Ottawa’s MLS Market Thawed in January but Sales Still Slow

Ottawa’s MLS Market Thawed in January but Sales Still Slow 

Sales in January:

  • In January 2024, 629 units were sold in Ottawa, an increase of 16.5% compared to January 2023. Home sales were 10.7% below the 5year average and 3.9% below the 10-year average for the month of January.

Comments from the Real Estate Board President:

  •  “Ottawa’s market activity is seeing positive gains over last year but it’s still a relatively quiet market even by pre-pandemic standards,” says OREB President Curtis Fillier. “While REALTORS® are telling us there’s lots of showing activity — probably thanks in part to the forgiving winter thus far — it’s not all translating to sales. This tells us that buyers are back out there looking, but still approaching cautiously. During the pandemic market, buyers had to move quickly and sometimes settle for a property that didn’t check all their boxes. Today, buyers are using the slower market to take the time needed to find their perfect place. Sellers would be well-advised to adjust their expectations and thoughtfully consider their pricing and timing strategy using the negotiating expertise and hyper-local data their REALTOR® can provide.”

  •  “Ottawa’s market conditions can fluctuate quickly, though, because our supply is chronically low,” adds Brandon Reay, OREB’s policy and external relations manager. “Ottawa needs more suitable and affordable homes to address the housing crisis, and we need to increase density to meet population demands. We can’t restore and grow upon the market activity Ottawa saw five and 10 years ago without more houses for people to buy. OREB recommends direct solutions for meaningful policy change, including streamlining the process at the Ontario Land Tribunal, eliminating exclusionary zoning, and permitting four units on residential lots. To meet the aggressive housing targets, we need to close the labour gap with investments in colleges and trade schools. We don't need any more reactionary and distracting policy, like the federal government’s extension of the foreign buyers ban."

 Home Prices:

  • The HPI indicates a modest increase in home prices compared to last year:

  • The benchmark price for a typical home was $621,600 in January 2024, up by 3.2% from January 2023.

  • Single-family homes: The average price was $703,500, a 3.7% increase from the previous year.

  • Townhouses: The average price was $462,200, down 2.1% from last year.

  • Apartments: The average price was $418,500, showing a 3.7% increase from the previous year.

  • The overall average price of homes sold in January 2024 was $631,722, a 1.8% increase from January 2023.

  • The total value of all homes sold in January 2024 amounted to $397.4 million, a 18.6% increase from January 2023.

OREB cautions that the average sale price can be useful in establishing trends over time but should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. The calculation of the average sale price is based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold. Prices will vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood.

Listings and Inventory:

  • There was a 7.3% increase in new listings compared to January 2023.

  • At the end of January 2024, there were 1,961 homes available for sale, 4.5% more than the previous year.

  • The inventory of homes was at 3.1 months, down from 3.5 months in January 2023, indicating the time it would take to sell all homes at the current sales rate.

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