Even a significant jump in inventory provided little relief for would-be homebuyers as residential-class home prices rose nearly 20 per cent in February compared with the previous year, the Ottawa Real Estate Board said Thursday.
The average sale price for a residential-class property last month was $837,517, up 17 per cent from February 2021, OREB said. Prices continued their steady climb despite a 10 per cent year-over-over increase in the total inventory of residential-class homes on the market.
OREB president Penny Torontow said “unrelenting high demand” for housing is driving up prices despite the bump in supply.
She noted that OREB members sold 1,421 residential properties in February, up three per cent from the same month last year and a 52 per cent increase from January’s total of 936 transactions.
While February is typically a busier sales month than January, Torontow said this year’s gap between the two months was bigger than usual, suggesting that the spring market “may ramp up earlier” in 2022.
“Whether this has to do with the easing of government pandemic restrictions and the opening up of the economy or perhaps due to apprehension of (an) upcoming interest rate increase, which is now in effect, we can’t entirely be sure,” she said in a statement.
“We are watching intently to see how the 2022 spring market will play out considering not only the higher interest rates and inflation but also other macro factors in our global environment that could affect our local economy.”
Meanwhile, the average sale price of a condominium-class property was $466,682 last month, a 15 per cent increase from a year earlier. While total new listings of all properties were 12 per cent higher than last year at 1,762, the city’s condo inventory fell 20 per cent.
“Overall, we are now at a 0.7 month’s supply of inventory, which means that most listings that enter the market are going to be snapped up very quickly, as evidenced by the continuous decline in days on market,” Torontow said.