UPDATE: Slow start to 2014 continues despite jump in March home sales: OREB

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Ottawa real estate agents sold more homes last month than they did during the same time a year earlier but the local market is still off to a slightly slower start to the year than it was during the first three months of 2013.

Editor’s note: This is a corrected story. The Ottawa Real Estate Board provided incorrect information concerning sales numbers and average prices in March, which it says was due to an “input error.” This item reflects the updated numbers the OREB sent out on Apr. 11.

There were 1,189 homes sold in March, according to the Ottawa Real Estate Board. That’s a 2.5 per cent increase when compared to the 1,160 that were sold during the same month a year earlier.

However there still have been fewer homes sold so far in 2014 than during the first three months of 2013.

So far this year realtors have sold 2,645 homes. That’s a drop off from the 2,657 homes that were sold between January and March in 2013.

But as local residents prepare to thaw out from a long, cold winter that has no doubt dampened demand from buyers, Ottawa realtors are optimistic that the spring buying season will turn the local market around.

“A total of 2,776 properties were listed in March, indicating that sellers were getting ready (for) the busy spring market,” said Randy Oickle, the president of the OREB, in a statement.

“The average days on market stood at 49 for the month of March, lower than the average of 61 days in January and February, indicating that properties are starting to move faster as we enter the second quarter of 2014.”

Prices increased only marginally. The average sale price was $358,741 last month, a 0.3 per cent jump over the average price of $357,845 in March 2013.