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Ottawa house prices up eight per cent in October as sales volume rises

A house for sale in Ottawa.
A house for sale in Ottawa.

It was a strange October for Ottawa’s resale housing market as the number of properties sold jumped 17 per cent year over year despite a sharp drop in the number of homes and condominiums available.

“It’s perplexing at first,” Ottawa Real Estate Board president Dwight Delahunt said Tuesday. “However when you consider the current breakneck transaction pace, often requiring homebuyers and sellers to make swift decisions, it makes sense.”

All told, realtors associated with OREB sold 1,211 residential properties in October for an average $483,400 — representing a 15-per-cent increase in sales volume compared with October 2018 and a 7.6-per-cent rise in average prices.

The condo market was even more active as nearly 400 units changed hands in October, up 23 per cent from a year earlier. The average condo sold for $319,200 — up more than 18 per cent from October 2018.

By the end of October just 2,408 residential listings were active, down 22 per cent from a year earlier. The number of condos available for sale was just 527, a massive 39-per-cent reduction from October 2018 — suggesting the glut of condos, so evident a couple of years ago, is long gone.

This can be seen in the sharp reduction of time necessary to sell properties. Residential homes sold in October typically had been listed 43 days compared with 53 days a year earlier. Condos required an average of 46 days to sell versus 71 days for condos sold in October 2018.

Year to date, residential properties sold for an average $485,000 — up 8.3 per cent compared with the same 10-month period last year, while condos exchanged hands for $303,000 on average, up 9.1 per cent on the same basis.

When broken down by district, the year-to-date sales data for residential homes show the biggest gains in average prices took place in the west. Five western districts saw price jumps in excess of 13 per cent compared with the first 10 months of 2018 — McKellar Heights (up 13.3 per cent to $681,400), Carlington-Central Park (a gain of 14 per cent to $464,700), Woodroffe (up 13.6 per cent to $666,750), Parkway Park-Queensway (up 13.1 per cent to $452,100) and Meadowlands-Crestview (where average prices jumped 16.9 per cent to $654,200.

The district reporting the biggest jump in residential prices year-to-date was Country Place-Pineglen-Crestview, where properties sold for an average $714,500 — up nearly 31 per cent compared with the same period last year. This reflected strong price increases throughout the district, which runs along the west side of the Rideau River south of West Hunt Club Road.

Other districts with significant gains year-to-date included Rockcliffe Park, where 21 properties sold for an average $1.9 million (up 13.5 per cent), and Vanier, where 82 residences sold for $478,500, up 13.4 per cent.  The Vanier numbers were a little skewed by the sale of a couple of million-dollar-plus properties in the north part of the district.

Outside the city core, areas surrounding Dunrobin and Fitzroy Harbour saw year-to-date price gains of 13.3 per cent and 14.2 per cent to $488,500 and $382,800 respectively on average.

Among the districts reporting lower prices compared with 2018 were Bells Corners (down nearly six per cent to $430,700), and Carlingwood-Westboro, where the average residence in the first 10 months this year sold for $892,000.  That was down 2.1 per cent from the same period in 2018, suggesting sticker shock might finally be taking hold in one of Ottawa’s trendiest areas. The Bells Corners tally was hurt by a sharp reduction in the number of sales involving the sub-district of Cedar Hill and Orchard Estates, where residences typically top $1 million.


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