Home prices, sales still well below highs seen last year: OREB

Home for sale sign

Ottawa home sales once again lagged behind the five-year average last month as prices continued their free fall from heights seen in 2022, the Ottawa Real Estate Board said Tuesday.

OREB members sold 1,194 residential properties in March, a 40 per cent drop from a year earlier and well below the five-year average of 1,698 sales for the month.

March’s sales included 893 transactions in the freehold-property class, down 40 per cent from last year, and 301 in the condominium-property category, a decrease of 42 per cent from March 2022.

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OREB president Ken Dekker said the rise in transactions from February, when 855 properties changed hands, is a “sign of typical spring activity, even if we’re behind the pandemic peaks of 2022.” 

“As spring unfolds, so too will a clearer picture of Ottawa’s balanced market state,” Dekker said in a statement.

The average sale price for a freehold-class property in March was $710,070, a decrease of 17 per cent from 2022 and a 0.2 per cent increase over February 2023. Average freehold prices have climbed approximately eight per cent during the first quarter of 2023 over the market low seen in December 2022, OREB said.

The average sale price for a condominium property was $418,670, a decrease of 13 per cent from a year ago but still a two per cent gain over February 2023.

With year-to-date average sale prices at $701,837 for freeholds and $414,698 for condos, these values represent a 16 per cent decrease over 2022 for freehold-class properties and an 11 per cent decrease for condominium-class properties, OREB said.

“As evidenced by the recent climb in freehold prices, Ottawa’s resale market is stabilizing along with the interest rate,” Dekker said. “Condos remain steady due to their lower price point; there’s more affordability based on the current interest rate structure. Prices are certainly headed in the right direction – if you are looking forward.”

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