Hot Ottawa housing market cools slightly in November: OREB

home sales

The blistering pace of home sales in the capital slowed a bit in November ​– but not because of any dampening in demand, according to the Ottawa Real Estate Board.

Local realtors sold 1,165 residential properties last month, down more than five per cent from the total of 1,232 homes that changed hands in November 2017 but still well ahead of the five-year average of 1,055. November’s sales included 870 in the residential property class – a drop of more than seven per cent from a year ago – and 295 condos, down just one unit from the same month in 2017.

OREB president Ralph Shaw blamed the slowdown on a dwindling supply of product in a region that’s still riding a resale boom.

“Even though home sales are down this month compared to a year ago, this is simply a reflection of the lack of inventory that we have been experiencing all year,” he said in a statement.

“Unit sales would have been higher if only we had the selection and supply. Every realtor I know has active buyers waiting for an opportunity, but many potential sellers are in the same situation – and have no option but to stay put.”

Average sale prices rose 2.6 per cent year-over-year in November to $429,039. Condos led the way, with an average increase of 11.1 per cent to $285,764.

“Robust sales over the last two years have stabilized the oversupply that previously existed in our condo market,” Shaw said. “Given that the rental market is as tight as it is, the condo market is not necessarily being driven by lifestyle choice but more often is purely about fulfilling accommodation needs.”

The most active price range was the $300,000-to-$449,999 bracket, accounting for nearly half of all transactions last month, while 47 per cent of condo sales fell within the $175,000-to-$274,999 range.