Ottawa housing rebound continues as sales, prices rise in March: OREB

Ottawa home sales stock image

The resale housing market continued to gain momentum in March as Ottawa home sales rose 10 per cent year-over-year, the Ottawa Real Estate Board says.

OREB said 1,165 homes changed hands last month. A total of 2,678 homes were sold in Ottawa through the first three months of 2024, a 13.1 per cent increase from the previous year.

However, home sales remained 21.5 per cent below the five-year average and 15 per cent below the 10-year average for March as rising borrowing costs continue to weigh on the market.

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“The increases in new and active listings indicate that sellers are feeling more confident, boosted by the rise in showing activity,” OREB president Curtis Fillier said in a statement.

“Buyers, however, aren’t acting as quickly as they perhaps should be – likely because affordability and supply are still roadblocks.”

The average composite benchmark price of a home in Ottawa, which is based on regular tracking of price trends, rose 2.7 per cent last month compared with the previous year to $636,700, OREB said. 

The single-family benchmark price was $719,000, up two per cent year-over-year, while the benchmark price for a townhouse/row unit was $489,800, a 0.9 per cent increase from the same month in 2023. 

The average Ottawa home price in March was $682,078, up 5.1 per cent from a year earlier.

Fillier said local real estate agents are anticipating an “active spring and summer” ahead.

“People have adjusted to post-pandemic life and that means revisiting their housing needs,” he said. “Some are downsizing or moving in from the city’s outskirts. Others are looking at more suitable properties that better meet all their needs, which weren’t accessible to them in the peak pandemic market. 

“That’s creating pressure from multiple angles on the mid-range property market, which we know is tight to begin with in Ottawa.”

OREB said there were 2,074 new residential listings last month, up 13.5 per cent from March 2023. Active residential listings totalled 2,543 units at the end of March, a gain of 18.3 per cent from a year earlier.

The rise in sales and listings suggests the housing market is gaining steam. 

On Thursday, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. said home sales in Ottawa could reach their highest level since the pandemic peak of 2021 by the end of this year. 

The federal housing agency also said home prices are expected to approach levels last seen in 2022 before climbing to new highs by 2026.

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