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Home Sales increased for the first time since February 2022

The latest update from the Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB) reveals that their Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System facilitated the sale of 1,939 residential properties in May. This reflects a 6% increase from the previous year, where members sold 1,830 houses within the same month. The sales comprised 1,477 properties designated as freehold and showed an 8% increase from the previous year. Additionally, 462 units were listed under the condominium-property class, reflecting a modest 1% increase from May 2022.

The Ottawa Real Estate Board President, Ken Dekker stated that May’s transactions were exceptional, despite typically being the highest-selling month, with an average of 1,961 total unit sales over the past five years. It is worth noting the first year-over-year unit sales volume increase since February 2022. This bodes well for sellers, but any adjustments in interest rates could impact this trend. Although the number of listings is sparse with only five to six weeks of inventory, the market is still strong for sellers. However, demand continues to exceed supply, which will likely put upward pressure on prices.

By the Numbers – Average Prices*:
The average sale price for a freehold-class property in May was $745,902, a decrease of 7% from 2022, but still on par with April 2023 prices.
The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $442,859, decreasing 6% from a year ago. However, it marks a 2% increase over April 2023 prices.
With year-to-date average sale prices at $727,728 for freeholds and $428,394 for condos, these values represent a 12% decrease over 2022 for freehold-class properties and a 9% decrease for condominium-class properties.
As of May, while we haven’t observed significant price increases, average prices have remained constant compared to April. However, prices have surged in contrast to those recorded at the close of 2022. Given that demand is on the rise in an Ottawa market persistently under-supplied, I predict that the typical final sale price could once again surpass figures for the corresponding month of the prior year in the latter half of 2023. This is under the assumption that interest rate increments will not be implemented.

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