Ottawa real estate Q1 2015: modest sales, potentially scary listing inventory above $500K

Published 09 April 15 11:43 AM | Gord McCormick 

Is it a flood of spring sales in Ottawa real estate….or just listings? April 9th, 2015


Unit sales grew seasonally in March (from February), as usual but not enough to melt down a glacier of listing inventory and in fact, it appears the growth of listing inventory continues increasing to unprecedented levels. Current inventory levels are the highest in 10 years (or more!) for this time of the year.  With the 2 or 3 biggest listing months ahead of us this does not bode well for many sellers, unless a torrent of demand surfaces which is highly unlikely, based on established trend lines for unit sales.


Modest unit sales and flat prices-generally no growth:

For the first quarter, residential sales grew by 4.9% over the same period last year and condo sales were down 9.7%.  Compared to the 5 year average for March sales; residential sales were down 3.6% and condo sales were down 6.7%. (2010-2014)

Average prices were totally flat (actually a slight decrease of .1%) for both residential  (avg $380,930) and condo’s (avg. $256,725) sold in the first quarter.


Listing inventory:

Residential listing inventory grew 10.1% compared to March 2014 and condo inventory grew 7.4%.  The rate of growth of new listings was a factor also, as new listings during March were up 15.6% for residential listings and 20.3% for condos, compared to last year.

Total Residential listings at the end of March are 34% higher than the 5 year average and condo listings are 57.9% higher.


Higher end listings have lots of company:

We are also very heavy on higher priced listings.  2014 sales for residential properties greater than $500,000 totalled 16.8% of sales and we currently have 25.8% of our listing inventory at this price level.  On a unit basis we have almost a year’s worth of listing inventory in the $500K category with our 2 heaviest listing months to come.(normally enough for  4-6 months of anticipated sales would be appropriate)



The number of selling days it takes to negotiate a sale has also increased.  Total days on market to sell a residential listing to date in 2015 were 94 days this year vs 75 days last year.  The average condo took 107 days vs 97 day during the first quarter.


Challenging spring for many sellers:

Despite fantastic mortgage rates and a generally good local economy, it is very difficult to envision a really strong spring market in Ottawa real estate.  Many sellers in the market will either have to compromise significantly on pricing expectations or abandon the market in order to get supply and demand back in to some kind of balance.

Both buyers and sellers will want to stay close to their Realtor and the market to be on top of new listings, sales and other competitive pressures.  Though the overall market looks pretty challenging that does not mean that every property is “fire sale priced” and well-priced and presented properties can sell quickly at this busiest time of the year.

Buyers and sellers not working closely with a Realtor may miss out, so those not engaged with a Realtor may wish to do so now.

If you are not already committed to another real estate professional we would be glad to discuss how you can best meet your buying &/or selling objectives in this challenging market.


Gord McCormick, Broker of Record

Dawn Davey, Broker

Oasis Realty Brokerage



full service + lower commission plans for sellers


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