold, an increase of 4.6 per cent, while 554 condo units changed hands over the month, a spike of 14.2 per cent year-over-year. May’s five-year average for unit sales is 2,167.

A strong resale market has been crucial for home sales as of late, according to OREB president Dwight Delahunt, given a “free fall of inventory levels” in Ottawa’s residential market. He noted in a release that condos are providing an opportunity for buyers looking to downsize or enter the market for the first time.

Buyers are tending to spend more on homes, but they’re also snapping up property more quickly than in 2018.

Residential-class homes are spending an average of 28 days on the market, compared with 34 days last May. Average prices in this segment are up 6.4 per cent year-over-year to $493,691. Meanwhile, condos are lasting 31 days on the market compared with 46 days this time last year and are trading hands at an average price of $298,731, up 5.8 per cent from 2018.

Sales in the $350,000-to-$499,999 price range accounted for 42 per cent of all transactions in May, while 28 per cent of sales came from the $500,000-to-$749,999 bracket. More than half of all condo sales were in the $225,000-to-$349,999 price range.