Hot housing: Ottawa home prices on the rise in July

housing market

Benchmark home prices in Ottawa rose 7.2 per cent in July compared with a year earlier, the Canadian Real Estate Association said Wednesday.

Two-storey single-family homes led the way in fuelling the price jump, showing a year-over-year increase of 8.3 per cent.

CREA’s report is the latest proof the Ottawa market is heating up.

The Ottawa Real Estate Board said last week local realtors had their busiest July in more than a decade, selling 1,614 properties ​– a 5.9 per cent increase over July 2017. Year-over-year condo sales rose 14.3 per cent in July and were up 16.5 per cent over the first seven months of the year, OREB said.

Overall, the Canadian housing market is finding its footing after a prolonged stumble in the first half of the year, CREA said, shaking off the impact of stricter mortgage rules and rising interest rates.

Home sales increased 1.9 per cent compared with June, according to CREA. The move higher followed a 4.1 per cent month-over-month improvement in June.

The Greater Toronto Area led the increase in July, while more than half of all local housing markets reporting an increase in sales from June to July.

Compared with a year ago, sales in July were down 1.3 per cent due to fewer sales in major urban centres in British Columbia. The figure marked a levelling off of steeper year-over-year declines earlier this year, according to BMO Capital Markets.

The actual national average price for homes sold in July was just under $481,500, up one per cent from the same month last year. That marked the first year-over-year increase since January, CREA said.

“Supportive demographics and an undersupply of new homes in the (greater Toronto and Vancouver areas) are underpinning prices, though poor affordability, a tougher borrowing climate and the non-resident buyers' tax likely rule out a return to the earlier mania in these two regions,” said Sal Guatieri of BMO Capital Markets.

British Columbia and Ontario, which typically host the two hottest residential real estate markets, have introduced a foreign-buyers tax.

Excluding the Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto markets, the national average price was just under $383,000.

​– With files from the Canadian Press