Supply shortage causes February slowdown in Ottawa real estate market


A lack of homes for sale caused a slowdown in Ottawa’s real estate market in February, causing sales to slip 2.3 per cent year-over-year, according to the Ottawa Real Estate Board.

Local realtors sold 979 properties last month, down from 1,001 in February 2017.

“There is no doubt our sales numbers would have been much higher if we had more properties available for sale,” said OREB president Ralph Shaw in a statement. “Buyer demand is there, but our inventory in both residential-class and condos continues to decline.”

He added that buyers will find themselves competing for a limited number of listings in a market that favours sellers if the trend continues.

February marked the end of a 20-month streak, starting in July 2016, of year-over-year increases in the number of properties sold in Ottawa, according to OBJ records.

However, the 979 properties that did trade hands last month is still higher than the five-year average of 922 homes for the month of February.

OREB also reported that the average price of a residential property last month was $429,600, up 2.7 per cent from February 2017.

“With this being a civic election year, we look forward to talking with our council and mayoral candidates about what measures need to be taken now to support affordability, before we develop the supply challenges of Toronto or Vancouver,” Shaw said.