Ottawa home sales up 10% in 2017

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A rebound in the condo market, combined with a year-end rush to beat new mortgage rules, helped drive local home sales in 2017 to the highest level in at least nine years, newly released figures show.

The Ottawa Real Estate Board said Thursday that its members sold 17,083 residential properties last year, up 10 per cent from the 15,526 homes sold in 2016. Condo sales were up 22 per cent.

The figures include 771 properties in December, typically one of the market’s slower months, up 8.4 per cent over the same period a year earlier.

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“This could very well be attributed to the changes in the mortgage qualification rules” that came into effect Monday and force borrowers to prove they can handle an interest rate hike, said OREB president Ralph Shaw in a statement.

While the number of new property listings declined each month in 2017, tightening supply, Shaw said the Ottawa market remains “stable and balanced,” thanks in part to new home construction.

The average sale price in December was $434,098, just shy of the record high $436,625 set last May and up three per cent over December 2016.

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