February home sales show glimmer of hope for sellers, OREB reports

Ottawa’s housing market showed signs of balancing out in February and could even swing back to a seller’s market if current trends continue.

The Ottawa Real Estate Board reported Friday that sales of residential properties were down 39 per cent from last February, when the pandemic-fuelled buying frenzy was at its height. The 855 properties sold last month included 633 freehold-class properties, down 42 per cent from a year ago, and 222 condominiums, a decrease of 31 per cent from February 2022.

The five-year average for total unit sales in February is 1,157, the board said.

OBJ360 (Sponsored)

“We’re going to see declines in transactions and prices when we compare current figures to last February – the height of the pandemic resale market activity,” OREB president Ken Dekker said in a news release. “On the other hand, with the Bank of Canada holding interest rates steady, prospective buyers have more budget certainty to work with as we head into the spring market.”

The average sale price for a freehold-class property in February was $708,968, a decrease of 15 per cent from a year earlier. However, it marks a five per cent increase over January 2023, the board said. 

“The average price increase for freeholds over January could be an indicator that buyers have normalized to the current interest rates. And perhaps it’s a glimmer of more activity to come in the months ahead,” said Dekker.

The average sale price for a condominium in February was $410,927, a decrease of 12 per cent from a year ago.

The year-to-date average sale price for a freehold property was $695,086, a 14 per cent decrease from 2022, and $411,449 for condos, a 10 per cent decrease, the board reported.

New listings for February were down 22 per cent from the previous year but up three per cent from January, OREB said. Days on the market for freehold properties decreased from 43 to 37 days; and 47 to 43 days for condos.

“A decrease in the days on market, paired with fewer new listings entering the market, is good news for sellers,” said Dekker. “However, if that trend continues to impact our supply stock and we don’t get more inventory, our otherwise balanced market could swing back into seller’s territory – but it’s too early to predict.”

Get our email newsletters

Get up-to-date news about the companies, people and issues that impact businesses in Ottawa and beyond.

By signing up you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. You may unsubscribe at any time.