Ottawa home prices soar as resale market starts to recover

Ottawa skyline
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Local realtors say they’re seeing a “restrained uptick” in residential real estate activity as some buyers and sellers slowly return to the market amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

While sales are still down significantly year-over-year, the number of transactions is creeping upwards, according to new figures from the Ottawa Real Estate Board.

The local realtors’ association reported that 1,345 homes traded hands last month, a decline of 44 per cent over May 2019. However, that’s not as severe as the 55 per cent drop in sales recorded in April, when only 913 homes sold.

“Around mid-May, we started to see a restrained uptick in our numbers,” said OREB president Deborah Burgoyne in a statement. “We expect that as the economy continues to rollout and consumer confidence increases, our real estate market will follow suit.”

Average home prices, meanwhile, continued to ascend rapidly. The average residential-class property ​– which includes detached, semi-detached and multi-unit homes – sold for $548,140 last month, a year-over-year increase of 11 per cent.

OREB’s latest figures come a week after B.C.-based consulting firm Real Estate Investment Network predicted Ottawa will be the only one of the five major Canadian markets it surveyed to avoid a housing slump in 2020.

Burgoyne said that the predictions of a national real estate slowdown fail to “accurately reflect what is transpiring in our local market,” which continues to be buoyed by a stable federal government employment base and a growing population.