Average Ottawa home price to rise 7% in 2021, Re/Max forecasts

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Average house prices jumped more in Ottawa than in any other major Canadian city this year, Re/Max says, but the brokerage predicts that higher inventory levels in 2021 will cool the capital’s red-hot market slightly.

The average sale price of a home in Ottawa was $524,956 in the first 10 months of 2020, Re/Max said Tuesday in its annual housing market outlook, up 19.2 per cent from a year earlier. That mark was well above Toronto, where average prices rose 12 per cent, and Vancouver, which saw an increase of 11.4 per cent.

The real estate firm is forecasting a smaller bump in 2021, when it expects the average Ottawa home price to rise seven per cent to $561,702. 

“Inventory levels are expected to improve in 2021, causing days on the market to increase as well,” the report says.

Still, Re/Max says the overall housing supply is expected to remain comparatively low next year, while demand will still be high.

The brokerage says “move-up buyers,” particularly families, are fuelling the current boom, and it expects more of the same in the new year.

Orl​éans, Barrhaven popular markets

“Move-up buyers are also the driving force behind the luxury property market, which has seen a massive spike in demand since the start of COVID-19,” Re/Max says. “This trend is expected to continue in 2021.”

Orl​éans, Barrhaven, Kanata and Stittsville were the most sought-after neighbourhoods for homebuyers in 2020, Re/Max data shows, but the firm says consumers are starting to look even farther afield as the pandemic has made more space a “must-have” for property-seekers.

“Factors impacting this broader trend include the rise in remote work, the desire for more space and less density, as well as lower housing prices,” the company says.

“Unlike pre-COVID buying, buyers are now less concerned with longer commute times in order to find a property that meets their priorities.”

That echoes recent findings from the Ottawa Real Estate Board, which said last month it was detecting a shift away from condos as the trend toward remote work drives demand for larger properties.