Home sales in the capital rose year-over-year in June, but prices held steady as the city’s resale housing supply keeps “trending in the right direction,” the Ottawa Real Estate Board said Wednesday.
OREB members sold 1,658 residential properties last month, compared with 1,493 a year earlier. It was the second consecutive month that sales volumes rose from the previous year following a 14-month stretch of year-over-year declines.
The bump in sales came as the Bank of Canada raised its key interest rate by a quarter-percentage point to 4.75 per cent last month, the highest the rate has been since 2001.
OREB president Ken Dekker said the rate hike may have contributed to declining market activity as the month went on.
“Although June’s transactions surpassed last year’s, the number of sales, average prices, and new listings declined on a week-to-week basis over the course of the month,” Dekker said in a statement.
“Compounded by the typical summer decline in activity, the Bank of Canada’s interest rate adjustment at the beginning of the month may have also flattened the curve.”
While the city’s housing market has shown signs of heating up recently, prices are staying relatively constant as an increase in inventory, particularly for freehold-class homes, has given buyers more choice.
The average freehold-class property changed hands for $746,445 in June, roughly the same as in May but a four per cent drop from a year ago. Meanwhile, the average sale price for a condominium was $448,380, a two per cent increase from June 2022 and a one per cent rise from last month.
So far in 2023, the average sale price for a freehold-class property in Ottawa is down 10 per cent from last year to $731,847. The average condo price has dipped seven per cent to $432,885.
Sellers aren’t seeing big gains partly because buyers have more selection.
While total new listings in June were down compared with a year earlier, there were enough freehold-class properties on the market to last 2.1 months, compared with 1.9 months of inventory in June 2022 and 1.5 months in May.
There was about 1.4 months’ worth of condo inventory in June, down from 1.6 months a year earlier but up from 1.3 months in May.
The average freehold property spent 23 days on the market in June, on par with the previous month, while the average condo took 27 days to sell, up slightly from 26 days in May.
“Supply is trending in the right direction,” Dekker said. “The increase in inventory is encouraging and indicates sellers have confidence in the market. A growing resale housing stock will result in more selection for buyers and more sales.”