Home sales down compared to last November, still better than average

“We hope it will level out. But we have a supply shortage, and people will be willing to pay more money.”

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November resale home sales were down in Ottawa compared to November 2020, but still better than average, according to new figures from the Ottawa Real Estate Board.


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Members of the board sold 1,459 houses and condos last month, compared to 1,605 in November last year. The five-year average is 1,348 homes sold.

Of homes sold in November, 1,086 were residential-class homes, down 10 per cent from last year, and 373 were condominium-class homes, a drop of seven per cent from last November.

There was still an eight-per-cent increase in total year-over-year sales.

“It was still a brisk November and brisker than it was two years ago,” said Ottawa Real Estate Board president Debra Wright, who owns the Stittsville-based brokerage Details Realty.

Last November’s sales were unusually high because the lockdowns had pushed transactions back to later in the year than usual, she said.


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The average sale price for a condominium-class property in November was $432,099, an increase of 19 per cent from 2020. The year-to-date average sale price was $420,762 for properties in this class.

The average sale price for a residential-class property was $716,992, also an increase of 19 per cent from a year ago. The year-to-date average price was $719,956.

Month-to-month price accelerations have tapered off slightly, a far better situation than the price escalations of the first quarter of this year, Wright said, but supply constraints will continue to place upward pressure on prices.

A decline in listings is typical for November, but the inventory is lower than it should be, she said. Some 1,430 new listings entered the market in November, a drop from 1,980 in October.


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That takes Ottawa further away from a balanced market, which would offer relief to potential buyers, Wright said.

“We hope it will level out. But we have a supply shortage, and people will be willing to pay more money.”

Because last month was a more traditional November market than last year, there were fewer multiple bids than has become typical during the pandemic, Wright said. But sellers are still seeing multiple bids, as well as scenarios where there is only one bid with conditions, she said.

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John Gomes, a sales representative with Royal Lepage Performance Realty, sold a townhouse in Leslie Park last week for $110,000 over the asking price of $399,000.

Homes in the under-$500,000 bracket are among the most popular, with a large pool of potential buyers, he said.


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The first six months of this year were “bananas,” with the spring market starting in January, Gomes said.

“Things settled down for the summer. Then, in mid-September, we had a hot market again. The demand was still there and the prices were still there. A lot of people want to live here,” he said.

“I think we’ll see a cool-down in the new few weeks or a month. But the prices won’t go down because there just aren’t enough listings.”

December and January are typically slow times for the real estate market, but what will happen in the next few months is anyone’s guess. It’s hard to know how the market will respond to news of a new COVID-19 variant, Wright said.

“We were surprised to see how much activity there was during the heat of the pandemic. I don’t think anyone could have predicted that,” she said.

“Usually the market settles down as the weather gets colder and people hunker down. But you still get surprises.”

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