Little to be thankful for in September results for Ottawa real estate

Published 05 October 12 05:20 AM | Gord McCormick 

As we get ready to enjoy our Thanksgiving weekend, the Ottawa Real Estate Board has just released some less than encouraging results for the month of September, continuing a trend of spotty results registered over the last few months.

The number of residential sales transactions was down 17.3% compared to September 2011 and down 14.6% compared to the 5 year average for September from 2007-2011.

On the plus side, the average sales prices stayed in positive territory with the average residential property sold increasing 3.9% to $374,209 and the average condo average price increased 4.8% to $267,231.

On a year to date basis residential unit sales are up 2.4% with an average price increase of 1.8%.

Condos through the first 9 months of the year show 5.2% less units sold (on the resale market) than last year but average prices are up 3.7%

The time it takes to sell the average property has also increased this year with residential properties taking 43 days (vs 39) and condos taking 44 days (vs 32)

Overall listing inventory does not look to be in too bad shape relative to a year ago with the number of residential listings up 1.8% and the number of condo listings up 23.9%.

One other listing inventory comparison of note is that we currently have almost 800 more residential and condo listings than we did on April 1st which is the start of peak selling season in Ottawa real estate. 

Though not a significant number (479) the number of rental listings on the Ottawa MLS® system is up 39% compared to a year ago and 65% higher than the 5 year average.

It is somewhat surprising that we have not yet seen a buildup of listing inventory, given the sales shortfall but the evidence can be seen in the # of listings that were either cancelled, expired or withdrawn (1612 during the month of September) This is 13.8% higher than last year and 43.2% higher than the 5 year average.  We can expect to see this number grow even higher or see a jump in listing inventory, if the current downward unit sales trend continues. 

The Greater Ottawa Home Builders Association recently reported that new home construction sales are off this year by 20-25% compared to last year, so this further underscores the fact that the market is slowing. 

Based on the current trends we certainly appear to be headed towards buyers’ market territory after a decade long bull market which has finally hit some price ceilings and exhausted the uplift afforded by historically minimal mortgage rates.

We encourage those contemplating their real estate plans to not base their decision making solely based on headlines they see but rather consultation customized to their own specific situation.  So call your REALTOR® or call us to get advice and counsel to help make better informed decisions.

Gord McCormick, Broker of Record

Dawn Davey, Broker

Oasis Realty Brokerage

613-435-4692 or 613-371-9691

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