No surprise that it was tough sledding in Ottawa real estate in February. Record setting cold during the month may have deterred some casual buyers but underlying market weakness and an imbalance of supply and demand continue to be the dominant influences of the current market.
Unit sales down, prices flat:
Monthly unit sales were mostly flat compared to equally dull results recorded in February 2014. Based on 5 year averages, residential sales during the month were down 6% and condo sales a whopping 30%.
The average condo selling price increased slightly during the month, while the average residential selling price was flat with a slight decrease of .3%. Year to date average prices are flat for both residential and condo properties.
Will spring sales melt listing inventory and bring a flood of sales?
Listing inventory continues to grow well beyond expected accumulation in advance of the busy spring sales season. Residential listing inventory at the end of February was 9% higher than last year and 31.8% higher than the 5 year average. Condo inventory was 5% higher than last year and 58.2% higher than the 5 year average. This clearly says there are more sellers in the market than buyers and this represents about 2,000 excess listings currently available right now and with 3 of the heaviest listing months ahead of us. If sales do not increase significantly, we can expect our buyer’s market conditions to continue with significant pressure on selling prices for most properties.
Higher end listing inventory most challenged:
A quick synopsis of current listing inventory levels compared to 2014 sales suggests that we are overweight on listings $500K+. For example: during 2014 sales of properties $750K+ accounted for only 3.1% of all residential sales yet currently account for 7.3% of listing inventory. If one adds the $500-$750K category, sales above $500K in 2014 totalled 14.7% of all sales yet current inventory has 21.7% of total listings. So those listing properties above $500K will want to be very careful with their list pricing, marketing and timing strategies. We expect to see this category of properties to also take longer to sell.
We are hoping that there may be some Federal Government budget thaw and pre-election goodies which would help our market. Some reports suggest that there may be an uptick in DND personnel moves which is a very important factor in our spring/summer market here.
Ultra low mortgage rates may also move some buyers off the sidelines and in to the market.
Market timing: …don’t miss the spring!
March, April and early May are the peak listing periods to get properties on the market for spring buyers. If you have not made your plans, by all means check out our new 3 tiered commission rate plans* based on service levels which provide 2 broker support for MLS® listings for 2.99% (basic service) 3.99% (full service) and 4.99% (premium broker service). Our 4.99% program we believe is unique in that it offers up to $3,000 in rebates/discounts for pre-listing preparation or staging to help you get your property in model home condition for listing. All rates include a market standard 2.5% commission for a buyer representative bringing a buyer. For more details please call 613-435-4692 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
* not intended to solicit those with existing representation agreements.
Call to schedule a realistic market evaluation: 613-435-4692
We are happy to provide a no cost no obligation market evaluation of your home focused on what you may realistically be able to expect from this challenging market. We will tell you the marketing advantages of your property but we will also tell you the limitations and what we think you need to do to get the house sold in support of your housing objectives.
Gord McCormick, Broker of Record
Dawn Davey, Broker
Oasis Realty Brokerage
613-435-4692 or cell/text 613-371-9691
Experienced, professional brokers with lower costs for sellers