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.
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“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.