Ottawa real estate enters the new year in ‘strong seller’s market’ after record sales in 2021 – Ottawa

Ottawa’s housing market set new sales records and returned to pre-pandemic standards in 2021, according to the local real estate council.

The Ottawa Real Estate Board says the average monthly sale price at the end of the 2021 hit
$709,980 for residential-class homes and $399,125 for apartments. Those numbers represent price increases of 18 percent and 12 percent, respectively, on sales in December 2020.

December saw a dip in the volume of year-over-year home sales in Ottawa as the OREB said the market had “normalized” in the closing months of 2021 from pandemic-driven spikes the year before.

But the last month of the year closed a record high in 2021 for local real estate activity.

The residential and condo markets combined reached 20,302 units sold in 2021, up from total sales of 18,953 in 2020.

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Year-to-date prices in the residential market rose to an average of $719,605, up 24 percent from 2020. The average sale price of an apartment in 2021 rose to $419,683, up 16 percent.

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Ottawa’s residential real estate market reached total sales volume of approximately $13.1 billion in 2021, compared to approximately $10 billion the year before.

“This significant increase in sales volume reflects the price acceleration we have seen in the past year and correlates with the average sales price increases for the city,” said OREB’s 2021 president Debra Wright, who will hand over the role to Penny Torontow in the new year.

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Wright said in a press release that the biggest driver of last year’s rising prices in Ottawa, which OREB expects to continue into 2022, is a lack of housing stock in the nation’s capital.

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With less than a month’s supply of units on the market to kick off the new year, Ottawa is still “solidly entrenched in a strong seller’s market,” the outgoing OREB president said. She predicted that this trend will continue until the city is able to hit a buffer of three to four months at a time.

But Torontow said the first quarter of real estate activity in 2022 is difficult to predict amid the latest COVID-19 wave and associated constraints.

“We are entering another pandemic wave. Buyers are fatigued, parents are concentrating on distance learning, interest rate hikes are imminent – I don’t expect to see the first quarter rise like 2021,” she said.

“Presumably, we’ll see more of the same if the market does as well as it does with the current housing stock. Unfortunately for home buyers, it will sustain itself as a seller’s market for quite some time until our inventory problems are resolved.

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