Summer buying boom turns up the heat on Ottawa's housing market

Home sales
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Driven by unrelenting demand, Ottawa’s residential housing market continued to sizzle in July, figures from the Ottawa Real Estate Board show. 

OREB members sold 2,189 properties last month, a year-over-year increase of 19 per cent. Condos were also a hot-ticket item, with 543 recorded sales, up 18 per cent year-over-year.

“With a market that is now characterized as hot, the question posed by clients, media and the public alike is, ‘when or where this will all end?’” OREB president Deborah Burgoyne said in a statement. “As long as we have demand outpacing supply, this will continue.”

The average sale price of a residential-class property was $585,084 last month, up a whopping 20 per cent compared with July 2019. Condominium-class properties also saw an uptick in price, with the average unit selling for $357,764 – a 19 per cent jump over the same month in 2019.

The summer is typically a slower period for Ottawa’s housing market, Burgoyne noted, adding she is surprised by how quickly the market rebounded following the downturn this spring when the COVID-19 crisis struck. 

Despite continued restrictions on how potential buyers interact with realtors and sellers, the veteran agent said the market is ripe with first-time buyers and those looking for a new home. 

With diminishing inventory for sale, buyers are competing for whatever comes on the market and driving up prices. Last month, over 57 per cent of properties changed hands for more than the listing price, compared with 33 per cent in July 2019.

“Ottawa’s resale market offers solid returns for many sellers, while buyers continue to feel the squeeze,” Burgoyne said. “This market is challenging for all involved, and more balance would be a welcomed relief for everyone.”