Ottawa home sales drop 3.7% in February: OREB

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The number of homes sold in Ottawa last month fell when compared to the year before as the local market continued a slow start to 2014.

Ottawa realtors sold 870 residential properties in February, according to the Ottawa Real Estate Board. That’s a 3.7-per cent decrease when compared to the 903 that changed hands during the same month last year.

The OREB pointed to month-over-month gains as a sign that interest in home buying is picking up, even though year-to-date sales are down 2.6 per cent when compared to last year.

“Typical of a burgeoning spring market, Ottawa’s resales gained momentum in February,” said David Oikle, the president-elect of the OREB, in a statement.

“Looking at this month’s sales, in comparison to last month’s sales, the market has picked up as we approach the busiest time of the year – 282 more homes were sold in February, over January.”

The average sale price increased two per cent year-over-year, jumping to $353,407 from $346,580.

The “hottest” segments of the market in February were the $175,000 to $225,000 and $275,000 to $400,000 price ranges, according to the OREB.

This leads Mr. Oikle to believe that first-time homebuyers were particularly active during the month.

“With an increased inventory of listings going into March, we could see this momentum transfer to other market segments as first-time sellers re-enter the market as buyers and help contribute to continued market stability,” said Mr. Oikle’s statement.