Ottawa home sales fall for third straight month

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The number of homes sold in Ottawa fell again in July, marking the third straight month of declines for a market that’s trying to reverse a slow first half of the year.

Realtors sold 1,339 homes last month, according to numbers released Friday by the Ottawa Real Estate Board. That’s down 2.7 per cent from 1,376 in July 2012.

Home sales have consistently been down in 2013, with only April showing an increase over 2012. All other months have shown a drop off.

The OREB believes changes the federal government has introduced to make mortgages less available are largely to blame.

“The market has definitely cooled down since last year, as a result of the introduction of new mortgage rules by the Government,” said Tim Lee, president of the Ottawa Real Estate Board, in a statement.

“However, Ottawa remains balanced, and we are not seeing major fluctuations that other large Canadian cities sometimes experience.

The average sale price was up 6.6 per cent to $359,551, an increase Mr. Lee attributes to the number of high-end homes sold. There were 14 properties sold for more than $1 million in July, a jump of 80 per cent.