Ottawa endured 'extreme' slowdown in housing market during Q1: Royal LePage

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The price of detached houses in Ottawa edged up as condo prices fell during the first three months of 2014, according to a new survey by Royal LePage Real Estate Services.

The real estate company says the price for an average detached bungalow was up 2.2 per cent to $395,667 compared to the same time last year, while the price of two-storey homes increased 2.0 per cent to an average of $398,500.

"It is common to see a slowdown over the winter months, but 2014 has been one of the most extreme that I have witnessed," John Rogan, broker and manager of Ottawa brokerage Royal LePage Performance Realty,said in a press release.

"With that said, at the end of March we were seeing some days with more conditional sales than new listings, indicating that the spring season is likely to be a good one for Ottawa real estate."

Despite slow sales, the market for detached houses in Ottawa is still balanced, according to Royal LePage.

It’s a different story for condos, however, where excess supply is pushing prices down.

Condo prices declined 1.4 per cent to an average of $258,500 during the three-month period.

"Our condo market supply has continued to see some overflow but we remain confident that these excess units will work their way through the system in the year ahead," said Mr. Rogan in the statement.

Prices in Ottawa lagged the rest of the country.

Nationally, Royal LePage says the final month of the first quarter saw inventory increase noticeably as the industry saw what had been an underperforming spring market turn a corner in the final few weeks.

The company found that most regions showed healthy year-over-year price growth, with the average price of a home in Canada rising between 2.5 per cent and 5.4 per cent

For example, the average price of a two-storey home increased 5.4 per cent to $428,943 in the quarter, while detached bungalows rose 4.4 per cent year-over-year to $380,765. Standard condominiums posted lower gains of 2.5 per cent to $252,174.

Regionally, Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary and Edmonton saw the highest price increases, while parts of Atlantic Canada, with much of its inventory still under snow, posted the lowest gains overall.

In Montreal, year-over-year prices increased between 3.6 per cent for detached homes and 3.3 per cent for semi-detached, while prices for standard condominiums remained relatively flat.

–With files from The Canadian Press