Ottawa home prices 'levelling out' after surging earlier in 2021, OREB says

Home sales

Home prices in the capital are showing signs of “levelling out” after soaring in the first half of 2021, the president of the Ottawa Real Estate Board said Tuesday as the organization reported that the increase in year-over-year sales slowed dramatically in June.

The average price of a residential-class property in Ottawa was $725,970, up 26 per cent from a year earlier but below the year-to-date average of more than $734,000, OREB said. The average condo, meanwhile, sold for $435,198, an increase of 21 per cent from June 2020 and above the year-to-date average of about $423,000.

Residential prices had been rising at a much higher rate earlier in the year, jumping 42 per cent year-over-year in April and 35 per cent in May. OREB president Deb Wright said Tuesday that properties “are not moving as quickly as they were” in the spring, adding inventory levels are at their highest since 2017 and “there is less scarcity and more choices” for homebuyers.

“For the moment, there are signs that we’ve reached a levelling-out, especially as it relates to average prices which, in recent months, have not experienced the drastic increases of earlier in 2021; nor are we seeing a drop,” Wright said in a statement.

“This start of a perhaps equilibrium in the market is good news for buyers, while sellers are going to have to adjust to this new normal and be more strategic in their positioning.”

Ottawa realtors sold a total of 2,131 residential properties in June, up five per cent over a year ago but a far cry from the double-digit year-over-year increases seen earlier in 2021. Residential-class sales rose just two per cent, while condo sales jumped 13 per cent. The five-year average for total sales in June is 2,098.

“This is a normal tapering-off as families turn their attention to end-of-school events and enjoying more outdoor recreation,” Wright said. “This year, it also coincided with some easing of pandemic restrictions.

“It will be interesting to watch the market over the summer to see if this normalization of the real estate sales ebb and flow is indeed the case moving forward. Last year, summer resales skyrocketed due to pent-up demand when the first lockdown ended.”