Ottawa house prices up slightly in Q2: Royal Lepage

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The price of a home in Ottawa climbed slightly in the second quarter according to the Royal LePage House Price Survey and Market Survey Forecast released Tuesday.

The value of an average two-storey home was up a modest 2.3 per cent from the second quarter of 2014, to $411,350. Detached bungalows were up 1.9 per cent to $409,167, and standard condominiums were relatively unchanged, at $257,467.

"We had a good start to the year with strong activity including a record number of sales in May," John Rogan, broker of record, Royal LePage Performance Realty, said in a statement. "However, high inventory levels and very selective buyers have restrained price appreciation and kept average prices relatively consistent with this time last year."

Those high inventory levels are coming in the condominium space, said Mr. Rogan, suggesting condos have been over-developed in recent years.

"The market for condos definitely favours buyers right now and there is great selection in a number of parts of the city," he said.

Mr. Rogan is forecasting a busy summer with a drastic drop in activity as the federal election approaches as the outcome of the election could create “uncertainty” for many Ottawa residents.

For the year, Royal Lepage is predicting the average price of a home in Ottawa will rise 2.7 per cent.

Nationally, Royal Lepage’s numbers suggest Toronto had the hottest real estate market in the country during the second quarter, with double-digit increases in all types of housing.

The Vancouver market was also strong with double-digit price increases for two-storey homes and detached bungalows, although condo prices were up a more moderate six per cent.

But prices were down for some types of residential property in Montreal, Calgary and Winnipeg.

Royal LePage says other major markets across the country saw moderate increases or flat prices for most types of housing during the quarter, including in Halifax, Fredericton, and Edmonton.

The national average price of a bungalow was up 7.5 per cent from last year at $438,938, the average price for two-storey detached houses rose 6.8 per cent to $471,002 and the average condo price was $268.583, up 3.9 per cent.

Royal LePage released its quarterly report a day before the Bank of Canada's latest interest rate announcement and an updated outlook for economic growth.

There has been some speculation that Canada's central bank could lower its trend-setting short-term rate to stimulate the economy, as it did unexpectedly in January to offset the impact from a decline in oil prices that accelerated in November.

However, Royal LePage said a further decline in lending rates wasn't needed to boost the real estate market.

"With most Canadian real estate markets across the country advancing modestly, and some rapidly, Royal LePage advises that a further interest rate cut by the Bank of Canada could over-stimulate markets such as greater Toronto and Vancouver."

It also said a decline in prices for some types of properties in some local markets has increased buyer interest.

-with files from the Canadian Press