Ottawa home prices spike in May

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The average sale price of a home in the nation’s capital hit an all-time high last month, with transaction volumes remaining close to record levels.

On Tuesday, the Ottawa Real Estate Board said its members sold 2,279 residential properties in May. While that’s down slightly from the 2,294 sales a year earlier, it’s nevertheless still the second-highest number of transactions in at least a decade.

“Although our overall inventory stock is down in both the residential and condo market, the number of listings coming onto the market this month is typical spring activity,” OREB president Ralph Shaw said in a statement. “The sheer number of home sales that took place in May indicates that inventory is turning over quickly.”

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The average sale price, meanwhile, reached $464,401 last month, an increase of 6.3 per cent over May 2017 and an all-time high.

Shaw highlighted the run-up in prices since the start of the year and suggested that it may give baby boomers an incentive to sell their homes, which will in turn boost the number of homes on the market.

“While our inventory stays at historically low levels, especially in some neighbourhoods, there will continue to be upward pressure on home prices,” Shaw stated. “Our city does need to have a longer-term housing supply strategy so that we aren’t confronted with future affordability challenges.”

Gatineau market

Meanwhile, across the Ottawa River, a separate report released late last month by the Quebec Federation of Real Estate Boards showed the upward pressure on Gatineau’s real estate market.

There were 2,960 active listings between May 2017 and April 2018, a 12-per-cent decline compared to the same period a year earlier.

Home sales, meanwhile, increased two per cent to 4,196 during the 12-month period, with approximately one in 14 selling above the asking price.

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