"Chilly" January continues 7 month trend in Ottawa real estate

Published 07 February 13 05:16 AM | Gord McCormick 

Transactions and residential average selling price dip:

Ottawa got off to an even slower start than usual, posting an 11.7% decrease in the number of sales transactions in January with 602 residential and condo units being sold.

The average residential selling price declined by 2.5% to $364,011 compared to January 2012, while the price of the average condo sold during the month increased 6.1% to $268,604.

Trend continues:

Looking back over the last year, one can see that the downward trend in sales transactions started mid last year.  May 2012 was a solid sales month with a 14.3% increase in the number of transactions.  Since then average transactions have declined by an average of 7.1% overall with only two months in marginally positive territory. 

So what’s going on?

Many pundits and our Board believe that the government measures intended to “cool” the housing market are having some effect and there is probably some merit in this position.

We also believe think that the market has just gotten “tired” and is experiencing a period of stagnation, where some buyers and sellers sit on the sidelines trying to figure out which way the market is going and what is best for them.

The shift in the balance of sale towards condos, townhouses and semi-detached properties and away from single family residential housing is probably having some impact on demand and pricing for older residential properties. 

Buyer and Seller expectations:
we think there is a more of a gap than usual between what sellers expect for their properties and what buyers are willing or able to pay. If this is true it will result in a further slowing of sales &/or a decrease in average prices for properties sold.

Will we see a drop in prices?
There will certainly be some pressure on prices for those sellers who have to sell, as some buyers will take aggressive positions to get a deal done. However, sellers who don’t really have to move may simply abandon the market if they are unable to get the price they were expecting. Since it takes a willing buyer and seller to get a deal done, this may result in fewer sales and we are already seeing some of this.

Listing Inventories:
The number of overall residential and condo listings is 10% more than than a year ago but 39% higher than end January 2011 and 75% higher than January 2010-so this could point to a developing supply demand imbalance if sales transactions remain below previous years levels.

If we can assist you with your 2013 housing plans, by all means give us a call to discuss your specific situation in light of current market conditions.


Gord McCormick, Broker of Record

Dawn Davey, Broker

Oasis Realty Brokerage

613-435-4692 or cell/text 613-371-9691



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