Ottawa home sales dip slightly in February

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The most frigid February in more than a century didn’t cool buyers’ enthusiasm for house shopping, the Ottawa Real Estate Board says.

In its latest figures released Wednesday, the board said local real estate agents sold 853 residential properties last month, a decrease of 1.7 per cent from the 868 residences that changed hands in February 2013.

Those numbers are down significantly from the five-year average of 914, but OREB president David Oikle said all things considered, it’s still good news for the industry.

“Even though we had one of the coldest months on record, resales for the month of February are only slightly down from last year,” he said in a statement.

He pointed out that 685 of those sales were individual residences, a jump of 1.9 per cent. While condo sales dropped slightly from the previous year to 168, Mr. Oikle said combined sales were up a total of 226 units since January and there were a total of 6,519 residential listings in the city going into March, “both telling signs that the spring market is fast approaching.”

The average sale price of all residential properties in February was $358,206, an increase of 1.3 per cent over the previous year. Condo prices were up 3.8 per cent to $267,880, while other residences averaged $380,358, a drop of 0.3 per cent.

Mr. Oikle said the hottest market segments were properties between $300,000 and $400,000, followed by the $200,000-to-$300,000 range.

“These price ranges continue to have the highest concentration of properties sold, while residential two-storey homes and bungalows continue to have the highest concentration of buyers,” he said.